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Anyone else upset that they're dumping CGI?


theofficefan99

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One thing I've always looked forward to in Sonic games is their incredible CGI. Even if the games were bad, there'd at least be that to look forward to. Unleashed had amazing ones, and Colors had some good ones too. 

 

But once Generations came around, I guess SEGA started omitting them. Generations had none, Lost World just had an opening (and like 15 seconds in the middle and the end), and now it's safe to say that Sonic Forces will be entirely in-game. Sure there's the Avatar in there but I think it'd have been possible to have some CGI regardless.

 

Anyone else kinda bummed over this? Not a deal breaker by any means, but kinda sucks. 

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I thought the lack of CGI cutscenes in Generations was pretty disappointing, and weird considering much of the promotional CGI was missing from the main game.

However, it makes sense Forces isn’t using pre-rendered CGI due to the Avatar. In-game cutscenes are the only way to have a modifiable character appear, so it’s just the nature of the story they are choosing to tell with this game.

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Well, you also have to look at two other things.

The last few games had some CGI that was used in Marketing, but not the game itself. Generations had CG promotional material that never crossed over from advertisement into the game. Not even in an intro-reel type deal. Forces too, has had quite a bit of CG usage in the marketing phase (the reveal trailer was all CG) but only time will tell if it will suffer a similar fate. Lost World fell back into the usual Intro-Mid-Finale sequence with some of the  extra stuff thrown into the Title reel. Forces still can go that route too.

 

Then you also have to look at the company making these cutscene's. Marza is stretched a lot thinner these days over multiple projects. So much so that they have been forced to cancel/shelve movies and animations that were already well into development. Sonic Team can't monopolize their time like they used too when they were an in-house studio and even in the aftermath of them branching out. Word has gotten out about that talented team and they are neck deep in CGI work these days.

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They most likely did this due to the Avatar, as they would have had to render every imaginable combination of options.

There's a trade off: it might not look as stunning as cutscenes that had weeks to prerender, but it's also not restricted to a fixed resolution. It won't look pixelated or heavily compressed if you're running the game in a resolution higher than their target (still annoyed about the Mania cutscenes being 1024x512, technically even less for the finale as they are letterboxed).

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I won't say that stuff like Unleashed's opening aren't a total treat for the eyes but at the same time I also really appreciate a story that has the same visual fidelity throughout.  There's something about CGI cut-scenes that make me go "oh okay I am watching a video now" when I see the lack of loading screen and immediate change in graphical quality - both the positive of the perfectly rendered scenery, and the negative of the fact that 9 times out of 10 you can see some muddiness if the video size doesn't match the normal resolution of the game (as well as general quality artifacts if they couldn't fit a giant movie file onto the disc).

I think my ideal situation is either make ALL the cut-scenes in a game be top quality CG, or none at all, basically.

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Honestly I am disappointed that Forces probably won't have cinematics like previous games

But considering the in game cutscenes we have now look pretty good IMO  (Aside from the lighting and some of the character motions) compared to past games thanks to the increase in technology.

I think i'm fine really.

It's not the same, but I can live with it.

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While I miss the cgi cutscenes, like the intro to Sonic Unleashed, I’m just thankful the in game cutscenes look better than they did in the in game cutscenes from the Dreamcast, Gamecube, PS2, and Xbox games. Those cutscenes came a long way since the jagged and buggy movements in the Adventure games. Sonic 06 was the last game to have real bad looking in game cutscenes. Ever since Unleashed, the in game cutscenes started looking better.

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It's not the be-all and end-all for me, but I do miss them considering how good they were in the past. Sonic 06 had some beautiful CGI cutscenes.

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49 minutes ago, Patron said:

They most likely did this due to the Avatar, as they would have had to render every imaginable combination of options.

There's a trade off: it might not look as stunning as cutscenes that had weeks to prerender, but it's also not restricted to a fixed resolution. It won't look pixelated or heavily compressed if you're running the game in a resolution higher than their target (still annoyed about the Mania cutscenes being 1024x512, technically even less for the finale as they are letterboxed).

I don't think the Avatar will be part of every cutscene. You can also make it so that the Avatar can be "shown" in first person (like in Fire Emblem Awakening and Fates). It is also possible to have CGI cutscenes that don't show characters, such as in numerous Sonic games. 

