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The Mike Toole Show - Done with Computers


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enurtsol



Joined: 01 May 2007
Posts: 13845
PostPosted: Mon Aug 27, 2012 12:44 am Reply with quote
bj_waters wrote:

Oh, and while we're on the subject of 3D animation: When on earth am I going to be able to watch a feature-film-length cutscene from Blizzard! EVERY SINGLE TIME I watch one of their trailers, my jaw drops to the floor. They totally understand how to match the detail of realism with a slight cartoonishness that makes their characters instantly relatable. Seriously, go watch their new trailer for the Mists of Pandaria and tell me you wouldn't want to watch 90 minutes of that! (And don't just say "Dreamworks already made Kung-Fu Panda, Hurr Durr"; you know what I'm talking about.)


BTW, the next Kung Fu Panda will be co-produced in China, so watch out for China eventually surpassing Japan in this area. Laughing


Echo_City 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 had a short period where I would rent every goddamn CG anime they had at the video rental shop(yes, CG is apparently also an "instant licensing button" for German companies as well) and almost all of them looked to me as if someone shot a movie with an ensemble of lifeless dolls.

My sentiments exactly; +1.

The doll-like faces and bodies (especially with female characters), combined with the clunky frame-skipping animation, is just a deal-breaker for me with anime CG.


Maybe what works in limited 2D animation (static faces with only mouths moving) just doesn't work in 3D, haven't they realized.


brankoburcksen wrote:

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.


Maybe they haven't yet figured out how to make "worm-eye" shots work in 3DCG neither? Laughing
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fuuma_monou



Joined: 26 Dec 2005
Posts: 1623
Location: Quezon City, Philippines
PostPosted: Mon Aug 27, 2012 1:16 am Reply with quote
The first CGI anime I ever saw was the Tagalog dub of Visitor. Most notable thing about it were Akemi Takada's character designs, which didn't translate to 3D very well. Can barely find any info about it online in English. It was mentioned in Animerica circa 1998, I think.
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ParaChomp



Joined: 10 Dec 2010
Posts: 1018
PostPosted: Mon Aug 27, 2012 1:24 am Reply with quote
I don't mind it but I partially disagree with the article, majority of the fans despise it with a burning passion.
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configspace



Joined: 16 Aug 2008
Posts: 3703
PostPosted: Mon Aug 27, 2012 1:54 am Reply with quote
enurtsol wrote:

Maybe what works in limited 2D animation (static faces with only mouths moving) just doesn't work in 3D, haven't they realized.

That itself isn't the problem. If anything it's the opposite. The problem is in the rigging. The mouths are part of the mesh and face rig and therefore an little movement of the lips, no matter how small, corresponds to a movement in the jaw and a bit in the cheeks.

But the impression you get with this is very unnatural even though, ironically it's more realistic. That's because you'll notice in real life, when you see someone casually speak, your mental impression as you look at them casually from mostly frontal view, filters out small movements. Your impression filters out the jaw bone and major muscle moving up and down and the constant facial muscle movements. Only for larger, more expressive expressions do we register those facial muscle changes.

That technique in 2D anime is also plenty present in 2D western and US animation as well.

I mentioned previously how Koi Sento (Coicent) was probably the best example of 2D-like 3D CG anime so far. The cel-shading or 2d-like rendering is nearly perfect, but it has the same issue with the mouth rig/model/mesh relationship with the jaw I described, despite having relatively expressive facial expressions, head movement, etc.

This is the same with body movement. We're constantly moving in real life, constantly shuffling around even at a micro level when we're "still" but most of us don't notice that at a casual level. Portraying that in animation would be unnatural because the focus should be on the impression, not the mechanics or realistic physics.

US and non-anime 3D CG faces the same issue. Since constantly yapping jaw and micro facial muscle for casual talking brings into attention how still the rest of the head and body is. That's why they always go for the exaggerated, toony expressions with larger arcs in mouth and head movement than their 2D US counterparts. Although there is already a tendency in feature film animation to overuse large arcs, squash and stretch on the faces. In fact one feature I notice in particular is overuse of the lower eyelid.

In any case, it's the eyes that are the most important conveying the most expression, followed by mouth, then jaw. Nose hardly plays a role most of the time. (there was a CG model demonstrating this I don't have the link offhand). I've seen the problem "solved" by separating the mouth from face rig/mesh to address the problem above.
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eyeresist



Joined: 02 Apr 2007
Posts: 994
Location: a 320x240 resolution igloo (Sydney)
PostPosted: Mon Aug 27, 2012 2:36 am Reply with quote
Resident Evil: Tarnation. That's how I read it now.

I can accept CG used as a shortcut for 2D animation, but a full-3D production isn't anime, it's something else, in my book.

It's probably futile to hope that hardcore fans will resist the move from beautiful handdrawn art to sterile CG 3D. Maybe in a couple of years, the anime scene will be just like America: extravagant Pixar-style releases every few years, shitty Adult Swim-style stuff on TV, and practically nothing inbetween.


Last edited by eyeresist on Tue Aug 28, 2012 12:10 am; edited 1 time in total
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tangytangerine



Joined: 28 Feb 2010
Posts: 430
PostPosted: Mon Aug 27, 2012 3:24 am Reply with quote
ParaChomp wrote:
I don't mind it but I partially disagree with the article, majority of the fans despise it with a burning passion.


Yeah, most fans(including me) seem to notice, like the article mentions, that the story takes a backseat usually to the CG animation. It doesn't matter how pretty a movie looks, if it's an unoriginal story or has something you can drive through the plot holes, no one will want to watch it. It's usually that problem is why so many hollywood movies during the summer bomb at the box office.
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infiltration.cru



Joined: 28 Jan 2012
Posts: 321
PostPosted: Mon Aug 27, 2012 5:49 am Reply with quote
tangytangerine wrote:
It doesn't matter how pretty a movie looks, if it's an unoriginal story or has something you can drive through the plot holes, no one will want to watch it.


