Can we just for a moment actually look at this from an art/animating view?
I like this gif. I really do. I find Jack attractive, and it’s not just because I like teenage boys with white/silvery hair. But as I’ve been looking at it I’ve been noticing all these little things that make CGI movies so realistic in a way, nowadays.
- The strings on his hoodie. As he turns, they move the way you’d expect them to, they look like they have the right weight or something. They fall the right way. Someone watched people turning around in hoodies and made sure this was right. A+ on the physics engine and the lighting system in this movie.
- At the ‘end’ of the loop watch his chest. He’s breathing. ”Of course he’s breathing,” you might say. But he’s breathing. His chest is expanding, like a real chest, not just from sighing or anything, but from just standing there and being a human. You don’t even notice it, like you don’t really notice the breathing of yourself, or your friends, or your family, or anyone else. It’s one of those things that brings subtle life to things and I’m just completely taken over it.
- His ear. ”But Melissa,” you say again, “It’s a fucking ear.” Yes. Yes it is. It is a stylized ear, but look at the lighting. It looks like it’s glowing red dully, and that’s not because he’s frosty and people get red on their ears when they’re cold. It’s because light is going through his ear, and showing the blood in it, and so it looks red. You never really think about it, but ears are pretty thin, and when the right light is on it you can sort of see through it. But only a little. You can see the insides. You know what I mean.
- When he’s turning, his right arm is reasonably loose, and you can see the subtle movements from centrifugal forces or whatever, that his arm moves out and then back in again, and his hand moves with it in a way, and it’s adjusting the staff so that it stays on his shoulder instead of just flinging off into the sunset. And if you look, the staff is making the proper bobbing for balancing, and it’s just like AJDFKSJAFJSDKAJFDA
- His hair. It moves and bounces just ever so slightly, and it’s so shiny and perfect, and I want it, and ajfDSAJFSAKJFSAJFSajfksxjvkaskreqw /dies
- You can’t see it well in this, but throughout the entire movie when there was a particular closeup of Jack’s eyebrows, I was in love. Sure, from far away they look like they’re just dark, but up close there are silvery white hairs in his eyebrows. There are actually a lot of them, but they’re mixed in ever so slightly and it’s giving me an art boner. I recently had to do a lot of work on hairlines and eyebrows, and you don’t really realize how important highlighting a few hairs here and there makes it so much more realistic than just a dark smear for an eyebrow. As for why they decided to make his eyebrows dark, it’s because white eyebrows on a very pale person looks very strange and uncomfortable. It doesn’t show up well on screen, for one, and emotions are shown much easier if the brows contrast with the skin. The same goes for eyelashes. Light eyelashes look unsettling, because we’re so used to seeing darker lashes break up the white of the skin and the white of the eye. (I understand this point is moot with people who aren’t pasty white, but Jack is pasty white.) From what I’ve seen, facial hair is commonly a little darker than head hair on white folks. Unless you’re a weird ginger. But getting back to his eyebrows, it’s fantastic that there’s brown and silver-white in there AND THEY HAVE INDIVIDUAL HAIRS ON HIS FACE
- Also this son of a bitch has remotely realistic fingernails and I was freaking out because nails are terrifying to me.
- The frost details on his hoodie reflect more light than the fabric and it’s SHINY.
And that’s why he feels real.
I think this film definitely deserves a lot more credit for it’s flawless animation.
And aside from Jack Frost, I kind of want to start talking about how Tooth was brilliant. Because seriously, her feathers were God damn realistic as hell and her movements didn’t odd like I expected they would.
Because it irks me when there are those films where there’s a Human/Fairy thing just looks awkward because they’re not really flying, they’re just hanging in the air and looking like they’re dangling from a string. BUT TOOTH WASN’T LIKE THAT. KUDOS TO YOU, ANIMATORS.
And the reason it looks so perfect is because they did a craptonne of tests so that when they animated her, they’d make her fly realistically instead of just thinking something like “U NO WUT SHE CAN FLY COZ MAGIC AND WINGZ LOOK PRETTY SO WE’LL KEEP THEM ANYWAYZ”. No, her wings actually do something. Or at least, they look like they do.
“… tests based on a very simple hummingbird dragonfly kind of creature, with a little bit more weight because she’s bigger.”
I’m not an animation expert, I don’t study graphic design anymore at all, and physics and I broke up ages ago and it was a very messy end to our relationship, but although I’m stupidly educated in the ways of those important life things, I can still recognise when something moves the way it should.
Or maybe I suck and I have no clue.
My favourite thing about the baby tooth fairies has to be the feathers though.
Their tail feathers fan out, but you don’t really notice it when you’re watching because it’s so quick and you’re not meant to be focusing on that part of the screen. But they’re all animated individually. They’re all doing different things, their tails are fanning at different times to different degrees, it’s just. WHUT.
ART AND ANIMATION?!