Thursday, September 17, 2009

Unflattering snap-shot

While perusing DVDBeaver's review of Monsters vs. Aliens today, I came across the screen capture below. I still haven't seen the movie (it's in the queue and I'm looking forward to it!), but even during the trailers, the design of the humans bothered me. I liked the creature designs quite a bit, but the people looked weird. The guys' faces were oddly lumpy, and the women looked too similar to each other and to other CG designs I've seen. This particular screenshot, though, is particularly unflattering. It looks as though a 3D model was made based on a 2D drawing that didn't quite translate into an appealing puppet when viewed at all angles.

I think the eyes are the worst part, but the mouths and jawlines are funky too. Look at the mouth of the woman on the far left. With the way that the teeth are visible it just looks incorrect. Like I drew it, not understanding bone structure and anatomy well enough to bluff it. I know they're stylized, but it seems like you'd want to make sure the stylization didn't hurt the aesthetic functionality of the model before you approved the design.

I've noticed this with other CG films, but this screenshot really brought the issue into focus. Anyhow, still looking forward to the movie. I've heard it's a hoot and a half.


Nobody said...

Yeah, the eyes look totally painted-on: if those eyeballs are spherical each one must be the size of the brain!

Ironically it's the chin and jawline of the one on the right who looks most like Reese Witherspoon (the voice of the protagonista I believe).

This post reminds me of this comparison of Pixar vs. Dreamworks (apologies if you're the one who drew my attention to it in the first place).

Ryan said...

Re: Witherspoon - Ha! Is that because she has such a sharp chin?

Nobody said...

Witherspoon is the only girl I've ever seen with a concave jawline, and her chin looks like a Pharaoh's chin-rest (what are those things called anyway?)

Lance Reddick and Rob Lowe also have concave jawlines but they just look like Liefeld characters.

_Shane said...

Hey Ryan, Just saw this post and I completely agree.

If you want to see some great Character design in a CG film take a look at Cloudy. Regardless of my feelings about the story the character designs, and animation, were brilliant.