Thursday, February 28, 2013


This video I very cool actually.  To start, the concept of a holographic watch is a wicked cool concept.  Secondly, the execution of making this concept into a video was done very professionally.  We can see that the author(s) is (are) of college age and are very knowledgable and skilled with video making and animation.  The best part of this whole thing though, is that they used mocha to do this.  Not only do they show you what they are doing, but they also allow you to follow along.  For not being a tutorial, I feel that there was a good balance of showing you what they did and how they did it.  I would love to be able to apply this kind of stuff in my work.  


     There is form of film making in which the entire film is made using game engines, and the characters within a game to create movies.  These films are called Machinima, a blend of machine and cinema.  People use all kinds of games to create the movies.  The first was the original Doom game, people would use the multiplayer characters to act within the game and record their stories.  Second Life is one of the most prevelent games engines to be used as a movie platform.  Within the game people create sets, organize actors, make costumes and film stories.  One of the first narrative stories created was Silver Bells and Golden Spurs, a short story based on a poem set in the Wild West.

Another well known Machinima production is the red vs. blue series that uses Halo characters as actors.
This is a unique and growing field, there is even an annual Machinima film festival held in New York.  Perhaps more and more production will be created this way as your crew and talent can be anywhere in the world but still meet on the digital set.  

screen size

hey just for everyone to know here is the info for the screen size on the 700 for pi

Jumbo size 4.3-inch flip-out LCD panel

Complementing the new high resolution viewfinder is a large LCD flip out monitor that can be used in recording, playback, clip management, and menu operation. Cross-key control makes menu navigation a breeze. The interface is very intuitive, with up down/left-right buttons on the same control disk. Selections are made by pressing the center of the disk. When in the camera mode, a blue LED lamp outlines the disk. When in the media playback/management mode, the color changes to green. A Red display indicates that the camera is in the USB or IEEE-1394 (slave) mode. (The LED can be turned off with a menu choice.)
Extensive image customization is available. Thanks to the oversize monitor screen, the user see changes to the image as the setting is being made, eliminating guesswork. Individual user settings are stored on an SDHC card and may be restored to any GY-HM700 camera.

Making of 'Sin City'

I'm sure most of you have seen the film Sin City, if not read one or several of the comics the film was based on. The animation techniques used in the film give it an aesthetic quality that resembles film noir, while integrating the style of Frank Miller's graphic novels as heavily as possible. Since we are going to be working with green screens, rotoscoping and compositing, I thought it'd be interesting to share how Robert Rodriguez so uniquely captured the essence of the Sin City comics in the film. The use of florescent colored tape and paint while shooting was definitely one of the most intriguing strategies used by Rodriguez. He used it to capture various moments where a high-contrast white was appropriate to match certain elements present in the original artwork (i.e. blood, Marv's bandages, Kevin's glasses, etc.) By shining a blue light against that particular color, it would glow brightly as a result, and a matte could be pulled while in post so that the color could be changed. Also interesting... Elijah Wood's (Kevin) chin was shifted in post-production to create a more haunting look.

Making of Sin City from World of Motion on Vimeo.

Partly Cloudy

Pixar's use of 3D animation is incredible, but you also have to admire their knack for story telling. In just 2 minutes, the creators of this piece were able to develop character, create a conflict, and convey a message. And how inventive is this short! It takes an entirely unique look at the classic stork story by developing character out of a creature conjuring cloud. I think one of the powers of animation is to create characters out of the inanimate and this piece represents that greatly. In no other medium could you create a character out of a cloud and convey such emotion through this character. I think story-tellers of all forms could learn a lot about conflict and character arc through Pixar shorts.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013


One of my favorite YouTube channels is Tobuscus. They create hilarious videos and commercial parodies. It's mostly crappy camera work and quick animations but I can't help but laugh at the content of the message. One of my favorite videos is the one for Farmville.

My favorite parody commercial by them is their version of Orangina.

