Cool 3D World, by a pair of artist-musicians, puts out a series of Vines (compiled, 3:57) handcrafted in a warm, cozy town in the Uncanny Valley. Last month, they released their first full-length music video, "The Summoning of the Skylark" (3:40). All NSFW due to unearthly naked demihuman flesh conglomerations.
"The Animation School Dropout" (1:30) (2014) has actually been doing animation for over 40 years, including a 'bicentennial' film commissioned by the United States Information Agency (USIA): "200" (3:00) (1975) (previously here). A USIA propaganda production featuring hot dogs AND peace signs? Not bad. [post warning: possible visual triggers for epilepsy] [more inside]
Computer animator and artist Alan Warburton imagines setting J. S. Bach's The Well-Tempered Clavier to neon lights [via]
If you enjoy Erik Ferguson's short films VEv and Kometh, you might also like his Birth series and Worm series. Lots more horrifically lifelike rendering on his Vimeo page. (Possibly NSFLunch.)
The Australian Open takes an...innovative approach to tennis in this short video from Melbourne-based filmmaker Michael Shanks.
Ridley Scott's new film Exodus: Gods and Kings recasts the myth of Moses in typically grimdark swords-and-sandals fashion. It... ain't so good. Want something more artful? Look no further than The Prince of Egypt [alt], an underrated masterpiece of DreamWorks' traditional animation era. Directed by Brenda Chapman (a first for women in animation), scored to spectacular effect by Hans Zimmer and Stephen Schwartz, and voiced by, among others, Voldemort, Batman, and Professor X, the ambitious film features gorgeous, striking visuals and tastefully integrated CGI in nearly every scene. It also manages the improbable feat of maturing beyond cartoon clichés while humanizing the prophet's journey from carefree scion to noble (and remorseful) liberator without offending half the planet -- while still being quite a fun ride. Already seen it? Catch the making-of documentary, or click inside for more. [more inside]
Christian Zander may have a commercial design background, he has a significant amount of work in a more abstract, generative style, as seen in his House and Bike blog posts, and strewn among his work portfolio. He has also worked with animations, both live (Kiss Kiss Kiss - "Ponte 25") and recorded (Kenton Slash Demon - "Ore" / I Got You On Tape - "Run From The Rain").
Tiny Worlds: a series of films about tiny machines in the city like a tiny bulldozer, a tiny logging truck, and a tiny submarine.
Combining 3D scans of real life models in ultra high detail with the Oculus Rift and the Razer Hydra for movement controls to make one of the most realistic and spooky experiences in Virtual Reality [NSFW Artistic nudity] Welcome to the future. [more inside]
Today saw the release of the first trailer for The LEGO Movie, and there are some interesting things to note about it. [more inside]
Partysaurus Rex, a new animated short from Pixar, in which we join the characters from Toy Story for an ecstatic bathtime rave (poster). The short débuted ahead of ("opened for") Finding Nemo 3D in September 2012, and features an original soundtrack by electronic musician BT. [more inside]
Strange Oaks is the latest teaser trailer from the Barcelona-based Headless Productions (and friends), this time about a retirement community for witches. The Headless Productions Vimeo account has 13 more teasers and trailers, mostly featuring hand-drawn animation, some of which has since made its way into full movies. [more inside]
Paths of Hate is a highly stylized Polish CGI animated short movie which to an extent mimics traditional cel animation, but goes far beyond what's practically possible with traditional techniques. It also has some excellent, high-intensity aerial combat. Possibly NSFW for some light blood and gore.
A robotic disagreement turns serious when they drop the bass.
The Chase Another day out on the town for the girls (Animated Short)
Nants ingonyama bagithi baba! It's been nearly two decades since that glorious savanna sunrise, and once again The Lion King is at the top of the box office. It's a good chance to revisit what made the original the capstone of the Disney Renaissance, starting with the music. Not the gaudy show tunes or the Elton John ballads, but the soaring, elegiac score by Hans Zimmer which, despite winning an Oscar, never saw a full release outside of an unofficial bootleg. Luckily, it's unabridged and high-quality, allowing one to lay Zimmer's haunting, pulse-pounding, joyful tracks alongside the original video (part 2, 3, 4), revealing the subtle leitmotifs and careful matching of music and action. In addition, South African collaborator Lebo M wove traditional Zulu chorals into the score, providing veiled commentary on scenes like this; his work was later expanded into a full album, the Broadway stage show, and projects closer to his heart. Speaking of expanded works, there were inevitable sequels -- all of which you can experience with The Lion King: Full Circle (download guide), a fan-made, three-hour supercut of the original film and its two follow-ups. Want more? Look... harder... [more inside]
Going to the store. [Vimeo]
It was bound to happen eventually. After a quarter-century, 26 Academy Awards, and an unparalleled streak of eleven artistic and commercial triumphs, Pixar's latest project, Cars 2, is Certified Rotten. Critics have assailed the film as a slick but hollow vehicle for Disney's $10 billion-dollar Cars
merchandising industry "lifestyle brand," replacing the original's serviceable tale of small-town redemption with zany spy games, hyperactive chase sequences, and even more lowbrow aww-shucks potty humor from Larry the Cable Guy. But it's not all bad news! Along with a fun new Toy Story 3 short, preceding today's (3-D) premiere showings is a first look at next year's Brave -- a darkly magical original story set in ancient Scotland featuring the studio's first female lead (and director). Evocative high-res concept art [mirror] is available at the official website, and character sketches have leaked to the web, with the apparently striking teaser trailer sure to follow. Also, be sure not to miss the sneak peak of Brave's associated short, "La Luna"!
