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» AnimationNation   » General Discussion   » "Will The Glen Keane Of CG Please Stand Up?" (Page 1)

 
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Author Topic: "Will The Glen Keane Of CG Please Stand Up?"
Animation Co-op
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http://www.animationoptions.com/blog/2008/08/28/will-the-glen-keane-of-cg-please-stand-up/
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Charles
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Great commentary Kevin. Even better than the last one you wrote. Well worth discussing.

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Mr. Fun
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Good thoughts, Kevin.

I'm inclined to think this was prompted by the crazy, heated discussion over at Cartoon Brew. Thanks for providing some much needed insight.

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tstevens
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CG has been a touchy subject around my studio for years but in a different way. I think the few of us who work here knew that CG was going to be big when we all saw Toy Story for the first time. What none of us realized was how complex it would be trying to gear up for it. For small studios that began in the days of cel painters and Oxberrys, the step up to 3D felt like we were having to re-invent the company. Making that transition requires everyone to make a paradigm shift in the way they think about producing. If you aren't willing to make that mental shift then you will probably end up hating anything where a playblast is the equivalent to a pencil test. Unfortunately we have been hard pressed to make the transition to 3D.

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Charles
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From Kevin Geiger's commentary.

..................

"So, I look forward to the day when the mediocre work produced by some is not used as justification to slag an entire medium out of fear and ignorance. I look forward to the day when we no longer speak of “2D animators” and “3D animators”, but simply of “animators”. I look forward to the day when the members of the animation community truly come together as one, instead of wasting valuable time, energy and goodwill lobbing stink bombs at each other."

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Animation Co-op
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Thanks, Charles. [Smile]

By the way, I have it on good authority that the artist who drew the storyboard image is the very same individual who approved the model, look and fur groom of the CG character and also the same person who directed the animator assigned to the shot that the rendered frame is taken from.

Chew on that, Cartoon Brew! [Wink]

KG

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Animation Co-op
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> Unfortunately we have been hard pressed to make
> the transition to 3D.

Give me a call. Transitions are my speciality. [Cool]
www.animationoptions.com

Kevin Geiger

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Animation Co-op
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By the way, in the Cartoon Brew comment thread, “Guy” asked me to “name a single example of CGI visuals that aren’t bland.” My response was censored by the Cartoon Brew mods (ostensibly in the interest of “flood control”), so here it is:

Toy Story
Monsters Inc.
Finding Nemo
The Incredibles
Robots
Madagascar
Open Season
Surf’s Up
Ratatouille
Horton Hears A Who
Wall-E
Presto
Kung Fu Panda…

…to be continued!

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Squash Banana
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Excellent and well-reasoned post, Kevin. You pretty much reinforced why I don't go to Cartoon Brew all that often any more - the unreasonable venom is a bit much to take.
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Mr. Fun
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Really?

I find the "unreasonable venom" very amusing at times.

Although, I would prefer to call it, "passion." At least the readers care. And, apparently they care very much. When it comes to animation, I don't think that's a bad thing.

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Charles
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I'd call it bitter after taste. I haven't been there in 2 1/2 years.

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Charles
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After personally experiencing the sugar and cream of CartoonBrew, you're welcome to it. I take that back, I wouldn't wish that on anybody.

Let's focus on the topic of Kevin's commentary, the hostility towards 3D. Thanks.

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Ganklin
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yeah that article was flame bait. i made a post as such and got censored as well...not the first time that's happened to me there either. i take everything i read over there with a huuge grain of salt.

interestingly enough, kevin, i've heard of another studio having a similar "death to the computer" party where there was apparently a room with a bunch of computers in it and you could beat the crap out of them with a bat...bonus points if you can take a guess who i'm talking about.

i suppose bolt is going to get negative feedback from most out there because of chris sanders no longer being involved with it. i don't agree with that line of thought and i think bolt looks like it could be a winner.

