Ugly CG Peanuts

peanutscg.jpg

Good Grief! Some drawn characters just shouldn’t be rendered in 3-D.

A German telecommunications company, Combots, is selling animated icons based on popular animation and comics characters. These Peanuts ones are pretty hideous.

However, there are some characters that could (and do) work. I suppose it’s all based on design. Check out some of the others, particularly these Spongebob icons, which look pretty good. It’ll be interesting to see how they handle the Looney Tunes characters, which they’ve apparently licensed.

UPDATE: Little wonder the Spongebob icons look so good. They were done by the talented crew at Studio Soi. Soi also created the Zodies series and the “Tom and Lily” site tutorials (click on ‘trailer’ on the homepage to watch the six episodes).

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  • Bill Field

    They mostly are pretty horrible, mainly because of the mouths, but actually a couple don’t look so bad– TRICKED which is Lucy pulling the football away from “Chuck” as Peppermint Patty calls him, is reminiscent of the View Master Reels of the 60′s where they used 3D-like scenes using photos taken of diarama like scenes. But– you are right for the most part they really don’t do Mr. Shultz justice.

  • Charles Brubaker

    Ye-gad. Charles Schulz is rolling in his grave.

  • http://www.cartoonresearch.com/gerstein David Gerstein

    The ugliest thing about those 3D Peanuts figures may actually be their behavior. Eternal loser Charlie Brown giving us a hipster wink and a thumbs-up pose? I can safely say it’s more out of character than any other licensed image of him I’ve ever seen, and that’s saying a lot.

  • http://geoweasel.net Niko Anesti

    Wow, that doesn’t even make sense, because the little Peanuts figurines they’ve been selling for years look perfectly fine. I hate seeing 3D renderings of 2D characters. A good example would be the Fairly Oddparents / Jimmy Neutron crossover. Such hideous designs…

  • http://justforspite.blogspot.com Gene Hole

    These run counter to the whole concept of Peanuts, which is at it’s conception was as much about draftsmanship in linework as Hirschfeld; Even in later years, after Schulz’s style changed, he still was able to use his shaky line to create an charming effect of natural, unaffected simplicity and an appealingly organic appearance that is done an gross injustice, if not completely lost here.

  • http://inklingstudio.typepad.com David

    The thing that is really depressing is : how difficult would it have been to just do 2D animated icons of the Peanuts characters? Answer : not very. They could have been perfectly on-model . No reason in the world for this to be done in CG . This is a little like during the aftermath of the Roger Rabbit movie when suddenly every character in an animated commercial (including Peanuts and other graphically flat characters like The Flintstones) had to have “realistic” lighting with tone matte shadows and highlights, nevermind that such shadows and highlights completely violated the graphic integrity of the designs.

  • http://www.travisgentry.com Travis Gentry

    The Peanuts probably could be translated into 3D much better than this hackwork, but the question remains, why would would anyone want to? And I have to second David G.’s remarks on Charlie Brown’s pose. Just ask Mickey Mouse where that road leads.

  • http://jedaniels-adventures.blogspot.com/ Jpox

    The Peanuts characters usually don’t transfer to 3D very well. Their line of action figures looked exactly the same, ugly.

  • http://who-really-cares-anyway.blogspot.com/ Craig D.

    Well, I kinda liked the 3-D Peanuts View-Master reels from the ‘sixties. (Haven’t looked at the animated 3D samples yet…)

  • http://gavinscartoons.blogspot.com Gavin

    Good Grief! I’m a fan of Peanuts and NO sir I don’t like it! It’s always nice to see some companies making toys of your favorite cartoon characters but look at a model sheet people. They look like their on drugs, with big anime mouths. Schulz wouldent appove of this by far. “Excuse me Mr Shulz, Lucy & Linus are on drugs.” “Their in the back of the police car if you want to see them.” Funny Post Jerry……

  • http://zekeyspaceylizard.blogspot.com ZekeySpaceyLizard

    This reminds me how over the last few years, several different companies and people working for disney have tried to make a 3d mickey mouse. And for the most part, all the mickey’s have looked very creepy to look at. And since, in the old cartoons, mickey was drawn in such a complete wide range of styles, its like they sort of combined them all to make the 3d mickeys. Something about the eyes.
    That new “Mickey Mouse Clubhouse” show seems to have done it right though. Mickey looks like Mickey.

    This charlie brown just looks wrong though. Why is he giving a thumbs up? And what happened to poor woodstock? Linux looks nice, though.

  • http://stefangruber.com Stefan

    Peanuts in 3D was done right with figurines in the 60′s for a series of Viewmaster reels.

