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3DCG in Anime: An Introduction


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Merxamers



Joined: 09 Dec 2013
Posts: 488
PostPosted: Wed Jul 12, 2017 11:58 am Reply with quote
I don't think i mind CG-animated anime that much, as long as it looks good (i quite enjoyed the Knights of Sidonia series, and the Blame! film); i have to wonder about the limited CG use though. Can someone point to an instance where it didn't look awkward as heck? Even well produced shows like Overlord use limited CG for their large creatures and it just looks so corny. I have to wonder why it's used at all for stuff like that, if it isn't even cheaper, when the rest of the show is 2D.
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NormanS



Joined: 15 Aug 2014
Posts: 128
PostPosted: Wed Jul 12, 2017 12:20 pm Reply with quote
Merxamers wrote:
i have to wonder about the limited CG use though. Can someone point to an instance where it didn't look awkward as heck?


Would Girls Und Panzer count? I think all the tanks in the anime are 3DCG.

And im not sure what standards you judge the 3DCG work, but overall i think Mecha anime, or anime that features vehicles (Macross, last exile, the sky crawlers, etc) have decent 3DCG stuff.
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#861208



Joined: 07 Oct 2016
Posts: 318
PostPosted: Wed Jul 12, 2017 1:04 pm Reply with quote
Why no mention of Tsukiuta?

3DCG dancing in idol shows has an even worse reputation than 3DCG overall, but Tsukiuta's CG is amazing. Not even just as animation - my mom, who loves dance, likes it the same as live-action dancing. They even make all of them really individualized, and the way their clothes and hair move with them is amazing (and they have a lot of sashes, epaulets, and long coats in those costumes).

FUNi just uploaded a video that has some clips, so take a look. Also look for the full songs, too, especially Tsuki no Uta in the end of the last episode.

edit: I just noticed that FUNi has the audio and video off by a few beats in that video, and it completely ruins the effect. I don't want to link to an unauthorized upload, but seriously... please just watch the beginning and end of this episode. The dancing is 1:17-4:25 and 20:24 to the end (3 1/2 minutes).

Quote:
And im not sure what standards you judge the 3DCG work, but overall i think Mecha anime, or anime that features vehicles (Macross, last exile, the sky crawlers, etc) have decent 3DCG stuff.


Code Geass: Akito the Exiled has some good-looking CG in it, especially with the new Knightmares. There's a giant golden centaur mecha. Yeah. Code Geass.
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MajorZero



Joined: 29 Jul 2010
Posts: 358
PostPosted: Wed Jul 12, 2017 1:29 pm Reply with quote
Uh, my main problem with CG anime is framerate, Polygon, for example, doesn't even try to hide how unnatural movements in their productions are. To be fair, Polygon's work in Prime was competent, so, I have no clue why their Japanese output has a lower quality of animation.
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#861208



Joined: 07 Oct 2016
Posts: 318
PostPosted: Wed Jul 12, 2017 1:36 pm Reply with quote
MajorZero wrote:
Uh, my main problem with CG anime is framerate, Polygon, for example, doesn't even try to hide how unnatural movements in their productions are. To be fair, Polygon's work in Prime was competent, so, I have no clue why their Japanese output has a lower quality of animation.


The article said it was because they're ashamed of being CG and try to make it look more like 2D?
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Philmister978



Joined: 12 Jun 2011
Posts: 126
PostPosted: Wed Jul 12, 2017 2:16 pm Reply with quote
#861208 wrote:
MajorZero wrote:
Uh, my main problem with CG anime is framerate, Polygon, for example, doesn't even try to hide how unnatural movements in their productions are. To be fair, Polygon's work in Prime was competent, so, I have no clue why their Japanese output has a lower quality of animation.


The article said it was because they're ashamed of being CG and try to make it look more like 2D?


I re-read the article and couldn't find where it said that. Only that they struggle to do it. Which I feel is odd since I have no really issue with their work on the 2015 RiD series (though that's likely due to them teaming up with 2D company drop and having them assist with the effects and animation smears).

And it's a fairly valid criticism, there's a lot of points in Ajin where it shows that they just fame-skipped the animation and other where they timed them out. And many other companies struggle with it too, like with Graphinica on Expelled From Paradise, Toei with KADO or GEMBA with Berserk. As the article says, it's because many of these companies (GEMBA in particular) lack any dedicated 2D animators in their employ whereas other companies, like Orange or Sanzigen work with 2D animators on a regular basis.
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ParaChomp



Joined: 10 Dec 2010
Posts: 985
PostPosted: Wed Jul 12, 2017 3:27 pm Reply with quote
Despite Polygon Pictures being my favourite anime studio due to proving that 3D anime can look great, I agree wholeheartedly with the criticisms. While their work has a sense of weight, the lack of frames and implementation of generic anime tropes takes away from it.

The newest Godzilla trailer (while underwhelming in itself) is getting so much hate just due to this.

Otherwise, it is refreshing to see something different in an abundant medium.
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ScruffyKiwi



Joined: 25 Oct 2010
Posts: 523
Location: New Zealand
PostPosted: Wed Jul 12, 2017 6:07 pm Reply with quote
Philmister978 wrote:

I re-read the article and couldn't find where it said that. Only that they struggle to do it. Which I feel is odd since I have no really issue with their work on the 2015 RiD series (though that's likely due to them teaming up with 2D company drop and having them assist with the effects and animation smears).


