Computer Animation

Ever since Pixar’s Toy Story brought CG animation to the mainstream and dropped everyone’s jaws with the amazing visuals that the process makes possible, traditional, hand-drawn animation has taken a serious backseat. Which makes sense, because the last couple decades of animated movies have used computers to push the artistry of these films to places that never seemed possible before. But hand-drawn animation has its charms, and is still very versatile in how it can be used, so it would be a shame if it went completely extinct in the wake of all the new computer whatsits. Disney has recently tried to keep the art form alive with releases like The Princess and the Frog and Winnie the Pooh, but those films largely failed to find the commercial success of most of the modern CG releases. Could it be possible that today’s children just don’t want to go see a movie that looks hand-crafted and old-fashioned? Or have moviemakers just not found the right vehicle with which to have old-school animation make its triumphant return? DreamWorks Animation seems to be willing to bet that the old way of doing things isn’t dead, and they may have found the best possible way to reintroduce hand-drawn work to a new generation of film fans. The studio’s next project, Me and My Shadow, will blend traditional animation with the more modern stuff. Over on the film’s Facebook page (found via ComingSoon) they’ve posted its first bit of concept art, as well as an […]

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The Best Short Films

Why Watch? In 1988, Pixar’s Tin Toy won the Oscar for Best Animated Short. The studio’s history after that is well known, but one of the shorts that it beat out for gold was just about as symbolic as you could ask for. Technological Threat, from Brian Jennings and Bill Kroyer, was a blend of rudimentary computer animation and hand-drawn traditional that told the story of computers taking over all the artist jobs. It predicted the future the very year that it started coming to pass. The movie itself is an homage to Tex Avery-style cartoons, with dogs in suits trying desperately to draw while burdened by exhaustion, sneezing fits, and a need to stay hydrated. The robots, of course, don’t face the same problems, and as the room fills up with them, one dog fights back. Of course, unlike the story, there was no beating the tide of computer animation, making this a bizarre historical object and a hand-drawn crystal ball. Plus, it was nice of them to thank Brad Bird in the credits. What will it cost? Only 4 minutes. Skip Work. You’ve Got Time For More Short Films.

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Officially Cool

Some people say that humans that are animated should be merely caricatures of humans, not mirror replicas. This is a video explaining the visual effects company, Image Metrics. Watch, and I will catch you after the video…

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