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A change in facial expressions from seasons 1-3 to 4-8


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There's been a change in facial expressions from seasons 1-3 to 4-8.

I think the best example of the difference is in Pinkie's breakdown in Party of One and Secrets and Pies.

Party of One:

Image result for mlp pinkie party of one

 

Secrets and Pies

Image result for mlp pinkie secrets and pies

 

In general, I feel like the faces in the older seasons were a lot more subtle while newer seasons feel a lot more in-your-face. It's like newer seasons make new faces specifically for memes, like Diamond Tiara's face in Crusaders of the Lost Mark, Rainbow's in Every Little Thing She Does, and many more.

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9 minutes ago, bigbertha said:

It's like newer seasons make new faces specifically for memes, like Diamond Tiara's face in Crusaders of the Lost Mark, Rainbow's in Every Little Thing She Does, and many more.

 

Maybe, it's a competition at the DHX offices: "Equestria's Next Top Meme Face". :-P

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The other example of unusual facial expression is in The Gift of the Maud Pie.

vlcsnap-2018-11-12-01h53m07s951.thumb.png.98c9ad0e226eeb59768b8366b0df2b5a.png

I agree. My complains about recent extreme facial expressions are, they are more contrived, more like a one-shot 'meme'. Early episodes facial expressions were more in the context of the whole story and more constant, relatively speaking. The Mean Six's best part was their facial expressions, but that was it.

Edited by Sepul-Coloratura
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Still better than My Little Pony Tales which had nightmarish expressions.

5ZbcVCn.png

But yeah, I've noticed the shift in facial expressions as well. I always assumed they have more budget to work with creating new assets, while a lot of the older expressions were manipulating pre-existing assets but that's just speculation on my part. 

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The show has been plagued by the 'forced meme' issue since around S4 or so (understandable given that S4 and S5 were produced around 2012-2013, when bronies were at their most ubiquitous across the internet), although the facial expressions (including even Twilight's conspicuous 'pudding') transitioned into more obnoxious territory circa season 5, largely due to the show shifting art directors from Ridd Sorensen (responsible for much of the simplistic and streamlined look of S1-4) in rapid succession over S5-7, leading to a number of shots inserted bizarrely intricate details onto existing laconically designed vectors to create a dissonant/unfitting effect. The BB-disclosed shot from "Secrets and Pies" is a prime example of this - the detail on the eyelid and veins is far too excessive visually and fails to gel with Pinkie's existing character design (which is simpler and more streamlined akin to Faust's/Sorensen's art styles).  

Edited by Them's Seeing Ponies
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I honestly don't mind the over the top facial expressions as long as they're funny and they don't overdo them, which I don't think they do yet. So, if they want to make the occasional "Meme" face, fine with me. The fact the ponies are so cute and that most of their facial expressions are more subtle makes the ridiculous faces they make sometimes stand out more and makes them funnier, I feel.

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Although the old, more subtle facial animations are nostalgic, I have to say, I am continually impressed by how the animation improves on the show. I think the occasional crazy over-the-top face is the animators' time to push their creative limits, and I really love it!

vlcsnap-00027.png.7b06ae9365ebcbed5d845988999cdeb5.png

Like, right here! That's three different ways to portray shock/suprise/horror on a pony's face! And it's not too over-the-top, but it subtly shows how dynamic and talented the animators are.

vlcsnap-00053.png.8e00c3fff871a719065e6273021f5bef.png

And this one is just hilarious, but still, the amount of detail that the animators put into a sneeze, clearly enjoying the ability to show off less cutesy parts of a pony's face for once.

Anyway, the animation, especially the number of expressions they put on the characters, has always been one of the main parts that I love about the show, and I am thrilled to see the animation getting better and better. :mlp_yeehaa:

(Screenshots from Equestria Daily's A Perfect Pear Episode Followup!)

Edited by TheSupremeLeaderOfChaos
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I don't understand what is wrong with cartoonish and exaggerated facial expressions? I find them absolutely hilarious :dash:

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Yeah... it's a cartoon. There's gonna be the exaggerated facial expression now and again. Please stop complaining about everything.

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Extreme facial expressions are what make cartoons cartoony. They may be exaggerating them more now than they did in the earlier season, but that just shows that they're not afraid to amp things up and take things a step further. We've already seen the level of facial expressions in the early seasons, so seeing broader ones now is what we need to keep it fresh. I love the zany looks they come up with, they make me laugh my head off! :laugh:

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Using the same face over and over again is lazy. More facial expressions mean more efforts put into animations. Lesson Zero is well-known for its crazy expression that make even the most crazy faces in newest mlp episodes look pale in comparison. ( Puddingggg vs The clock is ticking, your pick)

I love some unusual faces, they make some episodes more memorable. Puddingggggg!

