Mocap + dynamics= zero animation skill? GI = zero lighting skill?

I see a trend developing in teh world of 3d.... and it has to do with taking the power away from the user and giving it to the algorithms... I see people calling themselves "animators"... yet to do a ball bounce animation they are relying on dynamics simulations...soft bodies sims for squash and stretch?! 0_0 ... and it seems everywhere I look people are rendering with GI...

Now mocap, dynamics sims and GI allow people with less skill or knowhow to complete a given task... be it a character animation or a "realistic" render... so one hand they be empowering technologies BUT on the other hand if the user never learns how to do said tasks the manual way then all the power lies with the technology.... In a world where people lack in teh patience and want to do MORE FASTER BIGGER MORE MONEY BE FAMOUS... will they ever stop and go back and learn how to do thangs by TEH HUMAN HAND?! Probably not... so in the end they will simply be a bunch of interchangeable drones.... drones who know how to press buttons... they all press the same buttons and they all get similar results... that makes neither them nor the work they put out unique or scarce...just begging for obsolescence...

Maybe its because the places I hang out online are mostly design oriented I r seeing this... but it is a developing trend... hmmm will there be a time in the future where only like animation studios actually keyframe animate by hand and have actual lighting artists light scenes? because all the up and coming "amateurs" became button pressers? I was watching some short 3d film collection with a non animator friend and he couldn't tell the difference between mocapped 3d animation and keyframed... so if the audience doesn't know/care will the new artists?

Yeh keyframe animating takes longer BUT you introduce variety, a personal style, individuality... you can do a lot more than "realistic"... there are so many more variables at play it makes it much more difficult BUT its much more rewarding...

Dynamics sims are great for things that are either too complex to do by hand or there are too many things to do by hand... BUT I see people using it for everything... things you could easily keyframe animate are done by sims by many... probably because they never learned how BUT now that they have the algorithms that can call themselves an "animator" and get paid by clients to animate...

GI.... GI is great for archviz stuff because its supposed to be an actual real world place... BUT for everything else I'll be a macho lightER person and say GI IS FOR WIMPS! Where is the artistry in GI? I pressed a button... its "realistic".... tite.... I laugh to myself when I see all these people having render problems trying to network render GI or waiting days for it to pre-calculate....haha learn how to light it on your own button pusher! I mean for me lighting IS HUGE you can tell stories with lighting! So its like pressing a button and letting some software generate your script for you... at least thats how it is to me....

Where I think using procedural stuff/sims is great.... for secondary animation... keyframe animated monster has weird tentacles on his face? throw some cluster objects or jiggle deformers on those and let the software wiggle them for you... Things to complex to practically hand animate.... 200 objects crashing to the floor and colliding with each other... run a great... For what I do... creating fantasy worlds with a strong mood... I have no use at all for GI.... Mocap? Hmmmm.... I can see some non traditional uses for it... If I ever got a hold of a mocap suit I would make the most disturbing animations ever because I would use it in the WRONG way... and thats what being an artist is about... USING THE TOOL not BEING USED BY THE TOOL... putting YOUR OWN stamp on the work and not vice versa... How many recent animations have you seen and gone... Oh yeh Fume FX.... Oh yeh Modynamics...Oh yeh Endorphin...Oh yeh GI... Shouldn't you be saying "Oh yeh "artist name"!" instead of "Oh yeh "technology"!"

I mean you can let the tech do everything for you BUT remember a day will come when the tech will be able to press its own buttons.... then what will you be good for?


