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.