Wednesday, July 31, 2013

CGAA One-A-Day: Journey To Journey

Another exuberant synesthetic animation from my latest animation squeeze, Oerd van Cuijlenborg - his music video for Miho Hazama. Van Cuijlenborg is an admirer of Norman Mclaren - and here his influence can be felt very keenly.  

SIGGRAPH 2013 Anaheim, CA : Diaries : Day 06

Day 06, Monday

Figure 01. Sporting our new work shirts - the vests have gone for good - Thanks Dreamworks! :)
Making friends - fabulous people. Adam here is a fellow Animator studying at Full Sail.

Figure 02. SV Swag
Some goodies just for us student volunteers

Today was my first shift during the conference, I was assigned to the studio for the week - that's where all the hands-on Fun happens! So I explored what things were taking place there and decided to help out the stand where there were lenticular animation cards being created - involving fancy dress props, cameras, printers and lenticular making. The guy also had an interactive graffiti wall, where he had a screen with rear projection and spray cans modified with light sensors to signal where the pixels were to be sprayed onto the screen. It was really interesting learning the processes.

Figures 3&4
My first 2 image lenticular card (I didn't know what I was posing for when I had these done!) 

Figure 05. An attendee having fun painting over his own picture, he was taking it so seriously too!
I took a photo of him and his partner, then showed them how to load it as their background and let him spray away.... They loved it, and I printed it out for them after.

The company is, and I worked with Raleigh, Director of Smiles.

After my shift, it was time for the Grand Opening of the SIGGRAPH Computer Animation Festival,

It was fabulous!

Figure 06. The Arena - Set up for the Animation Festival

There were so many great animations screened in this festival I'd like to make a separate post for them.

Figure 07. Photo Area

After the film screenings there was a huge 'Networking Desert Reception' outside, sponsored by disney with some weird sweet things to eat while you network with all the big companies - and little ones of course.

Dessert Menu :

1 - California Cheeses, Honeycomb Dried-Fruit, Cheese Tortes, Crackers & Assorted Breads, & Hot/Cold Savory Dips (Sinach Artichoke, Classic Fontina Fondue & Onion Dip)

2 - Popcorn & Candy Trail Mix Bar (M&M's, Roasted Peanuts & Cashews, Mini Mashmallows, Gummy Bears, etc.)

3 - Mini Desert Pizzas (Smore, Fruit, Apple & Salted Caramel), Variety of Cakes (Carrot, German Chocolate & Marble)

4 - Brownie Pops (Chocolate, Blondie, Turtle & Cheesecake on a stick with Dipping Sauces: White Chocolate, Raspberry & Caramel), Variety of Rice Krispie Treats.

5 - Make Your Own Dessert Nachos (Cinnamon Chips, Fruit, Chocolate Drizzle & Whip Cream), Warm Zeppoli Donuts

6 - Dip & Dot Ice Cream Stations, Cotton Candy (Strawberry, Lime, Orange & Bacon)

7 - Bars!

Figure 08. Cooking bacon for the Candy Floss!

Figure 09. The red carpet to the Animation Festival + Popcorn

Figure 10. Make your own Desert Nachos

Figure 11. Brownie Pops / Rice Krispie Treats

Figure 12. Me and Jan Philipp Emanuel "Hi JJ!' :D

Figure 13. Mixed Sweets

Figure 14. Patrick (New friend from Germany) with his surprise birthday cake

Figure 15. Our Full Conference Badges - Today I was also given a pink ribbon to attach to it which has brains written on it, these are given in special circumstances, so I asked what mine was for - the exact words were : ''For being Awesome!''
Thanks Derek! My Team Leader

Figure 16. Bacon Flavour Candy Floss

Figure 17. Adam - Yes it does

Figure 18. Disney Networking Cards - set of 9

The purpose of this party was to let everybody network in one place at one time, a way they hoped to increase the networking was by giving a pack of 9 cards to each person,  each pack had 9 exact cards in and the purpose was to swap by networking to collect the set of 9. This did wonders for communication. We were talking to guys from Pixar, Blizzard Sony Pictures Animation and SO, SO many cool people.

After all that networking I was knackered but hungry... I wasn't in the mood for sweet stuff so I walked with my friend Adam to get some Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner all at the same time at a 24h IHOP.... did the trick. It's pretty evident in the picture I was in need of sleep.

