[SISEA 1990] Artist Statement: Paul Battem — Digima Showreel 1990

Artist Statement

Digima (Digital Images Computer Animation) was founded in Groningen (NL) in 1983 by the American astronomer Seth Shostak (http://sethshostak.com) and his colleague Bart Wevers. Digima wrote a complete in-house animation software system. To calculate the animations, they used the computer center of the University of Groningen at the Zernike complex. Seth Shostak is not only a researcher at the Kapteyn Institute of the Faculty of Astronomy of the University of Groningen, but also an avid amateur filmmaker and photographer. He creates special (zero budget) special effects for his films. The computer’s capabilities move him and his colleague to write software to create animations on the computers in the university’s computer center. For this he received the Wubbo Ockels Prize.

Soon, students from the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science join Shostak and Wevers, including Ronald Kiel. Contact with the art school ‘Academy Minerva’ is established through drawing teacher Jules van de Vijver. With the aim of making the three-dimensional computer models more aesthetically sound, students from the computer art department, in particular Herman Paassen and Martijn Hage, are involved in the production.

Digima acquires national fame and in 1987 is asked by the TROS (one of the Dutch national broadcasting companies) to create a station call for their broadcasts from the World Trade Center in Amsterdam. For this station call, cartoonist Paul Battem, from the Toonder Studios, is asked to create the dynamics of the camera movement.

Digima creates animations for, among others: TROS, MartinAir, Veilig Verkeer Nederland, NOB Design, Chriet Titulaer Productions, Philishave, Toonder Studio’s, ESA/ESTEC, TNO, PTT.

In 1988 Digima started sharing premisses with the National Center for Computer Animation (Academy Minerva), the co-organiser of SISEA, and a co-operation started between the computer animation company and the educational institute, that was managed by Wim van der Plas.

After Shostak returned to the USA, the direction of Digima is in the hands of Kiel and Battem.

[Based on https://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digima, with help by Google Translate]

  • Paul Battem, NL. Worked for the Toonder Studios, the major Dutch comic book and animation studio in The Netherlands (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marten_Toonder), before he became artistic director at Digima Computer Animation, Groningen, NL.