Saturday, March 31, 2007

LightWave makes it real... hyper-real

300"300" Smashes Box Office Records

Visual Effects in Frank Miller's 300 is an interesting mini-documentary on the LightWave effects in the film. It's really interesting stuff. They used boujou for their match moves and moved between boujou and LightWave.

See more stills and information about the CG here.

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Monday, March 26, 2007

The Wonder Pets! - A Conversation with Jim Geduldick, Sr. Editor

The Wonder Pets!The Wonder Pets! is an adorable animated series that airs on Nick Jr./Noggin, aimed at the pre-k audience. It was created by the award-winning team at Little Airplane Productions. Toolfarm chats with Jim Geduldick, who is a Senior Editor but wears a lot of other hats in the production of the show.

Gather the kids around the computer and spend some quality family time! Read the interview and see some cuter-than-puppies-wrapped-in-kittens screen shots.

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El País - Route through the history

Route through the history for El País is uses that technique that zooms by a bunch of photos with a 3D camera and lots of depth of field and perspective shadows. It was posted by Cocoe Conspiracy Headquarters in Madrid, Spain.

We have quite a few questions about how to do this technique. I can tell you that it will take a lot of time cutting out the photos in Photoshop. There are plug-ins that will speed up the process quite a bit, including Vertus Fluid Mask for Photoshop and the Tools in the Digital Film Tools Masking Bundle for Photoshop. You'll need to break up your images and background into several layers, and paint in your background - at least the parts that will show. The clone tool works well for this.

In After Effects, you'll need to import these Photoshop documents as Compositions and make each layer 3D. Separate them in z-space and then animate your camera. Easy as pie, eh.

Thanks Jim G. for the link!

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Last Best Hope by Erik Lauritzen

last best hopeLast Best Hope: A True Story of Escape, Evasion and Remembrance is another example of zooming through 3D space with the camera, through 2D photo scenery. This one has played at film festivals, won awards and showed on PBS. This one will make you say wow.

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Saturday, March 24, 2007

Tyger by Guilherme Marcondes

Tyger, a film short by Brazillian Cuilherme Marcondes, is based on William Blake's poem, Tyger. It is one of the most amazing pieces I've ever seen. The tyger is a puppet that maneuvers through Sao Paolo, Brazil, with the puppeteers in black still visable. It's a mix of live action, photographs and 2D and 3D. Gorgeous.

It has the feel of Circque du Soliel for me, beautiful, etherial and with a rockin' soundtrack.

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Friday, March 23, 2007

Napoleon & Mona Lisa by Digital Studio

Digital Studio is a 3D and web studio in Luxemburg. These spots were created for Universalis, a book company, and the 3D is incredible. The character animations are funny, and I don't even speak German (Ich Bin ein Auslander?!)

Watch Napoleon ad
Watch Mona Lisa ad

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Thursday, March 22, 2007

Mute Math - Typical

The entire video is performed backward. No, not the first to be done backward, but it's cool none the less. I read that they did this in one take. How do you learn the words? Play your record backward and sing along? Plus, how could I not post a video featuring a keytar.

I saw Mute Math last summer at Lollapalooza. They put on a good show.

For even more fun, someone redid the video, reversing it back again . Very funny indeed.


Peter von Poehl - The Story of the Impossible

The Story of the Impossible is a beautiful song by Swedish artist Peter von Poehl, and a really gorgeous video, directed by Thibaut Berland of Yellow House, of Paris, France.

There is some subtle film look as well as some interesting 3D. Is the city 3D? Looks like it to me, but it's a bit hard to tell. I love the whole mis en scene.

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Common - "Go"

This video is currently in a discusson thread in our Expert Forum. Really cool video. Lots of great effects.

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Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Somersault Winter Reel

somersaultMason Dixon of the Chicago Motion Graphics Festival sent this one onto me. The Somersault's Winter Reel is incredible. I don't like to post too many reels, but this one has a combination of diverse styles, high-end work and innovation.

Somersault has a new site too. And... they're looking for a full-time and freelance 2D and 3D artists, so if you're looking in Chicago, here's an opportunity.


300 End Credits by yU+co

300 end titlesA couple of the young men in my class saw 300 this weekend and were raving about the 300 End Titles. They were trying to describe the combination of very flat looking 3D with the blood spatter and so we Googled it. Boy, that was easy to find!

The Titles were done by yU+co who also did the titles to The Guardian, An Inconvenient Truth and lots of other film, television and commerical work.

