Eric Power‘s music video for Wiretree’s song “The Shore” is a colorful lo-fi piece made with underlit tissue paper and black cardstock.
As someone who lives in a Cintiq household, I know well how highly this is anticipated. Wacom made the official announcement today for their Cintiq 24HD. The first thing one notices is the sexy new counterweighted stand that allows for adjustable height and angling of the screen. Here are some of the key under-the-hood specs:
* 1920 x 1200 HD display
* 178Â° viewing angle
* 16:10 aspect ratio
* 550:1 contrast ratio
* 2048 levels of pen pressure and 40Â° of tilt
* Featuring Wacom’s new Tip Sensor
* DVI-I and DisplayPort connectors
* Weight: 63.8 pounds
* Price: $2,499
And here’s a video of a sophisticated and serious artist (clearly not an animator) using the beast:
Publishing isn’t dying, it’s just becoming more animated. Los Angeles-based JibJab sees an opportunity to benefit from the emergence of digital children’s books on tablets like the iPad. They recently launched a new product line called JibJab Jr. Books. Powered by their “Starring You” technology, it allows kids to insert themselves into their storybooks. The app is free to download on the iTunes store, and comes with a starter book. Additional titles can be purchased for $7.99 individually or $3.99 as part of a monthly subscription plan.
The JibJab titles don’t offer the hyper-clickable interactivity or audio narration/sound effects of other recent iPad children’s book efforts like Bill Joyce’s The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore, but they have an equally compelling feature in content personalization. Right now, that’s enough to stand out from the pack, although they’ll likely need to add interactivity and sound at some point to stay competitive. Another unique aspect of the books is that JibJab is commissioning a lot of fresh voices, including many from the animation industry, to illustrate their book titles. Among the artists they’ve enlisted so far are Nate Wragg, John Martz, Brigette Barrager and Kai Wu.
(Disclosure: JibJab is a sponsor of Cartoon Brew’s 2011 Student Animation Festival.)
Brew reader Jonathan Sloman spotted this baseball cap for sale on Oxford Sreet in London. Mortimer Mouse wasn’t exactly a cartoon “star”, appearing in just one classic Disney short. Regardless of whether it’s authentic or bootleg, there’s a certain novelty in seeing a minor cartoon character appear on his own piece of merchandise.
I’m sure that after all my incessant musings and ramblings about this guy, some readers have already figured out that something’s up. So I’m excited to officially announce today that I’m working on a biography about the legendary Disney animator and director Ward Kimball.
It’s not always easy to pinpoint where an idea originates, but this one is fairly clear-cut. It happened in the fall of 2000, when I visited Ward at his home for an interview. After we had spoken, he took some time to show me around his place, and when we went to his storage shed, he began pulling out boxes of his artwork. But these weren’t familiar animation drawings of Jiminy, Lucifer or the Mad Hatter as one might expect. He wanted to show me his personal paintings and drawings. Then he pointed to a few of his moving assemblage pieces, which he called “kinetics,” sitting in the corner. They were dusty and had seen better days, but after seeing these pieces, it began to dawn on me that Ward wasn’t just one of the greatest animators of his generation, he was a modern-day Renaissance man.
To make a long story short, nothing happened at the time and Ward passed away a year-and-a-half later. My interest in his work was rekindled when I started writing books a few years later. While researching Cartoon Modern, I encountered Ward’s work again, this time in his role as the rebellious director who was dragging the Disney studio into the thick of the mid-century animation design movement. When Cartoon Modern was done, I determined that my next book would be about him. My friends at Chronicle Books who had placed their trust in me for Cartoon Modern took the plunge again and commissioned the biography.
It’s been almost four years since the book was greenlit. During this period, I’ve been incredibly lucky to collaborate on book projects with the fine folks at Pixar (twice!), as well as with uber-talents Peter de SÃ¨ve and John Kricfalusi. Throughout these projects, I’ve chipped away at the Kimball bio. It’s been more challenging than I ever imagined to explore all the passions in Ward’s life and how they fit together–his music, his trains, his animation, his directorial work, his personal art. . .they all played a role in defining who he was as a person.
