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This Week’s Stuff #8

November 28, 2009 Leave a comment
This was, strangely, quite an uneventful week, yet I have been really busy, so I’m only sharing two links with you this weekend. Enjoy!
  1. LHC amazing photo gallery
    Check out this awesome collection of photos taken at the LHC site. They have such a sci-fi look to them. It’s really inspirational.
  2. Cars: Unifentified Flying Mater
    Directed by Pixar’s John Lasseter, this is the 5th in the series of Cars shorts. Check it out, it’s pretty cool.

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Categories: Animation, Science Tags: , , , ,

This Week’s Discoveries #7

November 20, 2009 Leave a comment

I packed a lot of animation for you, my devoted readers, for a fun and relaxed weekend. Enjoy!

1. Madame Talbot
Found it on from with us or against us blog. This is a website selling dark art merchandise. They have lots of posters, skeleton baby dolls and lots of other stuff linked to gothic 18th-19th century western culture (like bottles of laudanum). Great stuff!

2. Ramona Falls – I Say Fever video
I fell in love with this song the first time I heard it, and I listened to it many time since. But that’s not the reason why I tell you about it. Check out the video. It’s really beautiful.

3. Fumiko’s Confession
Amazing anime clip. It’s so fast it actually tricks your brain into believing it’s falling off the hill and dodging pedestrians, trees and cats!

4. Tarboy
Found it on Coilhouse magazine blog. The style here is simply amazing. Using Flash, James Lee and Hania Lee created this fascinating action packed story featuring Tarboy, a hero born in the slavery tar pits who gets up and fights the high society robot regime. Check out the Tarboy website here.

This Week’s Discoveries #6

November 13, 2009 Leave a comment
  1. Ataque de Pánico!
    An awesome little clip directed by Federico Alvarez of Murdoc Films and produced by Aparto.
  2. Good Vibrations
    A short by French animator Jeremy Claptin (the one who made Skhizein). Great job. Unfortunately I could not embed the video, so you’ll have to click here if you want to watch it.
  3. Alex Roman
    Amazingly realistically. This is a montage of some of Roman’s work on 3Dup.com. He uses 3dsmax with vRay to create these stunning images. I really liked his work because, as opposed to other technical demos, this one is really elegant and beautiful. Also check out thirdseventh.com for the rest of his work.
  4. Phil Plait on Gnomedex 9
    Phil talks to a bunch of tech nerds at the Gnomedex 9 convention. He gives a nice introduction to the skeptic movement, talks about the key people and organizations (like James Randi, Penn and Teller, JREF…), who’s their adversaries (Sylvia Brown, chiropractors…).  A really fun lecture.
  5. Cell size and scale
    This one I found on Phil Plait’s Bad Astronomy blog. It’s a nice Flash presentation that lets you zoom and see a lot of tiny items in relation to each other. It starts from a coffee bean and ends with a carbon atom. This thing was made by the Genetic Science Learning Center in the University of Utah.
  6. Resident Evil: The Darkside Chronicles
    You’ve got to check out this amazing trailer. It has some really fun surprises inside 🙂
  7. The Kinematograph
    This is a trailer for a short directed by Tomek Baginski (Fallen Art) and produced by Platigue Images (Moloch, and also Fallen Art). The film is about an inventor obsessed with his work and what he has to lose for his passion. I love the details on all of his contraptions, the character design with European touch and an atmosphere of an old family photo album. There’s some more information on Quite Earth here.

This Week’s Findings #4

October 31, 2009 Leave a comment
  1. Jan K. Vollmer
    A 3D artist I found on 3Dtotal. His realistic glass rendering really captured my eye. He has amazing artwork on his website. Jan uses 3dsmax and VRay. For the image below he won the CG Arena excellence award. That kind of craftsmanship is what I aspire to.
  2. David Lam
    Also featured on 3Dtotal is David lam’s amazing demo reel. He worked on some of the most recent and amazing games, like Prototype, a Star Wars: The Force Unleashed and Halo 3. Also an amazing demoreel worth watching.
  3. Short film: Popped
    This is a fantastic short created by Bianca Beneduci through the VFS Classical Animation program. Through a clever use of storytelling and metaphor, Bianca presents very familiar situations of peer pressure and conformity. It’s stuff everyone faces at one point or another. I love the dark creatures and how their character design implies their intentions. The ending shot is amazing. Just watch it, okay?
  4. Stephane Halleux
    Stephane’s sculptures are a fascinating combination of Tim Burton, Douglas Tennapel and French films. Halleux uses metallic parts and leather to give his sculptures a disturbing feeling. All of his designs follow these consistent ghoulish themes which I really love. His characters have long, eerie and sharp metallic fingers.
    Among his vast collection of characters there’s the classic “doctor” holding a peculiar tool bag that invalidates your trust in the medical authorities. I also loved the ones who were confined to wheelchairs. Those evil contraptions make you think whether it’s for the patient’s own good or to fulfill someone’s sick sadistic pleasures.

