The gist is that a new computer program can make drawings of people and things similar to an artist's rendering.
Like I said, I don't know what to think about it specifically but it does remind me of an experience some years back at a major studio where I and some top, young and talented story artists were charged with developing a feature film with a lot of buzz. As is often the case, the studio hired a live-action screenwriter to develop the property along with us. He had the kind of sketchy credentials that would have made him a marginal figure among live-action folks but in the land of some studios even a low-level live-action / WGA-approved writer is a "made man" compared to even some of the best animation artists. This writer seemed to revel in that. (I will have to devote a whole separate post on my reflections on this sad state.)
|A Propos of nothing: "L'il UBU"|
Whenever the director was in the room, the scribe in question minded his manners but in the director's absence he seemed to take over every conversation. He was a bottomless pit of pithy historical and literary references that seemed less relevant to our work than to his desire to hold court. During coffee breaks some of us would hang around at one end of the table and sketch away - making each other laugh and marvel. This agitated the writer visibly. He had no interest in our sketches, he just seemed irritated that for the moment he had lost the center of attention. Quiet and lonely at his end of the conference room, he would twitch and fidget noticeably during these breaks. After some days of this, finally he blurted out something to this effect:
"You know there are computer programs in the works that will enable anybody with a computer to draw like DaVinci. Or Picasso, or whoever. Then everyone will have the same drawing ability and that will be that." This buzzkiller stopped us all dead for a moment, the effect he seemed to desire. After a dramatic pause he chuckled and stroked his greasy goatee: "Oh yes, it's coming. It's coming..."
I had to bite my tongue to keep from saying: "So when will we get a computer program that will enable a hack like you to write something good for a change?"
To the studio's credit, they fired him a few well-paid months later.
Let me add: I don't hate writers or writing. In fact, I am in awe of good writing whoever does it. I have yet to write anything anybody would find award-worthy. In fact, I believe that a well-written script at the start of boarding on an animated feature should be a standard. I don't know what the sound argument against that even is (although I know a lot of artists who feel that way.) One argument seems to go that words fight visuals (this is only true depending on who's doing the writing) and that sketches are the best way to develop animation material. Except that I have worked on a lot of "unscripted" animated material that went completely off the rails in that system. A few times it worked, but I'd call those cases near-miracles. I'd rather have a good script, thanks. Even a middling script can make a fair armature to build on, if its ideas, characters and situations are serviceable. Bad scripts don't count.
|And finally, a salmon colored T-Rex|