July 29, 2010

Tangled is looking to be a pretty damn good movie, what isn’t so pretty is what’s happening to the artists working on it.

“We’re near the end of the seven-day workweeks. We’ve been really kicking it for the last six months, but I’m on my last shot …”

“I got my notice of layoff. I’m out of here in August. I don’t know, maybe it’s time to move on. It’s like Kubler Ross’s five stages of grief, only without the denial since we all knew the layoffs were coming…”

“What everybody around here knows is that this [Tangled] is a really good movie. We’ve all worked our butts off and we’re proud of what we’ve done.”

“I just don’t get why there’s been so little stuff in development, why there are such big gaps in the pipeline. You’d think they’d want to keep more of a talented group of animators, layout artsts and tech directors around. Not a high priority for them, I guess.”

You know the economy is bad when Disney is laying off people before the show even hit the screen. But then, all in a day’s work in this industry I guess.


July 19, 2010

Now here’s a surprise: Imagi Studios is still around and they’re deep in pre-production of their next film – Gatchaman.

Imagi Studios’ Gatchaman will be a cool superhero movie, set against the backdrop of an alien threat of world domination and the epic battle this ignites. To be brought to the big screen in spectacular stereoscopic 3D, this CG-animated motion picture will deliver a feast for the eyes in exceptional weaponry, distinctive strike vehicles and light-speed action sequences, all played against a dazzling futuristic visualization.

Featuring stealthy ninja-style shadow fighting to grand-scale clashes, this fast-paced sci-fi action-thriller focuses on a lone-wolf maverick youth who, together with a team of teenage superheroes, finds his destiny in defending Earth against the dark forces of Galactor.

Gatchaman is based on the hit 1970s Japanese television series from Tatsunoko Production, known in the West as G-Force or Battle of the Planets. It is presently in pre- production.

That looks really good, you can check out the concept art here, the trailer here and the writeup by io9 here

Wind in the Willows!

July 18, 2010

Weta is making life-action movie of Wind in the Willows! I can’t find much information on this other then this rather unhelpful trailer.

I remember watching the stop-motion version of the movie as a kid (and the subsequent TV-Series), I really really liked it. I must watch this.

Edit: A quick search on wiki turns up the names of the animators who worked on the TV series – Animators: Andrea Lord, Paul Berry, Barry Purvis, Stewart Sutcliffe, Sue Pugh, I wonder what they’re doing now?

A Day at Work

July 17, 2010

That’s me at work, the studio’s a lot fuller now though. Goodbye big empty space with Warhammer table.

Someone asked about my daily routine in a forum, I’ll just paste that here.

It’s fairly routine most of the time, I get a sequence of shots to animate and the deadline for them. Then I’ll spend a couple hours planning and shooting references, put out a blocking pass and put that into the server for review at the next dailies. And I’ll work on my next shot while waiting for approval. It’s pretty much the same in most studios. Department wise I’m really only involved in animation.

Sometimes I’ll need to give critique on shots done by the junior animators, or mentor a new animator to ease them into our pipeline.

From CG-3D

Polishing animation

July 17, 2010

Polishing has always been a bit of a bug bear for me, veering between “good enough” and “too much”. Polish is when you smooth out all the motions, add fine subtle movements, making sure all the arcs are working and the timing is solid, so basically giving it the last 10% and pushing it to the next level. I’m never really satisfied with the level of polish I’m able to hit, so I’ve decided to do some research and I’m sharing them here.

Dana Boadway – Animation Tips and Tricks

Keith Lango – KeithLango.com

Malcon Pierce

I’m still animating the dance I’ve mentioned a while back, work has kept me really busy and I didn’t have time to finish it. This would be a really good chance to try out the polishing tips.

Despicable Me

July 12, 2010

I’ve yet to catch this yet, but check out this interesting (and spoiler free) write up on the studio behind the film.

It’s billed under Illumination Studios, which has Universal Studios as it’s parent company, but the production studio is a French company, Mac Guff. They previously produced Dragon Hunters.

This is a really unique concept, Illumination is billed as a production company, but instead of having in-house development teams, they source for studios overseas that are capable of producing the content they require, like Mac Guff.

Just saw this on AWN; and Letters of Note

It’s a letter from Walt Disney to Don Graham, detailing his vision of how new animators would be trained.

The list would start with the animator’s ability to draw, ability to visualize action, breaking it down into drawings and analyse the movement the mechanics of the action. From this point we would come to his ability to caricature action – to take a natural human action and see the exaggerated funny side of it – to anticipate the effect or the illusion created in the mind of the person viewing the action.

Walt Disney is a genius far ahead of his time, far from being a mere business man, it’s obvious he also has an innate understanding of animation as an art form. The letter really sounds like this is a really exciting time, they’re creating an industry that previously didn’t exist before, and now they have to quantify the animation process – put in into simple understandable terms and principles so that anyone can learn and train to be an animator.

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