Monday, November 30, 2015

CINEFEX Magazine


CINEFEX Magazine is a bimonthly magazine devoted to motion Picture Visual Effects, and it is awesome! If you ever wanted to know how they make those amazing visual effects in motion pictures, this is the place to stop by. This Magazine is a beautiful rendition of who did what, and how it's made. It happens to be in the library (Thanks to Arturo's convincing words), and I have been drooling over the pages.

The Magazine covers almost any major film. Films like Oblivion, Elysium, Man of Steel, Gravity, Carrie, Maleficent, Godzilla, Guardians of the Galaxy, Interstellar, and Ant-Man are talked about in depth is some of the more recent issues. Overall, the articles go to great length to describe the process and what the team learned along the way.

This magazine is a great investment for all of those motion graphics lovers who find themselves asking "how did they do that?" Their Subscription cost is a bit steep, but for $50 a year, you can get all the access to specific and exact information to how they did specific things in some of your favorite films.

*Another added bonus for those looking to get in to the Visual Effects Industry:*
*Studios looking for interns or other help advertise in this magazine too!!*

I Would definitely recommend taking a look through next time your in the library!

Mockingjay part 1

Here's a cool video I found about the making of Mockingjay part 1.

Visual-effects supervisor Charles Gibson, whose previous work includes the Pirates of the Caribbean series, says the 950 effects shots in Mockingjay Part 1 required a different approach given the way director Francis Lawrence wanted to tell the story.
“The films are played through the point of view of our main character, Katniss, and Francis wants a very real, accessible, naturalistic approach to everything,” says Gibson. “So for us in visual effects, it was finding a way to introduce more of a science fiction element in a real context.”
Realism was important, with the action in Mockingjay Part 1 veering far from the futuristic facade of the Capitol and the Hunger Games in the previous films. “The world of the games was always sort of this thing off to the side, where the rules were not really that clearly known and you could do anything you wanted,” he says. “Here, it is the real world, so all the effects had to be extensions of our real world and played as naturalistically as everything else.”
Environment work formed the bulk of the effects work for Mockingjay Part 1.   “The first film is more of a science-fiction film and more of a political film, and the second film is more of a war film. It has more action in it and more scope and more that plays outside, above ground," says Gibson.

Sky Star Wars Promo

So I was surfing the net, as I am to do from time to time, and I stumbled upon this promo the UK cable service SKY put together to advertise their upcoming star wars marathon.

Besides being the coolest thing I've ever seen, this promo incorporated a lot of the techniques and skills we've learned over the semester, albeit with gorgeous execution.

Aside from the double exposure effects, there are a lot of cool 3D space camera moves, rotoscoping, and even some very slight puppet animation. It's rare to see a piece of content made independently from it's creators that really captures the feel of the original content, butt I believe this promo does an absolutely stunning job. I've watched it about 8 times now and each time I've noticed something new. I really don't have anything else to say regarding this piece. I just thought it did a really awesome of capturing the feel of the Star Wars Franchise! Hope you guys enjoy!

Friday, November 20, 2015

Glen Faught

A few weeks back, I was granted the opportunity to travel to Minneapolis, Minnesota for the College Broadcaster's Awards and Conference. While there, I attended a number of workshops on broadcast and media related expertise, animation being one of the many topics covered. Glen Faught, a freelance graphics artist and motion designer at Target (Minneapolis is the corporate headquarters for the brand), led one of these sessions where he walked students through the process in creating some of his latest projects using After Effects and Cinema 4D.

Below are examples of some of the work he has done for Target.



As simplistic as they seem, I find them to be quite eye-catching. Additionally, these are some examples of small projects he's done in his free time. 





Throughout his tutorials, Glen stressed the importance  of creating content simply to have on the web for people to see. He recommends keeping a blog. The number of reblogs you get on a post can potentially be the livelihood of your craft. He explained that a good deal of his freelance work comes from people on the internet who have some across his work and appreciated it enough to give him a call. I don't know what I imagined that path of an animation career might be, but I certainly never considered gif making to be the key in. Glen, however, would definitely disagree.

Find more of his cool work here

DigitalSandwich.net (also run by Glen) has some great tutorial references as well. 

