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Modern Animation

10 Sep 2018 21:56 #61035 by Markiehoe
Modern Animation was created by Markiehoe
So as not to hijack the She Ra thread I would like to compare and contrast modern animation vs modern animation.

This is what You Tube is giving us:

I refuse to watch this and I like Kat Denniing, I like her alot.
I would have loved to see her as Wonder Woman set in the modern day.

This is what video gaming gives us:

If someone would edit that into a real movie I'd watch that in a heartbeat.

On a side note this animated Lara Croft is leaps and bounds over her live action counterpart.
She has boobs, tight fitting clothes and she acts more human than the other one.
I honestly don't blame the actress in the movie. She was mis cast and given very little to work with.

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10 Sep 2018 21:58 #61036 by ChaozCloud
Replied by ChaozCloud on topic Modern Animation
At least we have modern anime
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10 Sep 2018 22:05 #61037 by Markiehoe
Replied by Markiehoe on topic Modern Animation
Absolutely!
Why should we settle for substandard when there is so much better out there?

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10 Sep 2018 22:50 - 10 Sep 2018 22:50 #61038 by kikass2014
Replied by kikass2014 on topic Modern Animation
If I was given the budget the She-Ra cartoon got, I (like most here I assume) PROMISE you, I could deliver a better looking show for the SAME money :D

Think about that :P 

Peace.

/K
Last edit: 10 Sep 2018 22:50 by kikass2014.
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10 Sep 2018 23:37 #61040 by TwiceOnThursdays
Replied by TwiceOnThursdays on topic Modern Animation

Markiehoe wrote: So as not to hijack the She Ra thread I would like to compare and contrast modern animation vs modern animation.

This is what You Tube is giving us:


I refuse to watch this and I like Kat Denniing, I like her alot.
I would have loved to see her as Wonder Woman set in the modern day.

This is what video gaming gives us:

If someone would edit that into a real movie I'd watch that in a heartbeat.

On a side note this animated Lara Croft is leaps and bounds over her live action counterpart.
She has boobs, tight fitting clothes and she acts more human than the other one.
I honestly don't blame the actress in the movie. She was mis cast and given very little to work with.



Cost to make Lara Croft Video Game: $80M
Cost to make 12 episodes of an animated Show:  < $2M,   (I must admit I'm not entirely sure, the one page I could find with moderm #'s said that was "high" and people can't afford that anymore. i.e. the Market won't let them spend that much.  Some shows cost $300k/episode for the animation  you then have to add in the cost of voice acting.  Even so 8 Episodes * 300k = 2.4M.    If you spend more than that you're the Simpsons and the voice actors make a shit load.)

OTH: Cost to make Incredibles 2 (gorgeous) $200M (Cost to make Incredibles 1: $70M)

You are comparing things with totally different order of budgets.

Shows that have fewer episodes would be even worse.  The more episodes/minutes, the more you can amortize the cost of making all the high quality 3D models and textures.  Or you reduce your budget and your expectations.

Now they probably should have made a Lara Croft TV animated show/movie and just dove tailed off the assets made for the video game, that seems like a pretty smart idea.  Except lots of new locations -> a lot more money and ... they don't have it, and they can't afford not to else the new stuff looks extra crappy next to the old.

They didn't have that problem with Dreamworks How to Train Your Dragon TV Show though.  That was a smart idea.

Also, if people can see that in a video game, then most people creating animated shows DO NOT want to look like that.  They want to differentiate themselves.  _Most_ not all.  There have seen several movies that obviously use a video game rendering engine ,,, though I can't remember any of them that ended up with any significant artistic merit.

OTH, Rick and Morty is PERFECT for what it is.  So is Adventure Time.   Archer looks fantastic, and is also perfect for what it is.

I can't comment on live action vs video game as I've not played the video game or seen the movie.

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10 Sep 2018 23:54 #61041 by TwiceOnThursdays
Replied by TwiceOnThursdays on topic Modern Animation

ChaozCloud wrote: At least we have modern anime


This is a much better comparison.

The Japanese value animation more than the US market does. (Seriously look at the top grossing movies in Japan:   en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_highest-grossing_films_in_Japan )

They spend on the order of $145k/episode.  (2010 estimate from Cruncyroll)  
www.crunchyroll.com/anime-news/2011/10/3...f-anime-cost-to-make

I have no idea how that # has changed since then. I'll note that Anime does a really great job of fantastic  still backgrounds that are used over and over again.  They really know how to make their money last.  This is a common technique in animation, just that it seems better utilitzed by most anime.

