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NEWS: Knights of Sidonia Anime's 2nd English-Subbed Promo Reveals Cast


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Stark700



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PostPosted: Sat Nov 09, 2013 1:10 pm Reply with quote
Got mixed feelings about this so far but I'm looking forward to it. The manga is pretty entertaining so I'm hoping for a decent adaptation.
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configspace



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PostPosted: Sat Nov 09, 2013 1:55 pm Reply with quote
I'm not familiar with the manga, but the anime is not looking so good so far. They need to use whatever technology and custom rendering techniques Arpeggio is using (even then, you can still tell it's CG).
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daichi383



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PostPosted: Sat Nov 09, 2013 3:12 pm Reply with quote
Well this doesn't look too promising. Thought this was a Sanzigen production at first then realized their work looks miles better. Still not a fan of this cel shaded look and the frame cutting that seems to be at work irks me quite a bit.

That blue steel show while it is Sanzigen's best work to date, it still looks really off putting. Maybe they need Imaishi working with them again like he did for Black Rock Shooter which was less irksome.

Still surprised this is by the Clone Wars and Transformers Prime guys. It looks really weird tbh and RWBY looks slightly better which is saying a lot. They need to update whatever shaders they're using or steal someone elses cause lord that just looks ... wow ...

Also might as well get some better modelers for the faces or get a new character designer. Shocked
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jdnation



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PostPosted: Sat Nov 09, 2013 6:08 pm Reply with quote
And another body/facial rigger while they're at it. CG cel shading can look good, unfortunately this is not quite up there. It's a shame, as the manga is excellent and I'd have loved to have seen Blame & Biomega done similar justice.
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lizardking461



Joined: 14 Feb 2012
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 09, 2013 7:44 pm Reply with quote
So, does this have Muse's blessing?
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LinkSword



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PostPosted: Sat Nov 09, 2013 8:26 pm Reply with quote
Full CG... Ugly Full CG... Urgh.

I'll watch is anyway since it's Tsutomu Nihei, but urgh.
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Galap
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 10, 2013 12:40 am Reply with quote
I'm starting to get seriously concerned about where Japanese animation is headed. I was wary when I saw Arpeggio of Blue Steel, but now I'm pretty concerned. The position of where anime is is fine for me, but the vector of where it's going is pretty scary. I say that we probably have 5 good years left before CG consumes everything, and then I won't enjoy it because it's not drawn animation.

It's pretty disappointing for this specifically, because the story looks so promising.
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ikillchicken



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PostPosted: Sun Nov 10, 2013 4:01 am Reply with quote
Oh god...that's almost unwatchably bad CG.
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danilo07



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PostPosted: Sun Nov 10, 2013 5:30 am Reply with quote
Quote:
I say that we probably have 5 good years left before CG consumes everything, and then I won't enjoy it because it's not drawn animation.

Yeah that is not going to happen,its really silly to say how the industry which produces 98% drawn animation will in 5 years create solely CG animation.I dont what Japanese government would do all of the unemployed animators then.
Seriously people settle down a bit,just because recently we have been getting small amount of crappy 3d CG anime, it doesn't mean that it is the end of the world.
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SouthPacific



Joined: 24 Oct 2013
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 10, 2013 7:08 am Reply with quote
Bland character expressions, massive frame-cutting and an overall awkward feel about it.

This type of animation is only good for one thing atm, and that is explosively intense battle scenes. The Arpeggio of Blue Steel anime has some decent battle scenes, but everything else looks really, really bad. And this anime looks far worse.

When a PV shows a lot of frame cutting, you just know it's going to be great, right ? Rolling Eyes
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lizardking461



Joined: 14 Feb 2012
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 10, 2013 11:51 am Reply with quote
danilo07 wrote:
Quote:
I say that we probably have 5 good years left before CG consumes everything, and then I won't enjoy it because it's not drawn animation.

Yeah that is not going to happen,its really silly to say how the industry which produces 98% drawn animation will in 5 years create solely CG animation.I don't what Japanese government would do all of the unemployed animators then.
Seriously people settle down a bit,just because recently we have been getting small amount of crappy 3d CG anime, it doesn't mean that it is the end of the world.


