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The Mike Toole Show - Done with Computers


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Reibooi



Joined: 03 Mar 2008
Posts: 394
PostPosted: Sun Aug 26, 2012 7:10 pm Reply with quote
I hate the 3D CG anime thing with one exception. The stuff like Advent Children is great. Growing up as a gamer the cut scenes in the PS1 era Final Fantasy games were a visual treat and has since become something of a calling card for the series as you can always except a FF game to have some great CG in it. Seeing full movies like that is pretty cool. (btw I did quite enjoy Spirits Within despite the many flaws it had with it's story)

However the stuff like Appleseed or Vexille or To and what not just look like crap.(my opinion I know some think it looks awesome and that is perfectly fine) Part of that is they just can't compare to the massive Hollywood budget stuff that we get thrown in our faces every 5 seconds over here. I mean it's sad when the Cell Shading effect in something like Appleseed isn't even up to par with recent video game releases.(on top of which cell shading done wrong looks like shit)

I wouldn't mind more stuff from Square like Advent Children and the Resident Evil things were not to bad(although i'm not really a fan of that franchise) but like Mike said Advent Children was something of a vanity project and SE will likely not be making something similar anytime soon if ever.
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EnigmaticSky



Joined: 06 Aug 2011
Posts: 746
PostPosted: Sun Aug 26, 2012 7:21 pm Reply with quote
This was a very fun read. I'm generally not a big fan of cg anime, but I did enjoy Final Fantasy Advent Children. I have yet to play FF7, but it was entertaining, and had good action. The story could have been more coherent, but it worked well as an action movie to turn your brain off for. And I enjoyed the cgi sections of Summer Wars when in the land of Oz, but really for the most part I appreciate when anime use as much more traditional animation as possible. I found the use of cgi in the background of Evangelion 1.11 a bit distracting, but I don't mind cgi used a little bit. Stuff like Redline though looks fantastic with just all true animation.
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brankoburcksen



Joined: 12 Dec 2010
Posts: 126
PostPosted: Sun Aug 26, 2012 7:59 pm Reply with quote
I do like the use of CG in anime. It has helped a lot of "traditional" anime gain more quality and depth though I still admire the old anime techniques the same way I adore Ozu's choice in developing his own cinematic grammar for his movies. The anime style allows stories to be told in a way that live action just cannot allow.

That's been my biggest problem with CG animation of all stripes. It tries too hard to look or feel like live action even when they design very cartoonish characters.

Still, CG animation offers a lot. Though at this point I see more potential than actual evidence. As you point out, CG anime is still very lacking in the story department, and I think that's because, at this point, Japanese animation studios are mostly still experimenting with the freedom that CG animation allows like for moving cameras, long takes, and splendid backgrounds, designs and action. So far, they haven't shown much effort towards integrating those discoveries into stories that can carry a feature length movie.

In that regard, "Oblivion Island" looks like the first CG anime that a truly I want to see for that very reason. It made it out of the other side of the uncanny valley with a story that looks more than just an impressive display of technique and artisanship.

I still think CG anime has a long way to go. It's strongest suit is still supporting "traditonal" anime because its qualities is really what sets Japan apart from the rest of the world, but all CGI anime is definitely making headway, and I look forward to what they think up next.

Also, isn't the upcoming "RE: Cyborg 009" also fully 3D CGI? I really wonder how well it will do because, honestly, to me, it looks pretty stiff.
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nightjuan



Joined: 22 Jan 2008
Posts: 1473
PostPosted: Sun Aug 26, 2012 8:28 pm Reply with quote
I honestly don't go out of my way to watch too many full-length CG movies, so this article was a nice summary of what's available in that part of the market. Still...generally speaking, I've had less and less problems with the limited use of 3D CG in Japanese animation over the years. It doesn't necessarily make me go for a knee-jerk "3D sucks, 2D rules!" reaction.

They might continue to have some of the same underlying technical tissues, but I barely notice them after a while. Improvements in model quality and cel shading definitely help, to say nothing of just good directing, staging and even writing for that matter. For example, I thought Macross Frontier handled most of its action sequences pretty well in 3D. I may have noticed a couple of odd integration bits at first, but I promptly forgot about them and enjoyed the series. The same thing goes for the ships in the ongoing Space Battleship Yamato remake.

