Animated Features

Aardman is Hiring Assistant Animators

I rarely post jobs here on the blog because that is what job boards are for, but there is rarely a stop mo opportunity, so here it is...

TRAINEE ASSISTANT ANIMATORS - EARLY MAN

Trainee Assistant Animators wanted – Early Man
Project based contracts
We currently have a small number of Trainee Assistant Animator vacancies in our Features Animation crew. This is an excellent opportunity for anyone wanting to take the first step within the animation industry. While there may be opportunities to animate this is not envisaged as a full-time animation role. Most of the animation opportunities that do occur will be for tests rather than actual shots.
We anticipate that the contracts will range from between 6 and 12 months in length.
To apply, please send a link to your current showreel, a CV and Cover letter to jobs@aardman.com quoting ‘Trainee Assistant Animator’ in the subject
For more information on this role please see the attached job description and person specification.
Closing date for all applications is 5pm Friday 22nd July 2016

Life, Animated Official Trailer 1 (2016) - Owen Suskind Documentary HD

We all have our own wonderful memories of growing up with the animated films of Disney. Our lives have all been touched by them in one way or another, but they changed the life of a boy named Owen Suskind. He was diagnosed with autism at a young age, and these Disney movies helped him cope with the autism and helped him connect with the real world that he struggled to understand.

Today we have a trailer for a documentary called Life, Animated, which tells the story of Owen who is now in his twenties and setting out on the adventure of living on his own. His story is told through video footage from his life as well as beautifully animated sequences.

This looks like an inspiring and thoughtful film that will be worth checking out. It premiered Sundance earlier this year, but I didn’t get a chance to see it. I heard from several colleagues that the film was incredible, though. I can’t wait to check it out! Here are the full details for the doc:

From Academy Award® winning director Roger Ross Williams, LIFE, ANIMATED is the inspirational story of Owen Suskind, a young man who was unable to speak as a child until he and his family discovered a unique way to communicate by immersing themselves in the world of classic Disney animated films. This emotional coming-of-age story follows Owen as he graduates to adulthood and takes his first steps toward independence. The subject of his father Ron Suskind’s New York Times bestseller, Owen was a thriving three year old who suddenly and inexplicably went silent – and for years after remained unable to connect with other people or to convey his thoughts, feelings or desires.

Over time, through repeated viewings of Disney classics like THE LITTLE MERMAID and THE LION KING, Owen found useful tools to help him to understand complex social cues and to re-connect with the world around him.

LIFE, ANIMATED evocatively interweaves classic Disney sequences with verite scenes from Owen’s life in order to explore how his identification and empathy for characters like Simba, Jafar, and Ariel gave him a means to understand his feelings and allowed him to interpret reality. Beautiful, original animations offer rich insights into Owen’s fruitful dialogue with the Disney oeuvre as he imagines himself heroically facing adversity as a member in a tribe of sidekicks.

Owen’s story is a moving testament to the many ways in which stories can serve as a means of persevering through the dark times, leading us all toward the light.


Behind the Scenes - VFX of 'Deadpool'

The text below was written by John Fusco at No Film School

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It took the collaboration of several studios to pull off this year’s best visual effects.

Too often with recent entries into the superhero canon, it feels like we’re being ruthlessly beaten over the head by CGI effects. This year, Tim Miller’s Deadpool proved the rare exception. Watching the film, the VFX blend seamlessly into the action and go virtually unnoticed. And this wasn’t any accident.

Prior to his big screen debut in February, Miller’s day job had been running the VFX company Blur Studios with his friend and visual supervisor David Stinnett. The award-winning company is responsible for effects in projects ranging from the intergalactic sequences in Avatar, to critically acclaimed game trailers, to the abstract black-on-black opening titles inThe Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. They even worked on a Disney Marvel movie before switching over to Fox, heading up the three-minute prologue sequence that sets the stage for Thor: The Dark World.

To put it simply, Miller knew how important the quality of the VFX would be to Deadpool’s success.

Miller valued the VFX of production so much that he knew he couldn’t pull it off alone. He brought together an all-star group of visual effects vendors, including Digital Domain (X-Men: Days of Future Past, Speed Racer), Luma Pictures (Guardians of the Galaxy, Ant-Man), Rodeo FX (Game of Thrones, Pacific Rim), Ollin VFX (Her, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button), Image Engine (Jurassic World, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them), Atomic Fiction (The Walk, Stark Trek: Beyond) and Weta Digital (Batman vs. Superman, The BFG). Each of these vendors was then assigned various responsibilities while Blur Studios acted as the managerial hub. Weta, for example, was responsible for Deadpool’s face, while Atomic Fiction took on the highway chase scene in the beginning.

The studio attributes its success with the Deadpool sequence to a cloud rendering platform they developed in-house called Conductor. In an interview with Art of VFX, they explain:

“All of Atomic Fiction’s heavy rendering is done with ConductorIO, a cloud rendering platform we developed for internal use, and have since spun off as a stand-alone company. On Deadpool, 7 million core hours were rendered in the cloud. 80% of the rendering on Deadpool occurred in just 8 weeks of the 36-week schedule, with one single week accounting for about 20%. This really demonstrates how important it is to be able to scale resources up and down. Another way to look at it is that we would have needed a local render farm of around 32,000 cores to get through that one week. That’s a lot of horsepower for any size company, let alone a mid-sized studio like Atomic Fiction.”