Figure 19. Need Sleep

Figure 20. Some food

CGAA One-A-Day: Love & Theft

A good friend of mine showed this to me, I'm not sure if it's been posted up before but I was entranced and just had to share it with everybody!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

SIGGRAPH 2013 Anaheim, CA : Diaries : Day 05

Day 05, Sunday

Figure 01. Breakfast

I know my previous posts have been pretty much picture filled with little text, but these were the pre-conference shifts, now for the main event!

Today I walked around the conference on it's first open day, saw some great stuff, spoke to some interesting people, swapped business cards, and networked - which I will elaborate on in other posts.

In the afternoon there were some really cool events just for us SVs (Student Volunteers), the first being a few guys from Blizzard to talk about what it's like to work at Blizzard Entertainment and how they got into the industry...

Figure 02. Blizzard logo

'Journey inside the iron gates of Blizzard Entertainment and engage directly with some of the creative forces responsible for the cinematics of the World of Warcraft, Diablo and StarCraft franchises'

Clip 01. World of Warcraft : Mists of Pandaria Cinematic Trailer

We were screened some cinematic trailers of they're recent work, then the details began.

➤ The mediator for this talk was Scott Campbell

He is currently Art Recruiter at Blizzard Entertainment.
His previous roles include ;

- Recruiting Supervisor at Walt Disney Animation Studios and Disney Research
- Senior Recruiter at The Walt Disney Studios
- Senior Recruiter at Digital Domain, and
- Contract Recruiter at Lucas Digital (ILM, Skywalker Sound)

Education : BS, Political Science - Santa Clara University

➤ Marc Messenger - Project Director

Figure 03. Marc Messenger

Marc's current role is Senior Cenematic Artist at Blizzard Entertainment, previous to this he has 21 years experience as a self employed Illustrator / Storyboard Artist.

Education : Film - Chapman University

➤ Jeff Chamberlain - VFX Supervisor

Figure 04. Jeff Chamberlain

Jeff is currently a Lead Cinematic Artist at Blizzard Entertainment.
Education : James Madison University.

➤ Mike Kelleher - CG Supervisor

Figure 05. Mike Kelleher

Mike Kelleher is currently a CG Supervisor at Activation Blizzard.

Previous roles include;
FX Supervisor at Blizzard Entertainment
Technical Director at The Orphanage
Lead TD at Renkewitz Studios.

Education : BS, music - Indiana University Bloomington

I've listed a little bit of information about each speaker to show the diversity of backgrounds and how they each worked their way up to the roles they are currently occupying.

Blizzard are currently hiring.... so if you're interested - APPLY!
Full-time opportunities - Here
Summer Internships and University Relations - Here

After this interesting talk about Blizzard and the people behind the work coming from this studio, we had another treat!

Figure 06. Pixar Logo

Our next special guest speaker was the Director of Pixar's new short film - The Blue Umbrella!

Clip 02. Snippet of the new Pixar Short - The Blue Umbrella

Saschka Unseld - Director of Pixar's The Blue Umbrella

Figure 07. Saschka Unseld

This short film is currently accompanying the screenings of Monsters University in cinemas.

Saschka Unseld is from Germany and studied at Filmakademie Baden - Württemberg.

On Sunday afternoon (21st July 2013) we were excited to sit down in a small room with a handfull of SVs for this exclusive insider talk by Saschka Unseld, the newest of the Disney Pixar Short Film Directors. We were shown a screening of the short film 'The Blue Umbrella' followed by an indepth breakdown of how the project proceeded.

It all started when Saschka was walking along the street one day and saw an umbrella that was broken and had been discarded upon the curb-side. It was one of those moments (every artist should know what I mean) when you see something and you suddenly wonder what the backstory of this now inanimate object had been. So he took a photo of this broken umbrella that he had felt so sad for (he showed us the picture), stored it away in his memory for any future inspiration and continued with his journey.

While Unseld was working away at Pixar, he decided to pitch an idea to John Lasseter thinking why not... everybody working there can pitch ideas for a potential film. He explained to us that in order for a film to be pitched to Pixar, three ideas must be available and each idea presented to John Lasseter, then if Lasseter likes any of these ideas the best one will be selected to take further.

Unself then went on to show us the stages of the short film, previous inspiration, storyboards, animatics,  pre-viz and then the final stage for each clip selected to show the progression. Following this he presented to us his pitch, exactly how he presented it to Lasseter to show us how things can change during the making of a film from pitch to final product and how some things might not have worked if they hadn't been run through the team so many times and solved in a better way.

Following this brilliant walk through of The Blue Umbrella film, he offered up a chance for Questions and Answers, and as there was nothing else scheduled for after this event he freely said it doesn't matter how many questions, we're in no rush so I'll answer them all. 2 hours after the talk was supposed to end we came out of that room full of answers and inspiration from this very nice guy.