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Animation Co-op
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"Passion" in and of itself wins no admiration from me. Passion is a chemical reaction, best tempered by reason.

Prejudicial passions invariably lead to trouble - sometimes minor, and at other times historically monstrous.

Coincidentally, I came across this quote today in Simon Critchley's book "On Humour", from the "Thinking In Action" series:

"Human beings are troubled with the opinions (dogmata) they have of things, and not by the things themselves (pragmata)." - Epictetus

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bigshot
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Passion is what drives people forward to do better than the status quo. It's also what keeps people slugging away during adversity. The big problem with animation today isn't that there's too much passion. There isn't enough!

Too many people in the business are willing to sell out their passion for money or fame or convenience or comfort or security or just because some guy in a suit tells them to. That isn't the way the people who cared enough to build the industry for us felt about it. They fought tooth and claw for our right to take their accomplishments for granted.

Animation is a battle. There are dragons at every turn waiting to sap the strength out of your vision. You have to be prepared to fight to protect your muse... fight with everything you've got... fight till it hurts and not stop till it kills you. If you don't, you'll end up no different than a auto mechanic or telephone operator... a cog in a machine pumping out "more of the same". Passion is everything.

Winsor McCay had these disparaging words to say to his peers in 1929... "Animation should be an art. What you fellows have done with it is making it into a trade... not an art, but a trade. Bad luck." He said that in front of a hall full of animators- the entire animation business at the time- who had gathered to wish him a happy birthday. What a party pooper! What an *******!

We need more *******s like that today.

It's nice to be all nice-nice and smurfy and say that everyone is special and everything is equal. But that's a lie and that isn't the kind of thinking that moves mountains. Sometimes, for things to get better, it takes an ******* willing to stand up in front of the whole business and give them a good swift kick in the ass. Give 'em hell, Winsor!

We're sitting on top of a technology and a medium capable of creating a absolutely anything we can imagine... and we're still cranking out worn out old movies about princesses and talking mice?! And the guy who points out the blatantly obvious fact that these bland imitations are a pale shadow of what they should be is branded an *******. What's wrong with this picture?

See ya
Steve

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bigshot
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As Groucho used to say, the secret word for today is donkey orafice.
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Animation Co-op
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Had Amid's post been a call to arms about the potential of animation, I'd have no problem with it. As it stands, it was an uninformed snipe against an entire medium based on an erroneous comparison. And I'm sorry, but the rendered image (and more importantly - the animated PERFORMANCE) leaves that drawing in the dust. (Full disclosure: BFA in Painting & Sculpture, MFA in Computer Graphics)

Don't get me wrong, Steve. There's nothing wrong with passion. I have plenty of it myself. It's passion *alone* that I give no credit to. Passion by itself means nothing until it is factored against action. Only THEN do you know what you have on your hands.

For example, Stalin had passion. Do we tip our hat to him?

KG

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Ganklin
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bigshot, first off i totally agree you need passion and gumption to go out there and do you damndest.

however, where do you get off slamming a guy who's an auto mechanic or a telephone operator? seriously? i love doing what i do and am happy to be an animator. god knows i worked my ass off to get to where i am today, but not for one second am i going to think that just because i draw for a living that i'm better than some guy who can fix my car. i hope i'm missing your point here.

and are you really comparing amid amidi to WINSOR MCCAY?

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Squash Banana
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Passion is great, and artists and enthusiasts both have every right to be as opinionated as they want (as we are here on AN), I simply don't read as much passion on Cartoon Brew as I do fear. Which is not to say the site's a waste: I commented that I rarely visit, but I've not sworn off the blog entirely: I still consider it a good source, at the very least to read all the widely varying (and yes, passionate) opinions of the animation community on the latest developments. Honestly, though, I prefer AN, which usually features a slightly more reasonable discourse. That is, I generally feel more excited than provoked after visiting here (unless I've been over in Side Topics, and then I need some time to cool off....).

