Ah, another non-nerd related post. Hmm... wait, it takes place in L.A. ... Hollywood! There you go, connection made.
I'm hoping that this is fake, I really want it to be fake. Then again, people nowadays...
In case it doesn't load, check out the beautiful parenting here.
Thursday, May 31, 2007
Ah, another non-nerd related post. Hmm... wait, it takes place in L.A. ... Hollywood! There you go, connection made.
That's the camera they use for the Street Level Maps. Head over to BoingBoing for more info about it.
Love the people's reactions!
Check out dvdactive for the rest.
- 2. Darth Maul gets his lightsaber out
- Meet Joe Black was a very lucky movie. It was lucky enough to have the first theatrical trailer for Episode I showing before it and attracted plenty of Star Wars fans, eager to see any footage available of their most eagerly-awaited movie. Probably the most memorable image from the trailer was that of Sith badass Darth Maul taking out his lightsaber and lighting it up. But wait a minute—it’s got two blades!
- At that moment every fan’s imagination was all aflutter, dreaming of what could happen next. What does happen next is one of the most energetic lightsaber duels in the whole saga and the only complaint I have with the whole scene is that we kiss goodbye to one of the best baddies in the series and without a doubt the coolest Sith lord in the whole prequel trilogy. The acrobatics and choreography set the tone for the fight sequences in the rest of the trilogy and easily maintains audience attention while the young Skywalker is gooning around in a spaceship.
Great observation by Keith Lango about the lack of prop usage in modern animated features. His post starts with a quote from Mark Mayerson's blog:
- One thing this sequence excels at is the use of stage business. In too many modern animated films, characters stand around yakking with nothing else to do. The animator is stuck trying to find arm gestures and head bobs that go with the dialog. In this sequence, Stromboli is working with a prop in almost every scene and using the prop to perform specific actions.
- Everything at the studio was a struggle. For instance, they didn't want to do a commentary track cause they felt it wouldn't help sales. I didn't have it in me to fight anymore. Whatever." He also notes "Niko, my friend who did the doc on the DVD came up with a novel idea. We recorded a commentary track ourselves. We're gonna post it on a site soon, http coming soon.
more @ cinematical
Gizmodo has a great collection of the "Gates vs. Jobs" videos. There are some great moments in there, definitely a must-watch!
You can read the whole thing @ aintitcool
The thing that really had me awed though is the transformations. When one of the robots transforms mid movement is looks incredible. Barricade (a Decepticon police cruiser) is first to do it, chasing Bumblebee and Shia in robot form and transforming into his car form in mid-stride. There are more instances in the non-stop action finale - the best of them being Starscream mif-flight transformation to land in robot form and enter a fray. These are the moments that really took me, that transported me back into my 10-year-old self. I got so excited by it. As I say I probably haven't been genuinely excited by watching a blockbuster since The Matrix. It was a feeling I remember having for Jedi as a kid, Batman and T2 as a teenager. I'm not saying Transformers is as good as T2 but it was a real surprise. It has plot weaknesses and some shakey performances but it is hugely entertaining both in the frequent battle set pieces, whether human vs robot or robot vs robot, and in the Shia LaBeouf moments. Even some of the comedy (Optimus trying to hide behind a house he's twice the size of) worked for me (although my friend this scene a little over the top). But that's just it, like the first Pirates movie it is the over-the-topness combined with great set pieces and superb special effects that make it so enjoyable and help you see past the flaws. I'm sure those more invested in the 80s show will have issues with things I either didn't notice or don't get (why is flames on Optimus a big deal? - though I get the Optimus mouth thing, that was weird) but then that's like comic-book movies to me, I never read them so I don't care if Venom's a great or sucky character in Spider-Man I just want to be entertained for a couple of hours. Transformers did that for me. Best of this years crop so far (not that the disappointing Spider-Man 3, dull At World's End or abyssmal Shrek the Third set the bar high mind you!) by a long way.
found @ Kotaku
F/x house tackles four summer tentpoles
By DAVID S. COHEN
If a movie star were to topline four summer tentpoles for four different studios, all opening within a couple of months of each other, the industry would be both amazed and aghast.
But that's pretty much the situation in which f/x house Industrial Light & Magic finds itself this season.
ILM is lead shop or a major contributor to four of the summer's biggest tentpoles, all opening between Memorial Day and late July: Disney's "Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End," Universal's "Evan Almighty," DreamWorks' "Transformers" and Warner Bros.' "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix." The effort has to be one of the most prodigious technical accomplishments in the history of the biz.
you can read the rest of the article @ Variety
The History Channel will have another screening of "Star Wars: The Legacy Revealed" on June 3rd.
