Animation

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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)

 

 



Animation

Clay Faces Twist and Warp on Human Bodies in Mixed-Media Film by Sam Gainsborough

December 18, 2019

Grace Ebert

Animation director Sam Gainsborough’s new mixed-media film contorts and melts characters’ faces, altering and shaping both how they see and how they’re viewed. Facing It depicts a man struggling with relationships to his family and friends, his social anxiety, and his fear of being isolated from those around him. Throughout the film, dripping, swirling, and rippling clay faces mask those of the human bodies.

Gainsborough tells Directors Notes that he shot the characters’ claymation faces against a green screen before transferring them frame-by-frame to fit separate footage with actors, combining stop-motion and live-action techniques. Each face is roughly double life-size, and in total, the film’s creators used more than 1,100 pounds of plasticine. Adding human bodies to the work creates a “visible layer of reality” that stands in contrast to the feelings shown on the animated faces.

He feels that his parents are these emotionless rock-like characters so they’re animated to look like gargoyles. Whereas he sees everyone else in the world as being effortlessly happy so they’re animated fluidly with lots of colour. But at the end of the day the feelings he has are false, what lies underneath that is reality, real people (with painted hands for some reason!).

The goal of the work, the director says, is to push viewers to question whether they’re living how they want to. He and writer Louisa Wood wanted “a main character who would be seen to bottle up their emotions rather than living true to themselves. We wanted to make a film that celebrates everyone’s flaws and internal struggle, no one’s perfect after all.”

Facing It was produced in the same space that Nick Park first created Wallace and Gromit – A Grand Day Out, the director says. “It was really cool for me to be working in the same room that saw the creation of a film I found so inspiring as a child.”

Gainsborough is based in London and graduated from the National Film and Television School. His future plans, which you can follow on Instagram, include employing a similar technique but with stop-motion puppets.

 

 



Animation

‘The Bird & the Whale’ Tells a Short and Sweet Tale Using Paint-on-Glass Animation

December 10, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

An animated short film written and directed by Carol Freeman uses an old-fashioned technique called paint-on-glass to form each luminescent frame. At seven minutes long, The Bird & the Whale is comprised of 4,300 paintings created by a small team of female artists in Dublin, Ireland. The animated film tells the story of a young whale, struggling to find its voice, who finds a caged bird that is the sole survivor of a shipwreck. The Bird & the Whale has been lauded at festivals worldwide, including the Silver Screen Award for Best Animated Film at Cannes’ Young Director Awards. Freeman, who majored in animation at the National Film School of Ireland, also co-founded Paper Panther Productions. Watch the making-of inpthe video below and follow Paper Panther on Instagram.