Now Browsing Animation

Parkour Motion Reel

With films like Avatar demonstrating next-generation special effects, there is something so innately appealing and mesmerizing about using old (traditional) basic materials in new an innovative ways. Take this motion reel video which takes a simple concept we all remember from our childhood (flip books) and turns it into an unpredictable moving animation. The flips come fast from every direction and I get a headache even thinking of how many times the artist must have rehearsed the order to get such a fluid execution. The short video follows a parkour athlete as he moves through a cityscape and is paired nicely with an upbeat soundtrack. Check it out and I dare you to play it only once.

Marcus Troy via Hypebeast

One EskimO

One EskimO is pretty much a children’s storybook where each chapter is a song and the illustration is brought alive by smooth, simple animation. The band’s sound is kind of the usual upbeat soft pop sound, but once you get the visual the entire concept becomes clear (and made quite an impression by winning a British Animation Award). The collection of 10 music videos tell the story of an Eskimo child and his band of animal musicians, which is composed of a drumming giraffe, a horn and bass playing monkey, and a penguin guitarist. Have a look at one and you’ll want to see the rest.

MBX

Alert to all the animation nerds in the audience: The wow-worthy trailer for Virgin Comics’ new online animation series MBX, written by real-life superman Grant Morrison and superbly animated by Brazilian motion graphics talent Guilherme Marcondes, is up for giddy enjoyment on their site. MBX is an Indian story about war based on the Mahabarata, one of the longest epic poems ever (according to Wikipedia, it’s a killer at four times the size of the Ramayana). Marcondes, if some of you remember, is the same dude who made the gorgeous short film Tyger that ran the Res Fest and Internet circuits and won too many awards to count on fingers and toes. His work is a little different here, with decidedly more video-game-like graphics but still retaining the stunning, detailed work that engrosses viewers from the get-go. There’s no word yet on when exactly the series will drop, so stay tuned.

Universal Everything x Nokia x YOU

Josh Spear fave Matt Pyke, founder of Universal Everything, is continuing his stunning video and branding work with Nokia but this time wants us to all join in too.

To help create a new animation for Nokia stores, Universal Everything is throwing a collaborative animation competition. To enter, all you need to do is take pictures of you, or anyone you know, holding a blank piece of paper. Upload the pics to the contest's Flickr site and the design wizards at Universal Everything will draw cell animation onto each blank frame. The aim is to engage thousands of people around the world and create a truly global animation project that keeps growing and growing.

The contributor who gets the most frames into the final animation wins a Nokia N95 8GB. That's good, but the real prize would be getting to see your shot in one of Universal Everything's industry-leading animations.

Bruno Dicolla

Sao Paulo artist Bruno Dicolla‘s illustrations have an immediately charming disposition, despite how oddball their subjects are portrayed, like one of a shark rising out of an ice-cream colored sea or another of a bear-mermaid exulting about something rad s/he just found out about. It’s the magical stuff for CD and book covers, both areas of which Dicolla has already added into his short but steel-strong list of works. Besides his portfolio (which includes an awe-inspiring movie called Scooter and Jinx, shown at worldwide Resfest stops and a stateside animation festival), there’s not much else I can find about this artist. Does he like going to the zoo? Does he have a mustache? Does he wear belts? Let us know if you have the inside track on this obviously rising up-and-comer.

New Option G Screen Prints

It’s gittin’ close to huntin’ season — at least that’s what a lot of rural Coloradans have been telling me lately. And while I’m not a hunter per se, I do enjoy venturing out into the mountains to see deer and elk — and lately, bears — in their natural setting. Unfortunately, lately the bears have been calling my trash cans ‘home.’ Cole Gerst, the mastermind behind ecologically in-tune Option G, has some new screen prints for sale — including the Deer Island Series shown here — that are well-themed for huntin’ season, although I don’t think Cole’s an avid hunter, either. In fact, Cole has become a well-recognized artist, designer, and animator, having been featured in the Vans Sky Gallery, having created animations for Scion, and having won the Sundance Channel’s Greenimation competition with his "˜green' themed animated short, Yung Yeti. Look out for his new 5-part animated series on Sundance modeled after Yung Yeti. We love your stuff, Cole!

Processing

There’s something at MIT, wouldn’t you know it, called the Aesthetics + Computation Group, whose aim is “the design of advanced system architectures and thought processes to enable the creation of (as yet) unimaginable forms and spaces.” Two thoughts. First, can somebody tell me where this annoying ‘+’ for ‘and’ thing started? Second, isn’t it interesting that to imagine something we have to first have a language to imagine it in? Kind of like before there could be Funk, James Brown had to invent the Funk vernacular, or like this New Yorker article on the Pirahã from a while ago.

One of the languages that the Group has created is Processing, “an open source programming language and environment for people who want to program images, animation and interactions.” Basically, Processing is a non-proprietary tool that computer programmers and visual artists can use to create things that they couldn’t previously. There are a lot of great examples of Processing’s potential on their exhibitions page — Josh has previously covered the use of Processing at Flight 404, and I particularly enjoyed this little gem, which is fairly mesmerizing and looks to me like the rapid construction of some very gnarled muscles. Also check out the Muon Launch, Grass and Circle Packing pages. This stuff will keep you entertained for quite awhile, and true to its origins, probably leave you grasping for words to describe it.

–Dan Steckenberg

Tom Judd: Wheel Time

For the last six months or so, our U.K. based friend Tom Judd "“ who’s no stranger to this site, and also a member of the Spear Collective "“ has been working on this kick ass animation called “Wheel Time.” It’s somewhat of a historic project for young Tom, because it marks the end of his undergraduate education– this summer he’s leaving Man Met University for London to begin a two year Master’s program in animation at the Royal College of Art. As great as this short animated film is, I’m sure we’ll all use it as a benchmark by which to gauge his animation progress from here on out– no pressure, Tom! The YouTube version you see here has slightly lower sound and sync qualities than the one on his website, so I recommend viewing the latter. On a related note, Tom has also re-worked the look of his site a bit with a fresh layout and some new work, so be sure to check that out as well.

Adidas: Impossible Story

I think you’ll get a kick "“ as I did "“ out of Adidas’ new viral campaign called Impossible Story. Somewhat reminiscent of Lollapalooza’s PaloozaHead campaign that we all wasted a workday playing with, this one allows you to upload your head and then quickly create a personalized animation by using the keys on your keyboard– each key makes your character do something different, and your adventure consists of a five-key sequence. The idea is to create your own unique journey that you can share with your friends. There is just something inherently funny about seeing your face on some silly animated character. A word of caution: it may take a while for the flash in this site to load, but once it does, you’ll be impressed.

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