Tonight we had a talk with Philip Hunt from StudioAKA regarding the work of their studio and mainly about how Pitches are handled in London for commercial work. I love StudioAKA work, it is so eclectic, so quirky, so character design led. SO AMAZING!!!! ;-)
I had thousands of question but only managed to ask one regarding the eternal: all rounder against specialist 3d artist. I didn’t really get his answer to be honest ;-) the only thing that I remember is that he said people should focus on the audience. Sooo… should we be story tellers then? I guess that’s what he meant but can you tell stories by just being a rigger, can you?
My new assignment is about telling a story through an animation though, no lighting or texturing will be involved. I hope that’s what he meant. Being an all rounder to me those days is not possible anymore, 3d packages are getting sooooo complicated. One thing for sure is that I will never be involved in particules effect. Never say never ;-)
Time for a quick snack and let’s start my blocking I have to quickly make a decision and decided if I am gonna use Maya this time or 3dsmax, I have to admit that I had enough with Maya. The software is so counter-intuitive that it is not a tool anymore, it has become a burden! With the 6 month experience I have had with it, that should be enough to get me a job requiring Maya now. Provided I have the animation skills though.
Ok this is old news but I hadn’t been checking Studio AKA’s website for quite a while and catching up with their latest work today I found “Computer Love”, a series of online adds from Studio Soi to promote instant messaging software ComBOTS.
Check them here (new link from Studio AKA website)
Over the years I have come across many great TV series and short films produced in the former Eastern bloc, “Pat a Mat” being one of them, but I can’t believe it took me so long to come across 1969 “Cheburashka”.
Cheburashka, is a series of four Russian stop motion shortfilms made in the early 70s, featuring Gena, a Crocodile in suit officiating at the local Zoo, and Cheburashka (“tumble” in Russian), the baby bear/monkey looking character that fell into an orange crate to wake up in a Russia town.
The short films are a pure joy to watch. The characters and accompanying music are so sweet and the stories so funny and sad at the same time that you can only empathize with the characters. As a side note, Shapoklyak, the third short film of the series is definitely the one with the darkest moments. That sequence when Cheburashka, seeing how Gena is tired from their long walk back home on the train tracks after they had their train tickets stolen and suggests Gena that instead he could carry the heavy luggages while being carried by Gena is both hilarious and heart-wrenching.
I really love that series at it reminds me of the quirkiness and tenderness of Studio AKA’s short film “Lost and Found”, the sadness of René Clements, 1952 “Forbidden games” and the great physical acting from Jacques Tati’s “Mr Hulot”. There is also some “Sitting Ducks” (the first TV show animated in 3dsmax) in it but that is probably just because we see a civilized Crocodile ;-)
Unsurprisingly the series was immensely popular in the Eastern Bloc and Cheburashka was the mascot of the Russian Olympic team several times.
What could be surprising is the fact that the series was brought to Japan by non other than legendary Japanese film director Hayao Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli. The first episode, or second one appearing in the entire compilation below, was animated by Miyasaki’s friend and inspirational director, Yuriy Norshteyn. The series gained a lot of popularity in Japan and a feature produced by both Ffango Entertoyment of South Korea and Frontier Works of Japan, supposedly came out in 2010 but I wasn’t able to find any footage of it, just the movie poster and some wonderful screenshots.
If you don’t have time to watch the four shorts, I would at least recommend watching the great pantomime animation in the following sequence.
The script probably said something like “Gena signs form and postal worker returns to his van”. What the animators added to it is just wonderful. Keep an eye on that hat, a lot of nice little touches made the characters so alive. There is definitely some Mr Hulot in there.
Here is the link to the exact sequence => postal worker deliver birthday package
And here is the the entire series with English subtitles. You definitely want to hear the original Russian song and sweet voice over work.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mOZpUDMj9t8&t=0m00s
Check out that great and probably new Aardman CG shortfilm, it is so funny! Great visuals, funny quirky dialogues and sounds (cavemen with zippers, who would have thought!). I hope they do more like that one.
“Outside a volcano has happened!”
This reminds me a bit of an old but great shorfilm by an other British studio “Studio AKA”, for the Natwest campaign.
I can’t stand Flash websites…. how am I supposed to embed anything?
