Saturday, 21 December 2013

Discovered my artwork during install of Lightwave 11.6.1

Finally got around to installing the very latest updated version of Lightwave and watched the installation slide gallery wondering if I'd ever see any of my work in there some day. As the green install bar raced toward the finish line at the last possible moment up popped this...

...I made it. How my head swells with pride, I'd like to thank a few people...(pulls out starts playing...good looking people usher me off the stage).

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

The Cloud Explained

Sometimes motion graphics can just be like this, hands on, stripped of artifice, in your face, here it is, the ideas.

From 2008

Friday, 13 December 2013

Apache Tricycle spot

This is some more animation work showcasing Anime Studio pro and Victor Paredes who works with Fluor Films. Victor also did the Google Adwords video I posted earlier. This is very much in line with the POC Paga spots but more retro in style.

This sort of work and the POC Pago spots is why I believe 2D is where it's at.

POC Paga

I'll be the first to admit I don't know what the POC paga is, maybe some sort of camera, tablet device, but frankly I don't care because these promotional animations are exceptional.

They use a combination of Anime Studio pro for the character work, After Effects for the motion graphic elements and C4D for any 3D elements. What to say, this is design at work, pure and simple.

POC paga from PATOMOLINA! on Vimeo.

Thursday, 12 December 2013

Djurvännerna (Animal Friends) is Adorable Animation

Here is the trailer for Animal Friends, a series of beautiful story book animations based around the work of  author illustrator Eva Linstrom. It was animated using Anime Studio Pro by David Rylander using artwork supplied by Linstrom.

Djurvännerna trailer from David Rylander on Vimeo.

The sound design is gentle, with muffled voice tracks and an interpretive jazz score that hits its mark perfectly in tune with the animation. Please go here to see the full series as I was only able to embed the trailer.

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

New helpers from AEscripts + AEplugins

I picked these two out of the bunch of new things from AEscripts + AEplugins, since they are the kind of tools you might find really useful during production. I especially like this one...

After Effects does have the reduce project tools but this looks like it does a real deep clean of your whole project, even solids get sorted.  The other one I chose to put up is this interactive grid tool that seems to have every type of grid layout you could possibly want.

I think I need to get this since I'm a little artsy and loose with my layouts some times. The other new plug-ins are worth looking into, there's an interesting real-time interface plugin that works with the site projection app Millumin, a little pricey but if doing on site video projections is your thing...

Sunday, 24 November 2013

More character tests with Anime Studio

So after some Photoshop to work out what sort of look I wanted, I took the resulting image into Anime Studio and set about making it up as vector shapes. I spent the best part of a day building and rigging this character, I should also mention post processing in After effects.

Cat singing test and rigging from djwaterman on Vimeo.

I've used the same Blue Cheer track for the lip sync just because it was handy, it doesn't reflect the actual character who is female.

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Auto Trace, convert line art to vectors in Anime Studio

I tested this function in Anime Studio to see if it will become part of my workflow. The answer...maybe.

Auto trace test in Anime Studio Pro from djwaterman on Vimeo.

Ultimately it's not the hand animated look I'm going for, but the whole thing took almost no time to set up so it has that going for it.

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Using Anime Studio Pro in Production

As I mentioned in a previous post, I had the chance to make use of Anime Studio Pro in the production of some animated iconography for a client. The icons were already designed for print and just needed to be animated for video. Using ASP I could exactly duplicate the look and then introduce faux 3D and animated moves.

Quick workflow with Anime Studio used in production from djwaterman on Vimeo.

More VRay love from BLR

So funny. So nice. The score is well integrated into the story-line. The story-line is well integrated into our lives.

IDIOTS from BLR_VFX on Vimeo.

Friday, 15 November 2013

I've been added to a Vimeo channel

All my little character tests got added to a dedicated Anime Studio channel set up by "Distinct Sun" on Vimeo. I'd never seen this channel before and there's a lot of good stuff there that I'd also not seen.

 Just a side note, I'm doing an animated motion graphic job over the weekend and doing a component of it with Anime Studio Pro, so this marks the 2nd time I've made use of this program for production since buying it.

First raw footage from the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera

Via RedShark news, a promising review from some guys in Copenhagen who stayed up for 38 hours to test the RAW capabilities of the next camera on my wish list, the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera.

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

I Scream, you scream, we all scream for icecream.

This weird little film was featured on Vimeo, sporting a lolly color palate and wicked sense of humor.

Anytime is ice cream time from Steve Cutts on Vimeo.

It imeadiately reminded me of another earlier confectionary journey into hell by the legendary Kansas studio MK12.

MK12 | Follow the Sun | 2011 from MK12 on Vimeo.

Which brings me to the first thing I ever saw from MK12, because I was searching for a font and MK12 were giving away a free one that they had designed for this...

These will never get old.

Saturday, 2 November 2013

Sang Hyun on Vimeo

My attention has been drawn to these videos by an Animator called Sang Hyun who works out of Korea, all these are movie versions of children books and seem to be produced by a group called the Culture Foundation. The are all quite, quite wonderful, mostly executed in After Effects and I have to assume visually based on the illustration style of the books.