Their videos mostly make fun of Facebook games and other random crap thrown in there. I would have to say my favorite part of them is how they are written. Most random things are hilarious and these guys have mastered being random and making it funny.

Friday, February 22, 2013

To This Day - Animation & Kinetic Typography

This animation is breathtaking and emotional. The narration is a poem about bullying and the narrators experience with dealing with the hardships and the effects that come with being bullied. The moral of the video is that everyone who tells you that you are nothing, they are wrong. These words are so powerful, and the animation is as reinforcing as anything. It brings the poem to life in the best and worst ways. The video itself consists of hand-drawn, 2D and 3D animation, ranging in different styles and methods of animation.

Take some time to appreciate this, because the animation forces you to interpret the metaphors and imagery that is described by the poem as literal, and this can definitely help people who are feeling depressed or even suicidal. I wonder how many lives this video itself has saved?

Mocha and Tablets

On Thursday when we worked with Mocha, I had a bit of trouble in my clip with some tracking. I had a clip of a mobile device and there was a lot of activity around it so the program did not track perfectly. I found this on the internet and even though it was designed for CS5 it still seems to be decently effective. I've still got some work to do on the project file I started, but it was definitely a step in the right direction. Video is below:

puppets in after effects

so i really like hishe they use after effect and photo shop to create basically puppets that the move around with anchor

here we see the hishe guy painting one of his puppets in photoshop, he uses layers to paint and the head, hair on head arms and legs are all different layers so that he can move them freely. i think it would be fun to play around with puppets like this in after effects so im practicing my drawing so one day i can live my dream of messing around for no reason with a puppet in stead of studying

Balloon Animals

This video is quite funny actually.  Even the most viewers would probably be able to tell that it’s not real, thats what makes it humorous.  Despite being able to tell that this is fake, the animation is considerable good (or at least something considerable complex for my knowledge level at this point).  What they did was take real animals, make them into animations, and then ‘balloon’ them.  In a few parts, they show the animals either bouncing or floating, which I find to be quite realistic.  The water itself even looks kind of real, which I know is something hard to achieve with animation.  All in all, this is quite an interesting and funny piece of work.  


From last class, we learned about using Mocha and the effects we can do on it. When Arturo brought up the subject of rotoscoping, it reminded me of a certain YouTuber who did that. This video features an introduction done by JonTron, a well-known YouTuber who does video game review videos. In this intro, you see the man walking down the street and his parrot. But there is a rotoscoping effect used here, so you see images replacing the silhouette of the two.

Ever since I saw this for the first time, I wanted to do the same thing. By learning more about Mocha, I'm sure it's possible to do this.

At first, I thought he just wore a green suit and used a chroma key effect. But that would bring up a question of how he keyed the parrot...

Thursday, February 21, 2013

History of Visual Effects

So after Arturo's blog showed us some of  Len  Lye's work I decided to search for other old visual effects.  I came across this video that shows the progression of visual effects from 1900 till today.  It is really interesting to see how far effects have come and to see that some techniques are still used today.

 The first movie shown is The Enchanted Drawing which was directed by J. Stuart Blackton.  It is just a video of an artist drawing a face and a bottle of wine and then he takes the wine and the man gets sad.  This seems like the most simplest idea, but I am sure if I had watched it back in 1900 I would have sworn it has witchcraft.  Even though today it would be basic it still took a lot of imagination to come up with an idea like that.


Grizzly Bear Music Video

A couple years ago, one of my favorite bands Grizzly Bear came out with a music video to their song Ready, Able. I know I posted a claymation video last week, but this one is really amazing too. The main character in this is a weird creature whose body is always moving. This goes as well for the other animals in the music video. This must have taken so long to make since little corners on them are constantly going up and down. They also show the creatures melting and being created, or getting bigger and smaller. This tedious claymation has an eery effect when they show a row of faces melting in and out as well. The colors of the clay also stand out and blend together really beautifully. I really want to make a music video using claymation, not to this extent but something similar. The claymation in this doesn’t have anything to do with the song, but creates a compelling effect. You almost start to pity this creature, who looks so helpless and lonely. 