Yeah, not entirely sure how someone arrives at such extreme speculation given that every 999/1000 anime shows are still 2D... Besides, in 5 years time any CGI shows will be markedly better in terms of animation quality than this.

I'm actually really looking forward to this show in spite of the animation, but can't actually understand how it is so bad in that regard. The first Gundam MS IGLOO OVAs were created about a decade ago now, and they look many times better than this. Obviously they had a bigger budgets and weren't full series, but they all came out 7-10 years ago, and I know for a fact that CGI animation has become easier and has generally improved since then (given two family members work in such areas of the media). Anyone have any ideas?
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Galap
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 10, 2013 1:18 pm Reply with quote
I wasn't really saying what I was saying with very high confidence, I'm just concerned that it will happen.

And I am extrapolating a trend: over the last few years, nearly all moving backgrounds and mechanical objects have become CG, and with this and arpeggio, it's starting to happen with characters. Hell, it even happened in Kill la Kill for a moment.

And we do have another model to base on: western animation. CG films had their true debut in the mid 90s, and by about 2005, they existed essentially to the exclusion of everything else. That's only 10 years.

I'm not going to make the claim that the Japanese animation industry is necessarily like the western animation industry in that way, but it's certainly on the table that this kind of thing could happen.
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sacados



Joined: 10 Nov 2013
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 10, 2013 11:00 pm Reply with quote
lizardking461 wrote:
Anyone have any ideas?


See, there are a lot of issues to unpack here. First off is the reality that creating the kind of epic hand-drawn animated series -- especially robot animations -- is just becoming prohibitively expensive. TV series budgets in general are falling, and to combat this Japan's 2D anime industry has been outsourcing more and more work over the years to China and Korea. With the result that as years go by, there are fewer and fewer people in the younger generation of Japanese animators who are actually *capable* of drawing these kinds of impressive, complicated mecha anime.
And also for artistic reasons, CG is much better for battle scenes, since it allows for the kind of dramatic camerawork that would be essentially impossible to do in 2D.

But of course, the Japanese market is still a long way away from accepting a truly "CG" anime -- people still have too much love for the traditional hand-drawn look. Which is why a series like Knights of Sidonia is trying to get the best of both worlds -- working in CG but aiming for a look that appears as close to true 2D as possible.
It's only recently that this sort of thing has become realistic to attempt -- and as lizardking said, in 5 years from now who knows what kind of advances will have been made.

As for the "frame cutting" that a lot of people have been mentioning in this latest Sidonia video, that's an intentional artistic choice to look more like 2D -- because hand drawn anime is always on the 2s or 3s.

In general, I think it's a bit soon to judge how the overall effect of the movement is going to look in this series just from this PV. There's not a lot of movement happening after all. I think the motion in general is going to look a lot better in an actual episode, rather than just seeing the effect of these disjointed shots.

....And finally, full disclosure-- I actually work at the studio that is doing the Sidonia animation, so I am a little biased. Trust me when I say that we're doing our best to make the series as kick-ass as possible! Very Happy
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Galap
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 11, 2013 5:33 am Reply with quote
About the frame cutting, I think that it points to a lot of problems with CG in general. First of all, I think that as a general statement trouble is brewing with the notion that CG can and/or should imitate “2D” animation. For one, this imitation starts to see itself as replacement, as we’ve seen with mechanical objects in anime. I really don’t want things to go to the place they’ve gone in the west, where CG has completely usurped 2D animation.

The reason is that they aren’t the same medium, so something is lost if 2D is given the boot for CG, and I think that CG imitating the appearance of 2D is inherently an inferior facsimile. It can’t end up as good for a couple of reasons. First, it’s acting out of its domain. For it to try to look like something else is limiting it and forcing it into a state where it can’t play to its strengths, because it’s trying too hard to look like something else. Second, it lacks the artistic point of 2D animation. A good analogy for drawn animation and CG is the comparison between painting and photography. Both are visual artistic media in which images recognized as objects in a visual world are created. However, they have pretty big differences, and I think that using CG to imitate 2D would be like taking a photograph and then putting it through the watercolor filter in Ulead Photoimpact or Photoshop or something, and treating it as though it were a painting. I’m sure everyone can agree that that’s pretty dumb. There are several reasons for this.

