Just breaking from the self-development topic for a moment, this is something I planned to mention a while ago. But I was kind of hoping it would turn up somewhere else on the internet first because it's about something I don't think I'm really supposed to know about. But I do. And it didn't turn up anywhere else. So if this amounts to anything, it will be a Medicated Cartoon Life exclusive. That sounds exciting, eh?
No, probably not.
Animators get asked a lot of stupid questions. Someone actually asked me once if I had to draw the backs of characters when they were facing forward. But, with computers, the common misconception is that the computers themselves do all the animating. It's the idea of an 'Animate' button.
But it's not so far fetched. 3D and Flash (and equivalents) do inbetweens that would once have been defined by actual humans. Other programmes are now doing automatic lip sync. I was once present at a Toonboom presentation that basically told me that animators are shit and here's why their system can do it better.
The full-on 'Animate' button is only a matter of time.
Or perhaps the time has already come. Here's what came to my attention, what I was hoping would be revealed somewhere else: a funding body in Ireland has been asking around studio heads about their interest in some thing, a programme, that is exactly that. This isn't something that is yet out there in the public so the only link I have verifying its existence is here. You can see it's a college project from some place and they are calling this software the "Character Animation Authoring Tool". It "uses speech analysis data as the basis of character animation, with movements and gestures being triggered relative to prominent speech events in the audio signal".
According to the people pimping the project to the studios, it produces animated body movements for characters which then allows animators to concentrate on the little details. Like expression.
Nice to see we still play a part.
So, someone wants to introduce an 'Animate' button. Press that button, get your animation. Man, can you imagine how good it will be? I can only speculate that the quality must be superb... no, I can't keep that up. You know they say sarcasm is the lowest form of wit.
What do you think? A great thing for the entertainment world?