With respect to full 3D movies, I suppose the upcoming Cyborg 009 film by Kenji Kamiyama looks interesting enough, in my opinion, at least judging by the trailers. There are a couple of moments where I think that maybe it would work better in 2D after all, but this isn't going to stop me from checking the film out. If the script is good and the action sequences maintain a certain level of quality, which seems likely from the promotional videos, I'll quickly get over it.

Nevertheless, I have been disappointed by the use of 3D CG in the Berserk film(s). I guess computer graphics tend to work best when you're dealing with at least a current or near-future level of technology, if not simply outright science fiction, because machines and robots are usually meant to look artificial. But in the case of these movies, their single biggest mistake was probably trying to render the characters in 3D (and not very good CG at that!) only during certain scenes, which makes for some rather odd transitions between a set of nicely detailed 2D faces and many strangely lifeless ones.
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YotaruVegeta



Joined: 02 Jul 2002
Posts: 1048
Location: New York
PostPosted: Sun Aug 26, 2012 8:43 pm Reply with quote
To and Vexille were pretty dull. No wonder the Dragon Age CG movie was also met with mixed to poor reviews.

Galerians! Man, for a moment in history, MTV 2 was a source for anime.

Heat Guy J!!!
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One-Eye



Joined: 08 Mar 2011
Posts: 2160
PostPosted: Sun Aug 26, 2012 8:45 pm Reply with quote
I always get frustrated with the CG stuff. Somethings look decent and work well. Deunan from the first Appleseed has a muscular athletic design that works well, the combat suits in Vexille look great and move fluidly, and the detail of Spirits Within (from what I remember) just looked great. On the other hand, characters often look stiff, somethings look too artificial, and no one has figured out facial hair which just looks really bad. I haven't seen every CG movie out there, but the biggest problem I have with them so far is that there don't seem to be any with a good story.
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dtm42



Joined: 05 Feb 2008
Posts: 14082
Location: currently stalking my waifu
PostPosted: Sun Aug 26, 2012 9:09 pm Reply with quote
infiltration.cru wrote:
I think that- along with the "2D shortcuts" already mentioned by Daryl above- one of the biggest problems is the absolute lack of life within the faces of characters.


I couldn't stand Kingdom because of the absolutely god-awful faces in the first few episodes. I don't know why it was bad; may have been time constraints or unfamiliarity with the software. But what I did know was that there was no way I was going to put up with lifeless, horrendously drawn-faces any longer.
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HermanCornelius



Joined: 26 Aug 2012
Posts: 2
PostPosted: Sun Aug 26, 2012 9:11 pm Reply with quote
Oh my goodness, I had to create an account for this -

I watched the TO features recently, and one thing stood out more awkwardly and annoyingly than anything else - entirely overshadowing every other weakness or strength found throughout either production, be they in design, general artistry, dialogue, character development - whatever else. The offending trait, painfully recurring several times, was the terrible, absolutely terrible direction for when to cut a scene.
The significant action for some given scene would occur, and the character(s) involved would show their reaction to it . . . and the scene hangs . . . .
. . . keeeeeps hanging . . . .
. . . . . . . . juuuuuuust . . . . a few . . . . . more . . . . . seconds . . . .
. . . . . . . . . . . . . aaaand . . . . . . . . . . .
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand . . . .
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . cut to next scene.

I laughed at this - yelling at the screen, hands thrown upward in exasperation (OH, COME ON ALREADY!!!! SERIOUSLY!?!?!? FREAKIN' GUY!!!!!) - far too often to be able to remain immersed in the stories.
Fumihiko Sori, tighten that up, buddy.
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Surrender Artist



Joined: 01 May 2011
Posts: 3257
Location: Pennsylvania, USA
PostPosted: Sun Aug 26, 2012 9:13 pm Reply with quote
I strongly prefer traditional-looking animation to computer animation, blurred as the lines may in practice be. I actively avoid Japanese computer animation most of the time. The only one I can recall having watched is Vexille, which put me to sleep. I am known to fall asleep while watching anime, it's a problem I have, but it's rarely the fault of what I'm watching. Vexille, however, so little rewarded me for retaining consciousness that I gave up.

