Thursday, February 26, 2009

Joss Whedon and the future

Joss Whedon call to action. The media world is changing, Television feels antiquated (to me at least). Joss Whedon of Buffy, Firefly, and Dr. Horrible fame seems to be the only one walking into the future with open arms. (except maybe Space Men Belong in the Future Probably, they were before Joss)

Animated timing debt to Silent Film

Mark Mayerson has a great post reviewing Charlie Chaplin's work, talking about how the camera technology at the time led the filming to be at a different fps then the playback, and how that affects our perception of it, that at regular speed falls seem painful, but sped up they become funny because they don't seem real. And how the actors focused on clarity knowing their movements would be sped up. Based off of Ben Model's youtube reviews of the film at different speeds/fps.

"The animators and directors of the 1930s and '40s grew up watching silent comedies and absorbed the feeling for fast action... Rod Scribner's animation has the broad energy of silent comedy. The furious anticipations that animated characters go through before zipping off screen owe a debt to the sense of speed that silent comedy introduced. Animation caricatured it, pushing it even further. Fast is funny, especially when it's been combined with movements that read clearly."

And then Keith Lango has an interesting point in the comments:
"A lot of modern animation (especially in films) comes off as 'leaden' and ponderous compared to the more energetic efforts from the past. To make up for that modern animation uses the cut more intensely to bring pace and energy to the film (no doubt an influence from the MTV generation). Modern animation motion is slower, but conversely the editing is frenetic "

Wednesday, February 25, 2009


I played Samorest back in the day when it came out, I've always loved the look Jakub Dvorsky gets. Looks like he's working on a longer game.

Machinarium Preview from Amanita Design on Vimeo.

Machinarium Preview 02 from Amanita Design on Vimeo.

Interview with him here.

Samorest 1

Samorest 2



Pretty song: Aviva Pastoral by Nathan Larson

I'm a sucker for european accents (probably because my father has one)I could see the twist coming from the beginning :(

Robots! Dirty Laundry by Bitter:Sweet animated by Zune arts

Monday, February 23, 2009

Alex Woo Pixar Story Artist

Mining over at Alex Woo's blog

Waltz with Bashir review
Thoughts on gesture drawing

Anaylysis of a shot

Details in a story, Apacolyptico as example

Quotes from Walt Stanchfield
"If yer eyes is stuck on the model, yer mind is bein' left out."

"In drawin', yer eyes and yer mind is pardners -- yer eyes sees it first but yer mind has to correct what they seen."

"It may take two hundred words to convince someone that yer honest, but it only takes 5 lines in a drawin' ta prove you ain't."

"Any details that don't 'help the gesture 'll never be missed."

"When drawin's takes tha place of talk -- they gotta say jest as much"

"A good drawin' doesn't need dialogue ta say what it's got ta."

note from feb 08:
To give you guys an idea of how the class is structured, the model will pose anywhere from 30 seconds to 2 minutes. We try to keep the time to a minimum, so that we don't get too focused on details of the anatomy, and focus more on the gesture of the pose. The philosophy is to use the pose as a foundation (a sort of jumping off point) and then to use our imagination and create a drawing that tells a story, or has some sort of entertainment value. It's very fun when your mind finally is open to the idea of not being constrained to what's in front of you. I still have a difficult time with it, so it's great to have those little quotes from Walt to remind me where I should be when I'm drawing.

Dj Nicke short vid tut on Lip Synch

Decent little tutorial on lip synching by DJ Nicke, like Osipa does, but it's a video walk thru so that's helpful.

(basically copy pasting his stuff so I have it in case the internet ever swallows his site up):

He has 4 steps:
1) foundation: what's the context, what's the scene, what's the mood
2) structure: open/close and wide and narrow (key just these points and you're done for a low budget or far away character, should look like they are saying the dialogue
3)details: eyes, brows, eye darts, general emotion on the face, broad strokes of what the emotions are
4)polish: add in the character's unique personality, amd mannerisms, weight, micro-expressions, charictaristic expressions, 12 principles, head moves

Interesting technique to find the open close positions of the face, put your elbow on the desk, put your fist under your chin, so now when your mouth is open you feel your head goes up (easier then trying to feel it with your hand on your chin and arm floating)

Another clever trick, puts his thumb and finger on the corners of his mouth to feel the narrow wides.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Carlos Baena breaks down 6th sense scene

Carlos Baena analyzes the acting in a 6th sense scene, I love these

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Wall-E visual storytelling article

Really interesting interview with Ralph Eggleston about color and light and texture and all the thoughts behind using the environment to help tell the story in Wall-E

got the link from Navone

Monday, February 16, 2009

Scarlet Star Studios on writing

Gretchin Lair & Sven Bonnichsen have an interesting blog with some great thoughts on story writing/development. Definitely need to do some mining over there

this ones from January 29, 2009
7) Conflict is over physical objects of symbolic significance
Every scene is structured around a conflict. Characters seldom address conflict openly. Meaning is invested into objects, which the characters battle over. (Every scene has a "mcguffin.") Understand the deep yearnings of your story people -- but then look for how it's expressed in terms of props or even people that they want to possess.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Navone on Eyebrows

Navone's got a good post on eyebrows

here's some of the gems:

Animation tip: have your brow animation precede any head or body movement. Otherwise the brow action will be lost in the movement and the audience will miss it. This technique also helps to make the character look like he's thinking before he's acting.

And here are some interesting behavioral facts about brows:

* As the pitch of the voice raises the brows go up
* As the pitch of the voice lowers, the brows likewise drop
* When asking a question where the answer is already known, the brows raise
* When asking a question where the answer is truly unknown, the brows lower
* Spontaneous facial expressions (surprise, fear, pain, etc.) tend to be symmetrical, where as expressions we choose to make (curiosity, suspicion, contempt, etc.) can be more asymmetrical.

These are just trends, not rules

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Keith Lango on weight

Keith Lango has a post about offsetting vs just posing more (which is funny because he already has a whole tutorial about it, and in a way, he was a big contributer to the whole overlapping thing back in the early days of CG) Anyway, some interesting gems about weight

Drag during the move is where the weight comes from. Simply overlapping parts at the end of the move is not enough- it's a cheap trick that doesn't solve the problem.

The key to good weight in a move is to get a sense of drag during the move. This is done not by some math trick but by making the changing shapes work as the character moves.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Little Dinosaurs and Hair Buddy

Fun little short, I like the smart use of 2D environment to keep production quick. By Dana Dorian. Found on Lineboil

*edit found another fun one, Lineboil's pretty cool

by Jeffrey Liu