  1. wait..wait..wait
    I forgot to mention an important thing^ ^
    while I'm drawing here with a black marker "The outer space"
    and putting on hedgehogs gas masks
    Yesterday I've put a shitty job that just laid on my desktop...and I put it in some social network for fun...
    it even not finished..I was put it..if honestly I wont ever show that work to any artist^ ^I dont want they threw in me potatoes^ ^...but I wanted to make an experiment..
    Peeps began to vote SO MUCH more than for the professional photos ..0_0 o_0000
    for my drawing..for my shitty drawing that I made for 30 min 0_0
    spend their money for votings..0_0
    come on page watching..and watching
    usual people..
    I thought like they like Avatar o_0 but seems like not
    but it was just finished..not HQ.. not HD..not..not..not
    they suprised me0_0
    I was actually schocked of such interest..and I deleted it..
    so what I want to say after such experiment..I think people are tired
    of HD photorealistic works..
    I want yeh the MEADE DS-2080 AT to see another Galaxy really I think if somebody just see the Moon, just has 2 laptops or just 2 hedgehogs instead of Michael Pitt and Brady Corbet^ ^..we'll be alive:P

    I think that the artistic world
    that I've met MTF is more cruel
    that just usual people

  2. The only thing I have found I really like about GI is how the light gets reflected from surfaces. So people mainly use it to get realism in their videos huh? I never really knew what it was exactly used for. I just heard about it and started playing around with the feature.

    And it seemed pretty worthless combined with toon shading :/

  3. Couldn't agree more. Everything in CG right now seems to be all about learning and using the latest and greatest tools, and if for whatever reason you didn't use them, then you're not "good" or "professional".

    I went to see a bunch of graduate animations from a highly regarded animation school, and they all used the same techniques, style, format, punchlines... basically watching a collection of Disney shorts over and over again.

    I swear almost all new CG artists just think about what techniques and tools could they use to show off to get a job instead of actually doing something interesting or unique.

  4. yes I make almost all things by hands^ ^
    and u know where I got the idea about 100 chinese guys in comp^ ^
    when I told two artists what I have a vision of future about.. they've said:
    "so maybe..
    but still ll be industry where people are cheaper than machines..
    therefore factories and your corporations,that u' re taking about, ll still use people..."
    honestly looking at the Chinese Olympics^ ^
    so maybe
    but Its not for a long time
    ^ ^..believe me, people..
    before we all ll connect..U_U

  5. I think using GI as _part_ of your lighting solution is a good idea. Having a good ambient occlusion layer can add a lot to an image. But the problem I see is that a lot of newer artists are trying to use GI as their ONLY lighting solution. Then they claim that it is better than all other lighting approaches because it is the closest to "reality."

    First of all, in film we aren't going for reality. We are going for a look that matches our subject matter and artistic direction. Algorithms aren't very art-directable. So the "reality" argument falls flat.

    Secondly, GI takes a crapload of time to render, and usually requires your entire scene to be present in memory. This is no way to get things done quickly, and the resulting render times would kill an indie production.

    Thirdly, on live action sets the DP and lighting crew go to great lengths to control reflections, spill, intensities, etc. of the light. If you use a naive GI solution, you are giving up the artistic control that real live DPs fight so hard to get.

    On CGTalk we've been fighting against the people who hold the opinion of "you should do everything in your renderer in one pass or you are not a real artist and don't understand how to use your render" which, IMHO, is rather crap. Assemble whatever layers you need, manipulate them in a compositing package however you need, and generate whatever final image you need. How you got there isn't important; what you have at the end of your efforts is what matters. If you render everything in one pass simply for speed purposes that is one thing; then it is part of your workflow and is there for a reason. But doing things for the bragging rights of "I am Render King Dood" is just dumb.


  6. Thanks for your comments!

    @Michael Oh yeh I forgot about AO ^ ^ Yeh it certainly does add a lot to manually lit scenes... I would have been using it raw in all my shots but it doubled and tripled render time so I baked it into certain objects instead... and yeh I was ranting about the people who use GI and thats it as it takes the artistry away.

    @16 bit Hmmm I don't know if you can fit 100 guys in this but seems like a good cheap render box ^ ^

    @Grant Yeh I've seen a ton of those clone shorts too... its like they made the shorts to showcase the tools and techniques instead of they own ideas or individual style or message.

