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Animated Short - This Wonderful Life

michael posted more than 9 years ago | from the hamster-havoc dept.

Movies 254

dfluke2 writes "It's been around for awhile, but Lian Kemp's This Wonderful Life is a very impressive animated short. Over at rendernode there is an interview with Lian, where additional background information can be found about the flick, including other plans for more animated movies. The author also features a gallery with photo shoot style images of the female actress from the short."

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FUCK YOU! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10345993)

ZING!

FP (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10345996)

Wake the fuck up, asshats

Whoa....virtual cameltoe (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10346010)

Now THAT'S realism.

Very Cool (0)

edrams (778721) | more than 9 years ago | (#10346011)

I wish I could produce works like this...

No its not (0)

Schwing84 (782710) | more than 9 years ago | (#10346016)

They should scrap that idea and redo Its A Wonderful Life starring Mel Gibson where he goes on a murderous rampage in the end. Like in the Simpsons.

Go Team!!!

Re:No its not (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10346038)

Wrong Jimmy Stewart movie. It was Mr. Smith Goes to Washington. And, yes they should, that'd be cool.

Re:No its not (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10346066)

Crazy Old Man: "I'll give you twenty bucks to bury this thing. This one, too." *Hands Lisa "It's A Wonderful Life--Killing Spree Ending"*

1st post (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10346019)

almost

Something about that virtual actress... (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10346020)

Scares me... It's too perfect, it's creepy. And yet even though you can't find imperfection with your eye, somehow it still doesn't seem human.

Where's the full length feature though?? Am I the only one that could only find short demos that were about 5 seconds long?

Re:Something about that virtual actress... (3, Informative)

edrams (778721) | more than 9 years ago | (#10346029)

There's a link at the top of the download page to cgchannel.com. I couldn't get that one to load though - just the previews on the homepage.

Re:Something about that virtual actress... (1)

justkarl (775856) | more than 9 years ago | (#10346032)

Where's the full length feature though??

Easy peezy. Silly rabbit, follow the link on the download page [cgchannel.com] .

Re:Something about that virtual actress... (5, Insightful)

Profane MuthaFucka (574406) | more than 9 years ago | (#10346078)

1) She needs to have some pores in the skin. The closeups of the face and nose don't show any pores at all.
2) Tiny jaw. Nobody has a jaw that small.
3) Real tatties sag just a little.
4) A nice touch was the subtle camel toe. Problem with that is the contours of the bathing suit fabric overlying the camel toe. Not enough wrinkles in the right places. I'm an expert.
5) Hair - too perfect.
6) Skin on chest - some effort went into that to make it look like a real chest, but the freckles just had the appearance of being placed on a chest in an effort to look natural.

So it's a very nice attempt, but really too perfect. Lt. Commander Data would be able to pick her out of a crowd as artificial because her blinking pattern was exactly the same as the Fibbonachi sequence.

Re:Something about that virtual actress... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10346135)

A nice touch was the subtle camel toe. Problem with that is the contours of the bathing suit fabric overlying the camel toe. Not enough wrinkles in the right places. I'm an expert.

Slashdot. News for gyneacologists. Stuff that matters?

Re:Something about that virtual actress... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10346192)

You can smell my finger for $5.

Re:Something about that virtual actress... (1)

mblase (200735) | more than 9 years ago | (#10346199)

So it's a very nice attempt, but really too perfect.

You don't ever watch network television, do you? Hollywood is all about making actresses and actors look as insanely perfect as possible. Just find some pictures of Tommy Lee Jones before he's had his makeup put on.

Re:Something about that virtual actress... (1)

Ctrl-Z (28806) | more than 9 years ago | (#10346320)

Whoa! You mean he looks worse *before* make-up?

Re:Something about that virtual actress... (2, Funny)

lukewarmfusion (726141) | more than 9 years ago | (#10346323)

A conversation about "looking too perfect" and you pick Tommy Lee Jones?!