You can see tons of cips here.
Head over to laika.com for a "sort of" making-of of "Moongirl". Of of of...
- A whimsical, sassy, behind-the-scenes romp that speaks buckets about the good-natured folks at LAIKA. A film by Nick Childs and Paul Diener Edited by Christopher Murrie
found @ Cg-char
d5.allthingsd.com has a video about our boss and Jim Ward talking about their new technology. It shows the Euphoria sim system and goes back to Lucas talking about more tech stuff. I like the woman asking: "Do you still need animators?"
And then it cuts right when it gets interesting...
At least there is a transcript of the rest.
Check out theforce.net for their summary of starwars.com's Visual Guide. The picture below is from chapter 5: Vader confronts the Princess.
Did you know that it takes 10-14 days for your body to adjust to warm
weather exercise? Be especially cautious not to overdo it during this
period. Drink fluids before, during and after exercise. Wear light
colored, loose clothing. And most importantly, listen to your body!
Wednesday, May 30, 2007
- An icon of 1980s skateboarding, Jim Phillips's screaming hand illustration has been revived in urban vinyl.
- available on June 7 for $150.
NOT so cool.
Not exactly nerdy, but the picture is just cool. Looks like this tiger loves to swim around.
Thanks JV for the heads-up!!
JV Pixar has an update, with pix from the Wall-E Poster and a full body pic of the character.
H.R. Giger would be proud. Found @ Boingboing
I hope JV Pixar is on your bookmarks list, because that's my #1 stop for all things Pixar. Head over there for a two page interview with Patton Oswalt and a link to movieweb's behind-the-scenes video "Getting into Character".
For the lazy ones, here it is:
Katzenberg says that the Shrek storyline will end with Shrek 5.
- “It’s a finite story, has been from the beginning and I think that’s part of its integrity, part of its strength, that we’re not thinking this up as we go,”
found @ Animated News
I know, who will get a kick out of these except me... But come on, it's awesome! Found @ Swissmiss, it's about www.ahnsinn.com (which is a word play thingie: wahnsinn meaning insanity), which hosts via youtube TONS of tv show intros. Why? Because it's awesome since I grew up with these. Some of them will have lyrics in German, some of them won't (like 21 Jump Street).
And of course:
found @ Swissmiss. Head over there for the full effect of this animated 3D Multiple Lens Photograph.
That's what Dark Horizons is reporting. Marcus Schenkenberg is a former underwear model, so we know he will look good as a naked Terminator. He also mentioned that Arnold will have a 30 second cameo in Terminator 4.
Kotaku got new screens of Links' DS adventure "Phantom Hourglass". SWEET!
Since Grindhouse didn't do so well, the future of Sin City 2 doesn't look so bright. That's what Dark Horizons says.
Ok with me, I didn't like SC 1 anyway. It felt too much like a student film, with everything being trapped inside a blue/green-screen set.
Wow, and I thought I was grumpy. Go check out "Your Pal Randy". Randall J. Krandell is an animator currently working at Sony and on his site he comments on all kinds of stuff. But be warned, he doesn't hold back and is very upfront. And right about many things in my opinion. But that's because I'm turning into a grumpy old man...
Check out his archives, tons of good stuff. I wonder what happened between 2001 and 2006...
Kinda cool, but I'd be afraid of this thing falling down. But you can swivel the feet so that it rests on a table for instance.
Funny how the iron matches colorwise.
Gizmodo has more info about it.
Ok, enough is enough. They have shown so much footage already! You would think that Michael Bay and whoever is involved in his movies learned from the retarded "The Island" trailer (which showed EVERYTHING - being slightly less bad than the "Cast Away" trailer), but I guess not. So go ahead, show as much as you can in the trailer and tv spots, so that there will be no more surprise. And then they wonder why the box office is not what they were expecting it to be.
Yep, another grumpy rant... Maybe I should stop checking out Dvorak in the morning...
Oh well. So be warned, spoilers ahead. If you don't care, head over to AICN for the new "Transformers" spot.
Improve your performance in tennis with the right kind of weight
training. For many players, using moderate weight and more repetitions
to strengthen muscles is a good approach. Strength training can help
prevent injury. It can also help speed and agility. These make you
quick and powerful on the court.
Tuesday, May 29, 2007
Cool Minority Report style technology. Watch the video for the demo of it.
found @ Gizmodo and Engadget
Good/scary article @ Variety
- If the visual effects industry had its way, the Disney tentpole that sailed into theaters May 25 might have been named "Pirates of the Caribbean: At Wits' End."