Les poings sur les iles from Sang hyun on Vimeo.

Red Balloon from Sang hyun on Vimeo.

The Love of Toy Soldier from Sang hyun on Vimeo.

Check out the videos, there's more than these three.

Monday, 28 October 2013

My Flaming Text Tute is Up.

Finally worked out how to solve a problem I was having with Premier, cut the video into smaller chunks and you can get through it, simple fix but it has held me up for weeks. I put the first of my After Effect tutes up on YouTube today, the other one I haven't yet recorded. All in good time, I'm pretty busy with work right now.

It's funny how before I made this tutorial I searched for a tute on how to make flaming text and couldn't find any, and then as soon as I posted this I saw at least three others, however none use this technique and I think this give a better result. This tute will go into the Tutorial page with the others, eventually they all might get put into a seperate website, I've not quite decided what I'm doing with them as yet.

AMPLifier on Vimeo

Some wonderful sparkling clean modern motion graphics work from (I think) Japan. Not just visually stunning but in lockstep with the audio. I see a lot of Plexus being used, but in a good way.

More Lou. Sorry but I have to.

I just feel like I want to be induldgent and post stuff that isn't graphics related tonight.

Strange edits on this one, I think the film version had more lines than the soundtrack version and this has been edited together.

I love what he has to say about british rock and roll, ha ha.

This is cute also.

Sunday, 27 October 2013

Lou Reed 1942-2014

We all have to go sometime, I just wasn't expecting this news today.

Thanks for all the songs Lou.

Thursday, 24 October 2013

Arrows with Paths and Flaming Text in After Effects

Here is a peek at 2 After Effects tutorials I got in the works. I'm having a small (big) problem editing them so I wanted to get something up in the mean-time.

Ever wanted to know how to make those nice looking arrows that crawl all over maps? I have a cool and versitile solution that will do the job and then some. Plus a tutorial for a flaming text effect that's pretty flaming nice.

Monday, 21 October 2013

Birdy Test

Another little character for my project, here testing some of the 'smart bones' action. This character doesn't have to do much, just some basic bird motions.

Free Film Grain, Light Leaks and assorted looks.

My latest wanderings around the Internet turned up some nice freebies. These things could help tweak your project into a good place at the compositing stage, so I'll provide the links and a little run down on what's what.


I'm not sure if these qualify as what I understand a light leak to be, more like off camera flashes of light creeping into the lens, but you can't beat reality and these are real. The free samples can be downloaded if you sign up to their newsletter, a pretty low risk affair considering what you get, which is a 1280 + 720 clip of assorted light flickerings from their range.


They sell all types of film grain, 35 mm, 16 mm and even 8mm and at reasonable prices. They also provide a nice free sample of 35mm grain with a just the right amount of added dirt to look authentic and not stupid. This freebie also comes at 1920 + 1080 and you don't have to sign up to anything.

The motherload. 20 free samples of Light leak flashes at a useful 1920 by 1080 aspect, Five free samples of Particulars at 1280 + 720, these being filmed dust float elements, and one 35 mm film grain (no dirt) also at the smaller 1280 +720 size.

And since we're talking dust elements, not that he needs the exposure, you will find a swag of nice high quality filmed powder over at Video Co-Pilot

And it doesn't end there, there is free video and elements to be had over at Videvo

Saturday, 12 October 2013

Google Adwords - A cool animation using Anime Studio Pro

This is the latest animation work of Victor Paredes who works with Fluor Films to produce some of the most colorful and illustrative motion graphics around. Victor is based in Santiago, Chile.

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Another look, another character design

Built and animated in Anime Studio Pro, comped in After Effects for the paper look.

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Another character test

This is the last of this guy I promise, he's just a background character. Slightly better rig this time so I had him do something different this time.

Look development, 12 FPS and work-flow.

I've been designing a small animation project so as to learn more Anime Studio pro. This means drawing in my notebook and developing characters and ideas to bring into the animation, which is something I haven't done much of lately (drawing on actual paper). I've managed to build one of the background characters and animate him into a very economical looping animation that I could take into After Effects for some look development.

I used a 12 frame per second frame rate to un-smooth the motion and give it the kinetic feel of cheaper animation. The process of throwing it into After Effects has the added benefit of generating other ideas of where I might take this. I want to see if I can get another character up in the next few days, the process takes more time than it probably should because every step is a learning exercise at this stage. I should imagine things get much, much faster when higher competency is achieved.

Thursday, 3 October 2013

Used Anime Studio Pro on a job.

This post is to note that I had a small motion graphic job this week that allowed me to make use of Anime Studio Pro, forcing me to just get into it and deliver something to order. It was the kind of job I'd be hesitant to take on normally, being a 2D character animation type thing, but now I feel like I can start to explore this area with more confidence.
When the promotion runs it's course I'll put it up, even if it's not A grade work the client was very happy with the result (and it represents to me a turning point). Anime Studio Pro has really captured my imagination, I should probably stop talking about it.

