Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Summer 2010 SOS Workshop is DONE!

And BAM! Another Workshop is over! This one got us the now classic Spoon Killer, Hong Kong guy and Who's-in-Vegas? moments among many other classic sessions. You guys rule and once again it was a laugh fest for three hours. Thanks for participating!


Here and there - Animation

Here and there from Jean-Denis Haas on Vimeo.

Another exercise after the Collision Alarm and No no no clip. I wanted to do a two person dialogue clip with a bit broader action.

- The rig is again by Nino Aniceto. Thanks a lot!
- Audio is from "Chocolat"
- used Maya 9
- time spent on clip: 3 days (3x 10 hours days - spread out over a week or so with an hour here, an hour there and week-end work)
- acted shot out, no reference, initial blocking in linear keys for both characters at the same time
- youtube & quicktime

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Gaston Lagaffe

We gave my parents an iMac in Switzerland so that we can iChat (videoconferencing is so good for people living apart) and of course my mom has rediscovered the web. Before it was slow dial-up (which you pay per minute), now it's 24/7 broadband speed. Needless to say, she loves it, rediscovering old songs, books, looking up where she used to live on Google maps, etc. etc. Well, one other thing she's finding on youtube are clips of Gaston Lagaffe. From wiki:

Gaston is a comic strip created in 1957 by the Belgian cartoonist André Franquin in the comic strip magazine, Spirou. The series focuses on the every-day life of Gaston Lagaffe, a lazy and accident-prone (his surname means "the blunder") office junior. It is very popular in large parts of Europe (especially in Belgium and France), but except for a few pages by Fantagraphics in the early 90s (as Gomer Goof), there is no published English translation.

Gaston was, amongst Lucky Luke, Spirou, Marsupilami, Asterix & Obelix, Le Scrameustache, Les Schtroumpfs, etc. etc. etc. one of my favorite comics. So now my mom found these youtube clips:

And one image that made me laugh out loud (yes, I LOLed), was this one:

The ENERGY of that ass kicking! So good! :)

And Louaye adds this in the comments section, a collection of really strong poses with a clean silhouette:

click on image to embiggen

There is some cool timing in this clip:

Waiters who are Nauseated by Food

I found that via dynamicanimator's tweet, who wrote:
Performing an action in pursuit of an objective while overcoming an obstacle. An excellent example:

And yes, great example!

Animation Mentor Newsletter - August 2010

This month you get:

- Silver Is Gold: A Look at Character Designer Stephen Silver

- Graduation Rocks with Pixar's Lee Unkrich. Plus, BBQ Fun!
and if you're part of AM you can watch the complete 2 hour graduation ceremony including Lee Unkrich's speech (which was awesome btw.)
- Trading Punches: A Short Film by Animation Mentor Alumnus Eric Grajo
- Featured Mentor Mike Stern
- Featured Alumni: Justin Segal
- Tips and Tricks: Walk Your Rig Before You Run By Glen McIntosh

2010 Emmy Nominations: Outstanding Animated Program

This year the nominations for the Outstanding Animated Program category are:

Disney Prep & Landing
South Park
The Simpsons - Once Upon A Time In Springfield
Alien Earths
The Ricky Gervais Show - Knob At Night

I just received an email and it seems like Alien Earths won! Congratulations! Here's the press release


Radical 3D’s Dave Jerrard named for Emmy nomination

LOS ANGELES, CA – August 25, 2010 – Radical 3D is pleased to announce that its work on the National Geographic special, Alien Earths, one of National Geographic’s most highly rated specials, has received a prime time Emmy® nomination for “Outstanding Animated Program”. Created by Dana Berry , “Alien Earths” uses CGI animation to visually explore planets beyond our solar system. Radical 3D was the lead VFX house on the production, creating more than 70 percent of the shows visual effects.

“Our 2 lead animators, Dave Jerrard and Joe Lawson did an amazing job in bringing to the screen compelling visuals of alien worlds and outer space” stated Jason McKinley, owner of Radical 3D. Jerrard created over a dozen alien earths, several star systems and gas giant planets. Lawson took the lead in the planet surfaces and the destruction of an entire world in a massive planetary collision sequence.

“The result was a riveting journey through space that emphasized the grandeur and magnificence of an amazing universe. “Clearly,” continued McKinley, “the quality of work our production team contributed is reflected in the program and the nomination.”

