Friday, September 09, 2005

some thinkin on game animation...

okay....I went to school to make cartoons. I gradiated with a bachelor's of media arts in animation, from Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design, which, if anyone's gone there, you'll know; they teach you to be an independent film maker first, an animator second. They teach you the basics but not much more...they really want you to experiment with the medium which is very good. Having said that, I wish that they would've had more instruction on character design and working within a studio setting, at least for us Amerricuns who are without the NFB's support (read: money) to make a film.

Anyway, after school, I did a stint at a flash animatin' house in Seattle, called Smashing Ideas. I worked on flash cartoons for the interwebnets like Zombie College and whatnot. Then the bubble burst, and I learnded 3D and got into gaming.

The one thing I've really noticed about animation in this industry is that there is none. Well, there's a few exceptions, but not many. Really good animators are rare apparently. Or, they might be there, but can't actually animate anything, like when i was working at Gaspowered Games, and I had to remove any hint of character from the animations.

Why is it that most game companies are afraid of animation? Why do they only want to make realistic games. They don't have to compete with movies. They really don't. There's plenty of realistic games; let the developers actually animated something damnit!! Let them create something with actual characters, acting, and style.

At least where I work, I get to do actual animation. The type of 'mation that got me into the whole animation scene in the first place: character animation. Squash and stretch, acting, blah, blah, blah...hopefully we'll get to do more in the future. Our latest game went gold recently, and we're doing that whole figuring out what our new game will be thing...which is kinda scary....anyhoo...i don't know if any of this meant anything or not...I just think that almost all games lack any sort of real animation. And I wanted to give a brief history on me...and then I wanted to belch the alphabet...which didn't work out that well...I feel sick now....

I wish I could've been born back in the day, and worked at Warner's with some of my favorite directors: Avery, Clampett, Jones. Actually, I really would've liked to work with Avery...he's my hero. I prefer him over Jones or Clampett personally. I like what he did with the whole character awareness of being in a cartoon and stuff...and that "Red Hot Ridinghood" reowwww.

I wish I had a puppy.

I wish that that puppy loved me.

I wish that I would stop typing now.

I'm out.

(one more Trussell for the road)

P.S. I'm prolly getting a scanner this weekend, and I hopefully have next week off, so, I'll do the whole sketch a day thing. Even if I don't get a scanner, I'll still do the sketch a day thing with painter or flash or somefin...then you all can decide if you still want to read my blog or not.


Josh Carrollhach said...

Man, Gene, you are right about the paucity of animation in gaming. Even games that had great story (No One Lives Forever, for example, or XIII) had stiff, crappy models jerking around like bad marionettes. No weight, no anatomy, nothing.
But I think that, as the gaming engines becpme more intelligent, it will be more important to read the human situations to make appropriate decisions. "That guard is smirking.... WHY?" BANGBANGBANG
At least I hope so. Funny thng is I have absoluetely no time anymore to play games. Always something to do, either to make money or not make money. And then there's that bothersome family of mine... for some reason or other "Dad" is important to them and they like to see him now and again!


Anonymous said...

Good tangeant. I agree 100%. Though I'm not nearly as animatomically inclined as you are, I think that as far as game companys go we do have something special here. I'm going to go get lunch now. You arent invited gene. Sorry Charlie.

Anonymous said...

I dont want to be anonymous anymore. My name is Bart. anonymous is no fun.

Eric Kaplan said...

Hiya Gene -
I'm the writer from "Zombie" and you did great work. I just started an animation company and I'd love to get in touch. Can you write me at "".