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archiea
07-30-2005, 05:02 AM
hey gang....

the folks at Disney are going to have workstations with artist at their booth showing many of the custom toolsets and rigs used in their 3D films. I assume that the characters from their up coming Chicken Little will be featured. As you can see from the trailers for the film, the characters exhibit a squash and stretch quality unique to 3D. A style very unique to Disney.

I highly recommend you 'Wavers as well as the LW team from NT spend some time at the booth. The rigs used on these characters are incredible. Considering the input that the remaining 2D animators provided in the construction of these rigs, there are some innovative and unique approaches used. Also note the tools created for bone selection and manipulation.

This is a rare opportunity that should not be overlooked. Instead of staying at the NT booth seeing the same demos over and over, invest your time to see what some animation guru's came up with. Remember, Walt disney has been at it for over half a century. what other company at Siggraph can make that claim....

enjoy!!!

hrgiger
07-30-2005, 05:35 AM
I'll reserve some judegment until I see one of these disney rigs that you speak of but squash and stretch rigs aren't exactly unique to 3D. Nor are they unique to Lightwave. Just look at Lukasz Pazeras ninja rig(ACS4) which has specific squash and stretch options for the limbs and the body.

harlan
07-30-2005, 02:27 PM
I think he means a squash & stretch style "unique" to 3D - not meaning platform/app specific, but rather "dimensionally" specific.

archiea
07-30-2005, 07:36 PM
I mean in comparison to the styles of pixar and dreamworks (at least shrek). I also mean how they approach animation.. the philosphy. Leave the hubris on the shelf and check out what decades of traditional animation has to offer to 3D.

Surrealist.
07-30-2005, 11:53 PM
I mean in comparison to the styles of pixar and dreamworks (at least shrek). I also mean how they approach animation.. the philosphy. Leave the hubris on the shelf and check out what decades of traditional animation has to offer to 3D.


I Wish I was there to check it out. By the way Timothy Ablee's Character Animation brings much of this toLW 3D. He has lots of traditional animation background, from Disney in fact. From reading the book and what little I know about rigging, I'd say it has more to do with the knowlege of traditional animation and your approach to 3D animation than anything, but I am interested just the same in what kind of rigs they have.

Please give us an update of what you find and if there will be any links or other sources to check this stuff out.

archiea
08-09-2005, 03:16 PM
Not sure how many of you took advantage of this opportunity, especially considering that it was right next to the LW booth. But here are some video links courtesy of aint it cool news...




Whats even better is that alof the footage shows the greyscale models.. so you can really see the range of motion wihtout the distractions of lighting, etc.. ...

http://www.aintitcool.com/display.cgi?id=20944

Surrealist.
08-09-2005, 11:12 PM
Thanks for the video links.

As I said it is the animation technique more than anything. It's how you animate and that takes knowlege of the basics, skill and so on. Below that a good rigging knowledge. Too bad I wasn't there. But if you have anything to share special about rigging, chime in. Sure we could use it.

archiea
08-10-2005, 04:24 PM
Thanks for the video links.

As I said it is the animation technique more than anything. It's how you animate and that takes knowlege of the basics, skill and so on. Below that a good rigging knowledge. Too bad I wasn't there. But if you have anything to share special about rigging, chime in. Sure we could use it.


I think the big thing that they were demostratign was the use of "broken rigs", how things aren't connected like in full time IK. You start to realize how much freedom the animators needed to get the elaticity that they were used to in 2D.

Check out this japanese Chicken little trailer... the US version sucks by comparison. You can see how the rigs that were displayed in siggraph were used...

http://www.apple.com/jp/quicktime/trailers/buenavista/cl_large.html

I was surprised with the lack of interest in this thread.. considering the unique opportunity there was at Siggy. Seeing NT reel, I can almost understand why. There seems to be alot of hard body and prop/set animation that LW is used for... what character stuff there is often uses moCap. While its great seeing weekly animation with the level of quality that LW can give it... its too bad that animation is going by the wayside in mainstream work in favor of "performance capture" . However, I can understand the economics. And the Thorton stuff looked great and really entertaining.

I think this is perhaps why I still prefer hand drawn anime... the interpretive quality of an artist's perception of motion. I'm not talking about visual FX animation.. which usually has to match live action... Just animationa s an artform.. even the stop motion stuff like The Corpse Bride...

