Friday, April 29, 2011

Banishment of Beauty

part 2, part 3, part 4.

So I've seen this around (to be fair, I haven't rewatched it this time, just posting it because I just rediscovered the link), by Scott Burdick and it usually gets me riled up whenever I roll across it. I agree with him that the ART WORLD is really just a circle jerk of people trying to convince everyone else that they are the art priests and are needed. But I disagree with the complete writing off of modern art. Picasso's a great example.

when you can do this at age 11, then really what's the point in continuing to chase it

and instead following the expressionists trying to make the internal feelings come through

but then WWII happens and everything gets paused, so when everyone comes back afterwards he's got a bulletproof rep because it was preserved in time, so he can make stuff like this because no one can tell him he's half assing it now

Modern art can be cool because it's thinking of the world in new ways, sure your kid could do it, but what's interesting is that someone has done it and suggests you stop and consider it aesthetically, stop and be present and notice the world around you, sure some of it is bad but there are cool things out there to see or ideas to entertain.

Take out the ad copy from catalogs and those images are as artistic as the realist painters, emoting just as much and having just as much interesting composition lighting and color choices and all the other art stuff. If you're in the habit of considering everything the world artistically you can appreciate it, if you are interested in saying "art only is ..." then you miss it (whether your on the art priest side, or the "aesthetic underground")

Mona Lisa Curse is a similar discussion, but damning of only some of contemporary art, not all of it

Thursday, April 28, 2011


I'm just a sucker for glowy stuff, don't know why but I always love it. Plus this has a nice mellow audio. Interesting to see how they(Darcy Prendergast) are evolving this art form from their earlier piece Lucky.

*found at Lineboil

Monday, April 25, 2011

Andrew Stanton's Journey of Pain

Andrew Stanton did a keynote talk at some point. Belzeque has transcribed it (looks like the blog is worth a spin through).

Stanton talks about how he has to have a touchstone moment in a film, that's the emotional core of the story, as a kind of compass to keep the rest of the film on course: "I tell you, without that emotional key image it was always a tremendous chore to figure out our course and to stay on it. You were always attacking things from your head and not your heart. You were always finding yourself confused and asking, "Why is this moment here? Why is my character doing this?" You had nothing to reset yourself and put you back in the centre and look at it from an emotional point of view."

For Toy Story it was the simple imagery of an old favourite toy on the bed, being knocked off and replaced by a brand new favourite toy, all the jealousy and insecurities that would naturally be stirred up by that [garbled] evoked.

Toy Story 2 was Woody at the crossroads of his toy existence, looking down that ventilation shaft that elicited the fear and anxiety of facing death.

For Monsters Incorporated it was the simple image of a giant furry paw holding the tiny hand of a little girl. It was an actual sketch. I couldn't find it so I used this clip. It conjured up the childhood issues of overcoming your fears and the trials of an adult adjusting to parenthood.

For Finding Nemo it was the discovery of a sole surviving fish egg in the sand. It represented the moment your child is born and you hold it and you're barraged with a sea of overwhelming conflicting emotions: love, sadness, joy, but most of all, fear.

on Toy Story 2
Now, how were we able to rewrite 75% of the picture in three months? Well, we were able to do that -- and I only kinda saw this in hindsight, because we were working too fast to think about it at the time -- was... the characters were already known. This is one of the biggest insights for me: that's where most of your time is spent. For as much as you need to be rewriting plot again and again, it's all in the means to try to figure out who your characters are, how they see the world, how they make decisions, how they react to things.

And you can't do that separately from the plot. Sometimes you have to rewrite the plot again and again until you find these character insights. most of those three months were actually spent on the three characters that were new, that we didn't know, which were the Roundup Gang.

If you construct your story correctly it compels the audience to conclude the answer is four. This works for every aspect of filmmaking down to a molecular level. Most obviously it works with editing -- of course you know the Eisenstein where they show the face, then they show the food, then they show the same face, and they show the woman, and you interpret that either as lust or as hunger.

But it also works in doling out plot lines, just like we saw in the Ryan's Daughter clip. It works with dialogue, where you don't say what you actually mean. It works with relationships: how to get something, because your adding what somebody says with somebody else.