- Industrial Light & Magic topper Chrissie England, who's seen many blockbusters come through her shop, calls the editing/post-production race to the pic's delivery deadline "about the scariest thing I've ever seen." The film's vfx supervisor, John Knoll, calls it "a freakin' miracle" that the film was done on time.
- One producer, according to a story making the rounds of vfx shops, is reported to have said, "If I don't put a visual effects shop out of business (on my movie), I'm not doing my job."
"Pirates" helmer Gore Verbinski was working nearly around the clock to cut the film and had to lock some reels before other reels were even edited. This has become common practice on action-adventure films.
"He never had the chance to run the movie for a test audience, reflect on it and make adjustments," Knoll says.
Worse, says de Faria, producers aren't just asking for the "War of the Worlds" sked.
"What I'm hearing now is 'Can you do the '300' budget?" he says, referring to the modestly budgeted all-greenscreen sword-and-sandals pic.
Cool Making-of book about the Pirates trilogy.
Bring Me That Horizon: Pirates of the Caribbean - The Making of the Swashbuckling Movie Trilogy
It drives me nuts when a movie makes over $100 million in one week-end and it's considered a disappointment. Do those suits really believe that you can make $200 million in one week-end? It has to stop somewhere, there are only so many theaters and so many people.
Now it seems, according to Jim Hill, that the Disney people are trying to lower the expectations of Pixar's Ratatouille. You'll be faced with gems like these:
- "You know that 'Ratatouille' isn't really a Brad Bird movie, right ? That Brad just did what he could with a Jan Pinkava film that was already going down in flames. But because 'Rats' 's settings had already been chosen and the characters had already been designed, this wasn't so much a movie as it was a rescue mission. And given that 'Ratatouille' still had to be ready to roll into theaters in just 18 months time, there was only so much that Brad could do."
Oh yeah! My nerd-watch dreams are hitting an all time high!
Check out the SMS Technology M500 Wristwatch Phone.
- water resistant
- Quadband GSM phone
-color touch screen
-mp3 and mp4 player
- Bluetooth 2.0
- crappy 128MB built-in memory
- showstopping $820
found @ Gizmodo
Animated-News via Coming Soon reports that there will be an hour long episode of Family Guy about Star Wars.
Yahoo Movies has 8 clips from Sony's upcoming "Sur's Up" animated feature. It's funny how it's still called a documentary, even though it looks more like 20% doc, 80% normal feature style (with shaky cam).
Either way, I still really want to see it.
Found @ Animated-News
Starwars.com updated its look and has also a trailer to the upcoming cg tv show "Clone Wars".
Epic movies nowadays are getting really long and it's hurting the entertainment factor most of the times. So it's good to hear that the latest Harry Potter movie will be the shorter. "Only" 138 minutes. As Dark Horizons points out:
- To give you an idea of comparison - both 'Stone' and 'Azkaban' were 142 mins, 'Goblet of Fire' was 157 mins and 'Chamber' was 161mins.
Christopher Nolan is using Imax cameras to shoot flashback scenes of the Joker (explaining his origins). You can see two photos from that shoot over @ Dark Horizons. Again, spoiler images.
ActRaiser™ (SNES®, 1 player, 800 Wii Points):
A masterpiece of game design originally released in the early days of the Super Nintendo Entertainment System®, ActRaiser’s enduring popularity stems from its revolutionary combination of action- and simulation-based game play. The user plays the role of the Master, a dethroned deity whose once-idyllic world has fallen under the control of the Evil One. Stripped of godly power, the Master must somehow put an end to the Evil One’s reign and rebuild his desolate realm. Game play alternates between two modes: Action and Simulation. In Action mode, the Master must battle against impossible odds to pacify six lands. Pacifying a land unlocks Simulation mode. In this mode, the Master must oversee the development and repopulation of the territory he has reclaimed. In doing so, he will gain followers who gradually restore his godly might, empowering him to take back the next land and, ultimately, defeat the Evil One.
Kid Chameleon™ (Sega Genesis, 1-2 players, 800 Wii Points):
The local arcade is packed with kids, all lining up to play the latest, most realistic videogame they’ve ever seen. It’s called Wild Side, and it uses holographic images to immerse the player in a strange world. But there’s a problem… Kids are literally getting sucked into the game, and now several of them are trapped.Throughout more than 100 levels, you’ll take on several different forms, such as a Berzerker, a Micromax, a Maniaxe or a Skycutter, which will make you much more powerful. It’s up to you, Kid Chameleon, the best gamer in town, to getyourself inside the game so that you can defeat the game’s boss and bring your friends back to reality.