     

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  5. Sam Weber
    Another amazing illustrator that has captured my mind. He illustrates for editorials, books and even comics. He has great stuff.

     

Modeling and animation for Atomic Arts

October 29, 2009 Leave a comment

Atomic Arts hired me last August to work with them on a short presentation they were doing for the inauguration ceremony of the new rapid transit system in Dubai.

They asked me to model the train station and do some animation sequences. What they wanted was the camera revolving around the train and the station as these objects unravel and reveal their inside to the audience.

I had a great time working with the team, especially my Animation Mentor colleague, Henrik, who supervised the project in addition of doing some materials and rendering. There were also Pavel, who did an excellent job with texturing the station and Toby who was responsible for lighting, materials and rendering. The train was modeled by Carlos.

So check out the result (there is a long intro in this video which was not part of the project, and WordPress ignores the timecode I put in the URL, so skip to 5:40):

The Scout’s Briefing – This week’s discoveries

October 9, 2009 Leave a comment

I think of making this a permanent column here.

1. I could subscribe my blog on blog communities sites to increase traffic
Yup. Silly of me for not thinking of it before. But after reading Problogger’s article about increasing traffic I went right away and put my blog on all the sites he mentioned and my traffic did indeed increase. Thanks you, new visitors from near and far.

2. Illustrator Josh Holinaty
He’s one of those artists I like in first glance. His works inspire me and I love his style. I found out about him by reading this Kitsune Noir post.

3. The Fourth Kind Trailer
Dan brought to my attention the trailer for this new crazy film starring Milla Jovovich. It’s supposed to be a documenting and dramatizing strange cases of alien abductions in Nome, Alaska. In the trailer, the victims claimed they see a white owl looking at them, which they link to the abduction. Strange enough, my late grandmother once mentioned seeing an owl in the window and linked it to death. Oh well. Anyway, the trailer is really worth watching. I liked how it was produced.

4. Bored to Death title animation
Found out in The Art of the Title Sequence. Bored to Death is a new comedy series about a writer that turns to the private detective business. Click here to watch.

5. The evolution of Apple ads
Found here on the Web Designer Depot website.

6. The new Chrome themes really suck
I do not endorse calling the mere replacement of the background image a “theme”. And that’s why the new feature in Google Chrome browsers suck. Don’t get me wrong, I’m addicted to Chrome, but the Firefox themes are way better, because they really change the way your browser look, including icons and sizes of menus. But I’m sure they’ll get there eventually with Chrome too. In the meantime, I’m sticking with the regular light blue theme.

7. And finally, I uploaded my demoreel on Vimeo. No more annoying Aniboom embedding crap.

Well, that’s it for this week. Have a fantastic weekend everyone.

Tekkonkinkreet

September 13, 2009 Leave a comment

This is a 2006 anime feature directed by Michael Arias and animated by Studio 4°C (makers of Beyond from Animatrix).

I got this from my friend Eran. Took me 2 weeks to get around to watch this. But I was busy 😛

The story is about two orphans, Black and White, living in the fictional city of Treasure Town. Black is the tough punk, intolerant towards strangers claiming his city their own (which happens a lot in this movie) and White is the innocent, sometimes touchy one. Together they’re known as the Cats, and they reign terror over their opponents and seem to be the only rightful owners of the city, at least in the beginning.

The exposition was fun. An elaborate chasing scene, including Black and White chase some kids trying to take over the town, street traffic and a giant clock (with cogwheels and everything!).

The protagonists’ names allude to their personalities in almost every way. White is perceived as a cunning partner of Black and later exposes his softer side (he cries when it’s raining, for instance). His devotion to life and creation opposes Black’s tough nature. White is also portrayed as a very independent child. He can’t even get dressed by himself. Although Black displays  independence  and maturity, his reason and morals become corrupted when he is left alone. White’s naivety brings balance to the duo. The differences between Black and White also appear in their clothes. While White, being the innocent and more infantile one wears funny hats, Black wears a belt with pockets, goggles and wrist bandages. He usually gets his gear broken during fights. One scene even had a tribute to Ghost in the Shell when Black’s goggles exploded when the alien tried to smash his face.

The visual aspect of the film is astounding. The scenes are very detailed and the addition of 3D in some parts integrates very well into the overall design. The characters are not drawn in the classical Anime style but in a more simple way which adds a sense of innocence.

One of my favorite scenes was when the police was separating White from Black. White was sitting in the backseat of the car, and the camera rotates 180 degrees as the car is taking off and White crawls back to look at Black, who stands alone in the middle of the road.

A movie I really recommend to anyone.