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harlan
07-21-2004, 12:05 PM
I was just viewing some footage of the new Shark Tale film from DreamWorks, and it looks pretty interesting.

The characters look great, but the environments really don't seem to feel as though you're underwater - which is one thing that I liked about Finding Nemo.

You can see what I mean in the trailers - whatcha think? Am I on crack?

They really did manage to convey the natural expressions of the talent with the cg characters quite well. Martin Scorsese's fish...looks just like Martin. Robert De Niro's shark looks like Robert De Niro. Pretty cool.

Should be a good flick, but I'm just getting this odd vibe about it.

Paul_Boland
07-21-2004, 01:00 PM
I agree with you on the point about the locations. They look more like street locations then underwater locations, and like you, it was the underwater effects that really made Finding Nemo so cool to watch.

Of course, we won't know till we see it.

harlan
07-21-2004, 01:25 PM
holy crap, a person from Ireland!!

Slainte!

Paul_Boland
07-21-2004, 01:52 PM
Originally posted by harlan
holy crap, a person from Ireland!!

Slainte!

LOL!!

hrgiger
07-21-2004, 03:20 PM
I'm sure the main target audience (children) won't really be paying much attention to how much better Finding Nemo looked then a Shark's tale...

JamesCurtis
07-21-2004, 03:27 PM
hrgiger,

You're probably right about the water look thing to kids. I just hope the story is interesting. In the clips I saw, the story looks a little like fish version variation on the "Antz" movie done by the same studio several years earlier!! IMO!!

harlan
07-21-2004, 03:28 PM
oh blah blah blah... it still doesn't look like it's underwater. ;)

harlan
07-21-2004, 03:32 PM
whooops...sorry...that was supposed to appear under HR's post! ;)

I know it's for kids and all, but so was Finding Nemo - and it looked like it was underwater. One would think that would be important, being that the friggin movie takes place UNDERWATER!!! ;)

The story line blatantly hits on some ethnic traits (for lack of a better term) - which I find irritating, not that I have a problem with ethnicity...it's just that it comes across poorly. You know, kind of like a person who doesnt normally cuss, but they try cussing to sound cool. If that makes any sense.

c'ya

lonestar1
07-21-2004, 04:07 PM
Originally posted by harlan
I know it's for kids and all, but so was Finding Nemo - and it looked like it was underwater. One would think that would be important, being that the friggin movie takes place UNDERWATER!!! ;)


I get very tired of Hollywood using "it's for kids" to justify doing poor work. Kids are a lot smarter than Hollywood gives them credit for.

faulknermano
07-22-2004, 03:25 AM
Originally posted by lonestar1
Kids are a lot smarter than Hollywood

indeed :D LOL!

hrgiger
07-22-2004, 04:59 AM
Originally posted by harlan
The story line blatantly hits on some ethnic traits (for lack of a better term) - which I find irritating, not that I have a problem with ethnicity...it's just that it comes across poorly. You know, kind of like a person who doesnt normally cuss, but they try cussing to sound cool. If that makes any sense.

c'ya

Yeah, I hate it when Will Smith acts all black and stuff. You better blast pixar too while you're at it with Samual Jackson's character 'Frozone' in the incredibles. He's acting all black too. But then hey, at least they have impressive backgrounds....:)

As far as the backgrounds and animation in a shark's tale, I doubt the target audience is going to be sitting around in the sandbox at the playground talking abut the quality of the CG visuals. Kids will love it, grow up thinking they loved it, and then watch it 20 years from now when they get all nostalgic for their lost childhood as their hairlines are receding and realize the CG wasn't as good as they remember it. Just like we all thought that Clash of the titans had good effects. (It so didn't) They would have been more impressive if someone had painted medusa's head on a paper place, taped it to a broomstick and bobbed it up and down to simulate her walking.

retinajoy
07-22-2004, 05:08 AM
Originally posted by hrgiger
Clash of the titans had good effects. (It so didn't) They would have been more impressive if someone had painted medusa's head on a paper place, taped it to a broomstick and bobbed it up and down to simulate her walking.

I loved that movie when I was a kid. The mixing of the stop motion Cailbos with the actor version looks terrible now. I still think Pegasus and the Medusa are good animation.