My hope is that the book will offer a nuanced portrait of Ward, both as an artist and a person. Besides offering a thorough account of his achievements in the form of a 60,000-word manuscript, the book will be a true visual celebration with hundreds of never-before-seen photos, documents and drawings from his personal collection. The Kimball family has been supportive throughout and has provided access to all of Ward’s personal files, photos and diaries, which I’ve combined with new research and interviews. I also had the privilege of speaking with Ward’s delightful wife Betty on multiple occasions before her death last year. The book, a 240-page hardcover, should be out in the second half of 2012.
Since the book isn’t completely finished yet, I should mention that if any readers have unique Kimball artwork or ephemera in their collections, please get in touch with me. To keep abreast of the project or to just talk Ward, subscribe to the Ward Kimball Facebook fan page or Ward’s Twitter account.
A bunch of rolls of tape and a glass plate don’t sound like the ingredients for a captivating piece of animation. That is, unless you’re Johan Rijpma. Stick with this one (pun intended); it starts out slow, but picks up in the second half. The slow unwinding of the tape combined with its staccato pops off the screen creates a sense of unexpected foreboding that is further amplified by the sound design.
Welcome to Jugmugland, a place that’s a thousand miles from Earth within a world of crayons. If that doesn’t make any sense, neither will the rest of Titlee in Jugmugland, which is a proposal for an animated series by Udaipur, India-based Eden Animation. Frankly, the only reason I clicked on the link was because of the lascivious title, but I got this instead:
Make sure you have tissues handy before you watch these three 9/11 shorts directed by the Brooklyn-based Rauch Brothers Animation. Each story is narrated by someone who lost a relative in the destruction of the towers; the recordings are part of the Storycorps oral history project and the animated shorts were commissioned by the PBS documentary series POV. All three shorts feature painterly backgrounds by Bill Wray that find the sweet spot between cartoon and realism. (Earlier this year, I interviewed the Rauch Brothers at length about their production process. Read our interview here.)
Yesterday’s Wall Street Journal featured a tour of the swanky Montecito, California home of Ross Bagdasarian Jr., the son of the creator of Alvin and the Chipmunks, and his wife Janice Karman. They’ve been involved with all of the Chipmunk animated projects since the early-1980s, and have apparently made a good chunk of change in the process.
(Thanks, Doug Vitarelli)
Should I post this CG short by LA-based animator David Lewandowski?
Oops, too late. I just did. It’s received over 2 million views in seven days, which certainly proves something, though I’m not sure what. David also was the lead animator on the title sequence of Tron: Legacy.
Today is the 100th anniversary of Fred Moore’s birth. Andreas Deja reminds us why we should care with this image-packed tribute.
The economy is rough in the United States–even for cartoon characters. Above is surveillance footage from earlier this week in San Diego when Gumby attempted to rob a 7-Eleven. Gumby didn’t get away with any money, but that’s not the saddest detail of the story: the clerk didn’t recognize Art Clokey’s classic stop motion creation and described him to the police as a “green SpongeBob SquarePants.” With such a lack of name recognition amongst the general public, no wonder he’s hard up for cash. Police are currently offering a $1,000 reward, which means Gumby may be spending some time in the pokey.
The Brothers McLeod decided to enter a film into the DepicT! mini-shorts competition. They gave themselves the added challenge of producing their entry in under five hours, which is an admirable feat even when you take into account they had previously recorded the voice track. The finished film, The Existential Pleading of the Inner Heart, is an amusing bit of nonsense that charts the “thoughts and feelings of an Internet filmmaker called Colin T. Heart and might be a little bit autobiographical.” (Watch it full-screen for best effect.)
Perhaps most impressively, they also managed to document their four-and-a-half-hour production with a manic making-of video:
World-class stop motion animator Barry Purves is currently working on a short about Tchaikovsky that’ll debut later this year. The film’s cameraman Joe Clarke created this spellbinding time-lapse of Purves at work:
Whilst working on the film I shot this series of time-lapses with the help of students. Instead of just leaving the camera to click away at set intervals, we manually took a frame in synch with the frames Barry was taking as he animated, showing the puppet moving at his intended 25fps, almost!
The stills from the short that Joe has posted on his website are also mouth-watering. I’m eagerly anticipating this one.