Hair on chest? WT* (3, Funny)

GQuon (643387) | more than 9 years ago | (#10346243)

5) Hair - too perfect.
6) Skin on chest


Dude! I read that as "Hair on chest".
Read slashdot while drowsy, be creeped out.

Seriously, though, tiny see-through hairs are natural, but not thick hair. If you're a seriously underweight girl, you risk getting more body hair growth to compensate for the loss of body heat.

Re:Something about that virtual actress... (3, Interesting)

sTalking_Goat (670565) | more than 9 years ago | (#10346113)

I was impressed with the little imperfections in her skin tone. Its the kind of thing magazines will touch up to erase but this guy puts in here, you don't even really notice it, but it makes it not plastic somehow, and subtle shadowing, Man I've spent hours trying to get that look with a film camera and natural light...and the tiny covering of body hair.

I've never seen CG like this, it is a little creepy how real/unreal it feels. Its very surreal stuff.

Re:Something about that virtual actress... (4, Interesting)

pchan- (118053) | more than 9 years ago | (#10346126)

this is what is called the "zombie" effect. that is, when a cg character goes for total realism, you very often get a case where it does something small and usually not obvious, that makes in not quite human, and gives it a very creepy feeling. you won't get that feeling from an obviously non-human model. i definitely can't put my finger on it, but there is something in her face (when you see the motion, at least), that just seems wrong.

Re:Something about that virtual actress... (3, Insightful)

arose (644256) | more than 9 years ago | (#10346151)

It looks like a mask when in motion. I guess there is some small movement that we don't notice in human faces, but notice that this model lacks it.

Re:Something about that virtual actress... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10346177)

it's actually a bit like what you would expect from an actress / waitress. "ok, normal expression" (whoops, expressionless), "that's my cue, look surprised"

it might also be that they're missing something that's in the ekman schema (dont think the eyes matched the smile), or are very clumsy about the transitions (not even mentioning what stimuli caused her to smile)

Re:Something about that virtual actress... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10346149)

Where's the full length feature though??

Well, the site admin must have certainly thought about uploading a 3GB two-hour free movie that would have taken a year to make and about $100,000 a week for bandwidth.

Re:Something about that virtual actress... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10346158)

" Scares me... It's too perfect, it's creepy. And yet even though you can't find imperfection with your eye, somehow it still doesn't seem human."

Ears, musle movements, colors, shadows, hair, lack of visible vains, body hair, etc.

You can find the "imperfections" with your eye. You can with most any CG rendered object, it's just that it is far easier to find it in humans because of your intimate visusal knowledge of them. And the fact that you know it is CG helps too...

This one is pretty good as the textures do have an element of anomaly to them, you can see some skin imprefections/ iregularities like freckles and sweat glands, but still...

when you download the whole thing, the best shot is in the forset after she has the baby and it's just a side profile of her face almost all in shadow. The only thing that really detaches is the momvemets (It's a good thing people pay more attention to the face than hands..) otherwise it's really quite good

Re:Something about that virtual actress... (4, Interesting)

AJWM (19027) | more than 9 years ago | (#10346189)

It's creepy because although the rendering and small scale motions are well done, there are enough motion (or lack thereof) clues to tell you it's not real -- the motion is reminiscent the characters in the Final Fantasy movie or of Princess Fiona in Shrek (in human form -- the ogre form and the other characters are sufficiently inhuman we don't expect real motion, so don't find it's lack "creepy"). (In the stills you can look at detail long enough to pick out that it's rendered, not real.)

Take a look at Sample 1, where she raises her head. Well done: the blink, the hair movement, the way the eyes track. The giveaway: she manages to raise her head without moving her shoulders or (apparently) using any neck muscles. That's an unnatural motion.

In Sample 2, the hair is a bit odd -- it sways a little with head movement and ambient breeze, but should swing through nearly 90 degrees as she bends over (styling gel, maybe?). More significantly, the skin on the hands is far too smooth (no wrinkles on the knuckles), and the motion of the hand to the mouth (as in surprise) seems to have the wrong speed profile -- it's too slow and smooth, it should be faster and just a little jerky.

