June 30, 2010
Jules Engel (1909-2003) arrived in Los Angeles in 1937, but as a young immigrant from Budapest in Illinois, Engel attended a performance of the Ballet Russes de Monte Carlo that significantly imprinted this young artist’s developing oeuvre. With this, he understood art to be the aesthetic embodiment of an experimental vision. The Modernist choreography of the Ballet Russes recalled Engel’s intuitive discoveries of abstraction in his paintings and subsequently formed the conceptual core of Engel’s experimental animation films. If pressed to identify a singular aesthetic in the whole of Jules Engel's work, it is certainly the virtual containment of timing in a definitive quality of choreography.
This short documentary film comprises a part of a larger Jules Engel Biographical Project that includes this film, a book, and an interactive website which will become a depository of stories from his four generations of students. The biographical project frames Jules Engel’s work within the critical histories of art, cinema, and experimental animation. Engel was the Founding Director of the Experimental Animation Department and Institute Fellow in the School of Film and Video at California Institute for the Arts for over 30 years.
June 29, 2010
SimplicityMany of the best photographs concentrate on a few basic elements. By highlighting only those components that add to your composition, you can focus the viewer’s attention precisely where you want it. Avoid cluttered backgrounds; by changing the angle or the perspective and getting up close to your subject, you can often produce a photograph that is visually stunning and has no distracting or extraneous elements that reduce the impact of your composition. Professionals often position the primary component of their photograph off-center to add even more visual interest to the finished product.
Rule of ThirdsBack in the day when cameras weren’t even invented and people like you and me actually painted stuff instead of taking pictures, there sprang a compositional rule that helped many an artist paint in such a way that the scene was more intuitive to look at and generally more aesthetically pleasing. Nowadays, all these years later, this rule still holds true, making it one of the oldest and greatest places to start when composing photographs.
Professional photographers know that each shot is composed of three different spatial elements. The foreground, middle-ground and background are all present in most landscape shots; by noting and incorporating this into shot composition, photographers can create visual appeal by naturally drawing the eye to the middle ground and focusing attention exactly where the photographer intends. By manually setting exposure levels and deliberately selecting shots with these elements, amateurs and professionals alike can create works of art, rather than mere photographs.
What Is the Rule Of Thirds?Put plainly, the Rule of Thirds is a way of composing your photo by placing certain landmarks in the scene along imaginary ‘thirds’ lines. These imaginary lines run horizontally and vertically splitting your scene into thirds.
Applying the Rule of ThirdsBy placing the main objects in your scene on, near or on intersections of these thirds lines it is thought to produce a more pleasing picture, and in doing so also avoids placing of the subject in the center which in general doesn’t look great.
Next time you’re composing a photograph, try this technique and align your horizon with one of the thirds lines, and at the same time align the subject with another of the thirds lines, check to see if it has improved the overall look of your picture.
Ignoring the Rule of ThirdsAs with all rules, it is made to be broken. Sure it will work for many scenes, but you will find that there are times when it feels appropriate not to use it. For example if there’s an awesome cloud formation, and you want emphasis on the sky, you may want to compose in such a way that there is very little landscape and lots of sky. It will depend largely on what is in the scene and what you want to convey. So get used to using the Rule of Thirds in most situations and you’ll soon come across examples where you don’t want to use it too.
Which Gridline to UseIn general, if you are composing a Landscape photograph, you’ll want to align your horizon with one of the horizontal thirds lines, and lets say that you’ve got a tree as the subject, then you’ll want to align it roughly with one of the vertical thirds lines, or even aligned with the intersection of a horizontal and a vertical thirds line. Although its good to follow rules closely, try to use it more as a guide, getting a great photo isn’t about following a rigid set rules, imagination and creativity should play their part as well!
BalanceWhile balancing the physical components of a photograph is important, another aspect that is often overlooked is balancing the colors present in the shot. Color theory is an essential element in the art of photography. Shots that focus heavily on first-order colors, also known as primary colors, tend to be more dramatic. Certain colors, such as red, orange, and yellow, should usually be employed sparingly and limited to one or two elements of the shot since they tend to attract the eye and create dynamic tension within the photograph. Too many high-energy colors, especially in contrast to each other, can overwhelm the viewer and cause anxiety rather than producing the visual effects desired; by balancing strong tones with neutral ones, a more balanced composite shot can be achieved.
