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whole-bit
10-15-2009, 08:59 PM
Hey guys gotta new short I've been working on for months and I wanna get some reactions! :) This is the second installment of my Cybertales series where a scientist who's friends have all become avatars discovers a way to travel to different dimensions!

http://vimeo.com/6993120

http://www.wholebitmedia.com/images/free.jpg (http://vimeo.com/6993120)

ENJOY!

Delucubus
10-15-2009, 10:15 PM
Sorry man, what exactly about this is "pixar style"? Really?

To be quite honest, it was way too confusing and convoluted.

But keep working at it, try to get the story clear. You can be out there as far as the idea and presentation goes, but there's got to be some way for some one to interpret it, and for me I just didn't get it, maybe some one else might.

whole-bit
10-16-2009, 12:22 AM
I'm not sure why you did not understand this work. It even has English dialogue in it! I would address your concerns but I am unable to to even get a frame of reference as you do not EVEN have an online portfolio, or working links to anything you've completed yourself. Let me know where you are coming from as an artist, otherwise it's impossible toy discussit. I'm sure you have your reasons...:)

NickWhitmire
10-16-2009, 12:39 AM
That was gnarly.......


I'd recommend taking out the "pixar" from your header. Just not a good idea all around.

EricDLegare
10-16-2009, 04:28 AM
That reminds me of all the terrible things people do the name "Pixar", if you just search Pixar on youtube you find mostly non-Pixar-related bad 3D stuff as most people call "Pixar" everything that is 3D animation...

... Sadness :D

ivanisavich
10-16-2009, 06:15 AM
Hello there, I'm going to try and offer you some constructive criticism

1) Attaching Pixar's name to your work is a bad idea. For one, it immediately degrades the perceived quality of your work because you're basically telling people to expect extremely high caliber animation, which is difficult for anyone to deliver. If you can't deliver on that "promise", you disappoint people immediately. You work right now doesn't resemble Pixar's work at all...which also makes it seem like you're just trying to leech off the success of their brand.

2) The film right now is fairly difficult to understand. This is essentially what I picked up from a literal read of it:

-There's a guy in a machine suit standing on a platform in some kind of space station thing
-There are a bunch of screens spinning around him
-Then the room becomes electrified
-Some electricity/plasma shoots out and bounces off the guy's shield
-This process teleports/disintegrates/transforms the guy
-We're then taken to a world where everyone's body is messed up (maybe through the teleportation process in the previous scene?) The people in this world look like the people on the spinning screens in the last scene
-The people in the world find a big tube with a lid on it. They try to smack the lid and shoot lasers at it but it won't budge
-Finally a strong guy walks up and twists the lid off
-Inside the tube is all kinds of electricity.
-The electricity zaps the people into some kind of other dimension, the end.

What questions does this storyline pose to the viewer? What does it tell us about the human condition? What characters are we supposed to care about? What is the main problem that the characters must overcome? No questions like these are asked by the film, and there doesn't appear to be any over-arching thematic elements. The film looks more like a montage of morphing/electricity scenes mixed in with random characters moving around and performing various uninteresting tasks.

3) The film is aesthetically unappealing. The characters looks poorly modelled, the animation is very rough and the color pallette used is seemingly random, when you compare the color choices in different scenes to each other. Also, there's just too much stuff going on much of the time. Everything is spinning horizontally and vertically in the first scene...then lasers shoot out of everything....then we have the sequence with the red people, and then we have another several-minute montage of lasers and electricity and spinning text all over the screen, and all kinds of randomly-colored objects moving in all kinds of random ways.

Right now, this isn't the type of film that is going to reach a large audience...or any audience. It doesn't seem to have a clear narrative, it needs tons of aesthetic improvements, and overall it's just not something that's entertaining, in my opinion.

Anyways, I tried to give specific examples of where I think the film went wrong, so that you know exactly where you can work on improving your next projects. Hopefully these comments will help you. The more you practice, the better you will get!

whole-bit
10-16-2009, 09:01 PM
MZ-Thanks, if I may accept knarly as a compliment! :) Yeah the Pixar thing was the closest I could come to describing some of the elements used in the film. Just look how many HITS I've gotten out of them! Haw haw! Last I heard they were lookin for 2D people as well at Blur...let me know.

