August 3, 2008

A lot of animation is inherently mechanistic—one look at your average dope sheet will tell you that. That's why I'm always interested in shorts where a director makes the interlocking structure of the animation an integral part of the film. While I was catching up on my Directors Notes podcasts late last night, I listened to an interview about a great little short called Duelity.

Duelity is an ambitious student film project by Vancouver Film School motion graphics students Marcos "Boca" Ceravolo and Ryan Uhrich, in which they playfully compare the creationist and the scientific theories of the origins of the universe. Duelity is actually three shorts in one: one film expresses the creationist view using the language and imagery of the scientific view, and the other does the reverse. Each has its own narration and soundtrack.

The third film comes from playing both films side by side simultaneously, and the result is stunning. Every element interlocks perfectly (right down to the credits), creating a third, unified piece. The Duelity website has all three versions of the film available for your viewing amazement and pleasure.

I can't even begin to imagine what the planning charts for this looked like, which is why I intend to take some time to visit the Directors Notes page that includes pre-production materials along with an interview with both directors.

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May 4, 2008
It's not that hard to create a first-person rollercoaster animation using CGI—I knocked off a half-decent one shortly after I first picked up the Softimage|3D user guide. But it is tricky to come up with a good reason to create a first-person rollercoaster animation, and trickier still to pull it off well. I think this ad for the Zürich Chamber Orchestra succeeds on both counts.

[Thanks, Steve Bass.]

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April 10, 2008

You know what the most creative part of Bee Movie was? The animated of the closing credits. Alas, they're not to be found on SubmarineChannel's Forget the Film, Watch the Titles, but they're a perfect fit. The site is a collection of animated title sequences from movies as varied as Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium, 3:19, Max Dugan Returns and The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. Each title sequence comes with commentary from the creators. The categories of Animation (which really means "non-digital"), Motion Graphics, Mixed Media and 3D aren't really necessary, except that they make it easy to follow the evolution of styles and techniques.

[Thanks, Brian Wells.]

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