Tuesday, February 26, 2008

link: 'horses on mars' (2001)

I'm on a 'retro' animation kick, so here's another favorite from the early days of computer animation.

From Eric Anderson's site

"Three billion years ago, a microbe blasts off from his home planet propelled by a meteor impact and embarks on a journey across the solar system.
[...]
Horses on Mars is a 7 1/2 minute computer animated 35mm CINEMASCOPE film produced at the University of Southern California School of Cinema-Television.
[...]
Horses on Mars was modeled and animated using Maya 2.5 (keyframe animation), and composited with Maya Composer (on an SGI O2), courtesy of Alias|Wavefront. It was the first student film at USC to use RenderMan, the groundbreaking rendering software developed by PIXAR. "


IMDB entry

Video [horses on mars site]
Video [alternate - MySpaceTV]

Monday, February 25, 2008

link: 'kiwi' (2006)

It's an old one, but a brilliant little short created by Dony Permedi.

imdb link.

interview

link: 'Howls moving castle' papercraft

OK, this is only obliquely animation related, but how can you turn down something based on the masterful works of Studio Ghibli?

This link showed up recently of the efforts of Ron Rementilla to assemble a paper model of Howl's moving castle. And another effort by Ben Millet, up on Flickr.

Instructions (in English) can be downloaded here.

Some more art from Howl's Moving Castle.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

link: Batman Gotham Knights (preview)



Similar to the Animatrix, Warner Bros., Studio 4°c, Production IG and Madhouse are teaming up again to do a series of shorts related to the Dark Knight.

Anime-inspired direct-to-DVD anthology film. Comprised of six short stories, from diverse creators, including Academy Award-nominated Josh Olsen (A History of Violence), Batman Begins writer David S. Goyer, and comics scribe Brian Azzarello. It's planned for a release window of two to four weeks prior to the release of The Dark Knight, and would bridge the gap between Batman Begins and The Dark Knight.


IMDB entry

I couldn't agree more with the sentiments expressed in the featurette; Batman is a character rife with potential for exploration, particularly in the anime aesthetic. And like the short-format anthology collection of the Animatrix offers the best potential for realizing this potential in its purest form, stripped of camp and free of action-bloat.

The production designs look impeccable and incredibly varied. I have to admit a bit of nostalgia for the old super-sized anthology issues of back in day, where artists and writers out of the mainstream were invited to cast a character through the prism of re-interpretation.

I'm still holding my breath on the actual animation here. There is precious little of it to go by, but there are quite a few moments in the clips that worry me: halting, mechanical action; awkward movement; still silhouettes moved across the frame without motion. It does beg the question whether anime as a whole abides by Disney's rules of animation (particularly since Japanese animation shares a spiritual lineage with it). If they deviate substantially, this could be why the animation seems odd; it's simply because the iconography of behavior is different. It'll be interesting to revisit this once the movie has been released.

Still, I really would have liked to have seen a segment from the likes of Gonzo ('Afro Samurai') or Manglobe ('Samurai Champloo')

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

link: Tutli Putli

More of that Canadian brand of madness courtesy of the CFB.

What strikes me in particular about Tutli Putli
- aside from the stunningly detailed stop motion work - is the attempt to realize a novel approach in emotive connection with puppeteering.
Jason Walker has developed an integrative technique which blends human eyes with the puppets through post compositing. The effect isn't nearly as creepy or off-putting as one might think from the description. Aside from a matter of scale, the eyes are remarkably unobtrusive. I'd been concerned that they would stand out so much relative to the props, both in character and movement, but a great deal of pre-production work has been put into striking that right balance.

A description of the process can be found here and here.

A discussion from a great indie-animation blog, hydrocephalic bunny, can be found here.

Film site

Description:

Madame Tutli-Putli boards the night train, weighed down with all her earthly possessions and the ghosts of her past.

She travels alone, facing both the kindness and menace of strangers. As day descends into dark, she finds herself caught up in a desperate metaphysical adventure. Adrift between real and imagined worlds, Madame Tutli-Putli confronts her demons and is drawn into an undertow of mystery and suspense.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

link: surreal landscape

...made from food

great imagination and composition. 'tastefully' done as it were.


images

possibly done by Carl Warner