This is pretty wild.

I remember when I first saw the Final Fantasy movie, and how amazing it looked. It actually still looks pretty good at points, though at others it doesn’t.

I was really excited to see that they did an update to Appleseed, which was one of my favorite anime productions back in the day. I was pretty disappointed when I saw that it was crappy CG. Crappy CG is worse than all but the worst animation. Trying and failing miserably (to be realistic, in this case) is way worse than kind of taking something that’s not meant to look real. And attempts to merge the two continue to look odd.

On the other hand, if they can get it to look consistently as good as the above, that would indeed be pretty fantastic. Of course, advances in CG have revealed how silly the physics of regular movies are, and this could have some unfortunate biproducts, too. Indeed, it’s the advances in how CG look that make the movements in Appleseed look so bad.

Anyway, here’s the animated Appleseed:

And the newer one:

Category: Theater

About the Author

Will Truman (trumwill) is a southern transplant in the mountain east with an IT background who bides his time taking care of their daughter while his wife brings home the bacon. You will probably be relieved to know that he does not generally refer to himself in the third-person except when he's writing short bios on his web page.

5 Responses to Focus On The Illusion, Not The Reality

  1. Oscar Gordon says:

    The thing that always bugs me about CGI is the micro movements. Running & jumping always looks good, but so little attention is given to making the small movements good. Body language, hand movements, talking. Part of what made Final Fantasy so appealing at the time was the attention to fine detail. It was amazing. The animators wrote thousands of macros to handle the fine details. The bar was set, and I have little patience for studios that can’t be bothered to at a minimum meet the bar.

    • trumwill says:

      I agree. The dialogue scenes can be especially painful for that reason. It’s strange to me that there aren’t intricate templates they can’t work of off.

      • Oscar Gordon says:

        A given studio can develop extensive & complicated macros to handle the detail work, but they then protect those macros as intellectual property, so the details never see the light of day.

        but the general ideas of how it’s done is old hat now, and most animation software includes pretty advanced tools for developing those macros. What you see in the Appleseed Alpha trailer is what I would assume to be the results of the COS macros that come with whatever animation package the studio is using, which tells me the studio did not feel like putting any budget toward that effort for whatever reason.

        12 year olds might think the whole thing is cool, but to me, a fan of the Appleseed franchise, it just detracts from the experience enough that I’ll probably not bother to pay for the disk.

  2. Dr X says:

    Though not into animation and fantasy (old fogey), I’ve got to say that Ed video is astounding.

  3. Michael Cain says:

    Really cool. Like Oscar says, though, all the ongoing little movements, like the constant battle to stay balanced on two feet, seem to be missing. Still, there’s reason to believe that the prediction I made long ago that I would live long enough to see the Oscars include a “Best Synthetic Actor” will come to pass.

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