Wednesday, July 16, 2014

How To Walk Like an Ape: Motion Capture and Animation

// Andy Serkis interview: 'Audiences are moved by acting, not effects'

“Two things have to be understood: the authorship of a performance happens on set with a director and other actors in a very conventional live action sense. The animation process is what happens afterwards, and the skill and artistry and the brilliant work the animators do in interpolating that performance and manifesting it on screen is an art form which is unparalleled.” Then, almost defiantly, he adds: “Acting is acting and visual effects are visual effects and it’s a marriage, but the authorship of performance - everything you watch on screen that you feel and think about a character - comes from the actor.”

// Andy Serkis Vs. Visual Effects Animators: The Wrong Fight For Both Sides

"And one more thing for vfx artists: You too should stop bickering over who is the author of the performance and work with Andy Serkis — or Zoe Saldana or Jamie Bell or Ray Winstone — to get awards, even if it’s a special achievement award made up for the occasion, for a performance capture role. Because people like winning awards, and helping an actor win an award will make you more desirable for the next film that puts a big actor in a performance capture suit.

 So what if nobody says your name from the podium? At least you’ll have have a great story for bartenders and reporters."

// Where Does Andy Serkis End & Animation Begin?

“It’s a tough question, because obviously Andy gives you the heart and soul of the performance, but we also come at it with creating what you see on top of it. So there’s this hybrid and I think that the Academy… is not quite clear how to honor that combination, because this a new thing where you can take the performance and separate it from the visual image of what you see, but then it all has to come back together again as though they were one and the same to start with.”

// Dawn of the Planet of the Apes: how to act like an ape

"However, the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers doesn’t cover motion-capture acting in Screen Actors Guild contracts, classifying it rather as “lower-paying background work”, according to Variety. All that motion capture does, the association says, is assist animators, who ultimately produce the final performance – and there’s no way of telling how closely the final performance matches the actor’s movements. Steven Spielberg wanted his 2011 motion-capture movie The Adventures of Tintin to be considered an animated feature, but equally, when the 2006 movie Happy Feet won the Oscar for best animated feature, having employed motion capture, many animators felt the technique either disempowering or, at worst, a cheat or shortcut."

// Andy Serkis, Star of a Movie Medium That Doesn't Need Stars
'Motion capture has a long history of second-tier kind of acting—or worse, a mere variety of animation'

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