But on the subject of dislike of 3D, I think most 2D artists just need time. There are some who will just refuse to appreciate 3D, ever, but most will eventually be able to enjoy if not practice it. A good story and characters will win over pretty much anybody. Which is basically just a restatement of Kevin's point. Whoops. [Smile]

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E. Allen
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I think bigshot's comment (Steve) was on the mark and bad-a*s!

ENOCH

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bigshot
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Imagine how much better the performance would be if it had interesting variations in shapes in the character design, complementary color and background composition, and dynamic posing. Then you'd have a scene that fires on all barrels at once.

The point of the animation process is for each step in the line to maintain all of the energy put into it in the earlier stages and to focus and expand upon it. If a pose starts out good on the board, gets bad in layout, and then it's up to the animator to make it good again, you're making the animator do the job of the lousy layout artist on top of his own job. If everyone pulls his weight, they can all focus on what they're best at, and you end up with a scene that requires no excuses.

See ya
Steve

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Animation Co-op
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I'm not hearing any excuses.
KG

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Charles
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I can appreciate bigshot's passion. Doesn't mean I agree with him on everything by any means, but I appreciate the passion that is Steve Worth. There would be no Animation Archive without it. Steve's is the kind of passion that makes history. In establishing an organization and system dedicated to preserving animation's history, he made history.

Tell ya somethin else about Steve Worth's passion, it still brings him to every April 1 meeting since the first one in 1999, in which he was the first in the room on April 1, 1999. Incredible! How many of you out there on AN all these years living and working in LA have shown up even once. Kevin Geiger's never been there, Mr. Fun's never been there, Amid Amidi attended one time years ago. I can't recall ever seeing Jerry Beck there. Folks got work to do when it comes to challenging bigshot's passion of the art through pro-activity.

Now that I've said that I can embark on taking some issue with him.

As the instigator of the passion that is this site, there's a unique perspective I can contribute to the topic, especially in regards to Kevin's sentiment that lies at the essence of his commentary...

"I look forward to the day when the members of the animation community truly come together as one, instead of wasting valuable time, energy and goodwill lobbing stink bombs at each other."

... from which I'll be getting to soon.

Meantime, it's been a long road since 1929. I don't think that was appropriate, what Windsor McCay proclaimed at that occasion. Or maybe it was, in any case, I think it was extremely rude of him since the event as I understand it was in his honor in appreciation of his great accomplishments. He died in 1934, so I wonder what he'd have to say to himself if he were to live long enough to see Fantasia, a direct result of his infleunce in many aspects.

Animated art has come a long long way since 1929. What's happening with it today would've been inconceivable to animators of that age, even if you could go back in time and explain it. The passion for the art since that fateful banquet is the measure by which the art stands today, and not even Windsor McCay would have any doubt of it, unless he let his prejudices and insecurities affect his objectivity and good judgment.

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Animation Co-op
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For the record, I never challenged Steve Worth's passion.

I try to focus my remarks on the issues, not the individuals.

Cheers,
Kevin

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Charles
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It's difficult to explain without getting into the gossipy kind of details that I really take no interest engaging in, but try and visualize this if you would please, when someone comes up to me and asks why Cartoon Brew doesn't host (and has never hosted) a link to AN. To quote them, "What's up with that?" Like I'm supposed to have the explanation.

Virtually all of the experiences I've had with CartoonBrew have been negative and dissapointing. Let me put it this way, if there needs to an ******* in this industry as bigshot mentioned before, I can think of no other more qualified than CartoonBrew.

Opinion is not fact, and just because you've got a strong one, especially when it comes to a subjective intangible, like artistic aesthetics or personal taste, it's not the same as a fact.

Fact = A banquet was held in Windsor McCay's honor in 1929.

Opinion = I like 2D better than 3D.

Opinion as fact = I like 2D better than 3D, therefore 2D is better!

And speaking of passion, show me! Show me the passion! Where was the support for Roy Disney when the issue of the preservation of 2D feature production at Disney was at stake... where was CartoonBrew? Delightfully ironic, the passion for 2D.

