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Author Topic: Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug  (Read 2472 times)

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Offline Chris Brady

Re: Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
« Reply #50 on: December 25, 2013, 10:25:25 PM »
A friend of mine owned a 2600, and he LOVED the Krull game.  I never got to actually play it, just watched.  Was pretty good for it's time.

Offline Deamonbane

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Re: Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
« Reply #51 on: December 25, 2013, 11:28:10 PM »
My only complaint with Smaug (as I stated elsewhere) is this current fascination with quadrupedal dragons, as opposed to the traditional hexapeds.  Other than that, he MADE the movie for me.

Honestly, I have never seen a six-legged dragon... all of the traditional European ones are depicted as flying lizards, with four legs, bat-like wings and breathing fire, or no legs, like a serpent, the kind of which are also included in Tolkein fantasy as the original wyrms, ancestors of the 'modern' flying dragons.

Offline Oniya

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Re: Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
« Reply #52 on: December 26, 2013, 01:18:32 AM »
The six limbs are the four legs and the two wings, as wings are analogous to forelegs on flying creatures.

(Although, notably, the Gap Dragon from Piers Anthony's Xanth series had six legs and a pair of wings.)

Offline Chris Brady

Re: Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
« Reply #53 on: December 26, 2013, 04:07:05 AM »
Honestly, I have never seen a six-legged dragon... all of the traditional European ones are depicted as flying lizards, with four legs, bat-like wings and breathing fire, or no legs, like a serpent, the kind of which are also included in Tolkein fantasy as the original wyrms, ancestors of the 'modern' flying dragons.
Six LIMBED dragons.  Hexapeds have six limbs.  Two Arms, Two Legs and Two Wings.  Wings are limbs.

As someone who has played MMOs with traditional Dragons in them, I can't understand how movie makers can't do six limbs.  Not blaming them, not accusing them of anything, just not sure how difficult it really is.

Offline Deamonbane

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Re: Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
« Reply #54 on: December 26, 2013, 08:46:10 AM »
Smaug does have 4 legs and two wings, at least as far as I could see...

Offline RubySlippersTopic starter

Re: Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
« Reply #55 on: December 26, 2013, 09:24:51 AM »
Six LIMBED dragons.  Hexapeds have six limbs.  Two Arms, Two Legs and Two Wings.  Wings are limbs.

As someone who has played MMOs with traditional Dragons in them, I can't understand how movie makers can't do six limbs.  Not blaming them, not accusing them of anything, just not sure how difficult it really is.

Dragonslayer had the only classic Western dragon with two legs the wings were leg/arms and it had a tail but it was freaking cool for a dragon in a movie.

But Smaug is a classic four legs, two wings and a tail dragon with even more bad ass than the Dragonslayer dragon.

Offline Deamonbane

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Re: Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
« Reply #56 on: December 26, 2013, 10:24:11 AM »
*nods* Smaug was awesome... his voice sent chills down my spine... The first time he roared it broke one of the speakers in the Movie theater... that is how badass he is....

Offline TheGlyphstone

Re: Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
« Reply #57 on: December 26, 2013, 11:32:34 AM »
Six LIMBED dragons.  Hexapeds have six limbs.  Two Arms, Two Legs and Two Wings.  Wings are limbs.

As someone who has played MMOs with traditional Dragons in them, I can't understand how movie makers can't do six limbs.  Not blaming them, not accusing them of anything, just not sure how difficult it really is.

