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View Full Version : Movie/animation character movement pet peeves!



Ravioli
11-22-2015, 11:49 PM
Yeah, so I have 2 pet peeves because having tics myself (twitching my temples until they hurt mostly), watching others ticcing drives me mad. TV Tropes doesn't offer any answers. EXPLAIN! EXPLAIN! THE HUMANS WILL EXPLAIN!!!

1) Live action characters with fantasy masks, head gear, actors dressed up as creatures... Somehow, when an actor is wearing a bigass head thing, he keeps moving his head around. The Silurians in Doctor Who are especially annoying. If you got big head stuff on, do you HAVE to wave and shake and nod and sway it about like a stoned corn snake at a hippie concert?

2) Animated characters gesticulating excessively. When I recently watched The Road to El Dorado, I was reminded why I don't like western animation much, though some anime also do it: animation is a pain in the butt, so why make it worse by having characters fidget and toss their heads about? Especially hunching/bending the knees while throwing hands about in situations it would not correspond with logical human body language. Basically they always look like Israelis arguing about who's next in line, except without insulting each other's mother's genitalia. They should work more on facial expressions because my god those are so shallow much of the time...

OH MY GOD WHY!?

Cobalt Jade
11-23-2015, 01:49 AM
#1 bothered me in all the Star Trek series. There should have been a movement coach, like a voice coach, simply to tell the extras how to hold their bodies. Maybe someone trained in mime. Or there should have been tape or braces on the parts of their bodies that were the most problematic, to restrict the movement or play it out.

As for #2, I've noticed that since the late 80s, all of the kids' animation has gotten more busy and manic. It's really a chore to watch.

My pet peeve is the proliferation of South Park style minimalist animation, where there is no merit in the art, artistic direction, or animation style, everything is expressed in the writing and voices. Just a make a podcast if you want to be clever, you don't need to animate it.

Ravioli
11-23-2015, 02:33 AM
#1 bothered me in all the Star Trek series. There should have been a movement coach, like a voice coach, simply to tell the extras how to hold their bodies. Maybe someone trained in mime. Or there should have been tape or braces on the parts of their bodies that were the most problematic, to restrict the movement or play it out.

As for #2, I've noticed that since the late 80s, all of the kids' animation has gotten more busy and manic. It's really a chore to watch.

My pet peeve is the proliferation of South Park style minimalist animation, where there is no merit in the art, artistic direction, or animation style, everything is expressed in the writing and voices. Just a make a podcast if you want to be clever, you don't need to animate it.
OH MY GOD and I thought I was the only one who's got beef with all these! Your third point, too! South Park brought something new to the table. Something infantile and silly and simple, like real little paper cut-outs, yet so... stylish. But then they all went lazy. It's ironic because digital animation makes the task easier than traditional animation, yet animators got lazier in the process. I mean, look at good old 90s anime or The Animals of Farthing Wood, people busted their asses and created life on celluloid, these days there's far less ass busting and... nothing.

Vito
11-23-2015, 02:35 AM
Donald Duck and Daisy Duck holding hands, cuddling, smooching, and performing other public displays of affection. Makes me feel like shouting, "Get a room, you two!"

:rant:

kuwisdelu
11-23-2015, 02:41 AM
Yeah, so I have 2 pet peeves because having tics myself (twitching my temples until they hurt mostly), watching others ticcing drives me mad. TV Tropes doesn't offer any answers. EXPLAIN! EXPLAIN! THE HUMANS WILL EXPLAIN!!!

1) Live action characters with fantasy masks, head gear, actors dressed up as creatures... Somehow, when an actor is wearing a bigass head thing, he keeps moving his head around. The Silurians in Doctor Who are especially annoying. If you got big head stuff on, do you HAVE to wave and shake and nod and sway it about like a stoned corn snake at a hippie concert?

The make-up and costumes make small expressions difficult to see, so everything has to be exaggerated.