BOBO by Mike Scott

Lovely dream ambiance in this masterful doodle-like short. All penned by the animator Mike Scott with his brother David doing an incredible job with the soundtrack. Watch in full HD for the best effect.

It's another small scale yet big seeming production, the vista-vision frame aspect does some of the work but notice the visual shot construction, there is a strong sense of where things are in relation to everything as a whole. The audio mix is high quality as well and brings it's own dimension to the story.

The animator is using Anime Studio Pro (my latest software obsession) and Photoshop. Check out Mike Scott's blog.

Sunday, 22 September 2013

BAO Mask Brush

Yet another marvelous plug-in for After Effects that I can't quite justify owning yet.

You can find it over at aescripts + aeplugins, I also have that site as a permanent link on the side bar to the right.

Anime Studio Pro - Physics

I vaguely knew Anime Studio Pro had a physics engine but this is pretty impressive.

You could see this work it way into a motion graphics job. Looks to be fairly stable, no jitter on that pile of letters, the obvious advantage for doing this in ASP are the graphic looks you can give to the elements.

Saturday, 21 September 2013

Anime Studio Pro 9.5 - My first test.

As promised, here is the first thing I've been able to turn out using this neat program. Firstly I'm impressed that I could pretty closely duplicate my Photoshop concept design inside of Anime Studio Pro, then I was even more excited to get some sort of understanding for using smart bones to drive vectors, in this case for opening and closing the mouth.

It took me a fair bit of trial and error to get that smart bone to work, understanding it better now I think. The latest upgrade to this program puts it at a nice stage where it's still fairly simple and not overly cluttered with stuff you might never use, even with all the new features.

Those new feature? Well I glad I'm learning this program now and not in an older version. Smart bones and nested compositions will really allow animators to get more ambitious with what they can get done on this app.

The developers appear to be very responsive to their user base judging by the forums, I'm looking forward to what they turn out in future versions.

Friday, 20 September 2013


I finally got around to installing this 2D animation program and feeling my way around the UI. Already I have the feeling that this software will become addictive and open up new areas of creativity for me. I also upgraded to the latest version although haven't yet installed that, so the experience will get better since the upgrade is pretty significant, with all manner of new work-flows that were called for. The fact that I can export animated elements out of this and into After Effects for deeper compositing and look refinement means I have little excuse now to start doing some cool animation. There's even a user forum to log into, and it seems to be a pretty lively and helpful place to hang out. I found this artist's blog link and here's his work reel.

I find Victor Paredes work so inspiring, it appears that this is one of those softwares that allow artists to fully express themselves, the different styles in the video attest to that. You can animate frame by frame in a more traditional cell style, or implement bone rigs for a puppet-ed approach, I think you can even bring in 3D characters (although I'm not interested in that side of it). Then there are amazing vector tools and brushes that are just super nice to work with, even just for illustration purposes. I hope to be able to get my head into this app and begin producing work with it. As soon as I turn out anything half decent I will likely post it here in these pages.

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Walk on the Wild Side (1962)

Best use of a cat in an opening and closing credit sequence, ever. I've been on a bit of a Brook Benton kick of late and that's how I happened upon this classic Saul Bass title sequence. Brook is heard over the closing credits.

I marvel at the execution of the feline stroll sequence, the silky smooth linear moves and even the attitude of the cat who has genuine presence. The video has a minute or so of hold at the tail and nothing happens after the two title sequences, just warning you. I wonder how a modern production would approach this? I doubt it could be bettered.

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Old School

Here's a tiny gem of full bodied 100% film making genius. Micro Mayhem was produced by the same studio that makes Robot Chicken. This huge action setting was constructed small but treated big.

The links take you to the League Of Buddies studio website where you find all the handcrafted inspiration. That should keep you occupied for a bit.

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

My Pretty. I wait for thee.

This is the camera I want to buy. The Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera from Blackmagic Design is yet to be released. I hope that means it will be a better camera because of the delay.

Pretty ain't she. Neat,compact and sporting a LUMIX lens for the picture here, however you can put any lens on it. The BMCC is not a stills camera, it is designed for shooting video with 13 stops of dynamic range, that gives you a lot to play with in grading terms, kind of appropriate since Blackmagic is the company that make Davinci Resolve. The thing that attracted me is the stripped down design, there's not a ton of buttons on it and that's a big plus from my point of view. Unfortunately since no one's really using it yet it's hard to get any information from users, but we'll wait and see. Some time this year is the word but the company is not saying anything definite yet.

Saturday, 10 August 2013

The Pixel Painter

Just found this by total accident. it's so inspirational and well made I had to put it up here. Hal Lasko, a retired ex-typographer went digital and started producing amazing pixel art. The credits are also juxtaposed against some of his art and it all looks quite wonderful.

Directed by Josh Bogdan and Ryan Lasko
Photography by Topaz Adizes
Music by Jarod Pedone and Tyler Brown

Quantum Levitation

I discovered this video at Whitley Strieber's blog of all places (I don't believe in alien visitations but this guy has always fascinated me). Anyway, it's not new or ground-breaking technology, just a cool demonstration of what is called "Quantum Locking", which is a pretty kickass name when you think about it.

