Animation : Technology in Animation (and Film FX) by James Saunders

James Saunders

Technology in Animation (and Film FX)

There has been a really good discussion started on a project post by K.Blakeney that opened up some talk about the use of CG vs traditional animation forms. I have always been passionate about animation and CG starting from a childhood love for the kids show "ReBoot." I ended up studying traditional fine arts, illustration and design and 3D animation. It has given me a pretty global understanding about many of the the tools and techniques of art and animation production. That is what technology is, just the tools used to produce. The screw did not replace the nail because it was a new technology, in the same way that acrylic paint did not replace (and could never) replace oil paint. Different tools for different jobs and a high end production should have as big of a tool box as possible. Jurassic Park is still in my opinion a crowning achievement and set a bar that many films still struggle to reach. This is because they did not solely rely on one tool to do the job. They combined real life puppets/animatroncs with 3D animated characters in order to create a rich film experience. I got to see it again in theaters last year for the 20th anniversary and it still is awe inspiring, even more so then films like Avatar. I will not discredit Avatars incredible advancements in CGI F/X but it was a roller-coaster ride, it did not make me question reality in the same way that I did when I first saw dinosaurs walking beside people. My question is there been a truly mixed-media animation project/film?

Katherine Blakeney

I think it's a great idea to open a new thread for this incredibly multifaceted and exciting subject. I look forward to continuing this discussion!

Rick James

I'm a filmmaker getting into CGI and animation, I spent a year learning and creating my first motion graphics production. I look forward to learning everything I can about the subject.

James Saunders

Awesome stuff ric! What soft wear did you use? What do you plan to do next with your new skills?

Rick James

Sorry it took this long to get back James, I was working on several productions and just finished the second to last last night. I have one more to DP and then a webineer to sound record and then I'm free for the rest of the year. I finished my next motion graphics sci-fi script, I'm breaking it down now and will be shooting the background scenes. The CGI characters, buildings and props will be inserted in post. This project is scheduled to take a year to completion. Oh yeah, the software I'm using is Maya, Motionbuilder (new to it, but I'm learning fast) and Bender to create and animate my characters and buildings, I also use the Adobe suite for post production assembling, layering, sweetening, coloring, filtering and sound mixing.

Blake Senftner

James: I'd go as far as saying that a large portion of professional film and TV is now mixed media. The typical TV show's outdoor scenes use virtual sets. That older TV show "Ugly Betty" has extensive use of virtual sets. Even shows one would not expect, such as "Robot Chicken" use (cheap and purposely obvious) VFX in many sequences.

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