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The One Ring Forums: Off Topic: Off Topic:
Weta Digital is helping children to walk...

Grey Havens

Jun 28 2008, 1:45am

Post #1 of 9 (605 views)
Weta Digital is helping children to walk... Can't Post

From The New Zealand Herald:

Wellywood technology helps children to walk

Animation techniques, like those that brought Gollum, are being used to treat disabilities.

Animation technology used in blockbuster movies such as Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings is now helping children to walk.

The Gait Laboratory at the Royal Children's Hospital in Brisbane uses animation technology developed at Weta Digital in Wellington to see why some children, as young as 3, have trouble walking.

Keegan McCluskey, 12, is falling over less and has ditched his wheelchair for a walking stick since doctors were able to identify more accurately what surgery he needed to correct his walk


Gait Laboratory director Dr Robyn Grote said the technology was reducing the number of times children had to undergo surgery because of its precision in mapping a child's motion.

"A number of reflective markers are placed on a child's legs, while eight specially designed cameras placed around the room record how these markers move," Dr Grote said. "Several cameras track each marker to allow a computer to create a three-dimensional view of the child's motion.

"This enables the team to analyse a child walking from the side, front, back and above _ all at once."

[..]The laboratory is one of just a few paediatric clinical gait analysis labs in Australia. It is also involved in developing a pilot that will examine the way children move their arms and fingers.


Nice to see that WETA is contributing to society in such a meaningful way.


Forum Admin / Moderator

Jun 28 2008, 1:49am

Post #2 of 9 (331 views)
That's a lovely news item. [In reply to] Can't Post

I read it this morning, fully intended to post a link, then forgot all about it. Thanks for posting it, diedye!

My writing (including The Passing of Mistress Rose)

Do we find happiness so often that we should turn it off the box when it happens to sit there?

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(This post was edited by Kimi on Jun 28 2008, 1:50am)

Peredhil lover

Jun 28 2008, 4:48am

Post #3 of 9 (292 views)
Oh wow [In reply to] Can't Post

That is great! Would never have thought of that myself, but now that I know about it, it makes sense. It must be possible to analyze the gait of these children much better in this way; you can repeat it as often as you want to see something withouth them having to do it themselves. And when it helps to avoid some of the surgery they have to undergo, and even bring children like Keegan out of their wheelchairs, that is wonderful!

I am sure Andy Serkis will be very pleased that his innovative performance did not only bring Gollum to life in such a believable way, but is now the catalyst for such a medical progress. As will the Weta team.

Thanks for posting this, diedye!

I do not suffer from LotR obsession - I enjoy every minute of it.

The Shire

Jun 28 2008, 5:33am

Post #4 of 9 (314 views)
Way to go Weta! [In reply to] Can't Post

    Hi all,

As some one who is physically disabled (born with Spina Bifida), I thought this was really cool, then started kicking myself wondering if anybody closer to home had thought of doing something like this. Very cool stuff, and Weta rocks.... Later,

-David "Dragon Slayer" Chipman


Jun 28 2008, 10:08am

Post #5 of 9 (279 views)
What an excellent way to use this technology [In reply to] Can't Post

There is a gait clinic in Auckland but I don't know if they are using the Weta technology too.
Imagine if the Aussies got it first!
*ducks to avoid pies thrown by Elven and Kelvarhin from across the ditch*


Jun 28 2008, 10:11am

Post #6 of 9 (276 views)
Welcome, DavidDragonSlayer. Watch out Smaug! [In reply to] Can't Post

I hope you enjoy it here at TORn.
It would be interesting to hear if this Weta technology is going to be used at any other clinics.


Jun 28 2008, 12:05pm

Post #7 of 9 (276 views)
They have the motion capture [In reply to] Can't Post

therapy going on at the university where I work. They not only use it for walking, but for speech therapy as well. Nothing but praise for their programs!

Just like Star Trek was the catalyst for so much we take for granted today, so has Weta and LotR done as well :)


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Jun 28 2008, 4:59pm

Post #8 of 9 (287 views)
welcom to TORn! [In reply to] Can't Post

Hope you stay around and post!

The term is over: the holidays have begun. The dream is ended: this is the morning.

Superuser / Moderator

Jun 29 2008, 3:59am

Post #9 of 9 (250 views)
Welcome David!! [In reply to] Can't Post

It *is* awesome, isn't it? Thanks for lending us your perspective. Smile

Do take a look around and join in. There's lots to be discussed here and we'd love to have you join us.

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