When early attempts at realistic 3D animation like the 2001 Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within, the 2005 Polar Express, and the Grand Theft Auto and Lara Croft: Tomb Raider series were produced, critics, audiences and gamers were either amazed at their advanced graphics and realism or creeped out because at moments, they fell into the uncanny valley. Now, over 15 years have passed since the earliest renderings of realistic animations were created for full-length films.
Realistic animation has evolved well past the days of the Final Fantasy films and Grand Theft Auto games from years ago. Now, the bar for realistic animation is set extremely high, because there are more developed techniques and technology available. Still, some animators avoid hyper-realistic computer animations, because they fear the uncanny valley. Others may think that since realistic animations have been around for over a decade, it’s not that impressive. So, we asked the question: Are realistic animations no longer impressive?
Animation technology is still evolving.
Some may say that generating a realistic-looking 3D model probably isn’t that amazing anymore, because the technology to do that action has been around and used for a while. However, technology is rapidly advancing and creating animations that wouldn’t have been possible 10 or 5 years ago.
Also, there is still room for improvement, especially when it comes to facial animation. It’s one area that animators have struggled with for years, and it’s the pain point that NaturalFront software is tackling with advanced capabilities, algorithms and technology.
There’s a constant need for innovation.
The fact is that people have a short attention span and get bored easily. We are constantly looking for the next big thing. However, that isn’t to say that well-done computer animations are no longer impressive.
It means that you can’t rely on the same old, techniques and technology alone to impress people. (This is unless you are utilizing new, innovative technologies that revolutionize some aspect of old ones.) Like any art or entertainment form, you need to create something that is unique, thought-provoking and that resonates with your audience to differentiate yourself from other creators.
Game and film animation are different.
It’s also important to note that game animation and film animation are two different areas, that often require unique considerations and have different audiences. For example, games are interactive, which means that characters and animations need to look and animate smoothly from every angle.
When it comes to realistic computer animation, although it is important part of the film creation process, it is more prominent in the game industry. This is likely because game animation is about immersing the player into their own game world, and realism increases that feeling of being a part of the game.
Realistic animation is not dying out anytime soon. If anything, it’s flourishing as the desire to push the limits of art and technology grows. But, the key is to keep pushing the envelope and innovating computer animation technology and techniques, so that they will continue to amaze.