Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Genki Rockets - Heavenly Star

The name Genki Rockets serves them well; this has to be the happiest song of 2007. This is a drawn style (could they have used Digital Anarchy's ToonIt?). There are lots of particle effects, which are always great, and lots or rainbows. I want to visit this world.

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Thursday, December 20, 2007

Rescue Me - D-Syfer

This music video was created by the multi-talented Yohan Daza, for his band D-Syfer. He's also the bands vocalist. This was his first big project in After Effects, which he mainly used, along with Lightwave. He used the Puppet Tool in AE CS3 to give his character organic movement. I love the style and flow of the video and it really matches the mood of the song. Is it because Yohan created the music and the video? I don't know, but I think it's terrific.

rescue me

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JibJab - In 2007

It's original, funny and creative. JibJab is genius.

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Monday, December 17, 2007

The Skies Revolt - The Transitive Deficiency (Part One)

Oh, lack of sleep is a brain cell killer. I sat on this one for a full day because I couldn't find the MySpace embed link! After a good night's sleep, whaddaya know, I find it after literally 5 seconds.

I digress, The Skies Revolt is a West Michigan based Indie Rock outfit. Dave Prindle, the lead singer, is also a Kendall student. This was his first real After Effects project, which right there is mindblowing. This isn't the quality of projects you usually see for someones first run in AE. He said he had some friends show him how the program worked and the video took only a couple of weeks to make. He's an AE Prodigy ;-)

The video contains a part one and part two, which combine two different styles (like Justin Timberlake and other artists have done recently). The idea came to Dave when he was creating a flyer with scissors for arms and was shooting laser beams into a city. The style was inspired by Michele Gondry's 'The Science of Sleep', Wes Anderson's 'The Life Aquatic' and also a The Cribs 'Mirror Kisses' video.

Dave says, "I created the scenery and characters shapes in Illustrator and
used Photoshop to add the textures. I used After Effects to arrange the scenes and Final Cut Pro to edit them together. I really liked using the cameras in After Effects to get more interesting angles. I liked using its color correction, too."

The Skies Revolt

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Styles P feat. Swizz Beats - Blow Your Mind

Directed by Todd Angkasuwan and Styles P, they didn't skimp on visual effects! That's definitely Trapcode Particular (a preset?!) Lots of particles. Blow your mind.... and some interesting luma key effects.

Via Antville


Thursday, December 13, 2007

If You See Kay - The Poster Children

If you see KayIn the early nineties I worked at a public radio station and I had an indie rock show. They named me Barb Wire - this was years before the celluloid masterpiece staring Pam Anderson. This was one of my favorite tunes back then, titled If You See Kay. After playing the tune, we ended up getting kicked off the air. The story was, there was an old lady who was a snitch for the station and would anything that she found offensive, which was anything that wouldn't be played on Lawrence Welk. The station is now a Christian station. They probably don't play much of The Poster Children anymore.

The video, directed by Bill Ward, came out in 1991. They time the effects perfectly. It's full of great early 90's warpy video effects, which remind me a bit of Nirvana's Come as You Are video. Everyone has cool 90's skater hair, too.

The Poster Children are still around and play some shows once in a while in the Chicago area. They put out about 10 videos so far. Check them out at their website.



This French language short film has lots of cool effects, even if you don't understand a word of Francais.


Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Pitchfork's Top 50 Music Videos of 2007

Pitchfork has it's finger on the pulse of modern music, so it's only expected that they have a great listing of the top videos. Check out Pitchfork's Top 50 Videos of 2007.

Otherwise, here is a highlight.

Menomena - Evil Bee
Phenomenal. The best effects video of the year, I'd say. Vomiting bees. Cool 'bee vision'. Bees with on/off switches.

Capital by Lyapis Trubetskoy
Okay, maybe it was this video that is the coolest of 2007. We featured this one in the spring and it's freakin' mindblowing.

Bjork - Earth Intruders
Very cool video. It brings back the memory of sitting on the gym floor and watching that Disney movie about music with the cavemen when I was in elementary school.

Bat for Lashes - What's a Girl to Do
One of my favorite tunes of 2007. It's very creepy. I just love it. I posted the vid to Inspirations a few months back.

Grizzly Bear - Knife
Another that we featured previously. I LOVE this song and the video is really strange and has some terrific effects.

What was your favorite music video of 2007? Leave a comment if you like.


Oh, Come, All Ye Faithful - Twisted Sister

Not the best animation.... not even close... but it's damn funny.

