Animation Realities 101

Sarcastic Fan

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Mostly because I am tired of having to constantly type and re-type this in various threads. I have studied the animation industry for some time, and more than that, I have contacts in the industry who have been working there for decades. Writers, producers, story board artists and even voice actors. I don't work there myself, but I consider myself as much of an expert as one can be without actually working in it, though I hope that eventually changes.

Why does "The Spectacular Spider-Man" look the way it does? Why are the models so streamlined and stylized when we grew up with cartoons where the character models were very detailed?

The answer is this, it is easier to animate and to animate well. To those who keep on citing shows like "G.I. Joe", "He-Man", and other shows from that era, take off the nostalgia tinted glasses and go back and actually look at them. The character models look good when they are static, but the animation is really slow and lousy.

When Bruce Timm first set out to produce "Batman: The Animated Series", people complained about his streamlined character models, I know it might not seem like it considering how universally praised he is today, but it was not the case. Why did he do that? Because he knew you got better animation out of it. Less lines to draw means less lines to animate, especially on a TV budget.

If you want those detailed models and good animation, you need the budget of a feature length Disney movie, and even then it's still not a good idea.

When "Gargoyles" was in production, the character models were a lot more detailed. Frank Paur came in and streamlined them with artists in Japan, and the result was something beautiful. But, to those who still complain about "The Spectacular Spider-Man" not looking like this, I can guarantee you that "Gargoyles" had a much higher budget than "Spidey" does. Hell, look what happened in the third season when the budget was slashed, the models were the same, but the animation was painfully ugly to watch.

Now, Spider-Man is a character that moves. The fights are fast paced, the web slinging is fast paced, and the animation on this show is just fluid, fast and gorgeous. The aerial battle with the Vulture was breathtaking, especially for TV. Now, some will point out the Fox Kids series, but, well, honestly, look at it again. It was not all that well animated. It was full of bad CGI backgrounds, the color palette was not working, and the show was mostly stock footage. It just did not look good.

When you draw a comic book, you are drawing still images that don't have to move. You can add all the detail you want, as long as you meet your deadline. Animation doesn't have that luxury. Thousands of cells go into animating a twenty-two minute production. It is a long and grueling process, and the schedule is very tight.

It is easy to be an arm chair animation producer. Just because you watch a lot of it doesn't make you an expert. I've seen so many statements made on animation and "today's technology" coming from people who just don't know what they're talking about. It's not about being lazy. It's not about dumbing animation down. It's about producing the best animation they possibly can on a budget.
 
Great post, Sarcastic Fan. :up:

Everybody draws differently. Sean "Cheeks" Galloway draws his own style and he draws the way he likes to. He doesn't add much detail, but it still looks fantastic. Why is that such a bad thing?
 
Thank you Sarcastic Fan...


Teach these TURDS A LESSON and stop b****ing!


:applaud
 
Thanks, I try, and I certainly didn't want it to be an angry, hate-filled rant.
 
Even if you go back to the 90's animated series, it was animated well in the beginning, but by the end of the first season it had already started to slip. These first two episodes of Spectacular have already blown away anything from the 90's series, and unless they get the rug pulled out from under their feet, it should continue to be at least this good.
 
Even if you go back to the 90's animated series, it was animated well in the beginning, but by the end of the first season it had already started to slip. These first two episodes of Spectacular have already blown away anything from the 90's series, and unless they get the rug pulled out from under their feet, it should continue to be at least this good.

"Night of the Lizard" was well animated, but it was the pilot and they usually are. The studios love to show off what they can do so they can sell the show.
 
I think most of the complain comes from the fact that the characters look like something from Fisher-Price.
 
I think most of the complain comes from the fact that the characters look like something from Fisher-Price.
There eyes are dead. They scare the crap out of me on the show.
 
I think the show looks great. Sure the eyes take getting used to, but that's my only major issue with animation-related concerns. The show is gorgeously animated.
 
