Friday, February 26, 2010

Flashback Friday: Howard Jones - Like to Get to Know You Well

Yes, I was a big fan of HoJo in the early-mid 80s. He was my second concert, after Corey Hart! This video has some pretty stellar video effects for the age. The song was on the Better Off Dead soundtrack, when they're fixing the Camaro. Oh, I love that movie!

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Blue hippie cat Reviews AVATAR

A slightly disgruntled dog gives his take on the "blue hippy cats" in Avatar.

Nicely done, apparently the CG artist has yet to reveal themselves. Rumored to be created with XSI and Lightwave with motion capture. One word- aaawesome!

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Thursday, February 25, 2010

Friskies Adventureland

My cats think canned cat food is this great. This reminds me of the "Seeds of Love" video from Tears for Fears.


Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The Most Serene Republic - Heavens To Purgatory

This is an amazing trippy video! It's like QTVR with clothes with no bodies.

Director: Ben Steiger Levine
Producer: Sach Baylin-Stern
Production Manager: Joshua Usheroff
Cinematographer: Christophe Collette

VFX Technical Director/Compositing: Greg Kaufman
VFX Supervisor: Josh Sherrett
Art Director/Wardrobe: Marie-Michelle Deschamps
Art Director/Wardrobe: Perrine Lotiron
Grip/Elecro: Pawel Pogorzelski


Tuesday, February 23, 2010

How Green Screens Work by Austin Herring


How Green Screens Work from Austin Herring on Vimeo.

Via Aharon Rabinowitz


Friday, February 19, 2010

Flashback Friday: HBO Animations

Do you remember these? I do! CGTalk just featured these a couple of weeks ago and it seemed a perfect topic for the Flashback Friday feature, which we haven't done in a while. I think you will find this to be very interesting. Thanks to Thom Birks for the link.

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Wednesday, February 17, 2010

A Conversation With WeWereMonkeys: Land of Talk "It's Okay"

WeWereMonkeys: Land of Talk- It's Okay

WeWereMonkeys: Land of Talk - It's Okay from WeWereMonkeys on Vimeo.

Toolfarm: Can you tell us a little about WeWereMonkeys? What is your history, your backgrounds?

WeWereMonkeys: Davide Di Saro holds a Master's Degree in Fine Arts and Design from The Dutch Art Institute and has exhibited his art works internationally in China, Norway, Germany, the Netherlands and Italy. One of his works was awarded honorable mention by UNESCO in 2003. Davide has worked as a professional photographer in Italy, and as an Interactive Designer at the Banff Centre.

Mihai Wilson has travelled extensively, picking up inspiration from around the world. He worked as an Animator and Designer for Adbusters Magazine from 2002-2004, developing provocative animations that have had worldwide exposure. In 2004, he co-founded Biro Creative. He has created animations and interactive works for organization such as The United Nations Foundation, Greenpeace and The World Wildlife Fund.

WeWereMonkeys began in 2007 when Mihai and Davide created an insane stream of consciousness stop-motion animation for Malajube's Le Crab, which was nominated for the 2007 MTV People's Choice Video Award. They successfully followed this with the production of a second video for Malajube's Ton Plat Favori, which was featured in the 2008 Independent Music Video Festival. In 2009, WWM's video for Land of Talk's It's Okay was featured in Stash 63 and was chosen as one of The 5 Best Videos of 2009 by TIME Magazine.

(WeWereMonkeys Directors Davide Di Saro and Mihai Wilson in their New York studio 2009)

TF: How did you begin this particular project- were you approached by Land of Talk with this idea, or is it something you came up with collectively?

WWM: WeWereMonkeys was asked to write a treatment for Land of Talk through Toronto-based production company, The Field. WWM's Producer, Marcella Moser, came up with the idea of Queen Antiope, and then together we developed and wrote the treatment. The video is about Queen Antiope, the last warrior of the legendary Amazon tribe.


TF: Do you typically storyboard your projects out?

WWM: We definitely storyboard, but we're spontaneous and don't like locked storyboards. While producing "It's Okay" we needed a solid plan and an organized shot list because of limited time each day with the horse and rider.


TF: What camera did you shoot with? Knowing that everything would be in slow motion, were there any special considerations or challenges with each shot?

WWM: To fit with the dark mood of the song we wanted to capture the live footage in slow motion. We shot the entire video with a RED at 100fps 2K 16:9 using Nikon lenses. From the open door of a speeding minivan, we shot the horse and rider galloping along side of an airstrip. Davide flew in an ultra-light to capture the aerial shot. To keep the lighting consistent, we shot the horse and rider at 6am every day. The main challenge was avoiding hazy shots due to seasonal forest fires.

(Director Davide Di Saro filming actress Ines Stone and Desi from an ultra-light with pilot Randy Rauck from Raven Aviation)

TF: What software do you use for the compositing and effects? Any 3rd party plugins used for the particle and hair effects?

WWM: We used After Effects for compositing and Cinema 4D to create the animated hair. Plugins used were RE:VisionFX Twixtor, Red Giant Knoll Light Factory, Trapcode Particular and Polygon Studio Light Wrap.


TF: How were the background and environmental elements created?

WWM: The background was matte painted in Photoshop, and the anti-gravity debris was animated by hand in After Effects.


TF: It looks like the main character is the only live footage, with most of the background/ textural elements all being shot or created separately. How did this affect how everything was brought together?

WWM: We shot, edited and rotoscoped the live footage first, and then built the environment around the horse and rider.


