Animation

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Animation

Six Kinetic Characters: Light-Hearted Interpretations of Universal Emotions by Animator Lucas Zanotto

November 14, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Six Kinetic Characters” illustrates relatable emotional gestures through animated characters in a new short by Lucas Zanotto (previously). Emotional roller coasters, mood swings, and crossed eyes are conveyed in 3-D renders, which Zanotto shades with nostalgic pastel colors.

“I always really enjoyed building models and focus on textures, shapes and colors in my first career as a product designer,” Zanotto tells Colossal. “I moved towards film-making and directing commercials while always trying to keep this analog element in my work.” Zanotto has found that 3-D modeling software feels similar to working with his hands as he did in previous projects, and has been a satisfying “full circle” moment in his creative career.

The multi-talented designer shares his work on Vimeo and Instagram, the latter of which he enjoys to be able to “speak straight to people and create entertainment without any barriers in between.”

 

 



Animation Music

A Monochrome Dystopian World Holds an Eerie Beauty in New Animated Music Video for Thom Yorke

November 6, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Saad Moosajee (previously) shows the richness and emotional power that can be found in grey-scale animation with his new music video for Thom Yorke. “Last I heard (…He Was Circling the Drain)” brings Yorke’s single to life in a hazy dystopian world populated by crowds of anonymous figures. Moosajee tells Colossal that the animation is comprised of more than 3,000 individual frames. Using 3-D and 2-D animation techniques, Moosajee and the team layered over the frames, integrating crowd simulation, charcoal washing, fire simulation, and stop motion powder texturing. He partnered with Art Camp, an experimental studio based in Brooklyn, on the project and was the co-director, co-designer, and 3-D animator alongside Zuheng Yin and Jenny Mascia. See more of Moosajee’s recent work on Instagram and tune in to other music videos by Art Camp on Vimeo.

 

 



Animation Dance Design Illustration

Innovative Augmented Reality Book Merges Dance, Theater, Literature, and Technology

November 5, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Adrien Mondot and Claire Bardainne, who work together as the Adrien M / Claire B Company (previously), explore the intersection of tangible and augmented reality in their multi-media projects. They recently launched a Kickstarter to support their latest project, Acqua Alta – Crossing the mirror. Acqua Alta turns a seemingly simple pop-up book into an animated black-and-white world. Two figures move through the pages, battling rainstorms and walking through doorways, all seen through the portal of a tablet or smartphone.

The duo tells Colossal that after their 2017 exhibition Mirages & miracles, they wanted to focus their efforts on an affordable medium at an intimate scale that still allowed for constructing volume. “After considering the AR algorithm, it was important to find a solution for the book to be a plane for each of the 10 double pages,” Mondot and Bardainne explain. “The magic happens only when the real space and the AR space are completely synced together.”

The duo was also working with a limited budget and limited professional experience with motion capture. In contrast to more specialized production companies with greater resources and established, Mondot and Bardainne were challenged by looking for smart and creative solutions to achieve the same results.

“It was very exciting to be at the border between many disciplines—theater, dance, but also comic books and animation,” Mondot and Bardainne share. “We are questioning the language: what does this medium allow us to express? Can we use part of the cinematographic language? Can we use some of the symbolic tools of the theater?”

You can support Acqua Alta on Kickstarter, where the book is available for preorder (it also comes with a free app for experiencing the AR). Explore more of Mondot and Bardainne’s interdisciplinary work on their website.

 

 

 



Animation Music

Forest Creatures Gather Together to Perform a Moonlit Rendition of an Opera

October 31, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

A songbird soloist accompanied by choruses of toads, turtles, and hedgehogs are conducted by  a squirrel in Maestro, a delightful new animated short by Illogic. Set in a moonlit forest, the wild symphony performs a war anthem from Vincenzo Bellini’s opera Norma. In an interview with Vimeo, the team explained that they sought to balance imaginativeness with believability within the confines of  their realistic universe. Illogic is based in Montpellier, France, where they recently opened an animation studio called Bloom Pictures. Take a behind-the-scenes look at how Maestro was made in the video below, and see more from Illogic, including the Oscar-nominated Garden Party, on Vimeo.

 

 



Animation

Next-Level Cardistry is Showcased in a Clever New Stop Motion Animation by Omozoc

October 10, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Stop motion animator omozoc (previously) evokes the astonishing cardistry of poker dealers in a new short film. Aptly titled “Legendary Poker Dealer,” the short starts off with classic suave moves to deal and sort cards. As the animation continues, omozoc’s tricks become more and more intricate, and eventually start to veer towards the unbelievable. Watch through til the end for a fun surprise, and be sure to have the sound on to enjoy the audio effects. See more from the anonymous animator on YouTube.

 

 



Animation

Natural History Museum: A Snarky Celebration of Anthropology and Chicken Wings by Kirsten Lepore

October 9, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Using stop motion animation and her signature blend of the banal and bizarre, animator Kirsten Lepore (previously) plays with universal human traits in her new short, “Natural History Museum.” The animated film highlights the readiness with which we condescend to cultures from the past, as well as the deliciousness of chicken wings, through the lens of two characters whose identities shift over time. See more from Lepore on Vimeo and pick up swag inspired by her animations in her Society6 store.

 

 

 



Animation

Live Action, Sculptural Animation, and Painting Merge in the Dizzying Short Film ‘The Full Story’

October 2, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Two, three, and four dimensions commingle in “The Full Story” by filmmaker Daisy Jacobs and animator Chris Wilder. In their previous, highly lauded short, “The Bigger Picture”, the duo painted animations on walls, combined with sculpture components like moveable papier maché limbs, and regular ‘real world’ objects.

In their newest film, “The Full Story,” Jacobs and Wilder tell Colossal that they “really wanted to push [themselves] creatively and try new ideas.” In addition to all the elements the duo used in “The Bigger Picture,” the newer film also incorporates human actors to tell the story of two siblings’ experience of their parents acrimonious marriage.

In order to merge the real and imagined, Jacobs and Wilder explain that they made the sets more realistic and the actors more ‘painterly’ to find a stylistic middle ground. “To make the sets more realistic we emphasized textures and brought out shine with lighting and varnish. With the real people we did the opposite–painting their clothes, minimizing shadows on their faces with make-up and making them more graphic with wigs.”

Jacobs and Wilder only animate as a pair, and explain that their work is done “straight-ahead”. Each image is painted over as they animate, which allows no room for error or second takes. To complete the film, Huw Bradford created the soundtrack and a slate of random objects worked as Foley.

You can see Jacobs in action working on “The Full Story” in the time-lapse below, and see more on her Vimeo page.