September 30, 2013

September 27, 2013

Paper Animated Films

Some paper-animated films, mostly stop-motion, but also some CG.

- Paper City, by Maciek Janicki.

- Revolution by Chris Turner, Helen Friel & Jess Deacon.

- Habitat Patch by Mauro Lovadina .

- Special K - The Box, Promo by Hornet Inc.

- My Happy End by Milen Vitanov.

September 25, 2013

G.I. Joe Animated Series - 30 Years Old

Thirty years ago today was the first premiere of the G.I. Joe animated series.
I actually remember when it aired, it was in the evening, and there was all sorts of hype for it, I was 7 years old, and it blew me away.

Here's the entire pilot episode/feature of "The Mass Device" which originally aired as a 5 part mini-series.


Box explores the synthesis of real and digital space through projection-mapping onto moving surfaces. The short film documents a live performance, captured entirely in camera.

Project Mighty

September 24, 2013

Various Apps Related to Animation Learning & Experimentation - Disney / McLaren / Williams / Drawnimal

Build the Perfect Showreel - Top 10 Tips for Animators & Modelers

Make sure studios see your work in the best light. Leading industry figures give their advice on creating a killer showreel.

With studios receiving hundreds of entries a day, getting a career in 3D, animation, motion graphics or movie making is harder than ever. To wangle that dream job, you'll need to create a reel that showcases your talent in a couple of minutes. Read these insiders' tips to ensure your showreel stands out from the crowd...

01. Cut ruthlessly
As head of international outreach at DreamWorks, Shelley Page says: "There's no such thing as a student film that couldn't do with editing." Many student films take on too much, resulting in what one jaded recruiter describes as: "typically five minutes of poor animation on poorly rigged models in poor environments".

"Don’t get attached to material that ultimately doesn’t showcase your best work, even though you have an emotional attachment to it," stresses Patricia Kung, senior recruiter at Animal Logic. Demo reels are about focusing on one's strengths and not trying to be, for example, a character animator if your genius lies in modelling and texturing. Or as Dave Throssell of Fluid Pictures says: "I don't want to wade through a showreel where someone's thrown in everything they've ever done."

02. Keep it short
It’s worth considering showreel duration from a studio’s perspective. They’re likely to receive unsolicited reels on a regular basis, and endure an avalanche every time a position does actually become available. Creating a reel that outstays its welcome is not a good way to gain their attention.
"Because we have to look at so many reels, we would recommend for them to be roughly one-and-a-half to two minutes in length," says Claire Anderson of The Mill. "We don’t even always get all the way through, so I’d also say to put your best work at the beginning."

03. Start and end well
Neil Gallagher, senior lecturer at the University of Hertfordshire, suggests opening with your best work and then, just to ensure you don’t begin with a bang and end with a whimper, close with your second-best piece. Beyond that, if your third-favourite piece does in any way look second-rate, you might want to consider whether it really belongs on the reel at all.

04. Think of it as an ad
Graphic, motion and interactive designer Julien Simshäuser’s showreel - - ties together a diverse body of work in a seamless fashion.

If in doubt, try to think of each segment in your showreel as an advert, where the product being sold is you. As Lee Danskin of Escape Studios points out: "Commercials are 30 seconds long for a reason. Too much longer and they get boring."

05. Match your reel to the vacancy/studio
All studios look for different skills, so do your research, and tailor the reel to the position you’re applying for. The reel should show some of the work the company deals with. But don’t throw stuff in just because it’s relevant, be sure that it’s great.

"Some people don’t even know what job they’re applying for," says Trond Greve Andersen, co-owner of MIR Visuals, which specialises in architectural visualization. "There’s not much point in a studio like ours looking at models of orcs."

06. Make your role clear
One of the reasons why recruiters don't like student films is that they're usually team efforts, and it's often unclear what the applicant contributed. If there are three characters on screen, is it obvious which one you lit or animated or modelled?

"In the case of group work, it’s important to explain what the student has created," says Neil Gallagher. "Either indicate this in the video when there are group pieces, or provide a breakdown as a PDF or Word document."

07. Show your workings
What you've created speaks for itself to an extent, but people will want to know how you did it too. "Provide a shot breakdown, showing what your contribution was and the software used," says Patricia Kung. "If you’re applying for a technical role, it shows you have a good creative eye too."

08. Keep things simple
The showreel of Danish motion graphics expert Steffen Knøsgaard - is full of clean, clear lines, and stylish and simple animation.

