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View Full Version : How do you feel about motion capture?


Lunatique
11-26-2002, 11:03 AM
I was thinking about the issue of maybe using motion capture on my short film, and I wanted to get some opinions on it.

When used wrong, mocap just looks really cheesy. When used right, it looks quite natural, regardless of how weird or stylized your characters are.

So, do you lose respect for a certain animation when you find out it used motion capture? Do you have more respect for it when you find out it's all hand-keyed?

I've heard so much about the complications when dealing with motion capture data, but when it goes smoothly, you save so much time.

So, what are your opinions?

Rogue
11-26-2002, 01:39 PM
I feel mocap has it's place. If your spot requires that level of realistic human movement then use it. It depends on your needs. It's hard to keyframe realistic human motion. It's like modeling or drawing a human head, just tough to pull off and be convincing.

Personally, I hope I never have to use mocap. Note I say hope, because if the job requires it and I need to get paid, you bet! The animations that I do are more cartoony and stylized in nature, so I prefer to animate it by hand. If I had the choice between mocap and keyframes for realistic motion, I'd try to keyframe it...likely failing in the process.

But it isn't necessary in all cases. Look at Spiderman. There was some character spots in there that looked cheesy. It was still a great movie.

As far as for respect, I don't loose any respect for a spot if it has mocap, as long as the spot is good. But I also don't say, "Wow, what a good animator".

My .02 worth.

Clanger
11-26-2002, 02:00 PM
The general public won't care how it's done, if that's the audience use what ever works best. So long as it's within budget of cause.

If it looks right it is right.

Clanger
11-26-2002, 02:07 PM
Just noticed your beautiful avatar and went looking on your web site. All I found was some of the most impressive digital paintings ever. Unless someone else knows different?

johnny_riptide
11-26-2002, 02:10 PM
I guess that depends. If you view animation as a means to an end, as with a director typcally, you're really don't care how someone get's from point 'A' to point 'B' - they just damn well better get to point 'B'.

If you view animation as an art, then you keyframe.

It's like the difference between tracing and drawing.

typeA
11-26-2002, 04:30 PM
well...all i can say is kaedara is a bitch to work with that i know..but then so is key frameing?..so i guees you gota chose what you find to be the lesser of the two evils.....have fun lol:wavey:

Lunatique
11-26-2002, 04:30 PM
Ok, for me, the end result is the most important thing, since I'm also the director, and the director part of me say, "I don't care HOW you do it, just make it look good."

The characters are semi-realistic, kinda like the Final Fantasy VIII characters, so realistic emotions are definitely called for. I can't imagine how FF VIII or FF X would've looked if they keyframed everything... I mean, can you imagine ANY animator on earth keyframing the ballroom dancing scene in FF VIII? Ouch!

As far as cost goes, I'll have to find out how much mocap studios charge in China. I'm sure it's very different here. If it gets too expensive, I might even fly back to the States just to get the mocap done(that, or any studio around the world that's really cheap, but does it efficiently).

Clanger- hehe, sorry about that. The avatar is actually a 2D painting I did. It's not 3D... However, on my site, you should see a 3D version of her in progress in the "3D Works" section. Go look again.

I'll be putting up the official website for my short film sometime in the near future. I'll post it when that happens.

Clanger
11-26-2002, 04:47 PM
I think you've miss understood. I wasn't looking for or expecting a 3d version.
Just saying how impressed I am with the paintings on view.

The final question was basically asking "Has anyone seen better digital paintings" as I haven't.

Lunatique
11-26-2002, 05:06 PM
Ah...ok. I misunderstood you as well. :D

Thanks for the compliment!

bentllama
11-26-2002, 05:22 PM
Originally posted by Rogue
I feel mocap has it's place. If your spot requires that level of realistic human movement then use it. It depends on your needs.

Personally, I hope I never have to use mocap. Note I say hope, because if the job requires it and I need to get paid, you bet!

As far as for respect, I don't loose any respect for a spot if it has mocap, as long as the spot is good. But I also don't say, "Wow, what a good animator".



Like Rogue, I too beleive MOCAP has its place. Although I think every animator should have a chance to work with some at one point [prefferably early] in their career. I say this because one can learn function curve behaviour pretty fast by editing Mocap.

Personally now I loathe the stuff and abhor using it...but the fact remains i gained some good knowledge of function curves early in my career from editing mocap.

For soprts games [sims] and human crowds in a realistic film...go ahead...for everything else...IMO you are better off having a great keyframe animator breathe character into the motion.

ilasolomon
11-26-2002, 11:57 PM
really need my opinion?...i think it's the worse thing for using in a short animated film! IMO
it's suitable for cheap 3d animation series like action man or max steel (I hate them), or as Bentllama said for some types of games (that I hate them too!)
imagine toy story with MOCAB! URRRGH...
I always think about animation & EXPRESSION simultaneously, if you want to make a SIMULATION, then go for ugly MOCAB. if you want a quality piece of 3d short animation, just do like pixar, PDI or bluesky ;)
you want my OPINION (or feel), that was mine.
:beer:
Ila

Grayscale
11-27-2002, 02:11 PM
Here it comes.. My opinion is that MOCAP has it's place in the industry. Especially for sports games. Now, I did a wrestling animation that easily could have been done with MOCAP..but that's not what I wanted. I know that alot of the wrestling games use MOCAP for them, and that's fine. Though for the more "cartoony/stylized" games, there should definately be a keyframe animator. I agree with Bent about "breathing life" into a character. I don't look down on someone for using MOCAP, it's just not something that I would choose as my first option for an animation. However, our industry also enjoys giving time restraints to alot of things. If you aren't given enough "realistic" time to do a keyframe animation...then you'll have no choice but to use MOCAP and just clean it up.
Great discussion though. This is something, that as a keyframe animator, has been sitting in my head for a bit.

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