Category Archives: Computer Animation

Bruce Lee vs. Donnie Yen in this fan’s tribute to two legends A Warrior’s Dream

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What happens when a super fan of martial arts is also a very talented VFX artist. He creates a short film pitting two Kung Fu legends in the same room. Directed by Li Jin, A Warriors Dream is a totally animated film that begs the question, who would win in a fight between Donnie Yen and Bruce Lee. I say Bruce, only because Jeet Kune Do, was a more malleable form and bends with the warrior to suit their needs, when mastered.  Listen to me sounding all Pai Mei. Truth is, I don’t know what I’m talking about.

A Warrior‘s Dream is a 3D animated short film with photorealistic visual style. The story is about a martial artist‘s combat with his imaginary opponent. The martial artist finally realized that the mightiest opponent is himself. The film ends with Bruce Lee’s calligraphy “Walk On”. Thus the director wishes Donnie Yen can walk on as a martial artist like Bruce Lee, the idol of Donnie Yen himself.

Watch The Green Ruby Pumpkin and know what Halloween is!

It is because films like this that I love Halloween! Directed by CGI animators Miguel Ortega (Jack The Giant Killer, THOR) and Tran Ma (Alice In Wonderland, G.I. Joe) The Ruby Green Pumpkin is a delight in that way that years from now you’ll be asking yourself “remember that one Halloween story…yeah that one. Wasn’t it awesome!” The story is a cleverly woven limerick about a woman/witch who lives in this wondrous world and gives candy to all who come to her door, dressed mind you. She dispenses these goodies from her ruby green pumpkin year after year. The story goes on to show all sorts of folks coming to her door for goodies and dressed in their Halloween best. It’s all pretty cheery until the three boys arrive, now I won’t spoil it for you, but that’s where the Tim Burton light heartedness kinda wanes, but still stays beautiful. My hopes is that every kid in the world gets a chance to see films like this, cause they are just plain good and filled with that level of simple story telling that’s hard to find nowadays.

The Green Ruby Pumpkin is a magical and fun short film that captures the enchantment of Halloween. It was a passion project that was created by two Senior visual effects artists. Miguel Ortega and Tran Ma. This Entire project was shot in the living room. watch the making of HERE

Currently Miguel Ortega and Tran Ma are working on a Lovecraft-esque feature called The Ningyo.

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Description

A 1909 period film about cryptozoology. The search for mythological or unproven creatures. A Faustian tale about loosing oneself in the process of achieving our goals.

A Ponce De Leon type adventure involving deep sea diving and underwater caverns.

Dr. Marlowe, a paleontologist and professor, finds a piece of a map pointing to the place where the Ningyo, the mythical Japanese creature, could be found. The legend claims whomever consumes its flesh will attain remarkable longevity. He presents the project to his peers, who mock and dismiss him as a fraud. He decides to risk everything and go after the Ningyo on his own in hopes to bring to light what could be one of the greatest contributions to science. What he could not anticipate is that, in his search, he is confronted with a choice that puts the very foundations of his morality to the test.

For more information on The Ningyo checkout their facebook website for the latest.

You can see our other visual effects work MONSTER SCULPTER


The Making of The Green Ruby Pumpkin from miguel ortega on Vimeo.

The Green Ruby Pumpkin from miguel ortega on Vimeo.

