Karen Moltenbrey


Karen has diverse experience in the publishing industry, both in the mainstreamand technical press, including a number of years as an editor at IDG’s Network World magazine. She has been with Computer Graphics World for eight years, writing and editing feature articles pertaining to the areas of film, television, computer gaming, digital fine art, and Web technology. A national ASBPE Gold winner, she has also received a number of Silver and Bronze Awards, and has been named a finalist for the prestigious Jesse H. Neal National Business Journalism Award a numerous times.
Authored Articles
Reality Check
Published: 25-Jul-2011

It often takes a confluence of remarkable discoveries to result in a technological achievement that will impact our daily life. Consider, for instance, augmented reality, which melds a digitally re-created environment with the real world. In 1968, Evans & Sutherland created the first augmented-reality system that used an optical head-mounted display with mechanical and ultrasonic trackers. Here, computers processed and displayed a simple wireframe depiction of the environment in real time. Eventually, computer processing became more powerful, tracking more precise, and graphics more realistic—and scientific and military applications took advantage of this confluence of technologies. Some years later, ARToolKit, an open-source solution utilizing computer vision algorithms and video tracking libraries for calculating camera position, negated the need for expensive hardware and software, making the technology more accessible. The most recent game changer for AR occurred with the Internet revolution, as users with fast computers and web­cams began linking to the Internet using broadband or even fiber connections. Then came the gaming revolution a la the Wii and Kinect, which made object tracking popular, inexpensive, and fun for everyone. When the mobile revolution kicked in and smartphones became the norm rather than a luxury, well, that marked the tipping point for the technology.
Thinking Outside The Box
Published: 25-Jul-2011

When a potential tent-pole film debuts, you can expect to see a range of licensed merchandise associated with that property popping up on store shelves. We’ve come to expect the various toys—video games, board games, and action figures—and even the fast-food accompaniments from McDonald’s and Burger King, for example. But more and more, movie characters are turning up just about everywhere—from aboard cruises to grocery aisles. Why? Kids love these characters, and parents are eager to satisfy their kids. And for companies looking for an added edge, it’s a marketing match made in reality—or possibly, virtual reality.
Editor's Note
Published: 22-Jul-2011

Once again, we opened the summer with a number of highly anticipated films vying for theatergoers’ attention (and wallets).
Published: 27-Apr-2011

Animated superheros, the new guardians of the NHL franchises, save the day in their debut adventure.
Monster Movie
Published: 27-Apr-2011

Computer-generated characters and a miniature set give the short film “The Gruffalo” its charm. 
Editor's Note
Published: 26-Apr-2011

The Business Side of Visual Effects and Gaming
Editor's Note
Published: 16-Mar-2011

Where’s the Creativity?
Commercial Success
Published: 16-Mar-2011

Digital imagery gives Super Bowl commercials their star appeal
Editor's Note
Published: 17-Feb-2011

Late last month, right after Christmas, I was attempting to put away my presents only to find that what I really needed most was more space.
Contact Sport
Published: 17-Feb-2011

EA’s MMA title grapples with tough animation situations
Editor's Note
Published: 4-Jan-2011

This holiday, go back to the grid.
Editor's Note
Published: 23-Nov-2010

Who's the Hero Now?
Fur Less
Published: 18-Oct-2010

Animal experts will tell you that, despite the age-old adage that cats and dogs do not get along, a positive relationship between the two is indeed possible, depending on the animals’ personalities. That said, it’s clear why the sourpuss Kitty Galore is at war with, well, just about everyone—dogs, humans, and even fellow felines—in the live-action feature film Cats & Dogs 2: The Revenge of Kitty Galore. What’s this rogue agent’s beef? She lost her beautiful coat at the paws of a dog, and soon after became ridiculed by her cat comrades and kicked out of her human home.
Editor's Note: Which Flavor Are You?
Published: 15-Oct-2010

Are you a Mac person or a PC person? It seems like that question has been popping up a lot more in recent times. Perhaps it is because of the popular Apple ad campaign "Get a Mac,"  in which actor Justin Long personifies a Mac opposite John Hodgman, a PC. The campaign, which ran from 2006 through 2009, used an all-white backdrop, placing all the focus on the easily identifiable differences between PC and Mac. PC, dressed in a suit and tie, comes across very stuffy and all business-like as he touts the pluses he offers. Mac, on the other hand, is more laid-back-an attitude accentuated with his casual attire and mannerisms. Clearly-at least in the commercials-the intent is to portray the Mac as the product for a hip, younger generation, and the PC for the older business types.

Published: 17-Sep-2010

Under the lush canopy of the Amazon rain forest is a vibrant ecosystem teeming with life of all variation and size. Amazonia, as it is often called, is home to more than two million insect species, three thousand types of fish, 1300 kinds of birds, almost 400 variations of reptiles, and just as many amphibians and mammals. From the outside, the environment—wrapped in bright shades of green, from the tops of the great trees to the thick, lush jungle floor, and speckled with the rich, primary colors of its inhabitants—is playful and inviting. But looks can be deceiving, as a pair of tree frogs soon discover in the animated CG short film “Amazonia.”
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