Sunday, April 04, 2010

The Impending Death of Complexity?

Very interesting read from Clay Shirky. He explores how the systemic complexity in how current visual media is made may end up being a huge roadblock that will prevent old-guard media systems from adapting to new formats and audiences. For additional commentary, read the TechDirt summary, too.

The take away for us animators? Our pre-conceived idea about what constitutes "good animation" may need to seriously shift if we want to be nimble enough to find a niche for ourselves in the coming media landscape. As horrible and unfathomable as it sounds, "good" animation production values are not a pre-requisite for successfully finding an audience. Being entertaining and appealing are. All that said, if you can still afford to make "good" animation, then I think you owe it to yourself (and your audience) to try and do so.

UPDATE:  Mark Mayerson just posted some thoughts on the same article. His insightful analysis is always a favorite of mine to read. Check it out, too.

1 comment:

davidmaas said...

Great links, Keith.
My take is that complexity is being mixed up with handwork. Shift Shirky's comments from the animation itself to the animation workflow and I agree 100%. We have hopelessly clunky, complicated processes - particularly when it comes to digital hand-drawn animation. To think that we (still!) refer to 3D in hand-drawn software as parallax-enabling planes is just bonkers.

Let the content go low-end, ultra cheap. (And it will.) Then a well-animated something from a talented, technically open someone will emerge, succeed and earn loads of money. Then the suits will be touting the "new model".