Oh dear, we appear to have come much closer to the end of days as far as animators and storyboard artists are concerned. A company called Plotagon has released an eponymous software program that can create animated content from a written script. Is animating as a career doomed???
Will Plotgaon Replace Artists?
Well, if the video below is any indication, I think not:
While it’s clear that technology is rapidly improving to the point of being capable of supplanting live actors (such as in TRON: Legacy), as far as animation goes, that hasn’t been the case. Yes, CGI has assumed many of the roles that people once did, but they also created a whole host of new positions that require human brains to undertake.
Protagon is yet another event in that regard. The ability to see a written script animated immediately will be a boon to screenwriters, but is unlikely to threaten the artistic nature of storyboarding and animating. As the Fast Company article notes:
We can’t pretend that Plotagon films look vastly better than a game of The Sims, but the core experience of actually using this software is incredibly impressive. It helps that screenplays, by nature, are a sort of code. They establish a scene (you know, INT. Bar – Night).
So this program is targeted more at writers and offering them an ability to see how their script plays out via animation. It’s essentially a tool, not something that will replace professional artists.
The concept of Plotagon isn’t entirely original, but it does pave the way for further melding of writing and animation. Given the two camps that animation production is divided into; that is, script-driven and board-driven, the creation and proliferation of the animatic in the latter has not been matched by a similar technological leap in the former.
At its most basic level, Plotagon is about improving the ultimate end product, which is a script. Knocking out any problems at that stage is much better than leaving them in to be discovered during animation of the kind that Frozen has suffered from. While Plotagon may still have a few rough edges, it could be a valuable tool for animation production in the future.