For 13 years Phase Space has operated out of an obscure warehouse in San Leandro. It started by developing a technology that enabled the U.S. military to make training films more easily.
PhaseSpace invented a spandex suit, studded with sensors, and a computer-based "recording" system to capture the motion of human actors wearing this action suit.
Once captured, PhaseSpace software can pour this motion into the lifeless shells of animated characters in television programs, video games, even feature films
Among its popular credits has been putting the web-slinging into a Spiderman game.
Now this innovative San Leandro firm wants to crack the world's biggest and snootiest animation market -- Hollywood.
PhaseSpace CEO Tracy McSheery hopes to impress Disney, Pixar and other animation heavy weights by creating an original, animated children's movie titled "Tower of the Dragon."
It's the story of a world in which reading is forbidden and magic is only supposed to be used by those who obey without thinking. The main character, a child named Lyric, must save the world because adults can’t.
McSheery estimates it will cost $2 million to produce "Tower of the Dragon" using the PhaseSpace method versus the $200 million it might cost using traditional animation techniques that involve drawing the characters.
To help raise that $2 million money PhaseSpace will appeal for support on KickStarter, the Internet site that lets creative people solicit fans to make small donations to bring ideas to reality.
You can see a trailer for "Tower of the Dragon" here.
PhaseSpace is an early beneficiary of Lit San Leandro, the fiber optic loop being deployed by software entrepreneur Patch Kennedy to make this one of the most wired cities in the world.
Read more about San Leandro's Innovation Economy in the Patch archives.