MMO art designers can take shortcuts, and often do. A big monster's legs might not move at the speed it's traveling horizontally. The typical MMO format means you will almost always be fighting said dragons on the ground, since you are likely to be on the ground, so the wings just become big floppy decorations - maybe a stock 'flap' animation to perform randomly, or as a wing-slap attack animation. In the exceptions, close attention to the animated flying model will probably show that the body has become the big lump decoration, towed around by the animated wings. In general, game models tend to be built on one 'stationary' animated model of the creature, then a variety of different 'action' animations - attacking, walking, roaring, flapping wings, dancing, whatever - and the game code then strings the action models together in sequence between the stationary model according to the needs of the AI script. In a movie, on the other hand, that's going to be effectively a separate 'action' animation for every single frame of the film, possibly more depending on frame rate, with very limited reusability because the creature's surroundings on screen are going to be constantly changing as well.
« Last Edit: December 26, 2013, 11:34:13 AM by TheGlyphstone »

Offline Oniya

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Re: Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
« Reply #58 on: December 26, 2013, 03:09:05 PM »
Smaug does have 4 legs and two wings, at least as far as I could see...

Per the wiki:

http://lotr.wikia.com/wiki/Smaug

Quote
Also, in the prologue of the theatrical release of An Unexpected Journey, Smaug appeared to some as having six limbs (four legs and two wings). However, this may have been a misconception resulting from the fact that Smaug was not fully or clearly shown in the prologue of the first film. In The Desolation of Smaug the dragon is revealed as having two rear legs and two wing-bearing front legs.

Offline Chris Brady

Re: Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
« Reply #59 on: December 26, 2013, 03:47:27 PM »
MMO art designers can take shortcuts, and often do. A big monster's legs might not move at the speed it's traveling horizontally. The typical MMO format means you will almost always be fighting said dragons on the ground, since you are likely to be on the ground, so the wings just become big floppy decorations - maybe a stock 'flap' animation to perform randomly, or as a wing-slap attack animation. In the exceptions, close attention to the animated flying model will probably show that the body has become the big lump decoration, towed around by the animated wings. In general, game models tend to be built on one 'stationary' animated model of the creature, then a variety of different 'action' animations - attacking, walking, roaring, flapping wings, dancing, whatever - and the game code then strings the action models together in sequence between the stationary model according to the needs of the AI script. In a movie, on the other hand, that's going to be effectively a separate 'action' animation for every single frame of the film, possibly more depending on frame rate, with very limited reusability because the creature's surroundings on screen are going to be constantly changing as well.
The two MMO's that I can recall off the top of my head that have fully functional six limbed dragons are:

World of Warcraft, ignoring the mounts, Onyxia, the first Raid Boss that came out has three stages, two ground, one aerial, all of which are animated.  Not to mention the other Dragons that have come since.

Mabinogi, the basic Dragon mounts have a cool running and flying animation set.

And I just remembered another one off the top of my head:  Vindictus, there's a raid boss with a massive (as in larger than Onyxia, which is impressive because WoW tends to oversize anything that's not a player model), white silver Dragon that alternates between a ground attack and swooping flight strike.  This guy is both beautifully animated and a team killer, if you're not prepared.

Computer Animation wise, there was several that I can think of, from the mediocre Dragons: Fire and Ice (2004), to the slightly better Dragonheart (1996), to the phenomenal How to Train Your Dragon (2010).

I'm not seeing the excuse that it can't be done.

Offline TheGlyphstone

Re: Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
« Reply #60 on: December 26, 2013, 04:06:10 PM »
The two MMO's that I can recall off the top of my head that have fully functional six limbed dragons are:

World of Warcraft, ignoring the mounts, Onyxia, the first Raid Boss that came out has three stages, two ground, one aerial, all of which are animated.  Not to mention the other Dragons that have come since.

Mabinogi, the basic Dragon mounts have a cool running and flying animation set.

And I just remembered another one off the top of my head:  Vindictus, there's a raid boss with a massive (as in larger than Onyxia, which is impressive because WoW tends to oversize anything that's not a player model), white silver Dragon that alternates between a ground attack and swooping flight strike.  This guy is both beautifully animated and a team killer, if you're not prepared.

Computer Animation wise, there was several that I can think of, from the mediocre Dragons: Fire and Ice (2004), to the slightly better Dragonheart (1996), to the phenomenal How to Train Your Dragon (2010).

I'm not seeing the excuse that it can't be done.