TF: You seem to have a great deal of variety in style from your demo reel. Is this due to each member of your team having a design niche of sorts, or based on the needs of each project?

WWM: Variety is key to WWM's work. We love experimenting with multiple mediums; it leads us to new ideas and unique visual outcomes. We are very hands-on; from creative direction, set construction, costume design, photography, illustration, rendering and VFX, we do it all.


(Left: Directors Davide Di Saro and Mihai Wilson on location with DP, Dominic Schaefer Right: Mihai Wilson and Davide Di Saro getting actress Ines Stone ready for the shoot)

TF: Any current or on-the-horizon projects you're working on?

WWM: WWM is currently working on a music video for Coheed and Cambria.


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Monday, February 15, 2010

WeWereMonkeys: Land of Talk- It's Okay

WeWereMonkeys: Land of Talk- It's Okay

WeWereMonkeys: Land of Talk - It's Okay from WeWereMonkeys on Vimeo.

Davide Di Saro and Mihai Wilson (WeWereMonkeys) Music video for Land of Talk's "It's Okay".

WeWereMonkeys Demo Reel 2009

Demo Reel 2009 from WeWereMonkeys on Vimeo.

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Friday, February 12, 2010

Galileo by Ghislain Avrillon

Galileo from Ghislain Avrillon on Vimeo.

A really beautiful example of style/melding of textures with vector art using Flash and After Effects. Animated in Flash, composited in After Effects, and edited in Premiere. Love the soundtrack and audio fx too!

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Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Old Spice Ad - The Man Your Man Could Smell Like

It's rare that I'd want to watch a commercial a few times over but this is funny ad with some nice visual trickery. That's some pretty smooth matching. I'm on a horse. Hahahaha.


The first circus, Part 2

David Baker, the Program Chair for Digital Aimation and Game Design at Ferris State University posted this piece on his Facebook page.
Tony Sarg was an early animator who worked in cut paper. Nancy Beiman, writer of 'Prepare to Board' found this little gem. Very natural animation... and low tech and simple yet appealing story. Computer animators take note!

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Stairway to Heaven - The Beatnix

Besides the awesomeness of the song and that they've done a great job looking like The Beatles, I'm impressed with how well they were able to recreate the look of early 60's television.

Via Marc Pelletier. Thanks Marc!


Monday, February 08, 2010

Nuit Blanche from Spy Films

This is the kind of work I'd like to do, if I were a filmmaker. This is just amazing (and I guess Nuit Blanch does not mean 'blanched nuts'.;-) Be sure to watch it in HD by double clicking the movie. See the Making of below.

Nuit Blanche from Spy Films on Vimeo.

The Making of Nuit Blanch

Making Of Nuit Blanche from Spy Films on Vimeo.


Interview: Pixar, titles and type with Susan Bradley

Susan Bradley did the titles to Ratatouille (which I adored), Motorcycle Diaries (the movie that made me want to see South America like no other film before it), Dark Water (wow, what a depressing film!), The Matador and others. Her title design style and prowess are well knows. Check out the interview at

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Friday, February 05, 2010

Inspirations: Super Bowl Edition

You can see the entire ad lineup and time of appearance at USA Today.

From a mograph perspective I think the ad for the Honda Crosstour by Elastic is probably going to shine through, but since many ads aren't public until the Bowl, who knows what will show up?

Honda Accord Crosstour "Squirrel"

Kia's 2010 Sorrento (teaser ad)

"Punxsutawney Polamalu"- truTV

Want to weigh in on the best ad?

Vote at twitter: @ADBOWL10 | iPhone app | See Past Top 10 Results

Compete against the ad pros at Hanon McKendry "ad peeps vs. net tweeps" for the best of each quarter. Voting begins at the end of the first quarter, Superbowl Sunday @ twitter: @superadbowl

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The Very Best: Warm Heart of Africa

Fun with green screen. Is that Ezra Koenig from Vampire Weekend? Yes, I think it is. Fun song and video. Not the best keying job. One of the guys keeps losing an ankle. Still, I like the studio shots a lot.


Thursday, February 04, 2010

Honda Accord Crosstour Commercials by Elastic

I've really been enjoying this series of funky, stylistic commercials for the Honda Accord Crosstour. Here's the full lineup so far! See more of Elastic's work at

Honda Accord Crosstour "Squirrel"

Honda Accord Crosstour "Squirrel" from Elastic on Vimeo.

Honda Accord Crosstour "Snow Trip"

Honda Accord Crosstour "Snow Trip" from Elastic on Vimeo.

Honda Accord Crosstour "Instruments"

Honda Accord Crosstour "Instruments" from Elastic on Vimeo.

Honda Accord Crosstour "Boxes"

Honda Accord Crosstour "Boxes" from Elastic on Vimeo.

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Monday, February 01, 2010

32 More Fantastic Demo Reels for Inspiration

Our friend Topher Welsh has done it again- 32 Fantastical Demo Reels is a stunning roundup of visual eye candy inspiration featuring a wide range of styles and talent.

View All 32 Entries Here at AEtuts+.

GKASTER Motion Demo Reel

GKaster Reel may 2009 from gkaster on Vimeo.

Steffen Knoesgaard Showreel 2010

Steffen K Showreel2010 from Steffen K on Vimeo.

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Patrick & Eugene - Don't Stop

Fabulous song and fun video, directed by Jan Urbanovski. Stop motion, tracking, miniatures, Trapcode Particular, and all around quirkiness. I love it!


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