‘PROLOGUE’ Trailer

Richard Williams talks about ‘PROLOGUE’

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“Nephtali” by Glen Keane

In “Nephtali”, Glen Keane uses both film and drawing in order to depict the journey of a ballerina that is drawn towards a higher power.

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The Jungle Book: Disney Releases Trailer for Live-Action Adaptation of 1967 Movie

The live-action film is to be directed by Jon Favreau and stars Neel Sethi as Mowgli, along with voice actors Bill Murray, Scarlett Johansson and Idris Elba. It is set to be released in April 2016.

Below is the 1967 animated movie trailer. Notice anything similar to the opening of each trailer?

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Glen Keane- Step into the Page

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Fantastic Five Females in Traditional Animation

Although the animation industry has diversified over the decades, it is still seen by many as a male dominated world; but as James Brown said, “This is a man’s world, but it wouldn’t be nothing, nothing without a woman or a girl.

This article focuses on five recent female graduate students who have completed their MFA degrees in Traditional Animation at the Academy of Art University. A series of “Animation Profiles” will be presented throughout the semester to focus on each individual filmmaker.

The five filmmakers to be featured in this series of “Animation Profiles” will be Tina Hsu, Kendra Williford, Annie Wong, Chiara Ferrari and Kim Ferrari. These graduate students were chosen because they each have produced their own film. This past year they have been independently promoting their work in the global film festival circuit. Their films have also been chosen for awards and nominations during the past two years at the annual Spring Show.

Tina Hsu working in the lab on her film, "LADY and the frog."

Tina Hsu working in the lab on her film, “LADY and the frog.”

When asked why are they pursuing a career in the animation industry, the popular response was because of interest. Before applying to AAU, they understood how brutal the industry could be, but they all possessed a mix of love and passion with a hint of “gut feeling” that could not be ignored. Their passion was their drive.

You can see the time and labor each individual put into her film. Within this small group, the stories range from a frog waking up in a supermarket, to the first canine cosmonaut and nuns falling from the sky, to a toymaker who is in love with his precious creation.

Annie Wong working on her film, "Coppelia"

Annie Wong working on her stop motion film, “Coppelia”

While passion was their main drive, another common denominator these ladies claimed as a big motivator was fear; fear that they would not finish their films on time with hints of dismay because of the overwhelming animation process. Once their films were done however, a sense of joy overcame them because hours and hours of work had finally culminated in a complete full color film, and they had something to show for their labor of love.

Many events and individuals influenced these filmmakers during their time at AAU such as the Director of 2D MFA from the School of Animation & Visual Effects, Sherrie H. Sinclair, to a number of 2D Animation faculty and staff that helped these graduate students throughout their productions.

Chiara Ferrari and Kim Ferrari presenting their final thesis film, "Sisters" with Director Sherrie H. Sinclair and Associate Director Diana Coco-Russell

Chiara Ferrari and Kim Ferrari presenting their final thesis film, “Sisters” with Director Sherrie H. Sinclair and Associate Director Diana Coco-Russell

All five filmmakers have submitted their productions to film festivals this past year. A big reason why they did was because they wanted to share their work with a wider audience. They wanted to get feedback and see the reactions from the crowds. They believed that putting themselves out there would also be great exposure in finding job opportunities. By attending these festivals, it has helped them connect with other filmmakers from all over.

Kendra Williford at the Gwinnett Center International Film Festival for her film, "Leonid in Space"

Kendra Williford at the Gwinnett Center International Film Festival for her film, “Leonid in Space”

Currently, these ladies are now doing freelance work and have studio positions at Laika, Bento Box Studios, DHX Media in Vancouver, and a TV station in the Bay Area. Although they are all working, they are still promoting themselves and their work through social media (websites, Facebook, Tumbler, etc).

Additional details from each individual will be published in future articles of “Animation Profiles” this Fall 2015 semester.

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VIEW Award 2015 (Deadline: September 15, 2015)

Last year, the VIEW AWARD brought forth some astonishingly talented animators into the public and industry spotlight.

After the international success of past edition of our VIEW AWARD, the 2015 contest is ready to widen its scope with new themes, new subjects and new contestants.

As the last few years, VIEW will include both students and non-students works, making our contest more appealing than ever.
However, works by students will be especially welcome, since VIEW will always be the place to express and discover new Digital Talents.

So here’s your chance! If you have made an animated short with 2D/3D animation and VFX in the last 2 years, that is from 2013 to 2015, we are interested in receiving your work.

And Good Luck: you may become the winner of this year’s VIEW AWARD!

First Prize: 2.000,00 €

VIEW AWARD categories

Best Short
This award will honor an outstanding short movie created with 2D, 3D digital animation, or live footage with the integration of digital visual effects. Motion Capture Data can optionally be utilized for the animation. Entries will be judged based on the criteria of Technical Excellence, Originality, Creativity, Design and Aesthetics. The duration cannot be more than 30 minutes.

Best Design
This award will honor the best environment created with digital techniques: it can be entirely 3D or a mix of 2D/3D graphics and digital matte painting techniques. It may depict an interior or an exterior environment. 3D modeling, rendering and digital painting can be created with any 2D, 3D or digital painting software. The environment must be complete with surface appearance, painted or textured. Entries will be judged based on the criteria for Technical Excellence, Originality, Creativity, Aesthetics and Architectural Value of the piece.

Best Character
This award will honor the best digital character created for an animated short film or for a videogame. The character may be produced with any software used for 2D or 3D graphics. Entries will be judged based on rendering images of the character and on the criteria for Technical Excellence, Originality, Creativity, Aesthetics and Character’s Personality.

