A couple of days ago, I presented with my friend Andy at SWATCA (Teachers’ convention here in Lethbridge). We put together a short how to video for teachers wanting to share with their class how to do stop motion on an iPad.
This music video for Kina Grannis’ song “In Your Arms”, just blows me away. It uses stop motion with Kina in front of a jelly bean background.
Each background is made up of jelly-beans laid out by hand to create the video’s amazing look. This crazy project took 22 months of shooting, 30 people, 2,460 frames, 1,357 hours, and 288,000 jelly beans. What’s even more amazing is that all of the shots with Kina are not created with a green screen — she’s there for every shot.
There are only a few people from my elementary school that I’m still in touch with. One of those people is Eric Bates.
I was friends with him all throughout elementary and high school. In particular, I remember playing around on 3D Studio and a very early version of Photoshop with him in Bobby Salmaso’s drafting class. We were also known to play a networked game of Doom during many lunch hours. He had some pretty advanced 3D modelling skills, even in those days, and I have always been a bit jealous of his talent.
Outside of school we worked on a project together to recreate a map of our high school on Duke Nukem 3D. His attention to detail and the way he constructed complex warping methods around the map to give the illusion of a multi-floored building blew me away. I think he liked my ample use of glass and the way one could simulate an experience of shooting out the windows next to the cafeteria. There was something cathartic about seeing all that shattered glass spray out on the floor.*
Eric and I are still in touch — though not very much now that he lives in Japan . He’s still animating and his latest piece, Sayonara was just featured on Cartoon Brew. Here it is:
A short story about two unlikely friends saying goodbye. A young man named Charles just lost his home. He spends one last day with his best friend, a sea turtle, before moving on.
This graduation project was made while at the Kyoto University of Art and Design. It brings together a lot of the research I had done over the three years I spent in Kyoto, and is based abstractly on my own experiences living in Japan. Most of the concepts relate somehow to my experiences, friends, foods, things I saw, and things I felt over this time; in particular the idea of saying goodbye to close friends.
He’s also created a making of video. Fantastic work, Eric. We always knew you were destined for greatness.
*It turns out, simulating shooting up a school in no way makes one actually want to shoot up a school — but if this had been a few years later, we probably would have been too worried about what others thought to make the map.
After around 440 hours of work, and just in time for the 10th anniversary of the original movie release, we are pleased to present to you our Lego version of the famous Bullet Time dodge scene from The Matrix.
Disney has released the trailer for its newest full length feature animation, The Princess and the Frog. It will be the animation studio’s 49th animated feature and the first traditional animation feature since Home on the Range — my least favorite Disney animation of all time. I’m hoping things have improved…
The new movie will add to Disney’s profitable princess franchise, and, more importantly, with directors John Musker and Ron Clements at the helm, I suspect it will have the kind craftsmanship and story that will make it worthy to become part of the Disney Classics canon.
Ron and John’s directing credits include: The Great Mouse Detective, The Little Mermaid, Aladdin, Hercules, and Treasure Planet. These guys have worked with the masters and, of course, are masters in their own right.
The NHL playoffs begin today. Personally I’m rooting for the Calgary Flames, but I’ll be happy if any Canadian team wins the cup.
Whether or not you’re planning to watch any of the games tonight, take ten minutes to enjoy The Sweater, a classic Canadiana short from the NFB.
In this animated short, Roch Carrier recounts the most mortifying moment of his childhood. At a time when all his friends worshipped Maurice “Rocket” Richard and wore his number 9 Canadiens hockey jersey, he was mistakenly sent a Toronto Maple Leafs jersey from Eaton’s. Unable to convince his mother to send it back, he must face his friends wearing the colours of the opposing team. This short film, based on the book The Hockey Sweater, is an NFB classic that appeals to hockey lovers of all ages.
Back in the early days of Disney animation, it was not uncommon for animators to cycle animation forward and then backward, repeat action more than once, or use a cross-over technique in which two or more characters do the same action.
Sometimes an action could be repeated just as it was in a second scene, but more often a new beginning or a different ending were called for. In these cases, the animator could repeat part of the action by borrowing drawings from the earlier scene. In other cases, there would be an action that could be repeated intact in the same scenes—a character climbing a slippery pole, or sliding down an incline, or being knocked down by a mechanical device.
I remember watching the Disney classics as a kid and thinking some of these scenes are very similar to other Disney movies. I never realized that this type of repeated action was so prominent between films until seeing this YouTube compilation:
Having said that, I don’t considering this to be as big of a cheat as to deserve a flippant “fail” tag so indiscriminately handed out by the Pharisees of the net.
The copying done here, is not tracing, but transferring poses from one character to another, perhaps even from Disney’s large collection of reference footage. As anyone that’s done any animation knows, putting any animation onto a new character is still a very difficult task regardless of where you get the poses.
This hilarious Jack Kinney style Goofy short, How to Hook up your Home Theater, isn’t new — it was released in 2007, shown in theatres before National Treasure 2: Book of Secrets — but it is significant because it recaptures the spirit of Disney in the golden era of animation. It aims particularly at recapturing the Jack Kinney classics like Hockey Homicide or a Goofy Gymnastics with a modern twist.