BURN-E

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BURN-E

Postby sascha » Sun Apr 19, 2009 9:52 am

Has anybody seen BURN-E (it's a short-film bonus on the WALL•E DVD) yet?
It's a great short, and what's most striking about it is how they managed to put that much character into robots with no facial features whatsoever.
Topping it all is SUPPLY•R, who isn't even animated and is still more expressive than my beloved Barbies:
Burn-E-3.JPG

I wonder how this can be achieved - animating the eyes only in a way that the viewer can literally read the character's mind. This works for Gromit, Manfred in Ice-Age, and of course WALL•E and EVE, and I guess this is what sets apart a great animation from the usual rubbish.

You can watch BURN-E on Youtube here (don't forget to click on the HD button).
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Re: BURN-E

Postby dcuny » Sun Apr 19, 2009 11:50 am

I agree, I thought they did a good job with it.

As for how they got all that expression into a character with no face, have another look at Luxo, Jr.. ;)
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Re: BURN-E

Postby sascha » Sun Apr 19, 2009 12:43 pm

Agreed, you're right.
It's quite interesting to watch the kids when they watch an animation: While sometimes (even for Luxo Jr.) she jumps up and down in front of the TV-set, trying to imitate every move (you should see her performance of the Grinch ;-)), she's rather passive when watching Barbie (although she loves it).

Learn: Don't use bad mocap to replace good animators!
I wonder if a good actor could even it out for motion-capturing, but I think it would still lack much of the exaggeration typical for animations, not to mention squash and stretch. Gollum was quite nice, but he was played by a good actor and LOTR was not an animation after all.

As for Burn-E: Since the Supply-R robot is animated only rudimentarily (I think he blinks his eyes once), I guess much of the expressiveness comes from the camera angles, the composition and the lighting used (and the acting of Burn-E: just look at his sad, frustrated pose in the image above, which puts emphasis on the Supply-R's frown.)
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