It's not for mere reference; they trace movement.
They don’t trace anything for mo-cap, only rotoscoping (to an extent). Also, have you ever worked with mo-cap? You make it sound like it’s the equivalent of using a photoshop filter. Even Amid on Cartoon Brew disagrees with this gross oversimplification of the technique:“To be honest, it’s hard for me to judge the animation in Tintin. Photorealistic cartooning—which some will argue is an oxymoron—makes even keyframed CG animation look traditional. Many will say it isn’t even animation. The confusion is understandable. Animation is evolving so rapidly before our eyes that we can barely keep pace with these changes. We desperately try to apply old labels and definitions and find them insufficient. Still, Tintin at its core is pure animation created frame by frame. True, it was augmented by other processes, but the end result was achieved distinctly through frame-by-frame techniques. And if the mark of a true piece of animation art is the director’s control over every element within the frame, then never has this been truer than in Tintin.”http://www.cartoonbrew.com/feature-film ... toons.html
That's not "animation" in its dictionary definition.
You mean it’s Academy definition; the dictionary [any of them] don’t specify and who cares what the Academy thinks. As far as they’re concerned, an animated feature only has to be 40 minutes (used to be 70+) or the length of an average network television episode. What kind of crap is that, a feature is 60+ and always has been (how lucky for Winnie-the Pooh
, now it can qualify). Academy rules bend to what the studios want them to be, not the artists and experts in this medium.
Sure, they manipulate (alter and enhance) pre-existing live-action data but they don't create movement from scratch, frame by frame.
Caricature is achieved when an animator manipulates (alters and enhances) real life mainly through exaggeration. Once again, creating it from scratch only matters if you believe the Academy to be the authority on all things animation. How would you characterize Shrek
, where they didn’t use mo-cap but they stuck VERY close to their live action reference on many of the characters? Does an animated film just have to be frame-by-frame to get your approval or does it have to have some form of caricature to it’s motion?
This is why there shouldn’t even be a Best ‘Animated’ Picture category and there should only be a Best Picture category. It’s like being thrown at the kids table just for being produced in a certain medium and now that the line between the mediums are being blurred, the Academy doesn’t know how to react. For a couple years now animated features have been nominated for Best Picture, so why keep the kids table? It’s purpose isn’t to celebrate the medium but to trivialize it through segregation.
I don't get why so many people can't understand this obvious and fundamental difference.
We do but we just don’t think of the Academy as an authority to determine what qualifies as animation (or what qualifies as a good movie for that matter).