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Short Films

Some animated short films I stumbled upon via this blog

“Mars!” tells the tale of conquering a planet in an illustrated style. If you like it, check out this “old” music video with a similar simplistic vector-look. “Float (my electric stargirl)” by the Atomic Swindlers:

The next clip is a French animation using 2D and 3D techniques:

Although the fluid and distorted style is heavily inspired by Bill Plympton, it’s great to see such hand-drawn animation is still widespread in this age of 3D-CGI. If you have some spare time on your hands, watch Disney’s Princess and the Frog next to Ice Age. While the realism of CGI is improving rapidly it still feels dull in direct comparison. Wow, that probably makes me sound like a grumpy old guy ­čÖé

Anyway, one last example for mixing 3D and hand-drawn animation. Also from the French. La Main des Maîtres:

Tilt/Shift… Again

The effect is getting old now ­čÖé But the addition of the old guy is a nice addition that reminds me of Toy Story.

If you can’t make it good…

Found on FXRant. Tracing back the source of the image through countless blogs leads to a t-shirt at threadless though.

When movies first came out with audio, did the directors abuse the new technology in the way 3D is employed now? Did they crank up the volume all the way all the time just to prove to the audience that they can make use of “this new thing”? Or are 3D-sceptics like people who decried talkies as “just a fad”? Well, at least there was never a need to wear hearing aids just to enjoy the new technology.

Except for Avatar all current 3D movies use the technology like HTML was (ab)used in the early days of the internet. Make it blink! Make it scroll! Except you didn’t need any special glasses to look at web pages. It’ll take some time until both producers and directors accept 3D as “just another tool” to tell an appealing story. For Alice it was unnecessary in my opinion and turned a good-looking movie with an ok story into an amusement park ride for children.

Right now, given the mass of movies converted to 3D it really seems like studios are treating 3D as a fad and are trying to make some quick bucks by winning back viewers from 2D home cinema and pirated downloads before the hype is fading.

Sure, an audience that flocks Transformers 2 will always flock Transformers 3D (and Titans was a box office hit as well despite the bad ratings and bad 3D). But regular movies in 3D? Where the camera doesn’t move all the time and nothing gets thrown into your face? Letting your eyes wander in a static shot with defocused parts in it destroys the illusion of 3D.┬áCameron knew how to reduce the depth of those wide panoramic shots in Avatar. But will lesser known directors be able to convince their producers to spend extra millions on 3D just to deliver almost 2D-like shots that suit the cinematography of a slower movie? And will the audience pay for expensive tickets and put on those annoying glasses for that?

Textures

Hunting for nice Photoshop resources on the web is like looking for the needle in a hay stack. After clicking through a jungle of crappy, ad-infested tutorial sites and eyesore-inducing texture libraries I’ve finally found two sites that are worth bookmarking:

  • lostandtaken.com: huge and beautiful background and grunge textures. Large enough to print. Free for commercial use.
  • fbrushes.com: links to various appealing brushes, patterns and textures.

The Big Picture

“The Big Picture”, Boston’s awesome photo blog, has some great shots of the upcoming Expo and of Shanghai. Check it out!

Mega Piranha!

I’ll go on record saying that there are far too few movies out there with titles that have “mega” in them. Luckily, as of 2010, there is…. (cue drum roll)

MEGA PIRANHA!

Watch the trailer in all it’s B-movie glory:

Yes, it’s not a spoof. Check IMDB. The effects look like something that came on a free training DVD for After Effects (although the CGI piranhas are not that bad if you put them in perspective…). Reminds me of another great piece of art called “Shark in Venice” which just features stock footage of sharks, lots of continuity mistakes and Stephen Baldwin’s man boobs. Wait a second… He actually was diagnosed with breast cancer according to Wikipedia? I guess that makes that joke a bit tasteless. Oh, and he’s also a hard-core right-wing guy who ┬á“threatened to move to Canada if Barack Obama was elected” (source: also Wikipedia)? Life is stranger than fiction.

Anyway, I’m digressing. This is a good opportunity to post a video clip that I had lying around on my hard disk for quite a while. It’s from a SciFi TV movie called “Heatstroke” and it’s exceptional in its goofiness. I think that’s a nice example of misguided CGI. A guy in a rubber suit would at least have given the impression that somebody cared about the movie. I pity the guys who had to work on this beach scene:

Locked Out

Can someone please help me find my keys?