All that I can remember about it is some woman in a snazzy combat armor suit and the langoliers eating Japan.

I haven't seen the computer animated Appleseed film; I liked the source manga plenty, but I want to see it animated in two dimensions. (They did try that once, but were not very faithful to the story and their changes did not seem to me to be improvements)

Computer animation seems to be weirdly sensitive to and unforgiving of budget restrictions, but tight production costs are the lifeblood of the Japanese animation industry. It's not a good match. Even those computer generated openings for the Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex series look kind of lousy. They seem to fail at making their characters move, especially their lips, convincingly with a sense of mass, internal structure and verisimilitude.

penguintruth wrote:
Like these experts.


Charlie Sheen as Dex Dogtective? The Hell?

And why does it look like an early beta of a Playstation 1 game? We had better-looking CGI than that in 1994.


Last edited by Surrender Artist on Sun Aug 26, 2012 9:19 pm; edited 1 time in total
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infiltration.cru



Joined: 28 Jan 2012
Posts: 321
PostPosted: Sun Aug 26, 2012 9:17 pm Reply with quote
dtm42 wrote:
infiltration.cru wrote:
I think that- along with the "2D shortcuts" already mentioned by Daryl above- one of the biggest problems is the absolute lack of life within the faces of characters.


I couldn't stand Kingdom because of the absolutely god-awful faces in the first few episodes. I don't know why it was bad; may have been time constraints or unfamiliarity with the software. But what I did know was that there was no way I was going to put up with lifeless, horrendously drawn-faces any longer.


Yeah right, Kingdom. Totally forgot that prime example of how to destroy e v e r y t h i n g with the help of terrible CG. I mean, not that there was too much to destroy, the characters seemed blander and more generic than gas station sandwiches. And the writing was terrible too. Oh my goodness, what an incredible trainwreck.
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getchman
He started itHe started it


Joined: 07 Apr 2012
Posts: 8819
Location: Bedford, NH
PostPosted: Sun Aug 26, 2012 9:33 pm Reply with quote
i loved Final Fantasy, The Spirits within
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vinamara



Joined: 30 Nov 2008
Posts: 229
PostPosted: Sun Aug 26, 2012 9:41 pm Reply with quote
Just dropped in to say that I simple adored Titan AE and I watched it like twenty times and still remains one of my favorites even now. It pains me to even think that it bombed badly even though it was amazing.
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JoePianist



Joined: 24 Jun 2011
Posts: 37
PostPosted: Mon Aug 27, 2012 12:06 am Reply with quote
While I highly respect Japan's craftsmanship and continued support of hand-drawn animation (America is in dire need for a renaissance of hand-drawn animation for the upcoming generation), I absolutely abhor their computer-animated features and shows. From what I've seen, live-action and computer-animation usually aren't Japan's strong points---their quality of live-action and CG generally look cheap when compared to efforts in the West.
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configspace



Joined: 16 Aug 2008
Posts: 3703
PostPosted: Mon Aug 27, 2012 12:09 am Reply with quote
Other CG anime out there are Norageki and Koi Sento (Coicent).

Koi Sento is probably the best example 2D emulated animation as well as cel-shading so far.

I will point to my previous post in response to an actual production staffer I think in the DragonAge thread in what I think the issues are. Emulating the 2D look or design itself is already solved. That is, in still frame. Motion or animation is the problem. And this issue is not anime specific. It applies to full 24 fps CG, US style and everywhere that distinguishes it from frame-by-frame animation, or equivalently, vector animation that's key framed in the same fbf manner. There are some excellent amateur examples I've seen that comes very close to being an exact emulation of 2D animation-wise, even when it's full 24 fps. Ironically this comes from copying 2D works.
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superdeformed



Joined: 05 Oct 2003
Posts: 88
Location: New Orleans, LA
PostPosted: Mon Aug 27, 2012 12:13 am Reply with quote
It's ok Mike, Titan AE is garbage.

Anyway, 3d anime is missing something. If only I could control the characters with some sort of electronic device. Man, I bet you could make a few hundred bucks figuring that out.
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