Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Real Time 3D

This weekend my roomate showed me this skate movie which somehow created the illusion of 3D space when skateboarding. What looks like a simple shot is quickly transformed when the camera freezes the subject then quickly pans around you you can see an alternative angle. I searched the web for a behind the scenes video of how they achieved the effect but all and all its pretty cool. My hypothesis is a series of cameras evenly spaced shot instantaneously similar to the first motion pictures. 

Cool Effects

So at the beginning of the semester we did a little audio visualizer animation that was based on the levels of the bass and treble.  Here is an example of an audio visualizer that is much more complicated than that:

Thats pretty cool.  But this is way cooler.

This is a tutorial that shows how to have a frozen in time effect.  This effect can have varying levels of difficulty.  You need to make a way to have a camera do identical motions.  This can be very difficult but there are many ways to do it.  The tutorial has a specific device that does this.  Next you take multiple shots with the camera going in the same motion with just the actors in different places.  Then you simply mask over the shots to combine them in After Effects.  If you don't need to add any 3D elements that are not in the original shots then you are done.  If you do then you need to go into 3D programs and add them.  I get lost at that point but from this tutorial I could make a cool freeze frame that would look pretty cool.

Animation Sound Design

Here's a neat little video about the process of sound designing for animated films.  In this case, the video gives us a behind the scenes look at one of the most popular and well-known animated films from the past few years: WALL-E

Friday, April 26, 2013

Neon Light Text Tutorial

For my final project I am creating a title sequence for the new show Bates Motel, which premiered a few weeks ago on A&E. The show itself doesn't actually have a title sequence, but everyone knows that the best part of a sketchy motel stereotype is the flashing neon sign out front, so I really wanted to include that in my sequence.

As it stands right now, all the text in my project is a flashy neon sign font that I built in After Effects. When I was in the early stages of figuring out how I wanted to arrange my text, I found this tutorial on neon signs and thought it was pretty helpful. Check it out if its something that interests you.

Freezing Time

I like this video not only because of the effects, but also because it talks about more than just that.  It talks about so really cool systems that can be used to control the camera.  With these systems shots can be perfectly duplicated and thus allows an editor countless more options with video effects and essentially giving him a free reign.  The coolest part of the video tough is at the end.  What they do is basically freeze time and move the camera around in it.  From what I have been through in animation from this class, I can really appreciate the amount of time, money and effort that must have gone into making this scene.  I currently don’t know how they did it, but trying to figure it out is half the fun! 

Pixar Uses Maya To Model EVERYTHING

This is one of the cooler videos I've seen about Pixar, and it gets down to the gritty details about how they model their characters in Maya and how they animate them. The big discussion here is the way they can subdivide their shapes into smooth shapes and forms without slowing down the computer at all. All the computing for the real time rendering is calculated on the GPU instead of the CPU so the process is much faster. Definitely worth a look if you're interested in 3D Modeling!

Spy vs. Guy

Red Giant is a plugin and software company that creates software for filmmakers and visual effects artists (Among other things, they are the company behind Trapcode Particular and the Trapcode Suite). For the past few years, they have been creating short films to demonstrate their products.  This is their most recent, demonstrating among other things, their new product Bulletproof.  The short is very well done, funny, and displays some very good visual effects.  Even better, they have included a behind the scenes showing how they achieved their results, as well as the programs they used.

I really enjoyed the short, and it was a great bonus to see behind the scenes as well.

Despicable Me 2

So one movie that I am excited to come out is Despicable Me 2.  The 1st one was hilarious and I cannot wait to see what happens in the third one.  I found a couple of trailers and the movie looks to be just as funny as the first.

From these trailers the movie shows great promise and I can't wait to see it.

History of Motion Graphics

I found a website with some pretty interesting stuff on Motion Graphics and what it is. It has a lot of cool videos from older movies and TV shows (including Adam West). This guy also gets into how he made a demo reel in order to find a job. So I guess Arturo was right for once (just kidding, don't fail me Arturo) that a good demo reel really does get you places. Check it out.


The creator's of Ice Age and Rio are coming out with a new 3D animated film called Epic. The stars who are voices the characters include Aziz Ansari, Christoph Waltz, and Beyonce. Yep I said it, Beyonce. Beyonce voices Queen Tara, who is trying to protect the forest against evil creatures. The film is based the children's book the Leaf Men and the Brave Good Bugs.  The rest of the cast is pretty impressive and it hopefully will be as good as it looks! For some reason I haven't heard much about it but if it's as good as Ice Age was then I bet it will be great.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

The Little Panda Fighter

This fascinating video right here is one part of a movie called, The Little Panda Fighter. If you watch even a few seconds of it, you will notice some similarities to the movie, Kung-Fu Panda. This movie was produced by Video Brinquedo, or Toyland Video in Brazil. There are other movies they produced such as, The Little Cars (rip-off of Cars), Ratatoing (rip-off of Ratatouille), What's Up?: Balloon to the Rescue (rip-off of Up), and much more. These movies are horrible CGI rip-offs of most high-quality movies. If you watch closely, even the lip-syncing is off. You can check this out, or not. I could not stand watching this for more than a few minutes.

