Sunday, June 29, 2008

Down to Earth

First off, an individual who'd blend right into the world of Wall-E:

I thought the white tennis shoes with socks was an interesting footwear choice. See? "Blue is the new red" haha.

Speaking of Wall-E, here's my little review of one of my favorite Pixar movies(though I do have a lot of favorites like The Incredibles, Finding Nemo, and Ratatouille). Also one of my absolutely FAVORITE Pixar shorts: Presto.

Presto was hilarious. By the time the gag tempo REALLY picked up, everyone in the theatre was rolling in the aisles. It was classic Warner Brothers, particularly Chuck Jones, meets the 3D realm. Both characters were so enjoyable to watch. The poses of the magician were particularly brilliant. He didn't seem to be a 3D model at all, really makes me think about what I want to accomplish in my own 3D work. Absolutely one of my favorite Pixar shorts and I'm dying to see this again!

Moving onto Wall-E, I loved it. Pixar took a lot of risks on this movie(like minimal dialogue) and pulled them off brilliantly. So much character! I can't even begin to name some of my favorite moments between Wall-E and Eve--along with the other robots and even cockroach. Also, every scene that was supposed to be either funny, cute, heart-touching, or any other primary emotion absolutely delivered 110%. The sets were gorgeous and I grew very fond of the camera-work, very effective use of almost documentary, hand-held style, filming. While it's not the perfect movie in the world, I personally didn't mind at all. Everyone seems to adore the first roughly 40 minutes of the movie, and then fall into despair about the rest of the movie, but my attention and enjoyment remained until the last credit rolled by. Some reviews have noted that this movie is not for kids, particularly in regards to attention span and if kids could comprehend what's going on since the film's emphasis is on visual storytelling rather than a dialogue-driven story. I went to a 4:30 showing and the kids in the theater were absolutely captivated. This was really noticeable during the extremely quiet emotional scenes and as far as I could tell the kids were not antsy or whispering to their parents about what was going on during the rest of the movie. Another point that's coming up focuses on how humans were treated. I personally found the future depiction of humans perfect. In this specific scenario no body is going to be any less than gelatinous blobs. I found the live-action clips a bit distracting(not the Hello Dolly VHS tape. That was the perfect touch to Wall-E's character). Granted you can't mimic Fred Willard's mannerisms, but something would throw me off every time a live-action actor would appear on a computer display in front of an otherwise 3D cast. I did think it was bold though, and do congratulate Pixar on making the creative choice anyways. Mixing mediums is an interesting frontier, especially when explored in the big mainstream studios. Overall, it is a great film--surpassing all of my expectations and inspiring me to really go outside my own comfort zone. I really feel this quote from the "Art of Wall-E" book really sums up Wall-E perfectly, "With a grin, Lasseter recalls a simple word of advice from an old friend, mentor, and renowned animation director: 'Chuck Jones always said that, with great animation, you should be able to turn off the sound and still be able to tell what's going on.'" I'm already making plans to see Wall-E again next weekend and can't wait! Until then, just storyboarding out ideas, watching the occasional thunderstorm(yesterday the power was knocked out until 11:30 at night! Almost 6 hours without much light to draw by or even the internets!), and working. I can't believe it's pretty much July! Where'd my June go?!?!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

The Return of Summer Slackin'

How about these updates? Keep getting further and further apart! I've been spending my time between a part-time office job, animating something that'll be posted ASAP, drawing a fair bit, watching the occasional classic movie(I've got Vertigo for tonight), among other things. Really maxing out the relaxation. Feels good!

I'm primarily drawing film brainstorms so while those doodles won't be going online, I do have more local "Ladies of Luxury" for ya!

This first one was heading into the local movie theater:

Up next--she was hard to miss as she walked her two TINY dogs along a suburban street.

Seeing Wall-E tomorrow afternoon with some friends! Can't wait to see this movie and of course the sketchbook is tagging along. Getting there early, so it's optimum time for sketching.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Why vacate when you can staycate!

Why stress yourself out over trying to plan that summer vacation beyond your driveway when you can grab your nearest lawn chair, dress in your Sunday best, and enjoy that perfect patch of green located right in your very own front yard!

I was a passenger in the backseat of my parent's car when I saw this definition of relaxation. She was making the most of her scenic view of West Main street--though I've got to say that the weather was simply fabulous! Yes, we Oregonians have perfected the term: Staycation!

Friday, June 13, 2008

For all you Kung Fu Fans

The internet has exploded with Pandamonium! Check it out:

The extremely cool opening dream segment:
'Kung Fu Panda' Exclusive Video: Opening Dream Sequence
'Kung Fu Panda' Exclusive Video: Opening Dream Sequence

According to my friend Ethan: Animated by James Baxter and of particular interest--one tool utilitized for animating was the puppet tool in After Effects! That's just pure and blinding awesomeness(couldn't pass that saying up!)

And then the equally cool ending credits:

The main characters were animated TRADITIONALLY by the talented guys at Dreamworks.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

More random pages....

Felt like studying gazelle yesterday so I hopped onto YouTube and drew. Gotta keep my hand fresh, I spent probably 20-30 seconds tops on each individual drawing. The skull is a real-life replica of a dwarf alligator that I sketched at a friend's house--done several hours after the gazelle studies.

Drew this iguana at the same house yesterday. I haven't done a highly detailed study in a long time. Drawn from a book that my friend had. I do like the gazelle more, definately have more life to them. Might add some watercolor to the lil' guy though. However, today is not that day.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Kung fu Post

Been enjoying the lovely weather which has finally come to Oregon--after a fair amount of rain, it's nice to have 70-80 degree weather with lots of sunshine(sorry Ethan, had to bring it up--hope CalArts hasn't melted with the crazy heat!) Anyhow, went out with some friends to a local and very classic rollerskating rink---having not skated in about 10 years it was a steep and painful learning curve, gravity was an unavoidable companion--but it was lots of fun circling to tunes that ranged from "I Saw the Sign" to "Thriller" and beyond. No one reached the skating equivalent of Charlie Chaplin, but at least we all worked our way off the encircling carpet walls by the end of the night. The rink hasn't changed since I went as a kid, except for an increase in the population of cracks in the floor and abandoned gum. Good times.

And then today went out and saw "Kung Fu Panda" with my Mom and I really enjoyed the movie, lots of sweet animation---the initial escape, the bridge with the 5 masters against the villian, and then the chopstick fight being my favorite sequences for fight action. The 2d animation at both the beginning and at the end of the movie was really refreshing to see. Lots of great camera work, lighting, and the backgrounds-- all very inspiring. NO pop culture references! HOORAY! And while the cast were all celebrities voices, it didn't bother me(though Tobias Fuke stuck out to me the most.haha). Anyways, go out and see it, the story was a bit cliche and I kind of felt there were one too many slow-motion scenes(wouldn't cut them out entirely! The film NEEDED those moments, just should have held back in a couple spots) it still is an fun movie. Po is a very loveable panda and hey, the movie inspired this drawing of the day:

Annie with her signature move "Rolling Thunder" and then Kiwi demonstrating his practice of foot wrestling, however if his claws arn't enough---he has a beak as a back-up.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

The Return of the Mall People

How I missed my mall people! Good to go back and see the usual crowd of Oregon's finest.