Music Visualizer

Hey all. For my name animation, I'm working with audio quite a bit. One of the elements of my piece is EQ bars that are set to the bass, mid and treble frequencies in the track I'm working with. So, I thought I'd explore some other examples of music visualizers that used expressions similarly to the methods we learned in class. This one is really intricate and visually breathtaking, while at the same time you can still understand HOW it was made. The artist is Matthias Müller. He used 3ds max, After Effects, Krakatoa and fumefx.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Motion Graphics Archeology

"One of my art teachers put me onto trying to find my own art theory. After many morning idea hit me that seemed like a complete revelation. It was to compose motion, just as musicians compose sound. The idea was to lead me far, far away from wanting to excel in...traditional art."

Len Lye (1901 - 1980) Painter, poet, sculptor, kinetic artist can be considered as one of the hundred great innovators of twentieth century art with artists such as Picasso, Duchamp and Brancusi.

He was one of the first artist to make films without a camera in the 1930's by drawing and scratching directly on celluloid and using Technicolor to extract patterns that expressed kinetic energy and feelings.

He once wrote: "There has never been a great film unless it was created in the spirit of the experimental film-maker. All great films contribute something original in manner or treatment".

He was born in Christchurch , New Zealand in 1901. You can see the influence that the art of the Maori, the indigenous people of New Zealand had on his early work. He studied the dance rituals of Polynesia and the Australian Aborigines and became involved with film-making which was an ideal medium to express his ideas about motion.

His first film, Tusalava, (London ,1929), was a semi-abstract animated film influenced not only by modernism, in particular the Futurists that were doing similar experiments but also by the art of Samoa, the Maori and the aboriginal people of Australia where he had spent several years in the early 1920's.

I have not found a copy of the film with the original soundtrack. Seems logical that he might have used some aboriginal sounds or rhythms from Maori but I also played it with a Django Reindhardt tune and it is a perfect sync! Django and Stéphane Grapelli were revolutionizing music at around that time so it just seemed appropriate. This type of semi abstract animation will probably synch with almost anything with a pattern, of course the soundtrack will change the feeling or interpretation. 

As you can see, motion graphics is nothing new!:-)

Look also:

The Dude Abides

For all you Big Lebowski fans this has got to be a very memorable scene. This sequence is the Dude's dream/hallucination right after he's been drugged by Jackie Treehorn. This dream scene has it all. The Dude dancing on checkerboard floors. Saddam Hussein bowling attendant. The ridiculous bowling pin dancing women. I love how the Coen Brothers can make such gritty films like "No Country for Old Men," and "Millers Crossing," and also make this stuff with blatant sexual imagery and absurd choreography. As far as the graphics go there is a lot of green screen use and compositing. There is a great making-of section on the DVD which goes into detail of how they filmed the Dude sliding on the bowling track under the women. For those who haven't seen the film or are interested, check it out.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Brad Bird on Directing

Lately I have focused my attention to the job market for after my departure from school. Past classes in the Park School have required me to Produce, Direct, Edit, and Film short films. Taking this class has made me investigate the roles of Producers and Directors for animated projects. Although its still a movie, the direction and leadership required of some of these roles is quite different when working completely digitally. I found this cool video of Brad Bird a director at Pixar. His work includes Brave, Toy Story 3, and UP. He also has past work on the Simpsons. Its pretty interesting to hear about his management style and he has some good advice for future professionals.

Check out this clip (embedding is not allowed): Pixar

His IMDB can also be seen Here


I've never been too into cameras, I'm more of an editing/computer guy, but I heard about this camera and had to look into it. The camera is called Blackmagic Cinema Camera, and from the sounds of it, this camera is amazing, with an even more amazing price. The price of this camera is about $3,000. Much less expensive than the cameras we have here.