E*Trade Baby

This past weekend I was in NYC interviewing for a couple animation/motion graphics internships for the upcoming summer. I interviewed at Click 3X (http://www.click3x.com/), this really cool entertainment company who do the graphics for the Superbowl, the Geico pig commercials and the E*Trade Baby. I got a tour of their studio and office which was really awesome. They have this massive Flame compositing suite with these mega computers for fast rendering.

I really love the E*Trade commercials. I learned they were made by filming babies on green screens and filming older children who read the script. The lips of the older children were composited onto the babies which was then supplemented by the voice actors audio track. A pretty crazy process that produced an almost seamless result.

Game of Thrones - Visual Effects from Season 1

Don't know how many of you watch Game of Thrones but I came across this pretty cool short video that shows scenes from the show before & after the use of VFX.  You can see them using green screen on a number of occasions.   Also, I found a pretty interesting Cracked.com article.  These days, its relatively safe to assume that many outrageous stunts or effects shown in movies are accomplished with computer graphics.  However, the article lists several films that have "amazing special effects" you would think are CGI.

7 Amazing Movie Special Effects You Won't Believe Aren't CGI

Saturday, April 20, 2013

walking dead season three

Here is a little bit more walking dead. This video is a look at some of the season three special effects which in my opinion are a bit more sophisticated that the pervious 2. one thing i like about the walking dead is that they try to use physical effects as much as possible so when you see some one beating the head in of a zombie over and over again its real and the actors can use it for motivation. Watching this video i was glad to see what was "real" and a little disappointed to see what was computers but i still think they do a great job

Friday, April 19, 2013

Corridor Digital - Blood Dragon Before and After

This is an interesting video by Corridor Digital, a before and after of the VFX. A lot of the things that seem to be visual effects are actually practical effects instead, and the added practical elements help to sell the VFX. I like the fact they used a 24K light to simulate the bomb explosion.

Here is the Full Version with the VFX, and below is the before and after video.

Behind the Scenes of Oblivion

Tom Cruise has a new movie coming out today called Oblivion, from Tron:Legacy director Joseph Kosinski. Much like Tron, the film relies heavily on special effects to sell its image. Included in the movie is a massive Sky Tower that is stationed in the clouds, and I found a behind the scenes video describing how they created this Sky Tower for the film. Here is the link to the video (it wouldn't let me embed the video). Pretty cool stuff.


This video is called nope.avi, created by the YouTube user, Jimbomcb. It is a parody animation from the video game, Team Fortress 2. This video was made in 2010, yet it has gained over 7 million views to this date. Throughout the internet, this video was used as a response to many things instead of just saying "nope". This is a random video in my opinion, but watching it for the first time made me chuckle a bit. It's short, it's simple, it's just weird.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

MTV Movie Award Green Screen

This past Sunday the MTV Movie Awards, although not much of an award show just mostly a giant advertisement, aired live. During the show, there was a segment where the host Rebel Wilson green screened herself into movies that were nominated for academy awards. For example, In Les Mis when Anne Hathaway is singing "I dreamed a dream" Rebel inserts herself in the back as "lead whore" and fights with the director. She does this in Life of Pi as well. The green screening was very realistic and looked a lot more professional then mine obviously. Before this class, I would have thought how cool it was that she looked like she was literally in the scene but now I know it's not that hard, all ya need is a good green screen set-up. Unfortunately I can't find any videos of it but I have some pictures of it.

Funny Deaths

So I haven't noticed many people having death sequences in their final project.  But if you did make sure they look nothing like these.  These are some of the worst movie deaths of all time brought to you by WatchMojo.

Some of these deaths are terrible graphics others are terribly dumb, either way avoid making yours look like these.  My personal favorite is this one though.  It makes me laugh every time.

Some tips

Found some tips while I was working on my project. I think the most useful one is pick-whipping the camera to a null object to more easily navigate the camera and focus on what you want. Also includes some useful expressions and fun stuff like that.
Here's the link.

