Monday, June 18, 2007

3D World and Claymation Style

The August 2007 3D World Magazine has some interesting headline articles.
Chris Bullen looks at realistic interiors and Pete Draper returns to the badlands. But the one that will be making me get a copy is Matt Roussel's rendering technique to simulate clay. The turorial looks at both texturing and lighting this style using Cinema 4D. It will be interesting to see how it looks compaired to my attempts and programmes like the Island of Innis Cool.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Bryce 5.5 for Free

DAZ Productions are now giving away version 5.5 of the Environmental modelling software Bryce. They are also selling upgrades from 5.5 to version 6.1 at a price even lower than Bryce 1 was sold for back in the 1990s when I first saw Metacreations' software in a bargain bin at the back of PCWorld. The software has gone through a few changes since the earliest version, there are more presets, higher quality results, more sophisticate tools and now support for Daz Studio so you can import figures into your landscapes. If you find that there's anything that you can't do (or can't be bothered to do) in Bryce then you can always purchase one of the models from the extensive catalogue of objects, buildings, vehicles, animals, people and clothes that Daz3d have for sale.

Bryce 1

Bryce 6.1

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Peaches and Apricots in the Blender

Following the success of Elephant's Dream, Blender is planning two new projects. Another film (Project Peach) that will be more fun and furry in constrast to the Dream's Industrial look and a game project (Project Apricot). Work on the film is to start in October and is scheduled to take just 6 months to complete.
The Blender Foundation is not the only body making films using Blender. The Argentinean Manos Digitales Animation Studio and CS Entertainment produced a film about birds called "Plumiferos" which is scheduled to be released this year.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

10 Second Animation Competition

A useful link from Oliver Scott - SHOW THE WORLD YOUR ANIMATIONS!

British Film Institute - Jan Svankmajer Season

This month the BFI is showing a range of Jan Svankmajer films and talks.

Jan Svankmajer Montage

Jan Svankmajer at BFI

The films of the Czech animator Jan Svankmajer have long been a fascination for me, I saw Alice when I was a kid when it was shown on Channel 4. At the time I did not realise who made it an if they had made anything else. I think the fact it was a little scary appealed to me as a child. I'm not the only person who were slightly disturbed by about these films, some of his early films were banned when they were first. His films also influence other film makers including the secretive Brothers Quay who made The Cabinet of Jan Svankmajer an animated analysis of his work.

The Torch Bearer

Those who attended last year's London International Animation Festival will know that Vaclav Svankmajer, the son of Jan is also making some excellent films. The "Torchbearer" (Svetlonos) made in 2005 is 25 minutes of glorious stop motion. Although there are some parallels, Vaclav has developped his own style of thought provoking animation. His models and sets are more real than sureal but the plots and actions of his characters are still quite nightmarish. I look forward to more films (of any technique) from Vaclav.

Friday, June 01, 2007


The Flea Film was storyboarded in the early days to help develop the script and give me ideas on how the animation was going to work.

Once I recorded the voices, I used animatics (a video storyboard) to give me an idea of how long the film was going to be and if it was going to work as a whole. A good storyboard is essential if you need to explain your film to others (for example if you are raising funding or if others are doing the acting or animating) . You may also find that is helpful to you, to help you visualise and plan your work, if you can't sketch the idea in a box then it's unlikely that you will be able to animate it. Once I had some rough ideas of a shot designed on the computer, I used those images on the later versions of the storyboard. Some of the voice artists found this helpful.

I've collected together some handy links from around the internet and there's also some books that might be of help.

Books on Storyboarding from the Aceanim Shop