A little under 24 hours ago, the internet buckled under the pressure of excitement, confusion, disgust, wonder, and more, all experienced by Pokémon fans who had seen the new Pokémon Detective Pikachu movie trailer. The realistic CGI left many seriously impressed - often after an initial dose of shock - as we've never really seen those beloved pocket monsters in quite the same way in an official capacity.
As it turns out, artist RJ Palmer (who actually works for Ubisoft SF but is also known for designing "realistic" Pokémon), was scouted by the film's production designer to work on the movie. Speaking to Kotaku, Palmer has revealed that this chance of a lifetime came about when the production designer Googled "realistic Pokémon", finding his work and getting him on board to design concept art for the monsters on screen.
Over seven months spanning across 2016 and 2017, Palmer contributed multiple designs which no doubt paved the way for the creations seen in the trailer. Taking a closer look, some of the less-furry designs in the trailer such as Charizard do resemble Palmer's work. If you're interested, you can see some of Palmer's earlier Pokémon work on his DeviantArt page or a wider variety of pieces here (we've included just a couple of examples down below).
The moral of the story here is to make sure your art, music, or whichever creative hobby you follow is shared for all to see. You might just land yourself the job of a lifetime!
I prefer 90's or 2000's Anime style.
Not that Disgusting Realistic model.
I didn't know his name, but his work was the first thing I thought when I saw Charizard.
And while I found his work interesting, I'm still shaking my head for them going this route for a Pokemon movie...
@Anti-Matter But this a live action movie. I mean, some of you are so close-minded you can’t seem to think straight.
I like these realistic looking Pokémon. I’m surprised that went with this style for something so high profile but I think it works nicely.
I've seen this guys work before, just never knew who he was.
I think it's neat. Realistic Pokemon kinda look like something that would appear in Monster Hunter.
Also nice to see something different for a change. The animated movies are awful anyway, so no big loss if this movie is terrible.
I ROLLED My eyes when i saw any Realistic Pokemons like that.
The more realistic, the more i Hate them.
The more Cute , Chibi & Cartoonish, the more i Like them.
It's also implied in video games.
That's why i DON'T play FF XV.
That OMG Ultra HD Realistic looking just made me felt disgusting.
Credit to him. Great talent
I'm on the fence, here.
On the one hand, anime creatures would look a bit weird if dropped into the real-world, as is. So I'm kinda OK with what they did here.
...But on the other hand, I'm still really ticked off about how fugly the Transformers movies made those look. I mean, seriously, that's supposed to be its face??! Gah!!!!
Magnemite with lobster claws is so disgusting that it’s awesome. The guy is pretty darn talented.
@HorridCrow "But this a live action movie" So were "Space Jam" and "Who framed Roger Rabbit?". You don't have to have realistic pokemon to overlay them on the real world. This was an artistic choice not the only option.
@HorridCrow It worked for Rodger Rabbit. Don't see why they couldn't have done something similar here and actually had the Pokemon looking like they're supposed to look. The traditional designs are just better looking than the ones in the movie. And, while that is obviously my subjective opinion, I'm 100% confident the majority of people would feel similarly. I'd even go so far as to day that Pokemon would never in a million years have reached the popularity it now enjoys if we could go back and time and switch out the classic and beloved designs for these more realistic takes on the characters.
Its not really my favorite style to see pokemon in, but I mean it doesn't look bad. Kudos dude!
I Miss 90's era.
So many Great Moments happened.
This has turned out much less cringe-inducing than Yoshi in the SMB movie.
@Anti-Matter lol. This is not what this is about. The guy's just trying to answer the question a lot of Pokemon fans have had at some point in their lives; What would these creatures look like in real life? So he's just translating the Pokemon designs into something more realistic, using real animals (and extinct animals) as a basis, often in a very clever way. Whether you like the direction of the upcoming movie or not, you can't deny this guy has some talent. It's just some harmless fun.
hahaha so cool! I do follow his work since the beginning what great surprise to see him getting the job.
I'll stick to the Anime films thanks
some of the pokemon look really ugly in this style.
Realistic Models from Cartoon or Anime like that = Completely Wrong & Disgusting to me.
And that's why i DROPPED my drawing skill from Realistic style to Chibi Cartoonish style since year 2009.
I have NO Desire to draw in Realistic style anymore.
Even my Valiant Boxers on deviantart are Not Really Realistic style (They have Normal proportion body, but still in Cartoonish style).
I'm tired with Nonsense Realistic styles.
I'm waiting for English version of Pokemon Everybody's Dream.
@Anti-Matter I should've known you had some weird vendetta against this
Dang thats awesome looking.
"The moral of the story here is to make sure your art, music, or whichever creative hobby you follow is shared for all to see. You might just land yourself the job of a lifetime!"