Brainstorm Digital

At my high school all the seniors were required to do either 40 hours of community service or do 80 hours at an internship. I chose the latter. I interned at Brainstorm Digital, a VFX house based in NYC that has worked on films such as Boardwalk Empire, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, and Wolf Of Wall Street. I learned more about the visual effects industry in the short time that I interned there than I had in my entire life up to that point.

Not only did I learn about the industry, but I also learned about what each shot took to make.





The program that they use there as their main compositor is something called Nuke, short for New Compositor. Nuke is node based, which means that it works as a series of inputs and outputs, as opposed to the traditional layers. 









Thursday, November 19, 2015

Oblivion: Sky Tower Practical Effects

Oblivion is one of those Love it/Hate it type of movies, meaning that there are things that you can really like/love about the movie, and then there are things that arent so great. To get it out of the way, the not so great thing was the story, as it came off as weak and confusing to me.

However the redeeming factor of this movie (in my opinion at least) is the visuals. Everything looked so practical and realistic, even the CG and visual effects were very photo real compared to other Hollywood movies out there.

When I watched this BTS featurette about how they accomplished the Sky Tower in the movie, I was amazed at how practical they made it. They really wanted the actors to feel like they were really in that moment, rather than trying to interact with it via Green Screen set. They accomplished this look by capturing footage of the sky and clouds that they filmed at the top of a really high volcano. And then they took that footage and front projected it onto High Res Screens on the set.

This truly was a cool and very practical thing to do. It looks more real, the light from the footage helps illuminate more light into the set, and best of all, it would save VFX artists the headache of having to deal with green screen spill in the set, because that green would bounce around everywhere I imagine, and would be a nightmare to have to key out and make as real and clean as possible.

To see the Oblivion Sky Tower Featurette, check the video out here:

  

Lynda.com - ACCESSIBLE TO ALL OF US

So if you have not heard yet, lynda.com is now accessible for FREE to all of us now. Go to your myHome and it is the last tab on the left hand side menu.

Lynda.com is an online education company that offers thousands of courses and tutorials for softwares, creative applications, and business stuff. Basically, you can learn so much and there is so much to choose from. I know what I'm doing this break!

Check it out here: Lynda.com

There is also shorter versions of the courses available on YouTube. One of the ones that I recently saw was on cameras in After Effects. I think it's extremely useful.


Have a great lynda.com break everyone!

Finding Dory

So everyone knows or knows of Finding Nemo. A story about a lost little fish who get captured by a fisherman and put into a fish tank at 42 wallaby way Sydney Australia. His dad Marlin, must go on an adventure to find and rescue Nemo. Along the way, Marlin meets and unlikely friend named Dory, a blue fish with a short term memory problem. She lost her memory into all of our hearts and was one of the most memorable characters in the film. And coming next year, there is finally a film to do her justice. Finding Dory is coming out in 2016 and I could not be more amped! Ellen Degeneres is going to reprise her role as the funny, and heart warming fish. The film is sure to be hilarious and touching and I am going to see it the minute it comes out.

3D Printing and Animation

This post relates more to how amazing 3D printing is and how it relates to stop motion animation. There is nothing I love more than miniaturized anythings. Whether it be a doll house or claymating characters, I think the intricate art of piecing together detailed aspects of characters/ houses/ any setting, just highlights the artistic talent and dexterity. Doing all of that handmade is a feat on it's own, however now that we have 3D printing, I think it's a step towards efficient and ground breaking animation. Please check out this amazing video on how the artists for Paranorman were able to capture an unrealistic amount of expressions by 3D printing every characters face!


Academy Announces 'The Short List' For Animated Shorts




The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences just announced the 10 animated short films that will advance in the voting process for the 88th Academy Awards, with Pixar, NFB, Hertzfeldt, and Richard Williams making the cut, There were originally sixty pictures that qualified for the category.

The top ten films that made the cut are listed below in alphabetical order.