Radical 3D animated, rendered, and composited over 30 minutes of stunning imagery and created over 70 percent of the shows animation over a period of six months.

“Radical 3D’s animators understood the capricious demands of television documentaries,” stated Dana Berry, producer of Alien Earths and CEO of Skyworks Digital. “Their expertise and accommodating attitude, combined with their undaunted sensitivity to budgetary constraints, has made Radical 3D our default choice for all of our animation needs.”

This is Radical 3D’s second major nomination this year after its work on Tom Hanks’ production “Beyond All Boundaries” was nominated for a VES award.

"Probably the largest challenge was to make what is essentially a variety of spheres – the stars and their planets look not only realistic, but visually stimulating,” explained Dave Jerrard. “We were always treading the line between representing things in a cinematic way while not straying too far from scientific accuracy.”

The 62nd Primetime Emmy Awards will air on NBC on August 29, 2010.

About Radical 3D

Radical 3D is a leading creative 3D animation and digital effects company specializing in visual effects, 3D animation, digital environments, compositing, character animation, and 3d stereoscopic. Clients include Lucasfilm, Fox Television, Imax, Discovery Channel, History Channel, National Geographic, Warner Brothers, and Disney. In addition to Visual Effects, Radical 3D created, co-produced and developed all the visual effects for the ground breaking series “Dogfights” for the History Channel, which was the highest rated series on the History Channel during its first season. Radical 3D also co-produced and created the visual effects for the Animal Planet mini-series “Animal Armageddon.”

Monday, August 23, 2010

Scott Pilgrim vs. the World: The Game

I love pixel art and anything related to old school 8-bit stuff. Check out the Scott Pilgrim vs. The World game:

This led me to Paul Robertson, who was a lead animator for the game. Check out this post where he showcases some of his artwork.

He also links to Jonathan Lavigne, who has an awesome blog with tons of cool artwork. Check out the trailer for Ninja Senki, a game he's working on.

Ninja Senki Trailer from pixeltao on Vimeo.

Love the music! (by Yan Thouin)

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Summer 2010 SO Workshop is DONE!

Aaaand that's it for the Summer SO Workshop! This one was packed!

And it was again really cool to see all the awesome work you guys did! You were very dedicated and it was a pleasure to work with you!


Saturday, August 21, 2010

Sandro Cleuzo Pencil Tests

Head over to Inspector Cleuzo's blog and check all the cool pencil tests! There's work from the Disneyfied Family Guy episode as well as Enchanted!

Family Guy Disneyfied from sandro lucio on Vimeo.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Reminder: Don't steal other people's work...

I know, it's sounds (again) like a very obvious thing, but try to be as original as you can in your creative efforts and don't copy/steal other people's work.

A while ago I was made aware of other animators copying my animation (old post about it here). I was flattered by the fact that someone thought my work was good enough for that, but of course I wasn't too happy about it either since I don't think it's the right thing to do, especially career wise. You can use existing animation and recreate it so that you can learn from it, sure, that's fine, but keep that to yourself and at home. Don't put it on your reel.

Funny enough, back then, this fellow "A" copied my "Battery Bunny" clip. Now, I was just made aware of that this guy "B", is copying "Battery Bunny" as well (and my "Boxlift" - including the pants raise movement even though his character has no pants...). But that version looks very familiar as well!

It looks like guy "B" stole the clip from guy "A", which is already a rip off.

Mind. Blown. :)

ACTUALLY. Thanks to observing commenters, mind has been un-blown, since it's the same guy. Duh! I must have looked at too many clips... Fail...

But to be fair, the guy is actually mentioning the fact that he took ideas from other people. At least he's honest about it. So it's more about his animation skills, not creative skills.

Oh nevermind...

P.S.: more proof that stealing is evil, this is post # 666!!!! Coincidence???


Love the music! The dog reminds me a bit of Muttley/Mardel. :)

dilla The Film from mikey sauls on Vimeo.

- found @ Cartoon Brew

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Epic Mickey Opening Cinematic

Found this at Cartoon Brew and thought it was really cool. Really want to play that game, hopefully it's good!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Summer 2010 Spungella 100 Frame Animation Contest Winners

Wow, what a long blog post title...

Here are the entries for the "Time Travel" 100 Frame Animation Contest:

Spungella Animation Contest - Summer 2010 - "Time Travel" from Jean-Denis Haas on Vimeo.

And the winners are:

1st place: Joseph Taylor
2nd place: Louaye Moulayess
3rd place: Roberto Pita


Do you need Yo Yo Reference?