Well, no site has been as intense as AN for 2D's sake over the years as AN has. I think that warrants a link here and there unless you're living up to the obligation of being the industry's donkey oriface as it was phrased earlier.

No matter what or how strongly you believe about animation, that's no excuse for lobbing stink bombs. That's why I don't go anywhere else but AN anymore. I used to, I would reach out at different forums when the bombs were flying against us many times by our own brethren, and then I gave up and turned it right off. There's no room in life for this kind of thing. Since then, I spent the last couple of years taking the time I normally would to keep track of the online stuff like what's happening at CB, and chaneled that into creative productivity and got a book out of it.

Creating is vital and important. Fear, insecurity and pettiness breads more fear and pettiness. It only hurts you in the long run. If you want to grow, if you're passionate about creating, let go of your negativity and bias. Grow up and grow out. You'll get a lot farther than putting all that energy pining over the Ds.

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Charles
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Regarding previous post, "challenge" was a rhetorical use of the word.

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Charles
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The question I've asked myself many times in the history of nearly 10 years experience with AN and all that comes along with it, is why people in our business, artists in particular, can't be the friends to each other that we should be, having the love for the art in common. The hostility I've seen and dealt with in the past and still deal with today on occasion, it's not from executives nor has it ever been, it's from peers.

As I contemplated this after making my posts above, I read something that I believe is a good explanation. I was given a book by a friend a few days ago, called "A New Earth - Awakening to Your Life's Purpose" by Eckhart Tolle. It's about creating a new world but starting with changing ourselve's individually first. The key point to that change is in identifying and rising above the ego.

The author writes that the ego needs to attach itself to things, and it attaches itself to thought. As a result of egoism in thought, the individual tends to think in terms of absolutes, one of them being the absolute rightness of one's opinion.

It was coincidental that I read the following which I'm happy to share, "If even the simple and straightforward realm of facts can lend itself to egoic distortion and illusion, how much more so the less tangible realm of opinions, viewpoints, and judgments, all of them thought forms that can easily become infused with a sense of 'I'".

Opinions become thought objects which the egoic mind takes ownership of. It's a trippy concept and as you read through the book, it establishes insecurity as a big reason for the ego clinging to opinion in the form of thought ownership. A manifestion of this can be seen in expressions such as "how dare you say that" or "this is an outrage! close my account!" and is often followed by hostility.

Think about it, what's the most difficult exercise an individual can challenge themselves with intellectually and mentally. Giving up your ego's ownership of thought, freeing yourself from yourself, being able to step back, up and beyond to see your thoughts as something seperate from yourself. According to the author, that's the first significant step in progressing on an intellectual and even spiritual level, and it's hard to do. But the identification in yourself of ego owned thought, while you're in the act of thinking, is the first step in successfully seperating yourself from what you think.

Doesn't mean you won't have the same opinions, but you'll have more objectivity, something that is in short supply in certain circles in the animation community. When you're able to think objectively, you can be even more secure in your beliefs, opinions and thoughts since they are no longer ego centric. And you can build a new earth as a result, starting from yourself as ground zero.

Words of wisdom and something to consider thanks to this book.

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Charles
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Also from the book "A New Earth". Check this out. Complaining and resentment.

"Complaining is one of the ego's favorite strategies for strengthening itself. When you are in the grip of such an ego, complaining, especially about other people, is habitual and, of course, unconscious, which means you don't know what you are doing. Applying negative mental labels to people, either to their face or more commonly when you speak about them to others or even just think about them, is often part of the pattern. Name-calling is the crudest form of such labeling and of the ego's need to be right and triumph over others."

Here's some more.

"On the next level down on the scale of unconsciousness, you have shouting and screaming, and not much below that, physical violence.

