Finally, I see some future in Chinese Animation (cartoon).
The latest chinese cartoon Qin's Moon (秦时明月) seems to be a good cartoon produced by China that matched the quality of Japanese and American animation. It's a chinese martial arts cartoon.
The graphic quality would have been fine in the 1990s but in the 21st century, it makes the cartoon resemble more like video scenes from computer games rather than an animated movie.
Theskin texture rendering of the characters is abysmally done. It seems though it is 2D character drawings with 3D backgrounds. Nothing wrong in that by itself, even some anime movies/series do it too. But they really need to put in better texturing on the skins.
The soldiers should have have individual generation and customisation instead of mass generation of exactly the same look and posture.
The macroscopic views of the terrains are okay, but when they used the same generation process for close-up scenes or background scenes of the characters in action, the lack of solidness of terrain images show up noticably.
It's not that the software for addressing all these issues is not available - many commercially available off-the-shelf software could have resolved the issues and make the movie look so much better.
The problem is it would have been a tedious, painstaking and lengthy process.In this aspect, the producers cut corners and it shows.
Try to watch the first 3 episodes.. the martial arts choreography is pretty good. You're right that it can look like animation from computer game rather than cartoon movie.
The motions are okay, seems hand-drawn rather than computer-generated, or some combination of both.
But I do admit it is a start for Chinese animation industry to raise their standards.
I like the music and soundtrack 月光 (Moonlight) for this cartoon animation. It was composed and song by Hu Yanbin 胡颜斌, a top singer in China.
Doesnt look bad. Its alot better than some other Chinese animation I saw before. Its actually interesting. I do agree that it looks a bit video gameish though. It is unique though. If they could work on the textures and actual look and animation of the 3d models I believe it could be very good. It would be a look completely different than American and Japanese animation. Some of the fight choreography is also rather impressive. I guess China has alot more talent and potential in animation than I thought they did. Check out these 2 other Chinese animations. One is a movie called Warrior that is either out or coming out soon while the other is a old animation from 1988 based off classic Chinese painting. I really like the 1988 one. If Chinese animation companies did this kind of stuff now but with interesting stories like Qin Moon, a bit more detailed drawing, and managed to blend good fight choreography and 3d backgrounds - it would look absolutely fantastic. It would also be uniquely Chinese and not just a copy of American drawing styles like the Warrior Movie is.
I found out about Qin Shi Ming Yue when searching for Hu Yan Bin's new music, and found the opening theme song video with footage from the series. I don't know about historical accuracy, but I'm quite impressed with the quality of the graphics. They're gorgeously rendered for a kid's cartoon and I really like the 3D game-like quality. The faces and lipsyncing need work in my opinion, but I think it's high time China came out with its own style of cartoon instead of doing the same tired thing. I also wish they would depict Chinese people to actually look like Asians once in awhile.
Does anyone know where one could get ahold of Qin Shi Ming Yue from the US? Has it even been released in China for purchase?
If you search for the chinese title you can definitely download it online somewhere. Its not hard considering the massive piracy in China. Anyway, if you thought this looked good then your going to be blown away by this. When I first saw footage of the Qin Moon cartoon I thought to myself that China had some talent in the animation industry but still had a good ways to go before they could catch up to the top animation industries like Japan. But, I just recently saw a trailer for the new Storm Riders movie that is supposed to come out in the first quarter of 08 and it looks amazing. It doesnt just look good for a Mainland Chinese animation, it seriously just looks good. Im wiling to bet that if you showed it to some random Japanese anime fans, they wouldn't be able to tell it was Chinese made and not Japanese made. That how good it looks. It looks just as well made as many good Japanese animated movies. Anyways, check it out