Sorry for the lack of posts recently – I’m currently working on a fun little project that I’m looking forward to sharing with you all (once it’s finished!) – so while I’m tied up with work, here’s a great post over on the Film School Rejects website that features six film-making tips from Peter Weir. It’s a great article with a lot of links to video of the man letting you in on his secrets, and there’s so much information that film-makers can glean from it. Here’s the article.
I’ll be back soon with some more posts and fun stuff.
Now for something a little bit different – but astonishing. It’s the latest project from Rob Whitworth, a hyperlapse film shot in and around Dubai. The work that goes into this sort of film is just astonishing, and I love the final result. Check out Rob’s Vimeo for more of his work.
Here’s an extended shot from the film, focusing on the airport sequence. I love the time lapse footage of the planes landing at the start as well.
Sorry for the absence – I’m running about a bit at the moment – but I just wanted to highlight a new short film that I saw recently. I present to you all Taking Pictures. This is a lovely short that was written, directed and animated by Simon Taylor, a very talented animator that I was fortunate to study alongside when I was at Animation Mentor.
I really like the style of the animation, and that pigeon rig is fantastic. I might see if I can get Simon to answer some questions on the process of putting it all together.
I’ll be back soon with some more inspirations and a new showreel.
Just a short post today – there are so many great videos from Every Frame A Painting it’s really hard to pick one to focus on in a post (and expect me to highlight more stuff from Tony Zhou in future, I love his thoughtful breakdowns of film techniques and things that directors employ in crafting new work).
So here’s his analysis of David Fincher doing nuts and bolts film-making – people in a room, talking.
Watching how great directors like David Fincher put a film together is such a great way to learn more about the craft. Look at that scene from Se7en, with the relationships so clearly defined, the power balances, just with camera work. So very good.
I’m a gamer. I grew up playing games, of all sorts, and I’ve always loved them. Unsurprisingly, I’m a particular fan of the art and animation that goes into games – whether that’s a well-animated character, fantastic effects work, or a beautiful composed battlefield (the maps for Heroes of the Storm are full of gorgeous details that cover design, animation and art, all of which have the classic Blizzard art style).
I’m also a big fan of game cinematics and game trailers. They’re a great example of storytelling in a very short format, that usually have to meet a number of goals. They need to set the scene of the game, explain it’s setting, give you a sense of the characters and the stakes, without being explicitly about moment-to-moment gameplay (which is often their downfall – too many games have had fantastic trailers and then fallen a little short when the final product is released).
Which brings us to Axis Animation based in Glasgow. They produced this game trailer for Fable Legends from Lionhead (I’ve always been a fan of the Fable games, even back in the Molyneux days when it was a case of ‘oversell and then under-deliver’). I love the combination of technologies here, with the pushed art style from the Fable games, with lovely mocap and animation work and some very nice frost and ice work on the ice wizard. You can see the video, with some additional stills and character breakdowns, on the Axis Animation website here.
Axis have done a number of different trailers and projects that I like, and they have a VFX wing plus a sister animation studio called Flaunt Productions – expect some posts highlighting their work in coming days!
I know I’ve been going on a bit of a Mill kick with posts lately, but I keep finding such great stuff on their Vimeo channel that I’ve missed. Here’s a fantastic piece for OFF St Petersburg 2014 – I absolutely love this film, the fantastic abstract particles, the way the scenes build and move, the human elements of the dancers – it’s just brilliant.
The particle work was apparently all X-Particles in Cinema4D – it’s a plugin that I know of but haven’t had the opportunity to get hold of yet, and I definitely want to look into it after seeing this gorgeous piece. There’s more behind the scenes goodness over on The Space Between, with a more detailed look at the inspirations for the piece. One thing that I adore is the combination of analog and digital techniques, with hand-painted typography brought into 3D, the printing and painting effects that were then brought into the 3D environment, and the motion capture work for the dancers (original choreography brought into the digital space).
Very different to the last piece that I highlighted by The Mill, and that’s another thing that I love. They’re quickly becoming a studio that I definitely want to work for at some point (to my shame, although I knew the name, I’d yet to have a close look at their motion graphics or commercial output).
Back with another lovely piece from The Mill, here’s a beautifully charming advert for Eviivo – an online booking management system. I really love the art style they went with, and coupled with the great music writing, turned out a really lovely piece.
There are a number of things to love here – firstly, it’s a charming, funny, piece – but it also tells the story of the company and how that can help their client. They haven’t lost focus on delivering to their audience the point of the film itself, which would be easy to do as you get swept up in the creation of the piece.
There’s another great blog on The Space Between on the process of making the film, it’s evolution into what it ultimately became – starting with the song and building the visuals – it’s such a good example of the different creative fields fitting together and complimenting each other to create the final product. I was also interested to hear that it was put together in Cinema4D in a relatively short time frame as well.
Here’s a really lovely spot that was brought to my attention via the people at CreativePool. It’s called City In A Suitcase, and was done by A+C Studios – they do a lot of stop-motion work, and so were a good fit for the project.
There’s also a great ‘making of’ video that can give you an insight into how it was done. There’s a really lovely feel to the paper craft look, something that director Dan Richards was particular interested in using, with the integration of the live action footage into the piece using a process called ‘pixellation’ – not a term I’d come across before, but essentially shooting the live action footage on fours so that you get the choppy feel to the movement of the hands, so it’s less jarring when integrated with stop-motion shot on twos. There’s a little vfx magic going on, with elements like the planes added from blue screen footage, but the vast majority is in-camera. Really great piece.
I really loved the artistry in the title sequence for Marco Polo – the art direction is just perfect, drawing as it does on traditional Chinese painting, but with the underlying themes coming through in the imagery.
There’s a great article over on The Space Between, the Mills own behind-the-scenes blog, on how the title sequence was put together and where the art direction and themes came from. It’s well worth a read.
The most interesting part for me was the creation of the ink effects, using a high-speed camera so they could better control the timing of the footage later on, and recreating the artwork with water on heavy stock paper – when the ink was added, it spread out following the invisible water artwork. It’s an great technique that works really well for the piece.
Sequoia are big. You just won’t believe how vastly, hugely, mind-bogglingly big they are. I mean, you may think you’ve got a big tree down the end of your garden, but that’s just a sapling to a sequoia… (with apologies to Douglas Adams).
The largest of them all is called the President and is so huge it had never been captured in an individual image before, until a team of photographers from National Geographic back in 2012 decided the time had come for the President to have his moment on film.
Some of the photographs they captured during the work are just astonishing. This article header in particular is a favourite of mind – just how small and insignificant the team look compared to the awesome majesty of the tree.
Most astonishing of all is that the President is still growing, at a rate of a cubic metre of wood a year.