Resentment is the emotion that goes with complaining and the mental labeling of people and adds even more energy to the ego. Resentment means to feel bitter, indignant, aggrieved, or offended. You resent other people's greed, their dishonesty, their lack of integrity, what they are doing, what they did in the past, what they said, what they failed to do, what they should or shouldn't have done. The ego loves it. Instead of overlooking unconsciousness in others, you make it into their identity."

He who is without sin cast the first stone. Boy oh boy. We all stand to learn something from this, myself included.

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bigshot
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The back story to the Winsor McCay reference... and how it relates to today.

McCay was one of the finest draftsmen of his day. His strip, Little Nemo still stands as one of the greatest creative accomplishments in comics. When he created the first American animated film based on his strip, he conceived of a totally new art form that brought to life fantastic things that could never exist in the real world. His film moves totally different than reality and it features creatures that could never exist. He followed his first film up with Gertie the Dinosaur, where he brought a terrifying prehistoric monster to the screen and gave it life and personality.

His films caused a sensation. Many golden age animators cited seeing McCay perform with Gertie in vaudeville as their inspiration to pursue a career in animation. But the immediate reaction to his work was awful. Other animators knocked out lame imitations of Gertie without McCay's skill and artistry. Instead of trying to create a new vision, animators focused on technical aspects of filmmaking, patenting their developments and charging other animators to use them. Fleischer invented the rotoscope to trace live action motion and save the trouble of animating it. The goal was to be able to pump out footage on a regular schedule, no matter how stiff or stilted the movement was. The stories and characters from these early cartoons were swiped from second rate comic strips- nothing created uniquely for the medium. No one was interested in telling new types of stories or presenting an original vision. The designs were stiff and realistic and obvious, and given the lack of artistic experience of the people making the films, poorly drawn to boot. For more than a decade, animators cranked out commercially successful films that didn't have an ounce of creativity.

It took Otto Messmer's Felix and Max and Dave Fleischer's Inkwell cartoons to begin to scratch the surface of what Winsor McCay was pointing at from the very beginning. And it took Walt Disney to push forward with building the fundamental principles of animation and establish a factory assembly line designed to serve animation production to accomplish what McCay intended for the artists who followed him to accomplish. When all those pieces fell into place, animation went from a crude, squeeking mouse to a beautiful princess in less than ten years.

Right now, animation has reverted to the place it was in 1922. Filmmakers are more interested in technology than filmmaking. They focus on rendering photorealistic fur to wrap it around the same old cardboard cutout characters we've seen a million times. The same creaky old fairy tale stories are trotted out again and again, packed with meaningless platitudes cribbed from old Smurf scripts. The designs are stiff and realistic and motion capture (the 21st century equivalent of Fleischer's rotoscope) is used as a crutch to avoid having to come up with specific ways to move the characters. The big difference between now and then is that CGI has never had its Winsor McCay, so we don't even have an example to point to to show what the medium is capable of. That's what makes some folks online think that the problem is 2D vs 3D instead of just good filmmaking vs crappy filmmaking.

Passion is what drove the Fleischers and Disney and Jones and Clampett to take crappy hand drawn animation and make it the second greatest American art form of the 20th century. When Walt looked at the sound films that had preceded Steamboat Willie, he was just as derisive in describing them as Amid is in describing a CGI film. He channelled that negative energy for a productive purpose- kicking the whole business in the ass and raising the bar so high, his competitors had to scramble to keep up with him.

Instead of imitating Walt Disney's films, we should be imitating his spirit. That means not settling for "good enough", but competing to build something that pushes the edges of what the medium is capable of. That means stepping on toes and pushing old worn out ideas aside forcibly. Some people are going to be mad, but the artform deserves it. Disney started doing that, then shifted to life action and theme parks and the momentum for doing new things with animation petered out. Filmation and Hanna Barbera drove the nail in the coffin, taking us right back to the stone age again. We're still trying to shake off the cobwebs of the Saturday morning ghetto. If we want to avoid sinking back into the muck, we better start fighting for what we believe in again and not expect someone or some studio to come along and rescue us. It's up to us.