Probably the coolest feature (to me) is the format it can record in. It includes information that can be compatible with the editing system you'll be using. It also includes a screen to enter the shot number, scene number, and timecode.

It is able to change lenses based on what you're doing, and has perfect quality to make anything look like an actual film. Probably even better with all of this is it includes DaVinci Resolve (color correcting software) and Ultrascope.

I can't wait to see what people with even small budgets will be able to do with a camera like this. Personally if I had the money, I would be buying it right now so I don't have to worry about paying the school more than twice that amount for one of their cameras.


     After our work in class on green screen I thought that I would do some research on a new technology in the keying world.  The base of the new technology is a new fabric that is made up of thousands of small glass balls, that are coated in aluminum, called Chromatte.  This creates a retro-reflective material that reflects light in the same plane that it receives light.  The second part of the technology is an LED ring that goes around the lens of a camera.  This green or blue light ring hits the fabric with colored light that is then reflected back into the lens, creating green screen effect.   The LED's do not cast colored light onto the subject however because they are not strong enough.  This technology allows for a really clean key with no spill or issues with reflected light and shadows, and the subject can be close to the wall.  Another benefit is that you can light the subject  in any way without needing to worry about getting the background light even and flat.  The fabric is expensive, but it creates a lot of opportunities for creativity that were previously impossible.

After Effects Scavenger Hunt

Not sure how many of us were already aware of this, but I figured I would share in case anybody wanted to participate.  Adobe has announced a sweepstakes that starts today and ends in March.  Anyone who participates has the chance to win some pretty sweet prizes such as the Complete Studio Bundle from VideoCopilot.  Here is the link to the official page with all the details.  Good luck!

Ae & Me Scavenger Hunt: Official Rules 

Also - unrelated...but I came across this article about ancient animation in Iran and thought it was pretty interesting.  Its wild to think that even ancient societies were looking for ways to create animated images.  Anyway, here's the article if you want to check it out.

Oldest Animation Discovered in Iran

Friday, February 15, 2013

It's Always Fun To Blow Stuff Up

When we were working on the birds flying in class on Thursday there was a lot of talk about setting things on fire and blowing stuff up. I was in the middle of doing a tutorial on Video Co-Pilot so I wasn't able to look into it too much. Therefore earlier today I took a bit of a look at some cool tutorials on how to blow some buildings up. Here's a short one:

And here's another one that blows up the Statue of Liberty. I didn't look into it too much, but I will definitely look to explore it more as time goes on:

Film Riot - Helicopter!

Although this effect itself isn’t all that complicated (or at least seemingly not too complicated), I find it to be very impressive.  The way the production team put this piece together is pretty spectacular!  I love the fact that they didn’t only show you what their (final) product was, but also how to do it.  This group, “filmriot” appear to have countless videos for how to add things to your production.  What makes this even nicer is that they show people who are ‘amateur’ film makers, aka low budget productions or the at home movie maker type of person.  On a side note, their intro sequence is phenomenal as well!  I love everything that they have going on.  I feel that they found a very good balance of too much vs too little, making it just right!  I really like this filmriot page!

Extensive FX Test

This video was made by a guy named David Paplia, under the YouTube username, Nephuxs. This features the use of many special effects from VideoCopilot.

On the description, it says "Background removal, motion tracking, 3D models, I did it all based on the tutorials provided by VideoCopilot. Also used Optical Flares, Action Essentials 2, and some other goodies".

It also shows the "Before" clip used at the 0:13 mark. It seems that adding sound effects, 3D ships, and other stuff from Star Wars, especially the Wilhelm scream, makes a difference in a video.