J.J. & JEFF (TurboGrafx16, 1 player, 600 Wii Points):
This comical action game features two bungling detectives, J.J. and JEFF, as they travel through a total of six fields. One day, a request comes into their office to take a case that requires them to “rescue a wealthy man who’s been kidnapped.” Choose between the two characters and set off alone to outwit your partner and save the day. Each field is broken down into four areas, where enemies, as well as your partner, will try to keep you from your goal. There are many items throughout each area. Kick around in various locations to make them appear.Jump and spray-paint your way toward your goal. If you find a hidden room, youcan regain health while being completely entertained by its short sketch and surreal allure.
"Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End" hardly marks an end.
With the latest in Walt Disney Co.'s lucrative series reaping an unprecedented $401 million globally in its debut through the Memorial Day weekend, the question of whether there will be a fourth installment has effectively been answered.
Sure, producer Jerry Bruckheimer is coy, saying he and his mates need a break. But he already has rights to a book that could end up as another installment.
Star Johnny Depp? He hasn't promised another voyage, but he clearly loves the flamboyant, irreverent Jack Sparrow character, telling one interviewer: "As long as you're doing it for the right reasons, why not?"
In today's Hollywood, blockbuster franchises function almost as independent corporations that, once up and running, can't easily be mothballed. Which is why another "Pirates" is pretty much a given.
more @ L.A. Times
- Invading more screens (11,000-plus) and theaters (4,362) than any picture before it, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End drew a hearty estimated $142.1 million over the four-day Memorial Day weekend for a $156.1 million total including Thursday night previews.
found @ boxofficemojo
Gizmodo has a cool post on a real-life transforming Optimus Prime costume. NERDS!
Yoga strengthens both mind and body. An effective instructor will
improve your yoga experience. Find a teacher who regularly practices
yoga. They should also have had formal training in anatomy and
physiology. The best and safest teachers can make adjustments for
special medical conditions such as low back pain.
Research has found that women who steadily gain weight through
adulthood increase their risk for getting breast cancer after
menopause. Minimize your risk. Choose healthful foods, participate in
regular exercise and maintain a healthy weight into your golden years.
If you are looking for home exercise equipment, the Federal Trade
Commission recommends choosing equipment that gives you a full-body
workout. Be skeptical about outrageous claims. If it sounds too good
to be true, it probably is.
While you are exercising, your muscles may get tight, sore or even
painful. Some types of pain are okay, others bad. "Good pain" usually
occurs evenly on both sides of the body. It tends to disappear quickly
after you cool down. "Bad pain" is usually worse on one side,
becomes increasingly more severe during the workout and remains after
you stop moving.
Friday, May 25, 2007
Butt action going on, so for NSFW explicit viewing, click here.
Variety, May 25, 1977
By A.D Murphy
20th Century-Fox. Director George Lucas; Producer Gary Kurtz; Screenplay George Lucas; Camera Gilbert Taylor; Editor Paul Hirsch, Marcia Lucas, Richard Chew; Music John Williams; Art Director John Barry. Reviewed at 20th-Fox Studios, L.A., May 19, 1977 (MPAA rating: PG).
Luke Skywalker - Mark Hamill
Han Solo - Harrison Ford
Princess Organa - Carrie Fisher
Grand Moff Tarkin - Peter Cushing
Ben Kenobi - Alec Guinness
C3PO - Anthony Daniels
R2D2 - Kenny Baker
Chewbacca - Peter Mayhew
Lord Darth Vader - David Prowse
Uncle Owen Lars - Phil Brown
Aunt Beru Lars - Shelagh Fraser
Chief Jawa - Jack Purvis
Rebel Generals - Alex McCrindle, Eddie Byrne
"Star Wars" is a magnificent film. George Lucas set out to make the biggest possible adventure fantasy out of his memories of serials and older action epics, and he succeeded brilliantly. Lucas and producer Gary Kurtz assembled an enormous technical crew, drawn from the entire Hollywood production pool of talent, and the results equal the genius of Walt Disney, Willis O'Brien and other justifiably famous practitioners of what Irwin Allen calls "movie magic." The 20th-Fox release is also loaded with boxoffice magic, with potent appeal across the entire audience spectrum.
The story is an engaging space adventure which takes itself seriously while occasionally admitting an affectionate poke at the genre. The most immediate frame of reference is Flash Gordon, but it's more than that; it's an Errol Flynn escapist adventure, and befitting that, composer John Williams and orchestrator Herbert W. Spencer have supplied a rousing score worthy of Korngold and Steiner.
Like a breath or fresh air, "Star Wars" sweeps away the cynicism that has in recent years obscured the concepts of valor, dedication and honor. Make no mistake - this is by no means a "children's film," with all the derogatory overtones that go with that description. This is instead a superior example of what only the screen can achieve, and closer to home, it is another affirmation of what only Hollywood can put on a screen.