As for Shark Tale, if the story is good and entertaining then I am not going to be bothered with the water imperfections. However, Will Smith seems to be playing his same old acting style which I am beginning to find repetitive and annoying.

sadkkf
07-22-2004, 08:31 PM
This reminds me of the Antz/A Bug's Life comparison. Crits hated A Bug's Life because those bugs were missing some legs and weren't blue and green and whatever other colors they used. Kids still loved it.

Nemo is a great film. It holds to the Pixar ideal of great storytelling as well as great animation. Some of the storytelling subtext will be over the kids' heads (and probably over a lot of their parents' heads as well :) )

For some reason there's a lot of flak about Shark Tale because of alleged stereotyping. Does anybody get this? I understand the parallels with certain ethnicities, but this is not the first time this has happened.

cresshead
07-23-2004, 02:17 PM
i personally find the idea that we have "fish on land"..and in an air filled enviroment rather than a underwater env quite irritating and just seeing the trailers so far has pushed this film to a "rent it on dvd" when it comes out rather than a go to the cinema trip..i think that they may have gone for a "dry land look" so they could get away from "underwater lighting" and fog/particle effects that are needed to make an underwater scene convincing for an audience [young or old]..though even a disney cartoon [not pixar 3d] wold still convey the "look" of underwater..i believe thay are taking a risk on this film by it's look development..i'm sure some adults will not take the kids to flicks because it looks to be a cheap version of finding nemo..

steve g

hrgiger
07-23-2004, 10:01 PM
Originally posted by cresshead
..i'm sure some adults will not take the kids to flicks because it looks to be a cheap version of finding nemo..

steve g

And I'm sure that more parents will take them to see it just because it might keep the kids from screaming and yelling for a few hours.

dwburman
07-23-2004, 10:30 PM
My thoughts on Sharks Tale.

Most likely it isn't aimed at the same little kid market that Finding Nemo targeted. PDI/Dreamworks 3D films (and most of their 2D) have always been a bit eadgier, and darker than Pixars. Antz wasn't as cutesy as a Bug's Life. A Bug's Life did have a class war thing going on but there wasn't the threat of millions of characters drowning.

It's not trying to be as realistic as Nemo. It probably won't be as rich and definately not as colorful. Until you guys were talking about it I never noticed the "empty" environment. They're definitely going for a different look. As usual, it all hangs on story and entertainment value.

There is a fair amount of stereotyping in this. When taken to an extreme or used to marginalize people groups that is bad. However people in different places act and talk differently. I don't think it's bad to recognize that fact and use humorously. Although I can see how id could get old or offensive if down poorly. Maybe it's a fine line. Maybe we're all too sensitive, or maybe we aren't sensitive enough. mmmmm... doublespeak.

It does seem like a rip off of Nemo, but only because it is underwater and about fish. The story looks completely different. Still it feels like a "me too" thing.

archiea
07-24-2004, 04:45 PM
Originally posted by hrgiger
Yeah, I hate it when Will Smith acts all black and stuff. You better blast pixar too while you're at it with Samual Jackson's character 'Frozone' in the incredibles. He's acting all black too. But then hey, at least they have impressive backgrounds....:)

Actually I love samuel jackson in the incredibles... black acting or therwise... he's just a cool cat. I think the difference is that Will's character makes no sense as you don't associate the species of fish having the characteristics that he protrays. At least not in the way Ellen Degenerous or William Dafoe portrayed their characters in nemo...or even the concept of the turtles being stoned surfer dudes....


meanwhile Samuels character IS black in the incredibles, and overall is a better performer... I think thats part of successful animation...casting good character voices that the animators can play with.. instead, many of the studios think that if they cast Brad Pit or Jlo to do character voices, something they are not trained to do, that some how it will draw people.... and that haasn;t worked...

i think thats the problem with shark slayer... an eneamble cast does not make an animated film great.....


Originally posted by hrgiger


As far as the backgrounds and animation in a shark's tale, I doubt the target audience is going to be sitting around in the sandbox at the playground talking abut the quality of the CG visuals. Kids will love it, grow up thinking they loved it, and then watch it 20 years from now when they get all nostalgic for their lost childhood as their hairlines are receding and realize the CG wasn't as good as they remember it. Just like we all thought that Clash of the titans had good effects. (It so didn't) They would have been more impressive if someone had painted medusa's head on a paper place, taped it to a broomstick and bobbed it up and down to simulate her walking.

i think Clash of the Titans had GREAT FX, haveing just revisited it... i.e. can you animate hand puppets like that? Can you even animate them with that much expression in LW?

