Starting my own mobile motion capture company

January 28, 2010

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I am currently in the process of starting up my own mobile motion capture company right now and am looking at beginning operations as of March 1st. My partner and I are in the final stages of compiling our business plan, market research and organizing capital investment and things look very promising for the future.

You can also watch the following demo reel provided by the motion capture suit manufacturer and see the suit’s capabilities yourself:

XSENS also went down to Vail, Colorado last month and did a shoot on the mountain trails down there:

http://www.xsens.com/

– FlashAddict

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Reading Media Culture – Friday’s film class notes

March 16, 2009

ANTHROPHOMORPHISM
The endowment of creatures with human attributes, abilities and qualities.
– by Paul Wells in his book Understanding Animation
Creatures covers more than animals or plants as seen in The Brave Little Toaster (appliances)

There are 2 practices that explain this theory in greater detail:
– Animism – the belief that everything on Earth has a spirit and impacts on life
– Totism – incorporation of natural entities into ritual behaviour
(ie: dove with an olive branch = symbol for peace as a mental construct / candles on a cake = symbol for birthday)

In Eisenstein’s article, he refers to Vesilovski’s definition of Animism, “We involuntarily transfer onto Nature our own experience of Life which is expressed in movement in the manifestation of a force directed by a will.”

Key to the Animation Industry = Design characters that the viewing audience can identify with and would want to watch over and over again.
– viewers either see someone who they know or like, or possibly themselves (cross-genre use of animation and musicals are a natural mixture)
– this character can be an idealized version of who they are
– as a result, viewers feel more comfortable about who they are (personality animation)

The Three Little Pigs by Walt Disney

Anthrophomorphism examples from the animation:
– wearing clothes, talk, stand on 2 feet, procrastinate, dancing, building houses, play instrument, a pig that’s afraid (tails), picture frames, furniture, relied on others, showed hubris (extreme arrogance = get what you deserve for your cockiness), boiling water, understand english, use tricks to foil the wolf, lock the door, deceptive quality in the wolf, wolf uses threats, first 2 pigs form a collective where the third pig is on his own, have luxuries (welcome mat), portrait of the family in the pig house (2 of Father – one with sausage and one with a ham / and one of mother nursing), understood the concept of work, lived in capitalist society (if you don’t work, you are screwed), separation of class structures (pig represented as civilized where the wolf is shown to be a vagrant), different pitches of voices from first 2 pigs to third pig, Darwin theory of survival of the fittest, creation of suburbia (own your own house), have a fire, value of hard work, potted plants, self-serving mentality of the first two pigs, turpentine and mixing it into the cauldron, individual clothing and voice style, be prepared motto shown by the third pig, hits the wolf with the brush = defense strategy, opposable thumbs (foundation to human evolution), eyes structured like humans, mocking the wolf when they thought they were safe, have beds and pillows, ability to reason and negotiate

Most blatant examples are when the wolf tried to trick the 2nd pig that he had left and then showed up as a wolf in sheep’s clothing.
Then he tried to pass himself off as a Fuller Brush salesman trying to put himself through college.

Merbabies by Walt Disney

Imaginary divine omnipotence – Eisenstein
– manufactured utopia – impossible dream to live in that environment – shown when the bubbles rise to the surface and reveal that the whole setting is imaginary
– mermaid characters were very cherubic in their portrayal
– defiance of the food chain – big fish eats the little fish

Bugs in Love by Walt Disney

What comes first, the chicken or the egg when it comes to animation?
– Chuck Jones, one of the greatest animators ever, talks about the creation of Daffy Duck.
– Producer Leon Schlesinger was a very bombastic persona who was authoritative, yet he spoke with a slight lisp
– Jones used this as creative license and added it to the persona of Daffy (wasn’t a duck in fact, but a transvestite chicken!)
– Jones asked Mel Blanc to do the voice and the track was sped up
– but then they realized that Leon would have to listen to the recording and approve it
– as a result they wrote out their resignation letters beforehand just in case
– “Jesus Christ, what a silly WOICE! Where did you get it?”
– moral of the story = where does an animator get inspiration for their work? – answer is that every animator has a mirror on the side of their desk to mimic facial expressions

