Friday, April 18, 2014

NAB 2014: What They Don't Tell You

Due to some lucky connections, I was presented the chance to attend the 2014 National Association of Broadcaster's trade-show held at the Las Vegas Convention Center. I worked as a videographer for Avere Systems, a distinguished company known for it's breakthrough work in NAS (Network Attached Storage) Optimization. For those of you unfamiliar with the annual NAB conferences, one-hundred thousand (ish) technology savvy individuals gather together in the enormous Las Vegas Convention Center to promote their own products and/or peruse the newest technology in Entertainment today. It's a big deal. If you want to learn more about the atmosphere and/or companies that present at NAB, check out an older blog of mine that discusses it all here The following material presented in this blog reflect my own personal observations of the 2014 Las Vegas NAB Show, not a re-cap of the most popular new technology. You've been warned.

The 2014 NAB Las Vegas Show-- Central Hall.
When it came to packing for the show, I got the same advice from no less than 5 different female sources: "Don't bring your cute heels. Find some memory foam sandals or un-assuming tennis shoes instead." I ignored the advice the first three times, it was the fourth and fifth plea that finally had me switching out my hot 5 inch heels for the pair of comfortable black "old lady shoes" I usually reserved for funerals. This proved sound advice. Any negative feelings I had towards the kooshy sandals melted away quickly as I walked miles upon miles through the thousands of exhibitor booths. The women's bathroom buzzed with complaints about blisters and pleas for extra bandages. More and more men too, I noticed, began substituting their narrow dress shoes for those of the athletic variety as the show progressed.  

On the first day of the conference, I grabbed lunch around 2 from an Indian-to-go restaurant. There were some tables scattered around the show floor, so I plopped down next to a couple of pretty women and an asian couple. I only had to exchange a few words with the asian couple before I realized that they didn't speak a word of English. I had better luck with the women. Olivia and Brittany were both tall, lean, and gorgeous. These two were classic examples of what most people referred to as "booth babes." Brittany and Olivia both make their living off of conventions and trade-shows. Booths hire beautiful ladies to lure men in close enough to swipe their information badges-- a great way to get the emails of potential customers. While I realize NAB is held in Vegas, I thought that such a large concentration of intelligence would know better than to promote such low-brow business techniques. One booth, run by a big-name brand whom I won't mention, had a girl up onstage presenting raffle prizes dressed only in paint. Really NAB? I expect a higher level of class from such a respected convention. Unfortunately, when it comes down to it, media and technology is still a male-dominated field. Until we see more competent women in suits and polos, the hot painted babes are here to stay.

This is me in a polo.
Business cards are still used in most professional industries as a simple method of exchanging information inter-personally. However, due to the magnitude of the event, NAB has adopted a scanning system that allows exhibitors to collect and organize prospective customers’ information more efficiently. Every exhibitor, convention employee, and exhibitioner is required to wear a badge with a bar code. Each bar code holds the contact/employment info of the individual. This means, instead of trying to organize a forest’s worth of business cards, each booth receives a comprehensive digital copy of all of the customers that were scanned that day. Many booths also keep record of who they scan on a chart somewhat reminiscent of a filmmaker’s shot list. They may, for instance, note the scanned individual’s name, company, area of interest concerning our product, and how valuable that individual would be as a customer. The more interested a company, the higher number they receive on the “scan-log.” Especially at first, I found the whole scanning process very strange. Perfect strangers would shake hands and then present their badges to be scanned. Many companies send mass emails to those who get scanned, so unless genuinely interested in a product, I would suggest steering clear from trigger-happy booth babes.

Minimalist Comic Art Style

This week I decided to take a slight detour from talking about movies, to discussing another popular visual medium, comic books. One artist that has recently come to my attention in the Marvel sphere is Javier Pulido. Based on what I've been able to find about this artist was he originally worked as an artist for the Incredible Hulk back in the 1990s at Marvel. Later he worked on titles The Batman Chronicles and Robin Year One at DC.

