Monday, February 18, 2013

Straight-Ahead Animation

The Avengers effects Supe Jeff White sayeth:

... Any time you see The Hulk, he’s computer-generated. For most of the shots where he’s giving a performance, maybe it’s dialogue, or interaction with another character, that’s Motion Capture. Anytime he’s doing something that’s completely out of the realm of physicality for Mark, where he’s jumping from building-to-building, that’s straight-ahead Key Frame Animation. ...

Whether it's an "animated feature" or not, in the widening realm of big budget, effects-laden super hero/werewolf/vampire movies, there is lots of animation.

And even though the visual effects industry is going through upheaval and major restructuring, the need for high-end visual effects and creature animation rockets upward.

Motion capture ("the devil's rotoscope") has been a bust as a stand-alone technology (kindly note Tin-Tin and Mars Needs Moms.) But as an adjunct to live action in epics like Avatar or Rise of the Planet of the Apes, it's been a roaring success. Yet even there, the "mo cap" characters are not puppets that overlay an actor's performance. Most have key-frame animation that undergirds the motion capture.


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