» Posts Tagged ‘animation’

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We briefly interrupt our regularly scheduled NAB programming to bring you this short announcement about an intriguing animated short film masterclass. A little while ago, I highlighted a video from animation filmmaker Lucas Martell about his ideas tournament for generating new ideas and selecting the best ones to pursue further. Lucas is currently running an Indiegogo campaign for his latest animated short, The OceanMaker, and is now offering a perk specifically for those of you looking to expand your animation capabilities. For details about his upcoming animated short film masterclass, check out the video below. More »

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If you were taken by the film noir aesthetics and overall cinematic atmosphere of Playdead’s award winning computer game Limbo, then the cautionary tale Between Beasts from Swedish filmmaker Jesper Eriksson will feel like a welcome return to that monochrome world of danger and beauty. Get acquainted and watch the film after the jump: More »

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Color spaces and color models can be difficult to wrap your head around completely. There are additive and subtractive spaces, like RGB vs. CMYK, and different format/display technologies, like analog’s YUV vs. digital’s YCbCr — all of which you may have to traverse to achieve the final ‘look’ you want for your imagery. Not to mention that many color spaces are not absolute, meaning they don’t profile device-specific color representation. This can certainly induce a bit of a headache for newcomers to the color science realm. A great post by photographer Mark Meyer, featured recently on PetaPixel, explains how you can quite literally better-orient yourself to color spaces and models by, well, modeling them — in 3D open suite Blender, no less. More »

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It’s one thing knowing that directors and actors can combine their talents (along with a whole army of folks working away behind the scenes) to have us suspend our disbelief and buy into their presentation of a character experiencing a particular situation. Succumbing to a well-directed scene isn’t that great of a leap from being sucked into a well delivered story told round a camp fire, after all. For those of us who aren’t animators by trade, especially the stop motion variety, there’s something of a black box mystery when it comes to the art of turning inanimate objects into living, breathing characters we can route for. That’s why it’s always a fascinating treat to get a peak inside the inner workings of a top animation studio such as Laika, who are responsible for compelling animated stories such as Henry Selick’s Coriline or more recently, Sam Fell and Chris Butler’s dark adventure, ParaNorman – for which Grow Film created a series of behind the scenes videos. More »

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Do you love underdog stories? How about underdog stories about independent filmmaking? If the answer is yes, there’s a lot to love about HENRi, a low-budget science fiction short film, written and directed by Eli Sasich, starring Margot Kidder and Keir Dullea of 2001: A Space Odyssey fame. HENRi tells of the poetic journey of its titular character, a self-evolving robot who wishes for nothing more than to become human. The film is a unique blend of traditional miniature and puppetry effects alongside more modern motion-reference animation, and the results are simply stunning. Check out the trailer below. More »

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In creating computer generated imagery, reference photographs of real-life objects may assist modeling, texturing, and animating a 3D object. In animation, this practice translates into something called motion capture, or ‘performance capture’ when facial expressions are the focus (see: Avatar). Fixed reference points on an object or surface help artists recreate something virtually, but Microsoft XBox 360′s Kinect technology is actually able to recognize shape and motion on its own, turning you into a full-body video game controller in real-time. The new Lynx A Camera looks to take this a step further. Meet the world’s first ‘point-and-shoot’ camera that can model and capture the geometry, texture, and motion of anything you aim it at, right before your eyes. More »

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One of the main challenges all creatives face is not only generating new ideas for content but also determining which ideas are worth pursuing and which ideas should be discarded. Many new ideas seem great at first, but after several weeks of brainstorming, outlining and writing, too many ideas lead to dead ends and wasted energy. With this in mind, I was happy to come across a recent video podcast posting from award-winning Austin-based animator Lucas Martell focusing on his technique for conceiving new story ideas and discerning which ones to pursue. More »

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Academy Award nominees are rarely available for free (legally) online before the actual Oscar ceremonies, but that’s exactly the case with the short animation Paperman, produced with the help of Disney. The film is getting attention for more than just the nomination — the technique used is an interesting blend of 2D hand-drawn animation mixed with a 3D world. It’s not the first time that we’ve seen techniques like this used, but it may very well bring back some of the things many of us loved about traditional 2D animation. Check out Paperman and some behind the scenes videos below. More »

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By now it feels like a moot point to state that a good film has emerged from French animation school Supinfocom given their seemingly peerless record of producing student work which consistently tops animation festivals worldwide and racks up online viewing figures which most resemble a gaming leader board. Therefore please feel free to roll your eyes as I say that for his first Supinfocom animation Je m’appelle Nathan, Siward (aka Benoit Bertha) has created a beautifully touching observation of a young boy living with autism. More »