That latter tends to be the giveaway -- live creature motion is either fast and relatively smooth (a "preprogrammed" muscle sequence, as with eg. a gymnast or other athlete), or slow(er) with many minor "course corrections" through the feedback loop. It takes a lot of practise, coordination and concentration to move both slowly and smoothly -- people don't normally move like that, but androids and animations do.

Re:Something about that virtual actress... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10346322)

yea, sample 1 and sample 2 definitely give it away, but look at test03divx.avi.

that one is much better. i've got several of my clueless buddys argueing whether or not she's artificial...

Re:Something about that virtual actress... (1)

0racle (667029) | more than 9 years ago | (#10346190)

The lips are a dead giveaway that its a CG character. Once you notice that, you see everything else thats just not natural or 'right' about it. Very amazing work though.

Re:Something about that virtual actress... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10346248)

Perhaps it seems so realistic to many /.'ers because they don't have much experience with real women?

Coralized Links (4, Informative)

excaliber19 (750206) | more than 9 years ago | (#10346028)

Re:Coralized Links (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10346128)

Who cares about the website?

Us lazy slashdotters are just waiting for someone to post the bittorrent link to the actual video.

Re:Coralized Links (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10346137)

the bittorrent link

Which is slowly becoming the latest version of "Beowulf cluster" in discussions.

Re:Coralized Links (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10346166)

http://media01.cgchannel.com.nyud.net:8090/images/ news/2003_10_liamkemp/TWL360x208.mov

Nothing particularly *advanced* (4, Interesting)

reality-bytes (119275) | more than 9 years ago | (#10346033)

Okay, its fair to say that all CGI animation in this class is advanced but this doesn't really further the technology much beyond what we have seen before.

Certainly, plenty of render-farm time has been devoted to this character's hair just as Aki Ross's hair was in Final Fantasy.

The trouble is, the hair, while obeying *some* of the laws of physics, still doesn't 'feel' right because there are so many more factors involved. (like did she wash it this morning / static attraction etc).

In fact, the whole motion of CGI characters is still too 'soft' to be believable, they sort of wave-around like marionettes whereas real human movement has a certain sharpness about it.

It looks like they've done some good development work with the skin textures but thats about the height of it, nothing really that new or exciting to see.

Re:Nothing particularly *advanced* (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10346053)

you moron, had you bothered to read the website you'd have found that it was made with a 1.4 gig athlon, not a renderfarm

Re:Nothing particularly *advanced* (3, Funny)

PolyDwarf (156355) | more than 9 years ago | (#10346085)

I don't know about you, but I'm plenty excited seeing the pictures.

Re:Nothing particularly *advanced* (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10346086)

What do you mean "they"?

his is one guy, who spent most of his professional life doing models for Games where they do not have to ba accurate at all.

Liam did all the work on his own with no "they" at all to help him.

Cripes, he used photoshop to make his own textures for her!

Re:Nothing particularly *advanced* (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10346122)

Okay, its fair to say that all CGI animation in this class is advanced but this doesn't really further the technology much beyond what we have seen before.

So, it sucks.

Thanks everyone! Drive safely!

it's still too perfect... (4, Interesting)

SuperBanana (662181) | more than 9 years ago | (#10346175)

Still doesn't 'feel' right because there are so many more factors involved

It's because it's still too perfect. Even if he did randomly texture/color it, he didn't randomly change the reflectivity and such.

Several of the poses are also very unnatural, and the expressions just don't seem right.

Special F/X people will tell you that the brain is astoundingly good at picking up when something's wrong. You may not always know what it is- like that the car leaping over the bus didn't have a shadow, or the sun was at the wrong angle for the story- but your brain is on a somewhat subconscious level saying, "What the heck?" and the scene 'bothers' you.