EricD-Sorry you were disgusted, I too was disgusted at some of the "Pixar" stuff I found on YouTube. As metioned above, I worked really hard to get all the characters working, acting and interacting together and also from and into new scenes(dimensions). Thanks for your comments!

ivanisavich-There is a sentence explaining what the program is about in this post and at the site. Read it again (if you will) and let me know if some more of your questions get answers! ;)
-Can't say much for the FX. I'm onna laptop. Although I have to disagree with you on points of aesthetic and popular appeal; and judging from your bullet points, you actually do have a pretty good grasp of the story! :)
-This is more about art than a big production, and working alone it gives people a good idea that I am at least capable of using the tools to communicate.
-As always, I bathe in you criticisms.

Terry

dotEff
10-16-2009, 09:55 PM
I'd have to agree with ivan on the film's aesthetic. In my opinion, everything just seems to random that I begin to loose interest after the man "teleported".

If this is what you will show to a potential client, chances are you might lose them.

labbejason
10-16-2009, 10:41 PM
I agree with all the feedback so far.

It's clear that a lot of work was put into this as 7 minutes of animation is incredibly long for a single person. With a piece that long, I'm sure you learned a lot, which is fantastic. Unfortunately, it may have been more quantity than actual quality. For your next project, you may want to consider cutting it down to less than a minute (even less than 30 seconds). I know it sounds incredibly small, but then you can really polish things and keep it simple.

Other than being in a 3d medium, what elements represent Pixar's style?

ZTRONG
10-16-2009, 11:40 PM
I canīt agree more than what people have already posted. And as a sidenote, if ivanisavich and EricDLegare threw some bit of advise, Iīd suggest you get your NOTEPAD, take notes and go back to your corner, hehehe.

And ever since your first post, youīve been a bit rude with people...if you post something and expect some critiques, take them and thank people for taking the time of doing so... if they have or not a demoreel that doesnīt matter, if youīre not interested in people criticising your story, then make a special note for it so that people donīt take that into account. Although, if you post something as an ANIMATED SHORT, I think IT DOES HAVE TO HAVE A STORY BEHIND IT......which obviously people, including myself donīt understand clearly.... like PIXAR OBVIOUSLY does perfectly.

Bottomline, take into consideration what experts like ivanisavich and EricDLegare have told you, go back to the drawing board and impress people.

Best Regards.

techmage
10-17-2009, 07:49 AM
I agree with the other people that you should not label yourself 'pixar'. Even if the term 'pixar' is the only term that makes most people understand what you mean when you say '3D animation'.

But other than that I liked it.

I don't agree how ivanisavich is analyzing it. You don't translate visual metaphors into words then expect it to hold as much merit, animation is not meant to be processed as words. It's a habit from books I think. To think that 'stories' told on screen have to translate into words well and still hold up to their standard. Visual storytelling does not have to translate into words as visuals themselves are the language. From this point of view, I find your short particularly interesting. I personally prefer animation in this manner. I don't like it when my analytical, word-processing mind, can consume and fully cognize a visual medium. I'd prefer there to be holes, short-circuits, recursion, mysteries, jokes without punchlines.

Of course doing this means it will fall on alot of deaf eyes for those who can't read visuals directly as language but, your style is your style. Don't change or tone it down for other peoples benefit. It comes from your heart, not your egos need to impress.

The only thing that sort of breaks the illusion of it for me is when you try to ground it. When you offer explanations of it, when you offer synopsis 'A scientist who's friends have all become avatars', when you hear the voices saying things. I think it would be much better without any explanation, let it fester in it's oddness ungrounded. I see it as you have this particularly odd thing your saying in visuals, then you think you need to connect it to more normal sounding things like scientists exploring dimensions. I think that holds you back, let go of the need to connect it to normal things. Let it make as little sense to the conceptual, word-processing mind as it possibly can. I think it's better that way anyways.

ivanisavich
10-17-2009, 08:38 AM
You don't translate visual metaphors into words then expect it to hold as much merit, animation is not meant to be processed as words. It's a habit from books I think. To think that 'stories' told on screen have to translate into words well and still hold up to their standard. Visual storytelling does not have to translate into words as visuals themselves are the language.

I think you may have misunderstood my post. I was not saying that the story has to be translated into words. What I was saying is that the narrative (story) needs to be clear and should have some kind of arc (introduction to characters and problem, anticipation, climax and possibly a resolution). There should also be a reason for us to care about the characters. Empathy is the #1 emotion a filmmaker should be trying to invoke in viewers.

