Monday, March 06, 2006

Clay of many forms

So this weekend was the Oscars and good old British claymation in the form of Wallace and Gromit won the day over two other excellent films "The Corpse Bride" and "Howl's Moving Castle". The winner of the short animation was "The Moon and the Son" by John Canemaker which I've not had a chance to see, so won't comment on it.

In W&G there is one "effects" piece that required the use of CGI and that was the bunnies in the "Bun-vac" that were added by Jason Wen of the Motion Picture Company. The comment was that CGI was needed here because of the complexity of the floating required. This problem is something I know well from the jump shot in Ratobat which took considerably longer that of the others as each frame was manually painted out.
This raises the obvious question which is if CGI can be made to look like claymation then how long will it be before any style of animated film will be entirely produced in CGI? Is it still "easier" to animation in stop motion than in CGI? In my latest Flea Circus experiment, I have almost achieved the effect of a clay like skin on the Ring Master (although initially I had intended more of a muppet texture) . This was done by following a Carrara tutorial on Renderosity.Com which was shader recipie for skin.

However, I was not watching the Oscars myself, I was watching CGI clay in the form of The Potter. This excellent short film was a college piece inspired by a quote from the bible and is reviewed in issue 75 of 3D world. Look out for who gets "thanks" in the credits.

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