Friday, May 30, 2014

The Snake in the Garden

Don't know how I got this idea, but I wanted a cobra punching through a juicy tomato...

Rough sketch colored in Photoshop.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Net Neutrality‏

I've been trying to educate myself on the net neutrality issue, but I'm not clear on the whole story yet.
It seems that the FCC would allow the large corporations to PAY to have their content go through faster, higher capacity connections, and allow them to slow down "non-profitable" content, or content they don't agree with. Or block it all together.

( my artwork done in Maya, modified in Photoshop)

The large corporations claim that regulations would hold back innovation. I don't see how.
Consumer groups say the big ISP's already have enough advantages, and these tweaks would limit free speech to the average person.

Emails from various consumer advocate and pro labor groups I follow recommend emailing FCC chairman Tom Wheeler and President Obama to keep a "free and open internet".

Sure, we can trust big, unregulated businesses. Right?

Saturday, May 17, 2014

The Cleveland Orchestra presents the Cunning Little Vixen

Heard this on NPR this morning: It's good to hear that my old stomping grounds (Cleveland) is keeping up with culture, and taking some risks as well.

Directed by Yuval Sharon, Franz Welser-Most will lead the Cleveland Orchestra in this latest production of Leos Janácek 1924 opera, The Cunning Little Vixen. And rather than have the performers dress up as animals, the production uses animation projected on large screens.

The unusual foundation of this version of opera requires performers to stick their heads through holes in the screens. This will allow them to line their faces up with the animated character bodies. Director Yuval Sharon's idea goes back to the old sideshow photo stands where you could stick your face through a cutout, and you could have your picture taken as a circus strong man, or even a pretty ballerina.

From what I can gather, the animation was produced by the L.A. based Walter Robot studios. The art looks like good old hand drawn designs, and hand made models. The art is animated in After Effects.

I hope this is a success.

Friday, May 16, 2014

The Evolution Of Visual Effects

(Found this on the Animation Guild's blog) 

My only beef is they left out George Pal's "Time Machine".

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

The Iron Giant vs Max from Cats Don't Dance

More screwing around. Darla Dimple has returned, out for revenge! And she has found a growth serum that turned her malevolent man-servant Max into a 50 ft monster. Their plan is to destroy old Hollywood, and the only thing standing up to them is the Iron Giant, and Hogarth Hughes.

Couldn't resist this. Work in progress.

(images copyright Warner Bros.)

With apologies to Mark Dindal and Brad Bird.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Illusion of Life by Cento Lodigiani

I found this link on the Animation Guild blog this morning.
Clean, clear, simple, direct, yet very watchable demo by Cento Lodigiani.
How he brought the 12 principles of animation to life is amazing.

The illusion of life from cento lodigiani on Vimeo.

Wednesday, May 07, 2014

Donna Dodson sculptures

A few years ago, I stumbled across Donna Dodson's work while researching female characters. Dodson sculpts supernatural beings that fuse animal spirits with potent, yet gracious female archetypes. Her work also has a subtle sense of humor: These appear to be women of power, and yet the simplified animal heads gives them a mysterious sense of appeal, and even playfulness.

              (Art copyright Donna Dodson, photographer unknown.)

Most of Dodson's figures seemed dressed for important social occasions. They wear long gloves, and the way Dodson works with the natural flow of the wood grain suggests they are wearing sophisticated, well tailored evening gowns. Even though they seem to come from some distant past, their supernatural poise puts them in touch with contemporary style and classic fashions. If they were entering a hotel or restaurant, I would be sure to hold the door open for them.

Dodson's sculptures are also, well, voluptuous. I gather that Dodson's aim is to show that humanity needs to reconnect with nature and sensuality. It's somewhat suggestive yes, but I can see a Joseph Campbell flavor running throughout her work. The sculptures remind me of native American art with just a little Vogue magazine blended in.The bold shapes and stony silence of the pieces may make Dodson's work disturbing to some people. But I think the concept of cultured, powerful, yet vulnerable female beings is what our society needs to pause and reflect. Especially now in our violent and power hungry culture.