Sonic Mania

Here's a sketch of Sonic to celebrate the release of the new game 'Sonic Mania'.

SonicMania.jpg

Art by,
Adam

Disney's Magic Bench

Disney have been working on new ways of making Augmented Reality (AR) accessible to as many people as possible.  They've created what they are calling the 'Magic Bench'.  It allows people to play with AR characters without needing to use a headset or smartphone.

Watch the video here:

Thoughts by,
Sian

Black Panther

A quick sketch of iMe posing as the Black Panther!

Art by,
Adam

Immersive Animation

Projection mapping animation has been getting more popular over the past few years.  It is even being used on wedding cakes so couples can have whatever they want on the icing.

There was a performance by Heartcorps at the Sundance Film Festival using a special set where animation filled the room.  Actors appear to interact with all sorts of scenarios with brilliant timing to create a seamless spectacle for the audience.

At the moment projection mapping is mainly limited to being watched and only interacted with by those who have pre-planned a routine.  However, the stepping stones are very much there for fully interactive, submersive animation.

Thoughts by,
Sian

 

 

The Bronson Maneuver

It turns out I'm 7 years late seeing this, still I couldn't help but share it.  'The Bronson Maneuver' is a short animation created by a small group for a challenge ran by cgsociety.org.  It needed to fill the theme of Secret Agent and it does just that.

It's a great piece that combines stopmotion characters with 2D backgrounds, all composited in After Effects.  If you keep watching you can see some 'making of' clips.

Thoughts by,
Sian

Wreck-It Ralph 2

Here's an image to celebrate the news of a Wreck-It Ralph 2 film!

Art by,
Adam

Agent 327

Blender Animation Studio is a small studio based in the Netherlands.  They are responsible for creating the opensource 3D software 'Blender'.

Using their own software they have created a trailer for a film version of Agent 327 - based on a Dutch comic series.  Instead of being 007, he's 327, meaning he can have a gun but isn't allowed to use it.

The trailer was a year of work for the Blender team, which was funded by crowd-sourcing within the Blender opensource network.

The team are now hoping to find bigger investors in order to get the $15 million funding they need to create the full feature film.

Watch an article on the process by Vice News here.

Thoughts by,
Sian

Shading Practice

I decided to create an image that would push me to practice colour and shading.

Art by,
Sidd

Unique Architectural Animation

French film studio 11hr45 created a unique animation to compliment the design of a building known as 'The Iceburg', in Aarhus Denmark.

Cute stylised penguins are seen frolicking along the exterior of the building.  Some have fun sliding down the roof whilst others take watch from balconies.

One plucky penguin decides to try and catapult himself into the air.  This works with great success as he flies for a brief moment before landing in the waterfront.  Of course then all the penguins want a go and they start flying off the building at all sorts of angles!

Watch it here:

Thoughts by,
Sian

Toucan

A great way for an artist to polish their craft is to be inspired by and reference styles based on other peoples artwork. This allows your mind to get used to new techniques that you can develop into your own style.

I have started doing fun animal illustrations referencing the style of my old lecturer from university Jonny Duddle. As an artist I love the way he blends colour and adds rim lights to give a flair to the images.

Art by,
Ash

Super Smash Bros.

This evening we're having an in-house Super Smash Tournament to finally figure out who is the best fighter!

Art by,
Adam

Lou

Pixar have released another short story that will be shown in front of Cars 3.  Lou is a character comprised of items dumped into a lost property bin.  His eyes are made of baseballs and his body is a large red hoodie.

The short is about schoolyard bullying.  Lou sees a bully in the playground and decides to chase him around so he gets his comeuppance.

Watch a small clip here:

We will need to wait until we see Cars 3 to watch the full thing.

Thoughts by,
Sian

Fantastic Beasts 2

We were all fans of 'Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them', especially the Niffler!

Now information about the second film in the series has been revealed.  Dumbledore will be teaming up with Newt Scamander to hunt down dark wizard Grindelwald.

Grindelwald was captured at the end of the first film but has now escaped and it's all hands on deck to find him.

The film will be out in November 2018.  It feels too long to wait!

Thoughts by,
Sian

With Great Power ... Comes Great CGI ...

With the latest Spider-Man film currently showing in cinemas, I thought it would be cool to touch upon how computer generated imagery has been used for Marvels incarnation of the webslinger.  

The difference between practical effects and computer generated imagery, in superhero films in particular, is becoming extremely seamless. Special effects in the genre have come a long way from the lacklustre CGI claws in the toilet sequence from Xmen Origins: Wolverine. There was also an awfully bland CGI suit in Green Lantern. It was rumoured that in last years Captain America: Civil War, Spider-Man's suit was mostly CGI due to time constraints and the fact that they had not chosen an actor to play Peter Parker before filming began. 

