Caught this yesterday and forgot to post it. Jeff Gabor posted two quicktimes. First, a 4-screen breakdown of several character animations for the latest Ice Age movie: Reference, Blocking (rough animation), Splining (model refinements), and Lighting. The other is an evolution reel, from rough poses all the way through final polish.
They’re large quicktimes, so be warned, but it’s worth the wait to get a small glimpse at how complex 3D scenes are built. All too often, it seems animators and designers want to jump right in and work on the final product, skipping steps. This is a reminder that as with nearly everything, it’s best to start from a general, big picture perspective, then refine as you go along.
[via Motionographer & someone on Twitter, but couldn’t find it anymore]
Nike’s recent site update is amazing. I believe all the video was show on a Canon 5D MkII, as well. This is definitely the way video should be handled for branding. This is one of the first times I’ve seen a site use video as a design element of the page instead of just providing a player somewhere. Nicely done.
ProLost has an interesting idea for an iPhone software/accessory. As you may have heard today, Apple had a press event to discuss the upcoming iPhone 3.0 software. One of the features is the ability to access devices through the dock connector. Imagination went wild:
The idea is that someone could manufacture an HDMI-to-Dock Connector accessory to monitor footage in the field. (I love the addition of lens settings & RGB waveform, by the way.)
However, while I don’t want to rain on anyone’s parade, I’m pretty sure this isn’t quite possible. I doubt the iPhone hardware is capable of crunching HD video. But perhaps that hardware accessory itself could crunch the video down to iPod friendly 480×360 h.264 video on the fly? With the ability for the on-screen controls to send commands to the accessory to show pixel-pixel video (with paning, of course) for a focus aide?
Actually, hot damn! That does sound like an awesome idea!
Think Tetris, but upside-down, with letters. That’s the best way I can think to describe KERN (App Store), a new game for the iPhone. From the site:
KERN is a minimalist typography experience challenging you to precisely place a missing letter into a falling word while avoiding any unnecessary ligatures! Practice and prove your typographical acumen with a score that gives new meaning to point-size!
The design is beautifully minimal and well thought out. It’s also easy to pick up and well worth the $0.99, even if your not into typography. I think this might be my new go-to game.
So it turns out that commercials might not be such a bad thing. A recent study published in the Journal of Consumer Research shows that test groups enjoyed a tv show more when there were commercials inserted.
In one experiement, two test groups were shown an episode of Taxi; one with commercials, the other without. The group who viewed the show with commercials enjoyed the show much more. According to the author, the theory is that commercials provide a contrast to the show. At each commercial break, the viewer is reminded that that show they were watching is much better by comparison.
I have a different theory, one that the Freakonomics blog shares: TV shows are written and edited with commercial breaks in mind. Some shows like Arrested Development and The Office make great use of the few moments right before those breaks. When watching those shows on DVD (while still great) the breaks suddenly seem slightly awkward. In other shows such as Lost or Heroes, the commercial breaks can give viewers a time to talk with others about what they just saw, theories they have about the show, or what they think will happen next.
Freakonomics sums it up nicely:
Filmmakers don’t seem to need commercial breaks to keep audiences interested. Or could Sam Mendes have pushed his Revolutionary Road into a Golden Globe for best drama by chopping it up with a few well-timed words from his sponsors?
An amazing stop-motion piece by Apt Studio & Asylum Films for the Fourth Estate (blog) 25th anniversary. The attention to detail and simpe (yet encompassing) aesthetic have me watching it several times and still seeing something new.