FramingProfessional shot composition requires perfect framing of each shot. This requires the inclusion of elements that give perspective to the main focus of the photograph. By being aware of the various components when composing a shot, the photographer can produce high-quality shots that include all the important elements while excluding extraneous material. Photography is the art of including some things while omitting others; this is the main object of framing. By choosing the elements to include, photographers engage in editing before the shot; by cropping the photograph after processing, the editing process continues afterward as well. Not only can you frame with your lense, you can also use objects in nature to frame.
LinesNatural lines present in the shot composition, whether intentional or not, can give an added sense of depth and perspective to the photograph. By paying attention to these lines and using them to advantage to draw attention to the focal point of the shot, photographers can create tension and drama in their photographs and make a visual statement with each composition. Diagonal lines tend to create visual paths to lead the eye to the focal point; repetitive lines, on the other hand, are often interpreted by the eye as background, bringing the main focus into sharp relief against the repeated pattern of lines.
These same principles apply to illustrations, graphic design, any page layouts, & storyboarding.
Take a look at Matthew Porter’s photographs. He's been showcased here before, but he's worth another look. Big, bold, and wildly imaginative, he can fabricates iconic images straight out of a teenage boy’s day-dream.
Erin Mulvehill is the brains behind “The Camera Project,” a magnanimous exploration into how children perceive their environment. See more here.
June 28, 2010
Standing at least 7 feet tall, this mountainous suit would make any Master Chief wannabe wet his own pants.
And here is a brief making of video …Via devicemag.
Article By Vito Pilieci, - The Ottawa Citizen
An Ottawa animation expert walked the red carpet in Los Angeles last friday to pick up an Emmy Award for his work on a massively popular U.S. Saturday morning cartoon show.
"I am pretty overwhelmed," said Steve Lambe, a character designer with Ottawa's animation studio Mercury Filmworks.
Lambe is receiving a Daytime Creative Arts Emmy Award for his work in Outstanding Individual Achievement in Animation for characters he designed for the show Fanboy and Chum Chum in an episode called "The Janitor Strikes Back." The episode features an evil janitor and details his attempts to get even with the strange superhero duo of Fanboy and Chum Chum.
The pair are fans of superhero comic books and movies, and despite having no special powers of their own, dress in homemade costumes on a daily basis. The costumes include masks and underwear outside their pants.
The premier episode of the show, which aired in November, drew more than 5.8 million viewers, the second episode was watched by more than 5.4 million people, making it a breakout success.
The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences is giving two Emmy Awards to the show in a gala awards ceremony.
Besides Lambe's prize, a second Emmy is being awarded to Caesar Martinez, a background layout designer also working on the cartoon.
The animator, originally from New Brunswick, said the Emmy win was a shock.
Lambe has been hopping around taking cartoon animation gigs in various locales over the past decade. He parted ways with Nickelodeon late last year.
Lambe said the constant hassle of maintaining a work visa in the U.S. was proving to be more work than it was worth. Moving to Ottawa allowed him to reunite with friends and join a small, but talented, community of animation professionals.
"I didn't even know that they had submitted my work this year," he said. "It was a surprise."
Lambe said the award is particularly meaningful because animation was a last-minute choice.
Born in Newfoundland to two teachers, Lambe said he was initially going to follow in his parent's footsteps and teach. After three years at university, things just didn't feel right.
A new course in animation and design at New Brunswick Community College had opened piqued his interest. Lambe's life-long love of cartoons and art saw him jump head first into animation; it was a decision that would quickly change his life.
After graduating, Lambe was snatched up by a small local company that made comic strips for the Internet. His skills were soon noticed by others and his career skyrocketed, taking him to Spike TV, Teletoon, Disney Adventurist Magazine, Hasbro and Nickelodeon.
In his current job with Mercury Filmworks in Ottawa, a firm that has worked on successful movies and TV shows including Curious George and Fat Albert, Lambe is working on the second season of Jimmy Two-Shoes, a popular cartoon that airs on the Disney Channel in Britain, U.S. and Canada.
Lambe said he wants to take the leap from artist to cartoon show creator and has several ideas he plans to pitch to Disney and Warner Bros. studios in the coming months.
June 27, 2010
June 26, 2010
Naturally, he needs to call upon his unparalleled skills as a master of the Zui Quan, or "drunken fist," fighting method, culminating in an epic 20-minute fighting sequence that apparently left Roger Ebert stunned. This was one of the films that made Jackie Chan a true legend. I've recently had the pleasure of watching this for the first time in 9 years, it's truly amazing. Go and watch this film, I guarantee it'll blow your mind.