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Portal, animation

 
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Rexfelum



Joined: 26 Sep 2003
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 17, 2011 10:37 am    Post subject: Portal, animation Reply with quote

I don't know how many of you are following the recent events and silliness related to the upcoming release of Portal 2. We had discussed this stuff once, but I'm not actually writing about the game itself now. On that above-linked blog, there's a post about fan-made material such as this nice video (if you look at any of this stuff and you haven't played Portal yet, you're an idiot). This video reminded me of some of my old thinking on Broken Saints.

Usually, when people dislike something in the art world, the reasons they give for it don't amount to much. At least, said reasons aren't very convincing to the people who do like that same thing. It's worse when those reasons are downright insulting. Insulting, that is, to one's intelligence.

And so one of the most common reasons for disliking Broken Saints was that it was "not animated." Two-step reaction: First, of course, those who liked it weren't convinced that "still paintings" were worse than "cell-shaded animations." Second, of course, it was insulting to the intelligence to say that Broken Saints wasn't animated.

Even with so many images set as "still paintings," everything that needed to be animated actually was. When I first got to Chapter 7 and saw the text animation, I was impressed. Text animation looks awesome. I mean, have you Portal fans watched that nice video yet? This is what happens when you let the words themselves be the visual art.

Not only that, but do you folks remember the Marvel video that was once posted here? It was boring. Somehow, despite "looking like Broken Saints," it didn't feel like anything ever happened; it didn't feel animated. I spent awhile trying to figure out why I was so bored, and, in the end, I guessed it connected to the same idea: those Marvel people never animated the text. They never even showed the text. There was just a bunch of people on-screen holding their mouth open and not doing anything. What if a simple speech bubble had just appeared and disappeared, giving the audience the sensation that something was happening? It made it clear to me that animated text was, in fact, a necessary-and-sufficient artistic component to bridge the gap between purely-still images and full-speed animation.

As such, Broken Saints is awesome to watch-and-read, and artists who specifically focus on text animation can make videos (like the one above), TV commercials, and tons of other things that people accept as normal.

Also, I like Portal. There's probably no one who will reply to this thread to comment on anything other than Portal.

--Rexfelum
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Bearses



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PostPosted: Sun Apr 17, 2011 11:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

like
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The Eggplant



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PostPosted: Sun Apr 17, 2011 6:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

*facebook reshare*
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Emperor Xan



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PostPosted: Mon Apr 18, 2011 7:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm almost tempted to say "Portal sucks" just to watch Rex start foaming at the mouth.
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Vertigo21 wrote:
Make...something?

Shit man, I can barely make a peanut butter and jelly sandwhich. I can't make a watch.
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Rexfelum



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PostPosted: Mon Apr 18, 2011 7:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bearses wrote:
like

The Eggplant wrote:
*facebook reshare*

So, do you just want to officially declare that Facebook has become the social hub for the silly folks around this place?

I'm still down with using these forums for the occasional shout into the void.

Emperor Xan wrote:
watch Rex start foaming at the mouth.

If it matters so much to you, I could go and get the toothpaste.

--Rexfelum
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The Eggplant



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PostPosted: Tue Apr 19, 2011 6:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rexfelum wrote:
Bearses wrote:
like

The Eggplant wrote:
*facebook reshare*

So, do you just want to officially declare that Facebook has become the social hub for the silly folks around this place?

I'm still down with using these forums for the occasional shout into the void.

I am too, Rex. I actually enjoy coming here and reading things. Better signal-to-noise ratio. Somehow I find solace in knowing that these forums are the one place on the Internet, while still public, where people I know won't bother me. I've been liking "shouting into the void" a lot more lately these days.
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Evil_Sponge



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PostPosted: Wed Apr 20, 2011 6:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Animated text is great. Voice overs are also great.

