Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Interstellar: The Making of Tesseract

Today I came across another post about the CGI used in the film Interstellar, however, this time it was showing how surprisingly little CGI was used.

Warning: Spoilers Ahead. 

In the movie when the main character reaches the center of a black hole he finds himself suspended in time, trapped behind a window, gazing into the past. In this scene he is floating with bookcases surrounding him in a infinite-like pattern.

Anyone would be justified to assume the majority of the set was computer generated; it was. But surprisingly, a good amount of it was actually physical. Below are behind-the-scene shots of the actual set. Thanks to 

I love being able to see the behind the scenes shots of sets and thought these were worth sharing. 

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Weekly Inspiration: Good Your Journey

I came across yet another video on Vimeo that was inspirational. I found the simplicity in this video to be the best, the inspiration for Good Your Journey was the film The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. The animation in this short are all shapes, particles, etc. -- basically everything we've covered in class-- but I find it intriguing how these minor skills in after effects, if executed well, can create an amazing short. Beyond this short animation, Stephen Mlinarcik has linked his personal website to his Vimeo page, I encourage you all to take a look at his webpage, he has not only created animated, directed, and edited shorts but he has also composed, photographed, and performed-- just proving how the media industry is all art, and there is pleasure in being able to be good at multiple formats. 

Friday, April 24, 2015

Math Professor Makes Interactive Projector Video

Matthew Weathers is a math professor that is famous online for creating interactive videos with his projector. His latest video was taken on April Fools Day during one of his classes as a prank:


He has lots of other videos of similar performances on his YouTube channel. It's cool to see the mix of an old school projector and the new technology of an animated video. 

25 Things Motion Graphics Artists Use

This video showcases the various techniques and finishing touches motion graphics artists commonly use to make their work look more professional. As a class, we know how to use most of these already. This was made by Derek Lieu on Vimeo. Here is his blog post breaking down all the techniques in the video so they are easier to follow by reading instead of watching.

25 Simple Tricks for Better Motion Graphics from Derek Lieu on Vimeo.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Audi - Shapeshifter

Over the course of the semester, we have learned varying techniques in After Effects such as motion tracking, compositing, and particles. The tutorials offered by Video Copilot have really served as useful resources from the start to finish of a composition. But, after seeing some of the animation he did for Star Trek's opening title sequence, my eyes were stretched wide open to the endless possibilities in motion graphics and animation. I started doing some research into advertising and how companies actively utilize motion graphics to promote their products. After searching throughout various video sites such as YouTube and Vimeo, I wasn't surprised to find that companies that produced more expensive products (and therefore acquired greater revenues) had the ability to reach out to motion graphics companies to better promote their merchandise. One of the greatest commercials, from what I could find, that incorporated as many aspects of techniques that we've learned in class was the Audi Shapeshifter commercial from 2011.

While the video is 4 years old, it's stylistic approach to graphical design, cohesive transitions, and intense particle construction make the technical aspect of this commercial relevant to similar productions today. Even though the commercial stresses the car's versatility and freedom to adhere to any circumstance, it presents the argument that it be able to out-preform and outlast the competition. Motion graphics and animation don't just focus on technical design; there is always a story to be told. Audi's Shapeshifter commercial was able to successfully entice viewers in a little over two minutes.

Marvel's Daredevil

The Marvel cinematic universe is massive, and it is only getting bigger, with a dozen movies and a dozen more on the way, a couple of cable TV series, and a few series being released on Netflix. One of the most recent additions to this ever growing universe is Marvel's Daredevil, a Netflix original series that had full season released on the streaming sight just two weeks ago.

The series follows the character Matt Murdock, a blind lawyer who beats up criminals at night as the the costumed vigilante known as Daredevil.  I've only gotten into the first two episodes, but so far I'm pretty captivated. Character of Murdock is pretty interesting, the setting of Hell's Kitchen in NYC seems pretty well done, and the choreographed fight scenes are really satisfying. One thing that I thought was really cool, and may interest those in this class, was the title sequence. It's a captivating sequence that makes use of this really interesting melting wax effect.

So if you like Marvel superheroes, gritty backstories, or just watching a bunch of bad guys get the crap beaten out of them, give this series a try.

Batman v Superman

So anybody who has ever seen the wallpaper on my phone or computers can easily tell you that I am a pretty big batman fan, so I was obviously pretty excited when the Batman v Superman Trailer was leaked last weekend. While I'm still pretty hesitant about Ben Affleck taking on the role of the Dark Knight, I am really looking forward to the release of the movie in 2016. While the robotic suit/voice were a little weird and confusing, everything else seems really cool. Check out the trailer for yourself.

The 'Peanuts' Are Back

35 years after the last "Peanuts" feature film and 15 years after creator, Charles M. Schulz, died, a new movie is coming out in November. For this new film, they've gone back to the drawing board to capture the "ethos and art of its creator."

It is computer animated and directed by Steve Martino at 20th Century Fox-owned Blue Sky Studios.

