Friday, February 22, 2013

Life of Pi Oscar Protests

The situation at Rhythm & Hues, among other efx houses having financial troubles, has vfx artists banding together. During the pre-show at this weekend's Oscars, a plane towing a banner will fly overhead, protesting obvious lack of wealth being spread around.,0,2940036.story

I also want to pay a tribute to the The 1st American Volunteer Group, aka the Flying Tigers, who took on the defense of China before the United States officially entered WWII.

(It appears the “Flying Tiger” insignia was created by the Walt Disney Company.)

Ivan Illich

I've just started reading about Ivan Illich. Can't tell if he is critiquing institutionalized education, or just slamming it. Ivan Illich came up during a guest lecture at Woodbury University back on Tuesday.

(Image copyright Fox)

Tired today, will try to report more later

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Monday, February 18, 2013

Over the Mountain comics on Facebook

I don't know if I'll ever get around to printing a real run of comics, so here is the first issue on my facebook page. Please let me know if you enjoy it. I should set up a separate site just for this comic.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Rhythm & Hues gets loan

But that doesn't help the employees much...
Thomas Capizzi, a modeler at Rhythm & Hues for 16 years is leading the fight for fellow employees, at least as far as getting the wages and benefits of a 60 day notice required by federal law.,0,4131089.story

Friday, February 15, 2013

Flamingo Waitress Samba dance mocap

Here is my Flamingo Waitress character dancing. The rig and mocap animation are copyright The paint weights are messed up, but that's my fault, especially on her skate wheels. The human rig doesn't quite fit well, but I couldn't resist trying this in Maximo. The way she dances is a bit disturbing, yet charming in a way. And it's a break from all the unemployment news.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Rhythm and Hues vs Warner Bros.

Jeez, when they smell blood, WB pulls the plug on work sent out to Rhythm & Hues:

(From "Uncle Tom's Bungalow" copyright Looney Tunes 1937)

Full disclosure: I used to work at Warner Classics. Those were happier days. But by no means do I condone the stereotypes shown in "Uncle Tom's Bungalow". I'm only using the creepy white guy to portray the villain.

Screengrabs courtesy of:

"My body may belong to you, but my soul belongs to Warner Brothers". Huh?!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

More Visual Effects News

I've been shooting from the hip too much, just posting links on impulse. But does this mean this is the end of another "Golden Age?" Will there be a "Dream on Silly Dreamer" for digital artists?

With outsourcing and the undercutting of narrow profits, sounds like the same old story hand drawn animation went through. With the high expectations, especially of profits, we keep going through these cycles of boom and bust. Technology should be our servant, not our master. But a few folks with connections can pull up stakes and head to other countries with tax incentives, and a lower paid, but talented work force.

Grouchy, ain't I? (Image from Le Voyage dans la lune (1902), copyright Georges Méliès)

Monday, February 11, 2013

Rhythm & Hues to file for Bankruptcy

(Life of Pi washed up?)

I am sorry to hear this. I know someone who has worked at Rhythm & Hues for a long time. It's still amazing that a studio like R&H can be connected to so many popular films, and then end up like this. But that's how it goes when you are just a "hired gun"?

Maybe R&H needed to develop its own properties. The lack of creating their own characters and films may have helped to leave it at the mercy of the studios who do.

I can see that creative people aren't necessarily good at business, in other words, turning a profit. The ability of technology to leap overseas, and the outsourcing jobs sure don't help.

Friday, February 08, 2013

Rhythm & Hues, Dreamworks layoff rumors?

Over heated, over used, studios cranking out the same old stuff, and the public is tired of it.
"Labor is just something that comes in a box, you can just pour it out, and expect miracles and money to blossom". Wrong! The grass won't grow if you keep stomping on it!

Europe, Canada and Japan still have broader, and healthier animation markets. But our current system won't let the public at large cultivate more sophisticated tastes.

The fish rots from the head down, and a broke public can't afford to keep dragging itself to watch the same old thing. Things are going to break down before we can break out of this cycle of multi-million dollar blockbuster disappointments.

Grouch grouch grouch. Maybe my coffee was no good this morning...

Saturday, February 02, 2013

The 40th Annual Annie Awards!

Got to sit and watch. Didn't have to dress up. Oh well.