"By forging new links between the creative arts and advanced technology, the IRC brings national attention to UMBC."--President Freeman A. Hrabowski, III
Imaging Research Center Project to Air Nationwide on PBS
June 12, 2000 - Digital animation created in UMBC's Imaging Research Center (IRC) will help bring the past to life in "The Mystery of Chaco Canyon," a one-hour documentary narrated by Robert Redford, which premieres this week on PBS.
Working with information from archaeological surveys of ancient ruins in the Chaco Canyon area of New Mexico, IRC Associate Director Alan Price and UMBC imaging and digital arts students produced fifteen minutes of animated sequences for the documentary. Their work digitally recreates the Chacoan "Great Houses," immense ceremonial structures that stood over a thousand years ago in what is now the Chaco Cultural National Historical Park. The sequences, which took hundreds of hours to create, also show how the buildings were arranged in a distinct alignment with positions of the sun and moon.
"The Mystery of Chaco Canyon" was produced by the Solstice Project and directed by the project's founder, Anna Sofaer. The documentary will air nationally on PBS on June 16, at 10 p.m. WMPT in Maryland will broadcast the program at that time; WETA in Washington will show it June 15, at 10 p.m.
UMBC's Imaging Research Center is one of only a few research and development centers in the country that combines undergraduate and graduation education with professional training in high-end animation and computer imaging. Undergraduates in the IRC's internship program have also worked on projects for the Discovery Channel, the Family Channel, and CNN.
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