CGI has the potential to create something entirely new. The fact that it's being used to crank out more of the "same ol same ol" is a crime worthy of scorn.

See ya
Steve

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Charles
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Although I can understand drawing parallels between Windsor McCay's moment in 1929 with what's happening in some areas today, as stretched a comparison as it may be, it still doesn't justify the point of view and behavior of some animation critics.

I appreciate your perspective Steve, but it's not 1922 in this business. It's not even close. This isn't a naive, innocent moment in the infancy of a whole new medium where even the principles of the art are not fully understood. I understand the frustration that some people feel when it comes to the content of some animated productions, but I question the judgment of those people in this biz who equate what's happening today with a scornful crime. There's a lot of room for improvement and growth, but the language that's employed here can compromise credibility since it's based entirely upon a subjective opinion and not on fact.

What we may consider scornful, others may consider a resounding success. How can you argue with a studio for example that believes it created a masterpiece since the film's box office justifies their belief. A $500 million movie is tangible, quantifiable proof that they did it right and that they were rewarded accordingly by the movie going public. Even Windsor McCay must have realized this in his day. If a movie doesn't succeed, like many animated films, they may get the idea. Still, look at Iron Giant. A great film by anyone's standards, but it was considered a financial failure at the time of its release, for other reasons perhaps besides brilliant content and high quality production, but a failure none the less.

How can the 3D achievements of Pixar be dismissed, look at their animated short films in addition to their features, or more recently DreamWorks with movies like Kung Fu Panda. If you're looking for a modern day Windsor McCay, I nominate John Laseter.

This is a dynamic time in animation. Technology is making it possible for artists to find new ways of expressing themselves, innovating and pushing the art. Look at some of the stuff that's on PBS for example, or TV commercials. You can't just sit there and curse technology. It's a tool like pencil and paper. Lamenting the horse and buggy by virtue of the automobile isn't going to bring back the horse and buggy as the primary means of transportation.

Anyway, I don't think that's what this topic is about. It's something deeper than just opinions about animated film or the state of the art. It's about our community and how dysfunctional it can be.

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tstevens
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I find it ironic that people constantly talk of 3D needing to "find its potential" or create something new. There have been plenty of films that have come down the way that have done very innovative things and the short film world is full of visual and narrative ideas that go in every direction. The "potential" arguement seems to be used to gloss over a general dislike for digital (especially when it comes from those who are planted in the drawn world). I totally understand all of Steve's arguements but I think that he will probably always tend to prefer things created by hand regardless of their merit(I would also bet that he prefers hand inked lines to xerox or DIP).

Let's face it... if you think that animation has to follow some sort of family tree descended from McKay, Disney, Clampett, and Jones, then you are missing out on a much larger world outside of Hollywood.

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bigshot
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Guess what?

I like scratchy xeroxy lines- especially when it's in films like Don Hertzfeld's. I like puppet films- Pal, Trnka, and Starevich. Lotte Reiniger's silhouette films are breathtaking. Willis O'Brien is one of my heros. I like Alexandre Alexieff and Claire Parker's pinscreen animation. I can't wait for Bruce Bickford's two new DVDs to come out. I'm amazed by Len Lye and Norman McLaren's painting on film and Fischinger's abstract animation. I like Zbigniew Rybczynski's digital video animation, especially Tango, Steps and The Orchestra. And I love every last frame of the pixilation by Terry Gilliam for Monty Python.

Paint, pixels, cutouts, clay or puppets... it really doesn't matter to me. I just want to see something that is alive and unique and I haven't already seen a million times before.

Expressive animation isn't a thing of "horse and buggy days". When someone says that artists like Chuck Jones and Winsor McCay are dusty old names from the past and don't have any relevance to computer animation, it makes my blood boil. But I restrain myself because ignorance is curable. All it takes is an open mind and an analytical look at the films and the scales fall away from the eyes.