Mark Twain Claymation

Before you watch this video, just know that this is some really creepy claymation. I personally find it really interesting but some people might get kind of bugged out from it. This 5 minute claymation is based off of Mark Twain’s Mysterious Stranger. It’s the story of three characters who meet a strange creature (satan?) who basically points out the flaws of human nature and our society in general. It’s a very dark piece but the animation is amazing. I can’t imagine how long this video took to make. I saw this video one night on adult swim really late at night once, and thought I was dreaming. “Life itself is only a vision, a dream, nothing exists  save empty space and you” is the closing line in this video and directly out of Mark Twains story. Check it out if you're into satan or claymation 

Transforming Train Whaddup

So this an animation done by some dude named Dan Tremont, an animator who is skilled as any I've ever stumbled across online. This is a simple, 12 second animation that showcases the animators talent for texturing, modeling and animating a very interesting sequence. This probably took a long time to render, but I'd say it probably landed him a few jobs. Maybe he can make the next Transformers movie better than the last two God-awful pieces of "cinema." But I digress, here's the vid:

 Tell me that isn't awesome.

It's simple, yet totally effective. It's a stylized animation, not super realistic where this could be in a Transformers/Battleship movie, but simple enough to get the point across. That's what the best short VFX clips do: they showcase the author's talent.

But here's a friendly reminder that sometimes the best visual effects are no visual effects at all (miniatures and practicals)  :) 

Star Wars meets Dragon Ball Z

So growing up, some my favorites movies were the original Star Wars Triology and one my favorite TV shows was Dragon Ball Z.  So why not combine them.  What other way to do this than with After Effects right?

I think that they did a pretty good job with the graphics, but like most instances where two good things are combined, the story line suffers (there is no story). Here is a perfect example of two cool things combining to suck:

Not only does the story line suck in this one but the graphics do as well.  For everyone who just watched this I am sorry.  Chances are your IQ just dropped 10 points.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

The Dark Knight Rises

Everyone knows (and most love) Christopher Nolan's "Dark Knight" trilogy. While I'm personally not a major fan of most conventional comic book adaptations (i.e. Captain America, Iron Man, Superman), I believe this trilogy was captured extremely well both aesthetically and in terms of story structure - for that, I have a special place in my heart for it. Part of what made these films so pleasing to the eye was the balanced, yet spectacular use of special effects animations. Here is a fan produced title sequence that offers a unique approach to introducing the last film of the series. The designer is Dogan Can Gundogdu, a communication design student from Turkey. It was part of a class project, which is surprising considering how advanced it is. He started received job offers almost immediately after releasing it online. Here is the material rendering of the mask:

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Toy Story - Live Action

Toy story has become a classic movie of our generation with its cutting edge graphics and editing techniques to tell a story. Two fans Jonason Pauley (19) and Jesse Perotta (21) wanted to visit the facility where it was all created. Unfortunately for them Pixar does not let any visitors in unless they have done something fantastic. So armed with $1000 and 150 friends they created a shot for shot live action remake of the entire movie. The result is quite spectacular and the effort that must have been put forth is immense. What I find to be interesting is seeing this story told without animation. The characters are literally less animated with no facial expressions or fluid movement. This makes the scenes less believable and its harder to connect with the characters. That aside it is a very cool project and definitely worth a look. 

Aside: They learned yesterday they get to tour pixar.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Chris Landreth's - Ryan (2004)

Ryan Larkin was an influential Canadian animator who made several amazing compositions including the 1969 Oscar-nominated short, Walking.  Chris Landreth's film, Ryan, briefly explores the life and career of Ryan Larkin through interesting and unique animation techniques.  Below is the full movie:

bad sound can kill animation

So i was browsing the internet last night and i found this Simpson's  short

It's pretty bad. It's new age Simpsons jokes that come too infrequently and are not funny enough to make the viewer laugh but there is also a huge flaw in the way this short was put together. If you watch it you see the sound isn't mixed well and many part just seem to drag on forever since there is no music or anything over it. It really goes to show that graphic need sound to keep us entertained. I'd recommend watching this one but be warned it can be uncomfortable to watch at times

Monday, February 11, 2013

Fantastic closing credits

This past weekend I watched "Blue Valentine" and was completely blown away by the closing credits. Normally I don't watch credits to the end but I felt so compelled to watch the entirety of this film. I think the role of the closing credits is to make the viewer reflect on the film they just watched, and these credits do just that. 

