Notes about visual effects

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?