The main thing that I found interesting about this artist was the style he employees for some of his comics. This art style seems minimalist and for me was a little bit of shock to see considering I was mainly used to the highly detailed comics I often have come to expect from Marvel.
Incredible Hulks #635
Tom Grummett



























New Avengers

Here are a few examples of what Pulido has done. 
Hawkeye
2012

Black Cat
2010
She Hulk #1
2014
It was mainly Pulido's art in these new She-Hulk stories that I found interesting. Not only is his style sort of minimalist in comparison to some of the more detailed books these days but also this style reminds me of a comic art style from an earlier era. But the thing that drew me the most this comic was a combination of the water color style cover art and the way Pulido makes use of the space in the pages of the book.

She Hulk Regular Issue Cover
Kevin Wada

She Hulk #2

In this particular set of pages as She-Hulk and the woman and yellow move across the hallway the full immense scape of the area shown, as well as other bits of action going on in the background as well.



Paperman

Here is a short Disney Animation Studios made in 2012. It is meant to be in 3D, but this will suffice. The story, so simple, is told beautifully with amazing animation. It was directed by John Kahrs, who is also known for his work on some of Disney's most popular films including Frozen, Monster's Inc., Wreck It Ralph, to name a few. 



Here's the director, talking about the inspiration of the short.

Some of My Favorite Pixar Shorts!

I have talked about Pixar in many of my blog posts before! Well today I wanted to share with you my favorite Pixar animation shorts. They do an amazing job with these shorts! They tell a story within a fairly short period of time and many of them don't have dialog which makes it even more phenomenal! Not having dialog allows the viewer to view the real message without words getting in the way. Also it allows people from all over the world to understand what the story is. So here are my top three favorite shorts from Pixar!
(La Luna)

(Day & Night)

(Blue Umbrella)

"Spirited Away" into the World of Miyazaki

I couldn't possibly go this whole semester without talking about my favorite animated film: Spirited Away by Hayao Miyazaki. I believe someone else wrote a blog on a similar topic, but these films are so good it is worth repeating. When people think about animated films, they usually think they were just created for children. In many cases, this has been true, but not Miyazaki's films. Sometimes, my friends and I will have Miyazaki nights and watch Spirited Away or Howl's Moving Castle or Princess Mononoke. These films are filled with a thrilling storyline, unforgettable characters, and a feeling of adventure that resonates with the viewer for several days to come. This is all accomplished through Hayao Miyazaki's attention to detail, not just of elements in the environment, but behavioral details of characters and a deeper emotional detail in relationships within the story. How he conveys this through images is a truly impressive and beautiful gift. The stories themselves are filled with metaphors and deeper meaning than what is on the surface. It takes a contemplative and imaginative mind to decipher all that is in these films. Every time I watch them, I see something new. I was curious on how Miyazaki makes his films. I focused on Spirited Away:

<------ PART ONE














                                       PART TWO --------->

I was blown away to discover that Miyazaki writes, directs and animates his own films. It is literally his vision that audiences see when they watch the films. To discover that Pixar and Disney use his films for inspiration says a lot about his abilities to tell stories, and to tell them in a very real way that absorbs the viewer in a new, complex, and surreal world. Here is a true animator and storyteller whose stories resonate from the very young to the very old.



By Amber Capogrossi

Clash of Clans Live Action Trailer

     Clash of Clans is an online mobile game that allows you build and deafened a village from other players. You can upgrade your troops and defenses to be able to attack or defend better. You can also form a clan with your friends. I don't typically like mobile games, but clash of clans is pretty fun. One of the best things about the game is the commercials that are made.


 Possibly even better than the official trailer for the game is the fan made "Movie Trailer" made by Bellpond Films       



Glassworks showing some class

Glassworks is a post production company based out of the U.K. Glasswork designs awesome graphics and animations for a ton of top name brands. Every year Glassworks makes a reel of all their favorite animations that they have made so far. This showreel is absolutely breathtaking!

http://www.glassworks.co.uk/node/5252


Glassworks also released a Character Showreel of all the characters they have recently created. All of these characters are so creative. I love the paper towel animation, it shows that it is soft and strong at the same time! I am not a fan of the Crocks animation, personally because I hate feet and think Crocks are meant only for children, but hey to each his own.

http://www.glassworks.co.uk/content/character-animation-reel-2013

Help support Charlie Kaufman's new animated film!