Holy moly.

- found @ Geekologie

Contest Voting

Thanks again for the submissions! There are 15 clips and voting is starting today. I'll post the clips tonight and the results tonight or tomorrow. Stay tuned!!

Monday, August 16, 2010

ianimate.net - The Character Animation School

A new online animation school called ianimate is going to open up in September this year! Great news for animation students! Sounds like the semesters are flexible and the prices seem very competitive. Take a look! (thanks Ting for the tip!)

Summer 2010 Contest Submissions

The submissions are landing in my inbox! Keep them coming! They are looking great!!

- pic source

Salesman Pete and Meet Buck

Thanks Bernie for the tip! And check out their blog and site for more production info!

Meet Buck Trailer from TeamCerf on Vimeo.

Salesman Pete Trailer from Salesman Pete on Vimeo.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

100 Frame Animation Contest Details

No more submissions.
Contest is closed.

For those who are confused (sorry!), here one master post explaining the details of the contest.


- Time frame: Monday August 9th to Sunday, August 15th (send clip on Monday 16th)

- Length: 100 frames
- Movie size: around 1280x720 or what looks good, just not something like 160x120 :)
- Any medium

- Anybody can participate

- Prizes:
1st prize:
- $50 for Amazon + $25 iTunes card + Mindstorm iPhone games
2nd prize:
- $10 iTunes card + Mindstorm iPhone games
3rd prize:
- Mindstorm iPhone games

- Previous contest and examples here, here and here

Did I forget anything? Any questions?

Josh Burton's Morphy

Holy moly, check out Josh Burton's Morphy project! Hats off to such an endeavor!

Morphy Facial Rig Beta Render Test from Josh Burton on Vimeo.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Collision Alarm - Animation

Collision Alarm from Jean-Denis Haas on Vimeo.

Another exercise to keep different animation muscles alive. This one is more about physicality and interaction compared to the No no no clip. I hope you like that one as well!

- You can watch it on youtube as well, or as a quicktime file.
- The rig is by Nino Aniceto. Thanks a lot!
- Audio is from "The Abyss"

[update] After some email inquiries, more info:

- used Maya 9 (does that really matter?)
- time spent on clip: 2 days (2x 10 hours days - spread out over a week or so with an hour here, an hour there and week-end work)
- acted shot out, shot no reference, straight-ahead work during impact, initial blocking in linear keys
- blocked out FG guy first until fall on ground, then BG guy, then both together for pick-up part

No no no - Animation

No no no from Jean-Denis Haas on Vimeo.

It's time again to work on personal clips to stretch different animation muscles. This time it's a bit more subtle and quiet. I hope you like it!

- You can watch it on youtube as well, or as a quicktime file.
- The kid's head is by Mario Aquaro, his body is Generi and the devil is by Nino Aniceto. Thanks a ton for those!
- sound is from a Star Trek DS9 episode, called "Return to Grace"

[update] After some email inquiries, more info:

- used Maya 9 (does that really matter?)
- time spent on clip: 15 hours (so workday being 10 hours, 1 1/2 day - spread out over a week or so with an hour here, an hour there and week-end work)
- acted shot out, used reference for last hand gesture part at the end of clip, initial blocking in linear keys

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Motion Blur Deformer

By Chad Vernon via CGchar's Brad Clark

Cat reference

Thanks Graham Ross!

Spungella Workshop update

Hey all,

the #2 workshop for Fall on Thursdays has a spot open again, so email me if you're interested. #1 is full and the online workshop has plenty of room left. Spring 2011 is almost full and as always I will open up a 2nd workshop if demand is there.

I do get emails with questions about the workshops and I just wanted to point to the individual FAQs for them.

Spungella.com (as well as at the top of this blog) will give you the links to each workshop, on-site and online, and both of them have a specific FAQ (hopefully) covering all the questions you can have. If there's something unanswered, let me know, and I'll add the questions/answers to it.


Drama queen

Thanks to @Azizk for that! So mean, love it and as he says, the expression change at the end is nice!

Monday, August 9, 2010

FMX Interviews

Head over to awntv.com for FMX interviews with professionals like Ed Hooks, Simon Otto and Ken Ralston!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Barry Nardone - Winged Creature

Super sweet idea. Nice way of showcasing a little story, build up suspense, camera movement and of course complex animation. Head over to the Workshop feedback site to watch the clip!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Contest Topic and Prize

The topic for the 100 Frame Animation Contest has been chosen and it's going to be a lot of fun! Can't wait to see the entries!!

