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News: Phil Tippett Online Chat
Feature: Phil Tippett: Hands-On Effects
Feature: Meet the Episode III Art Department
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Feature: Bantha Tracks #16
[ Biography ]

Award-winning Visual Effects Artist Phil Tippet is best known by Star Wars fans for breathing life into the virtual characters of the original Star Wars films -- through puppetry and stop motion animation. His specialty was the latter, a painstaking process wherein articulated models were moved by hand a frame at a time, 24 times to capture a single second of motion. Tippett used this technique to animate the holographic chess characters in Star Wars, and the tauntauns in The Empire Strikes Back.

Tippett helped engineer advancements of this age-old technique; stop-motion and go-motion animation reached its peak with his work on Dragonslayer and Return of the Jedi. For Return of the Jedi, Tippett oversaw the Makeup and Creature Design crew, developing the look for such classic Star Wars creatures as Jabba the Hutt and the rancor.

In 1983, Tippett formed his own company, Tippett Studio, which would provide the vivid animation seen in such films as Robocop. In 1991, he was on the forefront of the developing digital realm of computer-generated animation when work began on Jurassic Park. The "Digital-Input-Device" crafted by Tippett and his team bridged the transition of stop-motion to digital animation by providing computer animators a hands-on method of animating living creatures.

Since then, Tippett Studio has provided digital character and creature animation in such films as Hollow Man, Starship Troopers, Evolution and Hellboy.

Phil Tippett has worked on 34 feature films, and won Academy Awards for Return of the Jedi and Jurassic Park. His other nominated works include Willow, Dragonheart, Starship Troopers and Hollow Man. Tippett makes his directorial debut with Starship Troopers 2: Hero of the Federation.

For more information on Phil Tippett and his current work, please visit to the Tippett Studio site.

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