Thursday, May 22, 2014

The Future of Animation

Have you watched an animated movie lately? Maybe Frozen, or Train your Dragon? The graphics are amazing and yes they look like cartoons but still amazing. Then there are the video games, some of these are so realistic now that you almost forget you are playing a video game.

So what is the future of all of this computer animated entertainment? The future is that it will continue to get more and more realistic to the point where we will not be able to tell apart humans filmed on camera and CG characters. I believe that the cartoons will still be cartoons otherwise the kids will not enjoy it as much. When I say kids I mean of all ages.

So what does this mean for actors and actress? In the next 10 or so years we simply may not need them. They can all be generated by computers in real-time and our entire "Matrix" world will be complete.

Ahhhh! but there is still one piece of the puzzle and that is the voices. Right now the voices for animated characters are performed by real humans. I do believe it is not that far off from this being computerized as well. Think of the cost savings from having to hire professional voice overs.

Synthesizing the voice is actually a difficult thing to do, just ask Siri (Apple) or Cortana (Microsoft) and you tell me how real those voices sound. They don't... As much as they love to say that they sound good, a small child can tell you that is a computer voice and is not real.

We are a bit of a ways off from making human voices originate completely from the bits and bytes of the computer world. There are other hurdles to overcome as well such as these voices having a personality, depth, and realistic tone and pitch. The next question is should they sound like a famous person that we can relate to or just a random pitch and tone.

So the final question is when we have computer generated humans and computer generated voices will we be licensing famous people's looks and voices or just make up new "famous virtual people".

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