1.) Bear Story (Historia De Un Oso), Gabriel Osorio, director, and Pato Escala, producer (Punkrobot Animation Studio)

2.)Carface (Autos Portraits), Claude Cloutier, director (National Film Board of Canada)

3.)If I Was God…, Cordell Barker, director (National Film Board of Canada)

4.)Love in the Time of March Madness, Melissa Johnson and Robertino Zambrano, directors (High Hip Productions and KAPWA Studioworks) 

5.)My Home, Phuong Mai Nguyen, director (Papy3D Productions)

6.)An Object at Rest, Seth Boyden, director (California Institute of the Arts)

7.)Prologue, Richard Williams, director, and Imogen Sutton, producer (Animation Masterclass)

8.)Sanjay’s Super Team, Sanjay Patel, director, and Nicole Grindle, producer (Pixar Animation Studios)

9.)We Can’t Live without Cosmos, Konstantin Bronzit, director (Melnitsa Animation Studio)

10.)World of Tomorrow, Don Hertzfeldt, director (Bitter Films)
There will be branch screenings will be held in Los Angeles, London, New York and San Francisco in December.


The final nominations will be announced live on January 14th, 2016 at the Academy's Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills. And the 88th Oscars will be held on February 28th, 2016 at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Now You See Me Magic Tricks

I don't know about y'all but I really love magic, and with the trailer for the next Now You See movie it got me excited. So I decided to do some research to see how they did some of the magic tricks in the movies. What I found was the first two tricks in the four minute opening sequence. You can watch that here:
If you want to know how the card trick was done that Jesse Eisenberg did you can find that here:
And lastly if you want to see how Dave Franco did the bending of the spoon you can watch that here. The kid in it is pretty cute so you should watch also for that reason:

Monday, November 16, 2015

2D animation's recent resurgence

So if you're a well adjusted socially capable human being, unlike myself, you may not have known that 2D flash animation has recently made a rather remarkable comeback on the internet. What is Flash Animation? Oh how I envy the social status you have to allow you to be unaware of the wild and sometimes awful world that was the internet during the early 90's. But that's beside the point. Flash animation is, as the name implies, animation created by the program adobe flash. Back when the internet was still in it's relative infancy, these flash animations grew to enormous popularity as the file sizes were small enough to be sent through terrible dial up connections with relative ease. Soon sites that hosted and streamed these flashes like Newgrounds.com became some of the most trafficked youth online. However as the internet improved over the years and live action content was able to be hosted more reliably, this surge of animated content died down almost over night.

With the popularity of let's players on the rise this 2D animation has seen a wonderful resurgence. People with varying ranges of talent are taking to animating some of their favorite moments from different let's play series, and the results are actually fairly entertaining. I'll leave below a few of my favorites just to show you how there is some real talent connected to this endeavor. If you're ever looking for a quick shot of web popularity and don't mind putting in the time 2D flash animation is not a terrible way to go.


Multimedia Programming




I have been pretty interested in multimedia programming for a while now and I really like the idea of interactive animation. One of the most creative and innovative music videos I have ever seen is the Arcade Fire music video for The Wilderness Down.


It uses a lot of really interesting techniques. The personalization of providing an address is really creative and makes the experience feel like it is meant for you. I am distracted by the multiple pop-ups but I still think that it is really creative. It is also unfortunate that there are a lot of technical restrictions on what will work with this website because there are only certain attributes that HTML5 supports.

I think a lot of the Multimedia Programming course in the CS Department is a good segway between producing animations and coding them. I think that the potential interactivity of animation is the future of media!

After Effects Text Tutorials

I found some After Effects tutorials that describe how to use the Text tool. I thought they could be useful for those working on their Title assignments. Ranging through a number of different styles, the tutorials cover many different kinds of text effects.






















For my title sequence, I'll probably end up using the jitter type or maybe the handwriting tutorials. I think either of them make the most sense for the good dinosaur.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Animating Pirates of the Caribbean

This weekend I decided to watch Pirates of the Caribbean in honour of Pirates Week back home. I was very interested in the visual effects and how they created everything. I have always wondered how they animated Davey Jones and his crew. 
The movements of a computer-generated character such as Davy would traditionally be recorded by an actor in a motion capture suit as he darts around a meticulously controlled studio environment. The filmmakers would shoot plates without the actor in the frame, and then the CGI beastie would be inserted into that blank space in post-production. 

These videos were very informative and interesting to watch. Enjoy!


How the Director of 'Peanuts' Created a 3D Charlie Brown



The new Peanuts  movie is definitely an animation classic as it brings an an age old blockbuster animation into the 21st century. The new animation is fantastic, particularly the animation of the main character, Charlie Brown. Creating Charlie Brown's head was one of the biggest challenges for the animators as they wanted his profiles to be different from the front view of his head. They eventually succeed as the front view of Charlie Brown has his hair in a loop, meanwhile, from the side view it was shaped more as a candy cane.