Yea really only thing i would have liked added in the show's animation is pupils in the eyes i dont see why they didnt do it and it probably would be that much of a hassle to have put pupils in the eyes.
 
Thank you, Sarcastic Fan. Now I will hopefully not have to explain this to anyone, anymore.
 
Yea really only thing i would have liked added in the show's animation is pupils in the eyes i dont see why they didnt do it and it probably would be that much of a hassle to have put pupils in the eyes.
The eyes didn't bother me, they looked good on Peter.
 
yea it doesnt really bother me to much but i was just saying would have been nice to have pupils in the eyes. I under stand fully the reasons why the look for the show is and all that.
 
Oh and Pete is like christian Bale now and has a mole on this face thats very distracting.
 
It could just be a freckle.

No, its a mole!

mole.gif
 
"Night of the Lizard" was well animated, but it was the pilot and they usually are. The studios love to show off what they can do so they can sell the show.

If I remember correctly, "Night of the Lizard" was animated by Tokyo Movie Shinsha (TMS), a company with a reputation for high-quality animation. However, they must be pretty expensive, because a lot of well-known cartoons used them in the beginning of their runs (including Duck Tales, Bionic Six, Mighty Orbots, Inspector Gadget and others), but later on the animation for some of these dropped in quality because cheaper studios were used instead. This obviously happened with the 1990s Spider-Man, since the drop in animation quality happened pretty quickly.
 
Mostly because I am tired of having to constantly type and re-type this in various threads. I have studied the animation industry for some time, and more than that, I have contacts in the industry who have been working there for decades. Writers, producers, story board artists and even voice actors. I don't work there myself, but I consider myself as much of an expert as one can be without actually working in it, though I hope that eventually changes.

Why does "The Spectacular Spider-Man" look the way it does? Why are the models so streamlined and stylized when we grew up with cartoons where the character models were very detailed?

The answer is this, it is easier to animate and to animate well. To those who keep on citing shows like "G.I. Joe", "He-Man", and other shows from that era, take off the nostalgia tinted glasses and go back and actually look at them. The character models look good when they are static, but the animation is really slow and lousy.

When Bruce Timm first set out to produce "Batman: The Animated Series", people complained about his streamlined character models, I know it might not seem like it considering how universally praised he is today, but it was not the case. Why did he do that? Because he knew you got better animation out of it. Less lines to draw means less lines to animate, especially on a TV budget.

If you want those detailed models and good animation, you need the budget of a feature length Disney movie, and even then it's still not a good idea.

When "Gargoyles" was in production, the character models were a lot more detailed. Frank Paur came in and streamlined them with artists in Japan, and the result was something beautiful. But, to those who still complain about "The Spectacular Spider-Man" not looking like this, I can guarantee you that "Gargoyles" had a much higher budget than "Spidey" does. Hell, look what happened in the third season when the budget was slashed, the models were the same, but the animation was painfully ugly to watch.

Now, Spider-Man is a character that moves. The fights are fast paced, the web slinging is fast paced, and the animation on this show is just fluid, fast and gorgeous. The aerial battle with the Vulture was breathtaking, especially for TV. Now, some will point out the Fox Kids series, but, well, honestly, look at it again. It was not all that well animated. It was full of bad CGI backgrounds, the color palette was not working, and the show was mostly stock footage. It just did not look good.

When you draw a comic book, you are drawing still images that don't have to move. You can add all the detail you want, as long as you meet your deadline. Animation doesn't have that luxury. Thousands of cells go into animating a twenty-two minute production. It is a long and grueling process, and the schedule is very tight.

It is easy to be an arm chair animation producer. Just because you watch a lot of it doesn't make you an expert. I've seen so many statements made on animation and "today's technology" coming from people who just don't know what they're talking about. It's not about being lazy. It's not about dumbing animation down. It's about producing the best animation they possibly can on a budget.

The problem isn't the animation itself. Its the designs. Other than that the show is pretty good.
 

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