Thursday, July 08, 2010

So ... How Do the New Rules Help?

The Motion Picture Academy has its new rules for visual effects and animation.

“An animated feature film is defined as a motion picture with a running time of greater than 40 minutes, in which movement and characters’ performances are created using a frame-by-frame technique. Motion capture by itself is not an animation technique. In addition, a significant number of the major characters must be animated, and animation must figure in no less than 75 percent of the picture’s running time.” ...

Uh, okay.

Motion capture, it's not animation. Check.

So, what about motion capture that an animator has reworked so that it flows and doesn't look, you know, "weird?" And does this mean that Snow White, who had a lot of 1930s style motion capture (also known as rotoscope) in her DNA, wouldn't qualify as an animated character?

How do we deal with a character who's 40% motion capture and 60% animation? (More importantly, how do we tally the percentages?)

A few years back, I sat in a meeting hall and listened to the director of Monster House explain how they began the film with motion capture, but reworked all the raw data and it ended up "about 60-70% animated."

So I guess my final question is, where is the dividing line?


Anonymous said...

Sounds like they're trying to appease Cameron

Anonymous said...

i also have issue with these rules because just because something is animated through motion capture doesn't mean that hundreds of other artists didn't model texture, rig, and light the movie. I thought an animated movie and the animation category was the sum of all parts (story, look, animation)

Anonymous said...

Actually, there are many shots in Monster House that are 100% key framed outside of just reworked data.

Mike said...

Texturing and lighting do not an animated movie make. Those jobs exist in the live action world. Animation costumers and set decorators should also be acknowledged by their live action counterparts.

Anonymous said...

Production designers, but not set decorators. Going out and finding appropriate props is a live action specialty. Designing it from scratch and building it in the computer is usually worked out and overseen by the production designer The visual effects supervisor reports to them.

"I thought an animated movie and the animation category was the sum of all parts (story, look, animation)"

No, that's called "film." Although I AM agreeing with you: there should be no seperations between animation and live action when it comes to most of these kinds of recognitions. Drives me nuts as much as people who "ooh" and "ahh" over animation, while the film actually sucks.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like they're trying to appease Cameron

IIRC, it was also to de-blur the CGI/cap creature debate and keep Alvin & the Chipmunks out of the Animated Oscar (snicker!), but expect a lot of Avatar-for-Picture concessions to have factored in the decision.

Michael Polvani said...

Hey Steve,
In your opinion and through your observations....why doesn't animation get the respect/recognition that live action gets across the board?
Especially from the academy?
It can't be ignorance of the process.
It seems to me that the revenue generated by animated motion pictures would SURELY turn some heads by this time.

Academy member said...

@Michael - you do realize how many Academy members don't work in animation, right? And, as if there aren't already a tiny minority in the Animation Branch, there's been a stranglehold on new animation members getting in.

Anonymous said...

Saw this posted somewhere:

2006: Happy Feet wins an Oscar
2007: Ratatouille announces that "no shortcuts were used" in the creation of their film
2009: Lasseter appointed to the Board of Governers for the Academy Awards
2010: IMD closes
2010: Mocap is not animation

Anonymous said...

It's been known for quite awhile that if you currently work at Pixar it's easy to get into the Animation branch...if you don't - good luck with that.

Bob Harper said...

I'm glad they reduced the feature length footage - gives indies some hope...

Anonymous said...

I thought the photostats where just jumping off points( reference to push) for Snow white, not copied (rotoscoped) The animators were that good of a drafstmen to not trace over. That kinda defeats the purpose and would look like, "wizards" from Bakshi or something.

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