It was quite a time consuming process to create Charlie Brown's head, along with the other characters. One of the animators goes in detail about the process, as he said "We modeled them for each perspective [roughly six models per character, including the front and side views] and then wrote software to allow the animators to transition these separate models together to help them move. The style [of the classic animated cartoons] also is more akin to holding the pose and 'snapping' [to the next pose]."


Friday, November 13, 2015

This commercial by PARABELLA for "Twinings Tea" reminded me of "The Adventures of Tom Thumb". Not the little claymation of Tom but the actors whose movements almost seemed like they were claymated. After doing some research I found that PARABELLA was heavily inspired by the Golden Era of musicals and multi-plane animation techniques which was pioneered by Walt Disney back in the 30's. The animation blends CG with pointilism, and includes 100,000 tea bags and 50 different paper folding styles to bring vivid and intricate movement throughout the piece. The heroine was also shot frame by frame, and several 3D models were shot on layered planes to captivate an amazing sense of depth and perspective.


The lies of the media

Social media is a lie. Media is a lie. As students going into media, we need to be aware of this. We can sit here and say that we can make media better but we all know that's not true. But one famous Instagramer is trying to make a difference. Some of you may be aware that Australian Instagramer, Essena O'Neill recently quit all social media because it's not real life. She changed her account name to "Social Media Is Not Real Life" and changed several of the captions to what really happened when she was taking the photos. Some examples of them are below:


As you can see, she's just 16 and was trying to be something that she wasn't just to get attention and love. Nothing about the photos she post was real. Social media is not always real. We need to stop being so ignorant and start educating ourselves on what we read and see. It's not just with self esteem through images but with everything else as well. We just think if we saw it on the Internet it must be true. No, research it before you talk about it. Form your own opinions on the subject matter. If we are the future of the media. Though like I said earlier we probably won't do anything about it or change it, there's still that possibility. If people just stopped being someone else through the computer screen, maybe we can start to spark a change.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Green Screen Edit Tutorial

As most of us are doing our last project I thought it would be helpful to share a green screen tutorial. Here is one I thought was very helpful! Good luck with your editing and I hope this tutorial was helpful to you guys!


Advanced Keying Techniques

So seeing as everyone will be keying their footage over the next few weeks, I'd like to share this tutorial. I used it for my scene, and it makes a tremendous difference. Traditionally I've always boosted greens a tad through the Hue/Saturation effect, then applied Keylight. Asides from that though, I don't do much else with green screen footage.


However this tutorial from 8 Bit Digital TV, shows a way of keying which preserves the colour of your footage, while using the matte from Keylight. See, normally the Keylight effect will not only remove the green background, but also green tinge in the skin. While this is helpful, since it's trying to remove so much green, it can take too much away from the skin and make skin tones look off. Whereas in this tutorial, you'll learn a way of simply using the matte Keylight creates, then taking away the right amount of green tinge in skin.

Check out the full video for a more in depth explanation, I'd highly recommend it for this project.


Performance Capture

Performance capture is a type of acting involving body sensors that track movement. Cameras at different angles record the movement in order to create a three-dimensional position of the character. The data is mapped on a digital model in 3D software, like Maya for example, so that the digital character moves like the recorded actor.

Below is a video featuring James Cameron and the performance technology used in Avatar.



"We don't have to necessarily believe that they're 100% photo real and we don't necessarily have to believe that they actually exist--but we do have to believe them as emotional creatures," Cameron says on the Avatars in the film.

I find the head rig most interesting. It's a helmet like structure that fits comfortably on the head, along with a camera that captures the facial expression and performance.


Blue screen vs Green screen

As we are all working on our rotoscoping projects using green screen, I wanted to give a little more information on what blue screen and green screen do and what they differ in.

The obvious reason for choosing one or the other is the object or person in front. So if you are filming Kermit, you probably don't want to use green screen and if you are filming a Smurf (they're real), you probably don't want a blue screen,

i found this video below to be super helpful in further understanding the difference and learning more about why we should use one or the other and when.


Gravity BTS

Gravity is definitely one of the most Visually stunning films ever made. It's one of those movies where you feel like you are actually there in the moment and it just seems so real.

