CG Mickey Test

1 view
Skip to first unread message

Stephen W. Worth

unread,
Sep 19, 2002, 3:29:10 PM9/19/02
to
I don't know if folks have seen this, but on Stephen Greenberg's website
there is an interesting CG test of Mickey rotoscoped from The Brave
Little Tailor. The striking thing is how well the timing translates. A
lot of the poses are watered down,the silhouettes are messed up and the
facial expressions are practically non-existent (because he reworked
the pie eyes into modern Mickey eyes and lost something in the
translation); but overall, it moves pretty darn good. The airbrush
effects are really nice. If CGI characters were timed to move like
this, rather than that too-fast rubbery snap and slow floaty drift, I
would like them a lot better.

http://www.casadiablos.com/steph/index.html

CG animators who are translating 2D characters to CG, would be wise to
do a test like this to analyze the posing and timing techniques in the
original.

See ya
Steve

--
#*#*#*#*#*#*#*#*#*#*#*#*#*#*#*#*#*#*#*#*#*#*#*
CLASSIC MUSIC FROM ORIGINAL 78s, EXPERTLY TRANSFERRED TO CD!
VIP Records: Dance Bands - British Swing Bands - Opera
Check out the free MP3 downloads at http://www.vintageip.com/records

Kip Williams

unread,
Sep 19, 2002, 7:15:18 PM9/19/02
to
Stephen W. Worth wrote:
> I don't know if folks have seen this, but on Stephen Greenberg's website
> there is an interesting CG test of Mickey rotoscoped from The Brave
> Little Tailor. The striking thing is how well the timing translates. A
> lot of the poses are watered down,the silhouettes are messed up and the
> facial expressions are practically non-existent (because he reworked
> the pie eyes into modern Mickey eyes and lost something in the
> translation); but overall, it moves pretty darn good. The airbrush
> effects are really nice. If CGI characters were timed to move like
> this, rather than that too-fast rubbery snap and slow floaty drift, I
> would like them a lot better.
>
> http://www.casadiablos.com/steph/index.html

I got an error message at that address, but I found it at
http://www.casadiablos.com/tailor.mpg

Thanks for mentioning it!

--
--Kip (Williams) ...at members.cox.net/kipw
Beaver: "Oh, he didn't cheat a whole lot, just enough to win."
Gilbert: "That's all you got to cheat, just enough to win." ("Leave
it to Beaver")

Paul Penna

unread,
Sep 19, 2002, 7:17:57 PM9/19/02
to
The link below didn't work, but this one does:

http://www.casadiablos.com/steph/

In article <190920021229104485%ne...@vintageip.com>, Stephen W. Worth
<ne...@vintageip.com> wrote:

> I don't know if folks have seen this, but on Stephen Greenberg's website
> there is an interesting CG test of Mickey rotoscoped from The Brave
> Little Tailor. The striking thing is how well the timing translates. A
> lot of the poses are watered down,the silhouettes are messed up and the
> facial expressions are practically non-existent (because he reworked
> the pie eyes into modern Mickey eyes and lost something in the
> translation); but overall, it moves pretty darn good. The airbrush
> effects are really nice. If CGI characters were timed to move like
> this, rather than that too-fast rubbery snap and slow floaty drift, I
> would like them a lot better.
>
> http://www.casadiablos.com/steph/index.html
>
> CG animators who are translating 2D characters to CG, would be wise to
> do a test like this to analyze the posing and timing techniques in the
> original.
>
> See ya
> Steve

--
Paul Penna

StephG

unread,
Sep 19, 2002, 9:01:42 PM9/19/02
to
On 19 Sep 2002, "Stephen W. Worth" <ne...@vintageip.com> smacked the keyboard
and out came news:190920021229104485%ne...@vintageip.com:

> I don't know if folks have seen this, but on Stephen Greenberg's website
> there is an interesting CG test of Mickey rotoscoped from The Brave
> Little Tailor. The striking thing is how well the timing translates. A

Except it wasn't rotoscoped. I sketched a couple of key poses (badly, but I
knew what I meant), watched it over and over again until I got it in my head,
and then animated it.

I didn't have any way of digitizing it or a VCR that actually worked right in
my office at the time.

I hate rotoscope.