    @Drainage Well yeh its a quick way to get a "realistic" render without having to do much except turn it on and hit render.

  7. Feel the same when I see a lot of demoreels with spheres falling and colliding, liquids splashing around, drapes flowing and lot of hair moving for no particular reason. Mocap and 3d is the next "thing" so we are going to see a lot of that.
    GI is a killer for rendering time, I still have n't found a nice solution for lighting.

  8. So do they just use GI without even setting up the lighting before hand?

    So far whenever I used GI, I had already dropped a few spot lights in and had already tested the render without GI to make sure it all looked good, granted I mainly did that to see the amount of difference between with GI and Without GI but that's funny if they wouldn't even go to the trouble of lighting the scene at all.

    The way I see it, if you're gonna use GI then it needs to just add to what you've already done, not do it all for you.

  9. fuck thing liek this!
    POSER 8

    if shit like this keeps popping up pretty soon everyone will be one man animation teams
    same old fucked up shit that required a click of the mouse not even the brain process to make animations

    I'd die in a million different ways from a million different fears each progressively getting worse before i could even sink low enough to having machines produce my animations for me

    lazziness is what it all is
    "do the shit for meh while i take the benefits kthnxbai"

    no artistic skills
    it makes happy reyori run out of happy
    i'm tired of seeing the same demo reels the same movies the same shit AGAIN and AGAIn and AGAIN
    and then a fourth time in wich i close my eyes and wander off the the corneres of my mind where i hide away building some contraption or something i don't know it's hard to see in there

  10. Honestly I love Mocap! I love technology! At the end of the day I'm not a modeler, animator, rigger, lighter or any of those things.

    In fact some of those things I suck at doing and/or hate doing!

    At the end of the day I'm a storyteller. I want to tell a story, and tell as many stories as possible. That is my art. If Mocap will make it look better then so be it. If GI will make it look spicier then so be it.

    My characters are weird enough, my stories are differant enough, I'm okay with a few canned goods.

    I associate MOCAP with using a digital puppet. I'm a puppetmaster vs an animator. It reminds me of the old Muppet shows. Yes you are somewhat limited in what you can do but that did not make them emote any less. I mean for the most part a muppet closed or opened it's mouth and moved up, down, side, side but no flips or anything super special but I loved the old school muppet shows.

    I also love the randomness of Endorphin. Then I take those and combine them with traditional keyframe animation.

    I'm down for any and all tools as long as it helps me tell my stories.

    P.S. I have a mocap suit if anyone needs it. :) FREE! For you guys!

  11. I like doing as much in camera vs doing it in passes just for speed purposes. I'm not a great compositor.

  12. @Shawn

    Well if your not a "modeler, animator, rigger, lighter or any of those things" or a compositor... then how are you going to make animated films etc on your own without a lot of money to pay those people? odds are you are not.... AND if you do not throw anything new or unique into the ring in regard to aesthetics to set you apart and survive.... everything depends totally on the narrative so it better be flawless, original and amazing or else you'll just be creating mediocre yawn fests... yes it might get made WITH THE $$$ but in this new world will an audience want to see it? Odds are they are not.... So you should have saved the money you spent on a mocap kit and learned some skills yourself because what you want to do is no different than what the NO SKILL dinosaurs of old do who are fading away... "WHAT I REALLY WANT TO DO IS DIRECT...IF SOMEONE WOULD JUST DO EVERYTHING FOR ME"

    You can "love" technology all you want... BUT what has the technology done FOR YOU? Care to share any films this technology has made for you? Last time I checked simply loving evolving technology while not learning new skills yourself just makes for another consumer....

    At the end of the day you are what you create... you say at the end of the day you are a storyteller? Well then tell your stories! If you are PASSIONATE you will be FORCED to learn the required skills to tell your stories... if you can't even muster up enough courage and determination to realize your stories they probably aren't worth telling my friend.

