In 2014, 3D animation introduced a new feature that I think is an under appreciated evolution in animated movie making.
I am serious. Rapunzel from Tangled (2011) and Merida from Brave (2012) have very even skin tones and just a couple of freckles. Anna and Elsa from Frozen (2013) have the little reddish, uneven marks that people actually have. It’s subtle (I did a lot of photoshopping to bring it out), but it makes such a difference! That, and the more natural way of producing freckles makes all these HD closeups so very special!
There are unedited (all I did was crop and resize to tumblr post size) caps from Dreamworks’ Rise of the Guardians (2012) and How to Train Your Dragon (2010):
I mean LOOK AT THOSE FREAKING REALISTIC DETAILS
DREAMWORKS’ BLOTCHINESS GAME ON POINT
Yeah, as impressive as Elsa and Anna are, they look smooth in comparison to even older characters. This isn’t anything new, and certainly wasnt introduced this year. Maybe it was introduced by DISNEY this year.
Disney has never been about skin detail, their characters are usually on a smooth cartoony side that mimics a 2D style. Thats not really a bad thing, but they certainly arent pioneering skin detail.