"Next Gen" is now released on Netflix worldwide, Let me know your thoughts!

(Michael Litherland) #50

I did manage to sit down and watch this with my daughter - we both loved it! Great job, I’ve been telling my filmmaker friends they need to check it out.

(Richard Culver) #51

What rigging was used for animation? Was most of this hand animatiom? Did you use Blender?

(Arindam) #52

There is this really nice podcast interview with the Rigging Lead, David Hearn. Plus, he answered some of my agog questions that I have happened to ask Jeff a while back (on a separate thread).


(Richard Culver) #53

Cool, thanks. Great interview. Listening now. Answering most questions so far. :slight_smile:

(ChameleonScales) #54

Watched it once last week and a second time today. Here are my thoughts:

It’s still very hard to process the fact that Blender was heavily used in it because of how high the bar has been raised.
The movie is crazy good and the trailer really doesn’t do it justice. Especially the moment when Mai says “there’s way too much injustice in the world and together, we can fix it” which is put in a totally different context and telling a much less interesting character story than it is in the movie. Anyway, visually stunning, Fun to watch and with a modern story, and I’m not talking about the tech and sci-fi. Well, that too, but that’s not the point.
From the robots design (especially 7723) and human character design all the way to the animation and dialogues, the little details are brilliant. The running gag of the dog’s head getting slammed by closing doors is so silly. And that moment when Dr Rice’s sidekick drone robot says: “But Dr. Rice is dead! I have to take some time to process this… Bleep! Okay!” that was pretty funny.

A few character’s reactions in some situations disappointed me :

  • 56:00 when Mai prepares to hit Greenwood with the baseball bat and Greenwood starts crying. To me the crying is out of place. This kind of fear should be expressed in a different way. Either by protecting herself with her arms and legs or by getting kind of paralyzed.
  • 1:08:00: Mai gets in an argument with 7723 that doesn’t make much sense. She says “are you saying your precious robot memories are more important than my mother’s life?” but actually 7723 deleted the weapon programs way before anyone knew about the evil project and any of the s*** that was about to happen

But for me the real problem in the story is the character development hole that is the breakup scene between Mai’s parents at the very beginning. It’s very rushed and too vague for a plot device that’s going to be used all throughout the film to draw the personality of the main character. We don’t know what this breakup is all about and the dialog is super short and generic (and hard to hear), which makes Mai’s back story and her attraction to soccer hardly relatable. If I had to compare it with Riley’s interest for hockey in Inside Out, I can empathize much more with her even though I’ve never played hockey in my life. In fact I played soccer when I was younger, lol.
I really like the opening credits right after that breakup scene though, quite awesome.

The animation is generally astounding. I’m thoroughly impressed. The robots, the characters, everything. There is one moment in the movie when I got mad at the animation. It’s at 29:15 when Mai’s mom talks to her daughter after seeing her wounds. She’s moving her head a lot on every word she speaks while she’s actually speaking very softly and calmly. But really I don’t have any other complaint on the animation in any other scene, which is extremely rare for me. I’m always pissed at overly or badly used 12 principles of animation but here, no such thing in my opinion. It’s detailed, accurate and pretty smooth as we like to say.

As for the lighting, @Goranimation, you’ve done an amazing job. I don’t have much else to say.

There you have it, ping! (sound of my 2 cents)

(BTolputt) #55

Watched it with the kids last night. And whilst there were some flaws in some of the animation and elements of the script (nothing’s ever perfect), I don’t think they’re relevant here in this thread (for me).

So, with that said, I think you knocked it out of the park. Ozzy might have been strike one, but with this swing you hit a home run. It’s might not be up to the level of Dreamworks and Pixar but you are a much smaller studio and what you’ve done is frankly amazing.

Frankly, this is the kind of showcase that the Blender Foundation should be using to push and promote Blender. It looks amazing, it shows off a lot of Blender’s potential, and most importantly - it’s mainstream enough in it’s appeal to let everyone identify with the work. Most artists aren’t looking to be limited to art house niche projects, so Sintel and NextGen are going to grab them (us) more than Cosmos Laundromat.