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  • 2 years later...

I remember quite a few of the faces made by the ponies in Season One and in whatever episodes I saw in Season Two. 

That sad face Fluttershy makes when she's on the verge of bawling over the "death" of Philomena in A Bird in the Hoof is something I have fond memories of. 

1000?cb=20120117000454

I have fond memories of that episode, especially because that was the first time in the show Fluttershy had become THAT upset. It uses cartoon physics by pulling the corner of her mouth until it protrudes from her face. 

What do you think of that moment?

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30 minutes ago, GeffreyDrogon said:

I remember quite a few of the faces made by the ponies in Season One and in whatever episodes I saw in Season Two. 

That sad face Fluttershy makes when she's on the verge of bawling over the "death" of Philomena in A Bird in the Hoof is something I have fond memories of. 

1000?cb=20120117000454

I have fond memories of that episode, especially because that was the first time in the show Fluttershy had become THAT upset. It uses cartoon physics by pulling the corner of her mouth until it protrudes from her face. 

What do you think of that moment?

That is a pretty effective moment. Her face is big and emotive, but not to the extent that it's off-putting.

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1 hour ago, bigbertha said:

That is a pretty effective moment. Her face is big and emotive, but not to the extent that it's off-putting.

Not only the face Fluttershy makes in that scene is effective, but also the whimper (though it's been used before and afterwards) she makes as well as her body shaking.

Here is a video that shows that...

 

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As the series progressed it continually got more over the top as if, as I seem to have said here before, the animators were trying to outdo themselves

You don't really start to notice it until S6, and it reaches a nadir in S9, where the animation and facial expressions just look awful

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Suffice to say, it's the rule of evolution.  The show captured the facial expressions (the :Daydreaming:Scootaloo ones) we loved.  But it also produced (gross :eww:SpongeBob faces) the expressions we hate:mlp_gag:  

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On 2018-11-11 at 11:57 AM, Sepul-Coloratura said:

The other example of unusual facial expression is in The Gift of the Maud Pie.

vlcsnap-2018-11-12-01h53m07s951.thumb.png.98c9ad0e226eeb59768b8366b0df2b5a.png

I agree. My complains about recent extreme facial expressions are, they are more contrived, more like a one-shot 'meme'. Early episodes facial expressions were more in the context of the whole story and more constant, relatively speaking. The Mean Six's best part was their facial expressions, but that was it.

That face looks horrifying.

 

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 2018-11-11 at 1:34 PM, Them's Seeing Ponies said:

The show has been plagued by the 'forced meme' issue since around S4 or so (understandable given that S4 and S5 were produced around 2012-2013, when bronies were at their most ubiquitous across the internet), although the facial expressions (including even Twilight's conspicuous 'pudding') transitioned into more obnoxious territory circa season 5, largely due to the show shifting art directors from Ridd Sorensen (responsible for much of the simplistic and streamlined look of S1-4) in rapid succession over S5-7, leading to a number of shots inserted bizarrely intricate details onto existing laconically designed vectors to create a dissonant/unfitting effect. The BB-disclosed shot from "Secrets and Pies" is a prime example of this - the detail on the eyelid and veins is far too excessive visually and fails to gel with Pinkie's existing character design (which is simpler and more streamlined akin to Faust's/Sorensen's art styles).  

Season 4 was from 2013-2014, I think.

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To be honest, I much rather prefer the early seasons' facial expressions much more than the later seasons' facial expressions because they're more memorable to me and I still find them hilarious. Yes, even Season 4 and 5 to some extent, had some funny facial moments. As opposed to the later seasons, from the looks of the screenshots that I saw from Season 7-9 recently, they look way too over the top for my liking that I feel like they're just trying way too hard to be funny and it comes as a bit distracting to me.

I get that humor is subjective, but still.

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 2021-03-03 at 8:53 PM, bigbertha said:

That is a pretty effective moment. Her face is big and emotive, but not to the extent that it's off-putting.

 

On 2021-03-23 at 2:37 PM, JMTV99 said:

To be honest, I much rather prefer the early seasons' facial expressions much more than the later seasons' facial expressions because they're more memorable to me and I still find them hilarious. Yes, even Season 4 and 5 to some extent, had some funny facial moments. As opposed to the later seasons, from the looks of the screenshots that I saw from Season 7-9 recently, they look way too over the top for my liking that I feel like they're just trying way too hard to be funny and it comes as a bit distracting to me.

I get that humor is subjective, but still.

There were a few strange facial expressions in the earlier seasons...

1000?cb=20130105040029

...Why does it look like Rainbow's face is starting to melt?

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10 hours ago, GeffreyDrogon said:

There were a few strange facial expressions in the earlier seasons...

Yeah, there are some goofy facial expressions in the earlier seasons, but at least they're charming.

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