"It's a little retro in a way, but in today's world of animation it feels completely fresh," Martino said. "We're not trying for photorealism or movement where you believe the characters are human. It's a different palette. This is the most complicated creation, to put something up on the screen that looks so simple. I wanted to find that pen line, the wiggle in Charlie Brown's smile."

Craig Schulz, the fourth of Charles Schulz's five children, said, "We always felt like the risk of doing a film and having it be done poorly was not worth the potential gain," Craig said. "But all the studios were knocking on our door."
"It's about preserving a legacy that has tremendous history and not screwing it up," Martino said. "We see that kids meet characters today in feature films in the movie theater, so that's the opportunity. The responsibility is to deliver the experience so that these characters don't change, so that they become a new presentation of what's been wonderful about them for 50 years."

Le Petit Prince

The full length French & English trailers for the Le Petit Prince film were finally released the other day. Considering this is one of my favorite books as well as the book that made me fall in love with the French language, I'm extremely excited.

One of the most interesting and exciting parts of the film is the mixed mediums used to create it. There is a wraparound story of a little girl who is introduced to Le Petit Prince, and this "real world" is created with CG Animation. However, what makes this film truly special, is all the scenes inside the book are stop motion, combining cut paper techniques and wooden dolls.

Not to mention, the French voice actor for Le Petit Prince is exactly the one I imagined.

For those who don't know the story/don't speak French/want to know what's going on, here's the English version as well.

Happy Earth Day: Dear Future Generations...

I'm sure many of you have seen this video featuring the poet Prince Ea, apologizing to future generations about how we stood by and did nothing while the Earth deteriorates around us. The poem was powerful and inspiring but what I think really sold the message was the animation accompanying his words. The animation literally brought his words to life depicting the stories, energy, and emotions of his performance. I really enjoyed this combination of poetry and animation especially the style they used with everything being like white prototypes or ideas. 

And overall it's a strong message too. Check it out if you haven't already seen it on your newsfeed.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Voice Acting With Spongebob

One of the things we never really talked about in this class is what goes behind the scenes in animation (acting wise). It's understandable, since this isn't an audio class or acting class. However, it is interesting to see how the actors become immersed into their roles when they are never even seen on screen. Many voice actors really get into the role during the recording, such as making extreme facial and physical gestures in order to really get the feel of the characters.

Here is a short clip of how some of the actors for Spongebob preparing to get into their roles. Pretty cool!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

The Little Prince

I believe this is the first blog post I've done that hasn't been about superheroes, but I believe, in this case, it's warranted. I just watched the trailer for the upcoming film "The Little Prince", which is linked below. 

This trailer left me absolutely speechless. Not only does it look visually stunning, it seems like it's got a great story. Based on the novella by french author Antoine de Saint-Exupery, this movie gives  a new spin on an old classic. The cast is also stellar, starring great actors such as Jeff Bridges, Rachel McAdams, Ricky Gervais, Paul Giamatti and Paul Rudd. I can't wait to see this film. 


I'm a big fan of the Evan Abrams blogs and I know the LO-FI look is popular, and since we went over titles in this class I feel like this tutorial might be helpful to some of you. Enjoy!

Monday, April 20, 2015

Timelapse Footage

I came across this video Eternal Spectrum on Vimeo the other day and I was completely captivated by the beautiful locations and National parks featured. However, I was more so captivated by the effects of the moving skies and starry nights in the video. I recently learned how to do a similar effect on After Effects and this video served as inspiration. 


Love & Theft

Given the week I thought it would be executable to post something that was a little out there. Love & Theft is a very strange animation that is both beautiful and confusing. There is a lot to be analyzed in this animation however I will leave it up to your interpretation.

I will say that there were a lot of noticeable allusion to popular media such as Hello Kitty, Sponge Bob, Mickey Mouse, and other creations form its maker Filmbilder.

If you haven't check out any of these videos I will be including a few links at the bottom of this post.

The animation in the video is pretty basic and isn't anything super difficult however it does appear to be very time consuming. There is a lot of things going on and it is a 6 minute video. I was very impressed and intrigued by this video which was shared with me by a good friend. I hope to share these videos with all of you. Enjoy!

Some Links 

One Final Lego Movie Post

So, I know that the Lego Movie has been beaten to death on this blog but hear me out one last time. I was on YouTube earlier and stumbled upon a clip that went very in-depth behind the scenes with the creators and the animators who sat down and actually built the entire movie. They talk about how they used actual lego sets and macro images to build all of the buildings and everything in the movie. One thing they talk about is that you can stop any frame and build what you see in the movie because they used all real Lego pieces. They took pieces from the Lego databases and even built the pieces in 3D renderers from existing pieces so they could use them to enhance the story. This video shows the software and them creating the different things and a lot of the minute details, such as the broken spaceman helmet, that were used in the movie. They even talk about how they took a real life broken spaceman one of the creators had and built it specifically for the purposes of using it in the movie. Anyway, here is the video I hope you find it as interesting as I did.