Then after that was dinner and drinks (Mojitos that for some reason became stronger each round).... healthy ;)

Figure 08. Dinner

Calling All TV Fans! 'Gogglebox'

I got this call out today and I thought some of you might be interested!

"Do you have strong and entertaining opinions about the television programmes you watch? If so email or call our information line on 07739 990784"

CGAA One-A-Day: An Abstract Day

I really enjoyed this - and couldn't help but recall our own recent explorations in sound and image; Oerd van Cuijlenborg's An Abstract Day, a simple enough story of a day in the life of a couple; they f**k, have a row, and then escape the heat and noise of the city for the countryside - but it's hugely atmospheric and a visual delight.

Monday, July 29, 2013

CGAA One-A-Day: Yankale (1995)

Yankale by Gil Alkabetz is a wonderfully spare exploration of the infantalising effects of apron-strings and a warning too against living a life of habit and routine; watch, for example, for the transition between the 'crowd of hats' and the graveyard... chilling! 

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Laika's "The Box Trolls": Promoting all types of families

I was very happy to see an upcoming animated film trailer promoting all types of families.

"We know that TV shows and films can both influence and reflect the changing tide of public opinion on controversial issues. So, a trailer showing all different types of families as totally acceptable? Win.
By the way, the progressive, times-they-are-a-changin' bit occurs in the first 30 seconds." 

Link here

Thursday, July 25, 2013

SIGGRAPH 2013 Anaheim, CA : Diaries : Day 04

Day 04, Saturday

Figure 01. Breakfast

Figure 02. Pre-Conference Sketching on tables, Ashley on the left decided to draw all of us on the table and so we took a group picture, pretty fun really.

Figure 03. The new Cintiq's for CG Art & Animation... ;)

Figure 04. After all the computers for Intel were installed and the system set up the test run begins

Figure 05. Student Volunteer Orientation, this was great fun, while waiting for everyone to arrive we were thrown 3 Massive beach balls and music was pumped into the room. (JJ if you see this - Yes that's Phil standing up :P  )

Figure 06. Student Volunteer and Team Leader Group Shot. This photo shoot was arranged indoors, and the thought that daylight would be running out did not occur in the planning process, so it's almost impossible to distinguish who is who but it's a nice looking photo anyway.

Figure 07. Dinner... Pizza, and I persuaded a friend to try Calamari for the first time in his life.

Figure 08. Anaheim Convention Centre

Figure 09. Anaheim Convention Centre

Figure 10. Anaheim Convention Centre

SIGGRAPH 2013 Anaheim, CA : Diaries : Day 03

Day 03. Friday

So it was first day meeting my fellow SVs, and it didn't take long before we were all laughing and joking as if we had known each other for ages. Everyone here is genuinely nice, a bunch of geeks that love what we do.

Figure 01. The Monsters University Geek Squad

In the lobby of the Hilton Hotel Anaheim there is a life-size Mike & Sully, I'm sure this won't be the only pictures we pose for here. We are 5 of the Studio Set-up SV team from America, England, France & Germany.

Figure 02. 

We each need one of these Cintiqs for our course - *Phil* wink wink

Figure 03. Lunch, I'm sure you can guess what this 

Figure 04

How many students does it take to install a big ass printer? About this many it seemed :)

Figure 05. Patrick with Byron's 3D Printed Robot (Painted to look like rustic metal - and it did!)

Figure 06. 

After our pre-conference shift we all got to know each other a little better by going for a walk and finding somewhere for dinner. In here we have a mix of people from England, America, Russia/Australia, Poland, Germany, New Zealand and Canada, everybody in this picture is from a different country and brought together for creativity.

Figure 07. That's a new one... enjoy your food - a sign in the lobby of The Cheesecake Factory

Figure 08. 

Figure 09. Left to Right- Me, Adam, Tim, Marie, Mauricio, Daga, Anastasia (and Patrick took the photo)

Figure 10. Crispy Chicken Costoletta
(Chicken Breast Lightly Breaded and Sautéed to a Crisp Golden Brown. Served with Lemon Sauce, Mashed Potatoes and Fresh Asparagus.)

Figure 11. Lemon Drop Shots (Which were the equivalent size of a normal drink in the UK)

Figure 12. Bubba Gump

Figure 13. 

I went to the shop for water and when I got back it felt like I was walking into the music video of Moby. Not really sure what everyone was doing apart from posing like Kung Fu Panda.