Surrealist.
08-10-2005, 06:11 PM
Yea I hear ya. You bring up some great points. I have seen the type of animation that Tmothy Albee is capable of. He has some great samples of traditional animation techniques that come with his book. It shows how a traditional animation background - he worked at Disney - makes all the difference in animating in LW or any other package. I see a lot of 3D animation that is rather stiff - not just in LW. Too bad there is little interest in this.

Thanks for the link. :)

Celshader
08-13-2005, 02:03 AM
I was surprised with the lack of interest in this thread.. considering the unique opportunity there was at Siggy.

I'm still grieving over the end of hand-drawn feature animation (http://www.opinionjournal.com/la/?id=110007081) at Disney. That, more than anything else, was a style "unique to Disney" for decades. No anime, not even the purest magic of Studio Ghibli, could match Disney for hand-drawn character animation. Performances aside, it's tough just finding an anime with genuine lip-synch to the original vocal tracks!

I did see Disney's booth at SIGGRAPH. The Toy Story 3 Rubik's cubes didn't seem like the best way for Disney to restore relations with Pixar, but everything else looked lovely. Chris Sanders' American Dog looks drop-dead gorgeous; the character animation of Wilbur Robinson knocked my socks off.

However, I'm troubled by rumors of executive mismanagement (http://www.pruiksma.com/justdesserts.html#justdesserts) at Disney. Pixar places story first and, as far as I know, its artists run the show, suffering little to no executive interference. That currently gives Pixar an edge over a hamstrung Disney (http://www.animationnation.com/ubb/ultimatebb.php?ubb=get_topic;f=1;t=010508;p=2#0000 51).

If Chris Sanders has the same creative freedom he got on Lilo & Stitch, then I look forwards to seeing American Dog. If the folks on Wilbur Robinson get to tell the story they want to tell their way, then I look forwards to seeing Wilbur Robinson. Otherwise those films may look gorgeous, but they probably won't do any better than also-gorgeous Treasure Planet (http://www.boxofficemojo.com/movies/?id=treasureplanet.htm).

liquidik
08-13-2005, 02:40 AM
mmm...saw some other posts about this famous disney rigs and something like broken rigs (I think it was one of alias masterclasses this year at siggy). Can someone explain it better? Really interested...

Gianmichele

archiea
08-13-2005, 02:39 PM
I'm still grieving over the end of hand-drawn feature animation (http://www.opinionjournal.com/la/?id=110007081) at Disney. That, more than anything else, was a style "unique to Disney" for decades. No anime, not even the purest magic of Studio Ghibli, could match Disney for hand-drawn character animation. Performances aside, it's tough just finding an anime with genuine lip-synch to the original vocal tracks!


Yes, I agree.. Disney took its one greatest asset: the craft of hand drawn animation, and tossed it to join the now cluttered 3D landscape. One where the toolset is now a commodity that empowers nearly everyone with the same technical capability.

Its was interesting to note that during the Lou Grant memorial that was held a few weeks ago, a video was shown containig a documentary on MR. Grant. Remember that he was (I believe) one of the sole surviving Disney employes (yes he was still at Disney!) that was a contemporary of Walts. When asked what Disney would have thought of 3D, lou, without hesitation, said that Disney would have been one of the first to hop on 3D.

However, I think what had long been the problem with Disney films was their content. I had seen recentlly a documentary film done by Sting's wife during the production of "empire of the Sun/emperoro's new grove", and if you can manage to see that film, you will see EXACTLY what is wrong at Disney. As quirky and unusual as Miyazaki's films are, they are his. Even some of the animation is his. I still think that a creative body needs leadership with proper vision, be it Steve jobs, john Lassiter, Walt Disney or Miyazaki. while there are commities, there is still a leadership and an uncomprimised vision.

There was a scene in the documentary where sting, having been commisioned to do several songs for the film, had his music put through the disney committee processs. In this case it was teh director telling sting how he thought this line should be shortened .. basicaly this cutting and pasting... Sting immediately rejected the comments stating that this is music,.. it has a rhythym, and thus can't be cut and pasted around. that this is the song.

For a long time, the creative process had been structured around the limitations of tecchnology. in an example for VFX, you hired artist to produce shots. you trusted them with a certain automity where you relied on their eye and what they produced on their own. Now with digital, you enter this arena of pixel f*cking where any aspect of art can be manipulated. You throw in the male phallis swinging culture of cooporate amercia, and you get the trash heap of turning art into consumable products for the masses. In Japan, Miyazaki is a nation treasure... we have ben afflick and Jlo... or is it jessica simpson now... Point is, the artfrom is reflecting the culture... Precision and craftmanship is being replaced with mass production..

