Saturday, August 31, 2013

Useful Links

Over the summer I worked a lot on scripting and expressions. So I thought I would provide everyone with some of the links I found most useful.

This link is for scripting basics and the author gets into some cool aspects of sine and cosine.

This one goes more into expressions and when they are useful, and when not to use them. It also provides some basic expressions that can help you to understand what they do.

I would suggest practicing expressions earlier as they can save you a lot of time and headaches. Scripting is a bit more complicated and you will probably have to read through it a few times to fully grasp what's going on.

Hey guys, my name is Hugo and I'm really excited about taking MG&A and working in After Effects and Maya.  I'm hoping to learn a lot this semester, so hopefully by the end of it I'll be able to create some title sequences of my own, but for now I'll leave you with this piece I really enjoy.

This is Superbad's opening credits sequence. I really enjoy the retro style and the simplicity of it, plus it's a lot of fun watching Michael Cera's and Jonah Hill's "dance moves".

Also, some of you might have already seen this, but this is a cool short called "A History Of The Title Sequence." It's actually supposed to be the titles for a fictitious documentary about - of course - the history of the title sequences. It shows the names of some iconic designers while referring to some elements and characteristics of their different styles.

A History Of The Title Sequence from From Form on Vimeo.

Friday, August 30, 2013

I may be super late to this party but over the summer for the first time I watch the Movie Avatar by written an directed by james cameron I originally wrote the film off as a block buster that i wouldn't be interested with too much cgi. but when i watched it i found my self happily surprised with the movie and even got a little teary eyed at certain points it was only after i was done watching the film that i realized i forgot that so much of the movie was basicly a cgi cartoon that really blew my mind because normally i can pick up on things like that. that movie came out almost 5 years ago its exciting to know that motion capture and animation technology has advanced beyond even that.

First post, graphics tutorial on camera tracking abilities in AE CS6 and final short film result.

My name is Joel Mastrantuono and am really looking forward to learning programs such as after effects and many others this semester, so I figured for my first post, I would post a tutorial and the short film for which that tutorial was created. I found this account last year and now his channel is one of my favorites for tutorials and gear reviews. Down below I posted two videos, one is a tutorial on camera tracking effects in After Effects, and how it can be used to easily steady some shaky footage and add titles to that footage. I was surprised after watching this video how easy it was to make such a complex effect with CS6. I really enjoyed watching how you can place a title in 3d space and have it match the movements of the camera so that it seems as if the title was truly a part of the shot. While his tutorial only covers a short segment of this short film, there are plenty more effects that I really enjoyed as well. For example during the end of the actual short film, the camera tracking abilities were once again used to place the hologram in the characters hands, as well as to have the crash towards the end match the rest of the footage. Overall both of these are great videos and I suggest you check these videos out, as well as others on his account.

Incredible Animation

    Pixar's The Incredibles creates dynamic characters with physical traits that directly correspond to the superheroes' powers. For example, the fast running boy has pointy, lightning bolt like hair and the mom is extremely skinny due to her stretching super powers. The end credits sequence, however, consists of different animations than the movie. The style is more simplistic yet flows well and transitions into different roles of the behind the scenes players. It is truly a sequence that keeps the audience in their seats during the end credits. Teddy Newton, a Pixar animator, worked on this title sequence along with many others. I looked up Teddy Newton and found a short film he directed entitled "Day and Night." The main characters are simplistic compared to the detailed animation that takes place inside their respective figures. The animation is also completely different than the animation in The Incredibles end credits sequence. I plan to look into more of Newton's work and perhaps find a sequence that I could emulate. I am somewhat nervous for this class because I have difficult using new software. I will work as hard as possible to keep up with others and create something that I'm proud of. I think animation is still young and over the years, even though there are some animations today, it will be nearly impossible to differentiate between real life and animation.

-Matthew Clifford Hadley

The Incredibles end credits sequence

"Day and Night"

First Post and Interesting Teaser

Hi there everyone,

My name is Greg Wolf and I’m really looking forward to this semester of MG&A. I enjoy video editing a lot, and everyone I have ever talked to has said that a working knowledge of after effects is essential in the job market, so I’m very excited to be able to put that on my resume. I want to be a utility player wherever I end up past college, and so I feel like this class is essential. That being said, I’m also excited to learn more about 3D stuff like Maya, and see if that suits me as well. 

