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.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Walt Disney Pictures Animation

The start to every adventure began with a blue sparkling tower with a shimmering shooting star. I'm not talking about bedtime dreaming. Some times the adventures would begin at the crack of dawn (5:30AM), but that would never stop me. Whether it were Toy Story, Tarzan, Atlantis, or The Lion King, the Walt Disney Logo led the way. It's amazing to think that while the logo has changed so much in the last 20 years (with advancements in motion graphics and animation), the stories have continued to excite individuals of all age groups. It's also interesting to note that while recreating the current logo is almost impossible for a college student to complete, the iconic original Walt Disney logo is definitely an achievable task. However, today we have millions of tools in After Effects, Maya, etc. Back in the 1940's, when the original logo was produced, none of these programs existed. While it may be a pretty long video, the evolution of the Walt Disney logo, shortening of the on-screen textual elements, and the specifically tailored movie opens are not only inventive but accurate set the mood of the story before the film's very first scene. I hope you enjoy the magic of Walt Disney.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Dazzle and Sparkle: Everything You Need For A Magical Film


I am a huge Disney fans, as far as I can remember I have always idolized Disney princess for their beautiful dresses and amazing elegance and grace. As I grew older I became more aware of the issues people have against Disney princesses and why they can in some ways ruin a child's perception of body image and identity. However, despite those issues I have found the princesses to be inspirational. I recently went to see the new Cinderella movie and I was absolutely astonished and amazed by the beauty and perfectionism in the editing and graphics in the film. But most of all I was obsessed with the costume designs and the art direction in the film, I mean I was literally jaw-dropped at how beautifully crafted Cinderella's ball gown was. I watched a couple interviews with the  Academy Award winning costume designer Sandy Powel to see her inspirational and how she went about designing the costume choices for Cinderella. 

 When I am first approached to design the costumes or be the art director for a film shoot, the very first thing I do is request a script from the writer to (1) find the time and setting of the piece, (2) extract the emotional appeals intended for the audience, (3) meet with writers and directors, and (4) find colors and clothing choices to fit the piece. I was pleased that Sandy Powel takes on a very similar approach when designing for a film, her sketches were extremely detailed and beautifully crafted... the amount of hard work, dedication, and precision placed in the designed sketches between Powel and Swarovski definitely show in the film. Cinderella's dress is nothing short of fabulous and truly timeless. 


Friday, April 10, 2015

Mortal Kombat X

Mortal Kombat X is set to be released on 4.14.15. This is the tenth game in the series and from the looks of videos online it will be the best one yet.
The series is introducing a lot of new characters as well as keeping some old time favorites like Sub Zero and Scorpion.

Erron Black is a confirmed fighter in Mortal Kombat X. Erron Black was first introduced to the MK continuity through Issue 2 of the Mortal Kombat X tie-in comic series. Black is depicted as a gunslinger-type character.

Kotal Khan is a new character in Mortal Kombat X. Contrary to what was believed when he was first revealed, he is not a descendant of Shao Kahn. He and fellow general, Reiko, then served under Empress Mileena after the death of Shao Kahn. Eventually, Mileena was disposed of her throne, allowing Kotal to seize control of the throne and Outworld. Now, he faces Mileena and Reiko in a civil war for Outworld.

The Evolution of the MGM Logo

The first edition for MGM's infamous Lion Logo started back in 1917 before Goldwyn had paired with Metro & Mayer to form MGM. As you can see in this video, the company has filmed almost a dozen different lions throughout their history as technological advancements continue. Most recently, the logo was redesigned by Shine Studio to be 3D compatible. It's really interesting to see the progression of this logo throughout time.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

The Rolling Stones

As a kid of the '90s, it's safe to say that Rock 'N Roll was a key element of my childhood. Whether it was Boston, Aerosmith, Led Zeppelin, or The Rolling Stones, I found a genuine love of the best classic rock songs. I remember watching old music videos on television and wondering how it was physically possible to create riveting visual effects. In an effort to help celebrate the 45th anniversary re-release of the Rolling Stones’ seminal album, ‘Sticky Fingers,’ Trunk Animation creates a lyrical video for an acoustic cover of the hit, “Wild Horses.”