I think maybe you misinterpreted my use of the word "narrative" to be "narration"? ;)


There is a sentence explaining what the program is about in this post and at the site. Read it again (if you will) and let me know if some more of your questions get answers! ;)


Hi whole-bit, I know you posted explanations of the story but I was trying not to let them influence my literal interpretation of the visuals, because I believe that a film should be able to stand on its own without the need for external info. After all, people who watch the film may not be in a position where they have access to the summation of the story that you've written, so they'd need to understand it from the film itself or else there'd be a problem and people would be left confused. Hope that makes sense.

techmage
10-17-2009, 10:06 PM
I think you may have misunderstood my post. I was not saying that the story has to be translated into words. What I was saying is that the narrative (story) needs to be clear and should have some kind of arc (introduction to characters and problem, anticipation, climax and possibly a resolution). There should also be a reason for us to care about the characters. Empathy is the #1 emotion a filmmaker should be trying to invoke in viewers.

I think maybe you misinterpreted my use of the word "narrative" to be "narration"? ;)



What I meant by saying translating it to words is. When you say it should be 'clear', clear to what portion of the mind? Because it's perfectly clear to the visual portion of the mind. What it's not clear to is the portion of the mind that wants to cognize it, understand it, understand conceptually, via words. 'Introduction', 'problem', 'climax'. Looking for those things is conceptualizing it via words, translating visual flow into structures defined by words.

The only thing it needs to do is hold your interest for it's duration and maybe offer you a bit of novel energy of some sort. I see what whole-bit is doing is akin to the style of animators like Blu. Things like this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uad17d5hR5s
It's intended to communicate a certain energy, a certain felling, not necessarily a story, or understandable concept.

Of course this isn't to say that things can't be improved, artistic ability can't be grown upon, styles refined. It should be most certainly, there is much room for improvement no doubt. But I don't see him walking down a path of artistic intuition that needs some refinement from traditional animation styles. Of course this means your not gonna be making any TV commercials anytime soon, but thats not really a down side for some people.

Veretas
10-18-2009, 01:15 AM
Hey, a couple things:

a) When you put Pixar in front of the name of your work, people expect Pixar. Even involuntarily. This was not Pixar quality I'm afraid. What I saw had about 2 minutes of next to no animation aside from really disorienting spinning disks. The rest was a lot of the usual 'floating' you see in animations that lack proper timing and breakdowns and even inbetweens that make good animation, well, good. A lot of the problems you had with the actual animations I saw were the transfer of weight, arcs, squash and stretch...well pretty much every one of the 12 principles. When I think 'Pixar Style' this is most definitely not it.

b) I really can't say much about the story because I watched it without sound. What I can say is...That it was quite a trip. It all felt kind of unsettling and just kind of gross. However, I also think everyone is focusing too much on the story rather than the animation itself. Maybe that's how this forum works - I dunno.

Either way this is, to me, definitely not a finished animation by any means.

ivanisavich
10-18-2009, 02:33 AM
What I meant by saying translating it to words is. When you say it should be 'clear', clear to what portion of the mind? Because it's perfectly clear to the visual portion of the mind. What it's not clear to is the portion of the mind that wants to cognize it, understand it, understand conceptually, via words. 'Introduction', 'problem', 'climax'. Looking for those things is conceptualizing it via words, translating visual flow into structures defined by words.


Well I'm going to have to disagree with you here, for two reasons:

-Projects that are non-narrative, like the "Combo" youtube link you posted, are not supposed to have a story. Whole-bit's movie is supposed to have a story...he's even stated so himself. If a film is going to be overtly abstract, then great....give us some cool visuals and make it clear that the story doesn't matter and it'll still be enjoyable. However, if a film can't make up it's mind....and is overtly abstract but clearly a narrative, that is confusing and frustrating for the viewer

-"Combo" is still entertaining, despite being non-narrative, because of its unique style. When you watch it, the details that keep your interest are how they are making it...not what it's about. It's fun to watch them paint all sorts of creating things, integrating them with the environment....even if the subject matter is seemingly random. The OP's film on the other hand, doesn't present us with a unique style to immediately gauge our interest....it's just traditional 3d animation. It doesn't have the "wow" factor that something like "Combo" has.

pptc
10-18-2009, 05:35 AM
Oh, man.... I not seen not Pixar quality, not Pixar style.
Don't aggrieve, but only objectively, is far far away from Pixar.
As sayd before - concentrate on quality, not quantity.

whole-bit
10-19-2009, 07:38 PM
rygoody-Thanks for noticing the story and recognizing the artistic method with which I have used the technology! Given that it took me 4 weeks to create, rig and animate the scenes with the 5 characters of this film,(with 2 weeks to edit and render), on my laptop, I don't think the story suffers from lack of better animation. I can't take responsibility for the quality of Pixar's visual style, but I like to think the entertainment factor is there! :) The other elements actually took a lot longer, 4 months overall. Some people get it, some won't learn anything at all!