It's true! @ryancraddock used to sing songs about amiibo on YouTube, now he's landed his dream job writing for Nintendo Life 😉
Reminds me of that youtube trailer for Pokemon Apokelypse.
I thinks he makes some creative choices in going very "bio-realistic" and dismissing the supernatural/magical aspects (specially glaring in his Ghost Pokémon design), and great that he got a job in the design team, but yeah, I'd have hated if the movie just went with what he does. We're in a middle ground that I'm still getting used to (TRIM DOWN PIKACHU'S FUR, GUYS), but definitely better than his designs.
I actually don't care at all about Pokemon, but this movie has me hyped. Looks and feels like a pleasant time.
The designs in the movie arent THAT realistic at all, people who say otherwise don't draw or create thing themselves. Its literally the cartoon style in realistic form/details, it aint a realistic version of these creatures like in the fanart.
@Anti-Matter You think there will be Pokemon fans going after this artist with torches and pitchforks?
That’s awesome. I used to look at his artwork all the time. I miss his content.
@LaytonPuzzle27 good touches or bad touches? Sorry couldn't resist.
His artistic skills really did him well here as some look real good on the realistic approach
@whanvee I meant torches and pitchforks. Sorry about my misspelling.
I did see his work earlier and the designs in the trailer have reminded me of his art a bit. The movie counterparts are a bit more cartoony and reminiscent of their original artwork (like the Charmander at the start), but a lot of his principles are seen in the final designs.
Though I will also add that Pikachu looks a bit too fuzzy. Maybe it makes him look cuter, but mice and rats usually have flatter fur. It may be a technical limitation.
@impurekind @Sabroni In those movies (and also Cool World) the cartoons and real humans were explicitly from different worlds. They were supposed to look odd and unreal, because some characters were supposed to be physical and others drawn cartoons.
In this movie humans and Pokemon are from the same world. Using overtly cartoony designs would be like making TMNT flatly animated rather than animatronic/CG in their movies. It would just looks bad.
Wow, Pokemon done realistically are pure nightmare fuel.....
@SmaggTheSmug I disagree. I think it could absolutely look very cool to have the more cartoony Pokemon mixed in with live action in a movie if done right. And, in Rodger Rabbit, and also stuff like Space Jam, Pete's Dragon (the original), Looney Tunes: Back in Action, and probably a couple others, the cartoon characters are portrayed as very much existing in the same world as humans. We're supposed to think of them basically as just another type of creature/species existing and living on planet Earth alongside humans and animals and insects and fish and birds and so on, as something that is completely normal. Similarly, I think cartoon Pokemon done just like that in a live action movie could look very cool too. But, even without going to that exact cartoon route, I still think they could have done quite a bit better a job of nailing the look of the Pokemon in this new movie than they have. I mean, look at stuff like the Scooby Doo live action movies, Garfield, The Smurfs, or Spongebob the Movie, etc: They absolutely nailed the look of those more traditionally drawn characters in those movies imo. I see no reason whatsoever they couldn't have done it just as well with a Pokmeon live action movie. And that's what I personally would have liked to have seen, and what I absolutely think would have been more appealing overall to more people, and more in-keeping with the established look of these beloved characters that has been nailed in the cartoons and illustrations since day one. I do expect you will continue to disagree though.
@impurekind It would look like this at best
In Space Jam Michael Jordan literally travels through a portal to a cartoon world. And again, the cartoon characters are treated as cartoon characters. They operate on different physics from the humans.
Pete's Dragon was limited by it's budget and technology, and people remember Jim Henson's movies better, when puppets were what CG is now.
Suspension of disbelief is key for movies and if you had a big budget production that looked like the AR function in Pokemon Go... It would get laughed out of the box office.
This film reminds me of the Garbage Pail Kid's movie which can never be a good thing
@SmaggTheSmug My bad on Space Jam. Ignore that example if that's the case. I figured it was set up basically just like the Looney Tunes: Back in Action movie.
There is still literally no doubt in my mind whatsoever that they could mix the live action with less "realistic" looking Pokemon, far closer to the original cartoon look of them, and make it look better than what we have in this new movie--and I'm saying that as a trained artist and also someone who has an honours degree in both traditional and cg animation. The characters as they are in the current movie just don't like quite right, and the absolutely could have been done better and more in-keeping with how they're supposed to and always have looked, even when brought into the live action world.
That's basically all I'm really saying.
And I say this is true whether going for a more cartoon or more realistic look.
I think some of us on here are forgetting that Pokemon are animals in their world, not looney tunes characters.
@penamiguel92 Just like the humans are also supposed to be real humans in the cartoon world, yet, both the humans and Pokemon look exactly like cartoons in the cartoon world and both still look great for it.