In the US, they used to spend that, but no longer do.  An estimate I found for Justice League Unlimited came out to $220k/episode.   That was for a product with a strong pre-set market for toys and merchandice.  But that's considered "high" these days.

I can't find out much DC is spending to Young Justice Season 3. It looks pretty good (maybe not as good as S1 and S2 but it's been awhile and it's a you tube clip so it's probablly the same quality as before.)



I also can't find out how much Netflix spent on She-Ra. If someone knows I'd be interested.
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11 Sep 2018 00:21 #61043 by shadar
Replied by shadar on topic Modern Animation
Given the radical differences in budget between very watchable animation and unwatchable animation, it tells me that we need to give the animators better tools. Tools that are intelligent and powerful enough to unburden the animator from enough details so they can greater increase the quality and quantity of what they produce. 

Given that I'm sure the cost of labor greatly exceeds the cost of software/hardware (although the later is high when it comes to state-of-the-art animation), we need to see some new and powerful AI-based creativity tools. 

One of my many jobs over nearly five decades was to develop software tools for design engineers to develop chips. I learned very quickly that a really powerful tool can make a HUGE difference in the quantity and quality of work a designer can accomplish. In my case, most of work was focused on improving the quality (less bugs) of their work. 

There are significant improvements in this area regarding animation every ten years or so. Go check out a twenty-year old video game. Or a ten year old one. There are many more steps to come, but my theory is that animation that actually fools most viewers into thinking its live-action will come.  Maybe another three steps out there. 

The real problem is that there is a large audience for poor quality animation. And since it has market and makes money, studios will invest there. Yet we don't seem to be part of that audience. Any speculation as to the characteristics of the "low quality animation" audience?  

If we know that, then we can project what force that has on future animation.

(While writing this, I kept seeing the screen of horrible "Japanese" animation and music playing in the bar in the Firefly movie Serenity, just before River goes crazy. My worst fear is that is the future of what people want in terms of entertainment.) 

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11 Sep 2018 01:00 - 11 Sep 2018 01:07 #61045 by Starforge
Replied by Starforge on topic Modern Animation
Apples and Oranges comparing video games and animated TV.  That being said - I love the Gamer's Little Playground channel on Youtube.

For example (and fits in the general theme on this website as the lead is a capable woman.)



5 hour plus movie - good (not great but good) story - excellent animation.  Plenty of examples of other games on there, much of it at least as well written as the majority of shows and movies that hit Hollywood.

Edit:  Funny side note - the voice actress who voiced Aloy is the same one who voiced Tiny Tina in Borderlands.
Last edit: 11 Sep 2018 01:07 by Starforge.

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11 Sep 2018 01:17 #61046 by kikass2014
Replied by kikass2014 on topic Modern Animation
If you are going full-blown CGI, then the costs rise up a LOT.  This is mainly due to the amount of time it takes, and also the technical expertise to make it look right.

Producing an animation in 3D takes MUCH longer, and is also more complicated to produce then traditional cel animation.

Having said that, the tools already exist that make cel animation much quicker and easier to produce.  Gone are the days or tracing paper and overlapping sheets.

Today, current computers can "tween" very well.  In After Effects alone, you can create amazing animations, very easily.

So I have to agree, there really is no excuse for the level of animation of She-Ra (as an example), except cost-saving/penny-pinching.

Peace.

/K

P.S.  On the topic of Tomb Raider, that $80 million dollar budget wasn't just for the FMV.  A big chunk of that was to programmers and 3D technicians to actually make the GAME.  The FMV probably cost a fair bit, but it is in no way £80 million dollars worth.
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11 Sep 2018 01:58 #61048 by TwiceOnThursdays
Replied by TwiceOnThursdays on topic Modern Animation

shadar wrote:
There are significant improvements in this area regarding animation every ten years or so. Go check out a twenty-year old video game. Or a ten year old one. There are many more steps to come, but my theory is that animation that actually fools most viewers into thinking its live-action will come.  Maybe another three steps out there. 