Brightdreamer
11-23-2015, 03:40 AM
It's ironic because digital animation makes the task easier than traditional animation, yet animators got lazier in the process.

I'd be careful calling digital animation "easier" than traditional, or of implying they're lazy. It takes a lot of work to do good digital art/animation - possibly more work than doing it by hand. Look at some of the "Making Of" features, and read a few articles by digital animators/artists. The computer's not doing all the work, and a good deal of digital animation is fixing stuff the computer did wrong. For instance, I don't know if it's true now, but it used to be that animators had to fix, say, a sequence of a ball striking a wall and rebounding, as the computer would start deforming the ball before impact... a frame-by-frame fix. And then there's working with armatures and layers - computer animation, at least the 3D kind, is composed of layers, from skin to clothing to hair, each of which has to be dealt with separately. That's why the credits of modern animated feature films are so very, very long...

I find a lot of animation today - particularly TV animation - rather crude compared to what I saw growing up. I'm guessing a lot of it has to do with cost-cutting and outsourcing, not necessarily a lack of skill or effort on the part of the animators. It comes from the top, and animators are rarely at the top.

kuwisdelu
11-23-2015, 03:51 AM
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/143553/Anime/budget-small.jpg

Albedo
11-23-2015, 03:54 AM
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/143553/Anime/budget-small.jpg
How much of that Simpsons budget went to the voice actors? Aren't they the highest-paid in the world?

kuwisdelu
11-23-2015, 03:56 AM
How much of that Simpsons budget went to the voice actors? Aren't they the highest-paid in the world?

Fair enough.

Exhibit 2.

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/143553/Anime/budget-2-small.jpeg

Ravioli
11-23-2015, 05:21 AM
I'd be careful calling digital animation "easier" than traditional, or of implying they're lazy. It takes a lot of work to do good digital art/animation - possibly more work than doing it by hand. Look at some of the "Making Of" features, and read a few articles by digital animators/artists. The computer's not doing all the work, and a good deal of digital animation is fixing stuff the computer did wrong. For instance, I don't know if it's true now, but it used to be that animators had to fix, say, a sequence of a ball striking a wall and rebounding, as the computer would start deforming the ball before impact... a frame-by-frame fix. And then there's working with armatures and layers - computer animation, at least the 3D kind, is composed of layers, from skin to clothing to hair, each of which has to be dealt with separately. That's why the credits of modern animated feature films are so very, very long...

I find a lot of animation today - particularly TV animation - rather crude compared to what I saw growing up. I'm guessing a lot of it has to do with cost-cutting and outsourcing, not necessarily a lack of skill or effort on the part of the animators. It comes from the top, and animators are rarely at the top.
Okay I was definitely wrong to blame the animators as they basically only do as instructed... but still, today's animation is just disgustingly bland. It's all in that super deformed Power Puff Girls style... Kuwisdelu's examples nail it.
But I still think digital animation made a lot of stuff easier. You don't have to draw each frame from scratch. I used to paint animation cels and if you make just one mistake, you can just go and start over.

Albedo
11-23-2015, 05:24 AM
Fair enough.

Exhibit 2.

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/143553/Anime/budget-2-small.jpeg
Hmm. Different labour costs, maybe? (Except, I thought most animation was being farmed out to the developing world anyway?)

kuwisdelu
11-23-2015, 05:36 AM
Labor costs may be part of the inflated budget of Western animation, but I don't think it explains the art differences.

Personally, I think Western animation fans are just satisfied with a different kind of art style and character design.

Ravioli
11-23-2015, 11:06 AM
This one ain't.

Twick
11-23-2015, 08:05 PM
I think part of the problem is that producers believe that action = interest. It's not a new phenomenon. Take a look (if you can bear it) at the animated Lord of the Rings. Whenever people are talking, not fighting, they make the most bizarre gestures. Characters do 360 spins for no reason at all, and wobble as if they're in a log-rolling contest. This, I presume, was to keep the audience interested, because goodness knows beefing up the script to have interesting dialogue be impossible/not worth the effort. (At least to the producers' eyes.)

