(Thanks, David OReilly)
Somebody finally posted Ward Kimball’s It’s Tough to Be a Bird online. The short won the Oscar for best animated short in 1969. I’ve compiled the YouTube segments into a playlist below:
This eye-catching computer-generated animation by Glenn Marshall was created in the open-source programming language Processing. Marshall writes that after creating the application, “I just let the program run till the end of the music, I felt reluctant to interfere too much by trying to sculpt an ending, and just let the code run its own natural course.” Glenn offers more details about the process on his blog.
While the movement in the piece above was not created frame-by-frame, the results on the screen are controlled by the artist who designs the application and sets the variables that determine the look of the piece. In most digital animation (CG, Flash), allowing a computer to generate movement is a rote affair that comes in the form of tweening or other types of automation which are designed to make the movement easier to create, not more interesting to watch. Generative animation, however, allows the computer to be a creative partner alongside the artist with resulting movement that would be impossible for either an artist or computer to create by itself.
Readers, feel free to share other interesting examples of generative animation that you’ve run across recently.
(via Motion Design)
I couldn’t help and notice a similarity between this music video by Kristofer Strom of Sweden…
…and this signal film for Cartoon Forum 2008 directed by Regina Welker and Max Lang of Filmakademie Baden-Wuerttemberg’s Institute of Animation.
I’m not suggesting that either idea was copied from the other. After all, non-descript blobby creatures straight out of a Pictoplasma book and cavorting in a real-world environment is hardly anything new. Still I thought it might be interesting to show two different animated approaches to a similar problem.
(Thanks, BitterAnimator, for the Cartoon Forum link)
I alluded in an earlier Brew story that Sylvain Chomet (The Triplets of Belleville) wasn’t happy with his short-lived directing stint on Universal’s upcoming Tales of Despereaux. He was fired from the project shortly after the film received a production greenlight. An article in this weekend’s NY Times includes a lot of nasty allegations from Chomet, including the assertion by him that the film’s producer Gary Ross (Seabiscuit) wanted to direct the film “but because he can’t draw, he had to use me in order to get the green light.” Chomet also says that after he was fired from the film, “these bodyguards, big nasty-looking guys in suits, showed up; they took everything out of the studio and nailed doors shut so we couldn’t have access to it.” But the article’s most colorful Chomet quote is this one:
“We’re making a film for kids, a film that has a moral, and behind it is such aggressive action about lawyers and legal things – there are no human relationships. I felt like a lemon; they got the juice out of me and threw me away.”
Based on everything I’ve read and heard about Chomet, he doesn’t necessarily sound like the most easy person to work for, but it’s difficult not to admire a director who stands up for what he believes in and demands that films be filtered through his personal point of view. Directors, like Chomet, who aren’t afraid to speak their minds and actually have something to say are a rare breed in animation, and if anything, we need more artists like him.
(Thanks, Carolyn Bates)
Cold Hard Flash has an interview with two of Superjail‘s co-creators Christy Karacas and Stephen Warbrick, as well as the show’s animation director Aaron Augenblick. Superjail premieres tonight on Adult Swim at 11:45 p, (ET/PT).
I propose all difficult financial concepts be explained with cartoons, like how this video uses Wile E. Coyote to explain the US government’s financial incompetence:
(Thanks, Red Pill Junkie)
Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim has turned out one of its most entertaining and graphically ambitious series to date and its name is Superjail!. The show debuts this Sunday, September 28, at 11:45pm.
This is a follow-up to our popular story “Sarah Palin’s Awfulness Equals Disney’s”. As it turns out, Matt Damon was right: it is like a “really bad Disney movie.”
The Seward Street blog, run by a DreamWorks animator, notes that Chris Sanders is
no longer directing Crood Awakening at DreamWorks and he’s working on another film at the studio. The animator writes:
Chris Sanders is now the director on the next film I’m working on, How to Train Your Dragon. Dean DeBlois is coming on as a writer as well. Have to admit, I always liked Lilo and Stitch, so this is pretty exciting.
The previously announced director of How to Train Your Dragon was Peter Hastings, a producer/writer on Animaniacs and director of The Country Bears live-action feature. Can somebody say improvement.
UPDATE: The original post was removed from his blog.
UPDATE #2: A representative from the law firm representing Chris Sanders sends in the following information: “Our firm represents Chris Sanders, and can confirm that he remains the director of CROOD. He will also be taking over HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON.”
I have no idea what it’s advertising and the idea is not exactly original, but this Diesel online viral titled “SFW–XXX” is silly and entertaining enough to merit a post. The commercial was directed by Keith Schofield of The Viral Factory and the spot’s animation directed by Neil McFarland at Big Animal.
A former Family Guy fan, Kyle Evans, has come to the conclusion that Seth MacFarlane is a “talentless writer” who “doesn’t have a clue about animation.” He’s written a lengthy blog post analyzing MacFarlane’s work from a critical perspective. What I found particularly insightful was the section in which Evans observes the clumsy animation in Seth’s shows, particularly in an episode of Seth McFarlane’s Cavalcade of Cartoon Comedy titled “Super Mario Rescues the Princess”:
The animation of Family Guy, American Dad and Cavalcade of Cartoon Comedy consists almost entirely of character’s mouths moving, with the occasional rigid pose-to-pose animation. This movement is banal and devoid of any true expression, with the same exact timing on every movement. Watching “Super Mario Rescues the Princess” with the sound-down would convey little more than a general sense of displeasure in the characters…I can only imagine how mind-numbingly dull it would be to work as an animator for Seth McFarlane, who continues to stifle any sort of imaginative character design or fluid, expressive movement. But to visualise my point, here is the video edited so that all but the moving parts of the cartoon are blacked out.