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Animation

Dozens of Expressive Puppets Encourage Kindness and Acceptance in a Series of Sing-A-Long Short Films

February 19, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

Irish director and animator Johnny Kelly (previously) is known for his puppet-based films, most notably his 2011 piece for Chipotle titled Back to the Start. His most recent project, Right on Tracks, is a series of short sing-a-long videos for Cheerios. Kelly worked with the art collective Nous Vous and Andy Gent, who was also the lead of the puppets department for Isle of Dogs.

The catchy anthems have an inclusive message that focuses on building confidence in yourself while practicing kindness to all. Walter Martin of The Walkmen created songs such as Just Be You which teaches acceptance of your own quirks and unique traits, and It’s All Family which showcases a look at familial structures in a much broader light than we typically see on TV.

“We wanted to show diversity,” Kelly told It’s Nice That. “Nous Vous’ characters are so otherworldly and abstract that they could be anyone and everyone. It was important that people empathize with them too. With such simple designs, you can read a little more into their expressions, project your own loneliness onto a lonely character, or warmth onto a happy character.”

The cast of puppets are large, small, and every size in-between, with characteristics that range from colorful tufts of hair to necks that extend out like tree branches. You can take a behind-the-scenes peek at how Kelly created the four-part series in the video below, and view more of his short films on his website and Vimeo. (via The Kid Should See This, It’s Nice That)

 

 



Amazing

Freediving Champion Guillaume Néry Swims Across Several of the World’s Oceans with One Breath

February 18, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

In the newest film by Guillaume Néry (previously), the world champion free diver swims across the world in one breath, or at least creative editing and camera tricks present the illusion of this great feat. One Breath Around the World follows Néry to the spectacular scenes he explores without a snorkel or air tank, like a variety of underwater caves or a pod of clustered whales. The film is shot by his wife Julie Gautier (previously) who was also free diving as she filmed Néry throughout France, Finland, Mexico, Japan, the Philippines, and other oceanic destinations. The film was created through the pair’s production company Les Films Engloutis. You can see more of their spectacular underwater films on Vimeo. (via My Modern Met)

 

 



Animation Illustration

1,440 Portraits Emerge from a Single Ink Drawing in a New Animation by Jake Fried

February 9, 2019

Andrew LaSane

In an impressive feat of dedication and patience, artist Jake Fried (previously) spent seven months creating Brain Wave, a hand-drawn animation using only ink and white-out. Fried reworked the same black-and-white drawing 1,440 times, scanning each new iteration into Photoshop and sequencing the drawings to play at 24 frames per second. He then added an original music track that frantically connects the hundreds of drawings into one 60-second video.

Centered both literally and narratively around a single, ever-changing face, the short animation takes the viewer through a wide range of emotions, settings, and themes. Because every frame is a new work of art, the piece as a whole feels like snapshots from a dream that have been remembered, recreated, and reassembled.

Working without an outline or storyboard, Fried explained to Vimeo that each successive drawing dictated what would come next. “There is an inherent logic or rhythm that emerges as I make the work, I have developed an instinct or gut-feeling for when the next frame is ready to be scanned. I can get quite obsessive about the smallest shifts within a fraction of a second.”  The filmmakers’s work will be featured later this month at the Flat Earth Film Festival in Seyðisfjörður, Iceland from February 10-14, 2019 and in a group exhibition at Mills Gallery in Boston from February 23 through April 28, 2019. To see more of Fried’s work online, follow him on Instagram. (via Vimeo Staff Picks)

 

 

 



Amazing Photography Science

An Extraordinary Time-Lapse Captures the Microscopic Development of a Single Cell into a Newt

February 7, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

In Becoming, a time-lapse film by Jan van IJken (previously), a single cell splits. Then it splits again, and again, and again, morphing and quivering as new quadrants continually appear and divide. The cell belongs to an alpine newt, and during most of its transition from a single cell zygote to hatched larva it looks remarkably like a sunny-side up egg. The film’s rapid timeline condenses four weeks of growth into six minutes, presenting a speedy and awe-inspiring glimpse at how we all begin.

