Results tagged “animation” from kwc blog

Free Web library = Hot

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Yahoo has released several ui libraries. Open APIs are pretty cool, but free (Creative Commons) code gives you more options. I've been considering a redesign of this site for quite some time; the ajax, animation, and dom libraries might be of some use. They've also released a series of user interface guidelines that they call 'design patterns,' which I found interesting in that such things are now considered important enough to share.

Movie: Madagascar

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honeyfields got us into a screening of Madagascar, Dreamwork's latest animated film. This is the first time I've seen a feature film where there was someone involved in the making (Rex Grignon, head of the character animation department) answering questions afterwards -- it was like having your own abridged post-commentary track there in the theater, without having to wait for the DVD.

Rex talked about how they wrote some new software for this film to try and make the CG rendering more cartoony -- i.e. unlike Shrek, where the characters had skeletons that followed natural laws, animators in this film were able to stretch, bend, and distort as needed in order to get more dynamic poses and motion. For example, if a character moved quickly, they could stretch out the hands/fingers and pop-out the eyes a bit to give a sense of faster motion.

Rex also mentioned some of the footage that ended up on the cutting room floor, a lot of which probably features Ali G's/Sascha Baron Cohen's improvs. Cohen's character Julian role was rewritten after the first recording session during which Cohen would turn a single line into an extended riff. One of these riffs, in which the Julian joyfully proclaims "spanking machines for everyone!" didn't make the cut; after a test screening with mothers and children: 1. The children found spanking machines frightening 2. The mothers didn't find hundreds of lemurs dancing to spanking machines entertaining either

As much as I enjoyed having this live commentary, though, Madagascar is not a good film. It seems that someone was aware that the story wasn't very good because nearly every shot has to have a gag; they are so afraid of people paying attention to the story that some gag has to be going on in the background, or some story-stopping movie reference has to be thrown in. Granted, many of these gags made me laugh and chuckle, but a good film has to know when not to tell a joke.

Animation festival

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Went to Shrunken Head Man's presentation of films from the Ottawa International Animation Festival. The first segment was best student films from 2003. The second segment was best professional films from 2004. Much fun, too tired to write much about it other than what's already here. I wish I had several of these on DVD, but for now I'll have to be satisified with the few clips I found online. I'm not going to write much about the ones I didn't like, except to mention that I think "Mr J. Russel" scarred both parakkum and honeyfields -- during another short, honeyfields muttured, "No, no more dogs," a bit louder than she intended, and a several rows laughed (probably because they shared the same fear).

Favorites that have clips online:

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How to Cope with Death, Ignacio Ferreras: one of my favorites, featuring a confrontation between an old woman and Death. short excerpt is online (have to navigate to films->How to Cope with Death).

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La Revolution des Crabes, Arthur de Pins: a funny film about crabs that can only move from side-to-side, unable to turn (I saw political undertones, others did not). Update: just realized clip online doesn't have subtitles. Oh well.

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Ryan (Chris Landreth): not quite a favorite, but visually interesting with an good human interest story (with an animation crossover). I personally was not a fan of the aesthetic.

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Proper Urinal Etiquette, Kurt Nellis: funny parody of classic education films dealing with the all important choice of urinal stall.

Book: Art of the Incredibles

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Thanks to honeyfields for letting me borrow this. It was fun reading this because it not only showed the concept art in the evolution of the character design (I never realized Edna Mode is half-Japanese), it also revealed evolution in the story design. Tony Fucile, Lou Romano, and Teddy Newton did a great job giving this movie a proper retro-feel that carried into the final movie renderings. Given my inability to draw humans or understand color, though, I think Scott Caple's B&W vehicle and building renderings are the drawings I would most want to imitate (and what engineer doesn't want to be able to draw all his/her fanciful vehicle creations?).

The color script foldout with Lou Romano's art is beautiful: in addition to being a nice piece of art, it's also a great multivariate graphical display displaying palette, character design, film summary, and visual style. I especially liked the coloring in The Incredibles, and I liked being able to see their palette choices so perfectly summarized. With all the merchandising surrounding this film, I hope they sell this as a poster somewhere.

Because they haven't sucked enough

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Not only have they put Toy Story 1 and 2 DVDs out of print, Disney is going to further wreck the series by making not one, but two sequels (apparently Disney gets the rights once they split).

Sketches: Small Press

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We wondered around a bit in the small press section (small press as in, DIY, as opposed to Indy Press like Oni and Slave Labor). I got sketches from Art Baltazar (Wolf Boy) and James Burks (Martin's Misdirection). honeyfields fared even better and got those as well as a really awesome sketch from the author/artist of Horus.

James Burks was really nice to talk to. He had worked as an animator on the doomed Iron Giant project; he talked about how Brad Bird had described the final months of that project as being in an airplane and being able to see the runway, but you're out of gas so you have to start jettisoning items to try and glide the airplane in.

For his comic he combined his fondness for magic with his desire to draw comics; he also felt that was a rabbit was a perfect match for a comic about magic and was surprised to see that it wasn't being done.

Art Baltazar was cranking out sketches with the markers and the cartoons, in a sort of grown-up-imitating-a-child-drawing-superheroes style. He had a Havoc that strangely amused me. honeyfields got a nice sketch of the Grimm Reaper that I hope to add to this entry, in addition to her nice Horus sketch.

James Burks

burks sketch