As for the facial stuff, I just didn't have the time to do a really good
facial rig and just worked with the one I had, which was insufficiently
flexible to accomplish what needed to be done. I always swore I'd get around
to fixing that (and a couple of timing issues), but other projects always got
in the way...

The model used was just a generic one we had lying around, based on a more
modern design, hence the eyes. If it was purpose built for that demo, the
model would have had the right costume.

And you shoulda seen it in the original stereo. It was kinda the point of the
demonstration. It was like being in the original studio shoot ;)

BTW, I think I spent maybe 2 weeks, if that, on the animation, FWIW.


--
~---(_) Steph Greenberg
(>/ "I'm starting to like the cut of this man's gibberish"
)/
(_)

Kip Williams

unread,
Sep 19, 2002, 9:42:06 PM9/19/02
to
StephG wrote:
> And you shoulda seen it in the original stereo. It was kinda the point of the
> demonstration. It was like being in the original studio shoot ;)

If you were to make a side-by-side stereo version, like a
stereoscope slide that moved, I'd be quite thrilled to look at it
that way. Same for any of your other CG animations.

For an example of what size I'm talking about, here are some of my
stereo pairs:

http://members.cox.net/kipw/stereos.html

I find it easy enough to free-view stereo pairs at this size, and I
figure if someone needs them smaller or larger, it's easy enough to
temporarily change screen resolution for the purpose.

StephG

unread,
Sep 19, 2002, 10:40:24 PM9/19/02
to
On 19 Sep 2002, Kip Williams <ki...@cox.net> smacked the keyboard and out
came news:3D8A7CF3...@cox.net:

> StephG wrote:
>> And you shoulda seen it in the original stereo. It was kinda the point
>> of the demonstration. It was like being in the original studio shoot ;)
>
> If you were to make a side-by-side stereo version, like a
> stereoscope slide that moved, I'd be quite thrilled to look at it
> that way. Same for any of your other CG animations.

Well, I'm no longer at Imagineering and don't have access to the files.

I'm pretty sure taking the files out of the place would have been baaad. I
wouldn't even consider doing that.

I'll have to think about whether it would be worth doing that with any future
personal projects though. For the most part, once a project is done, it's
*done*, I move on, and I don't resurrect them. It never even occurred to me
to do moving stereo pair mpegs.

BTW, if you keep looking at those things, your eyes will get stuck that way
;)

--
~---(_) Steph Greenberg
(>/ "I'm starting to like the cut of this man's gibberish"
)/

(_) www.casadiablos.com

G&L

unread,
Sep 19, 2002, 10:45:30 PM9/19/02
to

> Stephen W. Worth wrote:
> ..................the pie eyes into modern Mickey eyes and lost something

To me that is one of the major factors as to why Pixar characters work as
compared to even a well motioned character from other shops: the eyes. I know
it seems like such a small thing but Pixar has grasped playing the eyes to the
camera much the way a drawn cartoon does. That is I guess if the model was
rotated away from the camera it would look slightly cock-eyed but towards the
camera it's fine. Plus in all other aspects they seem to treat the eyes
asymmetrically. They don't always move constrained together and are sometimes
slightly crossed, a trick from 2D adding life and appeal. I've notice other CG
houses blink both eyes the same time. Okay in 2d but in 3D for some reason
looks mechanical. Pixar blinks sometimes follows a frame or two behind the
other one. Yep, that Cg Mickey artist did a fine exercise but was at a loss of
what to do with the eyes..... like many Cg characters and their stares.

Gerard

Kip Williams

unread,
Sep 19, 2002, 10:56:54 PM9/19/02
to
StephG wrote:
> I'll have to think about whether it would be worth doing that with any future
> personal projects though. For the most part, once a project is done, it's
> *done*, I move on, and I don't resurrect them. It never even occurred to me
> to do moving stereo pair mpegs.
>
> BTW, if you keep looking at those things, your eyes will get stuck that way
> ;)

Stuck what way? Which one of you two said that?

Red-Haired She-Devil

unread,
Sep 20, 2002, 3:13:51 AM9/20/02
to
G&L <hous...@telus.net> wrote:

>I've notice other CG houses blink both eyes the
>same time. Okay in 2d but in 3D for some reason looks mechanical. Pixar
>blinks sometimes follows a frame or two behind the other one.

Ehhh, I've seen too many asymetrical eye blinks done in both CG and even in
2D where it's taken too far and the character either looks unintentionally
stupid and/or drunk. Timing can be a very tricky thing.

