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View Full Version : Is it still worth it learning animation by hand?


PIXAR
12-22-2002, 09:58 AM
I used to animate a lot, but when i see all these new technologies like mocap, AI (two towers) am starting to worry. Is there still a future for "these days animators"? you know, moving the helpers, making poses.....


getting worried sometimes

seb4d
12-22-2002, 10:24 AM
Hi,
I'm not a professional, still studying 3D at school. But we use mocap and I can tell you that it's very difficult to obtain perfect animation the first time. We often have to enhance it by hand. Furthermore mocap is only for human beings and sometimes animals.... very hard to use it for anything else I think... according to me animation by hand won't disappear.
But that's a good subject and sometimes frightening.

Nicool
12-22-2002, 06:33 PM
I agree with sed4d. And note that mocap need a lot work on the result. It does not give directly a good aniamtion!

ed209
12-22-2002, 11:15 PM
I don't think you have to worry about mo-cap taking away too many animators job just yet. There a quite a few reasons I believe this.

a)Animation is an exageration of life...the human body can only do so much, and it is the animator who will be needed to take it that next step.

b)Someone has to clean up all that sloppy mo-cap out there.

c)Certain characters just can't be mo-caped.

c)Motion for a movie like Shrek, Ice Age, Jimmy Neutron just wouldn't be the same if it was performed by a person in a suit. Just look how flat Final Fantasy turned out.

I know this may piss a few people off but I feel mo-cap dosn't take away too many jobs but rather replaces the need for talented animators. There is a great skill involved with getting a digital character to not just move but to perform. If your only refining what's already there I believe that's the equivilant to tracing.

PIXAR
12-23-2002, 08:35 AM
Originally posted by ed209
I don't think you have to worry about mo-cap taking away too many animators job just yet. There a quite a few reasons I believe this.

a)Animation is an exageration of life...the human body can only do so much, and it is the animator who will be needed to take it that next step.

b)Someone has to clean up all that sloppy mo-cap out there.

c)Certain characters just can't be mo-caped.

c)Motion for a movie like Shrek, Ice Age, Jimmy Neutron just wouldn't be the same if it was performed by a person in a suit. Just look how flat Final Fantasy turned out.

I know this may piss a few people off but I feel mo-cap dosn't take away too many jobs but rather replaces the need for talented animators. There is a great skill involved with getting a digital character to not just move but to perform. If your only refining what's already there I believe that's the equivilant to tracing.

you got some very strong arguments man, you made my day:bounce:

Nicool
12-23-2002, 11:23 AM
And note that animation has no reason to exist if it's not creativ and done with emotino : art.

ed209
12-23-2002, 02:59 PM
Originally posted by Nicool
And note that animation has no reason to exist if it's not creativ and done with emotino : art.

Unfortunatly animation, no matter how bad, can exist as long as it's churning out a profit. Just look at the success of "Butt Ugly Martians". Universal has secured film rights, there's a theme park ride in developement, and lets not forget all the merchandise. This show is terrible, but it still thrives.

Ewan Lee
12-23-2002, 08:49 PM
Just what a great man used to say:

"Animation is Emotion-Capture not Motion-Capture!"

we're gonna miss you DQ... god we're gonna miss you!
:annoyed:

AWAKE
12-24-2002, 06:33 AM
yeah... It's pretty much pointless.. :beer:

thesaint
12-30-2002, 03:16 AM
So here is a thought. What about 2D? They thought Radio would die when Television hit the mass market, but it didn't. You never saw hardly any stop-motion or claymation until Aardman revived it (with some help from Will Vinton who owns the 'claymation' trademark).

People are always ready to be entertained. There may be a honeymoon period between producers and mo-cap (because they think it is the easiest, fastest and cheapest way) but ultimatley Tom and Jerry rule, don't they?

It's a human thing. I don't see Pixar (the comapny, and hopefully the poster too!) going anywhere soon, nor Disney or DreamWorks for that matter -- all rely heavily on traditional skills.