The finalized video, created using Cinema 4D and After Effects, ultimately utilizes the track's gentle feel to create the pace, while the animation design evokes the song’s lyrics. Trunk Animation’s Layla Atkinson developed the artwork for the video using elements from the booklet, including fingerprints and smudges from each of the band members. Trunk Animation also manipulated multiple photos of the band, and degraded in Photoshop, in order to fit into the overall look and feel of the finished video.

It's an awesome work of art and definitely deserves a watch.

Finding Dory: 2016

The sequel to the very successful Pixar film, Finding Nemo, will be coming out on June 17, 2016. It is about the friendly-but-forgetful blue fish, who learns things about the true meaning of family.

It is titled Finding Dory, and I am skeptical but looking forward to it.

Here is Ellen Degeneres, who voices Dory, announcing the movie on her show:

Lego Dimensions?

Over the past few years, there has been an increased amount of commercialization between tangible toys and digital downloadable content. Companies such as Disney have been able to profit off of the success of toys such as Disney Infinity and Skylanders. Now Lego, in partnership with DC comics, is releasing Lego Dimensions, which follows the same business model as Disney. Buying this product allows access to downloadable in-game content. This drives consumers to both purchase new products as well as play the existing game. I am looking forward to seeing how this product competes in the existing market. 

New updates to Creative Cloud to be announced next week

It's just about that time of year again where tv nerds like myself go crazy, NAB. Next week the annual National Association of Broadcasters Show will take place in Las Vegas. This is a massive convention where there are workshops and all the top vendors show off new stuff. One of these vendors will be Adobe who recently announced there will be some major updates to Creative Cloud announced at NAB this year. There will be a live webcast on April 16th but if you can't wait check out this website for more information.


The Lamb

Upcoming from Sony is a new feature length animation movie called "The Lamb," directed by Tim Reckart.  It is one of the few animation movies based on an original idea, rather than based on stories or fairy tales.  No release date is published so keep your eyes peeled for this upcoming film.

The Whip

The Whip has been a staple of KickTV programming since its launch in 2012 and the host of that show has been the amazing Rachel Bonnetta. Today Bonnetta announced that she would be doing her last Whip ever and decided that the best way to give a farewell would be to "Periscope" her final recording. This offered and insight behind the scenes of The Whip and how it was made. Basically Rachel stands in front of a massive green screen and talks about all the crazy soccer videos on the web that week. In her words, after she records they send the footage off to people who can "do magic with it." Well this is a lot simpler than she thinks. All it takes is a little bit of masking and a few quick settings to get everything in there thats needed. The hard part is organizing it all and making it look good and corollate to what she is saying. However, this behind the scenes look was very interesting because it showed how many of KickTVs videos are produced and what goes into them, which not many people get to see. I highly recommend checking out any of their content, and if you can watch Rachels' farewell to The Whip on Periscope. Here is a sample of one of The Whip videos to show exactly what I was talking about.

The State of VFX: A Documentary

Here is a short documentary "Life After Pi," about 30 minutes long, about the story of Rhythm & Hues and the state of other VFX houses. Many VFX studios struggle to stay in business when the business model in the film industry for VFX work is so unsustainable. Tax subsidies in other countries and the payments being fixed bids are hindering the VFX studios.

Animation in The Prisoner or: How I planned to Kill Tony Blair

Recently I was shown this film by Yunis Abbas with the lens of looking at the animation and if animation belongs in Documentaries. A medium where the pursuit of truth is a priority and a part of the definition. The film is very powerful and follows Yunis Abbas, a journalist in Iraq, and his experiences in dealing with Suddam Hussein and the U.S. Military. Oddly enough his experiences were strikingly similar. The revolutionary idea was if animation, an art form of complete bias of the creator's imagination, could be combined with, observational footage in pursuit of the truth on a subject matter. In my opinion the answer is, "it depends." Animation in a documentary should always be secondary to the subject, only clarifying what's going on. They use a lot of wonderful animation in this film, sometime it's overzealous, but other times incredibly insightful in helping us to fully perceive Yunis's experiences.

Here is the trailer:

Mumford & Sons' New Music Video

Last month the popular British folk band Mumford & Sons announced that they'll be releasing a new album, Wilder Mind, which is scheduled to be released next month. They made this announcement by releasing the music video for their new song "Believe".  The video itself is an edit of a bunch of beautiful shots of driving along the streets of London at night. There is a lot of clever editing, putting the different clips together and messing with the speed of each clip. The most interesting part of the video, I think, is right around the two minute mark. At this point there is a cool editing technique being used that creates this really cool kaleidoscope effect, which really takes advantage of the lights on the street at night.

