Thursday, October 25, 2007

dSCAPE/07 Animation Night

Brighton Digital Festival is having an animation night on Wednesday 14 November to showcase and discuss animation. The 4 hour session includes screenings and a panel discussion.

Wednesday 14 November 6.30 - 10.30pm at Salis Benny Theatre, Brighton

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

More depth of field

Thanks to a fellow blogger Darkmattr I've discovered a technique called SmallGantics.

The idea is that they take a photo of a real place and adjust the depth of field so that it looks like a model. You can see that the picture of Oxford above demostrates this effect very well.
Given the impressive results, I've decided to take a further look into simulating this effect in Carrara 6 so that the flea film has a distinctively different look between the closeups of the flea circus and the longer shots of the Ring Master or Professor.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

London Film Festival

The London Film Festival Started today and has a promising line up of animation including some distinctly grown up films such as "Persepolis" directed by Marjane Satrapi & Vincent Parronaud. Persepolis has been nominated for the Sutherland Trophy for the Most origional and imaginative first feature. Also showing is "Lucidi Folli" an erotic black and white animation which is Ursula Ferrara's debut film from 1986. I'm glad that the festival has chosen to recognise animation as something more than films for kids. Ursula's 1999 film "Five Rooms" is also showing.

Here's the details of all the animated films on during the festival:

Animated Shorts for Younger Audiences
Sat 27 Oct 16:00, NFT2

The Bee Movie (USA 2007)
A gala special screening.
Sun 28 Oct 15:30, Odeon West End 2

Five Rooms (Italy 1999) and We Want Roses Too (Italy-Switzerland 2007)
Fri 19 Oct 14:00, NFT3
Sat 20 Oct 15:45, NFT2

Lucidi Folli (Italy 1986)
Mon 22 Oct 18:30, Odeon West End 2
Tue 23 Oct 16:00, Odeon West End 1

Max & Co (Switzerland-Belgium-France-UK 2007)
Sat 20 Oct 14:00, NFT3

Persepolis (France 2007)
Mon 29 Oct 21:00, Odeon West End 1
Wed 31 Oct 15:00, Odeon West End 2

International Animation Panorama
Sat 20 Oct 13:45, NFT2
Mon 22 Oct 14:00, NFT3

The Thread of Life (Syria 2006)
Sat 20 Oct 19:30, BFI Southbank Studio
Mon 22 Oct 13:45, NFT2

Vexille (Japan 2007)
Sat 20 Oct 23:30, Odeon West End 1
Sun 21 Oct 16:15, ICA Cinema

Yobi, the Five-Tailed Fox
Sat 20 Oct 15:30, Odeon West End 1
Tue 23 Oct 12:00, NFT2

Anti-pesto van inspiration for sale

Nick Park from Aardman Animation is kindly donating his own van to the Wallace and Gromit's Children's Foundation. This is of course no ordinary van but the one that inspired the anti-pesto van from the film the Curse of the Wererabbit. The vehicle is an International Austin A35 van which was made in 1958. Please note that this is Nick's own van, not the replica one that was shown at the premiere. Money from the sale will go to the children's foundation to improve the quality of life for those in hospitals and hospices. Previous events from the Wallace and Gromits Children's foundation include the Wrong Trousers day.

Nicks Austin Van for Sale on Ebay

"Wallace & Gromit’s Children’s Foundation is a national charity raising funds to improve the quality of life for children in hospitals and hospices throughout the UK. Serious illness is always distressing but in a child it is cruelly so as it steals away childhood itself. The Foundation funds an innovative range of projects to ensure children in hospitals and hospices have a better, brighter future."

Monday, October 15, 2007

Animation and the Environment

For those who don't know it's blog action day today, so what can animators do for the environment?

Here's my quick list:

For model animators, recycle materials and re-use old materials rather than binning them. Think about what paints are being used and how they will breakdown when disposed of.

CGI animators, think about how much energy you are using, turn off un-necesary computers when not in use.

All animators could make a film about the environment and raise awareness.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

British Animation Awards - Submissions Deadline

The British Animation Awards have just anounced that their deadline for entries into next years awards is 30th NOVEMBER 2007. This year there are a couple of new categories, New Media and Voice Performance. BAA hope that everyone won't leave it till the last minute so submit your entries now!

The winners will be shown at the BFI, South Bank, London on March 13, 2008

The entry for is downloadable in PDF or Word format from the website:

Trouble at' Mill for Wallace and Gromit

Nick Park teams up with Bob Baker co-writer for wrong trousers and close shave to make a 30 minute film called "Trouble at' Mill". The favourite Northern Team Wallace and Gromit set up a bakers with a windmill on top of the house and a collection of robotic tools to "help". Whilst they are out delivering their Top Bun - Dough to door delivery service, Wallace spots Piella Bakewell cycling past and instantly falls in love. However trouble is afoot as Gromit spots that 12 bakers have disappeared this year alone. You will have to wait to find out what happens.

Nick and team expect to take 7 to 8 months to complete the film and hence plan to release it with the BBC at the end of 2008. Nick reports that he is happier with the short film format as it allows them to keep Wallace and Gromit who they are rather than having to make adjustments to please an international audience who may not understand some of the cultural references.

If you need some help making your own Wallace and Gromit creation then you can attend a workshop at Woking's Lightbox with an Aardman model maker on 20th October and again on 17th November.

Official Wallace and Gromit Site
Manchester Evening News

Gromit to the Rescue

Monday, October 01, 2007

3D World Interviews Gerry Anderson

A fascinating interview with Gerry Anderson, covering his move from puppets to CGI, the Captain Scarlet series, his views on Team America: World Police and what's planned for the future.