Back in the days when Disney was transitioning from traditional animation to digital, there was concern amongst animators who thought they would lose their jobs. In fact, many animation jobs were lost due to this transition. However, there then came a huge demand for digital animators.
Today, we’re living in a similar situation. Artificial intelligence and machine learning are changing the animation industry. Something that could have taken hours for an animator to do could take a lot less with automation. Today we’ll show you how machine learning and artificial intelligence are changing the animation industry.
Artificial Intelligence in Animation
Technology and art seem almost incompatible for most of us. However, today we may be seeing the first stages of a combination between both tech and art. Machine learning and artificial intelligence can create 2D animations automatically. With this new method, you’ll only have to give instructions to the computer and it’ll design the animation just like you want it.
This new trend is led by a company called Midas Touch. This startup created a tool called The Midas Creature, which helps animators build environments and design characters in a matter of minutes. Although it may sound like it wouldn’t be that realistic, it can beat animators in terms of accuracy.
The Debate Around AI Animation
When thinking about the role of artificial intelligence in animation, we automatically think about machines replacing humans. And it’s totally understandable; machines are much more productive and seem to be more accurate than humans. But what’s changed with machine learning is the process of developing animations; creativity is still something only humans have.
Artificial intelligence will not replace the role of animators. However, it can surely help them improve their productivity by reducing the time spent on development and improving their workflow.
Accuracy of Animation
Something that many people in the industry like about AI in animation is the accuracy of the characters. Artificial intelligence uses something called phase function neural to make characters look more realistic and natural. This has amazed most users who are fascinated with the accuracy of the animations. However, this has opened a debate in relation to animators’ artistic expression. Detractors of this trend believe that artificial intelligence’s realism limits animators’ artistic expression.
Artificial intelligence is also changing voice over development for animation. Adobe recently developed a new tool that helps animators automatically sync the voice of characters with their moving figures. It syncs the voice and the character’s mouth without much human intervention. This limits the role of animators.
However, they can now focus on things that are more important and things that could improve the quality of the design. Adobe and other companies in the animation industry are now investing in artificial intelligence tools, so we can expect more of these trends in the future.
How Artificial Intelligence Benefits Animators
Something that artificial intelligence has truly done is to help animators reduce their workload. Anything that’s not related to the creative process can now be handled by AI-driven tools. This way animators can focus more on relevant tasks that will improve the quality of animations.
Animators that embrace artificial intelligence can work with complex characterization in a matter of minutes, which is something that would have taken a lot of time with traditional methods. Artificial intelligence also helps them be more organized. Remember that animators deal with a lot of data during the development process. Therefore, having an organized dataset is something that can surely ease their work.
AI-driven tools in animation are very expensive and can only be afforded by big corporations like Disney or Pixar. So we cannot expect this to be a popular trend in the daily life of an animator. However, with the development of new AI-trends, these tools could be more accessible with time. Although artificial intelligence will not replace the role of animators yet, it can surely help them focus on more relevant tasks.