Monday, January 2, 2012

CG Animation Trend Hits 3D

By the way, the CG animation/ 3D release bug has finally hit Japan. Friends: Naki's Monster Island is not the first CG animated film from Japan, but it is one of the first major full length films marketed at kids.

I don't think there's going to be any CG vs. hand-drawn debate in Japan. The appeal of animated illustrations will have a very long life here. However due to the nature of CG animation, it will be interesting to see how the mindset towards animation will change in the future. With the exception of a few animation directors like Katsuhiro Ootmo (Akira, Steamboy) Japanese animation rarely has rarely "fully animated" dialogues between characters. Also with the exception of huge showpiece animated action sequences, animation is rarely shot on 1's and is notorious for having action animated on what looks like 3's or even 4's sometimes.

(To those who may not know, shooting on 1's and 2's refers to how many exposures a frame will have in an animated sequence. "Who Framed Roger Rabbit" is a good example of animation shot on 1's. Extremely fluid animation. Some say it's too fluid and looks swimmy. Generally, most feature hand-drawn animation is shot on 2's. If anyone remembers the choppy TV animation in the 80's...that's a good example of animation done on 3's and possibly even 4's....i.e. G.I. Joe, Transformers. Almost 100% of CG animation is on 1's.)

While American animation is always striving for realism, Japanese animation is generally "iconic" and symbolic. (Note what was done to Lilo and Stitch when it was transformed for Japanese audiences) Japanese animation will use virtual pictographs on characters faces to show emotion for comic effect: hashmarks over the face to show stress, fountains of tears that evaporate instantly. It will be interesting to see how this will play out in a CG environment. Note the last few frames of the trailer above.

My two cents: so long as Studio Ghibli never does a CG animated film, hand drawn animation will still be king in Japan.

1 comment:

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