And whenever Bob and I are trying to introduce characters, we always wanted to do it as smart and economical as that skit. We'd always say, "It need to have that 'It's your mother, remember me' get-ability. You just right away got it like doing two plus two.

"I think that for a movie or a play to say anything really truthful about life, it has to do so very obliquely, so as to avoid all pat conclusions and neatly tied-up ideas. The point of view it is conveying has to be completely entwined with a sense of life as it is, and has to be got across through a subtle injection into the audience's consciousness. Ideas which are valid and truthful are so multi-faceted that they don't yield themselves to frontal assault. The ideas have to be discovered by the audience, and their thrill in making the discovery makes those ideas all the more powerful. You use the audience's thrill of surprise and discovery to reinforce your ideas, rather than reinforce them artificially through plot points or phony drama or phony stage dynamics put in to power them across." -- Stanley Kubrick, 1960.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Pascal Blanche Dune Opening

Ran across this little tribute vid by Pascal Blanche (who turns out to be art director at Ubisoft montreal). It only has a moving mouth, so not actually animated, but it occurs to me how effective this could be if your trying to make a sci fi short and get the most bang for your buck (though I would find something else to move instead of the mouth). You could easily do it with a few 2D images as well.

earlier post on Lou Romano & Will Finn's similar stuff

hands of the master did it a lot by having extensive matt paintings saving time on modeling tech out (the chair for example)

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


"a puppet has to fight to be alive" interesting how they start with the breath, make it breathe on a fundamental level, These folks really studied their horse behaviour and body language, really sells that it's a living animal. Pretty awesome how it's a synchronis of 3 minds to create the one animal.

walking with dinosaurs

La machine (they have giant spiders also)

other puppets I've talked about
Kate Brehm

Monday, April 11, 2011

Sound Collections

Thinking of making a short? You're gonna need sound, for all the stepping and interaction with the environment, and songs so the audience knows when to be sad ;)

ran across these two sites, probably more out there, but they're creative commons.


and you can buy sounds from here


Wednesday, April 6, 2011


Some notes I copy pasted out of the stopmotion forums on working with silicone (for the corpse bride/ coraline smoothness)

Silicone is not a foam, so it is heavier.
You need a sulphur-free plasticine to sculpt with.
You can only paint it with more silicone, and it needs thinning to make it handle a little like paint. But too much thinner, or too much pigment, can inhibit the cure.
Like latex, it has a limited shelf life

But on the plus side, it doesn't wrinkle like foam latex so it's better for characters that need smooth skin.
And it should last for many years, unlike latex which deteriorates. The puppet will suffer wear from animating it, but it could probably sit in a display case forever.
It has a slight translucent quality which can look very lifelike.

Silicone is infamous for not sticking to armature/wire, which means it can sometimes slip or rotate. a suggestion is to wrap string/cotton around the armature so the silicone has something to grip onto or soak into.

The 'official' paint for Silicone is 'Psycho Paint', which is another silicone that has a much longer setting time. But people have had luck tinting it with acrylic and oil paint.

I use dragon skin pro and I am really satisfied with how it performs. I tint it with oil paints and then if I need to paint it with thinned silicone (I use naphtha) tinted with oil and dried with a hair dryer.

Smooth-On's Dragon Skin and PolyTek's Platsil Gel-10 are popular platinum silicones with a shore hardness of 10A.
A broad outline of the process:
First sculpt the character in a sulphur-free plasticine (like Chavant NSP_, or an unbaked polymer clay (Sculpey, Fimo, etc) if you prefer that stuff.
Second, make a mould from a hard plaster (like Ultracal 30 or Hydrostone) - usually in 2 halves, a front and a back piece.
Third, open the mould and remove the plasticine, make the armature to fit in the mould.
Fourth, cast in silicone rubber with the armature inside.
Fifth, remove silicone puppet, trim flashing, fill any gaps, clean up, and paint with more silicone and pigment.

Friday, April 1, 2011


Gah, looks BEAUTIFUL! Story ... doesn't quiet hold together, but LOVE the look. By Hiroyasu Ishida who did Fumiko's Confession

* found on the brew