This song is definitely pretty different from the sound that Mumford & Sons has produced in the past, but I'm excited to see in what direction this new album is going to take this band.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

The Avengers Behind The Scenes

Since we are all shooting are green screen final projects this week I thought it would be interesting to share this video. It takes a behind the scenes look on The Avengers movie and some of the green screen techniques they used. Obviously none of us will be doing something as technical as this but it's still cool to take a look at. Cheers!

Monday, April 6, 2015

A Record of Life- Owen Gatley

I came across this video during my study break in the library, i love how intricate the short film in all of its 2D animation but I also appreciated to simple and clean the execution of the editing was done. I'm still having a hard time putting together all my pieces and making them as clean and precise as shorts like this one... but none the less practice makes perfect.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Walt Disney's Multi-Plane Camera

This is not "computer animation", this is animation before computers. Walt Disney Productions used to put an incredible amount of effort into making their animations without using computers. This video, which is one of my favorite videos of all time, shows how they used multiple planes to simulate 3D animation before computers.


Reddit has long been "the front page of the Internet." Since it because popular, Reddit has become one of the go-to sources for news, soon-to-be viral videos, memes, etc... Basically, they know what's going on before the rest of the world figures it out.

While I've never been a huge "Redditor" myself, I did recently stumble upon /r/animation. After spending only a few minutes scrolling through the endless links, I quickly figured out what a great resource it is. It has a lot of the new animation/3D graphics news, animation shorts, tutorials, and more. The community is also very welcoming and good about asking any questions you might have.

If you regularly check Reddit, I recommend you follow the r/animation subreddit, and if you don't, I still recommend you at least take a peak!

April Fools Day Across the Internet

Yesterday was April 1st, or better known around the world as April Fools Day. Every year, it's always interesting to see what new and interesting April Fools day pranks circulate television and the internet. 2015 saw some rather interesting shenanigans, here's just a few:

Amazon.com reverted back to their layout from 1999.

Google added Pac-Man to Google Maps

Samsung announced the world's first "smart knife with smartphone capabilities"

Katie Couric pranked James Corden beautifully

Reddit had the button.

Youtube had an "add music" button on all videos that played Darude Sandstorm.

Don't Hug Me I'm Scared... But Actually

The Don't Hug Me I'm Scared series, created by Becky Sloan and Joseph Pelling, started in 2011 with the first episode. It just came out with the fourth episode on Tuesday and will be coming out with more soon. It starts off imitating a children's show through the use of singing and talking puppets, but the themes quickly become dark and absurd through psychedelic content and disturbing images.

I love the juxtaposition of the simple, seemingly innocent intros with puppets and song with the uncomfortable and scary ending that makes you question pretty much everything in life.

(These videos are not for the faint of heart.)

The first episode focuses on creativity and prepares you for feelings you will be getting for the next ones:

The second episode focuses on time and is my personal favorite:

The third episode is about love:

And here is the newest one, centering about technology/computers:

Becky and Joseph have won three awards, attended 12 festivals, and many talks for their great work and impact they've had on viewers. 

Glen Keane and a new way to animate

After 30 years working as an animator at Disney, Glen Keane wanted to free himself of boarders on his animation.  After leaving Disney, he met the designers of Google's Advanced Technology and Projects (ATAP) through a friend.  To test their latest animation project on Motorola's latest phones, the team asked him to draw up a story for them to test the phone's capabilities.  This style of animation was unlike anything Disney films could produce since it depended on the owner of the phone to physically follow the characters through the story.  Phone holders would physically move their phones, following the characters as they crawled or danced through friends and over fallen trees.    He came up with the short film Duet (link: http://tinyurl.com/n6tg655) with help from his family along the way.

Things to remember

Just some tips to remember as we embark on shooting green screen this coming week:


Stromae's New music video

I honestly have never heard of this artist before and in reality have never been to passionate about French rap but this video came up on my newsfeed and it is pretty amazing. I'm in love with the style and the message is loud and clear. I'm not too deep into the twitter-sphere but I feel like this applies to most social media platforms. People can get easily wrapped up into social media to the point where it's comical that that it's called "social" media when in reality it makes us more inclusive in the real world.