I would love, love, LOVE to watch a presentation where you guys outline the good and bad points of using Blender for this project in detail. Where does it shine, where does it need to be improved, where does it need to be torn down and rebuilt. NextGen is an accomplishment that gives you an unassailable platform for providing both praise and constructive critique. I hope you use it for both :slight_smile:

(ChameleonScales) #56

Why not use Natron?

(Bracer) #57

What I REALLY WANT TO KNOW is…he he he…
How many samples per frame ?

I LOVE this movie and it made me laugh out loud while watching it, I might be making a YouTube video talking about it soon.

(English is not my native language) #58


See a couple of messages above from this message in this other thread where I talk about Natron.

(drgci) #59

What version of blender they use?

(Stefan Werner) #60

Next Gen was done in a fork of 2.78c with some customization.

(drgci) #61

nice now imagine what can you get with blender 2.79 or 2.8 :laughing:

(Cessen) #62

I just watched the movie. Not gonna lie, I cried at the end. I think you guys did a fantastic job.

Of course I have critiques too. There’s always critiques. Just like the movie says, no one’s perfect. :wink: But not any more than I’ve had of movies from the big studios.


I don't know how much influence Tangent had on the story, but _thank you_ for not having the robot magically get his memories back at the end. That was my biggest gripe with Wall-E, was the deus ex happy ending. I appreciate you sticking with the consequences, both good and bad, of the sacrifice. And then seeing the characters doing their best to deal with it positively.

Also, holy crap, whoever did the animation of the robot controlled "meat sack" director guy at the very end is _amazing_. The zombie-but-robot-like movement super nailed it. My jaw was on the floor.

EDIT: figured out a way to do spoiler hiding that actually works, so put my spoilerific comment back in.

(joseph raccoon) #63

I watched this the other night, and like many other’s here I am quite happy with the animation, models and rendering, umm honestly I like where the hair was at while it could have looked more realistic well…we know it is not and quite frankly it works with the stylized style of the movie.

From a storytelling perspective I do think that there was room for work, it is a wonderful first draft and the overall arc of the story was good. I would have liked to see a bit more of her, well all of the characters journey, Honestly I think a solid 5 minutes to frame each of their backgrounds could have served well for the story.

The main critical point I have on this is more from a storytelling perspective; put us in their shoes and skin, let us feel why the AI wanted to end humanity, each of us in the real word most likely has experiences that can resonate with why someone would wish to end humanity, tap into that, many of the best villains ‘have a point’.

I’m not saying that this movie was the perfection of rendering, animation or special effects, but those are at the point where the studeo now has a viable sellable skill base in that, and they need to focus on storytelling.

(kakapo) #64

i have seen it too now and after my second viewing i also think that the story could have used some more work (i enjoyed it nevertheless though). that’s the real difference to pixar. they have the money to polish the scripts for years. technologically, while i notice the small differences, they don’t matter much to me. a lot of next gen’s shots are visually stunning and animated really well. so what if some background characters have bad hair day. :slight_smile:

(joseph raccoon) #65

Who ever is doing their shots has a fine understanding of aesthetics, so even if their art/animation skills stay where there at they should be doing just fine as a studio, but they seriously need some writers on deck, a problem I tend to find with any animation or game making project, not a writer to be found for miles.

Honestly if one wanted a crash course on how to write for a visual medium there are some courses aimed at comic artists that translate quite well.

(Shonuff) #66

Watched this last night and loved it! Awesome to see it was done in Blender. Really enjoyed it!

(xrg) #67

NextGen talk at Blender Conference.

(TorQ) #68

Finally got to see this film with my little girl over the weekend and we absolutely loved it! The vast majority of the visuals were just beautiful and were at least on par with the biggest budget animated films of the last ten years. Of course it wasn’t perfect (I was quite shocked at how bad some of the hair was on secondary characters, as others have pointed out) but what is? On the story side of things my wife and I both agreed that it was far more coherent and enjoyable than a number of the animated films we have seen recently, Big Hero 6, Wreck-It-Ralph, and Para Norman, to name a few. Overall I was pleasantly surprised with the movie and it was a real thrill to finally see Blender showcased on a full length film, especially one of this quality.

(MD23) #69

When I first saw it on Netflix I thought it was another stupid kids movie. After I found out blender was used in production I decided to watch it. It was a very enjoyable movie.