Notes about cgi

March 1, 2020 permalink

The Making of Brilliance

In 1985, computer graphics were exotic enough that using them for a TV commercial was the kind of thing you might save for a Super Bowl ad slot, as seen in this short documentary. I would not have guessed that the first significant use of CGI on TV was for an ad illustrating the sexy (?) futuristic appear of _aluminum cans_.

(They fail to mention this in this mini-doc, but the ad studio was clearly lifting the chrome-plated sexy robots imagery of Japanese illustrator Hajime Sorayama)

February 1, 2010 permalink

Animascope Automated Animation Process

A circa-1966 industry ad for Leon Maurer’s Animascope process for producing animation on the cheap: animation without drawing and with fewer pesky artists! Similar to but different than rotoscoping, this process used high-contrast photography and actors in contrasty costumes with their skin painted white and contour lines painted on. The performers would then be filmed dancing around under bright light on a black-lined stage, and the resulting photography could be composited onto traditional background plates. Weird, but sort of a primitive version of mocap, and done for the same economical reasons.

(Via Cartoon Brew – for more info on the process, a good place to start might be this comment left by Brew reader Kustom Kool)

January 27, 2010 permalink

Finally the One Thing the Four Contending Films

Finally, the one thing the four contending films listed above [Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel, Disney’s A Christmas Carol, Monsters vs. Aliens, and Up have in common is they all employ CGI, just like Avatar and many, many other films we could open this discussion to. I bring this up because it has pretty much been agreed upon around the Internet Avatar will be taking home the Oscar for Best Visual Effects, which creates an interesting conundrum. Why is the CG in Avatar considered visual effects while the CG employed for a Pixar or DreamWorks film simply considered animation? If Avatar is up for Oscar’s Best Visual Effects award shouldn’t Up and Monsters vs. Aliens be as well? The fact they aren’t, but A Christmas Carol is, interests me.

From a post by Brad Brevet on Rope of SIlicon on the graying divide between animation and visual effects, and the Academy Awards’ “animation ghetto”. Arbitrary definitions aside (the Oscar qualifications stipulate that a film must be “75% animated” to run in the animated feature category), it’s interesting to see folks try to distinguish between a “film” and a “cartoon” – is it the attempt at naturalism? The motive of the director (and subsequently how he himself submitted it for review)? The application of a specific technique like performance capture that makes CGI act more like makeup or costume?