Where Cgi Can Go Wrong
The art of computer graphics is extremely technical and requires teams with hundreds, often thousands of highly skilled artists. The problem is that as CGI improves in movies, so do the viewers. Viewers become critics and can start picking out CGI that is not perfect and scream for the skies and make sure everyone hears it.
The good news is that studios have – for the most part – realised that story is king, not CGI. Computer graphics is there as a tool to tell a story and it should never be the reason for creating a film in the first place.
To help highlight this fact, here are what I believe are some of the most cringe-worthy CGI that I hope never gets approved again.
Oh, and let’s not forget what nearly happened when they tried to release Sonic the Hedgehog recently. We can all thank social media for jumping on this one and preventing a massive disaster to a franchise we all love.
The Ancient Magus Bride
Released back in 2017, The Ancient Magus Bride takes animation to new levels of breath-taking.
Even by 2019s standards, there wont be dozens of shows much better than this for its visuals.
It doesnt matter how trivial a scene might be. Or how small a detail is. The Ancient Magus Bride catches it all, and puts it on display to make sure youre blown away when you see it.
The Junji Ito Collection
Dont let the MAL score scare you off. The collection is based on a very successful horror manga series, and just didnt do it justice, I guess.
But if you have not read the manga you should have no problems watching.
Its a collection of horror stories, which vary in degree, regarding everything fear inducing.
Never-escaping nightmares, deadly curses, slugs growing in your mouth, you know the usual stuff. Basically like Twilight Zone, but scarier.
And if it doesnt scare you, it might just make you laugh, believe me on that one.
Have you ever thought about how cool it would be to be immortal?
Well, have you also thought about the societal ramifications of immortality? Thought so.
Well this anime kind of answers that question as people become Ajin, immortal humans.
As you can imagine, they dont care too much about justice since theres no real way to punish them.
The show is psychological, action packed, the Ajin look spooky. And the CGI will scare you if nothing else will.
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How Cgi Affects The Anime Viewing Experience
Before the high demand for animated shows and movies, the main purpose of CG was to enhance. It was a creative decision rather than a need to speed up production. Most Studios today have a schedule they have to stick to, to please the fans. And to do so, many methods are exploited to cut down the time and cost it usually takes. So some might say CG animation is a miracle to the industry, but some might disagree.
Usually, the issue with CGI is one of two things. Either it doesnt blend in with everything else and is distracting or in the case of fully 3D anime, they struggle to make the animation of the characters look natural.
Golden KamuyMekakucity Actors
There are certain techniques to use CG and not take your audience out of the story. After all, this art form is all about keeping your audience immersed in the story. And weird jarring cuts back and forth to CG can absolutely ruin that. This is why fully 3D anime is often so universally disliked. Its a different method of animation that tries to mimic 2D.
One of the reasons one gets addicted to Anime is because of the craft of 2D animation. And I guess thats something a lot of us can share. CGI is fundamentally a different method of animation and most of us dont find it interesting and enjoyable to look at as something like hand-drawn animation. No CG no matter how high quality can never mimic that.
Urda: The Third Reich
You know the top three of a list is a treat when what is widely considered one of the worst anime films of all time and some of the worst CGI ever put to screen doesn’t even crack it.
2004, the same time that the Lord Of The Rings films were in theatres, this atrocity was put to the big screen and making everyone wonder why they even bother with CGI in the first place.
Now, granted, the shoddy animation is hardly the worst thing about this movie, but boy is it up there.
This film, about fighting time traveling Nazis and yet is somehow so soul crushingly dull you’ll want to claw your own brain out with a spoon, features animation mistakes that hadn’t been made with CGI since the late 80s.
Hair could not look more fake if they tried, stiff face and body animation, characters who behave like they operate on different planes of reality than everyone else, and so much else that just leaves your jaw slack in horrified awe at just how wrong this movie gets every step of its animation.
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What’s Still The Same
Animators are always innovating, but some things still remain the same and most likely always will. Someone still has to draw what happens on the screen . Someone still has to come up with a story and write a script. Limited animation techniques, like only animating the mouth when a character talks, will continue to keep budgets low and schedules on time. But most importantly, anime will still feature exciting stories with great characters and eye-popping visuals. I can’t wait to see what they come up with next.