Quick & Simple Flash Tutorials

We have been focusing on working with AE mostly in class but I've been playing around with some of the other programs such as Flash.  I came across this series of demo videos on Reddit that were clean, simple, and informative. 

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Web Animation

I really have a taste for Graffiti Art. England based artist Banksy has a few pieces that I think are pretty cool. Someone took some of his art and made animated GIF's of some of his photos and I think It really adds to the message. The original link can be found here but below is an example.

This would be pretty easy to recreate in Ae with even the puppet tool. 

Laika + ParaNorman

I watched the stop motion feature film "ParaNorman," a couple of weeks ago and really enjoyed it. The film had a very solid story with likeable and relatable characters. The fllm came out of the production company Laika which is a stop motion studio based in Portland, Oregon. Laika also produced the well received film "Coraline," in 2009. "ParaNorman" had a unique aesthetic, different from stop motion classics coming from the Aardman Studios. I find it refreshing seeing a new stop motion company in the states have some success after Aardman has dominated stop motion features for a while.

...and then came MAN

Hey everyone - so I recently was working on a promotional video for Hempstravaganza, which will be happening next week on campus. I created an intro title sequence and dabbled a bit into using Flash to make a hemp plant "grow" out of the corner of the screen. As I was thinking about Flash, I was curious about the extent to which it could benefit animations when used together with other software, such as After Effects. I came across this humorous, but somewhat pessimistic video that was created using both Flash and AE. It shows an entertaining, yet sobering perspective on the effects humans have on the planet. The artist, Steve Cutts, is a freelance animator from the UK that has produced work for brands like Coca-Cola, Bacardi, Reebok and Kellogg's.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

i walking

hi everyone all of our final projects are starting to get do and im doing mine on the walking dead and i carley any way i watched some behind the scenes stuff and i can across some stuff. I make fun of the show but it is a real production and i still think that they deserve some respect

But not as much as the walking dead

Lip-Sync Animation

As an audio-production student, I find myself paying close attention to the sound design of animated works and how the process of audio production is applied - either with voice overs /SFX, etc.  The following link is a behind the scenes look at the voice-over process for the FX show Archer.  Pertaining to the current project, the second video shows the animated intro sequence for Archer, which is pretty interesting.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Hunt for Pikachu

This video breaks down the effects that the creators did in their pikachu video.  I find it amazing all the that these guys go through for the videos they do.  They further it by making tutorials on them.  It’s interesting seeing the stuff that we do in class.  For instance using after effects in various ways and mocha.  I noticed what looked to be the plain tracking from mocha in one of their shots of the cats face.  It’s a very well done video.  

Behind the Scenes of 42

I saw the new Jackie Robinson movie 42 last night, and it was really impressive what they did effects wise to authenticate all the old stadiums and periods. Each season that was portrayed had a different filter for it and they used CGI to recreate all of the old stadiums. Here is a behind the scenes video.

At about the 11 minute mark, you can see some of the footage from the set as it was originally shot. Below is the video of the finished clip from the movie of the scene from the behind the scenes clip posted above:

The PSA That Went Viral

This has been bouncing around online now for a little bit, so you might have seen it already.  Reactions are mixed, some find it funny, some find it dumb.  I thought it was funny when I first saw it, although it has an annoying habit of getting stuck in your head.  Regardless of your opinion of it, it is a very successful animation.  The reason for that is that it is actually a PSA for train safety.  Since the goal of a PSA is exposure, the creators did that by creating an animation designed to go viral, which it did, rather spectacularly.  Four months later, the  best proof of that is the number of knockoffs that you'll find on Youtube.  When I searched it up in order to post it here, these are the other suggestions I got in my search box:

Dumb Ways to Die Youtube Search
Once there's a Minecraft version, you know you're doing something right...
When I clicked through to Youtube, there was even a Harlem Shake version listed.  It's definitely made its mark on the internet.  I don't know how effective its been at preventing train-related injuries, but it has gotten lots of exposure.  Here's some more info about how it was made.

Source: dumbwaystodie.com
Created by: McCann

6 days to air

This is the documentary on the TV show "South Park" that aired a few years ago after the release of the widely successful musical "THe Book of Mormon." This documents Trey Stone and Matt Parker's return to South Park from the musical and the challenges they face in airing a show in 6 days, from the writing process and conceptualization to the final broadcast. The documentary itself shows the animation of the characters in the show, and it also demonstrates the importance of storyboarding your animation before you jump right into it.

The full documentary is on Netflix, check it out!


Just saw this video and became confused at what I just saw, but chuckled a bit.

The video was made by YouTube user, muffinsdotexe. From the looks of this video, it looked like it was made with models from Maya or 3DMax. Probably animated with the same program. I don't know why I brought up this video, but it's short and simple... I guess.