I'm also changing the prizes:

1st prize:
- $50 for Amazon + $25 iTunes card + Mindstorm iPhone games

2nd prize:
- $10 iTunes card + Mindstorm iPhone games

3rd prize:
- Mindstorm iPhone games

Thanks to Omer Rana and Mindstorm for sponsoring this contest. More details are coming, stay tuned!

So check back on Monday super early morning, 1min past midnight actually, when the topic will get posted right here!

The topic is:



I've been strangely intrigued by Moyashimon, no idea why. Maybe because it could be a little Pikmin TV show? Those little creatures are just too cute. Wasn't too sure it the mail I got was spam, but I guess not. Here's a lengthy description of what the service and show is:


Partnership with FUNimation Entertainment brings American Audiences Popular Live-Action Animated Series

NEW YORK, NY (August 5, 2010) – Today,DramaFever.com announced that it has obtained North American online distribution rights from FUNimation® Entertainment, an American anime leader, for the hit live-action CG-animated situation comedy adaptation of the award-winning manga series “Moyashimon,” (2010), written by Masayuki Ishikawa and directed by Akira Iwamoto. The content deal launches DramaFever’s Japanese showpage.Premiering the series to American audiences in high-quality with professional English subtitles for its 70% non-Asian audience, DramaFever, the leading video website for mainstream U.S. audiences interested in direct-from-Asia entertainment, is one of only three places where Americans can view the popular Japanese series.

LINK: DramaFever has created a special showpage for the series at http://www.dramafever.com/drama/768/Moyashimon/.

DramaFever will stream a simulcast of the new Moyashimon episode on Thursday August 5 at 3PM Eastern, just hours after it hits the air on Fuji Television Network, Inc., the leading and largest Japanese broadcast television network. DramaFever will release Episode #5. The previous four episodes of the 11-episode series, which began airing weekly in July 2010, will also be available at the same time. New episodes will be added weekly around the same time every Thursday.

“Japanese animation enjoys a cult-like following, drawing millions of fans in America. This deal with FUNimation, given it’s reputation for acquiring top-rated anime series, gives DramaFever a strong, forward-thinking position in the US market as demand for Japanese entertainment grows globally,“ said David Hou, Vice President of DramaFever.

Adapted from Masayuki Ishikawa's comedic popular manga, Moyashimon, the situation comedy follows Tadayasu Sawaki (played by Nakamura Yuichi), a 20-something student at a Tokyo university who has an unusual superpower, which makes him able to see and talk to comical, quick-witted microbes who mock him and give running commentary as he adjusts to his university life. Moyashimon, the manga, has been publishing since 2004 by Del Ray Manga, followed by an animated version, which hit the airwaves in 2007. The series continues to grow in popularity, coming to the US for the first time in July via a partnership between FUNimation and Fuji Television Network, Inc. which allowed FUNimation to simulcast content from Fuji TV’s late-night dedicated anime programming block, NoitaminA, and gave FUNimation rights to sign the deal with DramaFever.com.

With the release of Moyashimon, DramaFever will be adding another manga-turned-live action show, entitled “Team Astro”, plus two classic “Tokusatsu” (live action superhero) series from the 1970’s, “Iron King” and “Super Robot Red Baron.” More Japanese shows will be added each week.

DramaFever’s ever-expanding library, one of the most comprehensive and current collections of legal Asian content available to US consumers, now includes nearly 140 titles and 5,100 hours of programming. This includes Korean drama and popular hit television shows, Filipino teleseyres, and Asian short films from USA, Australia, Canada, China, Japan, Singapore, South Korea, and, Taiwan. In May, DramaFever signed a deal with Hulu.com, which created a dedicated Hulu-DramaFever showpage. Future plans will bring content from DramaFever to mobile and Web TV platforms and add popular hits from China, music videos, and other forms of entertainment direct from the East.