New trailer and banners for The Hobbit ups the visual ante

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It’s interesting when you can base the closing of the year around the release of The Hobbit or, used to be, Harry Potter. Maybe it’s the elves…no I’m positive, it’s the elves or it could be the Celtic/ Druid myths surrounding dragons and wizards. Either way…pale face white people with pointy ears are a shoe in during the holidays. I wonder if the same would work for a Chinese man with pointy ears? Hmmmm…I digress, this will probably be the last trailer before the release of The Hobbit on December 13 2013, a day after my birthday so it makes sense that they, they being Peter Jackson, has crammed so many new images from the film into this trailer, that it almost comes off desperate…especially at the end. That aside, the trailer delves deeper into Legolas’s (Orlando Bloom) and Tauriel’s (Evangeline Lilly) relationship which, quite honestly, I don’t remember any off in the books, but it has been twenty plus years since I’ve read it. The two seem to be in the same lovers conundrum as Eragon and Arwen in The Lord of the Rings. Legolas wants Dat-Ass and Tauriel’s father forbids it…I’m sure there’s more to it than that, but that’s what I gathered from the trailer. The trialer get’s a bit lenghty towards the end, as I mentioned, with this long drawn out semi-reveal of Smaug. We do get to hear Smaug’s voice for the first time which sounds a bit like KHAAAAAAN!!!, but that makes sense considering Benedict Cumberbatch (Star Trek Into Darkness) is voicing the character. Take a look at the trailer below, along with some new banners featuring characters from the film.

The Hobbit stars Martin Freeman, Ian McKellan, John Bell, Jed Brophy, Adam Brown, John Callen, Stephen Fry, Ryan Gage, Mark Hadlow, Peter Hambleton, Stephen Hunter, William Kircher, Sylvester McCoy, Graham McTavish, Michael Mizrahi, James Nesbitt, Dean O’Gorman, Mikael Persbrandt, Ken Stott, and Aidan Turner. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug opens in 2D, 3D, and HFR 3D on December 13th.

Relativity Media adapting the graphic novel Anomaly for a feature film

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Weeks ago MITNG did a review on this amazing, augmented reality graphic novel, called Anomaly created by software designer Skip Brittenham and comic book writer and illustrator Brian Haberlin, well today we received word that this epic story is being made into a feature length film.

Of course, not everything about this venture is clear yet, but this is what we do know …

Relativity Media (Immortals, The Social Network, Skyline) will be developing and producing a movie based off Anomaly. Joe Roth (Snow White and the Huntsman, Oz: The Great and Powerful) will produce the film and Ed Ricourt (Now You See Me) has signed on to write the script.

If any of you have read this story, you know how well it’s pages translates to film, so for the most part, this should be seamless and because of the augmented reality aspects of the book, I’m guessing 3D Imax may be on the menu for this science fiction masterpiece. We will see. As a fan of the film and book, I’m wishing these guys the best. This will be an excellent film.

Synopsis:

Dishonorably discharged from the Conglomerate’s elite Enforcer Corps, Jon is doing a job too lowly for a robot. He leaps at the chance to go on a peaceful, first contact mission to an untainted world. Playing armed babysitter to Samantha, the daughter of a powerful Conglomerate executive shouldn’t be too hard. What could go wrong?

Everything…

For Jon, it’s a relief to get away – on an easy assignment protecting a couple of do-gooders visiting a peaceful new planet. For Samantha, it’s a mission to change the world. For Jasson, it’s a chance to put his theories to the test.

Being marooned on Anomaly where technology doesn’t work, the terrain is lethal and the creatures even more so, Jon quickly learns he’s not the man he once was. Dark secrets surround the various species that call this world home. Jon’s actions here have the potential to ripple across the void of space, and touch everything in it… Maybe even the Conglomerate…

But when Anomaly sprouts synthetics-eating viruses, flesh-eating mutants and deadly magic, it becomes a race against which form of death will come first. Who will survive? Who will return?

For More info about the film click HERE

ANOMALY Official Website

 

 

ANOMALY proves to be much more than expected

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It took awhile, but I finally got around to finishing Anomaly. I first set eyes on this magnificent book at the Phoenix Comic Con 2013 and became an instant fan. Developed by Anomaly Productions started by VFX artist Skip Brittenham and comic book writer and editor Brian Haberlin , Anomaly is a visually groundbreaking augmented reality graphic novel. Every other page in this enormous book, weighing in at almost ten pounds, contains augmented reality that can be accessed by downloading the app onto your smart phone, ipad or iphone. Once downloaded you point the camera at specific pages and voila, the characters come to life in exquisite detail.

