Don Hertzfeldt’s back with a feature length animated film (or a combo of several shorter films that qualify as a feature for the Academy I guess). Don’s latest appears to definitively place him as the the Terrence Malick of animated stick figure films. And I mean that in a good way.
Archive for the ‘animated short’ Category
Good ol’ animation Monday. Back with a vengeance.
I hadn’t heard about this, but it sounds and looks cool. A SpongeBob Christmas special animated using stop motion. It looks pretty cool. A trailer plays on the linked page.
This site was forwarded to me recently. I don’t know that much about it. But the trailer has some nice design and the short film is busy winning awards.
The Boy in the Bubble narrated by Alan Rickman and directed by Kealan O’Rourke. It’s very intriguing to look at, the 3D has a nice feel to it. The tone and look makes it seem somewhat inspired by illustration more than the typical 3D animation techniques. At the site you can watch some of his short films, live action and animated.
Posted in animated features, animated short, animation, animation art, Animation Artists, Animation Monday, Disney, Disney Feature Animation, tagged animated short, animation, Walt Disney on April 30, 2012 | Leave a Comment »
Paperman is an animated short produced by Disney Feature Animation, I think.
I’ve heard a bit about it, and its blending of traditional and 3D, but I have not seen any art, but what’s on this poster. According to the article on Cartoon Brew it will premiere widely as a short attached to Wreck-It Ralph when it’s released in November. I do love that poster though…
Animation Monday is back. What better way to start the week.
A really beautiful and fun animated short used on a book by Svetlan Junakovic. The art is fantastic, the music and VO, all wonderful. It really captures a ‘book’ feel without being clumsy.
Brought to my attention by Cartoon Brew.
Here’s an issue every cartoonist, graphic designer and illustrator has to deal with. What to do with all that old stuff. The picture above is a quick shot of the mess on my studio floor as I attempt to clean out old files. I have ads I designed from when Reagan was President (I think). Catalogs and newsletters and software packages (remember boxed software, so quaint) I worked on.
Pages and pages of roughs, acrylic paintings and tons of old comic strips. I’ve held on to the stuff for too long. A very small percentage is what I would call ‘good’. And of that even a smaller percentage is good enough and interesting enough that I want it with me for another 40 years. But in some cases it has taken me dozens of years to part with it. Some of the work moved with me from Madison, Wisconsin. Really? I hauled this stuff with me across the country, through 3 apartments and a house in Los Angeles AND all the way up here? What was I thinking?
So I threw a pre-Christmas-clean-out-all-the-gunk party and it’s in the recycling bin now. I’m glad we have recycling. At least it’s not all landfill. Theoretically better new drawings can be made on the paper now covered in my old drawings.
I work on the computer for the most part now. I have about 6 terabytes of storage available for back-up and storage and another 2 terabytes on my main computer. I make a point to keep very few of the pencil drawings when I rough out a book or project. Most of the sketches get scanned in and thrown away. That keeps the mess down. I have to admit it’s a little odd to look at one of my external drives and realize that basically, my entire career is on there.
The one box I am hesitating over holds about 200 painted cells from an animated short called The Thing with No Head that I made when I was at UCLA. There were almost 1,100 cells to start with. Each hand drawn. Each hand painted. Each shot under a 16mm camera. I gave some to friends and tossed a bunch when I moved from Los Angeles. But the last 200 still have a hold on me. But once you get cleaning, it’s easy to keep going. So maybe I’ll find the resolve to toss them too. I have a copy of the animated short on my computer. The entire animated short takes up less room on my computer than a double page spread from a picture book.
For all you other artists out there, good luck with cleaning day!
This is a test animation for a walk cycle, though it looks like a burping cycle. This is for an online video game and the cycles are pretty short, and the actual size of the creature is under 100 pixels high. So this is giant monster test walk cycle I guess. I did three monsters with various cycles and a very cute little piggy bank. I’ll post more when I have time.
Some films get better with age, some get worse and some keep impressing you. Watching a film years after you first saw it can be a surreal experience. You remember a great movie, what you watch is dreck. This is true of animated films as well. There are a few that I have watched recently and have been amazed at how bad they seem to have gotten, and how much better a rare few are. And some impress me all over again. Let’s start positive with today’s post!
Lilo and Stitch has aged well. I loved it when it came out, and I still enjoy it. I watch it with my daughter quite a bit and it has some wonderfully rich and emotional beats in the story. And a great sense of containing a unique, personal, perspective even though it was produced by the studio-film-factory. Some scenes are incredibly moving the 10th time or the 200th time you see them. Even the action oriented opening is a pacing and structure oddity that I enjoy.
Treasure Planet. Well, I disliked it when I saw it. I thought it was boring and predictable and took too many easy ways out. But I’ve watched it a few times lately and it’s grown on me. From a story perspective it’s a bit clumsy with its adherence to the original story and the whole ‘ships in space’ thing can push the creative license a bit too far, but overall I like it. When I first saw it I thought they went overboard ‘Disney-fying’ it, in an attempt to be cool, to have the kid do ‘cool kid stuff’ or at least what a room full of middle aged writers thought was cool-kid stuff. It felt like it tried to hard to be ‘hip’ instead of being sure of itself. It was a teenager at heart, as were many of the films Disney made in that decade. A little too nervous about who they are to just relax and -become-. But the film has a half dozen wonderful moments and some truly inspired alien imagery and characters. Still not in love with the 3D they incorporated into it. That seems to stand out even more now than it did when I first saw it. (And the 3D in Lilo and Stitch is still hard to spot. Very cleverly inserted and inconspicuous.)
I find it surprising that my perception of a film’s quality can change so much. Maybe there should be a 3-srtike rule, before one calls any film a disaster and waste of time. Watch it three times over a few years. If it still smells ripe after that, then it earned a trip to the Never Watch It Again list.
Continuing with the Halloween theme and the topic of my last post, here’s some more material related to one of those ideas that don’t go away.
I received some really fun emails from people who shared tales of their own passion projects. It would be fun to see samples from a bunch of artists gathered together of the things they do when they aren’t doing things for checks. I’ve seen a few shows of paintings by animation artists, but nothing that encompasses the stories narrative illustrators tell themselves in their ‘off’ time.
Below is one of the first drawings of The Thing. There wasn’t much character design time when I made the animated short. The entire film was made in like 3 months. Below that are some of the 5 statues I created to help me with the characters while I was drawing them for animation (simple shapes…simple shapes!). They were done in sculpy and painted with acrylics. This version of The Thing features the slightly more ghoulish looking torso, where you can see something like a vertebrate in its body.
Next up I will post yet another version of this tale. With the redesigned Thing that I stuck with for all the recent versions.