  13. Sorry...^ ^

    @M. thank you ..I liked your special offer^_^ yeh you've got me right I have problems with render speed^ ^

    @M. I cannot not to love u..I wont anymore I swear^ ^if u dont like..but just I was sitting here..
    and I've seen how fast u've answered to Shawn..
    u re just very passion^ ^
    one minute and the sword is taken out..
    now looking at you I see myself^ ^
    and for real I think Shawn is laughing here^ ^
    u know why? from the phrase:" I have a mocap suit if anyone needs it. :) <---..."
    u see the smile here? I see he is laughing^ ^
    @M. /@ Shawn
    M. If Shawn just wants to make NOT CINEMA not films but just TELEVISION for consumers
    so why dont u let him?^ ^ Ok dont tell I know why^ ^

    but Shawn- this message from me to u:
    but just u're not an artist or filmmaker
    Storyteller-ITS GREAT! Talking+ technologies its only what u need on televison.
    and audience like stories!
    YOU will make your career^ ^
    we'll be back through 5 min
    Dont switch our TV Channel
    and now ads from our sponsors

    @ and yeh Shawn
    aww..Im lookin at you and I see one creature that I know very well
    ^ ^...U WANT TO BUY US?0_0^ ^..aww u'll be just new religion..
    u dont know us..learn...than>we are really here strange^ ^..we are too expensive for you..

  14. its the same when photography took over the job of painters. and thats when painters realized that its not just about trying to make paintings as good as photos. So in the end there were people who like to see brush strokes and the hand of the painter. But in animation you can use all of them you can use paintings and photographs and recorded parts and sculptures. and those preset animation programmes are like using preset filters on anything. I learned from my film tutor that analog solutions are the best, for adding effects.
    you're doing great man if you finish the movie I'm gonna tell everyone!!!!

  15. It doesn't matter what the new technology is, somebody's going to yell against it. This kind of thing happened even when the printing press first came out.

    Personally I really hope that Shawn does make a great film, based on a great story. We're waiting!

    I intend to use lots of mocap myself - and then do tweaking on top of it where it seems needed.
    Maybe it's not in the technology, but in knowing what looks good and what doesn't. If you just plop a mocap in and go" eh, that's good enough," that won't really be good enough. But if you use both technology and your own skills together, maybe you have the best of both worlds. Just a thought!

  16. The use of the printing press isn't directly applicable to this argument... this makes the situation clearer....

    Now imagine someone gets a hold of a printing press YET lacks an advanced vocabulary... the ability to use words for meanings other than theY literal meaning...lacking in prose...lacks everything except the ability to form complete sentences... sure there will be words forming sentences that are legible and they will be printed straight and in order..... but will people want to read what comes out of that printing press when EVERYONE now has one and there are leaflets everywhere?

  17. @M

    I am not by nature any of those things (modeler, rigger, lighter, animator).

    However that is where technology kind of turns me into a sort of cyborg man-thing.

    In today's world I'm still not a big animator but can get by even better than back then especially using rotoscoping but now I can make it look a little better with MOCAP. I use the cheaper optitrack system.

    As far as modelling is concerned I can model as good as I can draw. I'm not the greatest drawer or modeler but then again I get by a little on that one as well.
    But thanks to Zbrush and a little bit of Wings 3d I can model way better than I could before and much more quickly! Other tools like Sketchup also help build what I need quickly.

    Vue has allowed me to get good lighting and backgrounds as well. I used image based lighting in some instances and works really good to give it a natural feel.

    I see technology as a way of helping me accomplish storytelling. Doing things I could not normally do on my own!

    Like I said "A bionic man thing" The Bionic man could do more with his technology but you still need the heart and mind to make him a hero. I feel the same way about my technology. If I didn't have technology I'd simply go back to my old picture book stories I made as a kid.

    And I have learned alot about all those things I don't usually do naturally.

