Sunday, March 30, 2008

Animated Spring Season

The snowing season is coming to an end and while some Animators are sad to put away their snowboards, some others are excited and already thinking about their next "outdoorsy" activity.

Vancouver British Columbia, also known as Hollywood North and the California of Canada it opened his arms to welcome the Spring Season with a gorgeous sunny Sunday.

This has been a very animated day at Deep Cove.

Deep Cove view from the bay. Beautiful, isn't it?

I know what you are thinking, yes the BG is amazing, look at those mountains! Great reference for Concept Artists.

The 15 min. animators survival kit, this time not from Dick Willialms. Hopefully everybody knows how to swim or at least scream out loud.

On your marks... set... keyframe!

Not bad for some computer nerds. You only need to to relate things to your art. IK left, IK right, 1 frame here, 4 frames there... Playblast!

And when you find amazing things from nature like this water fountain. You can't stop thinking... wouldn't that be cool to be made in CG?

The Spring season at Vancouver draws jubilant faces, it obviously features the beginning of warm and sunny days and most of all that Summer is just around the corner. Vancouver's Summer is one of the best ones in the entire planet due to its geography, its diversity of scenery, activities and occupations, it can suit and satisfy anybody's taste.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Vancouver Siggraph Chapter

As its name illustrates, the Vancouver Siggraph Chapter promotes Computer Graphics and related arts in Vancouver British Columbia, generating interest among its community and having regular Events, Exhibitions, Presentations, Making Of's and screens the long awaited Electronic Theater.  It attracts hundreds of people in several related fields.

The Vancouver Siggraph Chapter takes place in the Vancouver Film Centre.   There are various exhibitors and sponsors such as:  Animation, Visual FX and Game Design schools, art bookstores, Stash, etc.  Most importantly;  you'll be able to mingle with active members and students,  and without question you'll run into your acquaintances as well.    The theatre counts with two levels,  if you are one of those eager inquirers that like to interact with the panelists, its better to stay on the main level, also its a good strategy if you are dying to get a t-shirt.   On the other hand, if your plan is to chill out and whisper with somebody else about the film, presentation or lecture, you might want to try the upper level, where there are fewer seats and it has more of a private feeling.

Find out more about the Vancouver Siggraph Chapter

Find out more about Siggraph

The first Siggraph conference ever held was in 1974 and to the world's surprise it had hundreds of attendees.  Since then it has been growing every year and held in different places, Dallas, San Diego, Los Angeles, Boston, etc.  The highlights of this annual event are its Conferences, Exhibitors and The Electronic Theatre.

Siggraph stands for Special Interest Group on Computer Graphics and Interactive Techniques

In 2011, for the first time ever, the main Siggraph conference will be held outside the United States, it will be held in Vancouver British Columbia. 

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Horton Hears a Who

Horton Hears a Who opened in Canadians theatres in March 14, 2008.  This is the first Animated Feature for 2008.

It represents the finest creation for Blue Sky studios.  The story arc flows smoothly as the film progresses.    There are no confusing moments or out of place sequences, one shot leads to the other.   Even the gags fits graciously pointing to the next sequence and proving that the computer animation studio is determined to pay serious attention to its story telling department.

The character design is well transitioned from drawing to three-dimensional models.   Horton the elephant being the main character, its a well rounded product of both creative skills and technical craftsmanship.  The mayor of Whoville performance is gorgeous,  the animators balanced the study of the actual with the animation medium, making it a highly appealing character to watch.   The rest of the cast is well received by the audience, and one of the audience's favourite character was the little yellow ball who had a shy and light personality.

Horton Hears a Who shows that Blue Sky has never been better in presenting all the process together to its audience.

About the Director:
Jimmy Hayward is brought to Blue Sky Studios to work with and direct the story telling department during Robots.  Unfortunately the production was already started, making it difficult for corrections since several sequences were fully finished.  For Horton Hears a Who Jimmy Hayward brings his vision from the beginning demonstrating that he has something to say to the world, he can hold and entertain his audience in an Animated Feature Film.

Jimmy started his canadian animation career at Mainframe Entertainment a Vancouver based studio responsible for creating the first Computer Animated TV series in the World.   Jimmy then moved to Pixar Animation Studios working for a decade in projects such as: Toy Story, Toy Story 2, A Bug's Life, Monsters and Finding Nemo.