I think we are still finding out feet in this brave new world. What do you guys and gals think??

webfox
12-30-2002, 04:40 AM
c)Motion for a movie like Shrek, Ice Age, Jimmy Neutron just wouldn't be the same if it was performed by a person in a suit. Just look how flat Final Fantasy turned out.

Final Fantasy was hindered by a goofy non-sci-fi notion set in a sci-fi setting, but the feature would have come out much better had they focused more on facial expression and less on Aki's hair.

They all looked like they graduated from the Keanu Reeve's School of Acting. Never before have I seen a cast of CG characters so overdosed on botox than in that movie.

It's really a shame, because everything else was so well done.

Sigh...

twidup
12-30-2002, 07:04 AM
man, I really hate to reply to this, but oh well.

First, the original topic: YES. Mocap, when used correctly, should eliminate the animator from having to worry about the overall motion, and just focus on fine tuning the shot and tweaking poses.

as for FF, my understanding is that they used a hybrid mocap system, that is, they had a full rig with mocap on it, and only referenced it for key poses and then hand animated the rest.
I currently work in mocap, and I have worked as an animator before. I know a lot of the animators I work with now hate mocap and generally only keep a few keyframes, the key poses, left in the data we give them, which sucks...the reason they are using mocap in the first place is to capture teh subtle motions the actor is making, and they just go and kill it all then.

With that said, I totally agree with them in a lot of instances. Mocap gets a bad wrap, either because the data the animator is given is pure SHIT, the AD doesnt know much about mocap and there fore thinks its great for everything, or they got the wrong actor and the data isnt quite what they wanted.

For mocap to be useful, the director/art director needs to know the limits and what shots would be better animated by hand. If a director has a vision, knows how the technology works, and has the right actors, great things can be achieved, as long as the crew is also equally as knowledgable and skilled.

rant off.

-Todd

googlo
12-31-2002, 03:24 PM
Here's a depressing article on the subject from the very people in the field like Sony Imageworks, ILM, and Weta, etc.

http://www.cgtalk.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=33558

ohsama
01-05-2003, 12:32 AM
Yes, it's still worth knowing how to animate by hand. Like some other people have said, cartoony animations can't be motion captured and look as good as they will when keyframed by a talented animator. And a lot more game animations are done by hand than most people realize.

On the game I'm working on now, almost all of the character animation is being done by hand. So if we're looking to add new animators to the project, then they'd better have some really good keyframed animation because motion capture won't cut it.

Besides, what fun is using motion capture anyway? When I have a month's worth of motion capture clean-up work ahead of me, all I can think of is how bad I want to get back to keyframing. It's just so boring for an animator.

Thought I'd add my thoughts on the subject. Good luck with everything.

thesaint
01-13-2003, 05:17 AM
Personally (and i never use it so what do i know) but i think the whole mocap idea will never be used mainstream until they figure a way out to incorporate the animator into it a little more. Maybe Maya will have a 'puppet' system like the ones used by Henson's creature shop, that will enable me to perform the animation in real time.

They used a similar system for Jurassic Park, using little wire models that get hooked into Soft where the poses can be recorded. I understand you can buy this system off-the-shelf.

That, in my opinion, is where the future of mainstream mocap really lies.

eek
01-14-2003, 04:40 PM
Hey PIXAR(cool name!),

There'll always be a need for traditional animators, or "these days animators" as i see it. When i was i Germany i worked with mocap/cyber scanning etc, and generally it took longer than just doing by hand.Basically it took a day to work out, a day to do and a week (or month) to clean up the data. The only good thing recently ive seen using its was gollum, and he was kinda hobbitish/human. A while ago, a company called protazoa was leading the forfront of the technology, but seems to of died out.
Its good for a few things i.e digital stunt double, massive armies etc, stuff that need to be humanish. Personally i call it puppeterring which is an art form in it's self.

Animation to me is about exaggeration, squash and stretch etc, and thats why i love doing it.

eek

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