Peter Chung, the animator who gave us Aeon Flux, The Maxx, The Chronicles of Riddick: Dark Fury, The Animatrix: Matriculated and Reign: The Conquerer, has a new comic-to-film adaptation aimed at more mainstream audiences premiering Wednesday on Cartoon Network (US): Firebreather. Official Site. Trailer. (Caution: Some links in this post autoplay video) [more inside]
Take a trip through the Mandelbox. (You may wish to hit mute and provide your own sound.) Make your own with Mandelbulber. [more inside]
Beware the Electronic Automatic Sound-Spectrograph Computing Digit Translator Playback Recognizer Machine
Telephoneme: Even if your Alphabet Conspiracy succeeds and you destroy the books, machines have no minds of their own. They are easily confused by different voices and different accents. It is the brain of man that tells them what to do. [more inside]
Let Yourself Feel and Nokta and Reincarnation: just a few samples from hundreds you'll find on the vfxstuff channel at Vimeo.
Toy Story 3 hits theaters today, and it's already winning universal acclaim as an enchanting and heartbreaking wonderwork, employing understated 3D and a "real-time" perspective that deftly capitalizes on the nostalgia and can't-go-home-again angst of a generation that grew up with the series. It has a strong pedigree, with 11-year-old predecessor Toy Story 2 the rare sequel to equal its forebear, 1995's Toy Story (itself the first CGI feature in history). And it joins a lofty stable of films: over the last 15 years, Pixar has put out an unbroken chain of ten commercial and critical successes that have grossed over $5 billion worldwide and collected 24 Academy Awards (including the second-ever Best Picture nom for animation with Up), a legacy that rivals some of the greatest franchises in film history. But there's rumbling on the horizon. Although the studio has been hailed for its originality (of the 50 top-grossing movies in history, only nine were original stories -- and five of them were by Pixar), two of their upcoming projects are sequels, both of them based some of their least-acclaimed films (Cars 2 in 2011 and Monsters, Inc. 2 in 2012). And while 2012 will also bring
The Bear and the Bow Brave, the first Pixar flick to feature a female protagonist [previously], fellow newcomer Newt has been canceled. With WALL-E/Up/Toy Story 3 guru Andrew Stanton focusing on his 2012 adaptation of John Carter of Mars and with forays into live-action already in development, does this mark the end of the golden age of Pixar? Or is this latest entry lasting proof that even the toughest case of sequelitis can be raised to the level of masterpiece? [more inside]
The Works was a production of the Computer Graphics Lab at the New York Institute of Technology, and (had it ever been finished) would have been the first all 3D CGI feature film. Here are some stills and here's a short clip. [via PopCrunch]
Five years before Toy Story proved to the world that pure CGI -- a field long relegated to the role of special effects -- could be an art form in its own right, Odyssey Productions attempted to do the same on a slightly smaller scale. Drawing on the demo reels, commercials, music videos, and feature films of over 300 digital animators, the studio collated dozens of cutting-edge clips into an ambitious 40-minute art film called The Mind's Eye. Backed by an eclectic mix of custom-written electronic, classical, oriental, and tribal music, the surreal, dreamlike imagery formed a rough narrative in eight short segments that illustrated the evolution of life, technology, and human society: Creation - Civilization Rising - Heart of the Machine - Technodance - Post Modern - Love Found - Leaving the Bonds of Earth - The Temple - End credits (including names and sources for all clips used). But that was just the beginning... [more inside]
Lifting it's script from the abandonned fourth movie, Mad Max will be returning, sans Gibbo, as a 3D animated feature. I'll see you on the road, skag!
Area 56: Peeing robots, rockin' office workers, engaging panoramas, and even a few sexy girls.
Emily is considered to be one of the first animations to have overleapt a long-standing barrier known as 'uncanny valley' (watch the video) - from the team who, in part, brought you GTA4. [more inside]
"In" is a lovely, maddening, hypnotic 23-minute CG/live-action abstract short created by Philipp Hirsch and Heiko Tippelt. via
The short films of Floris Kaayk and Sil van der Woerd blend live-action footage and computer animation. Metalosis Maligna. Swim. Duet. Order Electrum. [more inside]
Sometimes called "The Ed Wood of Animation", director Sam Singer had an interesting career. He was responsible for some of the most godawful cartoons ever produced, and through his work on 1975's Tubby the Tuba, was present at the birth of Pixar. [more inside]
Evil Bee (embedded QT) is a gorgeous & interesting animated short about a worker bee in a factory who rebels; bonus points for awesome soundtrack by menomena.
Reality, Imagination and Fear. Three short animated films by young students and artists. [more inside]
Nonononono, After You (.mov): A short animated film by Christopher Cordingley, graduate of the Ringling School of Art and Design. The school's computer animation portfolio is worth a browse; there's some real talent being nurtured there. (Last four links are to .avi files.)
Tempbot (QuickTime) is a new short by Neill Blomkamp. This piece combines the ultra-realistic robot CGI seen in Tetra Vaal and Alive in Joburg (QT) with a softer story of everyday alienation very reminiscent to Greg Pak's Robot Stories.
Bizarre music video featuring a cgi animated Nazi army composed of anthropomorphized piglets. The video is for a song called Shvayne by a 19 year old Russian singer named Natasha Ionova, who performs under the name Glukoza. Video is embedded flash animation.
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