what are common lenses used in animated films?

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Old 06 June 2012   #16
Speaking of lenses... Do CG artists still believe in using Chromatic Aberration, vignetting and distortion etc. to make their renders look more "photorealistic"?

If so, do they know that photographers are doing everything they can to eliminate these optical flaws from their photos?

Not only that, most good quality modern optics have virtually overcome these flaws as well. Lenses come with their own profile to fix vignetting and distortion during post processing, some can even do it in-camera. They don't really show CA either unless they're a fast lens, eg. f/1.2, being used at their widest aperture and in a difficult lighting condition, ie. high contrast. Stopped down to f/8 and beyond and you'll have to use a loupe to find fringing in a photo.

In other word, applying these optical flaws in a CG render doesn't really make it look more photorealistic, they make it look like a photo taken with a mobile phone or crappy kit lens.
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Old 06 June 2012   #17
I'm not sure I agree with that 100%. I know of a few guys that add CA to their shots. I also like a little CA from time to time. It add it's own feeling, but that's artistic preference. For the most part, you're right, but I would not completely write it off.

Also - it's not only crappy lenses that create CA. Even the best lenses can generate it. But again, for the most part you're right. The better lenses definitely are less prone to it, at least in my own experience and research.
 
Old 06 June 2012   #18
Originally Posted by stiltskin: I'm not sure I agree with that 100%. I know of a few guys that add CA to their shots. I also like a little CA from time to time. It add it's own feeling, but that's artistic preference. For the most part, you're right, but I would not completely write it off.

Also - it's not only crappy lenses that create CA. Even the best lenses can generate it. But again, for the most part you're right. The better lenses definitely are less prone to it, at least in my own experience and research.


Whaaa? You know a few guys that added CA to their photos? Seriously? lol There's always a first to everything I suppose.

I didn't say only crappy lenses create CA, I said adding those optical flaws into your CG renders don't make them look more photorealistic, those flaws make your renders look like they were taken with a mobile phone or crappy kit lens.
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Old 06 June 2012   #19
Originally Posted by P_T: Whaaa? You know a few guys that added CA to their photos? Seriously? lol There's always a first to everything I suppose.

I didn't say only crappy lenses create CA, I said adding those optical flaws into your CG renders don't make them look more photorealistic, those flaws make your renders look like they were taken with a mobile phone or crappy kit lens.


Technically you are right, but our perception is much more complex than that.
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Old 06 June 2012   #20
Photographers are trying to create images with the perfection of renders. CG artists are trying to create the flaws of reality that photos pick up. There is a balance to be found somewhere. Most people are put off by too much perfection. 60fps isnt going over too well. grain CA motionblur vignette flares glows can all add a feeling of sorts to an image. Some dont need it some might benifit from it.
 
Old 06 June 2012   #21
There are a whole bunch of generalizations going on here

Photographers want...

CG artists want....

Yes there are some (many even) photographers that try to get the sharpest, clearest, flawless photographs possible. But this is far from the goal of photography in general. Nearly every photographer I studied with at school tended to try to get the best technical photographs, but mostly for their actual artwork embraced and even tried to exploit the unique flaws and traits of their cameras and lenses.

I am frequently working with cinematographers that are using anamorphic lenses on on cameras like the phantom, in order to get that signature bloom and lens flare.

Start Trek was an extreme example of adding lot's of lens flares intentionally.

Many photographers are intentionally using vintage cameras, making pinhole cameras all for the sake of creatively using the flaws of the respective medium.

One of my favorite lenses is my Lensbaby, which is crazy distorted, allowing me to even change the shape of the iris for interesting effects.

I understand the point of P_T, in that these things all thrown in without care does not make something real or better. But all or any of these things is very important for realistic integration. If you are cutting between real and CG shots, you better add these things in to make the shots match. If you are comping CG into real plates same thing. And used in moderation, they do make render more photographic. DOF is very useful for drawing someone's eye and it is a real phenomenon that our eyes experience. Haze, bloom, distortion and yes even chromatic aberation are also things that happen with our eyes. It's called the atmosphere and it does weird things to light.

The most obvious example is the Third and the Seventh and Silestone projects by Alex Roman, he uses every trick in the book and his stuff is in my opinion unrivaled thus far for realism in such a small team.

-Chris
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Old 11 November 2012   #22
My opinion to the original question is that 35 and 50 mm (pixel aspect ratio 1:1) "CGI" lenses Focal length represent well the proportions seens in real-life and films.

If you try to blend VFX with a shot you try to recreate the lens chosen, but if you start with 3D or do everything in 3D I recommend 35mm or 50mm, as they are widely used in films to recreate the human normal perception of space.

My personnal opinion...
 
Old 11 November 2012   #23
Choice of film back is also important. We use a 35mm film back in Maya and crop down to 2.35, and then our camera tools have preset lens choices based on actual Panavision primes. We still have the flexibility to deviate where necessary, but you can do an awful lot with a 'real' 21, 35, 50, etc., and it helps with consistency across the team.
 
Old 11 November 2012   #24
In CG apps, I favor 70 for wides, 35 for mediums. I occasionally go for the 20's to get specific closeups.

Sizes will also vary depending on the depth perception that I want to support a certain blocking arrangement for the frame.
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Old 11 November 2012   #25
I think all good animation directors want to be versed in cinematic technique whether it be animation, traditional, realist or unconventional.

One thing that I don't think has been really touched on here is that a lot of earlier 3D animation and less well versed animation directors tend to rely on the ability to move the camera around in 3D much more than you obviously do in film. This leads to a difference in feeling in a lot of subtle ways.

For example it's quite easy to move your camera 100 yards in 10 frames in CG and hence move the nodal point but in a practical setting you use a zoom lens and hence the nodal point stays still. It's interesting that Wall-E was mentioning in the OPs post as one of the obvious things this film does is make lots of use of zoom as opposed to camera moves during its opening scenes.
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Old 11 November 2012   #26
Well I find that I like to recreate the look in CG that my real lenses give me.

My favorate two are my Nikkor 55mm 1.2, and my Nikkor 55mm macro. I find myself replicating them a lot in my CG work for realistic shots.

Most people seem to think that a 50-55mm is closest to the human eye. But keep in mind the crop factor on your body if your not using a full frame DSLR. So if you've got a camera with a 1.5 crop factor, you would want to use around a 35mm.

I think its mostly up to your personal taste. Terry Gilliam uses lots of wide angle shots, while Michael Bay and James Cameron love long shots.

And as far as animation goes, you can pretty much do whatever you want. Just don't make the viewer sick.

-AJ
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Old 11 November 2012   #27
Originally Posted by axiomatic: I think all good animation directors want to be versed in cinematic technique whether it be animation, traditional, realist or unconventional.

One thing that I don't think has been really touched on here is that a lot of earlier 3D animation and less well versed animation directors tend to rely on the ability to move the camera around in 3D much more than you obviously do in film. This leads to a difference in feeling in a lot of subtle ways.

For example it's quite easy to move your camera 100 yards in 10 frames in CG and hence move the nodal point but in a practical setting you use a zoom lens and hence the nodal point stays still. It's interesting that Wall-E was mentioning in the OPs post as one of the obvious things this film does is make lots of use of zoom as opposed to camera moves during its opening scenes.


Definitely in animation there is the need to exercise constraint and while I don't know focal lengths and film sizes through on-hand experience, I do instead focus on the "Audience Experience" and since a majority of what I watch is live action... it affects what I do in animation.
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Old 11 November 2012   #28
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