South Wales Evening Post - Thursday 3 November 2005
Dylan is brought back to life for one more reading
Swansea's most famous son will be brought back to life next week.
Dylan Thomas is to give a photo-realistic reading of his poem do not go gentle into that good night at the closing of this year's Dylan Thomas festival on Wednesday, thanks to new home-grown technology.
A life-like computer-generated head (picture left) of the poet has been created by Swansea photographer Bernard Mitchell and a team of local animators.
It is based on hundreds of photographs of the poet and a scan of his death mask made by sculptor David Slivka. The voice is a recording Dylan made shortly before his death.
Mr Mitchell said today: " The original concept of the head developed as part of my postgraduate studies at Swansea school of art and design, but my interest in Dylan goes back to the 1960's."
Mr Mitchell had taken a number of photographs of Dylan's contemporaries, including artist Vernon Watkins and composer Daniel Jones, and wanted to find a way of recreating the poet, as no moving images of him are known to survive. Two films were made of him the 1950's, but were later destroyed.
When Mr Mitchell discovered a new 3D-scanning technology he set about finding ways to develop it into creating a life-life Dylan.
"But I knew I would need computer-generated graphics and animation to develop it."
He joined forces with Swansea-based animators iCreate and together they began creating Dylan's head.
The head was over 12 months in the making, six months of which were used to perfect the animation of Dylan's face.
"We could probably take another 12 months to work on it," said Mr Mitchell.
"But it's awesome now and we wanted to launch it on the anniversary of his death."