I do not know what it is I am like by Bill Viola
– Video Art deals with the camera in a totally new way so that you have immediate feedback in what you are recording
– Failure of Knowledge is a major theme that they wanted to develop
– image is displayed will leave you in discomfort and wants to put the viewer in the piece itself rather than as an entertainment tool = leaves you in a state of frustration and you are stuck with it = anti-telivision and anti-constructed entertainment (not here to entertain you)
– feel like a spectator inhabiting the world of the bison – other than the camera recording the imagery, there are no obvious human interactions, not even a narration

Planet Earth – by BBC


House of Cards – by Radiohead

March 4, 2009
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Looked at this wonderful video by Radiohead yesterday in class – no cameras or lights were used to capture the footage – they used a new data capture device called LIDAR. We also discussed creative ways of visualizating data and the convergence of science/technology and art – and looked at PROCESSING – a new software program available for free download that enables artists to further visualize their work as well…
– FlashAddict

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http://radiohead.com/deadairspace/

Radiohead just released a new video for its song “House of Cards” from the album “In Rainbows”.

No cameras or lights were used. Instead two technologies were used to capture 3D images: Geometric Informatics and Velodyne LIDAR. Geometric Informatics scanning systems produce structured light to capture 3D images at close proximity, while a Velodyne Lidar system that uses multiple lasers is used to capture large environments such as landscapes. In this video, 64 lasers rotating and shooting in a 360 degree radius 900 times per minute produced all the exterior scenes.

Watch the making-of video to learn about how the video was made and the various technologies that were used to capture and render 3D data.

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HOUS_E OF/CARDS

In Radiohead’s new video for “House of Cards”, no cameras or lights were used. Instead, 3D plotting technologies collected information about the shapes and relative distances of objects. The video was created entirely with visualizations of that data.

Directed by James Frost
From the album IN RAINBOWS

Go to: http://code.google.com/radiohead to find additional pieces of data to create your own visualizations. Upload the results here:
http://www.youtube.com/group/houseofcards

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PROCESSING

Processing is an open source programming language and environment for people who want to program images, animation, and interactions. It is used by students, artists, designers, researchers, and hobbyists for learning, prototyping, and production. It is created to teach fundamentals of computer programming within a visual context and to serve as a software sketchbook and professional production tool. Processing is an alternative to proprietary software tools in the same domain.

Processing is free to download and available for GNU/Linux, Mac OS X, and Windows. Please help to release the next version!

Processing is an open project initiated by Ben Fry and Casey Reas. It evolved from ideas explored in the Aesthetics and Computation Group at the MIT Media Lab. The project is currently improved and maintained by a small team of volunteers.

http://processing.org/

Examples of what Processing can do:

http://www.michael-hansmeyer.com/projects/project4.html

http://www.processing.org/learning/3d/cubicgrid.html


Waltz with Bashir – by Ari Folman

January 19, 2009

Cannes 2008 official Competition, directed by Ari Folman, first animated documentary – very powerful imagery so take a look and let me know what you think…

http://waltzwithbashir.com/


Flipbook project compilations…

October 10, 2008

Here are two videos that I made showcasing the concepts I developped for the flipbook animation project that we were assigned for our DIVA 200 course:

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? OBSCENE ?

ob·scene (adj.)

1. Offensive to accepted standards of decency or modesty.
2. Inciting lustful feelings; lewd.
3. Repulsive; disgusting


WARNING: ADULT THEME – DO NOT CLICK PLAY IF YOU ARE EASILY OFFENDED!

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From Booty Bay to Quel’Danas in 2 minutes

I recorded this film for my DIVA 200 (Digital and Interactive Arts) course at the Emily Carr University of Art + Design (ECUAD). The clips were taken from the online video game World of Warcraft and features a hyperspeed flight from Booty Bay to the Isle of Quel’Danas.


