Thursday, 28 January 2010

Skhizein (Jérémy Clapin,2008)

The style of this Oscar nominated French short film suits the stark quirkiness of the storyline very well. From the drab colour palette of muted greens and browns to the restrained use of ambient sound, there's an unsettling atmosphere throughout.

You quickly start to feel for the main character with his inconvenient situation. Set out in a style of animation that recalls paper cut outs and cardboard cutout backgrounds, there's a deliberate effort to make this look as though it's been hand-made. Some great attention to detail.

Richard Williams Documentary (1982)

A 1982 documentary on the Richard Williams Studio, Williams himself, his projects, and the painstaking process of animation. Featuring much interview footage of Richard Williams. Includes clips from The Thief and the Cobbler, his studio's commercials, A Christmas Carol, his shorts, and even Williams' jazz band.

The following pages have additional links to other Williams archived films and projects.

Richard Williams Studio Commercials

Anyone growing up in the 80's will be familiar with a lot of these. From the listing:

"A collection of many of the most famous of the commercials produced at 13 Soho Square in London. Includes a Diet Coke commercial filmed on the set of Who Framed Roger Rabbit, as well as commercials for Shell, Cresta, Tic Tacs, Sex Appeal, Fanta, the Pink Panther commercials for TDK and Owens-Corning, and many more!"

Reel 1

Reel 2

Link to more Richard Williams archived material.

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Studio Links Added

Down on the right there, I've started a list of studios large and small. Any suggestions on additions are more than welcome!

Winter Olympics on the BBC (Studio AKA).

Something of a black and white theme forming this month, purely coincidentally! This is a great spot from Studio AKA for the Beeb's upcoming coverage of the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics. It pits a lone Inuit agains the perils of the Canadian wilderness with only his skills in the events of the games to save his skin!

Great to see animation being embraced once again as a medium to promote TV coverage of sporting events, following on from the 2008 Olympics Monkey promo....

Monday, 25 January 2010

Black and White, short film by Gabor Lendvai (Animation Mentor).

One of the most original short films I've seen come out of Animation Mentor so far, with some good playful character animation and a well executed stylistic approach showing how an ambient occlusion pass can be used in context as a deliberate aesthetic choice.

Monday, 18 January 2010

Drawing Prince Naveen (Disney)

Here's an interesting little play on the 'Animated Character interacting with Artist' skit from Disney (not sure of the animator). Cheers for this link Dean!

Short and sweet with some lovely poses and gesturing as you might expect.

Friday, 15 January 2010

Machinarium (Amanita Design)

Harking back to the old days of point and click adventures, this is now attracting a lot of attention, and rightly so. I've yet to play for long but it's clear this has a distinctive style and is the result of a labour of love from small and passionate team.

The backgrounds look like watercolour images from a childrens' book and the quirky nature of the puzzles sets this apart.

This CGS Feauture has links to the game itself and gives an insightful account of the game's development.

Thursday, 14 January 2010

"The Sunny Side of the Street" (Soulcage)

Ricky reminded me of this old gem from German studio Soulcage. Lovely game-of-two-halves concept and great comical music and silent movie film treatment. The animation style suits the piece perfectly too.

Monday, 11 January 2010

Onesize: The American Dollar, Anything You Synthesize

I sent this link around a year or so ago but still love the concept, and the strange evocative feel of this piece. It's not the most technically polished CG you'll see, but it takes nothing from the atmosphere and it suits the track perfectly.

It's interesting to read that this originally played the other way round, with the end being the beginning. The decision to reverse it was a happy accident in editing, and completely changes the concept; whilst it seems like it now has a happy ending though, there's a bleakness in knowing the fate of the lush closing shots.

The Third & The Seventh

Happy New Year! Thought it was about time I gave the ol blog a tart up and post something new. Plenty more to come soon, just finding the time to update it.

This is very impressive - another one-man-band of the rare breed that can actually boast a whole smorgasbord of talents. I hate him, of course...