SPOILER ALERT. The ending to "Blue Valentine" is really sad. I'm usually not the sappy, romantic type but this film really hit home for me and the closing credits really drove home this melancholy, depressing feeling. 

 I love how the fireworks effect is used to reveal fragments of still images of the two main characters, Dean and Cindy. Not only is the effect really beautiful, the fireworks also serve as a visual metaphor to the passionate and tumultuous relationship the two had. And on top of that, the effect syncs to this really emotional musical track. 

 I'd love to learn how to produce this effect. I'm just guessing, but I think the effect can be mimicked in After Effects with a particle playground that is linked to the exposure of a layer. 

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Danger Planet

Danger Planet from Justin Burks on Vimeo.

This animation is called "Danger Planet," an animation made by a student in college. It contains no dialogue, yet the character developments are so rich and deep with the visual landscape that it creates. The animation itself is nearly flawless and the character designs are inspirational and beatutiful. The fact that their eyes tell the story through expressions is genius.

Sorry this is late, my internet literally just started working again. I hate Apogee with a passion.
hey a little late because of the snow but here is my blog post i know last class we focused more on the effects for real shots but i really like my internet cartoons

this is an interview with the guys that make, well made homestar runner i don't think they have updated the cite in 5 or so years but they just started out making things as a hobby and made my favorite web series. I'm betting you guys al know about homestar runner but i drove back to campus witha kid who has never heard of it so.... if you've never seen it check it out.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Mega64: TODD & AARON'S GAME AWARDS 2012!!!!!!!!!

While the title of the video may seem a bit... insane, this video shows a lot of what we did in class on Thursday.

This video was made by Todd and Aaron of Mega64, a series of videos that would combine video games and the real world together.

As you watch the video, you can easily see that the guys are using a Green Screen. It's possible that this video was edited with color keying in After Effect or any other editing software. In some parts of the video, there has been a "Track Camera" motion used as the background would move with the characters (mostly in the end of the video).

This video is about two guys yelling and over-exaggerating about what's the best game, characters and more hilarious things.

I suggest you check this video out, but beware, there is some colorful language!

Holy Green Screens, Batman!

When George Lucas set out to make the Star Wars prequels in 1999, he used green screens to help bring his vision to life. He simply put his actors in an entirely green environment and had his VFX team create alien worlds such as Kamino and Mustafar.

We all know that green screens and chroma keying is a common practice to for all sci-fi and fantasy films. How else could’ve Lucas created a planet covered entirely in ocean, or make two Jedi go floating down a river of lava? (Well, he could have done it practically, but CGI makes sense here). But did you know that even the simplest scenes, like two guys sitting on some steps of a building in NYC, are green screened?
Check out the video below, it is fascinatingly eye-opening.

In class on Thursday we learned HOW to key things out, but I never knew the emphasis some productions put on keying. It's quite remarkable.

Green Screen Spill Suppression

Right after going over how to key in class, I stumbled across this in depth tutorial about how to finesse the color cast that can sometimes be a problem when shooting on green screen.  This is a very in-depth tutorial, covered in two parts, that goes over different methods of removing green screen spill in After Effects.  Unfortunately, I'm having a hard time embedding the videos, because they are unlisted, but you can watch both of them here.

I particularly like how this tutorial covers so many different techniques to achieve the same result, as well as advice about when to use them.  Furthermore, the most advanced technique (limiting the green channel based on the average of the red and blue values) is explained clearly and with a lot of attention to the mechanics behind it.

The red-blue average method also has a plugin that you can download to achieve the same result on a single layer, which is very convenient.  This plugin also looks useful for further green screen effects, because it allows you to create an alpha channel based on just the spill light.  There are a lot of possibilites that this opens up, including using it to create a light wrap effect to further integrate green screen footage into a composition.

