September 28, 2020, 08:02:39 PM

Author Topic: CGI Actors  (Read 2832 times)

Offline tebakutis

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Re: CGI Actors
« Reply #15 on: January 24, 2017, 02:10:26 AM »
My bad, on that part of "created by one or two people" I meant mangas, comics or books (for example) where sometimes even only one person writes and draws and create dozens of different characters, even if sometimes some traits and quirks are too exaggerated, but (sometimes) gain more life and depth when animated.

Animating it will require more people, of course. Specially for voices, until something is created for that too. But depending on how the technology evolves, it will be nowhere as crazy as a full movie or even animation as currently is.

I think Telltale Games are on the way to eventually become that.

So related to the Machinima mention I dropped earlier ... it's not CGI (it's recorded realtime) but part of the advantage of the format is that a few people can very quickly produce basic animation on no budget.

While the video below isn't the first Machinima film to be produced (that was actually Diary of a Camper, by a group called the Rangers) it was one of the more popular ones, produced by three guys an improv group called "The Ill Clan" (fun fact: one of them, Paul Marino, eventually went on to work Bioware). The guys basically connected to a live Quake server, recorded their game using a single player as a camera man, edited the footage in one of the demo editing tools of the time, and added voices using .wav files.

While this is a Youtube video, the original movie played out entirely in real time in Quake itself. Basically, you installed it, started Quake, ran the "demo" file, and the engine rendered the entire movie in realtime.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QeNz7wefw0M[/youtube]

I've always thought that if a package became available that could create quality movies that was this easy to work with, we might see a large number of indie films done by small teams, as Lanko suggests. The problem is there's no money it for the people who would have to create the engine, build the environments, and create the 3D models.

Honestly, having done as much as I did with Machinima in the 90s, I wish it had caught on more than it did. Now, of course, there is a "Machinima.com", but the realtime recording and playback method you see in the first Machinima movies isn't really done anymore. Even when the footage is rendered in realtime, it's usually canned animations, which, though they look better, require far more time to create and require a high level of artistic skill as an entry point.

With something like Apartment Huntin', you could literally get some folks on a Quake server in do this in a couple of nights.

Offline Nora

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Re: CGI Actors
« Reply #16 on: January 24, 2017, 02:36:59 AM »
Ah sorry, yes, manga and comics in general is usually a 1-2/3-5 tops people efforts. But some mangakas work all alone and others in big teams, with apprentices and such. People doing all the filling, etc. Even there technology killed a lot of those little jobs. Back in the day, mangakas used "transfer paper" to do a lot of colourisation and action lines. It was often a noob's time consuming job. Now all this is done by computer, I assume, even if the art is still drawn in ink.

I don't know why we'd ever want to digitalise voice acting. There are many things in the art I wish were not replaced, because we'd loose them, and they are beautiful in themselves.
I think good art is done regardless, and people would act for close to no wage if it was the only option for them to express themselves. If Hollywood crashed, how many actors would keep practising? Well, just the passionate ones, right?
But it's like us. How much money are we making out of our writing? Are we stopping? Why?
I doubt the movie economy will spiral up forever. We won't be able to keep paying people like Tom cruise forever, can we? :-\
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Offline Lanko

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Re: CGI Actors
« Reply #17 on: January 24, 2017, 06:11:49 AM »
I don't know anything about the movie industry, I will try to use books to write how I'm trying to envision things. If it turns out like that, we can all say Lanko was a visionary  8) . So, not specifically to anyone:

Once the Big 5 were the Big 6. One of them broke or got absorbed and it wasn't because of self-publishing or e-books.
More conservative writers/analysts/whatever feared that e-books would make print books disappear. A decade later (or more) and nothing of the sorts is happening. Once you had to bound books manually, now you can bound thousands automatically in one go.

So the Big 5 are not gonna break. I actually saw somewhere that apparently they are making more money than ever thanks to e-books. While making contracts worse and worse. Authors apparently got 50% of e-books, now it's down to 15%, I think.