  • R.Juarez

    Q.When will every one stop bitching about whats bad about other peoples efforts and start being positive about things they like?
    Cartoon Brew has started to be a very negative place to be…
    Lets see some animation from Amid and Jerry and then lets be the negative judges that its all to easy to be.

  • http://chuckchuckrekow.com Chuck Rekow

    Good Grief! Some drawn characters just shouldn’t be rendered in 3-D.

    This line sort of lets bad artists off the hook. When Melendez and company took Peanuts off the printed page and into their first animated special, the obstacles were way greater than this: i.e. how does Snoopy “talk” without thought balloons? How does he lay on his doghouse roof? How does Charlie Brown get through life with an armspans shorter than his head?

    I don’t agree that the appeal of the characters owes that much to linework, and Niko is right. The chracters have been sculpted before with good results.

    We’re always talking like there’s this huge gulf between 2D and 3D. Yes, maybe the processes are way different, but isn’t all animation essentially 3-D in its conception? Unless you create a rule to never turn your characters in space, you have to deal with how they look at various angles. When you run up against things like Mickey Mouse’s ears or Snoopy’s doghouse, you simply cheat.

    That’s what artistic license is for.

  • http://victor-ens.blogspot.com/ Victor Ens

    Oh my god !
    Why do they have to mess up all the nice 2-D stuff always only because they like computer animation. I mean you can do very nice things with a computer but they should never translate a originaly 2-D character into 3-D. It’s like if they are not good enough in 2-D….I don’t undertand it.
    Very sad I think !!

  • B. Baker

    AAUGH! I know that United Features owns the strip, but I thought that Sparky’s widow would have retained approval rights on something like this — and vetoed it. I maintain an pretty open mind regarding 2-D, 3-D and No-D animation, but these things are almost NOTHING like the Peanuts characters in spirit. [Even Woodstock -- he looks like a little Zeppelin!] As a child in the early ’60s I owned rubber dolls of Charlie Brown, Linus and Lucy that were far less off-model than this. Even the View-Master reels were closer. That little “by Schulz” at the bottom of the picture makes me sad. No — it isn’t by Schulz at all.

  • Steve Wojcik

    R.Juarez, critiqueing artwork is something that is vital in all art. You can’t really say that the Peanuts characters displayed are good…..or even halfway decent. Why sugar coat crappiness??

  • http://apelad.blogspot.com Adam

    Somewhere a child is crying over how ugly and wrong these are.

  • Kyle Maloney

    personally I never cared for the peanuts designs in the first place. they break too many rules imo. which is exactly why they almost never look right in 3d. I’m not saying its always bad to cheat, but I don’t know. I just never understood the appeal of Schulz stuff. I hated, for example, how Snoopy’s head would completely change its form when he would look up and laugh. it goes from puffy peanut looking thing, to an almost deflated stretched out balloon.

    other tricks such as mickey’s ear’s not turning realistically never bothered me though. it almost made it funny.

  • http://chuckrekow.com Chuck

    “Cartoon Brew has started to be a very negative place to be…”

    R.Juarez —You may have a point, but that depends on whether you’re more accustomed to Cartoon Research or Animation Blast.
    I could swear that Amid’s grown a tad more sanguine lately. Consequently, some of the Animation Blast attitude has rubbed off on Jerry and comes to the fore whenever Jerry discusses Disney or food. Is it just me?

    At any rate, I hope you checked out the link in Jerry’s oh-so-positive update to this post. The work at Studio Soi is very, very nice.

  • captain murphy

    Chuck is obviously giving the wink and thumbs up because he just sold another MetLife policy.

  • http://www.christianziebarth.com Christian

    Being a huge, lifelong Peanuts fan those are just wrong. They are just what I feared CG Peanuts would look like. In my interview with Eric Goldberg I mentioned hoping that Peanuts would never be done in 3D. Eric reminded me of the old Viewmaster reels with the clay models of the Peanuts characters that others have brought up here. Those are actually better than the CG ones mentioned in the news entry here, the main problem being that they don’t accurately convey the character of the characters properly.

  • http://www.dohtem.com Greg Method

    I’ll say something positive about the “Peanuts” designs. At the very least they make me feel a little better about some of the first things I’ve ever done on a paint program.

  • Tom

    Peanuts characters already HAVE been rendered in 3-D. Go look at the intermissions for the PS2 game “Snoopy VS The Red Baron”.

    Their heads are a little squashed, and Snoopy’s skull looks like a lightbulb, but it’s pretty good for a first try. The personalities are pretty consistent with the 2D cartoons, too, but the voices are all over the map. Sally’s bitchyness is spot-on, but Charlie Brown sounds overly whiny.