Of course the icy fog makes it doubly cool. Science is just cool period.

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

SCALE by Anna Celarek

This is a brilliant piece of work by Anna Celarek. It purports to be about scale, but what is the scale?

She totally avoids the slick smooth motion of CGI and uses a handcrafted stop motion technique. More information can be found here.

Another little self made film document

Well, I thought I'd post up a second little film experiment using Adobe Premier, not because it's exceptional but simply because it's part of my slow progression into actual film making using the new tools of the digital age. It amazes me that a single person can shoot stuff and then wrap up post production so quick and easy, that used to be the killer for short film making back in the day, most of my own projects fell apart at the editing stage. Thank god I can do it all myself now.

This latest effort is just to document something my brother is up to at the moment, I could go back and shoot more material to make it more rounded, but I left it short and rough, no color grading, no dissolves and just camera sound. Good enough for what it is

Saturday, 20 July 2013

Richard Feynman on Light

I've been listening to anything from this guy for a few weeks now, a great scientist that I've been pretty well ignorant of for all my life. Richard Feynman really has the gift of explaining complicated things so that they sound comprehensible (just a little bit) to the lay-man. You may end up watching some of the longer lectures, they are all absorbing and mind expanding and make me wish I had a better grasp of mathematics.

Saturday, 22 June 2013

Lost & Taken

This is a great site for free textures, Lost & Taken is the work of a single artist who is continually compiling a library of photo textures. It is also a blog and gallery.

What's really nice about this site is that it is obvious the man really cares about textures and how they are used by artists, so his collection is neatly cataloged, hi-res and photographed to avoid shadows. It's worth a good many minutes or an hour looking through the library there if textures are a part of your tool set.

Sunday, 16 June 2013

DJWaterman Car Modeling

I'm not often posting my own content but here's another one. It's a pictorial history of the modeling of the Alfa Romeo Sprint I did last year. I used Lightwave for both modeling and rendering on this.

That's all, the music is Sahara 72 by the Bobby Hughes Experience.

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Sydney VIVID 2013 - The Last Hour

Well we tried to get to the VIVID festivus for the rest of us, but traffic was a three hour crawl around the city and all I saw was cars and people, and the people seemed to be all shoulder to shoulder like sardines. However on the very last night on the last hour before they shut everything down, we went in and traffic and parking was easy, so here is a short compilation of what we saw.

This is the first thing I've ever edited on Premier, I found that I could more or less guess my way through using it and now I really want to get into shooting and editing stuff. It's so quick and immediate compared to animation.

Sunday, 9 June 2013

Bonobo – ‘Cirrus’ music video

Only because everything by Cyriak belongs in the World Museum of Motion graphics, and it's this years offering so far.

He uses After Effects and probably has his three or four different techniques that he uses but I have largely given up trying to reverse engineer his work, it sort of surpasses the technology anyway, it's just very very special.

Thursday, 6 June 2013

ADAM SHARP - Animator - Filmmaker

I just love this, the character designs are completely lovable and the whole piece has an authentic 50's Sci-Fi vibe.

More about the creator here.
I should probably mention that his latest short has made it into the Melbourne International Animation Festival.
"...the biggest problem with making shorts on your own is the time it takes before anyone gets to see them. My "latest" short has taken about 4 years, then it has to do the festivals before I can put it online. So its old work by the time anyone see's it. Think my next one will be a lot shorter." Adam Sharp

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Sydney Vivid Festival 2013

I'll be going in tomorrow to have a look myself at all the installations for Sydney's Vivid Festival 2013, people say it's better this year. This is certainly the best light projection of the Opera House I've seen, they've really explored the shape of the sails.

It's a shame to think that all this work gets junked, never to be seen again after having it's run.

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Connect Layers Script from Motion Boutique

This looks like a very cool little script to get that Plexus look on the sly. It's a free script from the makers of Newton, the After Effects physics engine plug-in. It was designed to work with Newton but as the video demonstrates, you can find other uses for it.

Visit Motion Boutique to find more useful stuff.

Friday, 31 May 2013

Death Star over San Francisco - nice comps by Mike Horn.

Very cute.

In the authors own words:
"I shot the background video on a 1/3-chip DV camera (TRV25). The Star Wars vehicles are either 2D stills found on the internet, or video I roto-scoped out of the movies, which I then motion-tracked and composited in After FX. I used the trapcode particular plug-in for some steam and smoke effects, and did basic sound design and assembly in Final Cut."
More information here.

Monday, 27 May 2013

SIGGRAPH 2013 : Technical Papers Preview Trailer

SIGGRAPH is on my mind because I'm supposed to be writing a tutorial for one of the exhibitor's that will be included in their magazine and handed out during this year's event. Here is a video of the amazing new stuff that will be discussed this time around.

It's quite possible I don't get the article finished on time, I'm having a difficult time writing it so we'll see.

