Picture a world where auto-rigging tools promise to democratize rigging and animation for all. However, the journey to this utopian vision is far from simple.
Today’s landscape is saturated with AI-powered tools that generate avatars and digital replicas, revolutionizing content creation accessibility. Nevertheless, the widespread availability of these tools has given rise to an abundance of amateurish creations. The crux of the issue doesn’t solely rest with the tools themselves; rather, it delves deeper into the necessity for artists to undergo extensive traditional training.
Art is a lifelong journey of exploring the world’s intricacies
The committed artist embarks on a lifelong journey, constantly honing their craft. They immerse themselves in anatomy studies, master the art of representing the world around them, and maintain sketchbooks, whether digital or conventional. These dedicated individuals dedicate years to understanding the intricacies of artists like Bridgeman and Loomis, enroll in online courses with esteemed instructors like Rebecca Kimmel and Glenn Vilppu, and sometimes take sabbaticals to create masterpieces reminiscent of Whistler or Sargent, all to gain more profound insight into the art of rendering.
Amidst the sea of creative endeavors, some stand out as masterpieces, exemplified by the ABBA Voyage experience. This immersive show, captivating audiences daily with a holographic representation of ABBA in their prime, accompanied by a live 10-piece band, is a testament to the unwavering dedication of highly skilled artists. While AI was used specifically to de-age the performers, it was the creation of exceptional group artists and skilled technicians, true masters of their respective crafts.
Even as someone who lacks a personal affinity for ABBA (thanks to childhood trauma of parental musical choices), I can’t help but be intrigued by this remarkable achievement, which may one day find its place among the Wonders of the World.
Ultimately, the efficacy of AI tools lies in their wielders. Novices experimenting with AI often produce what could be termed ‘AI art.’ This is a consequence of the tool being akin to an Etch-a-Sketch in inexperienced hands. In contrast, seasoned artisans with years of foundational training consistently produce art, whether exceptional or more conventional.
How I nearly bombed the most crucial project of my life with an AI shortcut
Initially, I believed I could effortlessly ‘auto-rig’ a character using a novel tool I’d discovered. Two days later, after a slew of animation mishaps, I had to humbly seek (beg) assistance (pleading on my knees) from my accomplished friend, Furkan Wahab. He graciously rectified the rig, and the animation proceeded without a hitch. Furkan isn’t a magician; he’s simply a highly competent and technically adept artist with over two decades of experience. His generosity and skill shone through.
When assessing AI-generated art, the aesthetic appeal often conceals flaws, particularly when it delves into the uncanny valley of animation. Those unfamiliar with human anatomy tend to overlook the unnatural aspects—the lifeless eyes, expressionless faces, weightless movements, lopsided busts, and the absence of a realistic center of gravity.
In my view, animation remains the most formidable facet of #CG.
You can spot the mark of a skilled artist, whether it’s AI-generated or not.
Greek Gods sculpted in peanut butter
In conclusion, there’s no shortcut to acquiring true expertise. In the hands of an artist lacking the requisite knowledge, even the most advanced tools yield subpar results. Your work will invariably resemble a Hellenic god sculpted from white-glazed peanut butter—a testament to the importance of deep-rooted craftsmanship and learning.