Animation

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Animation

Mesas Shoot Through Cloud-Filled Skies in ‘American Totem’

January 28, 2020

Grace Ebert

Panning the expansive desert, American Totem captures the mesas scattered across the beige- and rust-colored landscape but with an unearthly twist. Pillars ascend from their flat tops, reaching up through the clouds toward a pale blue sky in the short film, which combines real footage and digital effects. Created by London-based artist Theodore John, aka mustardcuffins, the moving columns shoot through dissipating clouds as the sun rises and sets, casting shadows across the sand and rocks. As night sets in, the film speeds up, morphing the dark sky into one filled with shooting stars. Find more multi-media projects from the artist and motion graphics designer on Instagram and Behance.

 

 



Animation

A New Short Film Demonstrates the Difficulty of Escaping City Life

January 23, 2020

Grace Ebert

Breaking free from urban life is no easy feat for the main figure in “Le Silence de la rue,” or “The Silence of the street.” The monochromatic film produced by Miyu Productions, which is led by Emmanuel-Alain Raynal and Pierre Baussaron, details the stark dichotomy of spending time in unaltered natural spaces and in a dirty, bustling neighborhood. Opening with a blooming flower, the gloomy film turns to a black being who struggles to stay afoot in the dense streets as a horde of anonymous figures push by. Wave-like elements envelop him until he’s transported to a tiny boat at sea, where he momentarily finds peace. But soon enough, he’s hurled back into the crowd before finally losing his dark hue and joining others as they pile onto the public bus, proving his inability to escape city life.

The 2D digital animation was directed by Marie Opron in 2019 and is set to music by composer Francois Poitou. Find more of the company’s illustrated projects on Vimeo.

 

 



Animation Illustration

Fluttering Moths Radiate Whimsy in Twinkling Gifs by Vlad Stankovic

January 22, 2020

Grace Ebert

All gifs © Vlad Stankovic

Sydney-based illustrator and graphic designer Vlad Stankovic (previously) has a gift for crafting playful animated scenes. His recent “Piccalilli Moths” project—which was commissioned by Preen, a Los Angeles-based design and architecture firm, for a Culver City restaurant—features sparkly moths that are surrounded by insects and beetles with fluttering wings, twinkling mushrooms, and muted plants that sprout in the background. Created with watercolors and colored pencil before being transferred to Photoshop, the whimsical gifs “were printed using lenticular printing, a technique where the image gives an illusion of depth and movement when viewed from different angles,” the artist said in a statement about the project. Check out Etsy or Society6 to purchase some of Stankovic’s similarly charming illustrations and prints.

 

 



Animation

A Bustling Coastline is Disguised as a Peaceful Bedroom in Short Film by Charlotte Arene

January 14, 2020

Grace Ebert

Paris-based director and animator Charlotte Arene has created an uncanny stop-motion film centered on sleep that wavers between a nightmare and a peaceful slumber. Released in December 2019, “La mer à boire,” or “Unrealizable,” is shot in a typical bedroom, although the sheets, closet doors, and slippers move similarly to an energetic coastline. The animated work is set to sounds of waves and birds calling to each other, and it features a young woman who glides up and down her bed, seemingly retreating back into the water, and under the blankets, with the ripples. Canonical sea literature, like Jules Verne’s Voyages Extraordinaires and Herman Melville’s Moby Dick, occupies the bookshelf that resembles lapping waves, as well. Find more of Arene’s short animated projects on Vimeo.

 

 



Animation Art Design

Mobile Architecture Twists and Morphs in Futuristic Cityscapes by AUJIK

December 30, 2019

Grace Ebert

In “Spatial Bodies: Hong Kong & Shenzhen,” the self-described “mysterious nature/tech cult” AUJIK imagines a Hong Kong and Shenzhen with architecture that shifts and moves seemingly on its own just like live organisms. Using AI and AR technologies, artist and AUJIK founder Stefan Larsson created the short film that depicts a futuristic cityscape with contracting and expanding buildings that are far from resembling typical rectangular skyscrapers. AUJIK’s creature-like structures often have an element similar to limbs or tails, in addition to facades with rounded edges that mimic moving bodies. It is a sequel to a previous project that centered Osaka.

The group says the concept for this project is based on open-source software, which theoretically would allow users to shape the architecture based on their needs and in a collaborative, public manner. Spatial Bodies was commissioned by the Shenzhen Biennale of Urbanism\Architecture and premiered in December 2019. The film features music by Japanese electronic artist Daisuke Tanabe. More of AUJIK’s futuristic conceptions can be found on Behance and Vimeo. (via designboom)

 

 



Animation Craft Illustration

Artist Nancy Liang Combines Illustration, Craft, and Digital Art to Create Playful Gifs of Nighttime Scenes

December 27, 2019

Grace Ebert

Sydney-based artist Nancy Liang (previously) takes an unusual and multidisciplinary approach to creating whimsical looping gifs of star-filled nights. Liang begins with kraft paper cutouts and hand-drawn illustrations in her sketchbook that she transfers to a digital platform like Photoshop or After Effects. She then arranges her work in a collage and animates it, creating darkly colored, moving scenes that often focus on the natural elements of cityscapes and suburban life in Australia.

Liang said in an interview with Paper Darts that much of her inspiration comes from her habit of working throughout the night, something she’s done since she was a child. “While most people are asleep, I find something very exciting about being awake. The night is quiet and still, and much like my thoughts, this inspires curious and mysterious urban stories out there,” Liang says.

You can learn more about the artist’s unconventional process that combines programming, craft, and illustration on Tumblr and Instagram.

 

 



Animation Craft

Wool Characters Share in Love’s Hardships in Stop-Motion Film by Anushka Naanayakkara

December 26, 2019

Grace Ebert

A new stop-motion film chronicles the excitement, messiness, and tragedy of love. Directed by BAFTA-winning animation director Anushka Naanayakkara, “A Love Story” depicts two characters who are made of wool, lace, and other fabric remnants as they navigate an entangled relationship. At the beginning, small pieces of string from each face weave into the other, altering their compositions with every interaction to demonstrate the relationship’s effects. Soon the two become so entwined that their faces exhibit completely different patterns and colors. Lastly, an ambiguous dark force appears to envelope the pair and ultimately severs their tangled bonds.

Although the film features love’s tribulations, the director said she wanted to “bring comfort to audiences who have been through a similar experience” in an interview with Short of the Week. The short film was produced by the National Film and Television School in the UK. More of Naanayakkara’s heartfelt projects can be found on Vimeo. (via Short of the Week)