And yet 95% of the movie was CG. Almost everything you see was generated in post production using advance 3D software. The only things that were practically shot in production were the actors. But everything else from Space suits to ships to satellites and more were CG elements.

This behind the scenes look at Gravity explains the process of what it was like to make this movie, knowing that majority of it was going to be CG.


3D Shorts

One Day, I'd really like to make a 3D Short. Wether I have a great story or not, one day, i want to be a part of the creation of something like the video's below:
Some of them are funnier than others, but, I think any of them would have been a wonderful learning experience to gain an Understanding of Animation Workflow, Group Dynamics, and General Roles for creating Animated Stories.










Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Women in Animation

I am involved in the Ithaca College Women in Computing club and I just felt like exploring the representation of women in the field of animation. I found a cool organization called Women in Animation (WIA).

WIA Mission: “Women In Animation brings together a global community of animation professionals to empower and support women in the art, science and business of animation by increasing access to resources, creating opportunities for education, encouraging strong connections between individuals, and inspiring excellence.”

I thought one of the most interesting things that WIA offers is the mentorship program.

With more searching I was also able to find a very awesome comprehensive history of women in animation. Eunice Macaulay was the first female animator to win an Academy Award. She won for her creation, Special Delivery.





Monday, November 9, 2015

Motion Graphics and Science

Yes, this blogpost also talks about particle systems! Can't help it!

Motion graphics and animation are used for a bunch of different things outside of the entertainment or media industry. One of theses uses is science. Motion graphics are often used to explain scientific processes, mechanism, and body tissues - all in great detail.


This video below is a unique combination of art, science, and of course motion graphics. The video shows an incredibly dense yet invisible world of the cytoplasm in biological cells. All the tiny molecules, minerals, ions, etc. in the body can be seen in a fluid dance-like motion. These cytoplasmic playgrounds are reimagined using dynamic particle systems that play out and evolve differently each time, mimicking stochastic processes in nature.


video

The creator of this video, Markos Kay, has a great Vimeo channel with incredible motion graphics stuff where he combines art and science. Do check it out.

Motion graphics and animation are in many ways a science. I found this really amazing article that talks about the physics behind animation films and how incredibly complex it is. The article also mentions how hundreds of scientists from academia, NASA, other physicists, and engineers have left their careers to go work in the profitable movie industry because it offers so much exploration of scientific concepts. 

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Interstellar black hole

Working together with a prominent astrophysicist (Kip Thorne), the film's visual effects team created what may be the first scientifically accurate display of a black hole on the big screen. To fully realize director Christopher Nolan's vision for "Interstellar," visual effects studio Double Negative was tasked to "produce images of things that aren’t even in our dimension, and furthermore have them accurate to not only quantum physics and relativistic laws, but also our best understanding (guess) of quantum gravity.”
Thorne shared his knowledge of black holes, and how he envisioned they would appear. Instead of the typical movie version of a black hole, which is depicted as a breach within space, Thorne’s research indicated black holes might be more like three-dimensional spheres. The physical appearance of Thorne's black holes is colorfully described in an interview with Paul Franklin in the Warner Brothers behind-the-scenes video "Interstellar: Building A Black Hole" (below):




An amateurs guide to working with color

So something that really helped me improve my graphic design game was dipping my toes into the wide and wonderful world of color pallets. When I first started animating, almost all of the colors I used for my projects were chosen from the default color map. Let me tell you that the color map on most programs is not there to help you, it's there to destroy your life. They're incredibly one note and even someone with a novice eye would be able to spot them out. Instead try going to sites that already have user uploaded color palletes (like this one: http://www.colourlovers.com/palettes), bring them into Photoshop, and using the color picker see how the different colors interact with each other. You may find that a color you thought looked yellow actually turned out to be closer to turquoise, or that you enjoy the look of muted color pallets more than overly saturated ones. Tastes in color vary from person to person, and often times the style you like may have not have been someone else's first choice.

