Thursday, May 28, 2009

Tom Hanks on Acting

Teresa Nord found an interesting idea from Tom Hanks in an interview he gave about Angels and Demons.

"Anyways, his trick is to find out how his character is alone in the world and think about that as much as he can. "

she describes it more, but you know, bad blogger etiquette to just lift it :)

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Pete Doctor interviewed by Terry Gross

Pete Doctor (director of Pixar's UP) interviewed by Terry Gross listenable now

on the snipe bird, no facial expressions, like the muppets, all the emotion comes through the movement, the posing, the speed at which it moves

We tried to set up a situation and instead of having to move it along: "WHAT HAPPENS NEXT, MOVE IT ALONG!!!" we try to allow the characters to just behave and react, some of the greatest animations are little observations beautiful glimpses into real life that are somehow captured and distilled and made more real through animation Miyazaki is great at this

Joe Grant: what are you giving the audience to take home? What are you putting up on the screen that is emotionalably relateable that the audience will identify with and they will think about the next day, the next month, the next year.

How do you squeeze a whole backstory and life into a 3 mintue sequence? We started long, with dialogue and stuff. Ronnie Del Carmen (lead story artist) made beautiful
boards, so they put it together and cut and cut and cut. And then we were thinking about old Super 8 home movies, or audio tapes, and how since they are lacking something (sound or visual) you have to become more of an active particapant in the absorbing it.

painting tricks

Got a few more of those cheezy "how to paint" art books out of the library. Their silly, but there's always a couple of gems worth holding on to. Also just ran across the cheezy art magazine website has demo's. Things that caught my attention this time:

Do small (9"x16" max) studies with time limits (15, 30, 45 minute)

If you hold true to value, you can really experiment with color

Break your subject up into 2 tones (the lit part and the shaded part) and get those tones down first (probably the mid tone of each) then if you have more time you can get more detailed within those tones. (so a cueball would be flat white, with a flat crey crescent on the bottom)

try and get your shadow shapes to blog together for a more solid feeling whole (don't have a bunch of shadow shapes scattered all over if you can help it)

the strongest point of contrast will draw your eye, strongest dark vs light, or hardest edge, or both, so plan that in your composition if possible.

another limited palette suggestion: lamp black (for blue) yellow ochre & terra rosa

Pigeon Impossible Thinking Anticipation

Current Pigeon Impossible Podcast does some nice breaking down of showing thinking, and anticipating with thinking, in under 5 minutes :)

Friday, May 22, 2009

Beyond Good and Evil 2

Concept video leaked. Pretty cool parkour. Concept videos are interesting, I think as the engines get stronger and stronger it's coming more and more to the artists saying: "what would be the coolest game to play" and making a little video of it, and then the programmers figuring out how to do it from there. Star Wars and Assassin's Creed same thing. Video Games are always growing so fast it's fun to see the new possibilities coming, wonder how much longer until games are bigger then movies.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Children's Illustration

So eventually, my 36th career I would like to do children's book illustration, (gonna have to live to be 703 to get everything done in this life that I want :P ) so notes I've run across on portfolio for that:

useful article (though it was written in 2001) by Phyllis Pollema-Cahill

portfolio should be 12-15 images. show kids of different ages and ethnicities, showing emotion and being active, animals are good too, different settings (architecture, cities, nature) and adults in proper proportion to children. Include 1 or 2 full stories (combine multiple illustrations onto a single page to get through the story quickly (like a comic)) to prove you can handle a story arc and maintain the look of characters, well known fairy and folk tales have probably been done to death don't bore the reviewer.

Direct mail helped this author the most, but the internet is much stronger now so who knows.

"A self-addressed stamped reply postcard has been very helpful to me in getting feedback. I make it as easy as possible for the art buyer by putting checkboxes in front of brief statements such as:
__ I like your illustration samples
__ Please send me a full portfolio
__ I'll keep your samples on file
__ Please send me new samples periodically
__ I'm returning your samples, they're not appropriate for our current needs.

A resume isn't really necessary in a mailing, but you can include it. A brief paragraph in your cover letter about yourself and your work might be more readable

In my experience it can take anywhere from a week to four years (seriously) to get a reply card or samples back. Most publishers seem to take about 3 months. No response doesn't necessarily mean they don't like your work or haven't kept it. "

and went and tracked down the illustration rates for Ladybug magazine (the other magazines in that series where not as direct with their rates)
# Rates: $500/spread ($250/page)
# We purchase all rights; physical art remains the property of the illustrator and may be used for artist's self-promotion.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Keith Lango - Visual Harmony

Keith makes a great point. (as usual)

This time he's coined the term Visual Harmony, to refer to all the different aspects of a film. The point being, you can have a lush oil painting look, but then if you move it with mocap it's gonna feel dischordant because all the instruments aren't singing the same song. He points out that the computer has a default type of motion (animates on 1's and smooth with perfectly consistent volumes) so even if you have a different visual look you're piece will sound out of tune if you don't find a way to get the motion to fit the look. Keith gives examples:
So far the most successful adventures in defining different motion styles in CG have been done by reducing visual elements. Pocoyo removes everything but the characters and primary props. The reason this is successful is because the motion does not need to live in harmony with any other visuals. In musical terms they can just sing the melody because there are no other parts to be sung. It's an extremely clever solution. Another successful result was Marc Craste's Pica Towers from earlier this decade. By removing color and subtlety of shading (much of it is very stark with little gradiation in values) he simplified the visuals which allowed him to employ a more limited motion style. The result was immediately satisfying to behold.

anyway, interesting food for thought

oh, and here's an interesting looking flat shade (except its not, the shadows are painted on and I think it's all self illuminated, but anyway, doesn't look straight CG)

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Red and Blue by Miseri

Super fun clay short by Misseri Studios in Italy. Talk about line of action describing attitude and emotion!

* found on lineboil

Pigeon Impossible

Just watched all Lucas Martel's video podcasts over at Pigeon Impossible. Very watchable and some good tricks to help get through a short film (like a baked generic cloth sim animated blendshape so the animator can turn the wind on or off without having to sim it, or feedback on the IK handles changing color to say you've pulled to far, or the advantage of locking your camera early (so you can throw the BG on the render que while you finish animation) Gonna flip through the blog now.

Also if you're an XSI person, he's super generous, scripts and rigs even to help out the community.

*here comes the blog stuff :)
Review of Multipass lighting from Siggraph. Interesting, storage space is cheaper then power, so if you're poor putting it all together in comp is easier, but if you have the $$ it's easiest to make the software spit it out close to finished. And speaking of mixing in comp, his podcast on RGB passes was a great reminder of that clever trick (using a Red Green and Blue light as your 3 fixed lights so that you can assign them to channels and mix intensities in post)