Onyxia is an excellent example, actually. On the ground, her wings just sort of hang there, flap back and forth a little in a stock repeating animation, except when she uses her wing buffet (which is another stock animation). The majority of her movement is in her neck and limbs, since those are the parts that are relevant to that stage of the fight. In her aerial phase, it's reversed; her wings propel a mostly static body as she flies around (and Deep Breathes more). Second ground phase,  same as the first. The quality of the animation is good, but that's because the animators only have to draw a pool of stock animated poses that can be looped in sequence as needed. All the other dragon bosses - Nefarian, Atramedes, Sindragosa (Deathwing doesn't count) - operate on similar lines. I've never played Mabinogi or Vindictus, but it's safe to assume they work along similar lines as well.

Dragonheart is awesome, and is an example of 'doing it right' for the most part...even the CGI hasn't aged that badly, but look carefully - the scenes where you have a full-body shot of a moving Draco aren't common. He's usually either standing in one place moving wings or legs, or flying at angles that obscure his entire body from view, or action close-ups of his face, claws, or wings.

No one has said it 'can't' be done. It's only been said that it is massively harder to work out and animate a consistently moving creature along a completely fantastic skeletal and muscular structure that is A) believable in its movements), B) visually attractive on a theater-scale screen, C) not stupendously over-budget to solve the above two. When you can switch to a bat/wyvern-model and the only cost is offending people who have deep investment in a four-legged Smaug (Tolkein purists and people who watched+loved the animated Hobbit, mostly), it's not a hard decision for the studio.
« Last Edit: December 26, 2013, 04:08:05 PM by TheGlyphstone »

Offline Chris Brady

Re: Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
« Reply #61 on: December 26, 2013, 10:54:57 PM »
For the record, the four legged Smaug isn't a big bone of contention.  It's a teeny tiny minor thing.  He was awesome nonetheless for it.

Offline TheGlyphstone

Re: Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
« Reply #62 on: December 26, 2013, 10:56:18 PM »
For the record, the four legged Smaug isn't a big bone of contention.  It's a teeny tiny minor thing.  He was awesome nonetheless for it.

Yeah, I loved the wyvern design, I think it made him a lot more menacing to slither rather than walk. I just happened to be recently enlightened on the particular issues involved with drawing+animating hexapedal creatures, and it's stuck with me.

Offline Chris Brady

Re: Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
« Reply #63 on: December 27, 2013, 02:52:42 AM »
Yeah, I loved the wyvern design, I think it made him a lot more menacing to slither rather than walk. I just happened to be recently enlightened on the particular issues involved with drawing+animating hexapedal creatures, and it's stuck with me.
Just to continue with that, Toothless of How to Train Your Dragon, moved more or less similarly (Although a lot less menacingly, admittedly) which is why for me, I'm not sure why they made Smaug four legged.  I'm sure there are complications, just not seeing how they could have been so difficult if at least one movie did it.  Is all.

But the film was fun.  And frankly, that's all I ever ask.

Offline TheGlyphstone

Re: Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
« Reply #64 on: December 27, 2013, 11:26:05 AM »
Just to continue with that, Toothless of How to Train Your Dragon, moved more or less similarly (Although a lot less menacingly, admittedly) which is why for me, I'm not sure why they made Smaug four legged.  I'm sure there are complications, just not seeing how they could have been so difficult if at least one movie did it.  Is all.

But the film was fun.  And frankly, that's all I ever ask.

Remember C) on my list? I'd think it very likely that different animation studios protect their code/models/animators jealously from competing studios, so however Pixar accomplished Toothless, whoever animated Smaug wouldn't be able to use that expertise without paying a lot of money. HTTYD cost $165 million, ran 98 minutes of which Toothless is on screen a lot of the time, and thus a valid and likely use of a large chunk of their budget (admittedly not as much as some other studios because everything they do is animated). DoS cost $225 million ((27% more), ran for 161 minutes (60% longer), of which Smaug is on screen a much smaller fraction of the total time (maaaaaybe the last 20 minutes?). Difficulty is (Time + Money)/Results. I find it very, very easy to believe that the studio for Hobbit decided that they weren't going to pour extra time and money into working out said difficulties when they could Wyvern him much cheaper and quicker.