It is a little similar to what I call Stump the Baby. Babies shown a box where two cars go in and two come out will loose interest quick. Show them two going in and only one coming out- or the opposite- and they'll stare at it for much longer...

Re:it's still too perfect... (1)

Rakishi (759894) | more than 9 years ago | (#10346299)

If they're old enough, very young babies will not notice.

Victory! (5, Funny)

daishin (753851) | more than 9 years ago | (#10346052)

Now everyone on slashdot can have a girlfriend!

Re:Victory! (2, Funny)

chris_eineke (634570) | more than 9 years ago | (#10346101)

Get real... [realdoll.com]

Re:Victory! (1)

xstonedogx (814876) | more than 9 years ago | (#10346226)

Yep. Just don't tell my wife.

Victory-The big "L" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10346343)

"Yep. Just don't tell my wife."

She can have one too.

I have two already! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10346316)

I already have two girlfriends already [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Victory! (3, Funny)

mingrassia (49175) | more than 9 years ago | (#10346344)

Now everyone on slashdot can have a girlfriend!

That's okay, I already have all I can afford [imaginarygirlfriends.com] .

Yow, Slashdotted already (3, Funny)

The I Shing (700142) | more than 9 years ago | (#10346054)

Putting the word "female" into a Slashdot post is like pointing a loaded gun at this poor guy's server and pulling the trigger.

Sheesh (3, Funny)

JoeShmoe (90109) | more than 9 years ago | (#10346056)

You'd think with all the time they spend putting little tiny hairs all over her body, they would have found some time to give her some "down there".

Or am I the only one seeing "virtual camel toe"?

http://www.this-wonderful-life.com/various01.htm [this-wonderful-life.com]

- JoeShmoe
.

Re:Sheesh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10346087)

better her than elvis.

http://www.prosoundweb.com/fun/Photofun/Elvis.jp g

>
You'd think with all the time they spend putting little tiny hairs all over her body, they would have found some time to give her some "down there".

Or am I the only one seeing "virtual camel toe"?

http://www.this-wonderful-life.com/various01.htm

Re:Sheesh (5, Informative)

musicon (724240) | more than 9 years ago | (#10346132)

Um, given that I had to really screw around with the contrast and brightness to see what you're talking about, you've either got a seriously messed up monitor (I guess you never complained about DOOM3 being too dark?) or a really twisted need to look for those types of things.

Of course, given that I felt compelled to verify doesn't say a lot about me either :) And besides, I thought you were really talking about this one [this-wonderful-life.com] .

Approved! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10346174)

I hereby report that I have successfully wanked to the CG screenshot mentioned by parent.

Slashdot "Lingerie CG" test --> APPROVED!

Regards,
A.C.

Re:Sheesh (1, Troll)

mark0 (750639) | more than 9 years ago | (#10346232)

Please mod the parent Funny +5

if you just save a dollar every day ... (2, Funny)

n3k5 (606163) | more than 9 years ago | (#10346327)

[...]
they would have found some time to give her some [hair] "down there". Or am I the only one seeing "virtual camel toe"?
There is a dark line in the crotch that makes it look like a camel toe, but this would be caused by too tight a panty; no normal amount of pubic hair would counteract this. But don't wore Joe, one day you too will get to check out the anatomy of a vulva. Just follow these simple rules: Be nice and respectful, shower and brush your teeth, and bring cash; that slot is not for credit cards.

All I can say.... (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10346060)

over 1/2 of you CG artists out there....

Liam makes you look ALL like a bunch of no-talent hacks.

Holy-fricking-crap.

Re:All I can say.... (2, Funny)

Chuqmystr (126045) | more than 9 years ago | (#10346172)

Yup, works for me....

fap fap fap fap fap fap...

Hey! shut the door damnit!

Seven reference? (1)

Prod_Deity (686460) | more than 9 years ago | (#10346063)

What's in the box?!

UHF reference? (3, Funny)

j1m+5n0w (749199) | more than 9 years ago | (#10346143)

What's in the box?!