Charlie Kaufman, writer of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Being John Malkovich, and Adaptation, is teaming up with Starburns Industries, Inc. to create his first animated film. Starburns industries are responsible for their signature claymation look, and have even branched into computer animation with Adult Swim's "Rick and Morty." The film has raised well over it's intended goal, actually almost doubling it, but if you guys are fans of Kaufman's work you should definitely support it! Because, the more money they have, the more they can do! I have personally been a huge fan of Charlie Kaufman ever since I saw Eternal Sunshine, and it is still one of my favorite films to date.

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/anomalisa/charlie-kaufmans-anomalisa




Here is an interview with Kaufman on one of his later film, Synecdoche, New York, Starring Philip Seymour Hoffman. This film, is truly brilliant and does some amazing work in terms of Set Decoration. It is about a man who creates a play within a play within a play within a play within a play and so on..As the play progresses, sets have to be built within sets within other sets. I'm very excited to see what he can do with an animation team, as his live action films have beautiful imagery as well! Check out the trailer below.


The Triplets of Belleville




The Triplets of Belleville
is a 2003 animated comedy film by Sylvain Chomet. The completely bizarre plot and unique style of animation has made it a film I've returned to again and again and recommended to others countless times. I enjoy films that employ a variety of types of animation, especially hand-drawn with computer generated aspects. I've listed a few shots below that exemplify this strange style.

Here is the film's original trailer:

                                     

                                       

The image above is hand-drawn, but the digitally blurred background image adds a sense of depth that you won't find in earlier hand-drawn animation. Additionally, if the image above were in motion, you would see the way in which the character's head in the foreground moves from side to side, giving the impression of a three dimensional sense of space.

                                      

The image above, from a sequence in the introduction of the film, exemplifies a different style than the remainder of the film. Showing the triplets in their earlier days, this part is a combination of hand-drawn and computer generated imagery as well. Additionally, a filter is employed to make the footage seem archival.

The video below is a making-of by director and lead animator, Sylvain Chomet:


If this film seems like something you're interested in, I recommend checking out The Illusionist as well, a film Chomet made in 2010:

                                      

And just for fun, here is a super strange music video made to accompany The Triplets of Belleville theme song with some fun German impressionism:

                                      



Thursday, April 17, 2014


Imagine your favorite movie without special effects...you'd see a lot of green screens, 3d models, plain backgrounds and etc. Your favorite movie would most likely not be profitable. I found a YouTube clip of movies with and without effects.
Though I already knew adding an effect to a clip makes it look much better it still baffles me how much detail goes in to special effects as well as, how much time goes into it.




So much detail also goes in to how clips are shot as well. Technical issues like a wire showing can cause massive amounts of problems in post production. Close attention must be paid to the placement of actors. If an actors arm reaches outside of the green background that can lead to hours of rotoscoping.
It's small details like that, that make me appreciate movies a lot more. (Even if it has a crappy story.)

The Inverse of Progress

We as a society seem to be a living paradox. In the present, technology is at an all-time high level of advancement. Every day, more and more things are discovered/invented and one can looj back one week and say "I don't know how I survived back then without x". But, at the same time, the general public seems to have lower and lower standards every day.

You would think that with the level we're at, people would demand technological marvels lije holograms, jetpacks and futuristic things of the sort. But, in 2014, the most downloaded iPhone app was a game with primitive graphics that involved mindlessly and repeatedly tapping the screen. That is all it takes to demand peoples' attention. On the internet, anything is achievable. But, people continue to gawk at trivial things like memes and vague pictures that can refer to anything. The level of intelligence on the internet gets lower and lower with each passing moment. Now of course, I'm no better. I often find myself laughing at memes and reaction faces. I'm just as human as anyone else but I do realize there's more internet beyond memes and there are more technological wonders than Flappy Bird, and I try to broaden my horizons. But sadly, the foreground of the internet is cluttered with the same things rehashed and reposted over and over and over again. Standards for quality material sink lower and lower.

And the biggest offender, of course, is this asshole.


Our Current Projects

So clearly working on these projects have been a lot of work and taken a lot of time. But after all of the work that we have put in, it has most definitely come a long way. The insert yourself into a movie project has honestly been the most difficult one. I feel as though it required the most amount of work just to be able to find a scene that it was even possible to insert yourself into.

