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Jul 11, 2005

Listen to Lango

In a recent post at CG Char, I posted my opinion on the current snappy animation trend that we're experiencing nowadays, and in doing so I mentioned one of Keith Lango's tutorials that I'm sure everyone has read. To my surprise it reached his screen which resulted in a post about it on his blog. This led to a small conversation between the two of us in which, quite honestly, I learned a lot! Keith mentioned that we've only scratched the surface of performance and acting in animation, and curiously I asked to hear more. I thought I'd share some of what he said, because from my perspective, it sounds quite exciting! :)


I think Pixar shows flashes of it. There's points in Finding Nemo where they nail it. Still a few more spots in Incredibles where they nail it. Syndrome has his moments. Dory hers. But they're not hitting on 100% all the time yet I don't think. I think the stuff we're aiming for is the level of animation the old Disney masters were hitting when they were at the height of their craft (mid 1950's until the early 1970's). The thing is these guys were hitting stuff on almost every scene. The best of them, anyhow. But by then they'd all been doing it almost 20 years. It's not even about the quality of their draftsmanship (although it was great) or the excellence of their motion (again, amazing). I'm talking about the richness of character, the uniqueness of one character from another in every area of the performance. The performances, the pesonalities. I don't think we're hitting that level just yet. We're just now finally getting a critical mass of what we call "good CG animation". I call it level 1, getting stuff to move in a pleasing and believable fashion that's entertaining. Great. Disney's solved that question in 1937 with Snow White. Now what? This generation of CG animators is just now getting to this point. Those of us who've ben at this 10 years now are at the point where we're going to know the principles and methods of "good CG animation" so innately that we're going to be free to explore and demand more from the character performances. When the Doug Sweetland's and Carlos Baena's and Victor Navone's and Mike Thurmeier's have 15, 20, 25 years of animation under their belts- THAT's when it will be sweet I think. We're still learning the alphabet it seems.

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keith lango
storyteller/animator
www.keithlango.com


What a nice guy...Listen to him!

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