From the article;
Quote:

Their desire to look like regular anime no matter what sometimes does them no favors too, since it's at the root of very polarizing techniques like limited CG animation: the idea of dropping frames to mimic the timing of traditional 2D anime…which only tends to make 3D character motion more awkward, unless directly supervised by experienced traditional animators.

Polygon's Blame looked better than Knights of Sidonia in terms of character movement, but I still think that "plastic face syndrome" is the bigger problem as movement is easier to solve.
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AholePony



Joined: 04 Jun 2015
Posts: 200
Location: Arizona
PostPosted: Wed Jul 12, 2017 6:49 pm Reply with quote
I've seen all the series used as examples in this article but Bubuki Buranki is the only full cg show in recent memory that made me feel like I was getting a preview of the inevitable full cg future of anime. Especially season 2. Granted, it may be more composite with traditional 2D than I think but that's the point I'm making, it got hard to tell.

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DerekL1963
Space CowboySpace Cowboy


Joined: 14 Jan 2015
Posts: 497
Location: Puget Sound
PostPosted: Wed Jul 12, 2017 7:10 pm Reply with quote
NormanS wrote:
Merxamers wrote:
i have to wonder about the limited CG use though. Can someone point to an instance where it didn't look awkward as heck?


Would Girls Und Panzer count? I think all the tanks in the anime are 3DCG.


Nope, GuP doesn't count. Or at best counts for half credit because the quality of it's tank animation varies all over the map. Sometimes it's smooth and integrates nicely, other times it's jarringly typical CGI work.
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Philmister978



Joined: 12 Jun 2011
Posts: 126
PostPosted: Wed Jul 12, 2017 7:58 pm Reply with quote
ScruffyKiwi wrote:
Philmister978 wrote:

I re-read the article and couldn't find where it said that. Only that they struggle to do it. Which I feel is odd since I have no really issue with their work on the 2015 RiD series (though that's likely due to them teaming up with 2D company drop and having them assist with the effects and animation smears).


From the article;
Quote:

Their desire to look like regular anime no matter what sometimes does them no favors too, since it's at the root of very polarizing techniques like limited CG animation: the idea of dropping frames to mimic the timing of traditional 2D anime…which only tends to make 3D character motion more awkward, unless directly supervised by experienced traditional animators.

Polygon's Blame looked better than Knights of Sidonia in terms of character movement, but I still think that "plastic face syndrome" is the bigger problem as movement is easier to solve.

Yeah but #861208 said it was because Polygon was ashamed to do 3D.

Blame probably had a larger budget and more time put into it whereas Knights of Sidonia was one of the first shows they did the "Frame stepping" on (along with Disney's TRON cartoon, which has similar shading techniques as Polygon's anime work). It's only natural that they'd try to improve on it over time.
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Zerreth



Joined: 16 Mar 2006
Posts: 112
Location: E6
PostPosted: Wed Jul 12, 2017 8:43 pm Reply with quote
Merxamers wrote:
. Can someone point to an instance where it didn't look awkward as heck?


An art student friend of mine who majored in 3D animation was saying how most of Panty and Stocking was done in CG.

But the article showed a show that used limited CG (Nichijou). The only thing that bothered me was the odd change in framerate.

Ufotable's works recently have been using particle effects in CG and melded together with 2d animation for some really clean looking work. Their work on the Type-Moon series would be a so-so to good example, though Berserker from Fate/Zero was noticeably CG.

https://youtu.be/r3R6cf6njz4?t=129 This shows a quick breakdown of their work for one commercial they did.

Completed work for reference: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=92YMDisG1OU
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zrnzle500



Joined: 04 Oct 2014
Posts: 2763
PostPosted: Wed Jul 12, 2017 10:05 pm Reply with quote
@Philmister978 Here's the relevant section
Quote:
These creators aren't blissfully unaware of the general feelings of anime fans towards its CGi, so there's a deeply ingrained sense of shame in the industry. Their desire to look like regular anime no matter what sometimes does them no favors too, since it's at the root of very polarizing techniques like limited CG animation: the idea of dropping frames to mimic the timing of traditional 2D anime…which only tends to make 3D character motion more awkward, unless directly supervised by experienced traditional animators.

Emphasis mine.
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ScruffyKiwi



Joined: 25 Oct 2010
Posts: 523
Location: New Zealand
PostPosted: Wed Jul 12, 2017 11:52 pm Reply with quote
Merxamers wrote:
Can someone point to an instance where it didn't look awkward as heck? Even well produced shows like Overlord use limited CG for their large creatures and it just looks so corny. I have to wonder why it's used at all for stuff like that, if it isn't even cheaper, when the rest of the show is 2D.


It's not awkward when you don't even notice that it's there. PA Works use 3D CG models for their house and room backgrounds A LOT and you wouldn't notice apart from the very rare random times when they do zooms or sweeps that are simply impossible to do practically by hand. Hanasaku Iroha had a sequence like that. The're been very careful not to do that now because those 'impossible' sequences makes you aware of the background.
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CatSword



Joined: 01 Jul 2014
Posts: 727
PostPosted: Thu Jul 13, 2017 1:47 am Reply with quote
The CG in Kemono Friends doesn't bother me to look at. The CG in Berserk does.

This is likely due to the themes/overall intended nature of the show. In Kemono Friends, it reminds me of something you'd see on a syndicated kids' block or the tail end of PBS Kids, which helps with its nostalgia/feel-good charm.

In Berserk, it's distracting and awful because shitty CG is taking you out of the intense story and action.
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