Check it out and you'll like it... or not.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Future of 2D animation

This past Oscar's, Paperman won for best animated short film. Paperman was created by combining 2D classically drawn animation along with CGI 3D animation. The program used to do this is called "Meander" created by Eric Daniels. The drawings of these characters in Paperman were so amazing, they decided it was a waste to not try to animate them and combine it with the CGI. Paperman takes place in Manhattan in 1940 and is in black and white. Currently, 2D animation isn't as popular as it used to be because of the technology advances of 3D CGI. Hopefully in the future they will take this technique of combining 2D and 3D. This type of animation is very nostalgic since it reminds me of all the 50's disney movies I loved so much.

Electromagnetic Spectrum: Radio Waves

This video doesn’t really talk about any animation itself.  Rather, I find the animations in it (used to talk about radio waves) quite impressive.  Although they don’t blow the viewer away with their quality and whatnot, I can really appreciate all the time, effort, and work that went into making this video.  There are some very impressive graphics that use everything from particle generators, to various camera movements.  There are also graphics boards that are animated.  This video is put together very well and allows the viewer to understand what they are talking about.  

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Avid Media Composer 7

Media Composer 7 is coming out soon. Soon being this summer. It comes with a lot of needed improvements to make things easier, and a much needed price cut. One of my favorite things coming with it is being able to work directly in HD from the source. Making more time for editing instead of waiting and resizing files. Check out this article for all of the new features.

AE Song

So I found a song that incorporates pretty much everything we have done in class.

This song is hilarious and with out this class and learning about how to use After Effects I would have not have gotten any of these references.  Watch and enjoy.

Abstract Graphics

Being a huge fan of abstraction and the surreal, I recently came across this amazing video while surfing on ILoveMotion.com The artist is Onar Senturk, an award winning title sequence designer and director from Turkey. This piece, "Triangle", was made for the release of Robert Knoke's art book. It received a half of a million views and was granted an award from Vimeo.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Title Sequence Spoofs

I was watching Around the Horn on ESPN earlier today and they were doing some stuff to spoof Mad Men with the show coming back for its 6th season on Sunday. To open the show, they created their own version of the Mad Men open that was more tailored towards their panelists and sponsors, and it was actually pretty well done. Here's a link to the video.

In addition, the show did something extremely similar when Game of Thrones premiered. They also created a spoof of the title sequence tailored towards their show, and that video can be seen here.

After Effects CS7 Sneak Peeks

The NAB Tradeshow (National Association of Broadcasters) starts tomorrow, which means that for the past week or so, we've been getting hints of what is to come in After Effects CS7.  Here are some of the most exciting features to look forward to.

After Effects + Cinema 4D

image credit: Motionworks

One of the biggest surprises has been a new level of integration between AE and Cinema 4D.  Cinema 4D is a fully featured 3d modeling and rendering system, like Maya or 3DS Max, that has been used in conjunction with After Effects for many years now.  However, for the next release, the After Effects team has joined with Maxon to integrate the to programs even more fully.  Users will now be able to import projects from Cinema 4D directly to After Effects, without rendering the scene beforehand.  This will allow for editing right inside After Effects, and full integration with the built in After Effects cameras.  Furthermore, a Lite version of Cinema 4D will be shipped with After Effects.

Refine Edge Tool

image credit: retooled.net

This is another welcome addition, that continues to push frame by frame rotoscoping into the past.  The roto-brush tool, already a tremendous time saver, will now have tools to automatically deal with highly detailed and fuzzy edges, such as hair or leaves.  This will be a huge advantage over traditional rotoscoping techniques, as these kinds of edges are where rotoscoping started to break down.  In fact, this might be the tool I'm most impatient for.  It would have been extremely useful for our last project!

Other Improvements

There is a whole list of smaller things that have been improved, such as the Warp Stabilizer, the addition of snapping in the viewport, a new search feature for missing footage and other media, and optimizations to both the 2d and 3d tracker.  Needless to say, After Effects CS7 is looking to be an exciting release, and I'm sure we'll hear of more new features as the release date approaches.  You can watch a video demonstrating some of these developments, as well as sneak peeks of other CS products here 


This technology is quite incredible.  The dream of the future and what it holds has always been an exciting idea for people.  Fifty years ago, there was no such thing as television and just the idea of a box that has moving pictures on it was considered crazy.  Now, holographic technology is developing and potentially something that will be accessible to the public in the future.  Adding a whole new dimension to the idea of holograms, this Japanese company is using ultrasonic emitters to add the sensation of pressure and thus touch.  As mentioned in the video, the applications for this are endless and could really revolutionize our lives and the future.  