I think the root of the problem is exactly what you say... people in Hollywood only know Hollywood. And they only know animation from the past twenty years. Not to nitpick, but it says something about how much we in the business respect Winsor McCay when we can't even spell his name correctly.

I'm not just picking on you. I stood up in front of the crew of the Lion King and held up this drawing that was found in the trash can at FilmRoman...

Who Is It?

Some of the biggest names in animation were there that night, and not a single one of them recognized the man that they owed everything to. (If you want to know who it is, see this post.)

See ya
Steve

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Animation Co-op
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That's a great post, BTW.
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bigshot
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Thanks! I spend an inordinate amount of time thinking about this stuff.

See ya
Steve

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Jennifer Hachigian Jerrard
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quote:
Some of the biggest names in animation were there that night, and not a single one of them recognized the man that they owed everything to.
I just realized...I have no idea what Glen Keane looks like. I love and recognize his work, but I would not recognize him.

[Eek!]

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Animation Co-op
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No excuse for that in the age of Google! [Wink]

http://animated-features.tripod.com/profiles/glen-keane.jpg
http://www.jimhillmedia.com/mb/images/upload/Sierra-Boggess-&-Glen-Keane.jpg
http://www.animationpodcast.com/images/glen-keane-one.jpg

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6CLfPrRVowQ

...just to scratch the surface. [Smile]

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tstevens
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Fair enough! For the record, the Iwerks drawing has gotten around enough that most people have seen it and know who it is.

Regarding your response, I never implied that any of those names were dusty: what I did imply is that we shouldn't feel beholdent to them. I think the impression people have of you is that you believe all animation produced after 1960 and outside of the US is inferior. I know that isn't true, but I would never know it had you not written a post like the one above.

By the way, When are you going out to New Mexico to interview Bakshi? I'll be looking out for it.

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http://www.foogersnarts.blogspot.com

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Charles
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oh oh, I'm afraid I mispelled Mr. McCay's name. Did the same thing with Lasseter. Guilty as charged, sorry about that, an honest mistake, but it doesn't affect the respect and admiration I have for the both of them, nor does it diminish the point I was making previously, which is the tendency on the part of animation critics to establish absolutes on the basis of their subjective opinions.

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bigshot
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quote:
I think the impression people have of you is that you believe all animation produced after 1960 and outside of the US is inferior.
In general, animation (as well as music, film, illustration and most other creative elements of popular culture) was better before 1960 than after, largely because creativity and originality were mainstream back then. There are exceptions, but most of the great modern creators are independent artists swimming against the tide. It's a lot harder for an artist to get his message out there that way.

The difference between then and now is that in the first half of the 20th century, great art was on every street corner, in every theater and in every home. Today, you have to actively search out great art. It doesn't just come to you. I think the problem is that the average person has been alienated from creativity by "piss Christ" extremism, and as a result, our society doesn't value creativity the way they used to. If artists are going to thumb their nose at the audience, audiences will just find entertainment elsewhere. It's hard to blame people for feeling that way. Commercial messages have taken the place of artistic expression in our culture. Sometimes I think commercialism may have even taken the place of religion.

Animation outside the US isn't inferior, it's just from a totally different place and mindset. That's fine if you are a part of that culture, but I think it's a huge mistake for American animation students to ape the style of other countries. Reflecting your own culture is much more honest and real than making a fetish of foreign ones. It's also very hard to compete with the output of people who actually live and work in their own culture. They'll always have an edge and they'll always be in the lead, because it's their natural style, not something put on like a pair of somebody else's pants.

See ya
Steve

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Jennifer Hachigian Jerrard
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Thanks for the Glen Keane photos. I still would not recognize him if tested later, since I am bad with names and faces. [Frown]

quote:
in the first half of the 20th century, great art was on every street corner, in every theater and in every home.
Right, like Duchamp's 1917 Fountain.

[Wink] [Wink] [Wink]

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