It's better to do something that's simple and done well, than going for more complex projects and looking like an amateur.

"You see far too many animators trying to build their own five-minute Avatar, and they end up getting so sidetracked by everything else that the actual animation becomes the last thing they do," says Andrew Daffy of The House of Curves.

"By contrast, I always remember the story of one the guys who became a key animator on [the BBC TV series] Walking with Dinosaurs. His reel was about a minute and-a-half long, and it was a five second sequence that got him hired. All it showed was a stick figure. It was even badly rendered  but the body language was so perfectly animated."

09. Technique beats orginality
Demo reels need some flair, but never at the expense of basic skills. "If it's a choice between originality and technical quality, again I'd go for something that was simple and done well," says Throssell.

10. Cliches to avoid
Some CG cliches should be avoided if possible. "If there's one thing that makes my heart sink, it's a demo with spaceships," sighs Joylon Webb, R&D Art Director at Blitz Games Studios Ltd. "They're usually textured cylinders that don't display any modelling skills: you can't see weight, they don't interact with surfaces, they don't display composition, and they're a cliché that has been done for 20 years." Other clichés to avoid in general include dragons, robots, cameras endlessly flying round sets and worlds populated by supermodels and manga heroes.
However, it’s not always the subject matter you pick that matters, but how you choose to treat it in your work. "There’s nothing wrong with putting a dragon on your showreel, so long as it has an original design or looks like it stepped straight out of a Harry Potter movie," points out Andrew Daffy. "The work can’t look at all corny. It needs to be quite sophisticated, or at least handled really well."

Oliver Sin's showreel is a great example of how to get it right:

Building the Dragons from Game of Thrones

Le Monde de Milo

Wonderful little animated trailer made by Christophe Ferreira for his French comic book "Le Monde de Milo". Christophe has been working in Japan for several years, and frequently makes the jump from comics to animation.

September 17, 2013

"Nuance" by Marc-Antoine Locatelli

BraveStarr The Legend

Bruno Bianchi - Animation Director

Bruno Bianchi (1955 – 2011) was a French cartoonist and animator. Bianchi worked extensively as a producer, artist, animator, television and film director, and writer for numerous other DiC Entertainment, Saban Entertainment and S.I.P. Animation productions from the 1980s until the early 2000s. His credits include Heathcliff, Jayce and the Wheeled Warriors, M.A.S.K., Rainbow Brite, Iznogoud, W.I.T.C.H., Diplodos, Beverly Hills Teens, Princess Sissi and Gadget and the Gadgetinis (a spinoff of Inspector Gadget).

For me, he's always be remembered as one of the driving creative forces that brought Inspector Gadget to life. As a child I loved inspector gadget, it had everything an animate series for kids needed; action, comedy, spy adventure. Quality animation, great voice acting, and that French-European-meets-80s-Anime visual style, who could ask for anything more.

Here's the Inspector Gadget closing theme for the original pilot episode:

Here's the Closing Theme and End Credits to the series that I remember as a kid:

With the Inspector Gadget getting rebooted into a new series next year, I thought it would be fitting to showcase the credits list of Bruno Bianchi, a legendary animation series director.

• 1980: Cro et Bronto (TV series)
• 1980: Archibald le Magichien (TV series)
• 1983: Inspecteur Gadget ("Inspector Gadget") (TV series)
• 1984: Les Entrechats ("Heathcliff") (TV series)
• 1985: Jayce et les Conquérants de la Lumière ("Jayce and the Wheeled Warriors") (TV series)
• 1985: Blondine au pays de l'arc-en-ciel ("Rainbow Brite") (TV series)
• 1985: Rock 'n' Wrestling (TV series)
• 1985: M.A.S.K. (TV series)
• 1986: Les Popples (TV series)
• 1986: Heathcliff: The Movie
• 1987: Diplodos (TV series)
• 1992: Les Aventures de Carlos ("Around the World in Eighty Dreams") (TV series)
• 1995: Space Strikers ("20,000 Lieus dans L'Espace") (animated TV series)
• 1995: Iznogoud (animated TV series)
• 1996: The Why Why? Family (TV series)
• 1997: Princess Sissi (TV series)
• 2000: Jim Knopf (TV series)
• 2001: Gadget et les Gadgetinis (TV series)
• 2004: The Tofu Family (TV series)