The other thing that bugs me now is that modern animators deliberately set out to be as ugly and disgusting as possible. Heaven forbid we should see something beautiful. My own suspicion is that they have a deep, underlying fear that they can't do anything truly beautiful, so they can slouch around going, "Nah, wasn't trying. Wanted it to be hideous. You bourgeois scum don't deserve beauty."

Cobalt Jade
11-23-2015, 10:19 PM
You are talking about Bakshi's version, yes? He did use rotoscope animation for some of the scenes (that is, where painted cels were based on film frames of live action) that might account for it.

K.P. Iris
11-24-2015, 12:28 AM
Having studied a bit of animation in college before switching to graphic design (which I also lost interest in), I can say that animation has always been about taking reality and exaggerating it in some way. Thus the over-the-top gestures and expressions and all the other visually weird things that come with the media. And I, personally, love it. My only pet peeve with animation is how tedious it is to make. I enjoyed drawing growing up but as writing became more natural to me (and a hell of a lot easier to execute and hone) I realized that I'm more of a character designer than an animator.

Ravioli
11-24-2015, 02:06 AM
Having studied a bit of animation in college before switching to graphic design (which I also lost interest in), I can say that animation has always been about taking reality and exaggerating it in some way. Thus the over-the-top gestures and expressions and all the other visually weird things that come with the media. And I, personally, love it. My only pet peeve with animation is how tedious it is to make. I enjoyed drawing growing up but as writing became more natural to me (and a hell of a lot easier to execute and hone) I realized that I'm more of a character designer than an animator.
I've studied and done animation myself, but my beef isn't with exaggeration so much as with downright spasm-ridden characters who need a good dose of phenobarbital. Plus, if you're gonna invest in body movements, how about going for real, credible body language that would add depth? Doing squats while throwing your arms up to say "Why don't we go have coffee?" can't be all there is..

Ravioli
11-24-2015, 02:07 AM
Having studied a bit of animation in college before switching to graphic design (which I also lost interest in), I can say that animation has always been about taking reality and exaggerating it in some way. Thus the over-the-top gestures and expressions and all the other visually weird things that come with the media. And I, personally, love it. My only pet peeve with animation is how tedious it is to make. I enjoyed drawing growing up but as writing became more natural to me (and a hell of a lot easier to execute and hone) I realized that I'm more of a character designer than an animator.
I've studied and done animation myself, but my beef isn't with exaggeration so much as with downright spasm-ridden characters who need a good dose of phenobarbital. Plus, if you're gonna invest in body movements, how about going for real, credible body language that would add depth? Doing squats while throwing your arms up to say "Why don't we go have coffee?" can't be all there is..



I think part of the problem is that producers believe that action = interest. It's not a new phenomenon. Take a look (if you can bear it) at the animated Lord of the Rings. Whenever people are talking, not fighting, they make the most bizarre gestures. Characters do 360 spins for no reason at all, and wobble as if they're in a log-rolling contest. This, I presume, was to keep the audience interested, because goodness knows beefing up the script to have interesting dialogue be impossible/not worth the effort. (At least to the producers' eyes.)

That needed a trigger warning. My memory tried to repress that horror.



The other thing that bugs me now is that modern animators deliberately set out to be as ugly and disgusting as possible. Heaven forbid we should see something beautiful. My own suspicion is that they have a deep, underlying fear that they can't do anything truly beautiful, so they can slouch around going, "Nah, wasn't trying. Wanted it to be hideous. You bourgeois scum don't deserve beauty."
May I add mean faces and defensive loser poses in characters? Because they don't seem to be able to bring a character to life anymore. It's only ever the Dreamworks Smirk I cannot pinpoint the meaning or intention of. I've always hated the Sonic the Hedgehog universe fpr this, and the modern animation shows with characters constantly making condescending smirks or downright angry faces and poses for which people would have police chase you away for loitering, are just as bad.

