Friday, 23 April 2010

2009 - Avatar...



Avatar is a 2009 science fiction film directed by James Cameron. It the most recent example of how technology has developed in the industry, making groundbreaking changes. It's already broken box office records and well deserves its place in the timeline, if not for its storyline, then for its amazing visual aesthetics.

1995 - Toy Story...



Pixar is an American CGI animation production company based in California and founded in 1986. To date, the studio has earned twenty-four Academy Awards, six Golden Globes, and three Grammys, among many other awards, acknowledgments and achievements. It is best known for its CGI-animated feature films, becoming one of the most critically acclaimed film studios of all time. Pixar started in 1979 as the Graphics Group, a part of the Computer Division of Lucasfilm before it was bought by Apple co-founder Steve Jobs in 1986. The Walt Disney Company bought Pixar in 2006. The company has made 10 features films since its formation, including Finding Nemo, Toy Story, Monsters Inc., and more recently Up, among many others. Executives John Lasseter, Brad Bird, Pete Docter, Andrew Stanton and Lee Unkrich have all gained recognition for their achievements, receiving a Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement.

1923 - Walt Disney...



Walt Disney was born on December 5th, 1901 in Chicago, Illinois. Walt had very early interests in art, he would often sell drawings to neighbours to make extra money. Though Walt's father could be quite stern, he was encouraged by his mother and older brother to pursue his talents. Walt joined the Red Cross where he was sent overseas to France and spent a year driving an ambulance for Red Cross officials. Once Walt returned from France, he pursued a career in commercial art. He started a small company called Laugh-O-Grams, which eventually fell bankrupt. With his suitcase and 20 dollars, Walt headed to Hollywood to start anew. After making a success of his "Alice comedies", Walt became a recognized Hollywood figure. In 1932, the production entitled, Flowers and Trees, won Walt the first of his studio academy awards and since then he has gone on to win 26 Academy Awards out of 59 nominations, and seven Emmy Awards.

Two particularly important animations were 'Steamboat Willie', the first cartoon with synchronised sound and 'Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.'



1919 - Felix The Cat...



In 1919, Pat Sullivan, a cartoonist and film entrepeneur, created an American cartoon called 'Felix the Cat.' Felix the cat was the character from animation to attain a level of popularity sufficient to draw movie audiences. He is one of the most recognised cartoon characters alongside Mickey Mouse, Bugs Bunny, and Tom and Jerry among others.



1911 - Winsor McCay...



Winsor McCay was supposedly born in 1867, probably in Canada, butthis isn't a certainty. He was named Zenas Winsor McCay but he quickly dropped Zenas in favour of Winsor. He commenced drawing at a prodigiously early age and at the age of 13 he drew a picture of shipwreck on the school blackboard which was photograped and copies were sold. His attention to detail was amazing. McCay's first job that earned him money from his art was at Wonderland in Detroit where he was hired to draw portrats of the customers for 25 cents each. In 1891, he moved to Cincinnati, eventually making drawings for a local newspaper. It was there that he first developed his skill with a pen - everything up to that point had been crafted with pencil and brush. Canemaker points out, his accurate renditions of galloping horses indicate a familiarity with Eadweard Muybridge's photographic motion studies of 1887. Few cartonists had mastered the cartoon pacing and motion netter than McCay at this time. In late 1903, he relocated and began the most prolific chapter of his cartoning life. From 1904-1911, McCay produced a string of comic strips that have overriden many of his other accomplishments. Both his comic strips and his Vaudeville act were based on pacing and movement. He was about to combine all of these elements into one new art - the animated cartoon. While he wasn't the first person to make an animated carton, he was the man who defined the industry. The quality of his carons would not be matched for another 25 years. His pacing and understanding of the medium was way ahead of his time.

1908 - Emile Cohl...



Emile Cohl was a French animator who, in 1908, produced a film called 'Phantasmagorie', which was the first film depicting white figures on a black background.



In 1910, Emile Cohl also created 'En Route', the first paper cutout animation.


1906 - J. Stuart Blackton...



J. Stuart Blackton was an American film producer of the silent era. Not only is he considered the father of America animation, but it is believed that his animation, 'Humorous Phases of Funny Phases' in 1906, was the first animated film.



1872 - Eadweard Muybridge...