kiittea
10-20-2009, 10:01 AM
haha ... Man .. how can you be so stubborn and stupid... People have been giving you constructive advices and you throw them on their face. too bad ... Learn from the experts ..As what they say is absolutely true in your case ... don't concentrate on quantity .. who cares if u model 10 characters and rig them and animate them in 5 days if they don't even look like a character..All that matters is even if u did one thing do it well. It looks like you spent 4 months of your time reating something which no one understands .. its not their fault..Learn from the wonderful people over here ...understand what they are saying.. It will be helpful to you.
Cheers

Poirot
10-20-2009, 12:54 PM
I am not trying to be an ass, but if you extract footage from 2.44 to 4.40 and put it at the end of this video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=So5Pry0Dw4Y

Then everything would make much more sense.

CGOutcast
10-21-2009, 04:03 AM
ok so i watched it twice and i still didnt feel any plot. I get the idea in text but not in what you completed. The animation for the camera and models can use some work cuz it feels like all your keys are linear on the camera as well as the animation on some of your characters and elements. Trust me man, I love far out ideas as much as the next guy but you need some elements people can focus on to get what you're trying to do with this, either way i commend you for finishing something because i know how hard that is. Keep working at it dude, good luck...

CHRiTTeR
10-21-2009, 04:28 AM
i liked the trippy feel to it but that was about it.

keep on practicing and NEVER use a company's name that isnt involved in yr work.
verry unprofessional

Nucleo
10-21-2009, 07:19 AM
Of course doing this means it will fall on alot of deaf eyes for those who can't read visuals directly as language but, your style is your style. Don't change or tone it down for other peoples benefit. It comes from your heart, not your egos need to impress.

hmm makes sense. If you are not doing this for the people who are you doing it for? Why post it on a forum and then not accept people opinions. Maybe its your ego you are trying to impress and not the other way around.

travishowe
10-22-2009, 01:08 AM
I can respect what you are shooting for on this, as I greatly admire well-done abstract art. However, I would have to agree with Tyson -- you need to make the story clear enough that we do not need any outside explanation in order to understand it.

I'll be honest, I didn't watch it all. 5 minutes is a lot of time to ask of a viewer, especially for something this abstract.

My main problem, however, is that you clearly took the [for lack of a kinder word] lazy route, not only in the animation, but almost everything. For example, you're using basic 3D shaders for things like the wood and (if I'm not mistaken) the mushrooms.

Thinking that you can get away with lower quality animation (where it's animated at all) because your short is "stylized" is, in my opinion, a slap in the face to stylized animation. There is definitely a place for stylistic animation and stylized shorts (can someone think of the name of the one with the kid wearing a coat that covers his mouth flying around on a stingray? It'd be a great example of unique narrative and unique style to the animation).

If you want to see an example of an artistic, skillfully-done short that has a unique narrative and a VERY unique style, check out this one by The Black Heart Gang:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7m5MQMCDOWE

I want to be constructive and encouraging. My advice to you is to start small. Don't take on an epic-length short before you've mastered the foundations of the fields you are going to be utilizing: animation, modeling, texturing, story-telling, etc.

Good luck!

mrtprodz
10-22-2009, 02:02 AM
....(can someone think of the name of the one with the kid wearing a coat that covers his mouth flying around on a stingray? It'd be a great example of unique narrative and unique style to the animation)...


Kwoon - I lived on the moon
by Yannick Puig. :thumbsup:

travishowe
10-22-2009, 02:07 AM
Right you are! Thanks, MistaT

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xTysF1E4Ft0

And don't get me wrong -- I'm not saying "don't release something until it's at this level." What I'm suggesting is that you solidify your narrative before you try to make it, and take ownership of the short you make; 4 weeks is not enough time to successfully animate a 5 minute short. Don't hide behind "style," because we can see right thru it.

whole-bit
10-22-2009, 10:43 PM
Your right, I think my ego is involved, inasmuch as I can finish a series of Cybertales, that display my narrative mark. I'm learning exponentially from each one! I'm aiming at keeping the quality just above animes, which contain a lot of talking still shots.

