So Many CG Films Look Alike—But This Will Transport You To A Dream World

Small Garden is just a beauty of a short film, one that feels like a surreal painting mated with an indie video game and had a strange and lovely baby. Let it pick you up and sweep you away to an alien world filled with moving plants and luminous landscapes.

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Shunsuke Saito used hand-drawn animation and Blender to animate Small Garden, and created the texture painting in 3D-COAT and compositing in After Effects. It makes the whole world hazy and dreamy.

[via Vimeo Staff Picks]

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DISCUSSION

Finally. It's my opinion that CGI animation is in an analogous period to pen & ink animation in the 20s. You know the style, everyone bouncing up and down, constantly in motion, all moving in unison. It's charming and there's not a thing wrong with it, but it was a single style that prevailed across all the studios.

Slowly people began figuring out that animating something meant that you could draw anything you wanted, and eventually progressed to something like Akira which is about as far from bouncing animals as you can get, but also exists in a world with a thousand other different styles of animation. What started as a novel way to tell stories became a medium of unfettered artistic exploration.

These days, we have some amazing computer-animated movies, that are awesome in their own right even, not just as great examples of animation. But they all have a similar, almost the same, style. Not a bad style, The Incredibles will always be incredible, but it's there. Characters are often glossy, looking like marionettes. They move unnaturally, often with fast, exaggerated movements. Which works, totally, I love these movies.

But soon, within the next 10 years I hope and believe, we're going to see computer-animated movies that push the boundaries of human expression and utterly redefine what we think of as computer animation. The Ghost in the Shell as compared to Snow White, and then beyond that. Now everyone's thinking I mean computer-animé movies but no not that, although I won't be surprised if the movement comes from Japan. I just mean, as radical a departure. Except, I think eventually the change will be much, much more radical, in both the dictionary and Jeff Spicoli meanings of the word.