It amazes me again and again that the technology used in viz effects are so often used as a yardstick to measure as to whether the FX are good or not.

Go see Clash again in the theater if you can.... I was lucky enough to in a recent harryhouasen tribute. When you see these FX in the context of their stories they work great. If you are going to just prop them up next to LOTR, then thats just plain unfair....

hrgiger
07-24-2004, 08:37 PM
Originally posted by archiea
i think Clash of the Titans had GREAT FX, haveing just revisited it... i.e. can you animate hand puppets like that? Can you even animate them with that much expression in LW?

Probably not, but maybe. But then again, I've had no training in that area nor do I have a production team or the funds necessary to put together a full feature film.
I don't own Skywalker Ranch or have movies like Howard the Duck behind me, but that doesn't stop me for faulting George Lucas for dropping the ball and tripping over it on the new Star Wars movies. Just because I'm not a filmmaker doesn't mean I can't see what and what does not look fake.



Go see Clash again in the theater if you can.... I was lucky enough to in a recent harryhouasen tribute. When you see these FX in the context of their stories they work great. If you are going to just prop them up next to LOTR, then thats just plain unfair....

I wasn't propping them up next to Lord of the Rings at all. Because frankly, they couldn't do the things that we can do today. When I saw Clash of the Titans years ago, I thought it had great FX. But looking back now, I know it didn't. Saying that something was revolutionary at the time doesn't mean it will always hold up. In 10 more years, we're going to see just how fake LOTR looked.

archiea
07-27-2004, 02:05 AM
thats like saying a painting looks fake...or s sculpture... thats, in essence, is my point. these films no longer can be seen as an artfrom, just as a yardstick for our ability to simulate reality....so they are doomed from the start.. why? because they ARE fake....

thats the problem with hollywood today... they keep pushing for the next big thing.... Theaters get louder, "cinematography" more implausable (i.e the car ambush scene in iRobot), and production becomes more post heavy...where the production stage is just "data aquisition" and not principle Photography anymore.

And I feel this way both in the theatre and at work.

As an example, working on Day after Tomorrow...it was just makeitrealmakeitrealmakeitreal, alot of sim work.... much of it understanable, but the artfrom, especially in compositing, was lost.... The first thing the sups did when they would look at your shot is zoom in to the pixel level... rarely even just looking at the broad strokes first. Don't get me wrong, the film, IMHO, looked beautiful, and thankfully, more painterly ( a hated word in some FX facilities) than I had expected. though i'm not sure if this was out of design, more of reworking the fx so many times over. And in that films, alot was reworked overandoverandoverandoverandover again....

My next project, ironically was a live action movie where the director decided to use stop motion and models for part of the movie that takes place under water. this was a 180 degree flip for me... he was far more open to experimentation in the look and he had a more playful approach. To you, these sequences would look "fake" because they lack motion blur and have the staccato look of stop motion. Meanwhile, the style of the film would have been lost to you on account of, well, a techicality...literally.

That right there is the problem....

another example is motion capture... as real as its souces is, it looks fake on screen.. because as soon as you enter the realm of motion capture, you lose the subjectivity of animation...or the intepretative nature of animation, and you are just watching a sim... then your brain kicks into "how real/fake does it look".

The classic example is Final fantasy... you see it and you start disecting the motion, timing, etc... there is no soul to it.. heck the people even look dead.... Then theres Gollum... when i first saw the two towers, my first impression was...this looks CG, the fall off of the highlights looked off, the shadows didn't match the plates in just a couple of places, not many, and his contact with the ground/BG was off in a few places... that took like 5 mins to decipher. then i saw the "performance" and I didn't care about all that technical s h i t . I was sold. This bag of nurbs was acting. Then came ROTK, where regarding the technical, it had caught up with the "acting"...it was flawless.... but it didn;t matter...it was just icing on the cake... not a yardstick....