Alright this is a real throwback but don't a good one worth checking out. Norman McLaren was a Canadian filmmaker who was really revolutionary in the field of Animation. He did a lot of hand drawn work were he would animate directly on celluloid film. McLaren also worked a lot with sound, actually creating soundtracks by marking up film as well.

His 1952 film, Neighbours, actually won him an Oscar for Best Documentary. Neighbours is a lot like a pixelated film using stop motion techniques to animate the characters. Like I said before, McLaren worked a lot with sound, and I love the way the soundtrack of this film interacts with the action. The message of the film is great too. It gets at this idea of the competing neighbors and how sharing is often lost in lieu of possession. McLaren was way ahead of his time, definitely worth checking out his works.

Archer Animation

Recently, I've gotten really into the show animated series, Archer. The animation for this "witty spy spoof" has very realistic cartoons and also pretty graphic. Most animated series when the character clothes are off, don't usually have the normal body parts. This show crosses the line with their raunchiness and animation. They actually based the characters of the show off of models to create the comic book like feel. Also, another reason this show is so great is the actors on the show were on Arrested Development, so you know it has to be funny. I enjoy this animation a lot more then the lazy south park drawings, although this show takes a few months to produce while south park is only a couple hours. A unique style of this show is the 3D background used against the 2D characters.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Baman Piderman

As I chose to do the animation project for my final, I went and looked back at the videos I had favorited on my YouTube account. There were many that could give me ideas on which style to make the animation. It was then I found this video called "Baman Piderman". It's a series of videos parodying Batman and Spiderman, but they're best friends and do silly things. They are available on the MondoMedia YouTube channel.

This is the first episode of the series, only around 30 seconds or so. I want my animation to have a fun animated style, but not like this. This was made in 2009, if I made the animation like this, then it would look rushed and lazy. But you would know what I mean. Something FUN.

CHina IL

so i had a lot of fun today in class with the tablets . It got me thinking about this show China Il . I remembered that i saw that the show used tables in the production of the show. Instead of out sourcing to Koera computers let people compete and create more content

Converting 2D films into 3D

     With the recent zeal in 3D films, many producers of older films want to get more money out of their films by re-releasing them in 3D, films like Titanic, and Jurassic Park to name a few.  I wanted to look into how the process of converting films from their original state to 3D worked.  It is a crazy process that takes a lot of man power and money to accomplish and there are potential pit falls every step of the way.  To start the director of the conversion has to make a decision as to what the depth of the each scene should be.  Then frame by frame a team of artists (300 for Titanic) rotoscope every object in the frame to create a depth map.  This is then used to create 3D models of the scene which are used to help create the stereoscopic image.  There are many possible problems because if the parallax built by the artists does not agree with the other signals people get about depth such as focus and perspective then it can cause discomfort.  Also if the two images that create the 3D effect are not the right distance apart then it can make the audience disoriented and uncomfortable.  Converting Titanic required 450 artists to work for a year and cost over 18,000 dollars, but a cost that was worth the effort, as it grossed over 300 million dollars.

Concert Design

Hey everyone - hope you're enjoying the awesome weather we have today. I came across this incredible video demonstrating the possibilities of motion graphics during live music events. As LEDs become more affordable, there will be plenty of new opportunities for animated graphics and art design to be used during shows. Concert design is a definite career path that anyone who excels in post-production should consider in their future. Demand for workers with skills in motion graphics will definitely continue to rise with new and evolving technology such as this. Soon, it will be even be possible to use three-dimensional graphics and non-planar shapes during concerts. This sweet example of concert design takes place at an event in Japan.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Zombieland: The Series

Yes, that's right, another zombie show is coming. One that hopefully revolves around comedy and killing zombies rather than drama. This new series will occur two weeks after the movie, which ended at the carnival. Being released by Amazon Studios, it will be 30 minute shows for Prime Instant Video. Amazon is testing the show by offering it's pilot, and 13 other shows, for free and having viewers vote on which ones they like. So when this comes out I expect everyone to watch it and vote for it. Or else.

Here's a link to some information, which I totally didn't get most of my information from.

The Walking Dead - Intro

This week I began looking at different films / programs I could design an alternate intro sequence for.  Being a fan of the walking dead, I noticed when I was watching it this weekend that the effects here are not terribly complicated.  The second video is the intro sequence from the animated Adult Swim show, The Venture Bros.  This intro uses some of the techniques we discussed at the beginning of the semester (using textures, stamps, brushes, still photos, etc). Two very different shows, both with some interesting effects.