The real problem is that there is a large audience for poor quality animation. And since it has market and makes money, studios will invest there. Yet we don't seem to be part of that audience. Any speculation as to the characteristics of the "low quality animation" audience?  

If we know that, then we can project what force that has on future animation.

(While writing this, I kept seeing the screen of horrible "Japanese" animation and music playing in the bar in the Firefly movie Serenity, just before River goes crazy. My worst fear is that is the future of what people want in terms of entertainment.) 


I'd like to think that if the cost difference between low quality and quality shrinks, people will choose quality.  Both as producers of content and consumers of content.  Defining that gap in time and money vs the targeted markets is where people earn the big $$. I just happen to think most of the time those people have no real clue.  (ex: no big budget movies in August until GotG broke records, women can't lead action/comic book/fantasy movies until Hunger Games, Lucy, and Wonder Woman.  Can't spend money on animation. oh, wait, Pixar.  Too many girls are watching Young Justice and that will hurt toy sales, we should cancel it.  Until someone realizes that girls buy toys too.)

Sadly, people do like shitty things.  There is a place for everything.

I think that they cut $10-100k/episode out of the animation budget for a show to "save money" when if they spent more, they'd end up with a better product that pulled in more eyes.  But it's at a bigger risk, and a lot of backers don't have the balls for that.

In the case of She-Ra, people should watch the Power Of Greyskull documentary on Netflix.  They've tried to resuscitate He-Man a few times and it's not worked.  So even though at one time it was a $ Billion property, I think She-Ra is enough of a risk that it's not getting money invested.  (I'd love to know what the production budget is but i've yet to find it.)

And it's not just animation: I find the art on some "female targeted" comic books is generally not art I like.  (ex: Squirrel Girl, America)  They're purposely making those choices.  (I like the art on Unstoppable Wasp, Ms. Marvel, and Hawkeye through.)

The problem is the story wins.  I'd rather watch low quality animation with good voice acting and great story than fantastic graphics and voice acting and no story at all.  Sure, if it's utterly new and amazing (Matrix, Avatar) then just the looks can pull you in.  But only one of those movies have I watched again (and want to watch again), and that's the one where the content/story is much better (Matrix).

But generally, if you're going to skimp on one thing, you're skimping on all of them ...

"cheap animation" will bring people if it's Rick and Morty, Adventure Time, etc.  But that then gives us the new She-Ra or the new Thundercats.   I have no idea what the story quality is going to be like for those shows, so I don't know if they'll be worth it or not.

I do wish we'd see more examples of the US/Western market going for at least teenage-level animated material in content, and more people going for quality.
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11 Sep 2018 10:23 - 11 Sep 2018 10:24 #61058 by Markiehoe
Replied by Markiehoe on topic Modern Animation
I am told Rick and Morty is a fun show.

I gave it a shot and the animation was so bad I stopped watching.

Conversely I vividly remember watching the Anime Gall Force back in the day.

The animation was beautiful but the story was SO BORING I bailed on that one also.

There is a happy medium out there that has been proven time and again.
We also get excellence.


In 2018 why should we be thankful if we get an animated series in our genre with poor writing and animation?
Last edit: 11 Sep 2018 10:24 by Markiehoe. Reason: typo

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11 Sep 2018 20:36 #61063 by Starforge
Replied by Starforge on topic Modern Animation

Markiehoe wrote: In 2018 why should we be thankful if we get an animated series in our genre with poor writing and animation?


I wouldn't characterize myself as thankful because without knowing how the show is written or the target audience it's impossible to judge.  If well done and written, I could excuse the poor animation (though I'm strongly suspecting it will be neither well done or written.)

I agree that it would be great to have an adult (or at least teen) focused animated show in our genre that had great animation that those of us post puberty could enjoy - I'm simply guessing that this show isn't going to be focused on that group.  I'm also willing to bet we aren't perceived to be a large enough market to warrant a show with a decent budget focusing on our genre.

Tangentially, I'd love to see an animated Honor Harrington series (since it would be nearly impossible to find an actress that would be tall enough and physical enough to look the part.)  In fact, it would be in areas like this - content with exceptional women in other popular genres - that we would likely have to rely on to see content get such a budget since it could draw a larger audience.  Just like what we have all relied on - comic book content - though at the moment the focus is on live action.

