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FClub_TDurden
11-21-2003, 07:54 PM
Here is a snippet of the online critique...
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............Despite Hanks’ warm tones filling the soundtrack with his opening lines, I don’t connect with the oh-so obviously CGI’d boy lying there. How stiff is this kid? There isn’t a relaxed bone in his body – all rigid and sleeping like a mannequin. There’s a sound, and he “wakes” – there’s a few frames or so of real magic, but then the curse of expressionless CG humans strikes again.........




http://www.dvdtoons.com/features/58

Ckerr812
11-21-2003, 07:59 PM
The backlash against Cg is beginning, it was just a matter of time, I expect there to be alot more harsh words aginst cg films in the future.

It was new and exciting, now it's becoming a novelty and that's not good. As always though, if this movie has a great story, it shouldn't matter about the medium used.

MCronin
11-21-2003, 08:20 PM
It's just one guys opinion of the teaser... I dunno I thought it looked pretty good. If you check AICN you'll see harsh words for Finding Nemo based on the trailer and a supposed early preview last fall. How wrong they turned out to be.

Personally I think it looks good and Tom Hanks has this uncanny knack for not making crap. Odds are this is going to be a great movie and it's going to be very well received despite what Joe Internet thought of the teaser.

Per-Anders
11-21-2003, 08:27 PM
lol, doom and gloom!!! there's no more backlash than there has always been against hollywood, special effects films, or cg in general. can't comment on this film only having seen the trailer, but maybe it deserves it.

road
11-21-2003, 08:29 PM
nah looks good to me...

here's the trailer

http://www.apple.com/trailers/wb/the_polar_express/

Ckerr812
11-21-2003, 08:49 PM
Don't get me wrong, it's Tom hanks and Robert Zemeckis, those two guys are extemely talented, and amazing storytellers.

Just looking at that trailer though, the movie nerd is right. It dosen't look any better then Final Fantasy did.. (and that movie was visually amazing). It's been what 4 years or so sinse Final Fantasy, I was expecting something better visually from this movie.

Just dissapointed a little, that's all I guess. I am sure it will be a entertaining movie.

:shrug:

slaughters
11-21-2003, 09:10 PM
Ehhmm... The move is still a year away from release.

RobertoOrtiz
11-21-2003, 09:29 PM
Agreed slaughters!
As long as we are at it, lets review "Home on the Range" and "The Incredibles!"

-R

PokeChop
11-21-2003, 09:55 PM
Personally I think it looks good and Tom Hanks has this uncanny knack for not making crap.

I have to agree on that one. I think there trailer is fine. I feel it's on the same level as Final Fantasy somewhat. Maybe the idea is to not make it too real? Donno. I like what I see so far though. With all the trouble brewing at Disney in Orlando I think we should all rejoice films like this are still keeping folks working.

road, you ever notice Yoda in your avatar looks like he's holding a cross? Dooko was the devil wasn't he...begun this exersism, has.

SheepFactory
11-21-2003, 09:59 PM
I dunno , I agree with the reviewer. the teaser didnt do it for me either. I hope they fix all the glitches by next year.

And if you guys think thats a harsh review you wouldnt wanna hear what my animation instructors said about the teaser lol.

Ckerr812
11-21-2003, 10:27 PM
Originally posted by RobertoOrtiz
Agreed slaughters!
As long as we are at it, lets review "Home on the Range" and "The Incredibles!"

-R

umm..so what? This trailer shows that they have established their pipeline, art direction and "feal" of the movie.

I have seen stuff from a dreamworks showing that is 2 years away from release that looks far more advanced then what Final Fantasy/Polar Express looks like.

I just hope and prey this movie makes a profit, because if a movie with Robert Zemeckis and Tom Hanks bombs in this "hyper real" genre, then no studio will ever touch a movie like it again, for years, and that would be a shame :(

PhilOsirus
11-21-2003, 11:04 PM
The review of a trailer? First time I read one. Whatever the case I don't understand how this looks anymore stiff than any other animated movie. It's as if because it was 3D it cannot be considered an animated movie or even a movie. It's the typical "I am not fooled by your computer-generated trickeries!" attitude, as if again the makers of it were trying to fool you, possibly with the intention of making fun of you as well.

malducin
11-21-2003, 11:37 PM
It dosen't look any better then Final Fantasy did.. (and that movie was visually amazing). It's been what 4 years or so sinse Final Fantasy, I was expecting something better visually from this movie.

That's because Polar Express never was meant to look real. They are trying to stylize it so it can be close to the original Van Alsburg paintings, although the trailer doesn't reflect that. It would be like saying What Dreams Might Come looked bad because the Heaven sequences looked like a painting and not photorealistic, which was the point!!!

Actually FF never intended to pass for the real thing either. It was just promoted that way by some.