From a pacing standpoint, it's typically hard to combine the two in such a way that one does not outpace the other. Like in chapter 24 when Lear started doing his impression on John Romita. Or the earlier chapters with the awkward pauses between sentences. Frankly I think the comparison of Broken Saints to any Marvel motion comic (at least all the ones I've seen) will find Marvel lacking...but that probably has more to do with the subject matter than the lack of text bubbles.

I'm not entirely sure where I started going with that...but I think the main point is that I've never played Portal.
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Rexfelum



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PostPosted: Thu Apr 21, 2011 7:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Evil_Sponge wrote:
I'm not entirely sure where I started going with that...but I think the main point is that I've never played Portal.

Alright, good, we're staying on topic.

Evil_Sponge wrote:
Animated text is great. Voice overs are also great.

True. However, I would argue that the voice overs in the Marvel video (and the one that Brooke had linked is the only "Marvel motion comic" I've seen) don't do the things that proper voice overs tend to do. One good setup is to have an invisible narrator; another is to have a "live" actor on-screen. But these animated actors are, to quote myself, "just a bunch of people on-screen holding their mouth open and not doing anything."

We are supposed to mentally glue the (narrated) voice to these (visual) actors and feel like Wolverine is talking to us. It's called "visual capture," and I've taught about it in my sensation and perception classes. It occurs when something happens visually, which could be implemented efficiently with animated speech bubbles.

Evil_Sponge wrote:
From a pacing standpoint, it's typically hard to combine the two in such a way that one does not outpace the other.

I have my own gripes about the pacing on the voice acting in Broken Saints. My biggest one is that the actors disagreed on whether to start talking exactly when the speech bubble appeared or to start some other time. I would like to grab the speech tracks and jostle them forward or back until they line up better.

--Rexfelum
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Bearses



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PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2011 9:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Eggplant wrote:
Better signal-to-noise ratio.


i dunno, the spam bots make it pretty close.

EDIT: but yes, i was just being silly. i also enjoy posting here.

ANOTHER EDIT:

Rexfelum wrote:
Alright, good, we're staying on topic.


that's what you think...

Rexfelum wrote:
I have my own gripes about the pacing on the voice acting in Broken Saints. My biggest one is that the actors disagreed on whether to start talking exactly when the speech bubble appeared or to start some other time. I would like to grab the speech tracks and jostle them forward or back until they line up better.


interesting. i never actually noticed this. i was too absorbed in the story. xD
although i can see how pacing would be the major buzzkill for friends i try to show it to.
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Evil_Sponge



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PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2011 12:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It may have been more noticeable to people who had spent years watching the bubbles, as our eyes were trained to dart to a certain part of the screen at a certain time. The timing having been engrained in us, any deviation between when the actor started talking on screen and when they usually started talking in our heads could be a bit jarring.

Or maybe that was just me...

Anyway, motion comics have gotten a bit better over the years. People at least move slightly when they're talking nowadays. Not that I watch too many of them...but enough time passes between each one that they look good in comparison to their predecessors.

Hmmm...wonder if I have any cake downstairs...
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Rexfelum



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PostPosted: Sun Apr 24, 2011 4:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bearses wrote:
Rexfelum wrote:
the actors disagreed on whether to start talking exactly when the speech bubble appeared or to start some other time.

interesting. i never actually noticed this.

The biggest perpetrator was Raimi (I think). The written word flickers up: "Lights." Then you can actually hear the actor's mouth open to start speaking. Then comes the spoken word: "Lights." Quick hint to the actor: the audience has already read the word.

As a result of sluggishness, he gave the start of Chapter 13 an annoying issue. He spoke so slowly that the "lasting singularity" was proclaimed on top of what was supposed to be a dramatic text change. He had to spit out the words because he delayed until the text was vanishing. Simply put, he should have sacrificed about twenty seconds to re-record.

Bearses wrote:
although i can see how pacing would be the major buzzkill for friends i try to show it to.

Which definition of "pacing"? We already know that the entire plot's pacing is more subtle than a lot of people want, so it's hard to share this thing. But if you think they'd like Broken Saints, and you really are concerned about the speech pacing, consider this: don't play the speech. Daring.

