Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Henry Selick Has a Point

It regards James Cameron's small art film, and it's a good one.

"Is it animation? Is it a new category? ... I don't know where it fits. I will tell you this, animators have to work very, very hard with the motion-capture data. After the performance is captured, it's not just plugged into the computer which spits out big blue people. It's a hybrid."

Well, yeah.

Just like Out of the Inkwell and Gulliver's Travels (the Fleischer edition) and Don Bluth's later work. There was lots of live-action emoting in the mix with all of them, but the final results needed animators sitting and desks. Lots and lots of animators. Likewise Avatar.

So to describe it as pure flesh-and-blood actor's performance is more than a little wrong.


Anonymous said...

Will everyone stop accusing Don Bluth of rotoscoping his fims? It's simply not true.

Fiona Trayler, the film editor of "Anastasia" has denied any such allegations. Behold:

Q: There has been a lot of debate concerning the use of rotoscope/tracing in Anastasia. Some argue that live-action footage was not just used for reference but was heavily rotoscoped something that allegedly does not happen in an average Disney movie. Could you please clear this for us once and for all?

A: As there was so much human animation needed in Anastasia there was an huge amount of live action footage shot as reference for the animators. (Especially for the choreographed dance sequences) but this was used as reference NOT rotoscoping. Some animators adhered more to the movement styling of the reference material than others but this was definately not a rotoscope project.

As a point of perspective compare and contrast the volumes of the of "Snow White" character animation as opposed to "Rasputin" character animation. Rotoscoping can cause a floating line effect as it doesn't allow for the "squash and stretch" and hits problems when you have a "straight on poses" actually it is very restrictive when it comes to pretty much all of the 12 basis principles of animation.


Anonymous said...

Yeah, but shes an editor, not an animator.

Roto looks like roto, and stuff in Anastasia looks like roto.

I agree that in AVATAR, the animators didnt necessarily provide performances (but followed them) for much of the main acting of the movie, but there was so much to do otherwise with creatures and secondary characters. Not to mention re-dos and punch-ups and plussing that only animators can do.

In the end though, you ARE watching an animated film, no matter how the animation is created.

Anonymous said...

I worked on was heavily rotoscoped. PERIOD!
And even if I didn't have first hand knowledge only a fanboy or a newbie couldn't tell it wasn't heavily rotscoped.
Now, I have a question: why does it matter?

Anonymous said...

OF COURSE bluth rotoscoped. From The Small One, to Nimh, all t he way thru to Titan A.E.

Disney utilized rotoscope, but pulled key poses and animated over them.

It is OBVIOUS from the final bluth films that things were rotoscoped almost entirely. Sure, there were "designs" laid over the faces (and I use the term "designs" very liberally--bluth was never known for anything other than piss-poor design).

And the reason don did this was he distrusted everyone.

And you are right. WHO CARES? His films were horrible to begin with. Unwatchable nightmares of clinically schizophrenic lack of taste.

Steve Hulett said...

This isn't the bash-Don-Bluth forum.

It's the Avatar-has-a-whole-bunch-of-animation forum.

Let it go said...

Geez ... does every comment thread on this blog have to immediately plummet to the depths of negativity and backbiting ?!!

The topic is about animators adapting mo-cap footage so it's actually watchable on screen. How does it turn in to a discussion on Don Bluth ?

You don't like Bluth's films ? Fine. (I don't like most of them either) . But shut up about it. Who cares? There's no reason to dredge up all this bitterness.
It makes this blog look like it's only read by a bunch of cranky old men who can't get over stuff that happened 20 or 30 years ago. (and I'm not just talking about the subject of Bluth , it's pretty much any topic that comes up here: within two or three comments the negativity starts.)

Spend you time talking and writing about what you do like and you'll be a happier, more productive person. Life's too short .

Anonymous said...

Comment policemen are FAR more annoying than people who go off-subject.

If a conversation turns, a conversation turns. Big deal.

Anonymous said...

"Spend you time talking and writing about what you do like and you'll be a happier, more productive person. Life's too short "

..and everything will be Smurfy. Wait...I hated that show.

Anonymous said...

Aavatar was really a let down. so glad i saw it for free in imax 3D. visuals arent worth that much money. I'll take story.

G.O.D. said...

visuals arent worth that much money

Actually, right now the rest of the world seems to think visuals are worth around 2.3 BILLION.


Question said...

Interesting article. In terms of the cgi process, didn't they already have that going in Benjamin Button and Lord of The Ring? Why are they saying Avatar is a hybrid when they already did that with Gollum back then? Nothing against Avatar, I enjoyed every minute of the film. It was definitely money well spent.

Anonymous said...

Because that's what Don was all about: "depths of negativity and backbiting."

Rosey glasses on history helps no one.

That said, I enjoyed Avatar the first time I saw it. The second time, I was bored to tears. I could care less about the animation. I just didn't care about the characters. And it's pretty boring. Gollum was more successful as a character. Weta does this roto VERY well, but for anyone person (actor) to take credit for the performance is untrue.

Floyd Norman said...

The best thing I can say about "Avatar" was James Cameron provided jobs for a lot of animators.

Not necessarily a bad thing.

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