Oh Come All Ye Faithful - Animated
Uploaded by TwistedSisterChristmas


Miller Genuine Draft - New Year

A big golden zeppelin flies over major cities of the world, dropping beautiful metallic snowflakes, making the cities light up. This was created by the Russian agency Агентство MILK (we'll see if that holds up - it looks like AreHTCTBO MILK in Cyrillic)


Tuesday, December 11, 2007

My First Crush - Julia Pott

Real stories about first loves animated by hand and spoken by ponies and sharks. It's very cute. This was created by Julia Pott for her final film project at Kingston University. The music and sound design was done by Christopher Frost. It's just wonderful.

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Universal PictureBox Campaign

Two of four 30 second animated commercials for the launch of the new PictureBox movie channel. The spots are directed by Alon Ziv and created by Th1ng, a Soho, London based collective of directors. Fun motion work.




Odyssey in Rome by Joost Korngold, Renascent

Beautiful fragmented chunks of type move around the screen as slats of the background flicker on and off. I love the music (U.N.K.L.E.? That's what the credits say.) The titles were done for the film Odyssey in Rome and were designed by Joost Korngold of Renascent.


A Conversation with Seth Hancock

Seth HancockSeth Hancock is the Production Manager for the Convention and Visitors Bureau for the city of Indianapolis. He produces an amazing video podcast called 'Doing Indy' and most recently he directed a music video/branding piece for the city with Indiana crooner Jon McLaughlin titled For You From Me.

Seth and Michele Yamazaki from Toolfarm discuss the finer points of green screening and Seth gives some terrific tips on getting the perfect time lapse.


Birds on Fire for Zune

I know they've been around for awhile, but some of these Zune spots are very well done and are interesting to look at (shocker!).

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Sunday, December 09, 2007

Thumbelina by Natsuki Kato

ThumbelinaNatsuki Kato was in my class this semester and her work is incredible. This is Thumbelina, her final project. She went far beyond what I expected for the project. She literally had about a thousand layers. She made the children's clothes herself and shot the green screen herself (first time). She uses some really interesting techniques here that she developed herself. The voice over and music work really well with the imagery. She did a great job of setting the mood, which I think is one of the toughest parts of making a video.

No, the video is not perfect, but man, this girl is very talented and she is going to make it big some day. She plans to revise it and make it exactly as she wants it in the future, so I may possibly have a revised version posted to Inspirations.

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Out With the Old - Dell

DellHere's a lovely new spot for Dell called Out with the Old where a couple dozen old monitors and CPU's shatter into bits. I can't imagine the amount of cadmium, mercury and lead floating through the air in that room. I digress...

From rhinofx CD/VFX Supervisor Vico Sharabani (from Joey Tomatoes):
This project was quite challenging from a visual perspective, lending itself to a wide variety of both creative and technical timing solutions. During the original planning process, we were working closely with The Snorri Brothers, and determined that the entire piece should be shot in live action and we would later manipulate and augment the footage digitally. Having done quite a bit of these slow-motion stylized effects, we suggested they shoot with a Phantom camera-a high-speed, HD digital camera that captures 1000 frames per second. The challenge here was that we had only one take with three camera angles for each explosion and had to manipulate the timing, synchronization, and details of footage to really make it work. Working with live pyrotechnics can always be difficult in compositing, as we have to turn unpredictable and instantaneous explosions into a consistent and cohesive visual output. To do this, our artists worked in Flame to recreate scenes, enhance some explosions, clean up others, match debris consistency, manage timing, and color correct to maintain the crisp starkness of the background environment. We also took advantage of the latest Linux Flame HD technology to preserve detail for the high-res rendering. Overall, it was really a seamless translation between production, effects, editing, and post production, and I think that really comes across in the timing and flow of the final product.

I love knowing what happens behind the scenes like that.



Friday, December 07, 2007

History of America by MK12

history of america

The History of Americawas mainly shot over greenscreen by Kansas City's MK12. Its a very stylized film about the history of the United States. From the website:

Centuries of campfire stories have spun America's history into a fanciful tale filled with myths and half truths. MK12's History of America is here to set the record straight. Set against the warm sin of Las Vegas and the cold vacuum of space, this is the true story behind the story -- one which the epic struggle between the Astronauts and the cowboys as they fight for life, liberty and justice for all.

Watch a Trailer and teaser here.

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Thursday, December 06, 2007

Perseopolis Teaser 2

I'm not sure how I missed this one. I LOVED Perseopolis. I've read three of Marjane Satrapi's graphic novels and they are FANTASTIC. The story is so different from anything I've ever read. It's very funny and I learned so much about Persian culture. I'm really looking forward to seeing Perseopolis on the big screen. Check out the Perseoplis MySpace. I don't understand much French, though.