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Photoshop style grouping in After Effects

This just out, a very handy After Effects script that gives us Photoshop style groups directly in the layers timeline. This is a big change to the workflow of an AE artist, keeping the comp clean and saving a lot of space.

More videos over at aescripts + aeplugins.

Monday, 13 May 2013

The Art of Moving Points by Brian Tindal- Released.

Just updating an older post to say that this important book has been released, however only available from ITUNES for the Ipad at this stage.

SPACE ODDITY Chris Hadfield

This just may be the best video of the year.

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

aescripts + aeplugins new products

Some new products over at aescripts + aeplugins. Here are the ones that interest me.

Firstly for all you puppet pin animators.

Then there's this little distortion controller

Something I don't spend a lot of time doing in After Effect is painting, but if I did I think I'd be using this, great for effects work.

If you need to make your expressions prettier and easier to handle think about this handy script.

And the prize for wow factor goes to Newton. It's been out for a while longer and is pricey, but it brings a physics engine into After Effects. You could find a ton of uses for it plus looks to me like a ton of fun.

Thursday, 2 May 2013

In the garden of your mind

Here is the original Mr Roger's Remix...

And for the curious here are the original sources.

Symphony of Science full download can be found here

Tuesday, 30 April 2013

SYMBIOSIS a short film by Mitchell Counsell

Well you know the rules, I like it, so it goes up here. An awesome student film done by a Maya virgin who obviously took his classes seriously, most veterans would be happy to have something this well realized in there body of work.

And since I'm just randomly posting cool stuff there is also this similar but different animation that also successfully transports us into alien reality. Both films have wonderful glitchy soundtracks as well.

Animation by Yannik Puig Music by David Lascombe and Sebastien Lecocq

Saturday, 13 April 2013

Philip Watts - Editor - Animator - Filmmaker

This is wonderful, low tech, high tech, don't really know what category it sits in, perhaps awesome will do. A little film called 'Bless You'

I haven't contacted Philip Watts to ask him if he'd like to tell me anything about the video (I normally do) but I really just wanted to get it posted immediately.

Here is what he had to say about it in the comments taken from Vimeo.

"I worked with photos that I had taken from the tallest building in Melbourne. Using After Effects I cut everything up into layers - foreground, middle ground, background, etc and used a camera to do subtle moves and add the focus effects. The characters were animated mostly using the puppet tool in After Effects, but I also used replacement body parts. In most of the shots I animated the traffic and people as well. Most of the pyrotechnics are from VideoCopilot's collections.
It took about three months, but spread out over a longer period because of my day job. (My real job is a TV editor.) I think someone more professional could have done it a lot quicker than that, but I am still learning. Also, I had many false starts with the design of the Architect character."

Friday, 12 April 2013

MESHUGGAH - I Am Colossus

This is brilliant. CG artist Magnus Jonsson of Filterfilms single-handedly pulled off this amazing video for Meshugger's 'I Am Colossus', achieving a handmade stop-motion aesthetic mostly in camera with hardly any post work using the 3D app Lightwave.

Mr Jonsson kindly let me post the video and provided a little insight into his method.

 In his own words;

 "Shortly after getting some conceptual ideas from the band and producer, I realized this should be an animated video. I wanted something dark, dreamlike and presented in black and white. I also wanted something the viewers could stop and think about, make it interesting for both the mind as well as the eyes. I then had to find technical solutions that would be workable with only 1 person doing it all, and this visual style worked great for that. Almost all the shots could be solved in camera without the need for extensive post work. When it comes to editing my primary goal was to merge the visuals with the song as much as possible. Keep even somewhat longer clips beating to the same pulse as the music with a sense of tension."

Pretty sure he succeeded with that. Watch in HD.

Saturday, 30 March 2013

Cheetahs on the Edge

I'm not going to go into much detail here, the film pretty much says it all. It's some added content from a National Geographic documentary.

Thanks to JoePoe who linked to this over at the Newtek forums.

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Edouard Salier, Director, artist.

This is a beautiful piece of commercial work for a postage/delivery company. It's the old unfolding paper trick but done really well, just a delight with the camera moves and bubbling music score.

La Poste _ Pliages Agency: BETC Director: Edouard Salier Producer: Mourad Belkeddar Production Company: Iconoclast Post producer: Clement Pignal Post-production company: Digital District Art Direction : Marthe Salier & Francois Peyranne Music: Amadou & Mariam _ Sabali


I really love these Vsauce videos, I like everything about them, the bold way they are shot and edited, the cut and thrust of the graphics and the nerd-o-matic sound design, I even like the gooy logo design at the end.

I haven't even mentioned the best part, content.

Saturday, 23 March 2013

Monstruum Art Exhibit - M2 Gallery

Some friends of mine who I've lost touch with are exhibiting next month. They are the art team known as SCAR and they're putting up work at the M2 gallery in Surry Hills. I'll be going along to see what's new, their stuff can be disturbing to the wrong kind of mind, if you like monster freaks and solid line work you should come along.

