Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Tin Tin yeah more like Cringe Tin amirite pplz

So you know how James Cameron just released this ground-breaking motion capture technology that allows virtually limitless creativity, right? Well, you know how they were making a Tin Tin movie? You guys remember Tin Tin, right? This guy?

Yeah, you remember him. Of course you do. He's classic, he's a legend. He was the brainchild of Belgian comic book genius Hergé. He brought us the mysterious explorations of lovable Tin Tin, the titular scamp who gets into all sorts of crazy adventures.
And who could possibly forget his wacky cohort, Captain Haddock?

Obviously Peter Jackson and Steven Spielberg.

This is what they are doing with James Cameron's Avatar technology. This is what they are doing to Tin Tin.


He looks like a fucking mutant.

It reminds me of these pictures that keep floating around the internet:

"Blistering barnacles!!!"


You know, when I first heard they were making a Tin Tin movie using the Avatar mocap technology I was excited as hell. I was imagining a thrilling tribute to the comic and animated series featuring the clean, simplistically rendered designs of Hergé, a master of artistic conservation who enjoyed populating meticulously detailed backgrounds with simply drawn characters who barely had dots for eyes and lines for noses. It was a style.

This is just...

Eugh, gross.

I can't tell who looks scarier, Tin Tin or the dog.

We are launching headfirst into the old Uncanny Valley argument again here; it's been discussed many times before so I shall be brief, but I'd like to offer up a comparison for your consideration.
With the use of the proposed motion capture technology, these ugly, nightmarish messes of facial features will move realistically and convincingly, just as a human's. The real question is, is that better or worse than watching the eerily photo-real faces of Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within or The Polar Express shamble their way through swathes of dialogue with stilted, botox-ridden faces?

In either case, the picture here is incomplete.
If you want characters that look human, grab a camera, it's not that hard. They've been doing it for over a hundred years now. If you want them to look like cartoons? Draw them!

Sorry, is there something wrong with 2D? Did I miss something?
Didn't John Lasseter, the guy who got Pixar rolling, advocate more 2D animation in feature films? Instead we are being treated to a perplexing misuse of an amazing technology for an entirely self-defeating artistic blunder and destroying a loved masterpiece in the process. The truly scary part is that this movie doesn't even have a style. It's just creepy. There's nothing in those models to make you say, "oh, these are based off Hergé's drawings, obviously" or "that character was clearly modelled by -famous character designer-". It's just a human face that has been cut off and wrapped around a mishapen skull. I mean jesus, just look at this mess.


  1. It's not really that bad...

    When you look at it at face value, take it for what it is, you know, empty your mind, don't think too deep, don't go below the surface, just be impressed by all the work someone put into recreating every fiber of wool in his turtle-neck, lobotomise yourself, look at the pretty colours, the shiny lens-flare, just squint your eyes and see it for what it is.

  2. Then you can almost be fooled into thinking that is just a bona fide deformed human. I see it!