WoodSwimmer is a new short film by engineer and stop-motion animator Brett Foxwell, who has built armatures for films such as Boxtrolls and Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Created in collaboration with musician and animator bedtimes, the work follows a piece of raw wood through a milling machine, capturing its unique growth rings, knots, and weathered spots through a series of cross-sectional photographic scans. Due the speed at which the images are animated, the log’s grains begin to flow like granules of sand—shifting, mixing, and flowing in a vibrant dance that seems completely removed from its rigid material.
“Fascinated with the shapes and textures found in both newly-cut and long-dead pieces of wood, I envisioned a world composed entirely of these forms,” Foxwell told Colossal. “As I began to engage with the material, I conceived a method using a milling machine and an animation camera setup to scan through a wood sample photographically and capture its entire structure. Although a difficult and tedious technique to refine, it yielded gorgeous imagery at once abstract and very real. Between the twisting growth rings, swirling rays, knot holes, termites and rot, I found there is a lot going on inside of wood.”
Heads up: watching this full-screen in HD with sound makes all the difference. You can see more of Foxwell’s works, like his 19-minute film Fabricated, on his Vimeo.
Director Rafael Vangelis transforms the unbearable task of watching an endlessly spinning wheel or loading bar into an entertaining and analogue study of self-produced loading mechanisms in his latest short film Analogue Loaders. Using stop motion techniques and traditional animation he turns clay, wood, 3D-printed objects, and even eggs into 3D loaders, dazzling the eye rather than enraging the mind.
Vangelis considers the short film an animated autobiography, as he spends a great chunk of his own life watching projects slowly load and computers crash. “The result,” says Vangelis, “is an homage to all the lost time we collectively spend in digital limbo in the hopes of sudden development on our screen.”
Swedish animator and sculptor Alexander Unger runs a popular YouTube channel where he shares sculpting and animation tutorials. Sometimes he shares fun short films that link together ingenious little animation experiments like the ones you see here. Definitely turn up the volume a bit, the sound really adds a lot. You can see more of his work here. (via Sploid)
Artist Carine Khalife (previously) just completed work on this swimmingly beautiful music video for Great Headless Blank, the title track of a new EP from Makeunder. The video was created using a paint-on-glass method where each frame is lit from behind and photographed, a technique popularized by Russian animator Aleksandr Petrov. Khalife occasionally pushes the tactile aesthetic even further by allowing the film to transform into three dimensions using sculpted claymation. You can read more about the film’s premise on the Creator’s Project.
This fantastic timelapse gives a stunning behind-the-scenes glimpse of animators working on the set of the new stop-motion film Kubo and the Two Strings. The film is the latest movie from animation studio Laika, who previously made Coraline, The Boxtrolls, and ParaNorman, and is the directorial debut of Travis Knight who worked as an animator on all of their previous films. You can watch an even longer version here, and the studio made a similar timelapse for the Boxtrolls.
PAPERMEALS is an ongoing series of culinary animations by Melbourne-based production studio yelldesign. Each brief clips sees a variety of papers turned into banana splits, bowls of ramen, or even a plate of pasta with meatballs. Certain sequences and techniques seem to be inspired somewhat by PES, namely his short film Western Spaghetti. You can see a few more over on Vimeo. (via Sploid).