Persepolis - Teaser 2


Chrysler Town and Country - Jenga

My friend Mike sent me this video from Consumer Reports, putting the Chrysler Jenga commercial to the real world test. Needless to say, it's easier to play computer generated Jenga in your minivan than it is to do it for real. I like the ad though. Truth in advertising? I can't answer that.


Genre by Don Hertzfeldt

Charlie had posted a comment about the Vitamin Water commercial looking very much like Don Hertzfeld's work. Yes, definitely, I see some similarities but I prefer Hertzfeldt's. Something about cute little bunnies. I love bunnies. This combines hand drawn animation and stop motion. It's very clever. Don Hertzfeld's Genre is really awesome. He's seriously talented.

It also reminds me a bit of the scenes in Better Off Dead where John Cusack's character is drawing the cheerleader and other characters and they come to life. Better Off Dead is one of my all-time favorite flicks. I've seen it about 50 times.

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Peak Oil - Bruce Woodside

Bruce Woodside worked on Lord of the Rings, Space Jam, Cool World, Ghostbusters and even The Black Cauldron. He created this piece to bring social awareness to the issue of peak oil. It makes the point very clearly. The animation is terrific.

Via Cartoon Brew


Snicker's Rugby

Who knew eating high fructose corn syrup could turn you into a rugby monster! Very cool character animation.

YouTube: "Spy Films finishes another Snickers Spot With Directing team Alex & Steffen. Agency: BBDO Moscow, Russia"

Via Antville

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Zune - Intergalactic Swap Meet

ZuneZune has really stepped up the advertising with this series. Here's their newest, Intergalactic Swap Meet. It was created by 72 and Sunny and directed by Stockholm's againstallodds. The colors are poppin' and the characters are superb. It's just lush.

Via Stash

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Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Newton Faulkner - Teardrop

teardropNewton Faulkner's Teardrop is a cover of the Massive Attack song (which you may recognize as the theme form House). This video has some brilliant camera tracking and compositing. It was directed by Diamond Dogs.


Laibach - Rossiya

Nice goth style backgrounds and mirror and kaleidscope effects. The video was directed by nejaaka.

"I must break you."


'Seam carving' photo resizing now for video

'Seam carving' photo resizing now for video shows an incredible new technology for making photos larger. You just have to see it to believe it. I can't imagine the complex algorithms that went into that one.


Sunday, December 02, 2007

XM Radio XM-erator is a site that tells you which songs are featured in commercials. Commercial music is usually really good, you know. Not the garbage spewed on FM or MTV. I saw this ad posted for XM Radio, XM-erator which features the music of DJ Mehdi (feat Chromeo) with a tune called 'I Am Somebody'. Chromeo had this kick ass video for Tenderoni that was out this summer and that fact alone made me want to watch the commercial.

XM has some fun commercials utilizing their yellow archy lines from their logo. You've probably seen the one which features the song 'I Ran' from Flock of Seagulls and their logo making the different styles of hair according to the music. Very clever. Watch it here.

They have hq versions of the ads on the XM site.


Sharp Aquos Commercial - Floating Screens

I'm watching Planet Earth on Discovery Channel tonight and they're playing these commercials. Wieden + Kennedy did the ads (I think that agency has come up twice this week on the Inspirations). The spots up aren't on their site yet.

I'm guessing that all the footage must be tracked and placed on to the screens in post. I can't imagine that they did this live. They did use a vfx artists. I saw her name in the credits - Sophie Gateau. Do you know how the commercial was done? Please leave a comment.


Plastic Operator - Home 207 - Bitstate promo

bitstateBitstate is Pete Circuitt's animation/motion graphics business. This is his Home 207 promo for Plastic Operator and it's really incredible. He seamlessly meshes 3D, photos and videos with other elements... the compositing is great. He uses a few of the Ken Burns type moves to spice things up. It's also fun to watch, which is really important in my book. My eyes like to have fun.

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Saturday, December 01, 2007

Vitamin Water - There's Something in the Water

Another goodie via Jim G. Old school hand-drawn animation combined with the hands drawing them. They interact, it's neato, you buy Vitamin Water. The circle is complete.

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Playstation 3 Viral

ps3 This is a really bizarre and entertaining viral ad for Playstation 3 from Norm Murro and TBWA\LONDON. The Mill did the VFX/post on the ad.

Via Stash Media

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