Well, except for tons of anime series, every season.
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N.R.



Joined: 22 Oct 2010
Posts: 232
PostPosted: Mon Aug 27, 2012 6:17 am Reply with quote
Mike forgot to mention the movie .hack//Sekai no Mukou ni that came out in Japan this year. It's an beautiful full 3DCG movie with a nice plot. It's also the only movie that uses stereotypic 3D technology in a mind-boggling way, like Avatar (even better than Avatar IMHO).
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Kakugo



Joined: 29 Nov 2007
Posts: 163
PostPosted: Mon Aug 27, 2012 7:49 am Reply with quote
Good stuff Mike. I'm disappointed you didn't mention the new Berserk Trilogy in passing though, which sort of proves that there's a perceived market for "3D that still looks like 2D" (even if it doesn't really work yet).

I liked Titan AE the way I like most on Don Bluth's films; I have an overwhelming respect for its visual personality and technical accomplishment, I just wish he'd find someone besides Gary Goldman to handle the storytelling duties.

I had a chance to watch the first Arakami Appleseed film on 35mm... for better or worse I bailed after the first reel. I can deal with stilted 2D animation, but something about the choppy alien lifeforms in that film just irked me to the core. I'll probably try again eventually, but I remain a skeptic that I'll ever find much to love about Japan's CG market (with the exception of Advent Children - what can I say, "Final Fanservice" hit the sweet spot).

This all reminds me that I really need to watch Karas and Garou: Red Requiem still.
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nhat



Joined: 21 Jan 2008
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 27, 2012 8:37 am Reply with quote
Advent Children is exceptional not only for it's visuals but that it wasn't designed for the PG and under crowd. I wish Square or someone made more movies/tv series like this.
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Sprocket



Joined: 09 Feb 2005
Posts: 43
PostPosted: Mon Aug 27, 2012 9:41 am Reply with quote
I don't know if all-CG fare is that rare any more, it's just not as apparent: There's a block of anime on Saturday mornings on TV Tokyo that's entirely all-CG, albeit it's all sequels of franchises that aren't as popular in Japan as they used to be, so they only get 15-minute episodes, like Duel Masters and Bakugan. There's also the all-CG remake of Mysterious Cities of Gold, which is still being animated by Studio Pierrot, plus the recent all-CG One Piece movie.

Basically, Japan loves saving time and money with CG, but doesn't always want it to look like CG. Now if only the new Mysterious Cities of Gold looked as nice as the original.


Last edited by Sprocket on Mon Aug 27, 2012 10:23 am; edited 1 time in total
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Sprocket



Joined: 09 Feb 2005
Posts: 43
PostPosted: Mon Aug 27, 2012 10:23 am Reply with quote
Also I suppose this is the best thread to mention that amazingly enough, Reboot aired in Japan back in the 1990s:
Quote:
Speaking of “Beast Wars” in TV Magazine, what was it like drawing characters based on CG? Was it more difficult than going from a cartoon?

Yoshioka: It was, at first. I didn’t have any reference materials. (Laughter) Just the toys.

The show was cutting-edge in 1997, being rendered in full CG.

Yoshioka: The only thing to really precede it was “Reboot.”

And that was made by the same animation studio, Mainframe Entertainment. I wasn’t even aware that “Reboot” was shown in Japan.

Yoshioka: It was broadcast here, although late at night. It was translated into Japanese well. The bad guys, like Megabyte and Hexadecimal, all had their tricky names left intact. (Laughter)
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PingSoni
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Joined: 05 Dec 2008
Posts: 185
Location: Lansing MI
PostPosted: Mon Aug 27, 2012 11:13 am Reply with quote
I really like The Spirits Within. I still watch it from time to time. I can easily see the story in this movie being made into a Final Fantasy game. (What Final Fantasy game has a story that doesn't leave you banging your head against the wall at some point?)

I think I can see a good bit of the character of Seifer (FF VIII) in General Hein. Aki has the same kind of understated seriousness as Yuna (FF X). And of course almost every Final Fantasy game has a sometimes very important NPC named Cid.

I'm a bit sorry that Square's idea to make Aki into a virtual movie star didn't pan out.
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sepherest



Joined: 06 May 2007
Posts: 564
PostPosted: Mon Aug 27, 2012 11:42 am Reply with quote
Wasn't the Galerians OVA mostly just the cutscenes from the game put together as a film? I haven't played it in ages so I don't remember, but once thing I definitely recall is how much the cutscenes of the game were advertised. They looked really great at the time compared to other ps1 games.

I'm not really a fan of CG used in anime unless it's something like the photoshopped layers in Gankutsuou and Mononoke, but if it's standalone CG that's fine. If anything it'd be nice if more video game-related companies were willing to branch into doing CG films more often, or even series.
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ryoga79



Joined: 19 Feb 2005
Posts: 33
PostPosted: Mon Aug 27, 2012 11:51 am Reply with quote
SWAT was my biggest disappointment outside of Dragon Ball Evolution. I love Dominion Tank Police, I have the manga of Dominion and they gave us that ugly turd. Its on an equal level for badness with DBE but was mercifully shorter and I didn't have to pay money to see it...

Anyway, I enjoyed Tekken BV, it wasn't technically good but it had some nice pieces and some hilarious WTF moments. This article is missing out on the greatest CG animation of them all - Cat Shit One. That is epic and thats coming from a big Appleseed fan.
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