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Autorig tutorial prep work 03

Posted on February 28, 2010 
Filed Under Animation, Modeling, Portfolio | 3 Comments

CharlesF.  Muntz

Here is the nearly final model. Click on the picture for full screen version.

I will work on the hands tomorrow.I am still not entirely happy about the junction between the chin and the cheek bone, the eye/nose area also need a bit more work but that should be enough for the Autorig tutorial.

Related posts:
Autorig tutorial prep work 02
Autorig tutorial prep work 01
Low polygon modeling tools

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Autorig tutorial prep work 02

Posted on February 27, 2010 
Filed Under Animation, Modeling, Portfolio | 4 Comments

Here is a video showing the modeling process for my tribute to Pixar’s “Up”.

You can double click to see the video in Full screen but if you first click on the Vimeo logo you will be able to see it in full 1600×1200. You might also be able to download the video from Vimeo, it is in Xvid/Divx, sorry I don’t have Quicktime pro but Virtual Dub or KMplayer allow you to go frame by frame if needed.

[...] Read more

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“Waking sleeping beauty” documentary

Posted on February 26, 2010 
Filed Under Animation, Business of animation | Leave a Comment

“Waking Sleeping Beauty is no fairytale. It is a story of clashing egos, out of control budgets, escalating tensions and one of the most extraordinary creative periods in animation history.

Director Don Hahn and producer Peter Schneider, key players at Walt Disney Studios Feature Animation department during the mid1980s, offer a behind-the-magic glimpse of the turbulent times the Animation Studio was going through and the staggering output of hits that followed over the next ten years. Artists polarized between the hungry young innovators and the old guard who refused to relinquish control, mounting tensions due to a string of box office flops, and warring studio heads create the backdrop for this fascinating story told with a unique and candid perspective from those that were there.

[...] Read more

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Skyfire, Winmo Flash enabled browser

Posted on February 25, 2010 
Filed Under Windows Mobile | Leave a Comment

You are in the train and your agent is calling you about that unknown company looking for animators. You quickly type their name in Google and oh …  horror…  they only have a Flash website.

No worries Skyfire is fully Flash enabled! You get the number, phone your agent back and arrange an interview! Life is good.

Skyfire the free Flash enabled web browser

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TCPMP Divx player for Winmo

Posted on February 25, 2010 
Filed Under Windows Mobile | Leave a Comment

TCPMP

TCPMP wasn’t working very well on my HTC HD1 and I was using Divx Winmo player instead but Netdrg repackaged the free Divx/xvid player especially for the HD2 and that release rocks! One click on the screen and you go full screen in the glorious 480×800 HD2 resolution.

http://www.xda-developers.com/windows-mobile/tcpmp-finger-friendly-version

and the related XDA forum thread
http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=634951

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PocketInformant

Posted on February 21, 2010 
Filed Under GTD, Life hack, Windows Mobile | Leave a Comment

Pocket Informant

Last Windows Mobile post of the day.

I have considered buying an Iphone in the past but too many missing Windows default features made me buy a Windows Mobile phone instead. Some of those missing features are the full support and synchronisation of Outlook Notes and Calendar but more than anything is the lack of stable and well thought GTD application, fully integrated with Outlook. Pocket Informant is that one.

David Allen wrote a very good book about GTD and I don’t intend to rival with it in few lines. The only thing I will say is that if you are into GTD, Pocket Informant is a must! The software is huge but you shouldn’t have too much trouble operating it. There is also a free demo so give it a try and start filling up that Inbox and Next Action folder!

My next post will be on the free Flash supporting Windows Mobile browser: Skyfire. Stay tuned

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Slide2Unlock

Posted on February 21, 2010 
Filed Under GTD, Life hack, Windows Mobile | Leave a Comment

Slide2unlock2

Slide2Unlock is my second, well my first favourite Windows Mobile application.

That one is a Windows mobile lock screen on steroids and believe it or not….. IT IS FREE!!!!

On the surface it looks like an obvious Iphone lock screen rip-off but once you open the configuration panel, you realize that the software is an actual Power App that could be charged several dollars!

Not only it allows you to preview your text messages and email without unlocking the phone, it also allows you to display your appointments on the lock screen….. How cool is that?!?! No need to slide, unlock, launch any application, no need of any Jail breaking, all the necessary information is all there, right in front of you! Your phone has now become a true productivity tool.

