Saturday, August 01, 2009

Real Time Animation

Variety examines the growing use of real time animation and graphics in theatrical features and t.v. shows:

... [R]eal-time graphics have mainly been a clunky cousin to the sophisticated CG of movies like "Toy Story" that were rendered slowly, frame by frame. Yet today real-time graphics are getting some serious respect -- and beginning to transform film and television production.

... Warner Bros. was impressed enough with Digital Domain's game engine for "Thundercats" to ask DD for a test to see whether the engine could be used for an animated feature version of the property. While Warner ultimately passed, it points to the seriousness with which people are taking real-time graphics.

.... The precise control of a frame-by-frame approach is sacrificed for shorter turnaround times and easier visualization. And it could impact some Hollywood professions. Painters and set builders, for instance, could see demand for their services slow down. But visual effects artists would thrive, becoming more active on set, conferring with d.p.s to ensure a scene's look is correct...

At the animation caucus here in Florida, a young c.g. artist trying to break in to the business asked if opportunities were drying up and his timing was too late. ("I know there's a recession on.")

I told him that the industry was still growing and mutating, and that there was still a need for graphic artists, tech directors, animators.

My take was (is) that computers and computer software are remaking everything in Movieland. Computer sets replace the wood and plaster variety. Virtual stunt players do high falls. Virtual actors deliver dialogue alongside real ones.

And that's just live-action. There are commercials and shorts, animated features, broadcast graphics, video games. Visual effects are a growing part of the equation. The sum total of all this means, in the long term, more work for people who have the right skill sets.


Anonymous said...

Don't forget that all of these, even visual effects, need to be designed. And if you like to draw, there will ALWAYS be art departments. VFX needs STRONG art direction.

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