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Johnny
06-13-2003, 10:51 PM
saw 'Finding Nemo' tonight, and in the credits, 'Animation Wrangler' was listed in the credits, as were things like Camera operators...

if I'm not mistaken, Nemo was entirely CG...right?

what was there to wrangle, and in what sense did they mean 'camera operator?'

thanks!

Johnny

eblu
06-14-2003, 09:45 AM
johnny,
many of the support people on Nemo had the job of organising one aspect or another of the production. A "render wrangler" for instance, is a person whose job is to make sure that renders finnish, and to start new renders. I can only assume that an animation wrangler is a person who collects, organises, and distributes, animation files.

I'm surprised that you would ask about camera operator. It suggests that you might be having trouble with your own camera. In 3d, the believability of any given scene is dependent on just how much we take from real life. Pixar being well aware of this, uses the camera techniques established in traditional film making. This might not be apparent when we watch the movies from Pixar, but if they didnt do it, That would be apparent. It would feel unnatural to our eyes. Pixar's camera operator is most likely a Real camera operator, converted into a 3d animator. His duties probably include, setting the camera angle, and movement for each shot. If one person is responsible for this, then you get a cohesion, a sense that one set of eyes is driving what we are looking at during the movie. It illustrates a very important point.

You must study the tools traditionally used to tell stories, if you want to successfully get your message across.

Johnny
06-14-2003, 05:55 PM
Originally posted by eblu
I'm surprised that you would ask about camera operator. It suggests that you might be having trouble with your own camera.

no..to me, it sounded like an 'extra' title...my thought was that you are in on modeling the shot, there's only one way to get that shot..you position your cameras and hit Render..

I fully respect knowing the tools and the traditional camera person's craft, but this is done on the computer.

J

Beamtracer
06-14-2003, 07:03 PM
I've also heard of traditional lighting people becoming 3D lighting specialists. That's all they do. No modeling or anything else.

eblu
06-16-2003, 07:57 AM
Originally posted by Johnny


I fully respect knowing the tools and the traditional camera person's craft, but this is done on the computer.

J

johnny, I dont understand what you are saying here.

Johnny
06-18-2003, 07:24 PM
Originally posted by eblu
johnny, I dont understand what you are saying here.

heh..yeah..that last remark didn't make much sense the way I phrased it..sorry.

what I mean is that, in my (humble) experience, you model, set up lights, point the camera, and render all on the same computer (I realize that movie production takes place on many computers)..

but why would you need a camera guy or an animation wrangler if the scene or sequence is ordered by a director...you just set it up according to their design and let it go?

Or, do you model the scene, and have the camera person sit in and actually point the camera the way he/she likes?

J

eblu
06-19-2003, 05:52 AM
it depends on the situation.
for instance, I know for a fact that they modeled the landscape, and the tree in Bugs life, and the director sat down with a camera guy and did a virtual "location scout". Most directors rely on their cameraman to help figure out how to sell the shot.

I'm not sure how Pixar has the setup, but traditionally the scene is blocked before its animated. All of the camera is done before you try to animate the characters, this saves time in animating and helps the bottom line.... bang > buck.

how can they setup the shot before the characters are animated? especially if the camera is supposed to focus on the characters? glad you asked ;)
there are 2 stages of the character animation process that help. in the first stage, the entire movie is done with little digital maquettes of the characters. they have no bones, cant lip-sync... they simply slide from one position to the next. There is no attempt to make them move naturally, just to the timing of the script. this way 90% of the camera work can be setup at the beginning. The next step which can help is a pose to pose step. you have the completed model, and it moves from scene to scene, again with no life, but getting the Key poses of each scene, perhaps 2-3 changes of the characters pose per shot. Then, the camera can be adjusted to make up for differences that have cropped up since the beginning.

pixar has a huge staff, they can afford to pass files from one animator to another. But for those of us who are an army of 1, we might be doing the whole thing ourselves, but even so, theres a great deal of wisdom in doing things the way pixar does them.

1. script
2. storyboard
3. sound
4. blocking (including camerawork)
5. pose - pose
6. tweak.

dont skip steps (thanx johnny for feeding me questions)

-eblu

Johnny
06-19-2003, 07:33 AM
thanks, eblu, for that crash-course!
pretty informative..also pulls things together..

the idea I had of 3D animation production was more simplistic than this..

J

jdavidbakr
06-19-2003, 12:41 PM
If you haven't seen it, you should rent the Monsters Inc. DVD and watch the Pixar tour. Every 3D animator should watch this tour, it gives a much broader view of 3D production.