• 1984: Heathcliff & the Catillac Cats (TV series)
• 1995: Iznogoud (animated TV series)
• 1996: The Why Why? Family (TV series)
• 1997: Princess Sissi (TV series)
• 2000: Jim Knopf (TV series)
• 2001: Gadget et les Gadgetinis (TV series)
• 2001: Wunschpunsch (TV series)
• 2004: The Tofu Family (TV series)
• 2004: W.I.T.C.H. (TV series)
• 2005: Alpha Teens On Machines (TV series)

September 12, 2013

John Gibbs - Animation Director

G.I. Joe, Dungeons & Dragons, and Transformers - just some of the many animated series I grew up with, I've begun to track down the animation directors for some of these and many other TV shows like them, and for he next couple months I'll be making weekly profiles on some of these extraordinary individuals.

John Gibbs began his career as an animator in 1966, he worked for a decade in dozens of shorts, then worked as an animator steadily for various television series for another 5 years. Then, in 1981, he began is directing career.

Though from the research I've done online, it would seem he was insanely busy from 1981-1986, but afterwards there's no credits with his name found anywheres. I don't know what has happened to him, but this is his full credits list below, and thus my very small tribute to this animation director that time has forgot.

Defenders of the Earth (TV series) (supervising director - 5 episodes)

Solarman (TV movie) (supervising director)

Robotix (TV series) (supervising director)

Jem (TV series) (supervising director - 5 episodes)

G.I. Joe (TV series) (supervising director - 55 episodes)

Dungeons & Dragons (TV series) (supervising director - 27 episodes)

My Little Pony: Escape from Catrina (TV movie) (supervising director)

Bigfoot and the Muscle Machines (video) (supervising director)

Muppet Babies (TV series) (supervising director - 13 episodes)

Transformers (TV series) (supervising director - 3 episodes, sequence director - 13 episodes)

My Little Pony (TV movie) (supervising director)

The Incredible Hulk (TV series) (animation director - 13 episodes)

Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends (TV series) (animation director - 24 episodes)

Leaving Earth

What it would look like to leave planet Earth? It's an easy and scary thing to imagine as you watch this video. Such an event was recorded visually in great detail by the MESSENGER spacecraft as it swung back past the Earth, eight years ago, on its way in toward the planet Mercury. Earth can be seen rotating in this time-lapse video, as it recedes into the distance. The sunlit half of Earth is so bright that background stars are not visible. The robotic MESSENGER spacecraft is now in orbit around Mercury and has recently concluded the first complete map of the surface. On occasion, MESSENGER has continued to peer back at its home world. MESSENGER is one of the few things created on the Earth that has left and will never return -- at the end of its mission MESSENGER will be crashed into Mercury's surface.

September 11, 2013

"COIN" by EXIT 73 Studios

"Carn" by Jeff Le Bar

Noctilucent Clouds and Aurora Over Scotland

Why would the sky still glow after sunset? Besides stars and the band of our Milky Way galaxy, the sky might glow because it contains either noctilucent clouds or aurora. Rare individually, both are visible in the above time lapse movie taken over Caithness, Scotland, UK taken during a single night earlier last month. First noted in 1885, many noctilucent clouds are known to correlate with atmospheric meteor trails, although details and the origins of others remain a topic of research. These meandering bright filaments of sunlight-reflecting ice crystals are the highest clouds in the Earth's atmosphere.

The above video captures not only a variety of noctilucent clouds, but also how their structure varies over minutes. Lower clouds typically appear dark or fast moving. About halfway through the video the clouds are joined by aurora. At times, low clouds, noctilucent clouds, and aurora are all visible simultaneously, each doing their own separate dance, and once -- see if you can find it -- even with the Big Dipper rotating across the background.

Video: Maciej Winiarczyk
Music: Jolanta Galka-Kurkowska

September 09, 2013

Ghost Stories

I Will Miss You, by Dave Prosser
The Jump, by Charles Huettner
The American Dream, by Sean Buckelew
Mountain Ash, by Jake Armstrong & Erin Kilkenny
Rat Trap, by Caleb Wood
Loose Ends, by Louise Bagnall
Phantom Limb, by Alex Grigg
Asshole, by Conor Finnegan
Ombilda, by Ciaran Duffy
Post Personal, by Eamonn O'Neill
Last Lives, by Scott Benson

The Halloween Kid

Japanese studio Sanzigen is producing "The Halloween Kid" - a 30min animated special for the U.S. (based on the childrens book).

Space Dandy - First trailer for the new series by Shinichiro Watanabe (Cowboy Bebop, Samurai Champloo)