In casting his principals, Lucas chose three not-so-familiar faces, all young, talented and designed to make the story one of people, not of garish gadgetry. The superb balance of technology and human drama is one of the many achievements: one identifies with the characters and accepts, as do they, the intriguing intergalactic world in which they live.
Carrie Fisher, previously in a small role in "Shampoo," is delightful as the regal, but spunky princess on a rebel planet who has been kidnapped by Peter Cushing, would-be ruler of the universe. Mark Hamill, previously a TV player, is excellent as a farm boy who sets out to rescue Fisher in league with Alec Guinness, last survivor of a band of noble knights. Harrison Ford, previously in Lucas' "American Graffiti" and Francis Coppola's "The Conversation," is outstanding as a likeable mercenary pilot who joins our friends with his pal Peter Mayhew, a quassi-monkey creature with blue eyes whom Fisher calls "a walking rug."
Both Guinness and Cushing bring the right measure of majesty to their opposite characters. One of Cushing's key aides is played by David Prowse, destined to a fatal duel with Guinness, with whom he shares mystical powers. Prowse's face is concealed behind frightening black armor. James Earl Jones, unbilled, provides a note of sonorous menace as Prowse's voice. Anthony Daniels and Kenny Baker play a Mutt-and-Jeff team of kooky robots.
The heroes and the heavies joust through an exciting series of confrontations, replete with laser guns and other futuristic equipment, building suspense towards the climactic destruction of Cushing's war-mongering planet. Several chase and escape sequences are likely to stimulate spontaneous audience applause.
Lucas is no credit hog, and all contributions are acknowledged on the end titles, bearing all the names listed above as well as assistants in various categories. The film opens, after the 20th logo, with the type of receding crawl that Flash Gordon fans will recognize. Locations in Tunisia, Death Valley, Guatemala and Africa were utilized, and interiors were shot at EMI's British studios where the terrific score was also recorded. But the technical effects were all done here. Technicolor did the production color work, and DeLuxe the prints. Use of Dolby sound enhances the overall impact.
Lucas' first feature, "THX-1138," was also futuristic in tone, but there the story emphasis was on machines controlling man. In "Star Wars" the people remain the masters of the hardware, thereby striking a more resonant note of empathy and hope. This is the kind of film in which an audience, first entertained, can later walk out feeling good all over.
We had a screening at work of Shrek 3 and I actually liked it! I laughed more during the 2nd one, but this one was pretty good.
I really like Donkey and Puss, they are great characters and funny as a duo. Gingerbread Man and Pinocchio crack me up as well.
The animation of the Frog King and Merlin were fantastic, definitely the highlight for me.
The lipsync on Fiona before Shrek leaves on the boat was also really good, very real and not as muppet like.
What still doesn't work is the animation on the humans, mainly during broad movements. When they run or fall, they just move way too fast and it doesn't work for me because they look so real, yet move in such a cartoony way. Not my thing.
All in all, congrats guys!
Crude language, not for kids!
found @ AICN
It's all over the web, but it won't change the fact that the idea of making a movie out of "The Sims" is just plain RETARTED.
The horror. The horror.
Tempeh is a meat substitute made from fermented soybeans or soybeans
and other grains, such as rice or barley. It is usually found in the
freezer section of your grocery store. Try tempeh in place of meat in
stews, casseroles, sandwiches, kabobs or in a stir-fry. Marinated or
barbecued tempeh makes a great main dish and is a good source of many
essential nutrients as well as fiber.
Thursday, May 24, 2007
19" polystone & cloth, sculpted by Jerry Macaluso, limited to 600 pieces
Head over to StarWars.com this Sunday for a "MUST-SEE-SURPRISE".
nice on from Cartoon Brew
- Pop surrealist, graffiti, tattoo, lowbrow, comic and underground artists Shag, Paul Frank, Tim Biskup, Frank Kozik, Marc Ecko, Amanda Visell, Tim Biskup, J. Otto Seibold, Gary Baseman, Joe Ledbetter, Urban Medium and Jeff Soto, among others, show their allegiance to the dark side by customizing Darth Vader helmets in landmark gallery exhibition called The Vader Project, to debut at Star Wars Celebration IV on May 24 to 28 at the Los Angeles Convention Center.
Wired has a story on Steve Sansweet's Star Wars Collection. He would fit nicely in with our animation desks. :-)
Check them out @ shootfortheedit.com
Head over to haha for the movie (can't embed this one). It's a really long setup, nice work.