Kuni: Ahhh, a red snapper! Mmmmm, very tasty! Okay, Weaver, you can either hold onto you red snapper... or you can go for what's in the box that Hiro-San is bringing down the aisle right now!

[Hiro-San emerges, carrying a table with a box]

Kuni: What's it going to be, Weaver?

Phyllis Weaver: I'll take the box! The box!

[Applause]

Kuni: You took the box! Let's see what in the box!

[box is opened]

Nothing! Absolutely nothing!! Stupid!! You're so stupid!!!

-jim

Seriously :: Test 3 (1)

ellem (147712) | more than 9 years ago | (#10346083)

That's a real human right?

Re:Seriously :: Test 3 (1)

Lord Bitman (95493) | more than 9 years ago | (#10346191)

shows you how much better CGI looks when out-of-focus. Why dont objects in videogames blur? (do they yet?)

physics is still lacking (3, Interesting)

Doppler00 (534739) | more than 9 years ago | (#10346092)

Everytime I see one of these CG rendered figures, the lack of accurate physics really stands out. While many advances have been made in the quality of the 3D graphics, the polygon count, and the texture detail; to me they still look like hollow shells (which they essentially are).

In Sample1.avi for example, her eyes move much too mechanically and instantly. While individual hairs on her head move with the wind, it still doesn't look quite natural. I'm not complaining, it's just it will take quite some time before mathematical models are created that can accurately represent real world physics and not crude approximations thereof.

Re:physics is still lacking (1)

Lord Bitman (95493) | more than 9 years ago | (#10346171)

You're not complaining? Well, I am. It will be a great day when motion capture is abolished forever.

Re:physics is still lacking (1)

AJWM (19027) | more than 9 years ago | (#10346261)

Actually I thought the eye motion was well done -- that's pretty much how people's eyes track when they're looking at something -- a series of small jerks as different things briefly catch the attention. Someone whose eyes are moving slowly and smoothly isn't looking at anything.

Re:physics is still lacking (1)

Monkey-Man2000 (603495) | more than 9 years ago | (#10346297)

Not just that but if the eye stays perfectly still everything will became washed out. Vision requires constant movement of the eyes even if they are frequently very small movements.

I thought the animation was done very well.

A chimp is not a monkey (-1, Offtopic)

cyber_rigger (527103) | more than 9 years ago | (#10346093)

A chimp is an ape.

Torrent of CG Channel file / Whole Movie (2, Insightful)

augustz (18082) | more than 9 years ago | (#10346097)

Anyone have a torrent of the whole movie up. Happy to stick a few mbs behind it as well.

Re:Torrent of CG Channel file / Whole Movie (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10346265)

They're pretty small movies (largest ~ 1.5 megs).

Re:Torrent of CG Channel file / Whole Movie (1)

_Shorty-dammit (555739) | more than 9 years ago | (#10346336)

I'm pretty sure he meant of the ~25MB complete movie, not the samples or tests on the main page. I wish people would set this stuff up before they submit to slashdot, and make torrents/coralization part of their post so that we can actually all get to it.

wow (1)

TheSam (636870) | more than 9 years ago | (#10346100)

damn she's hot

and no sub-surface scattering! (1)

quakeslut (107512) | more than 9 years ago | (#10346106)

the skin was very well done and he didn't even use the latest skin shaders that give you slight light transmission through "shallow" objects (think the ET finger effect or light shining behind your ears)

things are going to get NUTS in the next year or so... exciting :D

Torrent please? (1)

mcknation (217793) | more than 9 years ago | (#10346116)


I want a torrent of the 23 meg file!

Anyone? Anyone? is this thing on? /-McK

CGI is improving, but not there yet (1, Informative)

kbahey (102895) | more than 9 years ago | (#10346125)

Computer generated images and animations are improving all the time, however, they are not quite there yet.

Look for example at this image [rendernode.com] : it is almost natural, like a real photo. No CGI hints there.

However, look at that other image [rendernode.com] , and although the hair is done OK, the eyes and hands still look fake.

