Archive for December, 2009

New How to Train Your Dragon Trailer!

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DreamWorks released the Next trailer for How to Train Your Dragon.  I really can’t wait to see this movie.  I’m on a different show so I’ve been avoiding watching clips so I can really enjoy it when it comes out.  But from what I have seen, this movie is going to be amazing!! Adam worked on the film and is currently working on a post….so stay tuned!!

Here is a quick synopsis of the film:

From the studio that brought you “Shrek,” “Madagascar” and “Kung Fu Panda” comes “How to Train Your Dragon.” Set in the mythical world of burly Vikings and wild dragons, and based on the book by Cressida Cowell, the action comedy tells the story of Hiccup, a Viking teenager who doesn’t exactly fit in with his tribe’s longstanding tradition of heroic dragon slayers. Hiccup’s world is turned upside down when he encounters a dragon that challenges him and his fellow Vikings to see the world from an entirely different point of view.

Shrek Forever After Trailer!!

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We are so excited that the Shrek Forever After trailer is now online!  Ben, Jacob, and myself have all been working really hard on this film and are all very proud of it.  So take a look and let us know what you think!  How cool is that!

Ted Ty Talk Back!

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Dear Listener,

Due to the great responses to our first podcast, Ted Ty has graciously agreed to answer any questions you might have regarding what he discussed during the podcast. Our plan is to gather up any and all questions that you might have and ask them to Ted in a follow-up podcast. That’s right. YOU get the chance to dictate the questions we ask Ted Ty.

Here’s how it’ll go:

– Post your questions in the Comments section of this post OR send us an e-mail via the CONTACT page.

– At the end of the year we will gather them up and put them together into a Q&A podcast with Ted Ty.

It’s THAT easy! So get those questions into us soon!  Let’s make this a fun, interactive podcast. We are, after-all, a community of artists and what good would this site be if we we came up with all of the content on our own and never asked what’s most on your mind about animation?

Let’s do this.

SOA

Coyote Poses

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Take a quick look at the strength in posing from some Chuck Jones drawings:
(source: “Chuck Reducks”)

CoyoteRunsclick to enlarge

Not only do they have amazingly clear silhouettes, wonderful line of action, and incredible sense of movement, but they also convey emotion.

Note how in the “confident swagger” and “egotistical trot” the upper body is rotated backwards and puffed out.  It’s not a coincidence.  His choice of adjectives, confident and egotistical, both indicate an inflated sense of self – which is exactly what I read from those two drawings.  That’s not to say that the descriptions are perfect; because given those two drawings with no captions I would not be able to tell you that one was ‘egotistical.’  That said, however, I still find them incredibly appealing, and they are two totally different ways to indicate that ‘inflated sense of self’ he was going for.

I have also entirely fallen in love with that last pose.  The “irresistible all-out gallop” is really fun;  the facial expression is great, the forces are awesome, and for an upright character – he is COMPLETELY HORIZONTAL!

French Roast

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I’m sure you’ve all seen this by now but if you haven’t be sure to check it out.  Fabrice Joubert, former animator – currently animation director, was the writer and director.  The two things that really stand out to me, outside of the animation, are the character designs and staging.

The camera work is kept simple and clear by conveniently using a large wall mirror in the background.  The story is told without the use of any cuts.  Now I’m not the type that freaks out, getting in friends’ faces screaming, “Man!  Did you see that sequence where the cinematographer told the story without cutting once?!?!  DID YOU!!?”  I actually prefer seeing a series of well cut and connected images that move the story along but I think French Roast was successful with their execution of the single shot short.  The background mirror, being the key factor,  allows for visual cues for what time of the day it is, not only with the use of daylight but also with store owners closing up shop, and a way for new characters to enter the scene.

This could have been a tough challenge for the animators but they did a great job separating the actions throughout, making it clear where the viewer is suppose to look. I’m sure the boards really helped separate the large motion between characters but there are some nice quick back and forth moments where the timing in animation is key. A great example of this is at 49 seconds in, where the bum raises and waves his arm around to request for money. At 52 seconds his movement comes to a stop and the customer proceeds with his arm wave. Then the action goes back to the bum. Separating actions is also something to really think about when animating a single character.

Character designs are obviously something that can sway one person’s opinion one way or another about an animated project.  The average viewer might not be able to point out what is specifically wrong with a character design but they will know if they like to look at it.  This is the first thing that I noticed about the short and really feel they all have a unique look, specific to this project, and are visually appealing.  Unfortunately most people creating a short film don’t have Nicolas Marlet designing their characters. You can see some of his design work for this short and an interview with Fabrice about the short on the Character Design blog.

You can find the blog for the short film at frenchroast-blog.blogspot.com where they’ve posted a nice write up on the process of creating Gaspard the Tramp(the bum) here:  http://frenchroast-blog.blogspot.com/2008/12/gaspard-tramp-from-idea-to-3d_13.html

Watch the short film at:  www.frenchroast.fr

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