“I wanted to capture the origin of life,” van IJken tells Colossal. “What is particularly interesting I think, is that the basics of embryonic development are the same for all animals, including us. I think the way we develop is a true miracle. In my film you can see individual cells move to the place where they belong in the embryo. How is this possible? It is all managed by a precise internal clockwork in each individual cell.”

Van IJken used time-lapse photography and video in combination with a trinocular microscope to precisely observe the details of the newt’s development. You can view more of his work, including a trailer for his first film Facing Animals, on Vimeo.

 

 



Photography

An Incredible Aerial Tour of Earth’s Surface from the International Space Station

January 9, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Philadelphia-based photographer and videographer Bruce W. Berry Jr. brings together images from the International Space Station (ISS) in his new time-lapse video, The World Below. Berry used public content from NASA to form the meditative short film that reads like a supersized version of today’s popular drone landscape videos. The World Below offers a glimpse at the vast scale of our planet, with portions of the ISS in-frame to provide additional perspective. The film compares richly textured, abstracted topography with dense networks of bright lights to showcase the powerful impact of humans on the planet.

All video and time-lapse sequences were taken by astronauts onboard the ISS. Berry then edited, color graded, denoised, and stabilized the footage to create the seamless quality of the final film. If you’re interested to learn the specifics of the clips’ locations, the filmmaker lists them out to the best of his knowledge in the video notes.

Berry created a similar video in 2013, but decided to create the newer version due to the wealth of content that has become available since his original take. The ISS makes 14.54 orbits around the Earth every day, providing ample opportunity for new views. You can see more of Berry’s photography portfolio on his website, and watch more videos on his Vimeo channel. (via Vimeo Staff Picks)

 

 

 



Craft Design

Time-Lapse Video of Woodworker Keith Williams Shows How Flat Plywood Boards Become Smooth Patterned Spheres

January 7, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

Woodworker Keith Williams of Oddball Gallery in Minier, Illinois creates geodesic spheres that balance math and art. Each sculptural form is created from 170 wood triangles that are then hand-assembled into 12 pentagons and 20 hexagons. Next these shapes are glued together into an angular 180-sided ball that is placed onto a lathe and transformed into a completely smooth sphere.

As Williams removes approximately 1/4″ of wood, natural rings from the plywood are brought to the surface, covering the final piece in a dizzying array of concentric circles. You can watch a behind-the-scenes look at how these objects are made in the video above. FInd more peeks into the Oddball Studio on Williams’ website and Youtube. (via Laughing Squid)

 

 



Design

An Audiovisual Feast Showcasing the Complete Production of a Hand-Forged Lock Box

January 2, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Forged and Filed, a transfixing new video by Cambridge, Massachusetts-based filmmaker Jesse Beecher showcases the talents of metalsmith Seth Gould. In the five minute-long documentary short, Beecher not only highlights the technical prowess of Gould’s complex design and construction skills, but he also transforms the percussive sounds of the metal workshop in to a lively soundtrack. The banging of hammers, crumpling of paper, and sizzling of flames amplify the hand-forged nature of metalsmithing. Forged and Filed follows Gould’s progress as he creates an incredibly detailed lock box, shaping every element completely from scratch.

Gould graduated in 2009 from Maine College of Art in Portland, Maine with a degree in metalsmithing and jewelry. Over the last decade he has shown his work widely and shared his knowledge as a visiting artist and lecturer around the country—most recently at the prestigious Penland School of Crafts in North Carolina.You can see more of the metalsmith’s works on his Instagram and website, including these creative interpretations of hammers.

In addition to his personal projects, Beecher works as the Director of Photography for Northern Light Productions, a Boston-based company that creates media for cultural institutions, and has also produced work for PBS, Netflix, and Comedy Central. You can see more of Beecher’s projects on his website.