I have to say, their website is cool, and at the same time one of the most irritating sites I've encountered in my entire life. Yes, they do some freakin' amazing work, but clicking on those little moving titles is really annoying. I don't have the patience. I just want to see their video work.... which, if I didn't mention, is truely stellar.


Monday, March 19, 2007

Vote Smart

Barack Obama's team has put together this homage to Apple's 1984 ad, targetted at Team Hillary. Are they saying that Hillary will be like Big Brother? Huh? This seems like a really weird political statement to me, but it's an interesting commercial none the less.


Cosmic Zoom by Tristan Syrett

This was an entry for the Coca-Cola Challenge and according to Syrett:

The idea is from the twilight zone episode "The Little People", where little people worship a human astronaut who lands on there planet or in this case a can of coke. I original planned to do some stop motion animation with the Lego figures but eventually decided on something a bit simpler

Man, all of these big junk food corporations are hopping on the user-generated content bandwagon. I do like the Cosmic Zoom project a lot.


The Knife - Marble House

Official video for Marble House, directed by Chris Hopewell. Some awesome stop motion work. Man, I just wouldn't have the patience to do such intense stop motion work. Cute rodents. This one has been out for about six months, but I seem to have missed it. I do love the Knife's music.

Watch a quicktime of the Director's cut of Marble House here.

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MK12: Stranger Than Fiction Opening Sequence

Stranger Than FictionStranger than Fiction Opening Sequence was done by MK12, who never disappoint with their innovative and clever work. I remember a similar type of effect in Fight Club in the Ikea scene, but tops it.

I have yet to see this film, although it's on my "Want to See" list. This is another sent in by Dru Nget.

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Sunday, March 18, 2007

The Awesome X-Ray Plate Video

xrayThe Awesome X-Ray Plate Video - I happened upon this interesting effect-filled video by Teasider, aka Eran Solomon, an Israeli motion graphics artist who seems to be master of many programs. He uses After Effects, Premiere and Poser to create this great showcase of special effects. This guy is really talented. Check out his other work.

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Friday, March 16, 2007

A Conversation with Noise Industries' Niclas Bahn

FxFactory SampleThis morning I chatted with Niclas Bahn from Noise Industries, about FxFactory a plug-in package for Final Cut Studio that works in Final Cut Pro and Motion. He explains how the plug-in utilizes the FxPlug architecture on the Mac, as well as Quartz Composer. And, did I mention how fast it is!

What really sets this product apart is that users can create their own plug-ins, making it infinitely expandable. There is a community set up where users have contributed FxPacks, some for free and some for a price. Users do not know how to program to use the plug-in.


Monday, March 12, 2007

Crayola Creativity Central

crayolaCrayola Creativity Central has a commercial for special markers or special paper that only work with each other - in otherwords, if your budding artist draws a full neighborhood on the wall up the stairs... one house on each step... it won't show up on your walls. Yeah, that was me. They tell me that the walls were just painted before we were selling the house. My mom just doesn't appreciate art.

Anyway, nothing amazingly special about the spot, but it's a fun little commercial from Crayola that triggered a memory for me.

(Via | Video)

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Friday, March 09, 2007

Contribute to Toolfarm Inspirations

We're looking for a few good animators, editors, students or even just fans of visual effects to contribute to this blog. Not HTML skills necessary, but a good eye for the most ground-breaking and rule-breaking techniques and styles out there. We want eye candy! Yes, we do.

Interested? Drop me an email and tell me why you should be considered. You would be expected to make one post per week, but you can post more, as long as they're quality videos. You're welcome to add your thoughts and opinions about the video, too.

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Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Black Sheep

Black Sheep looks awesome!


Monday, March 05, 2007

Thése Sur la Typographie by Julien Vallée

typographieThése Sur la Typographie. Another nice typography project, this one is by Julien Vallée, an artist from Montréal, Québec. I love how it the audio and video mesh so perfectly. I can't imagine how long it took to put together all of this stop motion footage.

"Reflexion based on the famously proclaimed Kurt Schwitters 'Thesis on Typography'. A stop-motion project inspired of the Dada mouvement, demonstrating that the over-used of graphical elements in a typographical composition may cause unreadability of the content."


Saturday, March 03, 2007

YMO - Computer Game/Firecracker (PV)

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Thursday, March 01, 2007

Did you create this amazing video?

This gorgeous video link was sent to me by one of my students, Paul, asking about how they created the effect. I tried to dig up more information on the video, but unfortunately, I don't know where the link came from. It was posted to a forum.

So, dear readers, any help would be appreciated. I'd love to know who did it, how, and what sort of software was used. It's so interesting.

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