The first is that these images are not path independent, meaning that it does matter how they were produced, not just how they appear. Even if we were to for the sake of argument grant that a painting and watercolor filtered photograph looked entirely identical, they would mean different things, because the process to create them was different. This is one of the ways that art is unique. With the painting, some of the appreciation comes from the artist’s actions of manually creating the image with their hands, mechanically arranging dyes on a surface to produce a structure that we can perceive as objects in an imagined or reproduced space, and the interface of seeing how it was done, seeing the arrangement of the dyes as well as the scene the arrangement depicts, how it looks like what it depicts even though it is not what it depicts, and doesn’t really look exactly like what it depicts. All of this is cool. All of this is what makes painting cool. With the watercolor filtered photograph, there was no arrangement of the dyes by the artist, none of the mental exercise of figuring out how to depict that space using those methods. It just was made to look like there was.

The merits of photography are entirely different. Photography is the art of getting the camera’s sensor to capture the incoming light in such a way to produce an image that is aesthetically beautiful, and to find or arrange a space that is aesthetically beautiful to image in this way. Completely different medium, very different goals.

The other reason is that the filtered photograph isn’t going to really look like the painting, the CG isn’t going to really look like the 2D animation, because it’s different. This is going back to the main point I’ve been trying to make so far about the frame cutting. I think that cutting the frames actually makes the animation seem more CG and artificial rather than less. This may initially seem anomalous because 2D animation is often animated on 2s and 3s, so to look like it, you should animate on 2s and 3s, right?

The problem with that is that there’s an assumption being made, which is that by depicting still images of these objects as they would appear at regular times through the course of some movement through space they are experiencing, we create the illusion of that motion. The problem is that it doesn’t quite work that way. The map is not the territory. 2D animation works on 2s and 3s because it can choose to not depict objects as they appear statically, but capture how they move through drawings designed to be interpreted by the brain when viewed in sequence as depicting that motion. This is why often times pausing the video during a dynamic sequence yields a still image that looks very strange. Again, the map is not the territory.

At the end of the day, I think that CG should stick to its strengths and be its own thing, rather than being an imitation for the drawings (and certainly not a replacement for the drawings). I’ll admit my own bias here and say that I don’t particularly care for CG that much in general. For example, even Pixar movies don’t really get me going with the visuals. I do recognize that this is a personal thing.

I’d say the reason that I prefer 2D is like my appreciation for live music played on real instruments. With CG and music that’s played by computer on synthesized instruments, there’s a lot of art and work put into the composition of the work, the idea of what it should look like/move like and sound like in the music case. With drawn animation and a live performance, all the appreciation for the composition is there, but in addition there’s great appreciation for the skill and passion of the live performance, and an appreciation for the way that that is being achieved.

That’s why I’m so passionate about drawn animation: that it sits at the confluence of all these forms of artistic expression: narrative composition, visual composition, visual performance, acting performance, musical composition, musical performance, etc. and the visual performance of motion is unique to animation.

The thing that worries me about this whole thing is that the doors are being mentally shut to drawn animation. As sacados says, fewer and fewer younger people are learning and being able to do it. I think the best example of how the casket is essentially closed in the west was with the recent CG short Paperman. The director John Kahrs spoke in a video titled Paperman and the Future of 2d Animation. Apparantly he asked himself if there was a way to get the drawings that he said were so expressive into the final project, bring the drawings back into the animation. Paperman ended up bringing the drawings back by having line drawings on top of the CG. The thing is, he completely missed, and probably didn’t even consider the simplest way to “get the drawings back into the animation,” and that would be to just use those techniques. Draw the animation. The way he talks about it is as though it’s not even an option, no, not even a notion to do it that way. It’s going to be CG because that’s the Way Things Are Done now. Even if we want drawings, it’s just going to be CG. It was kind of disturbing because I’d consider that whole talk from John Kahrs to be a very detailed and successful example of completely missing the point with regards to what 2D animation is about, at least to me.