Privately-held online video content distribution company, DramaFever.com was launched in New York in August 2009 by co-founders Suk Park and Seung Bak with the mission of making the best of Asian programming available to English-speaking American and Canadian audiences. Drawing on their experience in media, publishing and finance, DramaFever establishes licensing deals with the leading Asian networks to stream select titles in high quality with English subtitles or dubbing. DramaFever.com users can watch videos for free or pay just $4.99 per month for premium membership, which includes uninterrupted advertising-free programming, access to exclusive content and other advanced features. All subscribers can also participate in discussions, rate shows, request programs, sign up for show alerts and get the latest news on trends and developments in Asian drama, celebrities, and entertainment. As of April 2010, the company has deals to stream over 100 titles representing 5,000 hours of content, spanning all genres of media and storytelling beginning with television hit series from Korea, including suspense thrillers, historical dramas, romantic comedies and documentaries. Film, music video, reality television and other programming will be added each month, along with content from other countries. By the end of 2010, subscribers will be able to watch videos on DramaFever.com across multiple platforms. To learn more, visit www.DramaFever.com.

About FUNimation Entertainment
FUNimation(r) Entertainment, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Navarre Corporation, is the leading company for home video sales of Japanese animation in the United States. FUNimation has a proven formula for launching and advancing brands, and manages a full spectrum of rights for most of its brands including broadcasting, licensing, production, internet, and home video sales and distribution. For more information about FUNimation Entertainment and its brands, visit www.funimation.com.

Phew. Anyway, anybody know about this? I'm assuming lots of particle anim or something like that? Tons of creatures, wonder how the process looks like.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Thank you!

Wow, I have made $18.91 since last Monday already and just passed the $100 mark (which is when Google sends out the Adsense payment). Thanks to you guys the lucky winner of the 100 Frame Animation Contest can enjoy a prize!

So thank you very much!

- pic source

CG Motion Blur

Disney Zurich! Very close to home!

Skip to 1:26 for some sweet Pinochio anim!

- found @ Cartoon Brew

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

(NAR) Nerdy things for sale



doing some Spring... uh... late Summer cleaning and I'm selling some of my stuff. If anyone is interested, shoot me an email!

** Revoltech: Professor Layton Figure - (New in box - ordered two by mistake): $35 @ Amazon, selling for $30.

** Superman Forever - Alex Ross Statue - $40 ($80 new @ Amazon)

** LAPD SWAT v2.0 by Hot Toys - Not available anymore - $60 (New in box - goes for $220 on ebay)

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

What's a Typical Day on the Job Like For You?

Yours truly outlines his daily routine at work in a new Tips&Tricks post for Animation Mentor. Funny enough, it sounds pretty relaxed, but that's not how I feel right now riding through crunch mode...

What's a Typical Day on the Job Like For You?

Toby Shelton

Found this via Graham's Twitter, the artwork of Toby Shelton, check it out!

Slow Motion Reference

This clip has been floating around. The guy with the fish is awesome!

New 100 Frame Animation Contest

Thanks to the generous people clicking on my ads I can now start another 100 frame animation contest. We had a previous contest and the 100 frame exercises have been going on for a while (here, here, here).

So leave a comment and suggest a topic (previous one were Guilty, Unreachable Goal, Chase) so we can get some ideas going. We will vote on Thursday during the Onsite Workshop on a topic and the contest will start next Monday, August 9th, and you'll have one week to work on it. Email me your entries the following Monday, August 16th.

There will be prizes for the winners and given the interesting voting process during the last contest I will change it up and vote myself (with the help of fellow animators at work).

The price will be an art-of book of choice (which should be available on Amazon.com)!

Let's do it!


The topic is:


Spungella Workshop updates

Hey all,

I made some little changes to the Workshop sites (On-site and Online).

The Workshop Dates and Schedules post has now more detailed information. You can see who is enrolled (first name only) since a few people were unsure if they were in the first or second Workshop, on which day it was taking place, etc. So hopefully it should be all clear now. You can see if your friends are in the same session and in case you need to switch spots you can talk to each other (just let me know in case you do switch) .

I also had to add a little price increase in case you pay via Paypal for the Onsite Workshop (due to fees). Checks are now the preferred payment method.

Even if you see that the Workshop is full, send me an email anyway (using signup (at) spungella.com) and I'll put you on the waiting list. A few weeks before the Workshop starts things get very hectic and people cancel or switch and new people can get added.


Monday, August 2, 2010

Is Mocap Animation?

I know, the age old question, but I do get emails about it and I know I rant about it a lot, but might as well post my answer here as well. Feel free to argue, flame and curse, but as someone who's used mocap before, here' s my take (and email response):

Manipulation of images on a frame by frame basis. Isn't that the rule
set forth by the Academy?

