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BEST CGI Graphics!

July 9, 2013

What I’ve been doing for the past few posts is continuing to clean out my old erictb.info space, as I see blogging is cool and less cluttered.

Here’s is one of the oldest entries from the old site:

Coming out around the time CGI animation became popular through Pixar’s Toy Story movie; I was astounded by the view of this Sugar Bear commercial, produced by Topix Computer Graphics of Ontario. He is chasing Granny Goodwitch, and she pulls a lever which covers her house with this shiny black armor. Then, when he’s inside, you see him deflect some lasers with the spoon. The backgrounds looked so real, and more importantly, the animated characters blended in so nicely! With the shadowing added to standard 2D cells, they not only fit in nicely in the 3D atmosphere, but actually looked a lot better than the 3D figures commonly used in most CGI productions, such as the popular ones by Pixar, (Toy Story, etc) Dreamworks (Shrek, Madagascar, etc), and Blue Sky (Ice Age, Robots, etc). In all of those, humans all look plastic, and animal fur also doesn’t look quite real. (This looked right for the plastic toys of Toy Story, but the humans and animals in this and other CGI movies looked like they were made of the same stuff as the toys!)
Until they perfect skin and fur texture (and human head and body proportions), the shadowed 2D cells look better. The shadowed Shaggy and Droopy cells in Cartoon Network’s “Pulp Fiction” spoof fit right in the live action background! And I would have rather had a shadowed 2D Scooby done like this, than the 3D “Doberman” looking Scooby (with the small realistic eyes), from the live action movies!

In the Sugar Bear commercial, the graphics were even more clearer than most of the other CGI stuff. Another, similarly done CGI animation was Cartoon Network’s “Cartoon Library”, which took rotoscoped cells of classic cartoon characters and placed them over a new, realistic looking CGI background http://youtu.be/3ufn4graAuI.

Thankfully, Matthew Payne, who did artwork on the Sugar Bear commercial sent me a video file of it. I have to find out about permissions from Post Cereals before I put it online.

Topix (if it still exists) should/should have hook[ed] up with a major studio and do movies and shows! I would love to see them redo many old cartoons like this: new CGI backgrounds, and shadowed 2D cells! To create new interest! Scooby would be a great series for that!
Also deserving honorable mention is that the 3d Mario games, beginning with Super Mario Sunshine and Galaxy have the most realistic looking water! Bernard, by Rg Animation Studios (used as between-program filler on Boomerang for awhile) also has very good, realistic looking backgrounds. Though again, it suffers from Bernard having perfectly smooth plastic looking “skin” (fur), and a weird looking character design.

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