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Digital Puppets: Jennifer and Jewel

Jennifer Web and Jewel Jemison are 3D, digitally animated puppets that were created as Keynote Speakers for UMBC’s Center for Women and Information Technology (CWIT) Computer Mania Day.

“Jennifer and Jewel represent cutting edge technology that can figuratively and literally talk to girls to get the message across that technology is fun,”

— Claudia Morrell, Director of CWIT.

Jennifer and Jewel build on previous research the IRC conducted with Kevin “Kal” Kallaugher in creating digital puppets. For these puppets, a distinctive Anime style was required. A real-time “toon” shader was created and programmed by undergraduate Computer Science student, Shane Lynch. Professor Colette Searls from the UMBC Theater Department coached three puppeteers to bring Jennifer to life.

CWIT Digital Puppet from ircumbc on Vimeo.

Production Notes

Project Director: Dan Bailey
Client: Center for Women and Information Technology
3D Modeling and Characterization: Eric Smallwood
Real-time Programming: Shane Lynch
Puppeteer Coach: Colette Searls
Puppeteers: Samantha Duval, Renata Melillo, Pamela Ezzat, Tonya Cook, Siarra Mong, and Kindra Williams
UMBC Interns: Kwabena Appiah, Julian Giles, Jamie Nolah