On that note, the video I have today is a trailer for “Red Vs Blue” a fairly popular web series  on youtube and elsewhere. The thing that makes this video interesting is that the camera slides along the outside of the logo for the show itself, done in 3D. As the camera goes along, scenes from the past 10 seasons of the show play on the logo itself with plenty of light bloom/lens flare effects, although you don’t know that the object that the camera is moving along is the logo for the show. Then at the end the camera comes out and shows the logo for the show. This was a couple of years ago, and when I saw this it made me really think about how this sort of thing is done, in particular, how to make this type of consistent 3D space for use in a title. I feel like this effect of the title being used as the trailer itself is pretty effective, and an interesting variation on the usual teaser style trailer.

An oddly interesting short animated film

Hello everyone,

 So to start off my name is Hunter and I'm extremely excited to be taking MG & A this semester. Since I have a knack for finding interesting things to blog about my first entry will be about a short animated film featuring Dock Ellis & The LSD No No created by James Blagden. This animated film captures the attention of the viewer by incorporating audio from a previous radio interview with Dock Ellis (Former MLB Pitcher) and also creative animation to portray the story. While I don't support how Ellis took LSD in this film I thought the way in which the film was constructed was inspiration for future work (after all whats a product without an idea).  I have a huge interest in telling stories through various mediums such as animation and I hope to only expand my knowledge throughout the course of the semester.

Sci Fi Nerd

Hey everyone,

 I am very excited (and terrified) to be in MG&A this semester. I've always been interested in Science Fiction films ever since I was really young and I've always wanted to have animation and VFX in my movies. In fact, my mom took me to see The Matrix at a theatre when I was 8 (even though it was rated R, she went and saw it first, just to make sure it wasn't too scary......thanks Mom!) and after I walked out, I pretty much knew I wanted to make movies, somehow, someday. It might seem a little old and cliche at this point since it became such a cultural landmark like 15 years ago........but right from the very first frame, they start off with my all time favorite credit sequence. I used to dream in the same shade of green. So iconic, so good....

The main reason I'm in MG&A this semester is because I was fortunate enough to help my friends Blake Horn, Zeke Spector, and Ally Cunningham make their thesis film last semester called ASH. Unfortunately, I can't post a link as it's being sent to film festivals, but if you haven't seen it, I highly recommend you snag a copy of this year's Best of Park DVD and give it a watch. It's a fantastic beautiful film.

Anyways, on ASH I worked as a grip on the set and saw the process of building the sets for the interior of a spaceship and then helped film all the miniature versions of the spaceships in front of green screens in Park. It was interesting because we would have to light each shot in relation to where the sun was and where the planets and spaceships were in relation to another. We also did lots of cool camera moves so the ship would move along the Z-axis with the miniatures hanging from C Stands, suspended by fishing line against an evenly lit green screen. Blake then composited all of this footage with matte paintings of Earth and space that Ethan Burnette made in Cinema 4D. And then I bugged Blake to let me watch him make holograms and zero gravity effects in AE and asked him what I should do to learn all of this stuff so I could make a Sci-Fi film for my Senior Thesis. He told me about Arturo's class, said he walked into MG&A terrified of motion graphics but worked hard and set aside time everyday to practice and eventually enabled himself to make ASH. I really hope to do something similar for a film I'm making called Nirvana.

Another big inspiration of late that I saw was a film called True Skin, very very VFX heavy short film....heavily inspired by Total Recall, Enter The Void, Blade Runner, District 9 (the type of films I'm obsessed with.) Check it out. I really hope I can do stuff like this in the near future. 10,000 hours right?

 Ok, just one more link. The title sequence for Enter the Void. Genius. Another example of something I'd love to make.

Enter The Void Title Sequence

I can't wait to work hard and learn as much as I can from this class and all of my fellow classmates. Cheers y'all!

This is going to be a great semester!!!!

Hey Y'all, 

I spent my summer in New York City interning with a post production house called Red Car. They are a national creative editorial company founded my Larry bridges. They offer their clients a diverse roster of creative editors, designers, animators, and visual effect artists. A majority of the projects that they work on is 30 and 15 second commercial spots for companies such as Olive Garden, Kohl's and so much more. Throughout my internship I got the chance to sit in on color correction meetings, sound design meetings, and watch how the animators created something out of nothing. I really enjoyed the time i got to spend watching the visual effect artist, I found it to be the most interesting portion of the commercial process. More often then not people get annoyed with having to watch commercials throughout their program and tend to fast forward through commercials if they can do so. I on the other hand really enjoy watching them because:
1. When a commercial is executed correctly the creators are only given 15 to 30 seconds to tell an entire story, personally I think that's pretty impressive. 
2. It's just really cool to see what they can create when it comes to animation. 