Ah I forgot to mention something. There are hundreds of parametres you can play with but the best of all is once again the automatic trigger.  I have set mine to the best Windows mobile GTD application: Pocket informant. but that one needs an other post.

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G-Alarm

Posted on February 21, 2010 
Filed Under Life hack, Windows Mobile | Leave a Comment

G-Alarm

I was supposed to write a long post about my new HTC HD2 but I feel that I need a bit more time to fully realise how wonderful that piece of hardware is.

I still need to talk about some great softwares available for it and one of those is G-Alarm.

G-Alarm is a really cool alarm app that should immediately win your hearth within the 10 days of the free trial.

For the price of two Lattés, you get a very convenient replacement for your probably ageing Alarm Clock Radio and since I have started using G-alarm, I have said good bye to my trusty 15 years old Sony “Dream machine” and so will you.

G-Alarm does a lot of cool things as you probably saw on their website. Mp3, Talking clock. tilt sensor support, Maze and other brain wakening games, but the only function that made it worth those 5 euros to me, was the fact that you can trigger any application and wake the phone up at the specified time, switching from Airplane  to Mobile mode.

Since I am a great fan of Radio4 in the morning and I like to emerge from my sleep while listening to the news, the only thing I had to do was to make G-Alarm start the FMRadio.exe application!

Related posts:

Windows mobile best applications

AEButton plus

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“How to train your dragon” Nicksclusive

Posted on February 20, 2010 
Filed Under Animation | Leave a Comment

Do you want to see something new from “How to train your dragon”? Here is a sneak peek from Nickolodeon

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n9sKSwmFaq0
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La dama y la muerte (short film)

Posted on February 18, 2010 
Filed Under Animation | 3 Comments

La dama y la muerte

There are so many short film coming out all the time and I have so little free time that I tend to miss on a lot of little gems especially when the provided screenshot doesn’t do justice to the work.

“La dama y la muerte” (The lady and the reaper) is one of those short films I would have missed if my friend Dan didn’t tell me about it. I love the design of the characters especially “La muerte”, the wacky layout and storyboard, the cartoony animation, the lighting. This reminded me a lot of the wackiness in “The emperor’s new groove” which is a very good thing.

actually… even my friend Jamie told me about it since it was animated in 3dsmax and rendered in his favourite rendering engine Mental ray

Website:
http://www.theladyandthereaper.com/

Production blog:
http://www.theladyandthereaper.com/wordpress/

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NZa_t-xuqe8&feature=player_embedded
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Autorig tutorial prep work1

Posted on February 9, 2010 
Filed Under Animation, Modeling | 2 Comments

As some of you might know, I have decided to make a tutorial showing how to use the zooTools and SuperCrumbly’s abAutorig autorig scripts.

To demonstrate this I wanted to model a new character so here it is!

Charles Muntz is definitely my favourite character design from the movie UP.

I have mainly focused on the right hand side and will mirror it next time.

Related posts:
Autorig tutorial prep work 03
Autorig tutorial prep work 02
Low polygon modeling tools

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“Monstre…” again

Posted on February 8, 2010 
Filed Under Animation | 4 Comments


well well well, it looks like “A monstre in Paris” is still going despite all the problems the production went through and that s a good thing since what I saw at Annecy few years ago was really really cool

Matt Jones on “Monstre à Paris

Related posts:
Monstre à Paris short clip
Un Monstre à Paris

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Lenticular hologram

Posted on February 8, 2010 
Filed Under Friends | Leave a Comment

My friend Jay posted has a very fancy car but that’s not what this is about today ;-)

Jay posted a really cool video showing his “Lenticular 3d models” on Youtube.

I am not too sure how he does it exactly but that’s really cool. I wonder how this would work with animation…..

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TC1100 vs Ipad

Posted on February 7, 2010 
Filed Under Animation | 5 Comments

Which one of those:

- supports Adobe Flash out of the box
- allows you to listen to music while doing other tasks
- allows you to run hundeds of professional applications
- has up to 1.2ghz processor
- has more than 50 gb hard drive
- allows you to draw with a real pressure sensitive pen (Wacom board)
- doesn’t force you to buy an expensive Apple computer to develop applications
- comes with a free docking bay with keyboard
- costs less than $200 on Ebay
- came out 6 years ago (released in 2003)
- is actually a real computer

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Fresh and not so fresh ideas

Posted on February 7, 2010 
Filed Under Animation, Graphic design | Leave a Comment

It is amazing how often the same ideas have to keep coming back in movies ….. no I didn’t mention Avatar…. well I just did .. The same ideas keep coming back but where the issue is the most acute is with student short films.