Cobalt Jade
11-26-2015, 10:23 PM
I think the smirk is intended to convey a meta-comment on the material on the part of the animator (that is, the animator is not taking it completely seriously and "breaking the fourth wall.")

Alessandra Kelley
11-26-2015, 11:23 PM
Hmm. Different labour costs, maybe? (Except, I thought most animation was being farmed out to the developing world anyway?)

Augh, don't get me started. One of my best friends from college is a genius animator, basically been out of work for aeons as all the animation work shifted over to Korea and Sri Lanka and wherever the companies can get it made as cheap as humanly possible.

A.k.a. Probably goes a long way towards explainging how crummy so much animation looks. It's the visual equivalent of sweatshop clothing.

kuwisdelu
11-27-2015, 12:51 AM
Augh, don't get me started. One of my best friends from college is a genius animator, basically been out of work for aeons as all the animation work shifted over to Korea and Sri Lanka and wherever the companies can get it made as cheap as humanly possible.

A.k.a. Probably goes a long way towards explainging how crummy so much animation looks. It's the visual equivalent of sweatshop clothing.

Doesn't explain it to me. A lot of Japanese animation is outsourced to Korea, too, but lots of anime still look visually great.

Ravioli
11-27-2015, 01:04 AM
Doesn't explain it to me. A lot of Japanese animation is outsourced to Korea, too, but lots of anime still look visually great.
Shin Angyou Onshi. Oh. My. God.

Zoombie
11-27-2015, 01:10 AM
As a fan of Adventure Time, I rather like it's minimalist style. I don't think it is poorly animated or crappily drawn - just a different style, for a different kind of show.

kuwisdelu
11-27-2015, 02:48 AM
As a fan of Adventure Time, I rather like it's minimalist style. I don't think it is poorly animated or crappily drawn - just a different style, for a different kind of show.

I get that. Some anime are like that, too. But I do wonder why most contemporary Western animation styles tend to run toward the simplistic.

And many of the films that might've been beautiful 2D animation in the past are now 3D animation, which is not my cup of tea.

EMaree
11-27-2015, 04:23 AM
I really enjoy both western and eastern animation. There's pros and cons of both, and a lot of really shoddy work produced by both sides. Let me dig out some pet peeves....

I mean, most anime and mangas are terrible at varying character body types. Absolutely bloody terrible. Even in shows that don't use colour-coded-for-your-convenience eyes and hair, chances are any characfter you're expected to like will be slim, attractive, and white/Asian (depending on how you interpret pale anime characters). Western animation is a lot better at using rounded shapes like triangles and circles instead of all rectangles all the time, and it's also a lot better at racial diversity. Stephen Universe is a good example of a relatively simple style with huge diversity in body types and ethnicities (and sexualities!). Japanese animation has a lot of issues that spring from the culture it's born on -- the lack of diversity, and the inherent sexism means that sports anime get shot down unless they have an all-male cast.*

And while anime's managing to move away from the money-saving technique of just having characters mouths move, the animation quality is still so variable. Lately there's been a spree of anime that work hard on absolutely gorgeous digital work and backgrounds, but put barely any effort into character facial animation. (Off the top of my head, Digimon Tri and Dramatical Murder to a lesser extent).

Obviously, there are shows that are actively tackling this, but plenty still need to up their game.

In Western animation, I'm mostly getting tired of the sameface problem (http://i.onionstatic.com/avclub/5366/51/original/640.jpg) digital studios are having. Racial diversity's still an issue too, but with Big Hero 6, Home, The Book of Life and upcoming CoCo I feel like things are visibly improving.

(*Wish I could remember which one, but a popular sports anime was planned as all-female cast by the mangaka until they'd editor convinced them that wouldn't sell.)