So if CGI replaces some actors or digitalizing voices or much better settings or cutting down a lot of travel to places, that means Hollywood will save money, which will make it harder for them to break.
We may frown that Hollywood would do it, but for an indie that would be awesome. Imagine you want your movie in New York, 5th Avenue with some in gigantic scale. Use CGI to make hundreds of unique people to simulate the traffic instead of hundreds of supporting actors. Or permissions for places (which will probably be denied if you are unknown), and even voices for some characters.

Using books as an example again. When there was no e-books and no print on demand, you had to print a minimum amount of copies. I'm shooting for 1000, made up number. For Tor or Harper Voyager this would be nothing. For most of us the cost would be a dealbreaker.
Now you can say some print companies and bookbinders closed or lost their jobs, but that saved money means I now can pay an artist $200 or even $500 instead of $50 for a cover. Or a bit more for an editor for extra passes. Or a more well-known proofreader.
So some indie who saves a lot with CGI or digital voices would have the same choice. They could have more money for their own quality of life, thus being able to make a living from it, which is great, or they could use it to improve other aspects of their movie, which would also be great.

I guess I understand the replacing some irreplaceable things angle, but I also believe that's the same thing theater actors/critics/companies also said back then.
"Who will want to watch movement inside a glass screen? And the contact between actors and public? Or doing it live? Improvising on the moment? That's where true talent is instead of recording over and over, cutting and editing until it gets done right."

Or with music, when MP3 started rolling around. It would be the end of the industry, of music, and even if it's not, that would not be the same thing as holding a CD, or having the CD booklet with lyrics and photos, the same stuff with print vs electronic books, like holding it, smelling the paper, etc.
And now I'm guessing there are a lot of indie bands/artists making a living purely out of selling digital music, building audiences on Youtube (or whatever they use) just like authors with digital books and Twitter, Goodreads, etc. I believe they also had the same problems with CDs as authors back then with printing.
I still have my discman in a drawer somewhere and I never really missed it.

As for the voices, I think there was a thread discussing about robots writing books in the future. I don't think a robot would ever be able to write a Game of Thrones, a First Law or a Red Dragon. Possibly put new clothes using Star Wars plotline or the Hero's Journey, yes. It could even be good but would only step above about what it's poor stuff out there.
Same thing for voices or actors. There's too much uniqueness for a computer to do it all and do it well. Even if it covers a lot of stuff, but probably not protagonists, if one can afford it. But what matters is that one could try to do it and be able to. A small group would have to get really creative, but it would be possible. But I wouldn't expect a Heath Ledger performance.

On an unrelated note, I tried audiobooks a few times and just couldn't get into them not even to the completion of some excerpts. Specially with dialogues. Also, sitting hearing staring at nothing doesn't help either. I need to walk around or do something. Which kinda of distracts me.
Or maybe it would grab my attention more if it was something more like this:

[youtube]ADiqEHS7SWw[/youtube]

Anyway, books got through this process where anyone can now publish and a lot of authors make a living out of it, some even make it later to traditional presses (Michael Sullivan, Andy Weir, etc). For music the same thing. Indie games are also doing very well (though I don't think I know an AAA type title done by them).
I think Minecraft was created by one guy? What matters is on fun and entertainment a lot people make a living out of it too. And some of those programmers/artists or even entire small studios sometimes get bought and incorporated into big ones. Even Bioware was small once and got bought by Electronic Arts.

So barriers and accessibility got drastically reduced for books, music and games creation. Only one left to reach the same degree is movies, and like tebakutis pointed out, there's already this Machinima and Source Filmmaker. All those by anyone willing to try to learn and have some spark of talent, as little as it may be.
But the real thing is gonna be using technology to the level of creating real people, flesh and bones, realistic settings, and later even voices.

Sooner or later, I believe it will inevitably get there. But like all the other three, it won't kill how it's traditionally done, it will just give artists and the public more options and access, just like a lot of books, or music or games that wouldn't make into traditional channels for whatever reason and find a home with indie to a respectable level of success.
« Last Edit: January 24, 2017, 06:20:16 AM by Lanko »
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