Reading the Screen – class notes from last Friday (animation)

October 2, 2008

“The Humorous phases of funny faces” – J. Stewart Blackton?
FIRST ANIMATION EVER 1906


– done with chalk so it was erased with each frame

“Fantasmagorie” – Emile Cohl

– first true animation in August 1908
– graphite on paper

“Walking” – Ryan Larkin

– was nominated for an academy award in 1970, but Ryan lost his way and fell into drugs and despair
“Ryan” – Chris Landreth


part 1

part 2

– a 2004 Oscar-winning animated documentary by Chris Landreth about the influential Canadian animator Ryan Larkin (see above – he did “Walking”), who in later years lived on skid row in Montreal following a history of drug and alcohol abuse.
Earl Heard 1915 – invented celluloid animation – all studios had to pay him a royalty until the patent ran into the public domain

“The Old Mill” – Disney

– tricks of the trade – multi-plane camera
– special effects animation from back in 1937 – old school cgi hand drawn and hand painted (very labour intensive)
– editing is so important, it’s how you move an audience
– as the storm builds, the shots get closer and closer – cutting/editing make the film
– Walt Disney spent only 12 years to refine animation from Steamboat Willy to Fantasia

– Disney either created or refined modern day aspects of animation
– Leonard Maltin has published numerous animation history books, including “Of Mice and Magic”
– 1937 – Snow White – used multi-plane camera up to Little Mermaid – last time it was used
– now they use D Canvas or Caps and computers to simulate 3d and distance
– “Minnie the Moocher”


– opening with Cab Calloway Hidy Hidy Ho!
– Cab Calloway was the man back in the day!  Max Fleischer vs. Disney studios
– Betty Boop was one of the first fully female animated characters- early example of rotoscoping with Cab dancing – precursor to Waking Life and A Scanner Darkly plus the iPod commercials as well – music video by The New Pornographers
Waking Life – Trailer

A Scanner Darkly – Trailer

New Pornographers – Myriad Harbour

Die Abenteuer des Prinzen Achmed (The Adventures of Prince Achmed)

– 300,000 cut outs to make this film – Lotte Reiniger – made in 1927
– very first animated feature film – she was the only one who did the cut outs – silhouette animation film

The Mysterious Geographic Explorations of Jasper Morello – steampunk animation

The Old Man and the Sea – Alexander Petrov

part 1

part 2

– hand painted on glass (finger painting)
– wow – incredible paintings – clouds turn into elephants – lions – the sailing ship
– amazing detail in the oar slicing through the water and having the drops drip down
– the swordfish leaps several feet out of the water and keeps puling the boat further out to sea
– phosphorescence at night is beautiful – the crowd of people on the beach is incredibly detailed
– in the credits, it shows the director Alexander Petrov hand painting each individual glass frame

Peter and the Wolf – Suzie Templeton (also did a film called “Dog”)
– stop motion puppet animation

MISC CLASS NOTES:
lots of cutting edge animation happening in music videos
international film festival – should check it out
the story of pixar – director leslie was grand-daughter of the guy who helped do steamboat willy
– the man who planted trees was roger lassiter’s inspiration – he played it to introduce his festival
– not an actual true story – was fiction – frederick back

animation = bringing life out of something static
– animation is about drawing movement
– is it possible to make a bad film with beautiful drawings (star wars 1-3, final fantasy…)
– can you make a good film with bad drawings (rejected, simpsons, don hertzfeld)

Welcome to the Show – Don Hertzfeld

– DAMN THE ILLUSION OF MOVEMENT TO HELL!!!!!

Intermission – Don Hertzfeld

End of the Show – Don Hertzfeld

Rejected – Don Hertzfeld

– animation = just for kids?!?!? nope, it is much much more
– film screenings on wednesday help showcase the various techniques

STOP MOTION
– claymation (chicken run)
– paper cut out (south park, adventures of prince achmed – first animated film ever) aka silhouette animation
– puppet animation (nightmare before christmas)
– pixelation (neighbours, space jam, white stripes hardest button to button
– object animation – stop motion (joanna priestley)

– experimental (painted glass, the street, norman mclaren)
– pin screen animation (very rare – use pin screen – NFB animations – do research – each shot is unique – cannot be recreated – alex alexsov)
– rotoscope (waking life, a scanner darkly)
– cell animation (disney, looney toons, duck amuck)
– limited animation (simpsons – all you get is mouth/hand being animated vs. disney where the entire body is animated)
aka illustrated radio because the shots are reused 1960’s cartoons like spider man)

Additional Animation clips:

The Animatrix – Final Flight of the Osiris


Reading the Screen – class notes from last Wednesday

October 2, 2008

The Band Concert  Dir. Walt Disney  USA  1935  8 min.