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

A Conversation with the Filmmakers of "To The Last Drop" at SIFF

I want to follow up with some news to a previous post, I'd announced that Bill McGuire (a fellow Sydney mo-graph and effects artist) had won a number of awards for his short film "To The Last Drop" and he was off to the states for it's screening at the Sedona International Film Festival. Bill tells me he's been having a amazing time over there, partying every night and other adventures. Here's a short interview with the filmmakers during the festivities.

Congratulations guys.

Monday, 11 March 2013

Gizmodo. Life In The Movie Business

An interesting article  in Gizmodo about the current state of play in the crumbling VFX industry. The posted comments to the piece are also interesting in giving a feel of the sentiment out there.

Thursday, 7 March 2013

Monovich. Above the Clouds.

There's a pretty strong cool factor in doing motion graphics at 30 thousand feet. The artist known as Monovich did exactly that on a return trip from New York. This is not news, it happened a few years back but I'll never let currency stand in the way of exposing good work, so here is the result of a little experiment done while on that flight. He shot the footage, put it through his laptop and played with expressions. No actual key frames were harmed in the making of this video.

The pointy things were made with the "Beam" effect, the magnified spots use "Magnify".

" I shot some clouds and tried to learn some expressions stuff in After Effects before my battery died. No key frames (except for the trackers), but lots of random expressions. Radium Audio was kind enough to compose some original sound for the experiment..." Stephen Fitzgerald a.k.a. Monovich

This marks the second time Radium Audio has been mentioned in Just Add Motion, it would take skill to put sound to this, it actually feels like the sound is generating the moves which is not the case.

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Gears explained. The transmission of power.

Continuing with the examination of mechanical motion, we get a very clear explanation of the principals in this 1930's film. The presentation is well done and illuminating, worth ten minutes of your time if you want to understand these things.

Monday, 4 March 2013

Mechanisms in Motion

Let's take a look at motion, nice smooth mechanical motion. These videos provide some insight into how simple principals can be built up into very sophisticated motion. The simplest motion mechanism that humans first developed (the wheel) is the one that most mechanical motion is built upon, yet as the level of complexity in these mechanisms increases, we start to get organic motion that very closely mimics nature. Nature doesn't use wheels much, pivots, fulcrums or centrifugal forces yes, but actual spinning wheels? That's man's invention, and look what we can do with it.

Gears and cables can do a very good job at replicating human and animal type motion, even if it's just at a surface level.

Sunday, 3 March 2013

Why, Man of Mystery

 " Coders are today's rock stars" Will.I.Am

I read this story some time last year and had to go searching again to find it . Since this blog deals with the subject of digital and analogue design, I thought it would be nice to link to a piece of recent history verging on folklore. An interesting read.

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

3Doodler. Freehand 3D Printer or Glue Gun?

What is this thing? Is it a cutting edge assembly tool or do we put it next to the Bedazzler? Will it become the next craft fad or a serious tool for the visual artist? Perhaps it is both and in all seriousness, it's too early to tell. It is cool though.

The details about this are here, it's a crowd funding project and they are still accepting donations.

Saturday, 16 February 2013

Gotye wins Grammy's

The Melbourne Artist known as Gotye (Goy-te-er) accepted the Grammy award from the artist formerly known as and now known as Prince. He took three awards including the big one 'Record of the Year' with the song 'Somebody That I Used To know'.

After the awards he stated "I'm grateful to everyone at home for their constant support. It's been amazing and I don't take it for granted. I'm particularly pleased that my album "Making Mirrors" has been acknowledged as well as the single. Hopefully this means there's a place for adventurous, interesting music out there - and for completely silly music too!"
Even though this news is a week old I remembered that the film clip was pretty inventive so that's why it's up here. The clip above avoids all digital trickery, going for an art school stop motion feel, the raw nudity hints at the intimate emotions that are exposed when relationships go bad.
Visit Gotye at his home page.

Friday, 15 February 2013

The Beastman

Checkout the awesome bold and beautiful art by local Sydney artist 'Beastman'.

He has such steady control of those spray cans, my heart skips a few beats as he applies the last strokes of black over hours of color work. Visit his website and dig deep.

Micro Empire - Clemens Wirth - Radium Audio

"It’s not at all professional, but the outcome is okay I guess." That's how Clemens Wirth responded when I asked him about the equipment he used in the making of this piece. As will become immediately obvious when watching 'Micro Empire', the outcome is very professional and more than okay. Using tiny animals as the medium, a performance is created, underpinned by a soundscape of biological noise by Radium Audio.

Wirth had done previous work using Macro lenses, but it wasn't enough, he invested in a Monocular Microscope and built an adapter for the Canon 5D markII allowing him to shoot these micro setups.

On this project Wirth used what's known as the "Dark Field" method. Light is focused at the subject, which absorbs and emits it back to the camera. This gives the resulting deep black background and self illuminated high contrast subject.


Because the microscope has a very shallow depth of field, some shots were built up with layers to recreate some crisp focus, but this was only possible when the subjects weren't moving much.

