Monday, August 28, 2006

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Monday, August 21, 2006

Method Studios

If you haven't heard of Method Studios you've at least seen one if not twenty to thirty of their high profile commercials. Located in Santa Monica the heart of Los Angles' VFX houses, Method Stuios employees an eclectic group of people from around the world working with high-end hardware and software. Their work is just plain cool and sometimes very humerous projects. Yesterday I was lucky enough too meet Tonie and Laurent who are both extremly nice and interesting people, similar to the work Method creates.

Friday, August 18, 2006

The Evolution of Machinima

After reading blogs concerning the release of Coke's latest ad created by Nexus studios in the UK, I wanted to talk about Machinima and it's future impact on the media. Made popular by gamers controling characters in Halo and clipping together scenes to make mini movies and eventually a series Red vs Blue the word Machinima beacame more and more familar with the gamer/filmmaker community.
With the creation of such televison shows Disney's Book of Pooh, Nickelodeon's Lazytown and PBSKids' It's A Big Big World. We can see that Machinima is not just a low-tech form for of creating contect with real-time virtual set engines.
New gaming engines such as the offset engine for the PC are uping the resolution and realtime features such as (realtime depth of field, realtime soft shadows, realtime particles casting shadows, realtime global illumination...the list goes on). All of these features are currently being used as 3d animation studios creating high-end films. With the adavancement of realtime technologies we are going to see and increase in quality and thus production value in machinima. With the merging of media's the next-gen realtime virtual set television shows are going to increase in popularity, their visuals are going to greatly improve, and the cost large 3d post production teams could start disappearing.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Flash animation extravaganza

If you have ever attempted animating in flash, or at least working in it. You might like this video.

Monday, August 14, 2006

The Getty Center

Best view of Los Angeles you can get, at least if your not a Hollywood Hill homeowner. Parking was chaos but once acomplished a very nice walk up the hill to the center was perfect for a Sunday afternoon. Skimmed the art collection, getting a bit lost in each exhibit. The architecture is massive and beautiful. Noticed that outside a demographic ranging in age from 3 years old to 70 years old were having an equal amount of a good time. This says a lot for how the place is designed and what it has to offer to everyone.
I am really out of the loop when it comes to fine art, which doesn't mean I don't appreciate it...but I found the view of Los Angeles from the center equally engaging.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Harold Belker

Tonight we went down to Culver City to the MODAA to see Harold Belker. Harold is a concept artist from Germany with work in fields ranging from furniture design, automotive concepts to concept creation for feature films. Harold does all of his designs in 2D (pencil/pen, or photoshop) and his finished sketches turn out looking like renderings from a 3D rendering engine.

I went up to Harold and introduced myself, and rambled something that you might expect along the lines of inspiration, and adoration...never-the-less it was good to meet him.
It was cool to see his designs like furniture, bike designs, matchbox cars, set up with his renderings. I always have a hard time looking at digital large prints because the pixelation and color saturation never does the product created on the computer justice. I think mediums like digital art need to be shown on calibrated LCD monitors to really show the colors and details that the artist originally intended. Relying on ink, and a printer can be scary.

I look forward to seeing more creations from Harold Belker, maybe someday I can convice him to let me take one of his sketches and create some 3D renderings for him.


Looks like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is going to be made into a feature animation. This was bar-none one of my favorite cartoons growing up. I had nearly every single action figure. My friends used to meet up with our ninja turtles and we would spend hours...more like days fighting evil doers like Shredder and his foot soilders.
Looks like Warner Brothers is producing this flick along side the Weinstein Company. An animation house called Amagi in Hong Kong is doing the CG work for it. I saw the trailer and the 3D work looked rather 2D, perhaps holding to a 2D/3D hybrid look that we see in some recent Japanamai hits. Though it does indeed look like the characters are CG while the backdrops look matte painted. (As opposed to 2D characters and 3D backdrops). I think 2D matte paintings in the background is a good way to go, especially with a story that takes place in New York. Better to paint in the details of the geometry rather than model the entire city.
I think it is also good that a foreign animation house is creating the work for an American produced feature animation. Final Fantasy, created by square pictures (a japaneese owned company) hit the American market and did not do very well at all...though it did show ground breaking realism and what is truely possible it the feild of animated features. I'd like to see Eastern companies like Amagi show the CG the western culture something new as well. I see all of these great American features coming out, technically they look great....but still look the same no?

Friday, August 04, 2006

1st Ave Machine

1st Ave Machine is a company in New York that comes up with photo-unreal organic creations. I love the work that they do because much of the 3D community today is focusing a lot of energy towards photo-realism. These guys look like that have that figured out and are taking their work to the next level. Click on the image above to view their website.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Birddy Nam Nam & Jackson and his computer Band

Two other electronic bands that were introduced to me by my good friend Api. Like the Four Tet they are European, Birdy Nam Nam being French. Fun and enjoyable to listen to, some tracks would be ideal for a funky demo reel. These bands also seem to have a nice sense of design from their websites. Click the images above to view their websites.