    Would I want to buy some minions to do my bidding? Heck yeah! It would be nice to have a budget and pay minions better skilled than I! Who wouldn't? That would be awesome! Do I ultimately need minions or Hollywood funding? Nope! I'm still doing it all by myself. I don't even think I'd want it given the horror stories of their rape and pillage of intellectual properties.

    If I could afford some cogs that would rock! They want to be cogs and I could use some cogs but at t his point I have to get it done so have to be my own perpetual machine. Technology however let's me have a few more powers I didn't have before!

    Oh by the way I like Mocap for my film because I use unrealistic proportions and I think it gives it a funny weird off look to it to have funky characters move realistically instead of like a cartoon.

    Being somewhat limited in my modeling I use Poser alot for human characters especially for hot chicks and I morph the mess out of them. But for the non-human monster characters and creatures I model them myself. It helped me create my "TOYBOX" style and look. Remember when you were a kid and played with your toys. I had He-Man characters fighting GI Joes, Transformers, GhostBusters and those big rubber dinosaur toys with some Star Wars toys, Carebears and Smurfs! I put them all in the same universe and in the same stories while playing with them. That is kind of how my first movie will look! I will be sharing more here soon!

    Here is one of the characters

    So don't worry I have learned a few things here and there and used tools to make it a little easier.

  18. P.S.
    Here is some more of my modeling skillz! Now if only I could rig them, booo!

    I did have to take a queue from you guys though. I spent so much time looking for the right style and learning various skills and hoping to find funding. I said forget it and just jumped in and started making my online animated series. I got tired of trying to get a certain look done and just got creative with my limitations. I turned my limitations into a look!

  19. Now the way I see it, Creating animation or art or whatever is about using the tools you have to recreate the things you've thought up in your mind.

    That's where the tools come in, you put all of your self into your work, you use the tools to re-create what you've already thought up,

    Now the main problem with letting the tools do all the work is that they probably won't have the same vision as you...(Of course they won't) so what they make won't be from the heart or someone, it will be an automated creation, devoid of life. Worthless. So it's up to YOU to be in control of the tools, don't let the tools have all the control.

    Now I'm not here to say that mocap is the ultimate sin or that it's a heavenly blessing, What I'm saying is with whatever tools you have, YOU USE THE TOOLS, DON'T LET THE TOOLS USE YOU!

    YOU are the CREATOR
    YOU are the one with YOUR OWN MIND
    The machines are nothing but tools to be slaves to the CREATOR.

    My personal preference so far is to mainly work on stuff my self and use any of that extra stuff as secondary, kinda like the old game shows where you had to answer the questions on your own but you had that lifeline in case you got stuck.
    I want to be in control of as much as possible but at the same time, I don't want the technology to get in my way, so for instance if I can't hand animate water at all and that's trying to keep me from making my story, then I may direct the machine to do it for me.

    Ofcourse my thoughts will probably only take you as far as I've gotten so in Mdot's own film skool words: "Focus on your ideas cause as long as you have ideas you can always gain the technical skills in which to draw, model, render, whatever, OR you can find people to do that for you." (End quote)

    It sounds to me like mocap/Gi can fill that (people to do that for you) position virtually.

    I want to see amazing new stories, new ideas and new visions,
    No matter what tools are used, the heart of the movie better be awesome cause I'm not gonna give a crap how good it looks If it's empty. Avatar looked so great technically but that didn't keep me from thinking it was crap. Casshern Sins was cooler then avatar and did it look as technically great as Avatar? Nope.

  20. Actually we do have this situation right now - there *are* leaflets everywhere, but now they are in electronic form, AND most people that take it up are able to write at a somewhat acceptable level. Writing is now the most democrat of all arts - all it takes is a computer, internet access, and talent.

    Just how advanced does the vocabulary have to be, in order to have something to say? Does one have to have to have the wherewithal to write "Gravity's Rainbow," a book that basically only scholars can read?

    A lot of people don't like it, but mocap is here to stay. Taking Avatar as an example again, even though the story sucked, the animation was fine, imo, and that is independent of whether or not the story was any good.

