Login | Register

Simulation FX: Cinema and the R&D Complex


Simulation FX: Cinema and the R&D Complex

Gowanlock, Jordan (2017) Simulation FX: Cinema and the R&D Complex. PhD thesis, Concordia University.

[thumbnail of Gowanlock_PhD_S2018.pdf]
Text (application/pdf)
Gowanlock_PhD_S2018.pdf - Accepted Version
Restricted to Repository staff only until 16 July 2022.
Available under License Spectrum Terms of Access.


This study looks at the ongoing development of tools and practices used to animate nonlinear physical phenomena, such as the crash of ocean waves or the movement of human hair, in the visual effect and animation industries. These tools and practices are developed in a nexus between public funding, research universities, the film industry, and various other sectors, such as aerospace and meteorology. This study investigates how technological development became integrated with film production, and in turn how epistemic paradigms were shared between the film industry, scientific research institutions and other industries.

At the heart of these animation tools and practices, and the networks of institutions that developed them, is a way of thinking that seeks to make use of unpredictable nonlinear complexity by shaping it toward specific applications. I observe this in the way animation and visual effect studios seek the realistic appearance of nonlinear natural movement through simulation, while also implementing technologies and practices to direct the look of these simulations. I also observe this in a variety of related examples, from the way the concept of research and development unites science and application, to the way management science promotes hands off approaches that preserve the unpredictable nature of creative work. My methods consist of charting the circulation of ideas, technologies, moving images and people through contact zones such as the computer science special interest group ACM SIGGRAPH, using archival research of trade communications, scholarly publications and conference proceedings, as well as interviews with industry workers.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Fine Arts > Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema
Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Authors:Gowanlock, Jordan
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:Ph. D.
Program:Film and Moving Image Studies
Date:25 August 2017
Thesis Supervisor(s):Steinberg, Marc
Keywords:cinema, special effects, visual effects, animation, media industries, digital media, simulation
ID Code:983511
Deposited On:05 Jun 2018 14:02
Last Modified:15 Jul 2020 20:42
All items in Spectrum are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved. The use of items is governed by Spectrum's terms of access.

Repository Staff Only: item control page

Downloads per month over past year

Research related to the current document (at the CORE website)
- Research related to the current document (at the CORE website)
Back to top Back to top