Micro Empire was self funded and took a number of months to produce, as long as it took to capture the footage, roughly an equal amount of time was spent with editing and sound design. Sound is a massive component in this piece. You can see more of Wirth's work and his methods here and here

Monday, 11 February 2013

A film by Bill McGuire wins accolades

Bill McGuire, a filmmaker and fellow 3D artist here in Sydney has found his short movie winning awards all over the festival circuit. He's off to the US in a few weeks to attend the Sedona International Film Festival.

It won Best Visual Effects at the Australian Production Design Guild Awards, Best International Short at the Carmarthen Bay Film Festival, and Best Short Film at the BackInTheBox Film Competition, Los Angeles. McGuire did the soundtrack as well, along with the majority of the special effects. In terms of the shoot he had two actors in costume, a stretch of beach and a fold up chair. It's still doing a festival run so I can only post the trailer for the moment. This should serve as inspiration to us all.

Saturday, 9 February 2013

Carlo Vega - Motion Designer & Artist

I saw this and felt it is a significant work for discussion and thought. The piece is called Grey Keys.

Firstly, how very clean it is. It starts simple and ends simple. Secondly, choice of music. The designer has really analyzed this piece, felt the space between notes and given them shape. Thirdly, the palette. Did you notice the specs of black playing against the background? The tonal range is simply between black and white, I would guess there is no absolute Black or white in there, if so it's used judiciously.
What is so pure about this work is that it is using basic elements, circles and lines, to constantly grow while never repeating itself.

Friday, 8 February 2013

Richard Williams, designer, animator, writer, filmmaker

Richard Williams would be best known for his work on the Pink Panther title animations, he did have the advantage of working with some brilliant composers during his career. I try to highlight pre-digital works when I can, and when we look at the title sequence he put together for the film "What's New Pussycat?" there really isn't anything that digital techniques could improve upon. The hand made element is very evident in this example, it's obvious that we're looking at actual art placed in front of a camera and lit. The timing is wonderful and plenty is achieved with straight cuts (the best special effect).

The final reveal to the first frame of the movie is like the opening of a story book. This title animation preceded the one he would do for "Casino Royal". Both films starred Peter Sellers and were scored by Burt Bacharach.

Casino Royal Titles - Original

The film is pretty cool up until Peter Sellers is killed off, and then we're left with an expensive star studded romp with no center. But the titles, I always loved the titles. All that animated pop art livery that embellishes the text with tinted process shots inserted into their bowls, playing perfectly with a killer arrangement by Burt Bacharach, this has ensured I always see little animated trumpets when I hear a good horn section.

Peter Sellers bought into the movie thinking he was really playing Bond, and if they had made that movie it would have been fantastic, because I totally buy Sellers take on Bond. However that movie might not have had these titles.

Title and Montage effect by Richard Williams.

Thursday, 7 February 2013

Ralph Bakshi on studio collapse

Because these are tough times I think it's a good thing to hear this. It's from 2008 but timeless.

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

"Help, I've just been Profiled!"

I'm extremely proud, chuffed, up my self (however you want to say it) to announce myself the awardee of one of these;

"What is that?" you may well ask, well they don't give them out to just anyone and you can read about it here.  They contacted me toward the end of 2012 and I did a Skype interview plus a bunch of new images for them. I'm pretty happy with how it turned out even if it does make me seem a little auto obsessed. Claudia Kienzle did the interview and said we should do lunch if I ever find myself in NYC. Here's hopin'.

More Fracture Bullet tests

Here's more violence. This time I tried some object manipulation to see if I'm able to do more that just drop things. I want to be able to animate this stuff so I can make it dance. I've noticed some intersecting geometry here and there so I need to continue the experiments and fine tune my settings.

Still I'm please with how this it turning out, it's not too brain-hurty for a dumb artist like me.

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

A nice bit of glitchy waveform manipulation with a non wavering presentation. Something like this would make a good wall projection art installation.

Really a good example of illustrating the sound with the sound. I saw a performance by the band Pan Sonic where the two guys were up on stage standing behind their boxes pulling plugs and twiddling knobs while behind them on a screen was a single vertical sound wave that oscillated with the music. It was like that for the entire set and never got dull.

Monday, 4 February 2013

Hightly amusing C4D destruction

Since I'm on a dynamics bender at the moment I came across this video. Worth a post I thought.

Some tests using Bullet Dynamics

Just doing some prep work for a concept I want to develop that is going to involve dynamics.

Sunday, 3 February 2013

Institute for Centrifugal Research documentary

Do you enjoy amusement rides? What about bemusement rides?

Part of what makes this so effective is the authentic nature of the background sound mix for the fairground shots. The script is also very clever, by the end you almost agree with the professor's thoughts. The actual website for the Institute for Centrifugal Research is where it's all explained. Do also click on the 'FrameBox' tab while you're there for further illumination.

24 frames per second

Stu Maschwitz talking sense on frame rates.
 Let me first state some things about myself in regards to film, I'm not interested in 3D or surround sound or higher frame projection rates, none of those things help me get into the story.