Avengers Special Effects

Going off of the green screen stuff we looked at in class on Friday, I went to youtube to look at some more advanced tutorials for some green screen effects. I came across a few stills from the Avengers, and then found a link to this behind the scenes video about some of the effects done by Industrial Light and Magic. If only we have the budget and hardware to do something like this...


    I just saw a few videos using this technique of animation and I thought I would look into how its done.  It seems that there are two main ways of creating a pixilation.  The first way is to arrange your subjects and photograph them, them move them and photograph them, sort of like stop-motion with real people.  The other way is to take a video and then in post remove individual frames to achieve the same look.  It is cool because you can manipulate the shots to make it seem like people are flying above the ground by filming them jumping at the camera and then take out all the shots of them except the ones when they are in the air.  This is one example of many effects you can achieve by using pixilation.  Below are a few examples that I found of this technique.

Luminaris from Juan Pablo Zaramella on Vimeo.


I was fooling around on you tube when I stumbled upon a couple really cool videos. First is Rising by Mikros Siggraph.  Rising was an amazingly done video of a caterpillar becoming a butterfly.  I thought the caterpillar and the cocoon were perfectly done but I thought when the butterfly was flapping its wings it looked looked  a little weird, almost mechanical.  But who am I to judge I don't think I could do it any better.

Next is a video called Origin of Creatures by Floris Kaayk.  This is a really cool video where all different types of body parts work together to try and create one large structure.  It must have been really hard and time consuming to put this together.  To see the different body parts separated from a regular body is really freaky to me.  But the part that I found most disturbing was the creature that gave birth to the other ones.  I'm not sure why it bothered me so much, maybe the way it vibrated, but it just did not seem right to me.

Both of these are cool videos and are really well done.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Frozen Morning

I find the effects/animations used in this commercial absolutely fantastic!  I would love to learn how to freeze objects in midair, along with freezing people.  Even more so, the talent is able to interact with all of these things!  I am absolutely blown away by this.  I feel that the perplexity of this perplexing thing must be enormous and potentially quite expensive to do.  I love the look of the camera moving around with these items stuck in a three dimensional space.  The change in perspective makes me wonder if the items in the air are computer generated or if they are actual item in frozen frames.  The human interactions aren’t as good, but are still convincing most of the time.  I think it would be very interesting to learn how they did this effect/how we could do it.  


I've been really thinking about how much music can impact the animations you decide to create, sometimes even shaping the overarching themes in their entirety. So - here's a music video from the Australian EDM group 'Pendulum'. It uses some pretty interesting 3D animations and color effects, so I thought I'd share. You can see a planet (or... something like it) throughout the video that slowly moves around a giant lighted orb of some sort (star?), until eventually these giant rays of light that it's shooting bust the planet open. Pretty sweet stuff. And the track is awesome too.


This short animated film is directed by a group who calls themselves H5. Although it’s 16 minutes I highly recommend everyone to take some time out of their night and  watch this. It won an Academy Award for Best Animated Short film and won the Prix Kodak at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival. Immediately the first thing you’ll notice is all the different logos. In total, this movie used 2,500 different logos/mascots. The extensive use of these logos is a statement of what our society is becoming or what will come. We are run by these major corporations whether we realize it or not. The main characters in this film are all logos from different companies and of course the evil character is Ronald McDonald. The police are trying to take him down because he’s on a shooting spree but simultaneously an earthquake begins and the entire city of Los Angeles falls to pieces and everything explodes and ends. This is a powerful statement about the world we live in and the inevitable demise of it.  Other then the messages, the animation is amazing in this film. The logos come to life and are just as exact as the real ones. 