That same eery feeling

Re:CGI is improving, but not there yet (1)

arose (644256) | more than 9 years ago | (#10346136)

Look for example at this image : it is almost natural, like a real photo. No CGI hints there.
Execpt that the skin looks like plastic and the eyes like glass balls.

Re:CGI is improving, but not there yet (1)

kayen_telva (676872) | more than 9 years ago | (#10346142)

can you correct your post, same link in both examples
I would like to see what you were pointing out

Re:CGI is improving, but not there yet (3, Informative)

kbahey (102895) | more than 9 years ago | (#10346168)

You are right. Here is the second image [rendernode.com] which looks fake.

Re:CGI is improving, but not there yet (1)

big tex (15917) | more than 9 years ago | (#10346196)

Fake, probably.

F-ing hot, definitely.

Re:CGI is improving, but not there yet (1)

Trinition (114758) | more than 9 years ago | (#10346150)

I don't notice much difference in the pictures. In fact, they look almost the same. Hey, wait! They are the same image! What are you trying to pull here?

Re:CGI is improving, but not there yet (1)

kbahey (102895) | more than 9 years ago | (#10346185)

The answer is here [slashdot.org] . Sorry about the error.

Re:CGI is improving, but not there yet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10346203)

I don't know; that first image (presumably the one you say looks "real") kind of reminds me of this* [blender3d.org] just a little.

*I hope the image works right; it seems they try to avoid direct linking (if not, look for "Snog" in the May 2004 gallery)

Bit torrent (1)

VariableSanity (578725) | more than 9 years ago | (#10346145)

Bit torrent anyone? or is it copyrighted?

Uncanny Valley (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10346153)

REALLY scary screenshot:

http://www.this-wonderful-life.com/part4b.htm [this-wonderful-life.com]

Imagine (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10346163)

a Bittorrent of This Wonderful Life.

Coral cache to vid (2, Informative)

TheRealFreakish (670056) | more than 9 years ago | (#10346169)

Here's the vid..yay coral cache. http://media01.cgchannel.com.nyud.net:8090/images/ news/2003_10_liamkemp/TWL360x208.mov

Re:Coral cache to vid (1)

TheRealFreakish (670056) | more than 9 years ago | (#10346208)

..and it never seems to get past about 3/4 the way through. Enough for me at least.

Re:Coral cache to vid (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10346212)

Clickable version [nyud.net]

Re:Coral cache to vid (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10346282)

Well, like the bastard I am, I started downloading from the real site -- and got ~3K/sec. So I cancelled that (still at 1%) and downloaded from the coral cache instead, and am getting 70K-90K/sec. I guess it really does work!

Clothing (1)

izakage (808061) | more than 9 years ago | (#10346193)

One thing that I always notice is clothing. It never seems to hold onto the body like it does in reality. It's always floating right above the surface.

[WAY THE HELL OT] Simpsons?! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10346221)

What the hell are the Simpsons doing on at 8PM PST? Apologies for being way off-topic, but I figured Slashdot people would know.

What does a geek do if he wants a chick? (4, Funny)

melted (227442) | more than 9 years ago | (#10346228)

That's right, he creates a virtual one. This guy REALLY needs to get laid.

Real time ? (1)

Mir322 (519212) | more than 9 years ago | (#10346256)

So, ... how far are we from real time rendering of this sort of quality? (Even with its faults as already pointed out in other posts) Years, decades? DX10 ? Seriously. I'm ignorant here, but the thought occurs, what happens when people can render their own...virtual "friends" easily?

Re:Real time ? (1)

Mir322 (519212) | more than 9 years ago | (#10346302)

(please mod-down parent)

So, ... how far are we from real time rendering of this sort of quality? (Even with its faults as already pointed out in other posts)

Years, decades? DX10 ?