Me doing Ferris Bueller, I thought that it wouldn't be too difficult. Clearly I was wrong when I chose a scene that was just about 5 minutes long. But that's not the point. The point is that learning to roto-scope yourself into a project will be able to help me out much later in life. Especially if I am able to possibly get a job working in post.

The name project and the intro project are also very time consuming, however, I felt as though we would be able to be much more creative and show our style and show what we can actually do and what we have actually learned in this class. The name project that I did was difficult and time consuming, but I feel as though it came out really good for the amount of information that I know.

The Dexter project that I'm doing is taking me the longest because I have my own footage that I am trying to adjust to make it fit into the intro. Being able to put cool effects into it also is time consuming because putting an effect that doesn't exactly fit can really hurt you and throw off the whole aura of your project.

Anyway, the point of this post was to talk about the projects that we are working on in class. Once they are done, I can't wait to show all of my friends that I was able to accomplish such a thing.

Inspiration to a career into graphic design and motion graphics CMYK+White

"White" represents education and the endless possibilities of a clean slate.
They are committed to sharing skills with the next generation of designers
in both the academic setting and through workshops. A white canvas represents incredible potential, which they at CMYK+WHITE, INC. aim to develop and push as far as they can.


The K represents the motion graphics that they bring to life. Black is a reference
to the early days of the motion picture before color technology was available.
Their motion graphics capabilities and include animation, interactive media and web design. Motion is the strongest visual pull to attention in humans. In all of our work we strive to create something that is visually appealing and meaningful.


The Y represents the branding, editorial and packaging that they design.
Yellow is said to have a stimulating impact on our memory, which is
extremely important to the success of branding. Yellow is also the color
of inspiration and energy — all of which motivate the visual experience
in each logo, magazine layout or package that they create.


“C” represents the interior and exterior spaces that they create. Cyan is a color
prominent in our natural environment — in the sky and sea. They aim to create
environments that reiterate the brand and message in a memorable way. With each space they aim to engage people with the environment and the sensory experience of moving through the space.

This is an inspiring graphic design company that everyone should strive to work for. 

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Where the Wild Things Are

People are still going crazy over Spike Jonze's latest film, Her (ok, maybe it's just me), but I'd like to take a moment to step back from that OS-dating, high-waisted futuristic flick and talk about something a little more 2009: namely, Where the Wild Things Are. While people were pretty mixed on the overall plot (I'm a huge fan and think that Jonze did the best he could have done, considering he adapted it from a children's book with very few words) but something that most people seem to agree on is the use of special effects. The 'Wild Things' in this film are sometimes cuddly, sometimes terrifying, but alway visually striking. 

I was surprised when I first learned the the Wild Things were not entirely CGI, but rather real-life actors in giant animal costumes. In retrospect - and in line with Jonze's vision - this makes a lot of sense, as computer generated Wild Things would have involved a lot of greenscreen work and would make Max's reactions seem less sincere, dulling the overall emotional impact. All of the costumes, however, had static faces, since it was next to impossible for people to control the facial features of such large creatures. This is where things get interesting. 

Working closely with Michael Eames, the Animation Supervisor at the London-based Framestore, Jonze motivated a team of artists to get exactly the final product that he wanted. It started with projection mapping, but quickly moved on to something much more. Character suit performers were filmed, and their heads and faces were tracked in 3d, so that the appropriate emotion and tone could be recorded for each line. Then these images were projected onto 3d models, bending to the appropriate curves and angles of each unique face. Finally, hair and other textures were added, giving the final appearance that you can see in the film. You can read all about the entire process, from start to finish, in this article from Animation World Network

The final effect is one that has stuck with me a long time. I think it's a great example of what can be done when you combine CGI effects with good ol' fashioned practical costumes and what basically amounts to full-body puppets. It's a beautiful film, and the Wild Things never once look fake or unbelievable. Their bodies are real; giant costumes made of fake fur, but real nonetheless, and their eyes are something that only computers could generate. It really sets the tone for the whole movie, and I am always in awe of how perfect they are. 

Last but not least, the film has one of my favorite trailers of all time. Take two minutes to watch it. 

Monday, April 14, 2014

Did Michael Bay actually do something right?

