All-Girl Superhero Team

Netflix will soon be airing ‘Mama K’s Team 4’. It’s a South African children’s animation focusing on an all-girl team of spies. Normal children by day, spies by night!

The story was created by animation writer Malenga Mulendema, who submitted her story as part of a competition. Her hope is that the animation will help Zambian teens see themselves represented in worldwide media - something she feels is deeply lacking.

Triggerfish Studios will be producing the series and we’re definitely going to be keeping our eye out for it!

(Image: Netflix / Triggerfish Studios

(Image: Netflix / Triggerfish Studios

Lion King VR

(Image: copyright Disney ‘The Lion King’)

(Image: copyright Disney ‘The Lion King’)

Walt Disney will be releasing their new live-action / CGI hybrid film ‘The Lion King’ later this month.

The majority of the film is CGI so director Jon Favreau wanted to find a new way of working with 3D animation. Traditional live-action film-making involves pointing a real camera towards what you want to film, tweaking the angle appropriately and going from there. However 3D worlds only exist within a computer, using virtual cameras to set-up a shot. This can make cinematography feel less intuitive, particularly to those more used to live-action.

The solution Favreau and his team came up with was to ‘enter’ these 3D worlds with Virtual Reality headsets. This allowed the team to walk through the 3D environments and tweak the virtual cameras in a way more in-tune with traditional methods.

This sounds like a brilliant way of working, merging the old with the new to get the best of both worlds.

Read more about the process here:

https://www.indiewire.com/2019/04/jon-favreau-directed-lion-king-virtual-reality-set-1202128319/

Paper Ireland

London animation company ‘Seed Animation’ created a wonderful paper world for their client ‘Gas Networks Ireland’. It’s normal practice for work like this to be done in CGI - it gives the ultimate control for a project and any potential changes that may crop up last minute. However they did such a great job of it they initially had us questioning whether they’d actually done it for real!

Watch the final animation below as well as their making of video which gives a brilliant insight to their technique. You can also read this post on their website.

StoryBots

Netflix recently announced they have acquired StoryBots - a children’s media brand. They’re hoping to use this to expand on educational programming for toddlers.

Primarily shown on US Netflix accounts it may not be an animation you’ve came across, however it’s well worth a look. The animations have a unique style of their own. Multiple storytelling formats are used such as traditional 2D animation, 3D animation, stopmotion and live-action. This change up helps grab the attention of young children and keeps their focus.

Have a look at this behind the scenes video showing their range of styles:

Toy Story 4

Image: Disney Pixar - Toy Story 4

Image: Disney Pixar - Toy Story 4

The latest in the ‘Toy Story’ franchise has made new records in the UK box office.

‘Toy Story 4’ has been created 24 years after the first film and the UK seem to love it just as much as the original.

Released last week, its opening weekend made a huge £13.3 million. This is the highest ever for an animated movie.

It’s early days so we don’t want to give anything away but many in the C&W office have watched the film and given it their solid thumbs up.

Summer Solstice

Today is the day of the year that has the most daylight hours - well, for us in the northern hemisphere anyway! This makes it the perfect day for a BBQ and lounging around in the garden. Sounds like a fabulous way to start the weekend!

Of course we’re still in the UK so perhaps the weather will have other ideas…

Whatever happens, have a great weekend!

Art by Ash

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Check out more artwork at - ergoasch.deviantart.com

Art by,

Ash

Happy Fathers Day

A big thank you to all the Dads who have supported us on our creative career paths!

The Queen's Corgi

(image: nWave Pictures & Belga Productions)

(image: nWave Pictures & Belga Productions)

It was Queen Elizabeth’s official birthday over the weekend. Tied in closely to this was the recent release of an animation feature film named ‘The Queen’s Corgi’, animated by Belgium company nWave Pictures. Unfortunately it’s not yet released in the UK and we will instead need to wait until July the 5th.

It’s a very cute film about the Queen being given a new puppy as a gift. The film then follows the chaos this new dog creates as he goes on his new adventure.

Watch the trailer below:

Mr. T's Birthday

No, not that one! James is the youngest member of our team and has decided to abandon us for the week.

We hope he has a lot of fun on his time off.

PS. Bring back treats…

GradEx 19

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Each year Staffordshire University holds an exhibition showcasing the work of their students.

Next week final year students will get to show their talents off to friends and family. We’re delighted to be able to come along and check out all the exciting things they’ve been doing.

If you’re local to Stoke on Trent we’d highly recommend popping over and supporting the next generation about to move onto the next stage of their lives.

Happy Birthday Richard

This guy got to celebrate his birthday on Bank Holiday Monday. We know he’s happiest when around computers and gadgets so we hope he had a technology-filled extra long birthday weekend.

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Spider-Verse Creation

Feature film 'Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse’ won Best Animated Feature at the Oscars this year. A point that most likely helped this was its unique style. It has a look that uses 3D animation whilst trying to blend between a traditional 2D, traditional comic book and also a live action appearance. If you were curious how this was achieved you may want to watch the video below from Wired.

Ashley Ageing

It unfortunately happens to the best of us but we’re sure Ash will celebrate in style. Today is the birthday of arguably the most interesting member of our team. Guaranteed to have an interesting story to tell after every weekend, we can’t wait to hear what he gets up to whilst celebrating.

Happy Birthday Ash

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Mental Health Animations

Mental health is a subject that is unfortunately so easy to ignore and rarely gets talked about. Fortunately this subject is starting to get the recognition and publicity it needs and deserves.

Animation students at the Institute of Art, Design & Technology (IADT) have used research conducted by the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI) to create a series of 5 animations touching on different mental health themes.

The animations have been designed to raise awareness of the many different areas mental health can affect in someones life. They are primarily aimed at young people to encourage them to ask for help from others if they experience any of the feelings or thoughts mentioned in the videos.

Read more about this & see all five videos - https://spunout.ie/news/article/launch-date-mental-health-animation

Here’s the Anxiety animation (copyright IADT & spunout.ie)

HBD

Happy Birthday to Janine, our extremely talented animator!

It’s her birthday over the weekend & we hope she has a great time.

Kinetic Sculptures

Theo Jansen creates huge wind-powered sculptures.  His sculptures are very lightweight, pieced together using plastic pipes and cable ties.  He has such a perfect understanding of movement that they appear incredibly life-like.  He sets them off across beaches and they will happily walk for miles.

Animators also need this understanding of movement and anatomy.  They may be tasked with animating something that at first glance does not look human or believable.  They need to apply their skills to keep the object acting and reacting in a realistic way.  That is key to having an audience not question the authenticity of a character.

Sian

Dan's Old Too

It’s Daniel’s birthday today and as we used a somewhat embarrassing photo for Gary’s birthday blog post we felt it only fair to do the same for today.

Here’s Dan sporting a bandage for his head injury - it explains a lot!

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In case anyone is actually concerned, he wasn’t really injured, it was just our company first aid training!

St George's Day

It’s St George’s Day and we’re feeling patriotic. We may not have Guinness, haggis or dragons like our neighbours but we do have big feasts, dancing and red roses!

We hope you enjoy your celebrations tonight.

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