Here is a link then… very sexy…:
Studio AKA keyword search
Some of the best European Animation Mentor graduates worked on that great looking Christmas short film done for the BBC by Studio Soi in Germany. The Gruffalo is a very charming child story books created by Julia Donaldson.
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Amandine Pecharman, production designer on Studio AKA “lost and found” posted some really cool concept designs on her blog. Check it out it is really really nice.
[…] Read more
If you like quirky and stylistic animation (think Studio AKA), rush to see that really cool short film and give your vote!
As usual Annecy 2009 was a blast and once again there wasn’t enough time to see all the great short films and features or attend all the parties but one of the highlights was to see “Partly cloudy” and get to know what went into the making of the short film which was presented by Peter Sohn, the director himself.
I also managed to ask Peter few questions about storyboarding and I could have asked him few more if only I had thought about preparing some. Something interesting is that he kept talking about showing the emotion the character is going through when storyboarding. I am not sure what he exactly meant but that was still an interesting little chat and I will go through Ratatouille again to try to figure this out. […] Read more
Look what I just found on the “Lines and colors” website.
There is only a trailer at the moment but check out that that gorgeous looking short film with a very appealing painterly rendering. You will also find some nice pastel colorscript thumbnails. I thought it was a StudioAKA production at first but it is not.
Applying painterly concepts in a CG Film – Bolt
Posted on November 6, 2006
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My name is Olivier Ladeuix, I was born in Bayonne (France) and I have been living in London and in the UK since Septembre 1999 after a 2 years stay in Senegal (Africa), working for the French Air Force.
I am a freelance 3d character animator/modeler/TD working in cartoony Video games, animated TV series and animated Features. I am also the creator of the animation mentoring program: “Pick My Brain”
Previous to that, I animated on Chico Chica Boumba, a fun and successful Kid TV series currently airing on French music TV channel M6. Chico Chica Boumba is directed by French ultra talented Director, Cedric Babouche.
In 2009 I was working on my last video game “Spare Parts”, a cartoony action adventure game, at EA BrightLight studio, the British branch of EA, animating but also helping with the modeling, rigging, cutscenes storyboarding, pitching and previz.
I started my animation career in 2007 working for legendary Microsoft Game Studio, Rare, in Twycross near Birmingham, producing realistic and cartoony animations for games like the latest instalment of Banjo-Kazooie, Banjo Kazooie “Nuts and Bolts” 3 on the Xbox 360 and the Dashboard Avatars.
A selection of pretty dated but still interesting animation can be found on my 2009 Rare game showreel, check it out.
I graduated from Animation Mentor in
Spring 2008, after 2 years through:
6. Short film production (2nd term) with ex Dreamworks animator Kevin Koch
6. Short film production with Dreamworks Supervising AnimatorJason Schleifer
5. Begining short film with director, storyman, animator Elliot M.Bour
4. Advanced acting with Dreamworks animator Morgan Kelly.
3. Introduction to acting with Michelle Meeker, who worked on various projects from Sims to Lord of the Rings for companies like Pixar, Weta, Maxis/EA…
2. the principles of body mechanics with Pixar Senior Animator Robert Russ (Toy story 1,2, A Bugs life, Monsters, Nemo, Incredibles, Cars)
1. Basic foundations under the mentorship of Dreamworks supervising animator Cassidy Curtis (Shrek, Madagascar, Shark Tales, Over the edge…)
To further my skills I have also been part of:
Animation Collaborative, a school usually refered to as “The Pixar school” since it was founded by Pixar Animators Andrew Gordon and Michal Makarewicz, is taught by Pixar artists and sits right outside Pixar in Emeryville.
I attended the Animation and Character design classes with respectively Victor Navone for animation, Albert Lozano and Chris Sasaki for Character Design. I would definitely recommend that school to professionals trying to break into the feature animation industry.
Escape‘s Anatomy for digital artists when they used to charge realistic fees.
I regularly attend CG and animation events (CTN, Annecy, Siggraph..) .
Outside of my Animation work, you might know me for the abAutorig tutorial series, a set of popular videos that generated 30k viewings on Vimeo.
I love animation but I love practicing fine art too with both traditional and digital mediums. Life drawing, painting, sketching, modelling with a preference for oil painting and modelling with clay.
If you want to talk about Animation, modeling or anything else, fell free to send me an email at email@example.com