Isn't a regular film animation as well then? They do color timing and
lots of other stuff on a frame by frame basis, which is the definition
of animation, no? Manipulation of images on a frame by frame basis? I
know, I'm really stretching it here...

Animation gets created from scratch, film is being recorded and
manipulated afterwards.

That, to me, is a big personal distinction. And the moment you add
something to the mix that is based on a real time recording, it messes
up the clear distinction of work being animation.

Looking at the whole process of using mocap, then my take is yes, it's
animation. It's just a tool. Each tool gives the artist a certain amount
of freedom. Although mocap gives you none. Mocap is very hard on
animator's egos (including mine) because their creative choices are
ignored since someone else is doing the work for them. The animators are
just here to clean up the data. But once you get the data, people have
to clean it up and even after that, animators tweak the data in order to
get the right performance out of it and often times chunks are being
deleted completely and replaced by keyframe work. So there is
manipulation on a frame by frame basis. Hence for me, animation.

The big problem that people have is that the acting choices are being
recorded in real time. Since it's real time, it's not animation. True,
but people are only focusing on one section of using mocap. When you
shoot reference and use it, you are also basing your animation on that
footage that a camera recorded in real time. But instead of a computer
and a mocap wrangler taking that data and making it useful for the
animation, it's the animator themselves that have to take (or choose and
take) what frame and pose is good and then they put that onto their
character. So instead of an automated process by a computer and then
manual process by a data person, the artist does it all. It's just a
different way of using the recorded footage on your rig. Yet when an
animator does it all, it's called animation. That's just people's egos
being hurt and people being hypocrites, don't you think?
It's also based on people who haven't used mocap and don't understand
the process. They think that a camera records it all and then voila, via
magic, it's in the movie and no one did anything to it. If it were that
case, then I wouldn't call it animation either. But no mocap goes
untouched. But then the movie is being announced as a mocap movie and
people cry foul, "It's not animation!".

[Added: And that's where most of my pissy attitude comes from, to dismiss a movie like Avatar as being "just" a mocap movie with no animation. The creatures were not mocapped, a lot of the action scenes were keyframed, but that gets lost amidst all the mocap hate... No, the mocap recording process is not animation, just like shooting reference isn't, but the end result often times is, due to the manual work involved to fix it or the fact that it gets redone from scratch by hand. Imagine someone shoots reference, then does rough blocking, then you get the shot and fix some parts, do others from scratch and polish the rest. Does that mean you're not an animator doing animation because you didn't do everything?]

Personally, I couldn't care less [about the process]. Whatever it takes to get the shot done
for your client/director/whoever. It's the end result that matters, not
the tool. Should I refuse to use the mocap data at work because they are
not using my brilliant acting choices? Good luck explaining that to the
client who wants the acting choices of his actors. Or when you have a
scene with 50 characters in it. Do you want to keyframe 50 characters?
Mocap will be much faster. Mocap can look very mocap-y, but it will feel
more real than keyframe animation and if the project is based on a
photoreal look, then it will be more convincing and better for the
project. Again, it's not exactly fulfilling on a creative level, but I
think being a professional animator is more than just creating animation
by hand from scratch. It's about bringing someone else's vision to the
screen. That's what you're hired to do. So use what is at your disposal
in order to get the job done, regardless of what your preference is.

Animators always complain that there shouldn't be a distinction between
2D and 3D, that it's just a tool, it's the story that matters. Well,
once mocap comes into play, people forget that very quickly, no?

If I had a choice for my own personal work, I wouldn't use mocap. Why?
Because there's no creativity on your part. You are just a tool, you're
not given the option to create the performance (which is in my opinion
the main reason why people are opposed to it, if they're honest with
themselves). It's just too much fun to come up with your own animation
and acting choices.

So yes, if you look at the whole process of mocap, from the beginning,
the fixing and tweaking and reworking to the end result, then yes, there
is enough manual work behind it that makes it animation.
If you just look at the process of recording the mocap artists, then no.
Just like filming yourself acting things out is not animation. And if
you look at possible future ways where the mocap actors are being
recorded and the data is being put onto the rig and rendered and it
looks finished, then no, because no one has manipulated and tweaked and
changed it.

Ah... ranting...

Tangled Artwork

There is some sweet Tangled artwork at The Art of Glen Keane and this photo album!

Perfect Imperfection

Cameron Fielding has a great post about dirty animation (see Dirt - Controlled Sloppiness for my take on it). Head over there to look at the great examples which showcase the dirty arc benefits.