Last year I had an interesting conversation with Cedric Villain from french animation forum “Fousdanim.org“.

As a 2008 Annecy short film award winner, he was invited to participate in the selection of the 2009 Annecy nominees and went through 50 hours of program. After such an experience, he confirmed that the same topics or even stories kept coming back.

The reason I want to talk about this today is because my friend Joost posted a very very cool short film which really stood out aesthetically for me but not so much in term of story. Without further due here “Pivot”

Because I have been into design in motion for quite a while, I immediately thought about the Psyop arrows from the Lugz campaign which in 2002 led to the …. the “arrow craze”…. Every motion design video had to have its variation at that time and even I came up with my own flavour. The Robot on my modeling showreel was supposed to fire them in an explosion of colours ala DeBlob.

[...] Read more

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Overdoing it

Posted on February 3, 2010 
Filed Under Acting, Animation, Education | 2 Comments

Avatar’s producer Jon Landau made a very interesting comments some time ago and a lot of people failed to understand what he was talking about.

Here is an extract from the article published in the Australian http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/arts/titanic-director-james-cameron-grabs-films-holy-grail-in-new-film-avatar/story-e6frg8pf-1225766563195

To me, it’s the exact opposite,” Landau says. “Our goal on this movie was not to replace the actor, it was to replace the animator. If you think about it, what a great actor does and what a great animator does are antithetical to one another.

“A great actor withholds information. Dustin Hoffman in All the President’s Men can sit there and do nothing. No animator would ever allow that, they would put in a twitch. So our objective was to preserve Sam Worthington’s performance and have that be what you see in those characters.”

As animator we find it difficult to keep our characters completly still. Because we get paid to animate and because we love to see animated things we feel compelled to add twich, eye darts, shoulder raise. Top Disney animator Mark Hen made a similar comment in one of the Animation Mentor lectures and more recently the good people from the “Speaking of animation”.

The reason I am bringing this topic today is because I found a very cool clip that will illustrate something very similar.

The modelling industry has very specialised professionals called “Body parts models”. Don’t believe me? Hit the link (http://www.bodypartsmodels.com/home.html). Those people get hired for photo-shoots mainly when nice looking hands, arms, shoulders, bums …. are required. They are obviously cheaper than full body models but do the trick for close ups. Now the problem is that very often those “body part models”, similarly to animators, just… just overdo it! Instead of “straight acting” their part, and just display what they are supposed to display, they feel compelled to “hit the pose” and come up with the most over-the-top gesture or poses that will justify their pay check.

Now I have a very cool clip where you can see one of those models illustrating this perfectly. Pay attention, well, how could you not pay attention to the silly hand gestures of the woman holding the Emmy award on the right hand side. It is so over the top that Ellen DeGeneres can’t help mimicking her towards the end of the clip.

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Life drawing week 03

Posted on February 2, 2010 
Filed Under Drawings, Portfolio | Leave a Comment

Here are my latest drawings. Two long poses.

I tried to think about the composition a bit more this time. The thumbnails on the top left corner are the base for my composition.

I wasn’t too happy the way things were going for the first one and restarted from scratch, which didn’t leave me with enough time to finish the pose. I had in mind to incorporate the little platform the model was standing on originally but realised that it didn’t present much interest so I decided to go for something tighter, with the feet fading away.

The second one is pretty good, but the model is way to high on the page. The foot is better than my last attempt but the hands, especially the right one would have needed more work. The quality of the line is still very poor but I am working on that.

Things are getting better and better I feel and there is definitely some improvements compared my first drawings. My skills in drawing from imagination have also dramatically improved and I can now draw different body parts without reference.

Those two drawing will probably be my last pencil shaded piece as I feel it is now time to move to Oil painting. I have been told that moving to paint would help me to improve my drawing skills and Painting is also something I always wanted to try but never found a good teacher/course until now.

Marc

Robert

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