One of Eisner's beef's with animation is that he thought that the computer could do the animation.... that you didn't need artist.. or that it could be shipped overseas... I mean this level of ignorance is deplorable. meanwhile disney marches on aquiring assets in a form of corporate conquest...




I did see Disney's booth at SIGGRAPH. The Toy Story 3 Rubik's cubes didn't seem like the best way for Disney to restore relations with Pixar, but everything else looked lovely. Chris Sanders' American Dog looks drop-dead gorgeous; the character animation of Wilbur Robinson knocked my socks off.

However, I'm troubled by rumors of executive mismanagement (http://www.pruiksma.com/justdesserts.html#justdesserts) at Disney. Pixar places story first and, as far as I know, its artists run the show, suffering little to no executive interference. That currently gives Pixar an edge over a hamstrung Disney (http://www.animationnation.com/ubb/ultimatebb.php?ubb=get_topic;f=1;t=010508;p=2#0000 51).

If Chris Sanders has the same creative freedom he got on Lilo & Stitch, then I look forwards to seeing American Dog. If the folks on Wilbur Robinson get to tell the story they want to tell their way, then I look forwards to seeing Wilbur Robinson. Otherwise those films may look gorgeous, but they probably won't do any better than also-gorgeous Treasure Planet (http://www.boxofficemojo.com/movies/?id=treasureplanet.htm).

I think you will be seeing Disney's unique imprint on 3D animation. Chicken Little is a small, humble underdog story with alot of heart. Its a fun and entertaining film. I think the animation is its technical strong point, with the storybook art direction as well. At disney there has been a strong desire to do looser, nore experimental stuff, but its often reigned in from the exects who see "painterly" as "cheap". Think of how Pixar and Studio Gibli can operate freely in storytelling, not tied down with corporate "synergy" plans, excessive market research, and being crossed referenced with ABC programmming and Themepark plans

Celshader
08-13-2005, 03:03 PM
Remember that [Joe Grant (http://www.animationnation.com/ubb/ultimatebb.php?ubb=get_topic;f=1;t=010209#000007)] was (I believe) one of the sole surviving Disney employes (yes he was still at Disney!) that was a contemporary of Walts. When asked what Disney would have thought of 3D, [Joe], without hesitation, said that Disney would have been one of the first to hop on 3D.

I don't doubt it. The sentiment's echoed by Floyd Norman (http://www.animationnation.com/ubb/ultimatebb.php?ubb=get_topic;f=1;t=010529#000023), who also worked at Disney when Walt still lived. Walt Disney constantly experimented with new technology -- sound, color, Xerography, multiplane, live-action. He would have experimented with 3D, too, and I have no problem with Disney Feature Animation creating 3D films. I still miss the hand-drawn stuff, though, and I doubt that Walt Disney would have thrown out hand-drawn feature animation production just to experiment in 3D.


However, I think what had long been the problem with Disney films was their content. I had seen recently a documentary film done by Sting's wife during the production of "Empire of the Sun/Emperor's New Groove", and if you can manage to see that film, you will see EXACTLY what is wrong at Disney.

You speak of The Sweatbox (http://mag.awn.com/index.php?article_no=1540), and I do want to see that film (along with Dream On, Silly Dreamer (http://www.animated-news.com/archives/00003371.html)). Trouble is, I heard that precious few (http://www.animationnation.com/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=1;t=009866#000000) have access to The Sweatbox. You're one lucky artist!!!

theo
08-13-2005, 04:40 PM
I'm with you folks who feel a certain level of sadness about where 2D-Disney has gone.

While Pixar has it's own evident reality in the form of a much looser expressiveness than any other animation entertainment studio on the planet the entertainment industry as a whole seems to be suffering under a new reality which is that cinematic entertainment is now no longer a predictable cash cow. Which is a good thing in one respect but IMHO is creating an volatile environment in organizations with large stockholder bases, ie Disney, where the creative process is being horribly mutilated by forces that are in denial about where the entertainment business is headed and has been headed for some time.

We all like to blame the CEO, the CFO and everyone under the corporate rung and frankly there is a lot of blame here but the large part of the blame lies on the stockholders and the investment companies that create the value of the stock. If the financial dynamic gets out of whack it creates these hardcore CEO types that are simply responding, often in a draconian way, to pressures that are built into the marketplace to force performance at any cost.

What we see at Disney is the result of MASSIVE and I mean MASSIVE amounts of pension fund money being poured into this corporation with the notion of a set and predictable rate of return.

Sometimes unrealistic expectations can ruin everyone's day as is happening at Disney and other movie houses.