I don’t agree with the statement that CG is better for battle scenes because the dynamic camera movement is impossible in 2D, because I’ve done that kind of dynamic camerawork with 2D animation myself before, and I’m not even really that experienced with animation. So either I’m some kind of geometric spatial reasoning savant, or the reason it’s considered impossible or so difficult is because people don’t know that it’s a thing that can be done, or they have learned that you’re not supposed to be able to do it. I’m actually a little surprised by your comment about the matter, sacados since moving camera and background is a thing that is in the consciousness of Japanese animation. As an aside, I do admit that moving backgrounds are more difficult to do 2D, but that’s only because they’re trivial in CG, as evidenced by the fact that 3D games like FPSs can do it in real time. I also think that because of the fact that the spatial relations are completely manually created, they are so much more meaningful and impactful to see when created that way, and I think the result looks more interesting, too.

Anyway, that’s my spoiler[way more than Rolling Eyes ] 2 cents on the matter. I guess my only hope is that people see where I’m coming from about this, and that 2D manages to persist in the face of the odds being against it.
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sacados



Joined: 10 Nov 2013
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 11, 2013 10:25 am Reply with quote
Quote:
First of all, I think that as a general statement trouble is brewing with the notion that CG can and/or should imitate “2D” animation. For one, this imitation starts to see itself as replacement, as we’ve seen with mechanical objects in anime. I really don’t want things to go to the place they’ve gone in the west, where CG has completely usurped 2D animation.

I completely agree with you on this. It's similar to the film vs digital debate brewing in the live-action movie industry. There is a place and a purpose for each, and it would be terrible if one medium was killed off permanently in place of the other.
In the case of Sidonia, and with a lot of toon-shaded CG animation produced in Japan, the issue is the current tastes of the Japanese market. It's just not "ready" to accept a fully CG (and CG-looking) anime show, because people are still attached to the traditional look. So, the thinking goes, you can ease them into it by starting with a CG show that is as un CG-like as possible, and work from there. So in this case, it's less about trying to "replace" traditional animation than it is about trying to convince audiences to give CG a chance.
Whether this will work or not, or whether it's a good idea in the first place, is another problem all together.

I disagree with you that a CG toon shaded work could never look like real 2D. It's actually not that different -- either way you're stringing together a series of static poses to create the illusion of motion, and the only difference is whether those poses are drawn by hand or created by posing a 3D asset within the computer environment.
But this is entirely a question of personal preference.

As for camerawork, of course you can do moving backgrounds in 2D as well, but the scope is limited. If you want to do a pan or a zooming shot, you just need to make sure you draw a background big enough to encompass the start and end points of your camerawork.
But imagine a scene that starts with a camera up in the air, looking down on a building. It circles around in the air before craning down and around the building til it comes to an open window, then pushes inside the window to show the interior of the building.
Now imagine that same shot, if there were also two people having a fistfight right outside the building the whole time.
I'm not saying it would be impossible to draw something like this in 2D, but it would be so mind-bogglingly difficult that it would be as good as impossible. You would be forced to break that up with several different cuts. That's the sort of thing that I mean when I say that CG camerawork is more dynamic. And not being able to do those sort of extended, complicated shots isn't necessarily a problem. But it's a type of camerawork that matches well with dynamic battles and that sort of thing, which is where CG comes in handy.

Anyway, I do agree with you that we need to help traditional 2D animation survive in the years to come. It's all the falling budgets which make it too difficult, although this is a problem for 3D CG as well. Honestly, at least as far as TV series are concerned, it seems digital 2D is the way things are going. I wouldn't be surprised at all if both traditional 2D and 3D CG are "out of a job" in TV, so to speak, in a few years. Sad
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