When I am done I will do more packaging, polishing, editing. However they are on YouTube right now for free, as a solo project. Also, I think some of the characters in FREEZE seem a little robotic. You should also see Cybertales 1 time permitting...:)

Thanks again for your wonderful suggestions...

whole-bit
10-28-2009, 06:52 PM
Here is an example I found of a similar themed animation which directly uses Pixar imagery to make it's point. I have taken a more indirect and intellectual look at the same topic. Sorry for any Pixar confusion!!!


http://www.collegehumor.com/video:1921845

:)

RFX
10-29-2009, 12:41 AM
Here is an example I found of a similar themed animation which directly uses Pixar imagery to make it's point. I have taken a more indirect and intellectual look at the same topic. Sorry for any Pixar confusion!!!


http://www.collegehumor.com/video:1921845

:)

Is it 1968 again?

JaredTaylor
10-29-2009, 01:50 AM
There is not a single aspect of your work that resembles Pixar in any way or form, it is about the farthest representation from it. Even Pluto isn't as far away.

Even my work is closer to Pixar, and I've never worked a 3D job in my life and barely made an animation.

Kanga
10-29-2009, 05:28 PM
Your right, I think my ego is involved, inasmuch as I can finish a series of Cybertales,
There are no prizes for finishing.

Compare your work to good animation, editing, rigging, lighting, texturing, rendering, graphic design, character development, sound design and editing, modelling, story development here and try to learn from it. Dont waste your time on defense. It wont fly.

filmelskeren
10-30-2009, 11:06 AM
Really!...

You can see in the short @ college humor that it has used the pixar image to set the premise for the story, and made it pretty awesome...it feels and look like pixar, then takes on its own style...

I looked at your cybertale short and didn't see any of that. The style, ehh, looked familiar at first, seemed like old 80's anime, but then it just turned completely...try to research that first style even more and how to tell the story, even if abstract. The lack of animation in the short should not be a big deal if the story is told properly.

I think you are on to discovering your own style with animation and story telling(don't use the Pixar name in vane)...but for now it basically don't have anything worth putting your name on it.

Listen to the guys at the forum, alot of them knows what they are talking about.

googboog8
10-30-2009, 11:56 AM
There is not a single aspect of your work that resembles Pixar in any way or form, it is about the farthest representation from it. Even Pluto isn't as far away.

Even my work is closer to Pixar, and I've never worked a 3D job in my life and barely made an animation.

harsh,.. very harsh!!:surprised

VirtualFM
10-31-2009, 02:12 AM
If I casually had seen a glimpse of this "Cybertales" thingy in any other forum or weird TV show I would have disregarded it without a second thought, but since its causing here so much discussion I would like to add a couple cents:

- This short reminds me of two things: 1) early 90's 3D computer animation experiments that emulated the 70's artsy animated films (clearly made under the use of some strong LSD); 2) 70's and 80's French animated films, and Western European shorts that were completely psychedelically mad... a true trip! If that was the objective, it was completely fulfilled! If not, it might as well be displayed at the "Abominable animation gallery" (even if I can't find that link anymore!)

- it has been said to exhaustion: there is no "Pixar" style whatsoever about it! However, and i also noticed it at "youtube" searches, the word "Pixar" is widely becoming synonym to "computer animation". It happens a lot: a brand so strong that is used to name everything that resembles it. It happened here with several brands, like "Kispo" (it was a sort of "rain coat"). The brand already disappeared, but it was so strong that even today we call most "rain coats" as "Kispos". And a "Coke" is anything that has carbonated gas and brown sugar in it, even if it only remotely resembles the taste of Coca-Cola. So, maybe the author was not trying to use the "Pixar" name, but merely using it as synonym of "computer animation". After all, for the "normal world" outside of CGSociety and other 3D communities, any 3D film out there is "Pixar"... even if it's "Kung Fu Panda" or "Chicken Little".

Kanga
10-31-2009, 04:20 AM
So, maybe the author was not trying to use the "Pixar" name, but merely using it as synonym of "computer animation".
Like turning up with an old bicycle and saying it is synonymous with Ferrari because it has wheels :surprised

mistasam02
10-31-2009, 05:23 AM
Man there are already 3 pages of comments on this?! Here's my take on abstract art: it has to be well done. You can't paint a canvas black and call it art (although many people do, somehow). Your work doesn't need a story if you can portray a feeling or emotion through it. Nobody here is getting it, so you need to take that as a hint and bring it back to the drawing board. I wouldn't compare your series to Pixar, but it's definitely reminiscent of Heavy Metal. A lot of that movie didn't make sense, and the low-quality made it hard to watch. I agree with Travis -- you need to at least make the visuals better to gauge interest. If something's cool looking, people will watch it no matter what. Story will come with editing, I think, but get your cg skills up to par first. Good luck!

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