 When I went to my first Sensurround movie and the seat started shaking, I was distracted by my shaking seat, when I watched SEVEN and I heard a loud gunshot from behind me, I was thinking about the back of the theater and momentarily taken away from a great movie. When I watched Avatar, Avengers and Prometheus in 3D, I had to mentally decide what to focus my eyes on in almost every shot, something the film should have been doing for me.

 There were some moments in Prometheus when the 3D was working for me, it was the few moments where they held back on the 3D depth, so much so that in those moments I could remove my glasses and the screen looked totally normal, so in a sense the only time it worked for me was when it was effectively null. So understand that I may just be stuck in the past, but I know I'm not alone. Check out this interview with Stu Maschwitz on the subject of frame rates, I agree with everything he says.

Free Font Courier Prime

I've written a few screenplays in my time, working on one right now as a matter of fact, I'm also always hunting around for free fonts and found this re-think on the screenplay's standard font Courier new.

It's available for download here 
There's more background on its genesis at . When an agency presents me with a script I'm always disappointed that it never looks like an old school script, I guess things are different for advertising because the client needs to be presented with something they can feel comfortable reading, and standard screenplay format is an acquired taste, however one can still dream. I'll be interested seeing how this font compares with Courier new when applied to a screenplay, mainly because I like the old look and not desperate to change like the designers of this font are. Their argument is that we have moved beyond the typewriter and you can't argue with that.

Saturday, 2 February 2013

Got Wires? - A Subdivision Modeling Blog: News: The Art of Moving Points is coming soon!

Got Wires? - A Subdivision Modeling Blog: News: The Art of Moving Points is coming soon!:  "My iBook will be sent to the iBook publisher on Feb 6th 2013." Yes! I have been waiting for this quite some time now, looking forward to...

Not strictly motion graphics but I'm a 3D artist as well so I figure this is a pretty important new mesh modeling bible to look out for. The author has ten years experience with Pixar.

Greg Barth is a fake!

Greg Barth is another one of those creative people who seem to have the gift of doing what they damn well please and making a living from it. We see here his short films 'Essays on Reality'. All done with cameras and genius execution. Computers are used but only for the pre-visualization stages. I don't pretend to get the deeper meaning in these images, but I love how the thoughts behind them produce compelling visual statements. The colors are gorgeous, it's that real color look that's so hard to get right in CGI work.

Now if you want to see how its done you'll have to visit his site.

Friday, 1 February 2013

Paperman. Disney impresses.

Hmmm, can you imagine the resources that went into getting this hand drawn artsy look. Well I'm a sucker for black and white and a 50's New York so this beautifully conceived piece of digital animation makes me want to whistle like Mickey on Steamboat Willy.

Some thoughts from the director about the tone. It's always of intererest to see the pre-production art that builds up these ideas into something achievable.

Thursday, 31 January 2013

Louis du Mont

I've been following Louis's work at his site for a year or so, I thought I'd feature an experimental piece he did. He used Lightwave for the CGI element, and shot the live action with the canon 5D, the soundtrack was created with Sony Acid. He breaks it all down on his blog, it got quite involved.

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Uber Cute

Some fabulous CGI here and I don't mean geeky. This is just perfect fluffy loveliness that puts you right back in the cot. One thing to note here is the 12 frame per second frame rate they must have used to get the stop motion look. It's also HD so watch full screen please.


FriendsWithYou seem to be a pair of amazing artists doing all kinds of real world art, they just translated all those talents into animation, which is truly great, not to mention the score.

Creators; Samuel Borkson and Arturo Sandoval III
Animation; Matias Fernandez
Music; Norman bambi

Monday, 28 January 2013

Pre-digital, or why limits are a good thing.

The year is 1963, your sitting in a movie theatre waiting for the main feature to start, the film is a comedy that everyone's been talking about. The curtains lift and the screen illuminates. Before you Saul Bass's block of solid color occupies a wide expanse in "Ultra Panovision". The orchestral circus score by Ernest Gold is doing a lot of the work and after it all starts to have its effect the titles kick in. Up on the big screen are crude, sharp, keenly drawn cartoon scribbles, and they're making you laugh. Welcome to the title sequence of Stanley Kramers "It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World".

Watch it here at...

Many pre-digital works are better conceived and executed than today's more technologically fluid work. Making visuals with real world materials meant the idea behind the vision was stripped of unnecessary and difficult to do fluff, making the end result clear and strong.

 It's akin to how a very simple set of painted flats filmed with two locked down cameras somehow looks more together visually than the million dollar staging of event shows like IDOL. Typically today's sets are a dazzling jumbo-tron multi spot lit combo crowning the show's logo, the camera's swoop and glide where they please, all up in the performers space taking in everything from warped angles. The end result has nothing to do with the artist and everything to do with branding a performance to a franchise.  

 60's STRONG

But what's going on here?

 Performers become iconic against pure backdrops and crisp art direction, they are lost among noisy clutter and a wealth of camera positions. This applies to an idea, how it can drown in a soup of cleverness, or be over shadowed by the slick trickery of presentation. With less and less limitations on our creativity, we should start setting our own, if only to clarify what it is we are trying to say.