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Trekkie or not I’m betting that at least once after a hard days work, returning home to an empty fridge you’ve pondered ‘why the hell hasn’t someone invented those Star Trek food replicators yet?’ You may want to hold that thought the next time it crops up, at least until you’ve seen Andreas Wannerstedt’s science test gone wrong short Consumed: More »

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This story has repeated itself a few times over the last few years, but it’s worth sharing another inspirational and impressive short film that gets noticed by Hollywood. Kaleb Lechowski, a 22-year-old who studies digital film design at Mediadesign Hochschule in Berlin, Germany, produced the animated short R’ha for a school assignment. The impressive CG animation has earned him accolades across the web, and even across the Atlantic, garnering interest from Hollywood executives. Check out R’ha: More »

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We’ve already seen a little bit of what is possible in the After Effects plugin Trapcode, but now we’ve got a short called EXODUS from Magnus Östergren that was commissioned by Peder Norrby, the founder of Trapcode, to specifically show off what Trapcode Mir (a part of the whole suite) was capable of. Click through to check out the short: More »

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It may seem so obvious that it generally skips the mind, but the shape of the frame is one of the most basic qualities governing visuals. Traditionally speaking, we’re locked into this pretty successful sort of rectangular thing (no complaints), with some variability brought to us by the likes of format spec limits and the option of shooting anamorphic. Rarely do we have a reason to even want to break out of this box — but as visual creators, the power to do so is there should we require it. The yearly Fête des Lumières (or Festival of Lights) in Lyon, France has recently provided one such opportunity for a group of art Masters students — given that their animation would be projected on the side of a building, they chose quite the interesting shape for the frame of their vibrant and charming CG short. More »

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If you state outright you’ve created a film about ideas, the expectation bar instantly rises to such a lofty point that the fall you’ve now set yourself up for is going to have ego crunching consequences. Simon Fiedler’s experimental graduation animation from the University of Applied Sciences Mainz, not only rises to the lofty conceptual heights set up by his description, but does so with stylish aplomb. More »

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It’s no secret that here on NFS we spend a lot of our time looking forward towards new technologies coming down the track which will enable us to achieve more as filmmakers, but older technologies and formats that used to be woven into the fabric of our everday lives only occasionally make it to our pages. London animation studio M-I-E delve back to the medium that made the walkman king and get very hands on with tape in their stop motion / 3D short Jammed: More »

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Mixing animation and live action in one film in a way that moves the story forward is never an easy task. Pestle and Mortar’s Champagne Capitalist, however, does exactly that. In the short film (at just over 3 minutes it’s the very definition of a short), a young girl is tired of her parents’ dinner parties and “comes up with a surprising scheme to make this one work for her.” Obviously you may not watch or even want to watch many of the short films posted on this site, but if you’ve got a few minutes to spare, it’s worth checking out.
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What is it about rhyming couplets that make them perfectly suited for delivering dark tales of things that go bump in the night? We saw their effective use in Bloody Cuts’ bedtime yarn Suckablood and now, in time for the night where ghosts and ghouls invade cities across the world comes The Green Ruby Pumpkin, a passion project from senior visual effects artists Miguel Ortega and Tran Ma: More »

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We’ve shared quite a bit of animation on this site before, but the new short from directing duo Silsoe Mouse called Little Red is an entirely different animal…so to speak. Many of us have heard about Ms. Riding Hood and the Big Bad Wolf, and it’s a story that has been told and re-told thousands of times over the last few hundred years (in many different mediums), but Silsoe Mouse takes an interesting spin on the classic story not only in visual style, but in the actual storytelling itself — with a few unexpected twists. Click through to check out the short. More »

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David Fincher, who is often on the cutting edge when it comes to technology – even directing the first movie shot and projected in 4K and recently using a Monochrome RED EPIC-M – is now crowdfunding a new animated film called The Goon. It was only a matter of time before the big boys moseyed on down and got in on the Kickstarter action, but this isn’t the first Hollywood project to crowdfund it’s way into production. Bret Easton Ellis and Paul Schrader’s The Canyons was successful back in June to the tune of $159,000. The difference here, though, is that the money is not going to the actual film itself, but to a fully-realized Story Reel that includes vocal performances from Paul Giamatti and Clancy Brown. Click through for the Kickstarter launch video. More »

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Aside from the occasional distractions to be found on my phone and a lifelong love of Street Fighter II, I’m about as far from a gamer as you can get, which perhaps explains why I was completely unaware that developer Arkane Studios and publisher Bethesda Softworks were launching the new stealth action adventure game Dishonored next week. What did make me take notice, however, was the craftmanship of The Tales From Dunwall, a prequel webisode series, eerily narrated by Chloe Moretz over Daniel Licht’s haunting score. Comprising The Awakening, The Hand That Feeds, and In the Mind of Madness, digital creatives Psyop firmly set the tone of revenge as a cure to life’s woes which forms the spin of the game world narrative: More »