Seriously. I'm ignorant here, but the thought occurs, what happens when people can render their own...virtual "friends" easily? And no, i'm not refering to "fap fap fap fap" type references...but more GitS type social notions.

it's a total waste of render-time, really (4, Informative)

n3k5 (606163) | more than 9 years ago | (#10346292)

This Wonderful Life is a very impressive animated short
No, it isn't. It was schown at the Ars Electronica Festival, along with other animations nominated for the Prix Ars Electronica, and totally paled in comparison. Some of the shorts were full of artistic originality, showing off ideas and techniques most hadn't seen before, some were very funny, some were decent executions of some 'high concept', some were ambitious student films showing a fair share of talent; this one was just annoying. So they made two models (a woman and a baby) and scripted a couple of facial expressions for them. Decent craftsmanship, but standard 3DS Max fare, nothing you wouldn't also see in a high-budget Hollywood production with CGI actors.

What made this annoying was the way they showed off their achivement (two models with facial expressions): They artificially constructed a 'storyline' in which the woman got to show as many emotions as possible, and due to the lack of a talented writer they ended up with nonsense and kitsch galore. The animation process doesn't use motion capturing or a physics engine or anything else that would further realism; it's old-school keyframe animation, which looks (in scenes like the one in which she jumps from one stone in the water to another) artificial and very out of place with these partly near-photorealistic images (she looks like a marionette draged along on wires). They're stuck deep in the uncanny valley (if you haven't heard that term before, google it; /. has also reported on this); most characters in Finding Nemo looked more human than this woman.

This short looks like one painfully long commercial for the product they made; it's just a demo of the 3D models, and not a very impressive one. Also shown were the very humorous New Balls Please and the hilarious Pfffirate, which made the giggling audience gasp for air, but This Wonderful Life definitely got the most laughs -- they just weren't intended.

But don't take my word for it; if you want to see a recent animated short that's very impressive, check out the documentary Ryan: "The audience hears the voices of real people who accompanied Ryan as he made his way through life. In the world of computer-animated film, these people speak through strange, distorted, broken [pennnet.com] , disembodied beings, humans whose exterior appearance comes across as bizarre, humorous or irritating." The author calls this style psycholrealism [pennnet.com] .

Re:it's a total waste of render-time, really (4, Insightful)

Leikhim (666271) | more than 9 years ago | (#10346307)

um, They = 1 guy, so perfection isn't garunteed...

Re:it's a total waste of render-time, really (1)

eric2hill (33085) | more than 9 years ago | (#10346342)

but what do i know, i'm just a model [ftv.com].

Will you marry me? :)

Slashdot did it again.... (1)

lesterchakyn (235922) | more than 9 years ago | (#10346309)

Can't connect to the original link or the coral cached ones.

Bittorrent anyone?

chest-waist-hips (1)

_Shorty-dammit (555739) | more than 9 years ago | (#10346315)

what ever happened to women with waists that are 2/3 of their chest/hips measurements being considered attractive? Nowadays most of the generally accepted as attractive "women" have bodies like rules. Straight up, straight down. 36-24-36 baby! Not 32-28-32. Yech.

Re:chest-waist-hips (1)

_Shorty-dammit (555739) | more than 9 years ago | (#10346326)

rules -> rulers

god. (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10346318)

That is supposed to be the ideal female form? Man I feel nauseous just looking at it. What is up with her lips?

With vapid digital sluts like this being postered around as the ideal geek fantasy woman, it is hardly any wonder that real women find it laughably demeaning, and ensures that about all the action you computer nerds are going to be getting is with a bottle of jergen's and your left hand.

Silent Hill (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10346321)

The pictures are beautiful... but some of the facial expressions and poses remind me of Silent Hill... ::shudder::

here's the .torrent (0)

wattersa (629338) | more than 9 years ago | (#10346324)

Re:here's the .torrent (1)

fishdan (569872) | more than 9 years ago | (#10346337)

you sir are a saint. I prmoise to leave my download up for the next 12 houts, other please do the same.

Oh yeah, coral BLOWS! Completely inadequate to the task.

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