An analysis of the use of innovative animation techniques Essay Example
An analysis of the use of innovative animation techniques Essay Example

An analysis of the use of innovative animation techniques Essay Example

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  • Pages: 6 (1457 words)
  • Published: October 12, 2017
  • Type: Analysis
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Sherk 2 used the pioneering computer animation, which was a gigantic step forward from the old pen and pencil. Drawing with pen and pencil involved drawing a frame of an individual character from the beginning to end. This technique was painstaking and took a great deal of time, for each motion the character made, a new picture had to be drawn for each little movement. With the available use of 3D animation the creation of characters can be manoeuvred and manipulated, the computer is the innovative tool and allows differences from the old style of animation.

This allows for a bigger cast, lots more extras, complicated costumes, use of facial expressions, a library of actions and the new invention of the bounce shadier and subsurface scattering gives global illumination and a natural shine to the characters. Old animation and 3D


animation bridge the gap between voice and screen, within the terms of performance and acting they are both equal. The computer just allows for faster and more elaborate productions, the animations are no longer 1 and 2 dimensional, as they have been in the past.

They are now 3 dimensional which presents the character with more life like virtues. Toy story was the first animated film to exercise this technique, this film was realised in 1995. To make it possible to create Shrek 2, Dreamworks used technology provider Hewlett Packard. HP employed more then 300 workstations, this gave artists unparalleled interactive control and flexibility in the creation of the movie. The two most important breakthroughs on Shrek 2 were both to do with light: the bounce shader created global illumination and the Subsurface scattering gave a natura

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translucence to the characters skin.

This was developed at PDI/DreamWorks; the bounce shader makes light naturally bounce from one surface to another. In the past, the visual effect team would have to place lights all over the set to achieve a similar result to that of a computer; unfortunately it still wouldn't look as natural. This can be seen in the scene where it begins to rain, shadows and clouds are created as the light begins to fade as it gets dark, making the scene look more natural and realistic.

In addition to that, the bounce shader had significant applications for lighting characters. "It is often difficult to get light under a characters chin with a key light coming in from above, the bounce shader figures out how much light is actually reflecting off the characters chest and lights up his chin. " This piece of special effect can be seen in the scene when Sherk transforms from an ogre to the handsome prince, his hair, skin and different colours.

The use of the bounce shader can be seen on his cheeks and Shrek's face which is a great deal brighter. The invention of subsurface scattering simulates the translucency the skin has, without this the characters would look opaque and obscure like plastic or metal. PDI/DreamWorks academy award-wining facial animation system was the breakthrough that allowed Shrek 2 to be the first animated film to put human characters in leading roles. This made the film a lot more life like.

This complex layering system enabled animators to transmit emotions through facial expressions which had never been witnessed before. Puss in Boots whiskers which move while he talks makes him

have more lifelike qualities and give him facial expressions which provide him with a range of emotions. Shrek 2 with it much larger cast required the facial expression animation system to be brought up a notch or two. This was done by building a head in the computer, begining with the skull and then layering on the muscles and finally the skin.

The skin is programmed to respond to the manipulations of the muscles beneath it, in various combinations, facilitating the animators to capture the required expressions of the characters. The facial expressions and lines on the characters foreheads give them a more lifelike and human appearance. An example of this is: the facial expressions of the gingerbread man, Mango, which enables him to have a variety of expressions, making the film look more professional and appealing as there are human like emotions and expressions.

Shrek had an added number of facial expressions which the technical directors added, they added 218 facial expressions and also added "mega control," this allowed for complex expressions such as clenching of the teeth, consequently alters the entire face. In addition, all men were given Adam apples that moves as they swallow this had been little more then a tube beneath the skin. I think this made Shrek look more human, which made the film look more expensive and complex with the hundreds of intricate expressions that altered his face.

Rendering realistic hair was another challenge that was made more demanding by the accumulation of so many human characters. As all of the characters hair amounts to virtual wigs, an actual wigmaker came to the studio to demonstrate to the animation team how

wigs are created and what colour and shape they needed to be too created for the various hair styles. Therefore the animators became virtual hairstylists, learning not only how to style hair but its properties when curly or straight, long or short, wet or dry etc...

The use of the revolutionary technology can be seen in many scenes throughout the film. But I think the scene where this is most visible is the beginning scene, where Charming is running into the castle to save Princess Fiona, as he is running his hair moves constructing a more lifelike character that enhances the visual impact of the film. This technique used on prince Charming is known as the "wig system" which produces hair that automatically moves in the reaction of the movement of the head and body.

This system enables animators to manipulate the hair and place it according to the action of the body or head. There were many obstacles that were faced by various characters, for example King Harold wears a crown, and therefore his hair had to move in accordance with the crown, consequently, when the crown shifts, the king's hair moves correspondingly. The queen's hair is contained in a snood; this presented the animators with a different challenge, the hair tended to collide with and poke through the netting, therefore the animators made the hair and snood move together nice and neatly.

I think the animation of puss in boots it self was a miracle, the fact that he was covered in fur and has additional moving parts to its human counter parts, this includes its tail, whiskers, sword, belt, and plumed hat. The number of

controls to control puss in boots was approximately four times then that of any other character. A character like Puss in Boots had never been seen on animated screen before which makes Shrek 2 an astonishing film to see as he has so many more movements then any another characters.

In the scene when there is heavy rain and donkey's fur becomes wet, the use of a program called geometry shader, this determines how the fur grows, and the same process was carried out for Puss in Boots fur coupled with his wardrobe, this required this process to be brought up to the next generation. The geometry shader now incorporated new controls and more intricate texture maps, which was need to produce his marmalade fur coat. Lighting and effects completed the transformation of Puss from a computer modal to an almost practically a pet cat that we see in our home.

In the scene when donkey, Shrek and Puss in Boots are caught in a rainstorm, the surfacing department used geometry shaders that gave Puss the wet cat look. This adjusted the way the hair grew by changing the direction of his fur so that it pointed downwards, so that it looks like it's weighed down by water and making it clump together as wet fur does. This made the film look much more complex and elaborate as it was more true to life. In conclusion, I would say that the use of innovative animation techniques in Shrek 2 are not only mind boggling but unimaginable.

The use of the bounce shader and subsurface scattering adds global illumination and a natural shine to the characters faces, making Shrek

2 more elaborate and realistic. The use of facial expressions and lines on the characters heads, the wig system which enables the hair move with the characters head and body. The use of the geometry shader that gave the wet look given to Puss in boots not only gives Shrek 2 more life like characters but a human credibility. This therefore makes Shrek 2 a remarkable film with its use of pioneering technology and special effects.

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