[adult swim] - A Look Behind the Scenes

Adult Swim has been around for the past 12 years and has graced our television sets with dozens of various animated series.  Not everyone appreciates the humor, but I think we can all appreciate the wide variety of animation Adult Swim offers which go way beyond traditional ideas for animated series.  Below are a few videos I found interesting that give a behind-the-scenes look at the animation studios who make these shows, and some of the process involved in creating them.  The first is a behind the scenes look at the animation process for the Adult Swim show, Squidbillies.  The second video looks at the animation studio.  The language is a little..well..there's a reason these shows only come on so late at night.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Zombie Effects

One of the things I'm interested in After Effects is altering how people look. I have always liked how demons, vampires, and other weird human-like creatures are made in After Effects. Some of my favorite movies that do this are Van Helsing and Dawn of the Dead. Even something as simple as altering somethings face or color correcting a person can help a film make the impact that it wants.

Zombie Effect

Demon Face (even though it looks like an alien to me)

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Name Animation

This week I began to concentrate on what I wanted my name to look like for my reel. I stared with my favorite animated title sequence. "The Art of Flight" is a 12 million dollar snowboard movie sponsored by Red Bull and created by Brain Farm Cinema. The title sequence really stands out because of how well they blend the animation into the live action. Originally I wanted to emulate one cut where a piece of wax splatters revealing the Red Bull Brand. 

After some research I found the company that was hired to to the sequence called Helio Collective. After watching their reel found here, I found a piece done for Dakine which I though would look a lot cooler. 

So this is my goal:

Dakine animated logo from Helio Collective on Vimeo.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Superbowl Commercials

Everybody loves Superbowl commercials. They have become so popular that the commercials are almost bigger than the game itself. Whether this has something to do with America's incessant commercialism is an issue to tackle on a different blog. What I couldn't help but notice this year was the massive use of motion graphics. You'd be hard pressed to find just one commercial that didn't employ some use of computer graphics or animation. Here are three commercials from this year that used 3D animation and particle systems for sure:

Friday, February 1, 2013

After Effects - Music and Visualization

So after Thursday's class I kept playing around with some of the expressions that we had worked with, and was interested in expanding the music pairing's that we had made. After getting absolutely nowhere for a while, I went onto Youtube and started looking for tutorials of different cool things to do with music in After Effects. I came across these two videos:

I chose to post these two because the music in each varies, so I thought it would be cool to compare them both. I haven't found a tutorial yet, mostly because after I found these I spent a bunch of time watching other music visualizations created in After Effects.

Disney's "Lion King" - in 3D!

The creator of this video is from this page on Tumblr. It is also accessible on YouTube, which is uploaded by Lifesuit.

This video parodies a memorable scene in the movie, "The Lion King", in which a certain character dies from betrayal. While the movie version was emotional, this version changes everything. At it looks like the creator used 3D models of the lions and animated them (with a bit of the puppet tool being used that you'll see in 0:13).

My guess is that the models could've been used in Blender or Milkshake 3D possibly with some puppet tool editing in Flash or Affect Effects.

The weird thing about this video is that it gained over a million views in less than a week. I understand why, it's too hilarious that you would just watch it again and again. Even though the animation is not impressive at all, it does well in humor in my opinion.

I suggest you all check it out, especially if you've already seen the movie.

Bonobo Music Video

I’m into all different types of music, but recently I’ve been getting into trip hop and other electronic types of music. I recently came across a music video for this song “Cirrus” by Bonobo and the music video blew me away. This music video takes old clips from old 1950 films and creates a collage of moving images. Although it starts off pretty normal it takes a huge turn fast and the creator layers all the original clips we saw on top of each other. One thing that I really like about this video is the clips move to the beat of the song. It makes the clips flow really well and not look as random. It’s also really interesting they were able to pan on the images, it created a cool effect. Creating music videos like these are something I’m extremely interested in, I hope I can get editing skills like these someday.  I think we began to sort of work on something like this, with moving the square to the bass/treble of the song. Although this video has kind of a creepy/eery feeling it’s definitely fun to watch and plays with your head.