Zoombie
11-27-2015, 05:05 AM
I get that. Some anime are like that, too. But I do wonder why most contemporary Western animation styles tend to run toward the simplistic.

I'm not sure.

Maybe it's because western animation tends to use caricature - and simplicity goes with caricature like Five Guy's hamburger's go with my facehole.

Ravioli
11-27-2015, 07:39 AM
In Western animation, I'm mostly getting tired of the sameface problem (http://i.onionstatic.com/avclub/5366/51/original/640.jpg) digital studios are having. Racial diversity's still an issue too, but with Big Hero 6, Home, The Book of Life and upcoming CoCo I feel like things are visibly improving.

If it's any consolation, lots of anime characters can also be told apart by shape of eyes and hairstyle only.

EMaree
11-27-2015, 01:49 PM
If it's any consolation, lots of anime characters can also be told apart by shape of eyes and hairstyle only.

They've lost a lot of silhoutte strength lately -- not to pick on Digimon Tri again, but contrast the silhouttes in Digimon Adventure versus Digimon Tri (http://i.imgur.com/5rBfFkx.jpg). The hairstyle 'realism' isn't too widespread yet, we still get shows like One Punch Man that have a really good sense of silhouettes, but a lot of anime are moving towards a 'standard' eye style for a show that really ruins some of the variety we used to have.

But hey, I've been watching anime a long, long time now. It's entirely possible I'm just reaching the "THINGS WERE BETTER BACK IN MY DAY" stage of style crotchetiness. Overall anime's had a lot of improvements to be thankful for, much cleaner styles, a huge leap in background technology improvement, and rotoscoping is creating some amazing work like Evangelion's piano scene.

There's a lot I adore about anime, but I didn't mention it in the last post to try and keep on-topic to the thread.

kuwisdelu
11-29-2015, 10:05 AM
and white/Asian (depending on how you interpret pale anime characters)

I still don't get how many people don't get that Japanese characters in a Japanese setting are Japanese just because the skin tone doesn't match up with Asian stereotypes.

kuwisdelu
11-29-2015, 10:06 AM
But hey, I've been watching anime a long, long time now. It's entirely possible I'm just reaching the "THINGS WERE BETTER BACK IN MY DAY" stage of style crotchetiness.

Well. There will always be a lot of crap.

The good stuff stays good. Some things have changed, of course.

I doubt we'll ever see the surreal beauty of the glass animation of Ohtori Academy's floating world as in Adolescent Apocalypse again.

The color red will never be as rich as it was in the ink and paint era.

But the hand-drawn mecha battles in Star Driver were still a welcome, recent charm, and we have cool, bizarre stuff like Inu Curry's witch labyrinths in Madoka.

And of course we have Bakemonogatari self-referencing the art style changes over the years. (https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/143553/Anime/kaiki-then-and-now.jpg)


some amazing work like Evangelion's piano scene.

Well. Anno is always a gold standard.

Even before he had a budget.

I usually hate rotoscope in anime, but he nails it.

Cobalt Jade
12-10-2015, 12:01 AM
And of course we have Bakemonogatari self-referencing the art style changes over the years. (https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/143553/Anime/kaiki-then-and-now.jpg)


I think a lot of anime has gotten Peter Chungified, IMO.

Ravioli
12-10-2015, 10:33 AM
Watching The Boondocks... And I love the humour... And mean little Riley... and dry little Huey... But why did they have to adopt one of the most annoying anime tropes of a "shocker" being shown repeatedly from different angles? Plus the "Let's show every shocked face separately to make sure everyone knows everyone's shocked!" shit. Gawd I hate that.

Which brings me to the next. Like those 3 ducklings in Disney. Characters completing each others' sentences as a routine or everyone being given a line in every scene to make sure they're not forgotten by the viewers. No. Don't do that. A good show can literally lose my interest with one such instance.