Saturday, February 24


Popopopo Popo Po

Steven rereviews Popotan and comes to much the same conclusion as I did.

It's the dancing dandelions. It may take some time, but they will get to you in the end.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at 08:11 AM | Comments (9) | Add Comment | Trackbacks (Suck)
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1 And to much the same conclusion as I did as well, way back when. (Mind you, my write-up: is rather sparse.)

Posted by: GreyDuck at Saturday, February 24 2007 10:08 AM (b7/JK)


Is it just me, or should anime really be taking more advantage of higher-definition CGI technology?  Since seeing Matriculation off the Animatrix DVD, I'm almost spoiled for anything else.  Even higher quality stuff like Princess Mononekee is hard for me to really enjoy. Or am I just outing myself as an impure heretical technophile?


Posted by: TallDave at Saturday, February 24 2007 03:16 PM (odS+4)

3 Most anime wouldn't benefit from higher resolution. Work like Miyazaki's is unusually good.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at Saturday, February 24 2007 05:29 PM (+rSRq)

4 Greyduck - yeah, I remember that review.  Linked to it here.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at Saturday, February 24 2007 07:21 PM (FSeIE)

5 LOL @ the post title.

Any discussion of computer technology in anime production brings to mind two films, Jin-Roh and Appleseed. The former was created by Mamoru Oshii and Production I.G as a swan song of sorts for cel animation using virtually none of the digital technology which was gaining popularity in 1998. The latter is Japan's first fully computer-animated theatrical feature, released in 2004. Despite representing two technological extremes, both films look very good, and that's about all they have going for them IMHO.

The lesson to be learned is that while HD and CG technology have a lot to offer, they don't make or break a production. Hell, sloppy or poorly integrated CG has tarnished plenty of otherwise solid anime series (I'm looking at you, GONZO).

Posted by: Andrew F. at Sunday, February 25 2007 01:39 PM (ZGzG/)


Dave, more and more shows (all, nowadays?) are animated completely on computers.  Azumanga Daioh was the first series that I knew of that was animated entirely on computer, though I'm sure there were others (many others) before it... and I only discovered that when I was given some dougas* from the show for Xmas.

But that's not what you're talking about; you're wondering why all anime series don't look like Ghost In The Shell 2: Innocence.  My guess?  Cost and time limitations, and broadcast limitations.

Besides, would a show like, oh, Karin or Hidamari Sketch really be improved by being CGI'd to the teeth?  Or, god help us, Dokuro-Chan?  Do you REALLY want to watch Dokuro-Chan in HD?

Posted by: Wonderduck at Sunday, February 25 2007 02:18 PM (CJ5+Y)


Yeah, I came to anime pretty recently, and I'm spoiled by modern CGI capabilities to boot (lack of fine detail makes Dave's brain unhappy; I can feel my visual cortex shrinking!) so I don't have the perspective on such things that the old hands do; the answer to my question seems to be that in a lot of cases it's just not that relevant to what the creators are trying to achieve. 

Fortunately for my prejudices, good CGI does seem to be getting cheaper and more accessible, even if good writing is still hard to find.

Thanks, I'll have to pick up GITS2.

Posted by: TallDave at Monday, February 26 2007 04:13 PM (odS+4)


It's not just 3D rendering that's computerized now. In the bad old days, initial animation was done with pencils on paper, and then someone would trace the images on clear plastic (known as "cels" from "celluloid", though they no longer use that particular plastic), which would then be painted. When time came to commit to film, the various cels would be placed on top of one another on a light table and a movie camera would be clicked for one-five frames.

Now what happens is that the initial animation is done with a graphics editor using a graphics tablet, and the "ink and paint" are all done inside the computer, too. The resulting graphics images get composited together digitally, and in many cases they never go to film at all. Instead, the composited animation is directly converted to MPEG2. If film is needed, it's created using a laser film-printer.

The modern result isn't necessarily better, but it can be, and it's a damned sight cheaper and faster than the old approach, once you've paid off all the capital cost for all the computer equipment.

A lot of the old tweening and cel work in anime used to be subcontracted to companies in South Korea. The raw pencil diagrams had to be shipped to SK by air freight, and the finished cels were returned the same way. Nowadays they do it all via VPN's over the Internet.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at Monday, February 26 2007 05:53 PM (+rSRq)


Steven, that's what I was referring to, indeed.  I just now realized that I never finished my comment above.

There was supposed to be a definition of what a douga is, but I never bothered to do it.  A douga is a drawing done on a sheet of paper (similar to drafter's vellum, but not as transparent) that's used as the reference for the animator for a scene.  I'm sure that before computer use became common, it was used for the basis of the appropriate cel, but now it's the first frame of the computer-generated animation instead.

I think.  It's still pretty cool to say "hey, there's the final version of that framed sketch I've got on my wall!"

Posted by: Wonderduck at Tuesday, February 27 2007 10:46 PM (tcdjd)

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