Best Digital Visual Effects
This award will honor the best Digital Visual Effects sequence used in a CG animated or live-action short film. The VFX may be created with any software used for 3D graphics and compositing. Entries will be judged based on the criteria for Technical Excellence, Originality, Creativity and Coherence with the narrative structure of the short.

Rules and Regulations

  1. All entries must have been completed from 2013 to 2015 to be eligible
  2. Duration: maximum length is 30 minutes
  3. Both individual and group projects are accepted
  4. All entries should be submitted on DVD Video: PAL 16/9, Audio: MPEG2 Stereo and be ready for screening. N.B. Submitted media will not be returned
  5. Submitted work must be accompanied by some Hi-Res screenshots of your project and an Hi-Res photo of the director
  6. Submitted work must be accompanied by a completed entry form, containing original signature of the person entering VIEW AWARD competition
  7. All entries must provide written authorization for any copyrighted material included in the work
  8. All entries must be received by September 15, 2015
  9. Winners will receive prizes in cash, technology and paid internships

Submit your work by uploading you file through our Festhome festival page.
There is a 10 euro fee if you submit via festhome (this is the easiest way to submit), otherwise you can
submit by sending your physical video to our address.

For more information, click here.

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AAU Alumus, Kevin Yuille has been nominated for an Emmy!!

AAU Alumus, Kevin Yuille has been nominated for an Emmy as Lead Compositor on Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D..

Screen Shot 2015-09-08 at 11.44.11 AMBelow is the VFX Reel for Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Congratulations Kevin!

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Learning In The Flesh: Why Disney Sends Its Animators To Life Drawing Classes

From Fast To Create:

By Susan Karlin

For 82 years, Disney’s in-studio life drawing classes have helped evolve its animated characters. But as increasing reliance on computers lures young animators away from classical drawing, three of Disney’s current master teachers are reminding them why figure drawing is still crucial.

Since 1932, Disney has been the only entertainment studio to continue an unbroken tradition of offering free life drawing classes for its artists within its studios. The idea is that understanding and capturing the anatomy and sense of motion from a live model improves animated drawings and gestures.

In the ensuing decades—while other animation and visual effects studios in the U.S. and Europe intermittently followed suit, pending budgets—Disney’s classes have not only continued unabated, but expanded beyond features to its TV animation, theme park, consumer products, and straight-to-DVD divisions.

Continuing that tradition today are master teachers Karl Gnass, Mark MacDonnell, and Bob Kato. Collectively, they teach daily life drawing of both nude and costumed models to help animators better understand the fundamentals of the human form, how clothing and gesture inform character and intent, and how to infuse spirit and intent into their figures.


(L-R) Dan Cooper, Mark McDonnell, Karl Gnass, and Bob Kato before their panel at WonderCon.Photo by Susan Karlin

However, increased reliance on computer modeling and algorithmic rendering, along with the explosion of web-accessible photo references, stand to undermine that “study the source” attitude. These teachers, along with Disney visual development artist Dan Cooper, have teamed—at WonderCon in May, and next at San Diego Comic-Con on July 27 (in panels moderated by yours truly)—to drive home the importance of ongoing classical drawing among aspiring and professional animators.

“You can draw animation and gesture without life drawing, but life drawing skills give you proportion, structure, perspective, and a certain vitality through rhythmic gestures,” says Gnass, a former Disney TV storyboard artist who has taught at Disney since 1995, as well as DreamWorks Animation, Sony Pictures Imageworks, and Nickelodeon, among others. “You can’t achieve dynamics without bones and structure, and in order to have structure you need to study it. From there one can extend out in any direction towards any style.”

Cooper, who’s worked on Tangled, Wreck-It Ralph, and the upcoming Zootopia, has studied with Gnass for nearly two decades. “Many young artists are looking for an easier way out and study styles of existing animators, as opposed developing their own,” he says. “Doing something that involves the figure, you want to have it based on a little reality as opposed to a stylization or distortion of someone else’s truth. That’s like getting information secondhand. You need to do the same thing they did, which is to work from live models and find your style.”

To continue to read the rest of the article, click here.

Also, check out their panels at Wonder-Con and Comic-Con here or below!

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“LADY and the frog” will be screening at the Burbank International Film Festival 2015

LADY and the frogTina Hsu’s LADY and the frog will be screening at the Burbank International Film Festival 2015 this weekend!

Screen Shot 2015-09-08 at 9.32.56 AM

For a chance to see it, check out the screening schedule here.

Congratulations Tina!

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Damien Rice Releases ‘Hypnosis’ Video From ‘The Prophet’ Soundtrack

From NPR:

 • Animation is the perfect medium to illustrate Damien Rice‘s new single, “Hypnosis.” It’s taken from the soundtrack to The Prophet, one of two songs Rice contributed, and the video’s images are drawn entirely from the film. Animation’s project is to convey a full range of feeling and experience using simple lines, and that’s a project Rice’s music shares. Rice doesn’t have a showy voice, but his delivery and lyrics combine to make deeply emotive music built with uncomplicated tools.

The Prophet, first released in 1923 as a novel by Kahlil Gibran, is a collection of poetic essays presented on-screen in the same vein as Disney’s Fantasia — that is, as a series of vignettes illustrated in disparate styles by different animators. Combined, they tell the loose story of an exiled artist working to evade authorities who fear his poetry and its potential to foment rebellion. The corresponding imagery is intricate and impactful, itself a testament to the vitality and variety of the art defended by Gibran’s book and this film. Rice’s “Hypnosis” does the same. It uplifts, encourages, chastises and mourns at once, with a message to artists and non-artists alike: Keep going. It won’t be easy, but it was never going to be. And if you can do that, you’ll have all you need.

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