Sunday, October 15, 2006

Animators Obsolete?

Jenny Lerew at Blackwing Diaries happened on this from today's New York Times before I did, and I concur with her analysis: It remains to be seen if yet another chunk of clever software is going to revolutionize animation. (Look at the video in the linked article above and see what you think)...

As for the idea of bringing back dead movie stars to fill up acting space in new film product, it will be interesting to see how THAT turns out. Apart from the hard reality that any new Monroe, Cagney or Gable performance will essentially be the digital reflection of the remembered shadow of the genuine article, there will also be the small problem of acquiring the rights of replication from the actors' heirs.

Then there's the teensy problem of not creeping out an audience by doing it, and having it perceived as anything other than being a stunt.

But enough from me. I'm sure others are going to jump on this. Go read Jenny's piece.


Anonymous said...

I agree. Technology will not replace the heart that an animator places into a character. It is a means to an end.
These people just don't learn. Technology like motion capture has it's place and it serves movies like Lord of the Rings, etc very well. But it will never completely replace an animator.
I nailed a few severe words in a tidy little e-mail for the ignorant Sharon Waxman. I mean, c'mon. To actually compare Cars and Foodfight.

Steve Hulett said...

I got pretty nasty in my original post -- particularly re Mr. Kasanoff. But after looking at it, I decided that Jenny L. had already said much the same thing, and said it better.

So I deleted half the post.

What the execs and live-action types often fail to recognize (either willfully of not) is that animation is actually an art form that enriches the process. It's not just some snappy mechanical "trick."

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Are you saying that it takes more to it than just pressing the "animate" button?!?

Well, I'm sure we can get someone in the third world to do the same at one thenth the cost...

Anonymous said...

The question is, how long will the gimmick hold your interest.

In a documentary about the making of "The Shining", Jack Nicholson was talking about a conversation between Stanley Kubric and himself.
Jack asked if his performance was realistic enough or convincing enough, to which Stanley responded:'It's not wether it's realistic enough,but, Is it's interesting?'

Also, this 'new technology' or software is entirely dependant on the input of the actor. Who's gonna try to move like Bruce Lee? only Bruce can move like Bruce, anybody else will be a pale imitation. Then there's that really entertaining martial arts scene in Lion King with Rafiki kicking some butt ala Bruce Lee,courtesy of James Baxter (correct me if I'm wrong). Still a great scene, after all these years...

Anonymous said...

can't help but drop a note.
When rifle was first invented, I'm pretty sure that the sword wielding warriors laughed at the slow loading new weapon. But it got potential for something much better. didn't you see Tom Cruise's "Last Samurai". Silicon Graphic laughed at PCs 10 years ago, saying PCs would never catch up with their speed. See what happened. Computer might not animate well nowadays, but I believe it will. I just don't know how soon it will happen. Because it's a tool with great potential. Yes, it's an art, but different art form takes different set of skills. Computer animation will excel soon. We like it or not.
a 2d artist

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