Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux

- for computer animation (1996)

This work is created with a short music of the ballet, "Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux". The ballet itself was choreographed by George Balanchine. He'd found this music which actually had not been performed though P. I. Tchaikovsky composed for "Swan Lake", one of his three greatest ballets, and he has choreographed it as an independent piece from the story. This work faithfully expresses movements of the dance and the music on the piece which has those details, and it has more originality by addition to the techniques of the computer graphics.


Ballet is the most part of mine because I've been taking lesson of classical ballet since childhood. When started studying computer animation and then got to know a software "Kinemation", I decided to create an animation of ballet.

Technical Development

The following equipment and software were used for the realization of this work.

  • Computer-1 : SGI Indigo-2 Extreme
    CPU : R4400/200MHz
    Memory : 128Mb
    Software : Advanced Visualizer, Kinemation
  • Computer-2 : SGI Indy
    CPU : R4400/175MHz
    Memory : 128Mb
    Software : Advanced Visualizer, Video Composer
  • Computer-3 : SGI Indigo-2 XZ with Galileo Video
    CPU : R4400/250MHz
    Memory : 128Mb
    Software : Image Server (of Advanced Visualizer), Video Composer
  • other equipment including;
    Sony CRVdisc (Laser Videodisc Recorder:LVR-3000AN)
    Sony Betacam/SP (Video Tape Recorder:PVW-2800)
    Sony DAT (Digital Audio Recorder:PCM-7050)
    Sony DAT (Digital Audio Recorder:PCM-7030)
    Sony Digital Audio Editor (RM-D7300)
    and others

Please attention, when this work were started to create, for only three months I've started learning the basic of computer animation.

+Making Documentation


I used "Model" in "Advanced VIsualizer" for this creation. All parts of the dancer's body were started to make from sphere of polygon. They were scaled, rotated, and translated, and then each part were calculated by Boolean. And "Property" in "Advanced Visualizer" were used for assigning the colors of each part, here all values of colors, dress, toe shoes, hair, skin, and so on, and shadows, lights etc. were created.


"Kinemation" was employed for the realization of all the movement of the character. I created a skeleton, assigned the body object, and then started animation. The aim of this animation was the highest quality as possible as actual movement. In general, it's very useful for animation control the object has some handles. However, this function has no knowledge of actual right movement of dance, and sometimes even ignores computer executes impossible movements. For example, computer doesn't know the dancer must concentrate her attention to doing in order from the hip to the thigh, the knee, the ankle, and the toe, when stretching a leg. Therefore, I made no handles on the body, but controlled only each joints of it. Of course modeling and this animation in "Kinemation" used very much time. Thus, the animation, needed much time, was given camera working on "Preview" of "Advanced Visualizer", then rendered to image files.

*music creating

I created this music originally played back by MIDI orchestra because of my two desire. One is the more liting tune than playing back by orchestra, and the other is the correct time for emphasizing this work is the computer animation even if it has high quality and reality in view.


"Video Composer" in was employed for editing images. Specially, the last scene in the work, the dancer increasing, would give most of you very strong impression. It has the techniques of this software. The effect was gotten by repeatedly adding same animation moved the own position. At last ten dancers were created. There is another importance. It's shifting some of the ten same animations before and after one frame from original point with the music. It creates a time lag so naturally, that it seems there are ten dancers and they are dancing together. Without the lag you shouldn't be able to find them. By the way, shifting two frames makes no time lag but real delay.
After editing, the animation were recorded to CRV, then also did to Betacam with the music clocked. In these way, this work is complete any purpose on all processes. And here is a realization of the harmony of the antithetical area between imagination and reality.


+Performance Data

  1. Oct. 19-20, 1996, 2nd InterCollege Computer Music Festival (Premiere)
    IPSJ Special Interest Group on MUSic and computer (SIGMUS)
    at Kunitachi College of Music, Tokyo
  2. Nov. 20, 1996, Try-Out Concert VI
    Sonology Department of Kunitachi College of Music
    at Kunitachi College of Music, Tokyo
  3. Dec. 13-16, 1997, JAPAN/U.S.A. InterCollege Computer Music Festival
    at NTT Inter-Commuication Center and Keio University, Tokyo
  4. Jul. 1998, SIGGRAPH'98 Television
    at Orland, Florida (U.S.A.)