There's literally zero reason the Pokemon couldn't both stay absolutely true to their original designs and yet fit into a real world aesthetic, one that looks great alongside the actual humans, without them looking a bit weird and wrong in the process.
Here's an example of a Pokemon looking both pretty great (and basically exactly like the cartoon has depicted it too) in live action for example:
Pikachu didn't have to basically turn into a slightly weird looking cat thing that isn't quite Pikachu anymore, as just one example of where the look hasn't been quite nailed imo.
Make the fur a bit shorter. Maybe the eyes a bit less human looking. Etc.
It's not terrible, but it's not quite perfect either.
I mean here's a real mouse eye for example:
It doesn't have a very clearly and separately defined pupil, iris, sclera, etc, and yet it's far closer to how the cartoon design of Pikchu's eye actually looks. Why not do the live action Pikachu eye similarly? Mice are still cute, and you can still relate to real animals if they start talking, even with simple and more accurate eyes, as seen in movies like Babe.
I'm just giving an example here.
Well, considering it's set in the supposed "real world", I have no problem with a realistic take on how Pokemon would likely look in the well... real world. I'm just amazed they were able to still retain their appearances so well without losing their identity. I love it.
The uncanny valley of Pokemon.
@Sabroni Sorry, but those movies would never work in this day and age, and would totally clash with the artistic direction they're going for here.
@impurekind Of course it's a design choice. It's also an evolution of the typical cartoon Pokemon. What kid didn't dream of having actual, real Pokemon around?
@CartoonDan Exactly. That's exactly what I think the problem is with how the Pokemon look in this movie. It's not terrible--they could have been far worse--but I think they could have done a better job for sure.
@HorridCrow Well, you use "evolution" as though it's a good thing in this case. I think the "evolution" of the look and design of the Pokemon in this case is not a good thing. I think the artists made a bad choice. And I know they could have done better:
Here's an example of a Pokemon looking both pretty great (and basically exactly like the cartoon has depicted it too) in live action for example:
I don't see why they couldn't have just gone the extra mile with something like this too (true to the original but still fits in with live action) and simply rendered it just a little bit further so the lighting and stuff truly blended with and matched the real world scenes:
And that Pikachu is perfectly in line with how he looks in the game too, which I think is actually an extremely important thing to get right when you're dealing with well established and beloved characters like this.
To further clarify, here's Pikachu in cartoon form (look at his eyes):
Here's Pikachu in the movie (again, look at his eyes):
Here's are real mouse eyes:
They could have made the movie Pikachu eyes look closer to real mouse eyes, which would also just happen to be closer to to the original cartoon depiction of Pikachu's eyes too, and I think it would have looked both better and more accurate to the character we all love.
That's the kind of thing I'm talking about here.
His original takes on them are nightmare fuel, but I do love the ones that are more realistic for the movie trailer.
All I have to say is that Who Framed Roger Rabbit looked fantastic mixing cartoony characters with live action, and the same could have been done here to keep the typical Pokémon cartoon look. But go off I guess.
With that said though, it’s amazing that he got discovered and was asked for his creative work. I hope they paid him well for his time and art style.
@gloom I think the biggest difference is that in who framed Roger rabbit, the cartoons are exactly that, cartoons, they were created from ink and live on some weird magic.
Here these are supposed to be actual natural creatures made from the same materials as humans.
Either way, artistic licence and variety is always good.
@Anti-Matter Yuck !
They are not Disgusting Realistic models. They are Awesome Realistic 3D Models.
@LaytonPuzzle27 Just being a Jerkface😁
This movie would have failed epically if they tried to use normal Pokemon styling. It would have looked so cheesy and bad, the vast majority of people would be turned off.
This styling, with a more realistic take on the Pokemon, made this Trailer look like it was made for a MCU quality movie. This movie is probably going to be a huge success now and a big chunk of that success is going to be how successfully they made the Pokemon look like they belonged in the world.
I'd rather have them looking normal, but in 3D, not this 'realistic' take on them.
@Anti-Matter Dude, not everything is tailored for your taste.
@impurekind The thing with the new pokemon is that its design is based off of real world items. A metal nut sitting on some mercury with a wire for a tail. Pikachu isn't really based off of something besides a rodent. The fur thing can be part of the detective thing. You dont get these gumshoe detectives looking really well put together. Maybe detective pikachu is no different and is too busy to do some upkeep on his fur. Maybe not. Maybe there is even a joke in there about how badly put together he is for a pikachu. I just dont think these guys look all that farfetched(no pun intended). They look roughly like some animals which they would be based off. I think more guinie pig when I see pikachu, specifically because of its size. They have pretty mangy fur. Maybe I just dont see the issue with this.