Below are a few animations that do a wonderful job at using color to set the mood:


Friday, November 6, 2015

Live Action mixed with Animation

I came across this pretty cool video on Youtube the other day. Typically when watching videos you don't see too often people combine live action and animation because it's not an easy thing to do, but this video does it. The concept itself has no meaning but the actual animation is pretty good! Here's the original video:
After I watched that video, I watched how it was made. That was cooler to me than the actual video. At first the video shows how the film was originally shot compared to how they edited it. I found it interesting that they used a rubrics cube for the cube, but everything else the actor had to just guess the size. After that it goes into detail on how each animation was made. I believe the program that they used was called Blender which is a 3D modeling program. I don't really know anything about it though and why someone would use that over Maya lets say. But there were a few things that they did that we learned in class so that got me excited like tracking. Though I don't know how to do that through Blender, I do know how to use it in After Effects! Here's the video on how the first video was made. I highly suggest watching the whole thing:

Thursday, November 5, 2015

SPARK

This afternoon, I was greeted by this video on Vimeo.


RALF HILDENBEUTEL - SPARK from Boris Seewald on Vimeo.

I was immediately draw to it. Initially, because I saw dancers; they're so poised and elegant. As I watched, I was amazed at how beautifully the graphics (all done in After Effects) complimented the music and movement of the characters. Those styles of music and dance generally are not paired together. In this piece, however, they work. The director, Boris Seewald, describes the work as "an encounter between classical dance, geometry, and electronic music."

The 2 minute mark is where the piece really starts to get intense. The dark character meets the innocent one. I'm wondering if this has any Swan Lake influences... The lighting changes are truly incredible and only add that much more drama to the already ascetically interesting piece.

Holographic Performers

Did you know there have been concerts that bring the dead to life?

A few years ago, during the Coachella festival, Tupac returned for a performance with Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg.

Tupac's Hologram

This slightly-eerie reincarnation was pulled off using 2D Holograms. While not quite a futuristic, 360˚ 3D hologram, the diagram below shows how the effect was pulled off.


Me personally, I honestly think the idea is kind of cool. While it has weird associations, the fact the performer is performing without their permission, it would create an incredible atmosphere in a concert, having one of your favourite artists return. What I especially love though, is how the animation is pulled off. A combination of intense studying of archival footage on how the artist performed, mixed with motion capture animation of alive relatives is used to pull off the effect. Then, the animation is played using the technique shown above.

Brick Like Me

So on one fateful day last may, two of the worlds greats came together to create one of the most absolutely spectacular half hours of television ever created. These two greats are The Simpsons, and LEGO, and they bestowed upon us the masterpiece that is "Brick Like Me". This is the LEGO episode and the 550th episode of The Simpsons.
The episode is set in the idealistic and basically perfect world that is the LEGO universe. All is well until Homer starts to see visions of his other life back in the Springfield that we all know and love. Throughout the episode more and more of his old life leaks into his new one in the LEGO world, and in the end, he must decide to stay in this new near perfect brick world, or to return to his old 2D classic world.

This episode took two year to get on air, and took over twice as long as a normal episode would to make. I would say that it was definitely well worth the wait! This episode is so beautifully crafted it almost hurts. The LEGO version of Springfield is so bright and brilliant, but still has the hilarious vibe of the Springfield we've know for over 500 episodes. It also added some new comedy to the show when dealing with things that only LEGO people have to deal with; like the water,
and being able to mix the two kinds of animation that LEGO and The Simpsons both are giants in.
From animation, to story, this episode is absolutely brilliant, and I loved watching it on its premiere last summer, as well as over and over again after that. 10/10 would recommend



Social Change Through Animation

I find that some of the most effective ways to trap people's attention about something important is with well designed motion graphics. Below are some social messages I found on Vimeo promoting social issues, and what we can do about them:


The Innovation of Loneliness from Shimi Cohen on Vimeo.



Water Changes Everything. from charity: water on Vimeo.





TakePart: Participant Media - Waiting For 'Superman' - Infographic from Jr.canest on Vimeo.



Beyond Bytes from Florian Köhne on Vimeo.



The World Is Obsessed With Facebook from Alex Trimpe on Vimeo.



History of the Internet from Melih Bilgil on Vimeo.



Master Plan - About the power of Google from Jonas A on Vimeo.


Fabricating the Flash

The Flash is quickly becoming one of CW's most popular shows and it's easy to see why. As an avid Flash fan, the show is fun and witty and gives me just the right amount of Flash to fulfill my DC Comics craving. The people who are responsible for creating the Flash, though, haven't really gotten the credit that they deserve.


