Saturday, March 25, 2006

The grass is green… and the audience yawns.

Is it just me, or are we stuck in a rut?

I can’t help it, but I’m a sucker for bold, adventuresome design. I love Sleeping Beauty, not because the story is all that great, but those backgrounds make me smile! I think the animated feature film game is getting a wee bit boring to look at these days. The wonder of the Cg-ness has worn off for me. Seeing cool looking fur, or fantasic particle or fluid simulations has lost it’s lustre. 7 years ago that was like “Wow! Did you see that?”. But now… great realistic lighting, rich deep hyper real textures… it’s all so….ehh. Maybe that’s why despite it’s obvious story troubles I found Madagascar appealing. They at least tried to look at the world through the artist’s interpretive lense.
Are we losing our sense of artistic adventure? Have the pixels sucked them from us as we chase after the siren song of representing reality with a level of versimilitude that heretofore has eluded us? Where is this CG generation’s Mary Blair or Eyvind Earle? I hope we don’t lose our imagination in how to look at the world.
In CG it seems we love to show everything as it is on a normal noon day as captured by the cold snapshots of a digital camera. Thus the green grass lament. *yawn*

Maybe there will be some pleasant design surprises coming out this year. I sure hope so, before we calcify into this way of looking at things. And yes, I know I’m way oversimplifying things and there are specific examples of this artistic adventure still making it to the screen. But I guess it’s just an overall feeling I have about where things are.

Somewhere along the way here I think the next step in Cg is for us to have our own style revolution, the same way that UPA started pushing things in the 50’s after 15 years of growing “grass is green-ism” in animation. Something tells me it’s just around the corner and it’s gonna be pretty interesting to see.

1 comment:

Keith Lango said...

original comments here....