Sunday, 28 March 2010


Does anybody else find the dragon in Dreamwork's latest thing to be really, REALLY badly designed?

I literally cannot even read that face as belonging to a character.


Ben said...

I thought this when I first saw the trailer too...I've grown to like the dragons a BIT more, but I don't think their design seems to fit with the human characters very well.

Joe Sparrow said...

you´ve developed john K´s habit of picking literally the worst example of artwork of any given character to support your argument!

I think the dragon´s a little bland, but I´d prefer that to it being overdesigned. And I think the choice to make it look sort of salamander-ish is slightly original. It looks a little devianart, but I think it´s still preferable to it looking like the one in Shrek. By, uh, quite a long shot.

Just a quick reminder:

Jonathan Harris said...

But it looks that way in almost all the images I've seen!
I couldn't even find an online version of the posters that have gone up everywhere, I thought it was even worse there.

Jonathan Harris said...

Okay, so to be fair I gave the trailers another look. It looks a bit better in motion, but I think that's because the movement just distracts you from its weird-looking "I can't focus on it" face.
And look at where it sits down here.
I know it's a quadrupedal creature sitting on its hind legs, so it should look a bit awkward, but to me it just looks like when you're trying to force a 3D model into a pose that the rig isn't well put-together enough to completely support: a problem common in lower-end 3D animation than this, in my experience. It's awkward in the wrong way. The frontal shot immediately following is just weird.

The rest of the dragons mostly just look kind of crappy. The only one I really like is this massive one here
Sure, they're better than the Shrek one but so what? They're better than total garbage? That's not much of a defense.

Joe Sparrow said...

Obviously I'm not clued up with regards to the technicalities of rigging and what they can and can't achieve, but I admit the little fella is weirdly proportioned.

I actually really like one of the dragons I've seen - I can't find a picture of it anywhere but it was all over the place in paris - it's this crazy blue-and-orange one with tons of spikes. It looks goofy but in a characterful way.

All the other dragons I've seen look like they're from different films - there's no sense of cohesive design, but I really don't think there needs to be. It looks like they had a lot of fun designing all these different creatures, at least. Kids can go and pick a favourite.

"Better than shrek" might not be high praise, but considering Dreamworks isn't the most amazingly creative, artistic company out there right now (is there even one right now?) I'm pleased to see small improvements. Not that I know anything about the industry in a practical sense, but I imagine Dreamworks is quite keen not to try anything too artistically wacky that might hurt their chances of making money.

Matt Layzell said...

MY LATE INPUT- It seems to me, and its usually the case for dreamworks and all those other big sweaty animation giants, that although the 3-D design may look a bit shiddy and boring, the concept art that goes behind it is really good and somewhere along the line the whole 3D animation process murders it. Do it like the drawings, i say, why do wicked drawings that would look amazing animated and then go, right lets rig these in good ol generic, super textured, realistically lighted models....for money, i know but seriously the designs are usually good for all these films. Nico Marlet is an example, like this design for a dragon
If they'd have done it like this, heck even done it in 3d and really tried to make it look like this it would've looked muchos betres, I think.