The Transformers trilogy is absolutely awful. Like most of Michael Bay's 'films' they are one-dimensional action flicks trying to disguise themselves as something more meaningful. Sorry Bay, but you're not fooling anyone. There's not a single Bay film that I have found cinematically pleasing, nor have I ever found a reason to commend the director, except for one exception.


While I do not necessarily agree with Bay's style of filming or directing, there is at least one thing he's done right all these years (besides managing to perfectly resemble Michael Bolton): hiring an excellent team of visual effects specialists. More specifically, I'm talking about the Transformers movies. While I find them to be terribly painful to watch, there is certainly something to admire about the films. The visual effects behind the absurdly complicated alien robots is simply breathtaking.

To start off, Destroyer, an enormously impressive creation found in Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, took 72 hours to render...per frame! Pretty crazy, huh? Let's be honest, though. Anyone can make something that takes weeks to render. That's not the impressive part. The impressive part is that the single Transformer was put together by 6-8 individually created, incredibly detailed vehicles. Imagine how long that would take you to create. Now, imagine how long that would take you to create a second time once your director told you it wasn't good enough. I can only assume you'd be pretty upset with that news. Essentially, the animators were instructed to go back and make the machines twice as detailed as it already was, and THEN to reconstruct the final robot with all 6-8 individual pieces.

Another kudos for Bay goes to his ability to bring in practical visual effects. On the set of Transformers 2, Bay was able to bring in a sizable number of military vehicles (tanks, bombers, F16s, you name it) to fly over set, drop flares, and just add some level of believability to his otherwise ludicrous film. Bay is also a fan of on-set explosions. They're dangerous, yes, but they make for one hell of an effect. It also saves quite a bit of postproduction time and effort. Speaking for anyone who's ever worked postproduction on a film, we all greatly appreciate it.

Bringing it back to postproduction visual effects, the aircraft carrier scene of Transformers 2 is also quite an impressive feat. I never really gave it much thought, but much more than most people would ever expect went into this scene. The team shot actual burning miniatures and debris with blue screens that were later composited into the completed animations. The people on the carriers were a mix of animations and people who were shot tumbling and falling. The aircraft were created by the animators as well. Basically, thousands of pieces were created for this scene simply to be destroyed over the course of a minute. It's like being a kid again after taking hours to build a LEGO model just to have your younger brother completely and utterly demolish it.

Animation is a crazy field to go into. It's often the defining point between a film's success and it's downfall. In Michael Bay's case, it's really the only thing he was able to do correctly.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

IC Grad Graphics Genius

My first semester in Ithaca was Spring 2013. During this semester on Ithaca College Television, the Station Manager was none other than George Ahlmeyer. Under George's time as Station Manager, he helped redesign the look of many ICTV shows with his extensive knowledge of After Affects along with several other programs. His work really revamped the look of not just the shows of ICTV but also ICTV itself as he created most of the graphics seen during commercial breaks on ICTV. This video posted below is the sizzle real from his website http://georgeahlmeyer.com .


George Ahlmeyer 2013 Reel from George Ahlmeyer on Vimeo.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Spoofs: Sometimes Makes the World Better

I just wanted to take this blog and show you some of my favorite some what animation spoofs. A spoof is an imitative work created to mock, comment on or trivialize an original work, its subject, author, style, or some other target, by means of satiric or ironic imitation. There is really almost a spoof on everything. For example, Frozen already has hundreds of spoofs and its has only been a few months after it has been released. These sometimes help me get through a rough day or just make me laugh. And to be honestly some of these are even better then the originals.

http://www.collegehumor.com/video/6956694/photoshop-has-gone-too-far

http://www.collegehumor.com/video/6921441/breaking-bad-finale-wish-fulfillment

Coolest Soda Machines Ever

     Coca-Cola Freestyle is a touch screen soda dispenser introduced in 2009. The machine offers over 125 different Coca-Cola drink products, and custom flavors. The machine allows users to select from varies mixes of flavors of Coca-Cola brand products which are then individually dispensed. The machines are currently located in major Coca-Cola partners and retail locations as a part of a gradual and ongoing deployment. The machines have faced some consumer complaints due to long lines as a result of extra time it takes for consumers to decide on a product to dispense.