Offline Chris Brady

Re: Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
« Reply #65 on: December 28, 2013, 06:43:28 PM »
Wasn't Pixar who did How To Train Your Dragon, it was Dreamworks Studios.

And the fact that Smaug got reduced to an oversized wyvern design is a minor disappointment at most. :)

Offline TheGlyphstone

Re: Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
« Reply #66 on: December 28, 2013, 06:51:00 PM »
Wasn't Pixar who did How To Train Your Dragon, it was Dreamworks Studios.

And the fact that Smaug got reduced to an oversized wyvern design is a minor disappointment at most. :)

Right...I'm so used to Dreamworks being the losing end of that comparison that I forget they can occasionally make a good movie. ;D

Offline Chris Brady

Re: Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
« Reply #67 on: December 28, 2013, 07:01:32 PM »
Off Topic:

Rise of The Guardians and How To Train Your Dragon (and the TV spin offs) turned out pretty damn good of late.  I'm hoping that they can rival Pixar, and both studios can challenge each other to do better.

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Re: Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
« Reply #68 on: December 29, 2013, 04:51:51 AM »
Okay so...

Was I the only one that didn't like this movie?

Just saw it today.

I hated it.

I am absolutely baffled by this movie. It was terrible. So disappointed. :/

Offline The Dark Raven

Re: Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
« Reply #69 on: December 31, 2013, 06:21:02 PM »
I loved it, though I don't have the hangup of having read the book.  I knew that certain things and characters were not canon going in, and went for the sheer interaction of Martin and Benedict, because that alone was hilarious...and watching Bilbo fight his demons.

Offline Loken

Re: Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
« Reply #70 on: January 01, 2014, 10:35:34 AM »
I really enjoyed it. Although they haven't drawn me in quite like the original Lord of the Rings trilogy did i have still found the first two hobbit films a lot of fun. This one even more so than the first which was a little slow in places. I don't quite see the attraction of the whole Tauriel and Kili plot as such but the whole sequence between Smaug, Bilbo and the dwarfs was great fun.

Offline Jazra

Re: Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
« Reply #71 on: January 02, 2014, 01:15:38 AM »
I really enjoyed it. Although they haven't drawn me in quite like the original Lord of the Rings trilogy did i have still found the first two hobbit films a lot of fun. This one even more so than the first which was a little slow in places. I don't quite see the attraction of the whole Tauriel and Kili plot as such but the whole sequence between Smaug, Bilbo and the dwarfs was great fun.

Loken captures my opinion perfectly. Really enjoyed the second movie.

Offline Aleph

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Re: Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
« Reply #72 on: January 09, 2014, 06:55:32 AM »
So I saw Hobbit 2: The Dragoning last week. I didn't have lofty hopes for it, it's the middle film, the connector between the opening and the closing. Nothing is supposed to get resolved, yada yada. Due to an odd quirk of cheap nights and availability, it was actually cheaper and easier to see it in 3d at my favorite arthouse cinema than it was to see in 2d at a chain cinema. Go figure, it didn't add anything in particular to the experience but that's my opinion of 3D in general.

I wasn't wowed by the film, but I did enjoy it. Benedict Cumberbatch's voice was lessened as a dragon IMNSHO but I'm a purist :P. Stephen Fry was fun to watch as Stephen Fry, lord of Laketown. The fight scenes were fun but...to be honest, it was around The Two Towers that I got a little tired of the Elves being so good at fighting that orcs just seemed to throw themselves on the elven swords. The Tauriel/Kili thing was kind of cute, I liked Tauriel. I thought Thorin is being set up well for the third act. I rather liked Beorn. He appeared to me as a quite believable shapeshifter. I liked his not-quite-human look.