– William Tell Overture – Mickey is the conductor – all other major characters are in the band
– Donald is selling ice cream and interrupting the music – also playing the flute – shaking his tail feathers
– Mickey breaks his flute – but Donald has many others
– bee flies into the flute and into Donald’s mouth
– ice cream gets thrown from donald to mickey to the band and back at mickey
– tempo raises as mickey tries to kill bee and swings his hands around with the baton
– ruh roh here comes the tornado
– audience and benches go running
– the band gets sucked into the cyclone and then drops back down to the ground when it disipates
– lawl only donald is left in the audience and breaks out his flute again to play out the scene

I Ought To Be In Pictures Dir. Bob Clampett  USA  1939   7 min.


– WB Looney tunes with Porky Pig on opening still
– real life people walking into the film studio – shows animator drawing porky pig
– LUNCH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! animators run to the mess hall
– Daffy Duck starts talking to Porky and tells him to quit his contract
– they walk through the real life studio and knock on the studio head’s door
– Hello, Porky – cmon in – hello Leon Sclesinger
– get out of cartoon contract – get into feature films – they shake hands
– “He’ll be back!”
– Daffy was conspiring to take his place all along
– security guard at the feature film studio tosses porky pig into the street
– he comes onto a live set – QUIET!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
– porky sneezes and gets caught – thrown out again – security guard sees him – chase begins again
– “don’t like feature business – wonder if i can get my job back?”
– daffy tries to sell studio head about his acting/singing skills
– studio head ain’t interested – FIGARO!!!!!!!!!!!!
– camera on a rolling car with porky drawn into the scene
– porky comes in to see daffy talking to leon and calls him outside – beats the crap out of him – papers go flying
– porky says april fools – I knew you’d come back – get back to work!
– he jumps back into the paper – daffy is in bandages now
– THAT’S ALL FOLKS!

Duck Amuck  Dir. Chuck Jones   USA  1953   7 min.


– MERRY MELODIES
– Daffy Duck as a musketeer
– he talks to the animator / audience as the scenery disapears and he keeps changing
– farm to igloos – daffy keeps changing characters – now its a beach in hawaii
– white screen – giant pencil starts erasing daffy
– SOUND PLEASE! – guitar sounds like rifle / horn / donkey
– daffy opens his mouth and sounds like a rooster, ape…gets really pissed
– painted daffy as an alien – painted in mirror and he freaks
– THIS IS A CLOSE UP?!?!?!
– DAffy fights the black screen closing and falling on him
– The End…NO NO NO!!!
– it turns out it was Bugs Bunny all along as the animator
– “Ain’t I a stinker?”

Begone Dull Care  Dir. Norman McClaren   CANADA  1949  8 min.


– abstract drawings / patterns / layouts / cutouts
– many different cuts set to the tempo of the music
– many different layers scrolling at different speeds
– different musical tempos differentiate different graphic symbols
– line drawings represent softer tempos

– first song ends – now second one comes on – much slower tempo
– focus on 2 dancing lines across the screen to the sound of a solitary piano
– it feels like a piano playing visually
– rising and dropping cymbals in the background

– new musical piece – much heavier tempo – back to abstract and loud visual graphics
– scrolling upwards – feels like we’re on a train going somewhere
– scrolls through many different END / SALUT…to end the piece

Blinkity Blank Dir. Norman McClaren   CANADA  1952   7 min.


– similar to last piece – with abstract shapes
– he cut and manipulated the individual film strips to create the shapes and text
– very time intensive and consuming process to do
– he also manipulated the sound strips on the film as well
– use of colours and scratches in the film to create shapes

The Street  Dir. Caroline Leaf CANADA  1976  10 min.