     The machine it's self was designed by an Italian automobile company, Pininfarina. The soda fountain uses microdispensing technology and proprietary PurePour technology. Both of which were created to deliver proper doses of drugs. The machine is able to dispense over 125 types of soda because unlike traditinal machines that use 5 gallon boxes of syrup the Freestyle mixes the sweetener with the water at the where the beverage is dispensed.
 

Hermione's True Identity: THE SHOCKING TRUTH

*THE FOLLOWING POST IS NOT FOR THE FAINT OF HEART!  PLEASE KEEP SCROLLING IF YOU DO NOT WANT YOUR ENTIRE WORLD SHATTERED!*

Still Reading?

Ok, I warned you.

I've done some posts in the past about transformations using make up, lighting and CGI effects in maya and other programs. One viral gif I came across this week features Emma Watson taking off her face to reveal that she was Sophia Vegera (Modern Family) this entire time…

Ok, Not really!


This is the original video this was made from
(4:10 Is the specific time the above video was made)
*WARNING FAKE NUDITY* 

If you haven't been able to figure out this video digitally added both actresses faces to this original video. The original video is actually a promotional video from a latex mask website.  The original video comes from this person named Kerry Johnson who's been making professional latex masks since 1996 usually for things like sci fi conventions.  Of the transformations that I have been looking up in this class, this has been one of the creepiest ones I've seen so far.   

Some good ol' practical effects


These guys really knew how to make use of practical stunts and using camera tricks to make their effects. This famous scene from Safety Last was really done on a roof top. The hanging from the clock hands too were done by Harold Lloyd himself too. Its pretty crazy how back in the day they were so creative in how they made these shots work.
Buster Keaton, The Marx Brothers, and Charlie Chaplin who also made and invented various stunts and practical effect in their films.

Tips for speeding up your rendering process

So for my name project I added extruded text which completely slowed down my rendering process. It took me approximately 20 hours to render my 10 second name clip. I walked from class to class with my hard drive on top of my laptop as it continued to render. I probably slowed it down even more because I was using my laptop while in class. . . . But anyway hopefully you guys take something away from this blog and learn from my experience.

I did some research on how I could speed up the rendering process for the next time I rendered a file with heavy effects.
Of course the easiest option would be to buy more RAM for my Mac. But for now I'll use some of the options listed below.


1. Delete all unused elements
2. Pre render compositions (instead of rendering everything at once, break it down into compositions)
3. Lower resolution for the composition (instead of full put it on half,third or quarter.)
4. Control disk cache (watch tutorial below)



Thursday, April 10, 2014

M

Something that seems to be used more and more frequently in all kinds of media is the art of minimalism. Now I'm not knocking minimalism, I know it's been around much longer than I have. I understand it's a trend along the lines of the "less is more" and "it's ironic because we have access to so much technology and it's cool to be ironic" phases of the 21st century. But what I can't help but feel is that some tricksters are using the concept of minimalism to hide the fact that in reality they're actually just not creative. In lieu of this entire post, I could have easily composed my stance on minimalism as follows:


Minimalism. Simple.


Oooooh, artsy. So powerful. So much is being said in so few words. Well, if that's how you perceive it. If I wrote just that, it would be because I felt lazy and didn't feel like making a blog post this week. But being the minimalist, I can argue how much I'm truly expressing in those two words. These two words actually have more meaning than two pages worth of words, if I can bullshit you into perceiving it that way. Then there's stuff like this:




This is exactly the kind of shit that gets thousands of likes on Instagram because it's sooooo artsy and creative. And obviously the artist can argue with you on how much meaning there is behind it because only he/she knows what it TRULY means, when it was actually made in 12 seconds to get likes from idiots who think there is actually some sort of artistic beauty behind it. But maybe I'm just in a bad mood.

Past, Present, and well... Future.

As we all know, there have been a number of movies that were made in the past and then were remade to keep up with the times and the changes in technology. One movie in particular that I thought fit well was Total Recall.

The original Total Recall, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, was made in 1990. Clearly there wasn't a lot of technology for CGI back then so a lot of the props and sets were created by hand. Adding more labor and obviously more time into making the movie. Just watching the trailer, you can tell that there are some cool effects, but compared to the new one... Well. It doesn't compare. Take a look at the two trailers and see what you think.