On their company website, Atomic Fiction offers a beta version of the software which they define as “cloud rendering.”

“It encompasses the entire rendering workflow from end to end, managing uploads and downloads, queuing, security, and cloud resources with unmatched performance and efficiency,” the description reads. Some of the features include:

  • The most widely-used 2D & 3D applications supported
  • Scales massively; stays fast as workloads grow
  • Integrates into custom pipelines
  • Enterprise-grade cloud security from end to end
  • Real-time cost tracking and management
  • Automated data de-duplication for faster file transfers
  • State-of-the-art cloud technologies built in at the core level
  • Pay one all-inclusive price for what you use, by the minute
  • Improve productivity by 20%; reduce rendering costs by 50%

If you’re an aspiring VFX designer, you may want to register and check it out. For an even more intense breakdown of the highway chase scene, be sure and check out The Art of VFX’sinterview with Ryan Tudhope, Co-Founder & VFX Supervisor of Atomic Fiction.      


Tembo Environ & Character Test

Remember when Digital Domain left for Floridan Subsidies to make a CG film by having students pay to work on it.  This is one of the tests from those days. 2 minute animation, proof-of-concept test from “The Legend of Tembo,” dir. by Aaron Blaise & Chuck Williams. (Project is on HOLD with a Chinese development company who bought the rights out of bankruptcy).

Extra!!!  Aaron Blaise’s How to Draw Elephants


Zootopia Drawings

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When you make an animated film, you end up making A TON of drawings.

A lot of those drawings are just to help describe how something is constructed or how it should move.  Those drawings can get boring.  So to keep it fun, the Zootopia drawings got weirder and weirder.  Here’s some mildly weird ones.

Those drawings can get boring.  So to keep it fun, the Zootopia drawings got weirder and weirder.  Here’s some mildly weird ones.

 So to keep it fun, the Zootopia drawings got weirder and weirder.  Here’s some mildly weird ones.


Hotel Transylvania 2 - Cloth Simulation

Even though this is a cloth sim demo, the poses are outrageous to really test the cloth and a great study for any animator wanting to push poses off model and still get appeal!


The Little Prince - Trailer

In a strange turn of events for The Little Prince, Paramount has dropped the CG, stop-motion animated film one week before its scheduled U.S. release on March 18.
Director Mark Osborne confirmed the news in a statement on Twitter: “Many thanks to everyone for the outpouring of love and support in these strange times. As it turns out, the much anticipated U.S. release of this special and unique film will have to be anticipated just a little bit more.”

He continued, “All I can say is [The Little Prince] will in fact be released by another distributor later this year. Until then, head to Canada! The film opens there in wide release this weekend!”

Paramount did not immediately respond to EW’s request for comment.

The Little Prince is an adaptation of the 1943 children’s book by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. The story follows a pilot who meets a young boy while stranded in the desert, and the film features both CG and stop-motion animation. Watch the trailer below.


The Nimble Collective

This concept is the future for all animators, makers, and creators.

Check out the podcast by Tracy Chabala at Smashd to understand how Nimble Collective proposes one platform mastered on the cloud will help you make your next film.


~Via Smashd BY | MARCH 2, 2016

The startup Nimble Collective wants to hook you up with studio-grade animation applications in the cloud.


First Woman to Win the Oscar for Visual Effects in the 86-Year-History of the Category

Ex Machina won the Academy Award for visual effects. The award was shared by Andrew Whitehurst, Paul Norris, Mark Ardington, and Sara Bennett. Bennettt is a co-founder of Milk VFX, which provided the film’s vfx along with Double Negative, Utopia, and Web FX. She is only the third woman ever nominated in the category, and the first woman to win the Oscar for visual effects in the 86-year-history of the category, which was earlier labelled the special effects category.

The last woman who was nominated in the visual effects category was Pamela Easley for her work on the 1993 movie Cliffhanger. ~via Cartoon Brew

As a friend put it so eloquently, "Not only is she the first female for VFX win, but she beat out Star Wars."


Floyd Norman

Floyd Norman Documentary - Sneak Peek

Floyd Norman Documentary - Sneak Peek - www.MichaelFioreFilms.com from Michael Fiore Films on Vimeo.

Floyd is one of thsoe special people you meet working in animation.  He contributed many editorial cartoons for my book - Thinking Animation, and co-wrote the Introduction.  I can't wait to see this full documentary about Floyd Norman.


Find Out How FX Experts Created Mars in The Martian

"Luckily the folks at MPC know how to science the shit out of VFX." ~ LOL


La Noria - Carlos Baena

La Noria IndieGogo Video - Carlos Baena

La Noria IndieGogo Video from Carlos Baena on Vimeo.
 

Carlos Baena, left Pixar Animation Studios to create his own short film, La Noria.

Baena’s been hard at work with his team for the last three years. Carlos and his team intend to finish the film in 2016 and need your help.

Click here to jump to their crowd funding campaign.


The Adventures of Prince Achmed.

The Adventures of Prince Achmed

There is a general mistake that Walt Disney made the first full-length animation - Snow White. The truth is, the first feature-length animation was created by a woman named Lotte Reiniger called The Adventures of Prince Achmed.

It's one of my favorite films