-Lisa Marie Cooper
Long-time Right Stuf fans may recognize Lisa as Marie from the Anime Today podcast or as the OG RightStufSpecialsMinion on the Anime News Network and Fandom Post forums. Her non-anime articles can be found at PositivelyEditorial.com, where she offers tips and insights into how to write.
The Glass Mask Year 3 Class D
Say what you will about the original Glass Mask series, compared to this spinoff it might as well be the pinnacle of the shoujo genre. Instead of focusing on Mayas journey to become an actress, the anime takes Suzue Miuchis manga and twists it into a high school comedy that tries to poke fun at modern society while also saturated in some ghastly looking animation. Whether youre a die-hard fan of the franchise or just your run of the mill shoujo enthusiast, this is one to be avoided at all costs.
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Best & 5 Worst Uses Of Cgi Animation In Anime
CGI can both do great things for anime, and ruin a beloved franchise. Check out the best and worst examples of CGI computer graphics used in anime!
CGI – three letters that anime fans dread every time those get associated with their favorite anime franchise. Sometimes it’s a way for animators to cut costs and manpower needed for particular scenes while other times, it’s an aesthetic choice. Based on those two reasons, you can probably guess which will end up ruining the anime and which will make it look decent.
If handled poorly, a CGI in a mostly 2D anime will be enough to give you an actual headache. The sight of seeing something that doesn’t fit right into the 2D world breaks the suspension of disbelief, essentially ruining the anime. One the other hand, there have been some masterful uses of CGI that draws the line between good and bad. So, here are five extreme examples of each.
King Of Fighters: Destiny
King of Fighters is probably an unknown title as an anime, but it is somewhat popular as a video game. It is originally a fighting game that was initially released way back in the 90s. Ever since, the game has become a franchise with multiple sequels, released for multiple platforms. This anime is an adaptation of the game which tells the story of two heroes: Kyo and Terry.
KoF: Destinity is one of the few 3D anime that has some really good fight scenes and facial expressions.
Ive written an entire review about this anime, you can read it here ^^
One Piece 3d: Mugiwara Chase
If we wanted to see a horribly animated Lufy and his crew embark on a new adventure, we would just play one of the many games based on this anime. Only in this case, we would not have such claims that we have about the CGI adaptation of One Piece 3D: Mugiwara Chase.
Not only does the entire anime look like a fan mod for One Piece Pirate Warriors 3, made on the knee in a steam workshop, but also in the story, Luffy just goes to find his missing hat.
Hi Score Girl Ii #331
This one is kind of a cheat. MyAnimeList has both seasons of Hi Score Girl listed separately, and yet, there’s a reason season 2 is ranked higher. It takes everything that made season 1 so enjoyable, and improves upon it– Primarily the development of its characters and relationships. Who doesn’t like a love triangle? Being young and trying to navigate relationships is something everybody deals with, and S2 captures the feeling of this. Even the most hardened of souls may find themselves endeared to this game infused romance.
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Is All Cgi Bad
And a clear answer is NO. There are clearly anime studios that regularly use it to amaze people. If we take an example, Ufotable which was the studio behind the Fate series and Demon Slayer has built its whole art style around CGI, They have a style where they use a fully 3d environment with a lot of dynamic camera movements and a lot of CG objects. Not only Ufotable, a lot of great anime these days have some sort of hidden CGI elements that enhance the experience.
Stand By Me Doraemon #460
Doraemon is a classic long-running anime series that has always been traditionally 2D. That is, until the release of the movie Stand By Me Doraemon , opting for a silky smooth and polished CGI style comparable to that of say, DreamWorks. The movie follows Nobi, a young kid and time-traveling robot cat, Doraemon, and their adventures together. The film works as a “best-of” list, taking a lot of memorable parts from the manga and condensing them here.
Many fans of the movie said they couldn’t help but cry during it, bringing up childhood memories and capturing the charm and magic of its source material once again.
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Why Its Mostly Hated In The Community
Now getting to the real reason of this article, the amount of hate CG anime often gets in the community. Some would argue that most CG is done too frequently and often lazily using it to produce more with often varying levels of quality. Take the infamous Berserk 2016 anime as an example. Compared to its movies in the series, the anime had a widely different animation style.
What irritated most fans was how it not only looked terrible with the character models looking awkward and stiff, but also how the frames were slow and synced terribly. Quite frankly the whole season was vomit worthy to look at. It still stands today as an example of how not to implement CGI in anime.