The story is very clear too the point where it doesn't even need the subtitles. Definitely worth checking out.

Evolution of Link

Recently I started playing the Legend of Zelda: Majoras Mask and started thinking about how the game has evolved throughout the years and how Link in particular has become more human and lifelike with every different iteration. If you start looking at the series from his first appearance as an 8-bit character you can see his face and legs but that is about it. As he grew into the N64 and graphics got better he started to take full form. In the Ocarina of Time and Majoras Mask you really get a sense of who Link is and what he is all about.
This shows Link as he was during the N64 days. You can see that he is very blocky and not entirely fleshed out. As the console generation changed nintendo went into another direction and made him more cartoony which did not fully suit Link, but worked for the game. But as Nintendo was moving from Gamecube to Wii they released a Zelda game that really showed Link to his full potential. The game showed Link as a full person and brought him to life showing his hair and a very detailed look at what Link should look like.
As the games keep evolving and graphics continue to improve Link will continue to look more and more human. We can only assume that a few years down the road and Link will look just like he is there in the room with us as a normal human being.

GUNSHIP- Fly For Your Life

This is a music video with a very powerful animation. Its setting looks like WWII and is a dog fight between 2 pilots. Its animation is very artsy and reminds me of a Japanese style similar to Attack on Titan.

This video was released in January 2015 and is fairly unheard of but in my opinion is well worth a watch. the editing in the video is very intense and well as the plot. also the composition of the piece as a whole is quite breath taking.

GUNSHIP- Fly For Your Life 

Motion Capture

Last week I mentioned the Motion Capture technique that was used in The Hobbit movies. Motion Capture refers to the practice in filmmaking of recording the movement of actors and using the data to animate digital characters in order to get a more realistic and human like performance. As the technology gets better and better, we see this technique being used more often. Motion Capture gave us the Hulk in The Avengers, Davy Jones and his crew in The Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, and practically everything in Avatar. The Hobbit franchise is no stranger to Motion Capture either, using the technique to create many of the orcs, and even capturing the facial expressions of Benedict Cumberbatch to give Smaug the dragon more emotional range.

And you can't talk about motion capture with to bringing up the Master of Motion Capture Performance, Andy Serkis. It seems that Serkis has spent the better part of the last decade and a half wearing a motion capture suit, with the roles of Caesar in the last two Planet of the Apes movies, King Kong in the recent reboot, and of course, Gollum in The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit movies. His performances in all his roles are phenomenal, and to get an idea of the amazing work that goes into bringing some of his characters to life, check out this video on the Nature Video youtube channel.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Brain Farm Shoots the First Ultra High Definition, 4K Aerial Drone Footage

Brain Farm, the production company behind The Art of Flight, and many more action sport films, paired a Phantom Flex4K with an Aerigon UAV to shoot the world's first 4K drone footage. The Phantom Flex4K shoots at 1,000fps at a 4K resolution. Most drones do not have enough power to carry professional cameras, and that's where the Aerigon comes in.

The Art of Flight is my favorite action sport film by Brain Farm, I am excited to see what they will do with a Phantom Flex4K. They will be able to get amazing aerial slow-mo footage where they aren't able to take a full sized helicopter. 

Batman '66 Cartoon

In recent years, Batman has taken on a much grittier, more serious persona with the Nolan Batman films and the Arkham video games. However, for a large generation, Batman was defined by the campy television series in the mid-sixties lead by Adam West and Burt Ward. Next year will mark the fiftieth anniversary of that television series, and DC has decided to celebrate by producing an animated feature film focusing on the batman universe in the television show. DC most recently had a comics run featuring West's rendition of the classic character, and are building upon that.

The new feature has confirmed voice acting from both West and Ward, as well as a few of the original cast from the sixties, including former Catwoman Julie Newmar. I'm very excited to see how this fits in with the number of batman films that are being produced over the next few years!

Bad CGI Effects

While CGI is certainly a cool technique to use in the movie industry, it is also easy to make it look terrible too. I believe we tend to overlook some of the cheesy effects used in motion graphics and just assume they are cool and innovative. This video takes a look at some of the worst CGI movie effects in a handful of different movies. Enjoy!!