    They used mocap, and they also employed animators who knew what they were doing. They combined the best of both.

    I saw the short docu on the making of Avatar, and I saw that freaky camera that Cameron used, that let him see the actors in the viewfinder as if they were the animated characters, and I knew there was no going back. (I'm not wanting one of those cameras myself, I'm just saying it shows that mocap is making inroads, and is not going to go away).

    I'm all in favor of developing skill, but I'm also in favor of saving time where possible. The balance has to be found between the two, and that is an individual thing. The talent can be in keyframing everything by hand, but it can also be in knowing what looks good and what doesn't, and being able to put the individual touch on what doesn't look good.

  21. huh: great comments! huh!-haha

    crutch enables a disabled person feel like a complete human being

    Cameron -invalid


    but now the crutches are advanced
    of advanced materials-COOL

    beware to not to become a cyborg at all

  22. yes the leaflets are everywhere ^ ^ and most ALL of them bore me to death with they mediocrity and sameness... In the end all that matters is the final output... the finished film... new tech allows more people to create finished animated films just as miniDV cams and imovie did for live action...

    So yeh used as a CRUTCH=FAIL Used as a TOOL=WIN

    I believe the variable that will decide whether people to live or die in this new world is PASSION... you have it, you grind and learn what you need to learn to tell your stories and do it in such a way that it stands out from the rest AND GET IT SEEN OR you don't have passion and you create mediocre demo reels that languish on the video site wastelands forever... Of course you DON'T NEED PASSION if you have tons of $$$$ and connections as thats how its been done for a long time.... but that time is coming to and end and let only the strong artists survive...

    If someone comes to me and tells me what they want to do and they have no passion I listen for about 1/2 a second... because its just another wannabe voice with nothing to show but a handful of excuses and half done mediocre work... and ANYONE else thats not close friends or family is probably going to see they stuff the same way... IF your not willing to STRUGGLE ,FIGHT, SCRATCH AND CLAW for your work why should you expect anyone to spend they time watching it let alone buying it?

  23. OMG
    m Dot i can't thank you enough for recommending Linchpin
    i got it on my Birfing Day
    and i`m not very far into it yet as i am a bit of a slow book reader (not cause my mind`s slow just cause.... well i dont know i get distracted alot when reading)
    But it`s already made me see so many things i never did before ^_^
    thank you!

  24. reading again and again here comments I cant stop laughing
    please forgive me all..but its funny..I like this post very..VERY VERY MUCH
    I want to print it and hang on the wall
    Shawn.."realistically"? for me SinisteRRR looks realistically..
    u know why? I saw him.. and I had a feeling like I know that" guy"
    ^ ^
    "powers I didn't have before"? and now u have? Muhahaha
    powers Muhahaha
    "hot chicks"in Poser
    "pay minions better skilled than I"- in "Tekkon Kinkreet" someone had killas too^ ^
    you know Shawn u looks realistically
    lookin' at you I believe in the "End of the world" haha

  25. to Shawn:
    "They are huge, with curved eyebrows and they ll come here robots-killas
    They really have curved eyebrows
    Who are they?
    They are really great! kind of contemporary ART
    The Snake: We are working for one goal, they are muscleS-I am-BRAIN-u'll see together we are perfect team!
    I will show u the real power..FORWARD..KILL!
    What are they doing..? they are killing Cats
    Oh he is strong- 'God'
    "over".."over" ..Im a cat
    they say I am a little. but for the ant-I am giant. I am giant of ants !
    Agent White..the Earth
    connection agent White.. I have a dream- the Sea.. sky..trees ..and... WiiiND
    I hate.. hate this city..I have an idea..let's build the house near the sea..let's paint it in a blue colur..
    ..Let it burn, let it all burn, the whole city!
    If everything d happen a little slower..White could be happy..
    But I need just hats and watches, I cant live without my treasures
    "over" Agent White" U_U


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