Is it still worth it learning animation by hand?

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  12 December 2002
Is it still worth it learning animation by hand?

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
 
  12 December 2002
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.
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  12 December 2002
I agree with sed4d. And note that mocap need a lot work on the result. It does not give directly a good aniamtion!
 
  12 December 2002
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.
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  12 December 2002
Quote: 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
 
  12 December 2002
And note that animation has no reason to exist if it's not creativ and done with emotino : art.
 
  12 December 2002
Quote: 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.
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  12 December 2002
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:
 
  12 December 2002
yeah... It's pretty much pointless..
 
  12 December 2002
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??
 
  12 December 2002
Quote: 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...
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  12 December 2002
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
 
  12 December 2002
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
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  01 January 2003
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.
 
  01 January 2003
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.
 
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