Tag Archives: VIEW

VIEW 2019 part 4

The Hugo Guerra of Hugo's Desk. Hugo is an extremely good compositor and teacher.

From my TV and gamemaking days, I have some familiarity with compositing. Although it is almost certain that I will never become a compositor, I sat in on Hugo's seminar. I think I retained about .001% of the technical information that Hugo shared, but observing his workflow and troubleshooting tips was inspiring.

The Addams Family: Reintroducing a Classic: the presenters, co-director Conrad Vernon and Producer Alexa Schwartz, spoke about the challenges in creating a new version of The Addams Family. Although the story is contemporary, the two looked at the original drawings of Charles Addams. His drawings, featured in The New Yorker magazine, were the basis of the original TV show.

Conrad and Alexa presented like the professionals that they are. They completed each other's sentences. They kept the topics moving. Perhaps they rehearsed and planned for a long time, or maybe they just improvised so informatively because they knew their subject so well. They showed clips and explained the stories behind them. If there is an Addams Family Hall of Fame, Conrad and Alexa should be in it.

Animated movies have their own unique characteristics, but they also act as "containers" for other art forms, music being the most obvious example, drawing being another. However, successful animated characters are the result of combining drawing, sculpture, programming and... dreaming. Animated characters are often realistic, but they can ignore the laws of physics. Dreams and animation need no logic.

Having said that, the more a VFX operator/CG artist/animator studies reality, the better. Noticing the almost imperceptible muscles movements of the human body results in all kinds of possibilities, especially when one must make a character react to something unexpected. The following clip was shown by Theodore Tye, as part of his excellent presentation entitled Beyond Eye Darts: A Closer Look at Acting for Animation:

This masterclass, through the analysis of clips from animated and live- action films as well as acting theory, takes a fun, in-depth look at the study and execution of both comedy and dramatic acting for animation.

Following is one of the clips shown to exemplify a reaction worth studying.

VIEW took place in OGR Turino, an arts center in what was once a train station.
Glen McIntosh is a paleo-artist, and the supervising artist for Jurassic World.Glen's first film was Star Wars: Episode 1: The Phantom Menace. It was a pleasure to watch him work and share his stories.
Turin is a delight!
Bubiko photobombing animation bigwigs.
Hal Hickel, a legend at Industrial Light and Magic.Winner of both an Academy Award and BAFTA. He has worked on Star Wars, Jurassic Park, AI, Pirates of the Caribbean, Toy Story and The California Raisins!
Closing party. The London Siggraph people put copies of interesting black and white images on the tables, making Offtopic a bit like their Drink and Draw nights in London.

I have just settled down after travelling for over two months. I am still processing all that I learned and experienced at VIEW and an other post is on its way.

VIEW 2019 part 3

I used to study moire patterns and halftone printing. So, this image, and others like it, was a treat. This image was taken during a talk by Danny Dimian!

Danny Dimian is a visual effects supervisor at Sony Pictures Imageworks, most recently supervising the Academy Award-winning SPIDER-MAN: INTO THE SPIDER-VERSE for Sony Pictures Animation.

His presentation was proof that daring art can happen in large institutions. Yes, it can be said that Sony wanted a new stylized look for the Spiderverse movie(s). However, many, many times this desire for a new look results in simply hiring a trendy director/VFX person who then spends the money on the flavor of the month gear/software. The result can look dated very quickly.

Danny's team went retro; they researched old comic books and found the techniques (and flaws) that make them so distinctive. Halftone dots and misaligned printing being two examples. They also collected the words, exclamation points and marks that add impact.

They then used these as the basis for experimentation and also brought in painters to create stylistic possibilities. In short, there was a lot trial and error involved with bringing the look of old printing into the age of 8K.

So, this happened. Looking for a place to quietly check my email; Danny was looking for a place to quietly save the Spiderverse. Or something like that.
Jill Culton shared the inspirations and challenges of Abominable.
The discussion about Women in Animation: Jill Culton, Maureen Fan, Janelle Croshaw Ralla, Angie Wojak, Wieke Schrakamp, Carolyn Giardina and Alex Schwartz. The Facebook Spark app allows Bubiko to be on stage as well, but the photo quality is not great.

The Women in Animation panel was serious, yet insightful and lighthearted. Hopefully the unwanted challenges described will become nonexistent for the next generation of women, and the opportunities will increase.

Paul Debevec What he does for Google Daydream and the University of Southern California is very interesting, but also very difficult to explain. New Yorker magazine profiled him, and explained things nicely.
A photo from Paul Debevec's presentation.

This is the third post of a series.