Thursday, September 23, 2010

Making Music

My oldest son Steven joined me this past summer as I taught animation and story in downtown Vancouver at VANarts Media College. Steven has always been drawn to music and has spent huge amount of hours creating his own songs with our old piano as well with his various Garage Band software on his Mac. Having the senior students working hard animating their short films in their final Term, some welcomed the opportunity to have someone help create original music for their projects. Steven jumped on the chance as well { his 1st time creating music for films } and it really was great seeing how some of the projects came together.




Above, Steven listens to senior student Stuart McGillivray as they discuss the music needed for one of Stuart's scenes. His film was his version of a 'horror' film which was a great project to create the music for. Some scary and tense moments needed to be created. Fun stuff for any kid ... well, any adult :-) One of the local companies that saw Stuart's work liked it so much that they approached him with a job position even before he graduated. It was nice seeing this all come together as it did. Below is a link if you want to read more about this:
View Story




Steven works with senior 2D student Zoe Alstrup as they begin working on her soundtrack for her short film. Zoe recently graduated from our traditional 2D animation course and has just begun the 3D character animation course at the college.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Beautiful

I love appealing designs.
And cute.

Seeing the work that has been done on Disney's next feature release ' TANGLED ' I can't help but be drawn right into the film by the beautiful design. I know that some may find her too similar to little mermaids Ariel or simply too 'Disney' looking.

This isn't the same Disney design. It's better. More appealing. And with the attention
given to her eyes, simply beautiful work. With Glen Keane leading the design and animation, and dictating the motion of the hair { as seen below }, the Disney crew surely has created another classic Disney leading lady for the company.
I hope the story matches the look and the crew is rewarded with all the positives they deserve.

bonus cheques will work :-)





Glen Keane wanted this to be an animated movie that looked and felt like a traditional hand-drawn Disney Classic in 3D, he first had a seminar called "The Best of Both Worlds", where he, with 50 Disney animators (CGI artists and traditional artists), focused on the pros and cons of each style. Because of advancements in computer technology, many basic principles of animation used in traditional animated movies but which have been absent in CGI films due to technical limitations are now becoming possible also in this field of animation, where they will be used together with the potential offered by CGI. Keane has stated numerous times that he is trying to make the computer "bend its knee to the artist" instead of having the computer dictate the artistic style and look of the film. By making the computer become as "pliable as the pencil," Keane's vision of a "three dimensional drawing" seems within reach, with the artist controlling the technology. Because many of the techniques and tools that were required to give the film the quality Keane demanded of it didn't exist when the project was started, WDFA had to make them on their own.[4]
To create the impression of a drawing, non-photorealistic rendering is going to be used, making the surface look like it is painted but still containing depth and dimensions.









Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Michel Gagné + Jon Hooper

Two of my college friends, Jon Hooper and Michel Gagne, will be crashing at my house this weekend up here in the Great White North.


Jon is a animator/storyboard artist who is one of the creators of the popular website for animation resources ' Animation Meat '.


Michel has a huge following with his independent work.
He is currently very busy finishing work on a video game that is based on his original artwork :
Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet.


Below is one of Michel latest works, Sensology. Michel has always loved the way shapes move, the timing with the designs. I love his work. He has always had a huge passion for the arts and as you can tell, it very much shows in his work. It will be great seeing both Michel and Jon again.






Sensology is a short animated film that visualizes in abstract form, an improvised musical session by two leaders of the avant-guarde jazz movement, Paul Plimley (piano) and Barry Guy (bass).The music was recorded on November 9th, 1995, at the Western Front in Vancouver, Canada


The film was started in August 2006 and completed in July 2010. Many months of experimentation with various animation techniques lead to a grant from Art Partners in Creative Development and the creation of the live show Fixed Fragmented Fluid which will also make its way as a film at a later date.


Sensology was handdrawn (painted) with a Wacon tablet at first, and later, a Cintiq, using Adobe Photoshop. The drawings and frames were then composited and manipulated in a 2D software called Animo. There is no vector animation at any point in the film.


The animation was done stream of consciousness, one frame at a time at a rate of 30 frames per second.


Because a film needs to be 24 FPS in order to be submitted to the Academy, I had to create a new master which took quite a bit of creativity and effort in order to preserve as much of the animation as possible. Fortunately, the 24 FPS version looks good and nobody but me will ever see the difference. The version posted here is 30 FPS, as it is YouTube prefered film rate.


A 9-second teaser of Sensology was posted on line in the Fall of 2006 and resulted in Pixar contacting me to do the abstract taste visualization for the film Ratatouille.


The completed 6-minute short film, Sensology, premiered in Los Angeles at the Laemmle's Fallbrook 7 in West Hills, CA on July 30th, 2010, where it was shown for three consecutive days.