Florian de Looij first sat down with a copy of Photoshop when he was 12 years old and apparently he never got up. The Netherlands-based designer has been exploring digital animation and illustration ever since, and late last year started sharing his animation experiments on a Tumblr called FLRN GIF. Florian says he’s always been inspired by the likes of M.C. Escher and other artists working with optical illusions, something that has clearly influenced the direction of his design practice. He tries to make a new GIF each day, and you can see tons more in his archives. (via Cross Connect)
It’s not often that a student film gets nominated for an Oscar, but such was the case with Head Over Heels, the graduate film of animator Timothy Reckart that went on to pickup awards and nominations around the world when it was released two years ago. The film tells the story of a crumbling relationship depicted by the visual metaphor of a couple who are pulled by gravity in opposite directions; one lives on the ceiling and the other on the floor. Reckart just made the film viewable online for the first time along with a number of extras including a director’s commentary. (via Colossal Submissions)
For a recent promotional campaign, German creative firm Deepblue Networks collaborated with illustrator and graphic designer Florian Schommer of Kjosk Collective to create a series of animated buildings using the letters of their logo. The 8 illustrations turn each letter of the logo into a multi-story building and imagines the staff working inside. You can see the full presentation here. Creative direction by Burkhard Müller. (via Behance)
Watch as Lego enthusiast Jon Rolph deftly recreates a Piet Mondrian using stop-motion animation. While it may seem like a pretty straightforward idea, the attention to detail here is astounding, even PES was impressed. (via Stellar)
These 3d-printed zoetrope sculptures were designed by John Edmark, and they only animate when filmed under a strobe light or with the help of a camera with an extremely short shutter speed. He shares about the project:
These are 3-D printed sculptures designed to animate when spun under a strobe light. The placement of the appendages is determined by the same method nature uses in pinecones and sunflowers. The rotation speed is synchronized to the strobe so that one flash occurs every time the sculpture turns 137.5º—the golden angle. If you count the number of spirals on any of these sculptures you will find that they are always Fibonacci numbers.
For this video, rather than using a strobe, the camera was set to a very short shutter speed (1/4000 sec) in order to freeze the spinning sculpture.
If you happen to have a 3D printer handy, you can find instructions on how to make these over on Instructables. (via Stellar)
First off: language warning for the kiddos. Stop-motion animator Dillon Markey works on projects for animation powerhouses like Robot Chicken and PES. While on set three years ago Markey tired of moving back and forth between the set, camera, and computers for each shot and conceived of a numerical keypad he could use to help control some, if not all, of the devices he uses for animating.
In a stroke of nostalgic brilliance, he realized Nintendo’s failed 1980 Power Glove—a wearable device that was supposed to offer novel ways of controlling video games—possessed the form factor he needed. While the Power Glove itself was a commercial flop because of imprecise and awkward controls (not to mention crummy games), Markey teamed up with an electrical engineer to completely rewire the device so it could interact with his stop-motion software via Bluetooth. In a move that would make Inspector Gadget proud, he further modified the glove to incorporate animation tools like retractable tweezers and special sensors that emit the perfect phrase when you use the glove for a fist-bump.
One would think such modifications would be interesting for the purpose of making a quick concept video like this, but that in practical application it might not really work. Not the case: he’s now used it for over 1.5 years on projects like this. It makes you wonder what other outmoded technology had the right form factor but wrong application? Film by Ava Benjamin.
One of the most gratifying aspects of watching stop-motion films is the knowledge that every bit of motion seen on screen is created by human hands, frame by frame, millimeter by millimeter. While an animator might tell you it takes an entire day just to film a 3-second sequence, it’s still difficult to imagine how much physical labor is involved to accomplish it. Lucky for us, the animators behind Laika’s Boxtrolls snuck in a short post-credits timelapse that reveals a brief glimpse of what happens behind the scenes to make two characters come to life.
I first saw Boxtrolls in the theater last September with my son, and this single scene caused a more vocal response from the audience than any other moment in the entire movie. People were literally gasping, myself included. Over the holidays, Focus Features finally made it available online through their YouTube channel.