Russell Earl, a visual effects supervisor for the film, stated that in order to make the CGI look lifelike they used a 'layered process: a cloth simulation handled the fabric, which ran atop a muscle simulation'. Tom Holland would then provide the voice performance which was integrated into ILM's animation, to the extent that the mask stretched to match Hollands speech. 

(Source: https://www.theverge.com/2016/5/12/11664554/captain-america-civil-war-cgi-visual-effects-spider-man-interview

(Source: https://www.theverge.com/2016/5/12/11664554/captain-america-civil-war-cgi-visual-effects-spider-man-interview

Fret not reader, considering the new costume in Spider-Man: Homecoming is quite tech savvy, it makes sense that CGI implementations have been considered.  This makes complete sense as the costume is created by Tony Stark, featuring his state of the art A.I. components, as well as full motion moving eyes on his mask. The film does include a range of practical effects too, as numerous sources caught Tom Holland suited up while filming took place.

(Source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-3765702/Make-webs-not-war-Tom-Holland-flashe-peace-sign-takes-filming-Spider-Man-Homecoming-Atlanta.html)

(Source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-3765702/Make-webs-not-war-Tom-Holland-flashe-peace-sign-takes-filming-Spider-Man-Homecoming-Atlanta.html)

Overall I think it is exciting to see that Marvel are willing to explore a different take, both on and off screen, for our beloved wallcrawler. 

Spider-Man: Homecoming was released in the UK on 5th July 2017.

Thoughts by,
Amar

Blue Zoo

London based animation company Blue Zoo has managed to bring in a large investment from China by pairing with China UK Animation Company (CU Animation).

They announced that the joint venture will result in a new company known as Lanzu.  This company will provide finance for a selection of new projects, including an animated feature film. 

This is great news for the UK animation industry.  It shows that companies outside the UK are still looking to us to provide top class animation work.  This is most likely helped by the UK tax breaks for animation that are now provided by the government.

Well done Blue Zoo!

Thoughts by,
Sian

I'm a Teacher Now!

So I was recently given the opportunity to teach a student the fundamentals of animation, since the guy who should have been teaching him (*cough* Gary) decided to disappear into the country or something.  The first thought that ran through my mind was one of apprehension, it wasn't the first time that I've taught someone, but it was the first time that I had to teach someone how to animate from scratch. 

But what the hell, I have nothing to lose but my time right?

Well I'm glad to say that the intro went surprisingly well. I decided to start with the tried and true "12 Principles of Animation". It was then that I realised that I didn't actually remember all of them. After going through each one I found that I wasn't just teaching, but I was learning. I wasn't exactly learning the principles again but I was learning how to explain them. The process forced me to put my ideas into words and have them make sense to somebody who doesn't know. 

It was a weird experience because I'm of the opinion that I'm not very good at explaining things. Not to toot my own trumpet or anything (although that's exactly what I'm doing) I was quite pleased with the way I handled it. The concepts made sense and I felt that they were easy to understand. I mean, I think it was, who knows?! The student I was teaching was fairly capable anyway so maybe it was all meaningless, maybe I was just wasting my time, maybe nothing matters?

Now I wish I could say that the day ended with me having taught this new-blood everything. That he gave me his everlasting gratitude for imparting this top quality wisdom. The thing is, this happened like 10 minutes prior to me writing this. There's a semi decent chance that this could all go up in flames but hey, what's life without a few ups and downs eh?

Well, time to jump back into the void of uncertainty. I may provide an update but we'll have to hope I don't disappear from the embarrassment of being a wannabe teacher before that.

See you on the flipside reader,

Sidd

Newest Avenger

Hey Everyone,

I recently joined Carse and Waterman and I'm having a great experience thus far 😊

This Friday I will be graduating from Keele University, having studied Business Management and Film Studies as a dual honours degree. I have a open-ended career route and my university acknowledged this by creating an internship scheme. They created a role as a marketer within an animation company, which in turn fits both of my interests and skills. 

Only three weeks in and I've met some wonderful people. I'm understanding the process of film-making from an animators perspective, in addition to recording a small part in an upcoming film - which is so cool 😊 

I look forward to see what the future holds. 

Nuff said,
Amar

Beyond Good and Evil 2

'Beyond Good & Evil' was a small independently developed game by director Michel Ancel.  After the game was published it was a huge success and gained a moderate fan base, this warranted a sequel to the game.  Originally the next game in the series was going to be released in 2010.  Due to publisher focusing its staff and development team on other projects, production on the game was halted.  

Now in 2017 after 7 years of the development team focusing heavily on 'Beyond Good and Evil 2', Michel Ancel can once again begin to produce the series.

Thoughts by,
Adam