Evil_Sponge wrote:
Anyway, motion comics have gotten a bit better over the years.

Care to name some?

Evil_Sponge wrote:
Hmmm...wonder if I have any cake downstairs...

Are you . . . are you trying to reference Portal? I'd call that weak. But there's no sense crying over every likewise-pointless song cue yeah I won't bother with this one.

--Rexfelum
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Evil_Sponge



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PostPosted: Sun Apr 24, 2011 5:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm trying a reference to a reference to Portal. Since, as I've said, I've never played the game it was the best I could do. Weak? Yes. But apparently I got the job done.

As to motion comics that aren't half terrible...there's always Astonishing X-Men - Gifted. Again, I don't watch these things too often, so I don't have a huge basis for comparison. But of all the ones from Marvel that I've seen, this is one of the better ones. Of course, if you note my earlier choice of wording, you'll realize that that's not saying too much. Though it being penned by Whedon helps. And their mouths move, so there ya go.

But it showed up at Christmas...and I got through it. Is it on the caliber of the little animated web comic that could? No. Frankly, I think the I Am Legend things were far superior. The point, however, is it's better than older stuff I've seen from them.
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Bearses



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PostPosted: Sun Apr 24, 2011 8:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rexfelum wrote:
Which definition of "pacing"?

--Rexfelum


all of them.
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Rexfelum



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PostPosted: Tue Apr 26, 2011 8:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Would you believe . . .
Evil_Sponge wrote:
Astonishing X-Men - Gifted.
. . . is the same material as . . .
Rexfelum wrote:
the Marvel video that was once posted here
?

I'm guessing you didn't see the video when Brooke posted it, because you would have remembered. That old version was mostly the same thing you linked . . . but with almost no animation.

All this time I had no clue that Marvel was planning to add lip-synching. And why would they? They're a big company, they could afford to pay for lip-synching before releasing their attempt-to-wow-the-audience-with-something-new video. Brooke even told us that he had personally argued for the use of speech balloons (as opposed to plain emptiness), implying that there was a conscious and deliberate decision to present the video with neither speech balloons nor lip-synching. Since when does Marvel do the amateur-artist thing and show a "proof of concept" video with half-best work?

Whatever they were thinking, it's good to have one fewer bad example in the world.

--Rexfelum
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Evil_Sponge



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PostPosted: Wed Apr 27, 2011 2:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

No, I don't remember his post. Nor did I visit the link posted earlier, so boo to me. But I could swear I saw something worse come from them earlier. Or maybe it was around the same time and the X-men thing was for some reason superior and I wondered how that happened.

I don't know. Brooke's video isn't playing for some reason, but I'm going to go ahead and stand semi-corrected.

But I've still seen worse.

In any case, I agree that text animation is fun and cool.
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Rexfelum



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PostPosted: Wed Apr 27, 2011 6:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Evil_Sponge wrote:
I'm going to go ahead and stand semi-corrected.

No, don't do that. It would appear that I did not communicate. Allow me to re-emphasize:

The old video linked by Brooke "was mostly the same thing you linked . . . but with almost no animation." It was the same story, but had no lip-synching or other facial animation, and suffered from all of the flaws that I described in my initial post. Then, when I followed your link to the newer video, I was surprised. After all, "I had no clue that Marvel was planning to add lip-synching. And why would they?" But, well, they did, and they created a video that you felt was worth holding up as a good example. "Whatever they were thinking, it's good to have one fewer bad example in the world."

Alright?

--Rexfelum
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Evil_Sponge



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PostPosted: Thu Apr 28, 2011 11:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

No, no it's not alright!

Oh, wait...yeah is.
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Bearses



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PostPosted: Fri Apr 29, 2011 2:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

excellent news! this calls for a calibration!
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Rexfelum



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PostPosted: Fri May 06, 2011 3:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh my goodness, Portal 2 is so fun. I love it. I love it so much I think I might perform a manual override on this wall.

--Rexfelum
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