The company that creates the VFX for Flash and also edits it, is Encore Hollywood, but more specifically Encore VFX and Encore Post. This article goes into more depth about how they construct the Flash and how he is given his "trademark blu." There are plenty of other videos that breakdown the VFX in the show.

It's definitely worth the read and the show is definitely something that is worth watching, in my completely 100% unbiased opinion (ok, maybe a little biased).

Marvel behind the cinematic magic.


I found a really cool video that shows some of the Oscar award winning special effects that were used in Marvel's Avengers. It shows various green screens. It has different layers of the same scene in different processes of the animation/special effects before reaching the final cut. I thought it was very cool. I thought it was super awesome, and you should definitely give it a look. 

Consider this, don't text and drive.

Inspiration is an important thing. As a kid, I believed that Rhett and Link were definitely good places to draw some energy and it's honestly true; if I hadn't listened to little Jules, I wouldn't have anything to write about right now. Either way, this pair made a video basically rapping about why texting while driving is bad. And it is. So good for them. Either way, I enjoy the aesthetic of the video and wanted to point out some more specific things. I really like that even though they could've easily used a green screen for the movement behind them, they decided to go with what appears to be just a screen and projector. They also just flash some crazy-ass lights every now and again and that's pretty cool, too. I also like how casual the little text animations are on the video itself because the whole video almost shouts 'look at me; none of me was done in post' when a lot of things were clearly done. Anyway, take a look.

Do Ya Thang - Gorillaz

The Gorillaz is arguably one of the best bands to have ever graced my ears since birth. But aside form their music, they are a prime example of transmedia. What started out as a British rock band has transcended into comics, online games, and interactive holographic concerts! But what I want to talk about today is their Style-o (Stylo is one of their popular songs... This is a joke). Many times you'll find a blend of 2D and 3D animation, and practical effects in their music videos which always helps to blend the creepy, disgusting, and fantastical world of Gorillaz. "Do Ya Thang" was a collaboration between them and Andre 3000, to help promote Converse.


The video below is a making of the very same music video. Here you will see snippets of the production process. Everything from the storyboard, dressing the set, blocking the actors, and eventually modeling the band mates. It's interesting to see how paper comes to life not just through a green suit but the detail they put into designing even the skin of all the characters.


Vanishing Point in Photoshop & AE

Premiumbeat.com is an awesome blog about filmmaking and video work alike. They post a lot of tutorials about using After Effects and similar software. I stumbled across this tutorial on their Facebook page about adding depth from a still photo using vanishing points.

This is probably one of the coolest effects that I have ever come across! Essentially you are taking a photo in photoshop, making it 3D, and then importing that data into After Effects and then can move it around using a camera.

Of course there are limits to this, like the fact that it will only be able to show whats in the still, nothing much beyond that. But still, this is an amazing effect, and will definitely try it out in the future!

For more info about this effect check out the blog post here: http://www.premiumbeat.com/blog/simulating-depth-using-vanishing-points-in-after-effects/?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=post&utm_content=Simulating-Depth-Using-Vanishing-Points-in-After-Effects&utm_campaign=10-2015-facebook-posts

or watch the tutorial right here:


Lost Disney Animation From 1920s Discovered




Film archivists in London just rediscovered a long-lost Walt Disney animated film "Sleigh Bells" from 1928 that features Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, who was the prototype for the legendary Mickey Mouse. Oswald was created by Walt Disney himself in 1927, and was loved for his mischievous and rebellious personality. 

The animation was buried away in the national archive of the British Film Institute. The animation itself is six minutes long and was feared to be lost forever as it has not been seen since it's 1928 release.  However, a researcher browsing the BFI catalogue came across the film as they were looking for lost Disney titles and recognized the words Sleigh Bells. It is very easy for a short to get lost as there are around 1million items in the archive.

 The film has now been restored by Walt Disney Animation Studios and will get it's world premiere at BFU in London next month. To watch a snippet of the short click here.



Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Phenakistoscope

Look at this article! And this one! I found these articles that details some of the animation techniques that predates digital. Using visual effects to trick the mind of the view and make them think they are seeing something smooth or animated is the base concept of most animations.


Read about how these contraptions work here!

Joseph Plateau is the mathematician whose discovers are used to develop and support the workings of the phenakistoscope. Read more about that here