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.

Thursday, April 16, 2015


I want to share with you all this super interesting video on Vimeo made by Bot & Dolly. They created motion graphics to be projected and mapped onto moving surfaces. They then captured everything you see in the video in-camera, there is no motion graphic editing done to the footage. All the motion graphics you see on the surfaces have already been designed and projected onto the surfaces in real-time as they filmed. Check it out below:

Box from Bot & Dolly on Vimeo.

NAB 2015

It's officially that time of year again. It's time for the National Association of Broadcasters show in Las Vegas. The show, which has been going on since Monday, has been the buzz of the industry as many big names have released some new products. For example, Steadicam released some new rigs, Blackmagic Design released new cameras, routers, monitors, and recorders, and AJA is letting people try their CION Camera for free, no strings attached. For more cool news on NAB releases check out No Film School or B&H Photo Video.

Breakbot - By Your Side Part 2 (Music Video)

I always think back on this particular music video when I try to think about my favorite music videos. There is something that I really like about plain white and black backgrounds and the crisp, simple lines that make up the animation. I always appreciate a nice short & sweet video and this animated music video is the perfect length.

Green Screen Magic

Recently in class, we have been learning how to insert ourselves into scenes from movies and TV shows using green screens. The process has been pretty fun, and it's something that real world productions actually use. One thing that comes to mind is a show I've been watching a lot recently, Fringe. In this science fiction show, the characters have to deal with an alternate universe, including alternate versions of themselves. This often involves scenes where the actors are talking to themselves, sometimes in camera angles that make it nearly impossible to just use a body double.

So they made use of a number of special effects techniques, including green screens, in order to get the actors to appear next to themselves. Sometimes this can be quite the experience for some actors. To get an idea of how working with green screens can be for actors, just take a listen to this interview with Jasika Nicole, who played Agent Astrid Farnsworth.

Studio Ghibli's 'When Marnie Was There'

When Marnie Was There is about a young girl who meets a mysterious girl, Marnie, who changes her life forever. Here is the US Trailer for what may be the last ever Studio Ghibli feature film.

It is directed by Hiromasa Yonebayashi, the director of The Secret World of Arrietty. In the English dub, the voice cast includes Hailee Steinfeld, Kiernan Shipka, Kathy Bates, Geena Davis, Catherine O'Hara, John C. Reilly, Raini Rodriguez, and Vanessa Williams.

It will be released on May 22 in Los Angeles and New York. It will be released nationwide shortly after.

The Story of The Deathly Hollows

Through middle school and high school I really enjoyed the Harry Potter Books and enjoyed seeing the films as they came out. One of my favorites of the series was the Deathly Hollows Part 1 and 2. When I read the books I really enjoyed the idea and story of the three brothers and death. I remember being hypnotized by the story when they made it for the film and now going back to that scene I'm blown away by the animation. It's so fluid and I love the style.  Enjoy!

Side note. As I was reading through the comments of this video there was a theory that Voldemort is the first brother, Snape is the Second, and Harry is the Third.

Tilt Shift Look

Hey everyone! I saw this cool video the other day that I thought looked really beautiful. In my head I was like wow, how did they do that? Only to realize through this class I already know and you do too!

Using the shape tool and applying a fast blur r any other type of blur you can get this effect, which is good to know so it's becoming more and more popular.



THE DANGEROUS ONES - A NINJA LOVE IS BLIND STORY is an animated youtube short film. It is about a minute and thirty seconds long. It is an adorable little work of art that if you can find the 2 minutes to spare might make you laugh. 

The Plot is based around a male ninja dressed in black that is eating at a diner. He turns around and sees a Female Ninja dressed in red and seems to like her. He grabs a flower off of his center piece and approaches her wishing to give her the flower. However, she thinks he is attacking her so she kicks his ass up and down the block. 
Finally after he is laying on the ground in pain she realizes that he was only trying to give her a flower and she reaches out to take it and then a sign that was damages as she was fighting him falls and launches him out into the air. 

Here is a link to the page, Click Here

Also the creator Yutub Maker has a lot of other entertaining content so if you get a chance check out his channel

Burka Avenger

The Superhero industry, has been, for the most part, fairly exclusive since its origins. Most of the characters have been white males who save the day. Although the industry have been becoming more progressive as of late with the introduction of characters such as Kamala Khan as Ms. Marvel, it still has a long way to go. Recently, a Pakastani company released The Burka Avenger, a cartoon about a female, Muslim superhero. Not only will this cartoon serve as a big step forward in the Middle East, it will also offer something for western superhero creators to emulate. I'm very excited to see the full series!

Inside Out

With the release date of Pixar's Inside Out fast approaching, the advertising campaign has begun full swing. TechCrunch recently wrote a fascinating article on the challenges of the film, highlighting on the technical achievements made throughout production.

From having to design two distinctive worlds and a character who acts as a light source, it is interesting to read about the technology that went into creating these characters. As the article points out, the goal is that the audience doesn't notice all of these components. While I've had my questions about the concept behind the film itself, I'm still excited to see it come June.

Hockey Glass ads

The Stanley Cup playoffs started last night and in this day and age when advertising dollars are pretty much the sole reason why any sporting event is on tv, executives are looking for more and more creative ways to get their company's name out there. For years there have been sponsored penalty boxes and intermission reports in hockey, but the newest innovation that has been making its way around the league this season has been advertisements on the glass behind the goals.
These advertisements use the same technology that NFL broadcasts have been using for years to bring the yellow first down marker, but hockey broadcasts have taken it to a new level with these ads. This is another way for the broadcasts to generate revenue for the broadcasts and for company's to be creative and get their name out there for an extended period of the game rather than just a board sponsor which is hardly ever seen because of the nature of the sport.

Toy Story 4

I know I'm pretty late to this, but I recently discovered that they are making a fourth Toy Story movie. It is slated to come out on June 16, 2017 and still retain Tom Hanks and Tim Allen as Woody and Buzz Lightyear. The first Toy Story movie is probably my favorite childhood movie of all time, which brings back crazy feelings of nostalgia whenever it happens to be on TV. As a child, one of my favorite things about the movie was the animation and graphics. For whatever reason I always loved the way the characters interacted with each other. It seemed so seamless and realistic; most of the time it felt like I was watching a live-action movie. Anyway, I'm super pumped for this next iteration in the Toy Story franchise. Pixar films will always hold a special place in my heart, as I grew up watching many of the classics.