In a way, whats lost in movies is the quality you have when you go into a theater to see a play... I mean..its all fiberglass and cardboard..it looks fake as hell, but thats not the point... Seeing lion king, I love seeing how creative their interpretion of a charging herd, or a flock of birds flutterting on poles.. I find that infinitly more facinating these days than how they used yet another ai routine to do crowds in Troy. Not to take anything away from the folks at framestore, it was work to be proud of. its just gotten so overly complicated, almost by design... Perhaps its just nostalgia, because I remember falling in love with FX when hearing that the tunnels in the mine car chase in indiana jones 2 was done with just painted tinfoil. Today, it would be an army of shader writers, modelers, tex painters, and TD's, staring at a section of the tunnel in a turntable overandoverandoverandover again with sups and leads and vfx sups and producers over analyzing the thing overandoverandoverandover again. Meanwhile its just going to be seen as a streaking backgrond on screen for 3 seconds...

I swear, its like Sisyphus, the Corinth King, doomed to eternally rolling a heavy stone up a hill in Hades all day only to have it roll down again as it nears the top....

overandoverandoverandover again....

All for the sake of being "real"... yes it produces some amazing results, but what ever happened to imagination. Its reason like this what i can watch the shorts "F8" or "the Cathedral" all day, but not care to see Final fantasy again. And when I see LOTR again... thats gollum the character... I don;t see shaders or textures or sims... just gollum.. (much thanks to the 2D roto/paint dept for "completing" the illusion for 3D).

lastly, being an anime fan, I see the same mindset being used to classify Anime as being 'lower quality" to US animation... if only for the fact that they animate on three's or fives... as opposed to ones or twos... meanwhile, what is completely lost is that the souce for anime is mange(comics), and thus, their animation style is more by design...and economics...but aslo design. the only ameican production that i;v seen close to having its own style was MTV's "The Maxx"... A hugely underrated show....

Enough of my bellyaching... go rent some Ranklin Bass Christmass specials to help recalibrate your imagination!!!!

jamesl
07-27-2004, 04:45 PM
archiea- amen. I feel your pain!

j

Steve McRae
07-27-2004, 05:53 PM
off topic - Harlan, when I see your avatar it brings a smile to my face - it reminds me of Will Ferrell smashing one on SNL.

"I gotta have more cowbell!!" heh heh

http://www.blueoystercult.com/Media/Vc-SNLclip.html

archiea
07-27-2004, 10:47 PM
Found this quote from a link in another thread....

by Bill Kroyer


"That's a problem you always have. The idea is to do things that are cheap and look good, not things that are expensive which nobody notices. To me, that's a cardinal rule of filmmaking."
....

"The computer world is a Cartesian world which exists in an XYZ place, which seeks to create an artificial three-dimensional environment. It tries to reproduce real dimensionality, physical space and shape.

That's valid. Yet, in my opinion, much of the magic of our art comes from illusion. That's what makes people's heads get connected. What goes on the screen may make no logical sense, but it conveys very clear emotional feelings which can be really funny, poignant and beautiful. As a matter of fact, the less sense it makes and the more emotional it gets is one way to judge how great it is.

Probably the most famous thing in animation is Mickey Mouse's ears. You can't do Mickey's ears in 3-D. You look at those outfits at Disneyland and they're not right. Mickey's ears are supposed to crawl around, that's why they are cool. It's the art of the cheat, which is essential to the greatness of animation.

Rotoscoping and live-action reference, for instance, are OK as reference. But it's not OK if it starts taking away the animators' initial vision of how to play a scene. An animator starts with a blank piece paper on which he can create anything, including somebody with both eyes one side of his head-which is perfectly OK. Live-action reference has very limited uses. The same goes for motion capture, which is essentially the same thing.

I prefer motion to be stylized, because the essential part of the art is movement. You've heard the saying that great animation is not drawings that move, but movement that is drawn. What you are doing is creating drawings that, when looked at individually, may look bad or illogical. But when looked at all at once, they are magical. That's our art form. That's what we do that nobody else can.

So, if you're going to work in computer animation, stylize it; bring exaggeration and caricature to it. If you do that, then you are taking it to a place that nobody else can. How many artists get to do that?"

Here's the link....

http://www.tron-sector.com/articles/article.aspx?ID=218