I think it has to do with budget. Sadly. Guess Lost World bombed (plus Boom, obviously)

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While CGI is nice, the only ones that made wow were the ones for Unleashed. Sonic Lost World's opening was okay but nothing special. From what's been shown for Forces, I'd say they the cutscenes are in a quality I'd be happy with, especially when I see them in 4K.

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To be perfectly, bluntly honest? The use of CG pre-rendered cutscenes was extremely jarring next to in game cutscenes. So no. I shouldn't miss them.

.... what I do miss though is lively character animation in cutscenes though, but I'm chalking this up to Sega's rigid and backwards mindedness on whatever it is is Sonic to them. Because apparently you can't get too ambitious or detailed because then it's "un-Sonicy". 

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1 hour ago, LongcrierCat said:

To be perfectly, bluntly honest? The use of CG pre-rendered cutscenes was extremely jarring next to in game cutscenes. So no. I shouldn't miss them.

.... what I do miss though is lively character animation in cutscenes though, but I'm chalking this up to Sega's rigid and backwards mindedness on whatever it is is Sonic to them. Because apparently you can't get too ambitious or detailed because then it's "un-Sonicy". 

Meh. I'll personally never understand this POV. I've never viewed CG cutscenes as "jarring," but rather, an enhancement to the overall experience. And if it's past the opening, a reward. Makes the game more visually pleasing as a whole, makes certain scenes/events more memorable, etc. 

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Tbh 2D animated cut-scenes have that same jarring "oh it's movie time" situation as CGI for me.  I remember in Catherine I preferred the in-engine cut-scenes to the anime ones because the anime ones had a sudden drop in smoothness due to them being animated in a traditional anime style with very typical budget "jerky" animation (which is absolutely fine when the entire work looks that way, but distracting when the in-game cut-scenes are silky smooth 60 FPS).

 

Even in Sonic Mania, due to how basic they were, I feel the ending cut-scenes come out of nowhere and would've been better as pixel art than what we got.  The opening movie was more of a trailer anyway, the REAL game intro was done in-engine, so the inconsistency of suddenly switching to fully drawn artwork for the ending just seems weird and "doing it because that's what Sonic CD did even though whoops we don't really have the budget to do it properly".

 

Again just... the more consistent you can make something, the less jarring the narrative is.  It's not that I don't appreciate the highs of a special cut-scene animated in a different style, but it just makes the "normal" stuff look lesser.  I'm just like "mm that was a nice taste why can't the entire experience be like that".

It'd be like if a blockbuster action movie was only filmed in 4K for the coolest scenes and the rest was filmed on standard equipment for a TV drama with all the same budgetary constraints.  It'd look bizarre, and I feel the same applies to games but it just got accepted in games around the time that CG cut-scenes became a possibility.

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While I'm aware that it's not the main subject of discussion, I do find anime cutscenes (in the few games I've played that have them) to be extremely jarring.  It's weird to see a game with effectively two completely different art styles - and you never know just which one you're going to get.  CD worked because it used the animated cutscenes as bookends that weren't really a part of the main game, and also because it basically didn't have in-engine cutscenes.  I'm not quite sure if the same goes for Mania; I remember being surprised that the opening wasn't really part of the narrative, it was basically just an abstraction of the concept of the game.

CGI is something of a different matter because, as outlined above, in-engine cutscenes are starting to get much closer to CGI in quality anyway, so there's less and less of a gulf, of a sense of art style separation.  But if the direction is different, if the presentation differs because of more experienced animators on one or the other side, then there can still be a disconnect.  The cutscenes in Forces mostly seem like they would benefit from being executed differently - but not from being CGI.

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I do miss those days, when Sonic Team had gorgeous looking FMV cutscenes in ShtH, 06, Unleashed and the Storybook games. But there was the catch...FMV. It was SO jarring in games like Sonic 06 when you would watch this beautiful, Final Fantasy-esque opening cutscene then suddenly throws you into a scene with flat graphics and stiff, mechanical character animation. Although ShtH and Sonic 06 suffer from this the most, it sort of counts for Sonic Unleashed too. True they’re better animated than before, but they still lack the...I dunno, expressive motion and detail that FMV cutscenes have, something like a CG animated feature from Pixar or Disney.

I can live without the FMV cutscenes if Sonic Forces doesn’t have them, but I’m going to miss them all the same. Something like that Sonic Unleashed opening, man I want that again so bad! XD

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