Marco Polo – The Space Between

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.

Advertisements

Forgive the absence…

I had a rather busy end to 2014! I’ll be posting more stuff here soon but I just wanted to quickly draw your attention to this motion graphics piece featuring an Ira Glass quote that I’m very fond of.

I’m not a hundred percent certain who created it, but I’ve been told it was probably Saar Oz. Really lovely work – and thanks to Dieter who’s tweet sparked this post in the first place.

Paperman

With the arrival to these shores of Wreck-It Ralph in recent days (why oh why are we getting it six months after the rest of the world, I do not know), I thought I’d throw up a quick post regarding Paperman, which I believe is being shown in front of Wreck-it. I think it’s awesome that Pixar has moved that concept of short-before-feature over to Disney; a good animated short is a joy to behold.

The combination of 2D and 3D is fascinating, and definitely gives Paperman a unique look that I think would be hard to achieve by any other means. It’s not really cel-shaded, but at the same time is far more detailed than I think traditional hand-drawn would want to go (given the amount of time and effort required to control the drawings through each shot).

Take a look. The in-betweening software is akin to witchcraft.

I’m not sure if this tech will go places in future, but anything that broadens out the range of styles that are being used in mainstream animation can only be a good thing.

Thought of you

I’d seen a few people linking to this on Facebook, on Twitter, and hadn’t bothered to look at it. I don’t really know why, just something about the way people reacted to it made me … I don’t know what the correct word is. Maybe a little bit dismissive of looking at it, or something. I think I just wasn’t expecting it to be very good. Mea culpa would be the correct response here I think – it is genuinely beautiful, almost achingly so, and the way simple dance moves are blended into the more extreme 2D animation movements is brilliant. It’s exceptionally good.