BoydLake
11-22-2003, 02:45 AM
The reviewer hit the nail on the head. The upper half of these characters' faces need more expression/definition to sell the animation. He mentions lines in the forehead. That with a few more animateable detail around the eyes and brows would help a great deal. I don't think they are trying to be photoreal, but the closer you get to it, the more work you have to put into the expressions to get them right. I liked the trailer, but I think his critique of the facial animation is spot-on.

BoydLake
11-22-2003, 02:46 AM
One more thing..... I LOVE that train!

t-toe
11-22-2003, 03:37 PM
yeah, I'll agree that the animation was a bit stiff... but with all these Final Fantasy comparisions, I'm amazed none of you noticed how much less stiff the characters are in this trailer than they are in Final Fantasy.

and one thing that pisses me off than anything else is how everyone expects CG to look real. if they wanted it to look real, they could have just shot the thing. it would have been a lot easier.

AWAKE
11-22-2003, 05:23 PM
does anyone knoe why didn't they just shoot the actors?


It seems like they could have really done it. of course I don't know the story, and they could have some super powers, or turn into something other than normal humans, but I dont think there is an animator out there who could do Tom Hanks better than Tom himself. Even if he has to be young and old in the same movie. Cast someone as young Tom, old Tom and baby Tom They did it just fine in Big.

Joviex
11-22-2003, 06:12 PM
Originally posted by AWAKE
does anyone knoe why didn't they just shoot the actors?



Ran out of bullets.

malducin
11-22-2003, 08:16 PM
does anyone knoe why didn't they just shoot the actors?

Because they wanted to do an animated film, and because they want it stylized like Chris Van Alsburgs paintings. Think of it as the painterly vistas of What Dreams Might Come, though Polar Express probably won't be that extreme. Maybe the closer they get to the North Pole, the more stylized it'll be.

I dont think there is an animator out there who could do Tom Hanks better than Tom himself

Which is why Tom Hanks was mocaped and filmed for refrence. It's actually an interesting story because not long ago Hanks was decrying that computers would replace actors and was dead set against it. But now he is working on a film of this nature.

Bliz
11-22-2003, 09:48 PM
Originally posted by Sheep Factory

And if you guys think thats a harsh review you wouldnt wanna hear what my animation instructors said about the teaser lol.

No I wouldn't.
I'd rather see them go out into the real world and show us how sh*t hot they are instead of laughing behind their academic force field.

I mean seriously - what sort of lame comment was that? As if you and your teachers are the Men from Delmonte' as far as CG animation is concerned.....:rolleyes:

lildragon
11-22-2003, 09:57 PM
I thought it looked good at first sight especially for an early teaser which the studio was probably pressured to put out on a set date, which happens quite often, and it will be an entertaining story. I'm personally happy to see studios branching into this realm of quality after the FF scenario. More power to them, more jobs for us, and more entertainment for the movie-goers, and too much backlashing from the people who should appreciate, help and be more constructive of the medium that's putting food on their tables.

btw not sayin you shouldn't have an opinion, but it does help to be more constructive.

-lild

Mahlon
11-23-2003, 12:22 AM
Originally posted by amorano
Ran out of bullets.

dang, that's pretty funny. :beer:

Mahlon

P_T
11-23-2003, 01:06 PM
Originally posted by AWAKE
does anyone knoe why didn't they just shoot the actors?


i agree... just coz they want to animate it, doesn't mean they should. My traditional animation teacher said animation works coz it exaggerates real life or something like that (i was half asleep :p) and i think he's right about it. all the successful feature length animations from Toy Story to Ice Age to Nemo have a lot of exaggerations in them (along with other great qualities) but there's nothing in that teaser that really "teases" me, i hope there's gonna be something special in the movie or it'll be like watching a CG drama.

if that's the case, i'll probably just gonna see it for the CG, maybe wait till the DVD is out.

From that teaser, i get a hint of some sort of magical journey/heartwarming drama (never read the book or watever it's based on) but i think it's hard enough making that sort of movie as live action let alone CG animation. The only cool movie i can think of that has a child on a magical journey is Willy Wonka and The Chocolate Factory and The Neverending Story 1.

Then again i might be way off the target here so we'll see. :shrug:

lildragon
11-23-2003, 02:21 PM
Originally posted by P_T
i agree... just coz they want to animate it, doesn't mean they should. My traditional animation teacher said animation works coz it exaggerates real life or something like that (i was half asleep :p) and i think he's right about it. all the successful feature length animations from Toy Story to Ice Age to Nemo have a lot of exaggerations in them

Hmmm interesting, ok then please explain Beauty and the Beast and Cinderella (amongst others), and if I recall both were very successful. You might've missed something while you were dozing, cause what you're basically saying is animation shouldn't mimic real life otherwise it won't be successful.

