Wednesday, January 13, 2010

"This Is Not An Animated Film"

As a follow up to my earlier post, here's James Cameron's take on what he's doing.


Floyd Norman said...

While James Cameron's "Avatar" may be many things. The one thing it ain't - is animation.

Or, maybe we should consider every actor is really an animator?

Anonymous said...

It's nice to know the director is making absolutley sure no animators are to get any credit for the contribution they made to this film, I'd like to see the unedited mocap footage ;P

Nic said...

Not to say that we should be discrediting the animators, but the fact is that this wasn't made to be an animation. The unedited mocap footage is probably really rough, but that's not really the point he's trying to make. This was made to change the way we think about what actors can and can't do. Any actor could now play any race, gender, creature, etc., without the use of prosthetics.

I'm sure the animators are being given their due credit in the credits of the film, where it belongs. The whole point of this is process that they took the time to capture things that even Disney has, in the past neglected to capture in their mocap films. Namely that the characters feel alive, and not like puppets being moved by the actors.

If anything, I feel that this will give animators an even broader range of workplace. Even to be able to digitally add 20 or 200 pounds to a person instead of making them have to wear heavy prosthetics or put their life in danger to lay the part, will make the performances seem more real, and honest.

Steve Schnier said...

I'm always amazed at the snit that people get in, in this business. So what if James Cameron doesn't consider Avatar to be an animated film?

They used animation technology to make it happen.

They hired scads of animators and animation technicians.

Isn't it enough that a lot of people got to work on a groundbreaking film with groundbreaking technology? What's not to love?

Jordan said...

I will say this, they did manage to eliminate a lot of the "woodenness" that has marred mocap efforts up to this point (Polar Express, Beowulf). A lot, but not all -- you still get "robot lips" in many scenes. But much better overall & I don't know whether to credit the engineers or the animators...certainly not the actors who can't help not being wooden (most of them). :)

But hey, the sooner they perfect mocap, the sooner they eliminate animators from this type of FX-driven creature film entirely, the sooner animators can go back to doing genuinely original, mind-blowing work on projects where you can't just fill in actors. This is about verisimilitude, not "animation." Kudos to the guy at the end pointing out that "Avatar" is as much a name for the technique as a title for the film. An animator is, and always has been, more than just an avatar for some actor. :)

Jeremy Canton said...


Man this is so cool. I'm getting really tired though of people fighting over what it is or isnt - why can't we just dig the fact that this is really cool? Stop trying to defend anything.

Corey said...

Well, it's his movie, he can call it whatever he wants.

Frank Macchia said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Frank Macchia said...

"it's not animation"...and yet one of the first people they interview is labeled "ANIMATION SUPERVISOR"

It's obviously a marriage of the two...I don't know why that's so difficult for them to admit.

at the end of the day, they KNOW animation played a major role...theyre just trying to validate and justify those poor obsolete actors.

animation course said...

oww, I finally know the 3d animation how to be designed in the film. Before I saw your video, I thought the Avatar is fully create by computer.