In fact, to me, before animation, before even acting, what's fallen short in produced shows from the major Hollywood companies has been in the writing department.  It's rare to find a show that doesn't either suck, copy a successful show, or preach a political position all geared to pander to a perceived market.  Probably fodder for another topic and one not well received so I'll stop there.
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11 Sep 2018 21:20 - 11 Sep 2018 21:20 #61064 by Markiehoe
Replied by Markiehoe on topic Modern Animation
turns out they DO edit video games into movies.
At least they did it to this Spiderman game.
Three hours of content.
Last edit: 11 Sep 2018 21:20 by Markiehoe. Reason: typo
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11 Sep 2018 22:12 #61065 by Starforge
Replied by Starforge on topic Modern Animation
Here's some 11 year old animation they put together to resemble a movie:



Quite a bit more Halo on there and 5's animation is top notch as well as upgraded voice acting.


Or this one from a LoTR offshoot:



I didn't find the game play to be engaging (a bit same-ol) but the story and score is decent.


Playing the games is fun.  Sometimes watching the movies is better filler than whatever is on live or streaming at the moment.
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11 Sep 2018 22:28 #61066 by Starforge
Replied by Starforge on topic Modern Animation
Or maybe I should have led with this:



Though I'm not a fan at all of this style of game nor did I find the animation style to be engaging.
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11 Sep 2018 22:47 #61067 by TwiceOnThursdays
Replied by TwiceOnThursdays on topic Modern Animation

Starforge wrote: Or maybe I should have led with this:



Though I'm not a fan at all of this style of game nor did I find the animation style to be engaging.


The voice acting is top notch.

The animation isn't very good or engaging.  It's _almost_, and that makes it worse.  Brain spends a lot of time going "no", "no".

For all that it's shoddy animation, rick and morty has a great story and the shoddy animation has personality.   (Rick is a horrible person. IF you made all the effort to make the show LOOK awesome, I'd have to take Rick more seriously and he's just a train wreck of a person.)

The animation here is clumsy, and it feels off and sterile.  The model design is ok, but also not quite right.  It looks like the original design work is good, it was the translation into the 3D models that didn't go well.

I've watched some of the "cut scene" animation things and generally found their story to be ... lacking.  the spider-man one looked pretty top notch in production values.

You can tell there is a big budget difference between these (and probably time as well, which counts for a lot, as the Spider-Man is current).
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11 Sep 2018 23:19 #61069 by Starforge
Replied by Starforge on topic Modern Animation
No argument.  These ARE games after all, so many times you have cut scenes then game play that is missing followed by cut scenes.  The halo 5 one they do includes a lot of game play which helps continuity but then you're spending time watching people play a FPS.  I like the movie parts, but I'd rather be PLAYING the fps than watching someone else do it.  /shrug.  They still make for interesting and in many cases unique stories - at least to me.

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12 Sep 2018 12:07 #61077 by Woodclaw
Replied by Woodclaw on topic Modern Animation

kikass2014 wrote: If you are going full-blown CGI, then the costs rise up a LOT.  This is mainly due to the amount of time it takes, and also the technical expertise to make it look right.

Producing an animation in 3D takes MUCH longer, and is also more complicated to produce then traditional cel animation.

Having said that, the tools already exist that make cel animation much quicker and easier to produce.  Gone are the days or tracing paper and overlapping sheets.

Today, current computers can "tween" very well.  In After Effects alone, you can create amazing animations, very easily.

So I have to agree, there really is no excuse for the level of animation of She-Ra (as an example), except cost-saving/penny-pinching.

Peace.

/K

P.S.  On the topic of Tomb Raider, that $80 million dollar budget wasn't just for the FMV.  A big chunk of that was to programmers and 3D technicians to actually make the GAME.  The FMV probably cost a fair bit, but it is in no way £80 million dollars worth.


More of the same. I think that present day animation, while extremely sophisticated, has a really big problem as well. Just like the Filmation did in the '80s, producing high quality animation with a small budget requires to cut some angles and make ample use of stock footage, pre-rendered elements and so on, resulting in products that lacks in terms of visuals. Consequently, many studios and creator opted to go for more stylized products, simplifying the art style to make their work stand out. In some cases this ties in to the overall tone of the show (e.g. Rick and Morty wouldn't work with a more realistic style), in others it doesn't.

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