RHSD

--
-------------

Red-Haired She-Devil

www.casadiablos.com/rhsd_page.htm

reply to: shedevilatpoboxdotcom

Jim Ryan

unread,
Sep 20, 2002, 8:10:20 AM9/20/02
to
> I don't know if folks have seen this, but on Stephen Greenberg's website
> there is an interesting CG test of Mickey rotoscoped from The Brave
> Little Tailor.

Last year at the Disney Institute Animation Event we were shown an
original piece of CGI animation of Mickey Mouse which was very good
(an interesting to watch, given the diference in the character design
between CGI and traditional animation).

Stephen, did you work on that one as well?

Jim

StephG

unread,
Sep 20, 2002, 2:07:18 PM9/20/02
to
On 20 Sep 2002, Google...@I-Animate.Org (Jim Ryan) smacked the keyboard
and out came news:be483797.02092...@posting.google.com:

Nope. One of the reasons I left Imagineering was that our work lacked public
exposure. I'd bet that the CG Mickey you saw had some company support behind
it, more than two people working on it (there was another segment from that
scene done by another animator who's gone on to bigger and better things)and
was budgeted more than 3 weeks to accomplish.

That particular scene was used as a shootout between us animators, and motion
capture. The motion capture lost, hands down.

--
~---(_) Steph Greenberg
(>/ "I'm starting to like the cut of this man's gibberish"
)/

(_) www.casadiablos.com/steph

G&L

unread,
Sep 20, 2002, 2:30:33 PM9/20/02
to

Red-Haired She-Devil wrote:

> G&L <hous...@telus.net> wrote:
>
> >I've notice other CG houses blink both eyes the
> >same time. Okay in 2d but in 3D for some reason looks mechanical. Pixar
> >blinks sometimes follows a frame or two behind the other one.
>
> Ehhh, I've seen too many asymetrical eye blinks done in both CG and even in
> 2D where it's taken too far and the character either looks unintentionally
> stupid and/or drunk. Timing can be a very tricky thing.
>
> RHSD

True. Fair enough. All in moderation , eh?
Gerard

G&L

unread,
Sep 20, 2002, 2:45:40 PM9/20/02
to
Btw, despite my general criticism about eyes in CG, your Mickey is very
impressive.
I read about the lack of facial rigging after my post. Which I assume is very
tricky for Mickey because you have his black area around the face to contend
with for expression too. Hats off to you. I've yet to do anything that good and
I acknowledge that I am armchair quarterbacking.
Good luck!
Gerard

StephG

unread,
Sep 20, 2002, 4:07:57 PM9/20/02
to
On 20 Sep 2002, G&L <hous...@telus.net> smacked the keyboard and out came
news:3D8B6DD7...@telus.net:

> Btw, despite my general criticism about eyes in CG, your Mickey is very
> impressive.
> I read about the lack of facial rigging after my post. Which I assume is
> very tricky for Mickey because you have his black area around the face to
> contend with for expression too. Hats off to you. I've yet to do anything
> that good and I acknowledge that I am armchair quarterbacking.
> Good luck!
> Gerard

The eyes were tricky for another reason. Those are not spherical eyes.
Tracking pupils on them is not like rotating an eyeball. And you're right,
that black area around the face was a big pain in the butt.

You have to be careful about breaking synchronization of the eye movement and
blinks. It's something that doesn't occur in humans, and that's what our
minds are trained to compare everything to. You can't even desynchronize your
own blinks if you tried (unless you're drunk or have something in your eye).

Insofar as the blinks are concerned, their timing *should* be synchronized to
close simultaneously and begin opening simultaneously. But they should be on
separate controls so the blink in each eye can begin or end on a different
frame and/or at a different rate. It's when they begin, retract and end on
the same frames with the same inbetweens what usually gives things that
mechanical look. I don't remember if I was doing that when I did the Mickey
thing, but I usually desynchronize the initiation and retraction on more
recent stuff in a very subtle way that doesn't call attention to it.

But not always. You have to do what looks right for the scene, and sometimes
desynchronizing a blink in any way just looks "wrong" and can interfere with
the shot, especially if it's a quick blink that isn't there for a character
purpose, but just to break the character's "stare" on a lengthy shot.

Reply all
Reply to author
Forward
0 new messages