This artwork feels like the inevitable Pokemon-Monster Hunter crossover I never knew I needed.
Charizard used Wyvern's Fire. It's still not very effective.
That Flygon looks sick. Can't wait to see how they've adapted the other pokemon for the movie!
Pikachu is an adorable little mouse. I want a plushie from the movie.
Anybody else think that jigglypuff was going to cut somebody?
@Ryu_Niiyama those sharpies can be very... Sharp.
@Yosheel I’m sure I overthought this as a kid but I was certain the sharpie was court mandated after the anime Puff went off and slashed some tires. (Or people)
@Anti-Matter Are you seriously going to ignore everyone who has a different opinion than you? You'll end up in an echo chamber that way.
Personally I think that it's cool to imagine what pokemon might look like in reality, even if the voltorbs would be literally everyone's worse nightmare.
Well, they should talk politely to me.
Btw, for me the Best 3D looking for Pokemon was from Pokken Tournament.
That's the definition of Great 3D model yet still maintain their Original looking, not by OverRealistic Pokemons with detailed furs / looked like PreHistoric animals.
I'm sorry but it was matter of taste for me.
@Walru-Cheese He is in an echo chamber from childhood. That is why he is so messed up today.
The more I look at it the more I like it.
I am a fan of R.J. Palmer, he is great to talk to about speculative evolution.
It caught me off guard at first (thought it was a joke/parody) but it's growing on me. It made me think a lot about Pokemon existing in real life with detail traits that we’re used to seeing on our animals like furs, scales, feathers, etc.
Now I'm wondering have ghost and bug type will look since real life versions tend to be creepy and scary. What I find cute/harmless in games and anime would be pure nightmare fuel in real life, like any real bug over 2 feet
Everyone has their own tastes... This is not mine.
@Anti-Matter Gotta love that new dislike button for comments
@impurekind there's a good deal of difference between pokemon and characters like the loony toons and Disney characters as both of those movies have a cartoonist sub-dimentions and the cartoon characters where 2-d from the getgo in their canon. Pokemon on the other hand has never really been portrayed as though the Pokemon where 2-dimensional beings. Even in the AR stuff like pokemon go and dream radar, pokemon where made to look as 3d as they could go with it and those sprites wouldn't work as well with a live action movie.
Personally though, I hope they put a latias in this movie as their covered in feathers but you can't ever tell from the game sprites concept art ect.
Latias is highly sensitive to the emotions of people. If it senses any hostility, this Pokémon ruffles the feathers all over its body and cries shrilly to intimidate the foe
@impurekind I agree that Pikachu should look more like a mouse, although his eyes are looking a lot like the ones you linked. I suppose they were afraid making him look too different from his iconic design wouldn't fly, since he's the franchise mascot.
He definitely should be a little less fuzzy. Maybe not as shiny as this mouse, but with fur similarly flat (although maybe a Shiny Pikachu would look exactly like this).
@Shadowmoon522 I would love to see Blastoise in this movie. I wonder what they would do about the cannons. The realistic Pokemon artist game him two organic looking spouts rather than tank guns (and also made the ghosts into bats, which was pretty creative).
@Anti-Matter I think that would be far better to watch then see a Transformers style Pokemon film. lol
@Octane Yeah that's what I always wanted to see, cute fantasy pocket monsters turned into ugly mutants based on real animals...
some of these designs make me wanna puke.
Unless you’re looking for a Roger Rabbit style film this is the only way to go. Personally, I think the Pokémon look great. Clearly a lot of time and passion has gone into their designs.
@SmaggTheSmug well, it's not like it was ever stated that the cannons where metal to begin with and if they are metal it's some kinda organic metal
@Anti-Matter "-it made me feel disgusting"
What are you talking about? You ARE disgusting. Especially when reading some of your older, anti mature game comments.
@Anti-Matter Dude seriously! You have some serious mental problems and need to calm down and take a break from the internet.
The Pokémon Company is still making Anime movies, so I don't understand what you are crying about!
They are just trying something new and different with the Detective Pikachu movie and I like it and most importantly, my 7 year old son is super excited for it and can't wait to see it!
So the Pokémon company has already succeeded in this, in that it made my 7 year old son super excited about this Pokémon movie.
For close minded people like you. Just move on already! No one is forcing you to read these articles or see the movie next year. Give it a rest!
(from kotaku) "In the most literal sense; Palmer says that the film’s production designer hired him when he googled “realistic Pokémon” and his posts during 2012-13 came up."
never give up on your dreams is not cliché, it's true :')
RJ Palmer is an absolute tool and self absorbed *#€$.
Sure he may be good at art but that doesn't change how rotten to the core of a human he is.
I think the movie's Pokemon is good.
Blend well with live action. Not all realistic, but not uncanny either.
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