– credit text – with sounds of kids playing overtop
– breathing – hands – face – snoring
– watercolour painting – maybe charcoal?
– grandmother dying – her last summer
– narrator telling the story – it’s a man reminiscing about his childhood
– boys peak up the nurse’s dress everytime she  she came
– boy tries to peak in and enter his old room – to give her a kiss every morning
– the sounds and voices are so rich in texture, yet the drawings are not
– mother brings the grandmother back to the house after her illness
– interesting segueway sequence from scene to scene – smoke/cloud like effect

Neighbours  Dir. Norman McClaren   CANADA  1952   7 min.


– frame by frame action – to show movement
– two men sitting on lawn chairs lighting pipes
– electronic music soundscape
– a flower grows in the middle of the lawn between their properties
– man smells flower and falls backwards – frame by frame movement again – shows them jumping – caught in mid air
– they both want the flower so now they are trying to build a fence between them
– back and forth the fence goes between properties
– now they start fencing with one another
– face painting to show them slowly degenerate to their primitive selves
– kicks their wives and babies – kills them
– in the process they kill themselves and the flower dies
– the fences are built around their graves and the flower splits into 2 and grows on their tombs
– LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOUR
The Hand   Dir. Jiri Trnka.  CZECHOSLOVAKIA. 1965.  18 Min.


– stop motion animation – like aardman/chicken run – uses puppets and real objects
– in comes a giant gloved hand through the window and breaks a potted plant
– plays with the pottery wheel and creates a hand out of the bowl the puppet had made
– knock knock knock – he moves the plant  and grabs his broom to swat at the hand
– ring ring ring – puppet looks for the phone
– has receiver to his ear but we see visual representation of the conversation over puppet’s head
– hand brings a tv out of a box on the floor
– standoff between the puppet and the scene on the tv with a hand and shows various close ups of different hands (images…)
– puppet tries to smash fingers of the hand with a mace
– newspaper comes under the door – has a hand inside of it and the giant hand appears out of it
– burlesque hand now appears and dances for the puppet – beckoning him to come forward
– nooses appear from the fingers – they are actually strings to control the puppet
– he is now in a cage and is chiseling a hand out of stone at the direction of the giant hand
– burning the midnight oil in order to finish off the hand statue
– puppet is awarded with medals for completing the hand
– he topples over the hand statue to break out of the cage and escape – begins chase sequence with giant hand trying to catch him
– puppet makes it back to his home and slams door shut behind him / barricades himself inside
– glove on the giant hand is now black as the puppet had killed himself trying to close the closet and the potted plant fell on his head
– funeral scene ow as the puppet is laid to rest inside the closet

The Man Who Planted Trees  Dir. Frederick Back   CANADA  1987   30 min


part 1/4
– narrator Christopher Plummer
– beautifully drawn scenes and animations
– abstract yet engaging at the same time
– animated scrolling scenes showcase the houses and windows
– barren landscapes – sound of howling winds overheard – sets the tone/scene of the piece
– flowing cloak of the shepherd – bahhhhhhhhhhh bahhhhhhh
– flowing line drawing to show the tide coming in at the ocean shore
– the flowing/howling winds are represented within the flowing drawings
– always the ever present wind
– illumination from the candle was shown effectively in the lighting of the drawing
– 10,000 oak trees in this desolate land where before there was…nothing
– the land was dying from lack of trees
– WWI starts and scene changes to the trenches of France – explosions – bayonets – desolation
– once the war was over – the narrator went back to the barren lands to smell fresh air
– now the old man is a bee keeper – given up his sheep because they threatened his trees
– oaks of 1910 were now 10 years old and taller then the narrator – 3 sections 10 km x 11km
– one man with no mechanization had done this
– as for providence, she would need a cyclone to destroy this stretch of trees
– creation had just followed in a natural sequence – streams flowing with water where before they had been dry
– delegation came to observe the “natural growing forest” – was placed under government protection
– he knows more about this than anyone in the world
– WWII – shows warplanes in the sky – sounds of them as well
– complete a task worthy of God