I am really looking forward to this class because I would love to be able to a least understand how someone would go about creating commercials such as this

- Tori 

Motion Graphics for Learning

Hello! My name is Canon and I'm really excited to be finally be taking this MG&A class. Seeing as this is a blog I thought I share a quick bit about my blog experience... more specifically, the Wordpress I was working on this summer:

It's mostly a collection of photography and traveling adventures I had this summer. By far the most epic summer I've ever had. But enough on that... what I really want to talk about is a fascination I've had with how motion graphics and animation can be used in educational settings. First, I recommend you watch a piece of this TED Talk by Hans Rosling. This video is now about 7 years old so it's possible you've already seen it. His data and information has come under criticism for being over-simplified, but the message behind his presentation is what's most important: data can be boring, but it's visualization is beautiful.

If you're tight on time I recommend watching the first 3 minutes and last 3 minutes. Of course, watching all of it would be best.

Motion graphics and animation have a huge potential in education because... let's be honest, we all love animation. All we have to do is sit back, watch, and enjoy. When you turn education into an animation, the audience becomes much more willing to engage. It doesn't stop with charts and graphs that move around. There is endless room for creativity when it comes to educational animation!

I'll leave you with this final video by Taylor Mali. It's by far one of my favorite poems, videos, and animations all rolled into one. Pay attention to how you can be educated, motivated, and entertained all at the same time. True brilliance.

Gravity Falls Opening

Because I absolutely adore Disney's Gravity Falls, my first post is about the opening sequence to the show, as seen here.

Series showrunner Alex Hirsch gives us just enough visual exposition and foreshadowing in the 40-second intro to pull viewers in, which is accompanied musically by Brad Breeck's "Made Me Realize". It's a mish-mash of sights and such from the bizarre town of Gravity Falls, which protagonists Dipper and Mabel have to live through with their strange Uncle Stan. The opening is crisp, to the point, and well-designed, showing off the show's weird sense of... well, just about everything. It's a feat of design of some sort, that's for sure.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

The Leap

This incredible little device is a Leap. It’s a very exciting new piece of technology that allows you to interface with your computer in real 3D space. One of the reasons I’m so eager to start getting into this class is because I want to come up with ways to use this new technology. When we watched some of the examples of interactive media in class I immediately thought of how I could use the Leap. I would really like to create some sort of interactive art, animation, or maybe even a very simple game using it. I think this could be the future of human-computer interactions and I’d love to explore different ways of utilizing it for motion graphics.

Making Of, a Bruce Lee 3D Portrait

My first post is a sped-up digital sculpting of martial arts icon, Bruce Lee. In this video, the artist works purely from reference images and recreates his likeness in ZBrush, Maya, and Photoshop to produce a masterful and photo-realistic piece of digital art. I find myself in awe at the amount of sheer skill, time, and wisdom that is put in to create something of this caliber. Pure inspiration. Though, it might be just a little bit before I produce any work like this.

Adam Levine covered in paint

Well, we all got out of class less than 20 minutes ago and I am really excited to get started.  For those of you who don't know me, my name is Courtney.  I hope to one day work for a children's entertainment network, which is why I felt that this class would benefit me.  I mean, what kid didn't grow up on animation?

However, my post is not exactly kid friendly.  A "remake" video that would be extremely fun, but a little messy, would be the "Love Somebody" music video by Maroon 5.  If you haven't seen it, here it is.

The best part, I found a behind the scenes video.  It looks extremely messy but really fun.  

With some lessons on how to use After Effects, I hope that I can imitate this video.  It doesn't look too difficult, just some chroma keying the paint.  I hope you guys (especially ladies) like this video and behind the scenes footage. 

Monday, August 26, 2013

The Basics of Motion Design

Motion design is the most intricate and dynamic field of design. This video from the Hochschute für Künste (University of the Arts) Bremen introduces viewers to the many different aspects of motion design.

Ranging from color to sound, timing to physics, the video gives a vocabulary for discussing the art of motion. Taken by itself, the video covers so much in 23 minutes that it is worth taking notes on.