-lild

P_T
11-23-2003, 02:32 PM
sorry i wasn't very clear... but those animation also has something not quite real like moving teapots, candlesticks, the beast, fairy godmother etc. as well as exaggeration in their movement/expression.

So im hoping this Polar Express will have something like that instead of just a straight on drama as the teaser shows coz then i think it can be done better as a live action.

lildragon
11-23-2003, 02:46 PM
Last time I checked, teapots and candlesticks don't speak or move ;) so who are we to say how they should move and react, the topic at hand is humans being animated for film not inanimate objects coming to life.

I personally wish Sony well, and I hope they blow our socks off, it's a "teaser" and they have a full year.

It's very apparent that Robert Zemeckis is taking into account every aspect of the book, down to the color of sheets, sock puppet on the bed post and dartboard on the wall.

http://www.eyecandystudios.net/tmp/polar_express1.jpg

http://www.eyecandystudios.net/tmp/polar_express2.jpg

-lild

P_T
11-23-2003, 03:00 PM
oh i was just saying that animated movies in general tend to have those unreal elements like walking teapots etc. and exaggeration of movements/expressions on the characters. they might even be one of the key to successful animated movie since all the great ones have those, but hey, im only a student here... just my 2 cents...

Ps. i do hope it's gonna be a great movie too. more CG movie successes = more CG projects = more potential CG work available for me later :)

wgreenlee1
11-23-2003, 03:31 PM
i havent seen anything about it yet and i know it doesnt really matter to anything but ta.....
does anyone know what softwares they are useing for this?

Ckerr812
11-23-2003, 06:34 PM
Originally posted by lildragon


http://www.eyecandystudios.net/tmp/polar_express1.jpg

http://www.eyecandystudios.net/tmp/polar_express2.jpg


Those are some nice comparisons, much better composition on the left, but it's the shading (rendering) which will throw people off as well as the animation.

Looks like they are using renderman, ok that's great, but if it's suppose to look like a painting, the lighting looks to "real". Look at the one on the right, much more baroque lighting style. Which gives it more of a style, and makes the viewer not think they are watching something in reality, so people aren't distracted by things that are hard wired into peoples brains about what it "should" look like. Example would be the pan from the snow filled sky to the street "that is perfect", the lighting is not "real", but is done in such a way that it is very belivable.

Same thing with animation, the more realistic the models are (and those are very realistic models), the more subtle details and less exageration has to go in the animation. Again or people are going to get destracted by the little things hard wired into everyone. Example (the conductor, when he raises his arm, to show the train, there is a problem with the shoulder deformation the Supraspinatus muscle does not sink like that), but average people won't know the details of it, they will just know something didn't look right.

Well, you can say "it's a year away", that dosen't sit well, because someone had to approve this trailer, usally the first tests of a movie that are approved, will be the status quo for the rest, and I just hope that the directors aren't finding this accpetable.

Again, I really hope this movie does very well, because there is alot riding on it, final fantasy lost over 100 million! this movie will easily cost over 80 million to make, if it tanks, no studio will touch a movie like this for years...perhaps ever.

Woo..sorry about the long post, I am just passionate about this, and want to see this movie really be something special.

malducin
11-24-2003, 06:50 AM
does anyone know what softwares they are useing for this?

Since it's Imageworks probably a Maya/PRMan pipeline mainly along with custom software, to begin with.

because someone had to approve this trailer

It depends. Sometimes trailers don't use the best material available because the studio wants to start promoting. Witness the mess that Universal did with the Hulk Superbowl trailer.

BoydLake
11-24-2003, 08:16 PM
Originally posted by lildragon
Hmmm interesting, ok then please explain Beauty and the Beast and Cinderella (amongst others), and if I recall both were very successful. You might've missed something while you were dozing, cause what you're basically saying is animation shouldn't mimic real life otherwise it won't be successful.

-lild

Stylization isn't about the subject matter that's represented (ie pots and candlesticks vs humans) it's about the level of abstraction and economy of visual elements. The more abstract the style is, the more freedom for exaggeration.

Belle and Cinderella are extremely abstract and exaggerated when compared to Aki Ross or the crew of the Osiris from Animatrix. I don't agree with the sentiment that it's not worth producing photoreal characters and animation, but I think it's worth asking whether live action would be a better story-telling medium if you indeed wish to go the photoreal or almost photoreal route.

What I see in this trailer is exciting, but there are things that hopefully will get worked out. I'd hate for it to not succeed like Final Fantasy TSW.

Neil
11-24-2003, 09:15 PM
Do something between photorealistic and cell shading. I like the storybook images more than the renderings from the movies.... but i wouldn't want to see a straight cell shaded pipethrough. Keith Lango's last project (what was of it) was looking really nice and had a whole new look to it that i've never seen before.

Show us something new... give us the next 'bullet-time'.

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