This is the 1990 Trailer:

Here is the 2012 Trailer:


So just watching the two of these you can clearly see that there are advancements in the CGI and animations and what not. In the newer movie, the car chasing scene, Pretty much all CGI and effects because we don't have flying cars or highways that are suspended in mid-air.

The point I'm trying to get at is that advancements have helped to improve movies to make them better and to make them more exciting. Especially when there is a 22 year difference between the original and the new.

Illustrator to After Effects

Illustrator can be a great tool for creating shapes, designs, graphics and many other illustrations that aren't so easy on After effects. But when you try to bring in a Illustrator file it can be a hassle sometime because After Effects does't make the illustration into vector files, this leads to pixilation, and control over the whole shape harder. When bringing in a illustration file into After effects there are a few tedious set you have to take. This is only needed if you have CS5 but if you have CS6 they make it a lot easier and you don't need any these sets.
Illustrator to After Effects

1. Open illustrator file
2. select all of the paths and shapes in art board
3. hit command "C"

4. Open After effects
5. create a new composition
6. lay - new - solid
7. paste the paths and shapes from illustrator
8. go into the drop down and see how many masks there are
9. select only the path of each mask
10. command "C"
11. then take the pen tool and click on the art board
12. This will create a shape
13. Go to the drop down of the shape, make sure there is enough shapes same as the mask under the drop down (if theres 12 mask paths, make 12 shapes under the shape layer
14. you already copies the mask paths
15. select the shapes paths all 12 and paste those masks
16. turn the view off the solid layer and you will see the new shape layer on art board
17. Go in and see what shape path effects what part of shape and label it.


Music and Animation

For my post this week, I have chosen to compile animations that all combine music and animation in very tasteful ways. The first video I'll post is a music video by Chad Vangaalen, called "Peace on the Rise." Chad wrote all the music and did the animation/video all by himself. It is truly remarkable what one person can do all by themselves, even though I can't imagine how long it took! The creatures in the video are incredibly weird, and at some times it's hard to tell what it is actually going on in the narrative with all the incredible weird visuals happening, but I think that's what make the video so interesting.


This next video is by a group called Fluxel Media, and is a 3d animated short. It has a very star wars, sort of post apocalyptic feel to it, and involves four robots sitting at a table having an argument, that winds up sounding like a dub step track. The short reminded me a lot of the exercise in class we did that involved creating animations to a beat, because that is what this video is entirely. Instead of a few objects in the screen being affected by the sound of the beat, we see the entire room change according to what we are hearing. It makes for an amazing experience, especially with speakers or headphones!



This next video is a music video for Julio Bashmore's song, "Peppermint." It is directed by Noah Harris, and seems as if it's done with a lot of stop motion. To be honest, I am so astounded by this video and I really do not have any solid idea as to how it was made entirely, but it seems as if it involved many different processes. Overall, the song is great and in my opinion the animation/stop motion is even better. Check it out! 



This next one is a little over a minute, and took 2 months to do. It's an excerpt from a video by Carlin Diaz, made for L'Orange's song Femme Fatale, Feat. Erica Lane. It was done in after effects, flash, and photoshop. Very Beautiful!



This last video is by one of my personal favorite music video directors of all time, David Wilson. He has directed for numerous artists including Artick Monkeys, Tame Impala, Passion Pit, and many more. This is a music video he did for Moray Mclaren's song "We Got Time." It's almost impossible to describe, so I'll post it and then post the link to the making of video below it. You should check out his website too!


http://thisisdavidwilson.com/portfolio/moray-mclaren-we-got-time

Say hello to Helium Harvey!



Helium Harvey is a new animated short by Daniel Savage. This adorable short is about a boy's trip around the world. Harvey by accident inhales too much helium from a balloon and floats away. Harvey happily floats along like a balloon in a Macy's day parade. Although it is a short targeted for children, this short is still funny to watch considering his butt crack is out the entire time. Daniel Savage, the creator of the short, decided not to go to graduate school and instead make this short. He funded the project by himself and taught himself a few things along the way. Daniel funded the project by teaching at NYU and doing some freelance work on the side. Daniel thinks that making Helium Harvey was a decent substitute to grad school considering he felt like he learned more through his experiences making the short.
Check out my new favorite short animation, Helium Harvey!