For a Box-Office analisys go to Box Office

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Artists must have books: The Dream Team

The Dream Team:
The RISE and FALL of DreamWorks: Lessons from the New Hollywood
by Daniel M. Kimmel

This book will help you shape your business in animation skills. Remember... no money no funny.

The book starts on how the DreamWorks idea for a complete film studio was conceived. When Katzenberg was still working for Disney and didn't get the promotion he was hoping for. From a simple conversation Steven Spielberg, David Geffen and Jeffrey Katzenberg had a glance at what they could create and fulfill the dreams of each of these troika members.

You will find engaging facts about the animation division at Disney and DreamWorks, how much movies had cost, how they were marketed and how much revenue they made. The competition between these studios will make life difficult for the other, and even obstructing Pixar Animation Studios with release date strategies. Fascinating facts about how Shrek was created, how much DreamWorks paid for the rights for this unexpected wealthy franchise.

Controversial moments in history where Katzenberg fell in love and believed in Animated Films while at Disney and Michael Eisner didn't seem to pay attention anymore. Jeffrey was the only member of the troika that kept pushing forward the Animation Division and responsible for not doing Classically Animated movies anymore.

Animators and Business Education.
In the present climate, where the industry is being changed by technology and in particular with the Internet, Mobile Devices, and Video On Demand (VOD). There is an opportunity to go the Entrepreneurial way, the need for big distribution firms might not be what it used to be in the near future. As a result Animators will be able to create, market and distribute their products executing the complete scope of a business.


Tuesday, March 4, 2008

And the Genie goes to:

Madame Tutli-Putli
Maciek Szczerbowski, Chris Lavis, Marcy Page

Film Synopsis:
A timid woman boards a mysterious night train and has a series of frightening experiences.

You can watch the entire short at CBC.CA

Madame Tutli-Putli boards the night train. As day descends into dark, she finds herself alone, caught up in a desperate metaphysical adventure. Adrift between real and imagined worlds, Madame Tutli-Putli is drawn into an undertow of mystery and suspense. The NFB present a stunning, stop-motion animated film that takes the viewer on an exhilarating existential journey. It introduces groundbreaking visual techniques and is supported by a haunting and original score. Painstaking care and craftsmanship in form and detail bring to life a fully imagined, tactile world unlike any you have seen. The night train awaits you.


Sunday, March 2, 2008

28 Genie Awards

This is the 28th year for the Canadian Genie Awards, bringing the best of Canadian filmmakers.
Here are the nominees for the Best Animated ShortFilm category:

Madame Tutli-Putli
Maciek Szczerbowski, Chris Lavis, Marcy Page

Film Synopsis:
A timid woman boards a mysterious night train and has a series of frightening experiences.

You can watch the entire short at CBC.CA

Georges Schwizgebel, Michèle Bélanger, Marcel Jean

Film Synopsis
From the countdown at the start to the stock-still “END” that wraps up the film, Jeu is a dizzying whirlwind that never ceases to amaze. Georges Schwizgebel has created a frantic race end- ing in inertia, a metaphor for modern life’s nonstop hustle and bustle. A series of shapes tricks the senses again and again as they swirl and twist in a playful dance. All the world is a
stage and everyone a player, including the filmmaker himself, in this chaotic universe where men play ball and musicians play the scherzo from Prokofiev’s Second Piano Concerto. Jeu is an exercise in virtuality at breakneck speed. This circular and cyclical race dazzles with changes in scale orchestrated by a virtuoso of animation.

Watch the Trailer from the National Film Board of Canada

Here and There
Diane Obomsawin, Marc Bertrand

Film Synopsis
Childhood can be a chaotic time, especially if you're bouncing back and forth between two continents. With engaging candour and gentle humour, the director offers up images from her family album. Directed by Obom.

Watch Production Stills from the National Film Board of Canada

The Genie Awards are for Canada what the Oscars are for the USA. They demonstrate the highest achievement for Canadian Filmmakers in a variety of categories such as:

Best Motion Picture
Achievement in Art Direction/Production Design
Achievement in Costume Design
Achievement in Cinematography
Achievement in Direction
Achievement in Editing
Achievement in Music - Original Score
Achievement in Music - Original Song
Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role
Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role
Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role
Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role
Achievement in Overall Sound
Achievement in Sound Editing
Original Screenplay
Adapted Screenplay
Best Documentary
Best Live Action Short Drama
Best Animated Short
Golden Reel Award
Claude Jutra Award
Special Award for Outstanding Achievement in Make-Up Design

For more information please visit

Vancouver Animated News by Mario Pochat