Mind Blowing Examples Of Cgi
Subtle CGI effects take people for surprise when the tricks are finally revealed to them. However, on the other end of the spectrum it can even be harder to impress people when deep down they know something isn’t real. Take for example Caesar – the fully CGI chimpanzee in Rise of the Planet of the Apes -, everyone know the character could not be a trained monkey, but yet they get sucked into the film and believe every second of the performance because the CGI is so damn impressive and realistic.
Here are some further great examples of how 3D computer graphics is used to add fictional characters, create backgrounds, change the mood and completely overhaul a scene.
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The Bottom Line Is That Characters And Objects Should Move Like We Expect Them To Move
If you ever want an easy test to see how good a given show is at this, examine a characters walk cycle and ask yourself if thats how people actually move. Obviously there are some limitations on how immersive an animated series can be, and comedic scenes do something entirely different with immersion, while sakuga moments purposefully ditch immersion entirely, but for the most part, good animation moves like we think it should.
Interested In Learning More About Cgi
I hope this has given you a good overview of what CGI is and the amazing career prospects available to you. It’s really up to you now, you need to put in the hard work. You need to take the next step using the advice provided in this guide.
So do yourself a favour, grab the following list and start working though it. One step at a time. That’s all it takes.
- register an account at The Rookies and start your journey
- join a discord channel and talk with other aspiring artists
- start observing the world, drawing, building things
- watch movies and show and read about how VFX were created
- start building your first portfolio and learning the basics
- follow software companies on social media
- follow inspiring vfx artists on social media
- follow big production studios on social media
- keep learning everything you can and don’t give up
Thanks for reading this guide. I plan to keep updating this often to make sure it remains relevant and helpful. Please reach out to me via the comments section with any suggestions or questions.
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Cgi Encourages Lazy Filmmaking
CGI has put filmmakers in the well fix it in post mindset. It has made them incredibly lazy. Theres no dedication to the craft when you can endlessly fix imperfections on a computer screen. Why go the extra mile to capture a stunt in-camera when you can hand it over to ILM to recreate? Take Jurassic World for instance. They recently released a raptor training scene. There are so many opportunities to use animatronics in this scene, but they didnt. Even the closeup shots were CGI. Wheres the passion? Wheres the commitment to realism? Its a shame, and its so lazy.
Cgi Has Made Us Complacent
CGI is like a drug. The more we keep exposing ourselves to it, the less effect it has on us. Were chasing the dragon, so to speak. A collapsing practical indoor set isnt cool anymore. You know whats cool? An entire building collapsing! A chance encounter with Darth Vader on Cloud City? Lame. We need a 12 minute duel filled with over the top action on a volcanic planet costing 70,000 man hours to create.
What this has lead to is a complacency with traditional movie drama. It leaves us less impressed with real life situations and settings. It makes us yawn at authentic dramatic tension because it doesnt contain a sweeping CGI destruction shot.
Need more anti-CG ammunition? Check out 6 Reasons Modern Movie CGI Looks Surprisingly Crappy over at Cracked.com.
Want to learn more about the VFX industry? Check out a few of the following posts:
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Eyes My Eyes: Best And Worst Anime With Cgi
CGI are three letters that will make any anime fan horrified if they see them mentioned in their favorite title. After all, there are only two options for the development of further events: CGI can either improve the anime, or completely destroy it. The result depends on why CGI is used in anime: to reduce costs and labor required for certain scenes, or as an aesthetic technique. It is not difficult to guess what result each of the elections leads to. Today we decided to recall the best and worst anime with CGI so that you know which titles are revealed in it in a new way, and which ones should be avoided by the tenth road.
A Brief History Lesson
The first memorable use of CG started in 1983 on the Golgo 13 film. It was quite atrocious by todays standards but was a pioneer tool to be used by the industry until much later in the 1990s. Even then, CG was used openly on some well-known Anime such as the 1995 release of Ghost in the Shell.
This became the first recorded time Both CG and 3D animation would be used in succession in the industry. Later on, many other studios seek to replicate this success, such as Studio Gonzo, with its famous work on Gankutsuou: The Count of Monte Cristo Due to this, they quickly became the pinnacle of CG use then, until much later on today, where animation like that can easily be outmatched with the level of technology we have today.
The use of CG became even more popular as time went on with its use in great anime, such as the 1995 classic Studio Ghibli film, Princess Mononoke, being seen to use the same methods back then as well. After that, it quickly became a norm in the industry.
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