Eadweard J. Muybridge was an English photographer who is primarily known for his important work on animal locomotion, using multiple cameras to capture their motion. His most famous experiment was photographing a race horse in motion, in which he showed that the horse was airbourne in certain parts of the movement.



Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Animator and Animation Reviews... Pixar...



Pixar is an American CGI animation production company based in California and founded in 1986. To date, the studio has earned twenty-four Academy Awards, six Golden Globes, and three Grammys, among many other awards, acknowledgments and achievements. It is best known for its CGI-animated feature films, becoming one of the most critically acclaimed film studios of all time. Pixar started in 1979 as the Graphics Group, a part of the Computer Division of Lucasfilm before it was bought by Apple co-founder Steve Jobs in 1986. The Walt Disney Company bought Pixar in 2006. The company has made 10 features films since its formation, including Finding Nemo, Toy Story, Monsters Inc., and more recently Up, among many others. Executives John Lasseter, Brad Bird, Pete Docter, Andrew Stanton and Lee Unkrich have all gained recognition for their achievements, receiving a Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement.





Up is a 2009 computer-animated feature film produced by Pixar Animation Studios and directed by Pete Docter. The film follows an elderly widower and an earnest young Wilderness Explorer who fly to South America in a house suspended by helium balloons. The film has received positive reviews and reception, with a rating of 98% on Rotten Tomatoes, and winning two Golden Globes for Best Animated Feature Film and Best Original Score, as well as receiving five Academy Award nominations.

I had seen Up recently before we had watched it in class and i had really enjoyed watching it with my younger sister. Despite the saddening morals behind the story, the characters keep the fun element to the film that Pixar have become so famous for. Up has everything you'd expect from a Pixar film and as usual the storyline is strong throughout. The continuity works well in the film, particularly objects like the leaf blower which doesn't just magically appear half way through, but was introduced to us to start off with. The story and mood behind the film is aimed more at adults with the idea of the elderly widower who can't let go of the fact his wife has died. This is a pretty deep and meaningful story for a Pixar and children's film, but i think it works well in contrast with the fun adventures and characters, giving the film an all-round strong storyline. The idea of a talking dog was pretty cool, and Kevin the bird was another masterclass example of how Pixar always create an appeal in their characters.

Animator and Animation Reviews... Bill Plympton...



Bill Plympton is an American animator born in Oregon, in 1946. He attended Portland State University, from 1964 to 1968, where he was a member of the film society and in 1968 he transferred to the School of Visual Arts in New York City. Plympton's illustrations and cartoons have been published in The New York Times and magazines such as Vogue, Rolling Stone and Vanity Fair, gaining a distinctive style that is easily recognisable. As of 2006 he has created 26 animated short films and five animated features, as well as published a comic book, graphic novels and worked on music videos like Kanye West's 'Heard 'Em Say'. Throughout his career, Plympton has made 2 to 3 short films a year that keep bringing in a solid income from sales around the world.
'The Tune' is an animated film by American filmmaker Bill Plympton. It follows the story of a hard-working songwriter who is trying to write the perfect song, for his boss, so he can keep his job and his girlfriend. On his way to work he ends up getting lost in a town called Flooby Nooby, where he meets an Elvis-impersonating dog, a noseless cab driver, and a psychotic bellhop. The name of the town along with the crazy characters gives you a good idea of how weird and surreal this animation is. It's definitely good fun, but probably not a film i would choose to watch again. The drawings were very sketchy, which seems to me Plympton's style and the music was fun but annoting at the same time. Again, it was the characters that interested me in this animation, but other than that, i didn't enjoy the film very much.

Maya Tutorials Week 1... Walk Cycle Mechanics...

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Thursday, 1 April 2010

Line Swan Dance Test...

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After my lasy attempt at trying to work out the positionin gof my character in the animation, i decided to try an even simpler idea to see whether that would work. I took a frame from each second of the dance on YouTube, up to a minute. Then i drew a line/squiggle to represent the body shape and position. I feel this is equally as unsuccessful as my attempt with my character, although, i still need to add the music, but i don't think that it will make too much difference. My next idea is to just take a frame from each second of the dance and edit that together, because it may be looking funny because essentially, the footage is jumping. If the edit looks funny, it means that it doesn't matter what i do, doing each second will always look jumpy and when i add in between frames, i may look better.