The app allows you to rotate your ipad or phone, to see the character on all sides. Each character also does an action when you swipe your finger across the screen, but I wouldn’t be telling you any of this if Anomaly wasn’t a good story in itself.

If you can get past the size of the book, it’s actually quite a good read!

SYNOPSIS:

Dishonorably discharged from the Conglomerate’s elite Enforcer Corps, Jon is doing a job too lowly for a robot. He leaps at the chance to go on a peaceful, first contact mission to an untainted world. Playing armed babysitter to Samantha, the daughter of a powerful Conglomerate executive shouldn’t be too hard. What could go wrong?

Everything…

For Jon, it’s a relief to get away – on an easy assignment protecting a couple of do-gooders visiting a peaceful new planet. For Samantha, it’s a mission to change the world. For Jasson, it’s a chance to put his theories to the test.

Being marooned on Anomaly where technology doesn’t work, the terrain is lethal and the creatures even more so, Jon quickly learns he’s not the man he once was. Dark secrets surround the various species that call this world home. Jon’s actions here have the potential to ripple across the void of space, and touch everything in it… Maybe even the Conglomerate…

But when Anomaly sprouts synthetics-eating viruses, flesh-eating mutants and deadly magic, it becomes a race against which form of death will come first. Who will survive? Who will return?

The story flows well as we follow our protagonist to this primitive planet, where large mutants live and magic still exists. The danger’s Jon’s crew face are well beyond human understanding, but watching them apply western arrogance to a problem beyond reasoning, is kind of a hoot. The banter isn’t too cliche, but they border on it sometimes, however the scope of the world is beautifully laid out in long pages that gives you a panoramic of the planet in every turn of the page.

I must say that a few of the creatures, structures and scenes, take huge sips from the Peter Jackson cup, but I was able to look past it. It’s almost an homage to games like Halo and movies like Lord of the Rings with a sprinkle of AVATAR…for good measure. I also wasn’t able to look at all the augmented stuff  while I read, simply cause I was too busy reading and the augmented stuff was slowing me down, but that’s not to say you can’t go back when it’s done and look til your hearts content.

I still think there are a few kinks to work out before we start seeing augmented reality books on the shelf, but I think they are making vast strides in the field. An idea, I think, that would up the stakes on this technology, provided they haven’t come up with this already, is for someone to develop glasses that allow you to experience the augmented reality without taking your hands off the book, wait a tick…Google Glasses!! We could take that idea a step further and put headphones in the glasses, that would give you a soundtrack, narration if needed or sound effects. This of course is an interfacing nightmare, but one well worth looking into.

As for Anomaly, it’s a brilliant look at what will be the future of comic books and I am eagerly awaiting the next issue.

ANOMALY WEBSITE

The opening and closing credits of Pacific Rim alone are better than Grown Up’s 1 and 2

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I’m still trying to get over how Pacific Rim was eclipsed by Grown Up’s 2 this weekend, but I know that PR will pull in more worldwide….that you can guarantee. For those who haven’t seen Pacific Rim yet, it’s important for you to see this. It is so action packed and chock full of absolutely amazing cinematography and VFX and in my opinion is going to be the best film of the summer of 2013. I felt like a kid watching this film and so will you.

Today Geek Tyrant posted the opening and closing credits for Pacific Rim. I know it’s not the film, but at least you can get a sense of the bad-assery and Tom Morello (Rage Against the Machine) and Ramin Djawadi’s (Game of Thrones) amazing soundtrack!

A foreboding war room map collapses inwards, enveloping the emblems of fallen heroes. IF Director Miguel Lee worked with the film’s director Guillermo del Toro to create this ominous prelude which ushers us into the apocalyptic world of Pacific Rim.

As the smoke clears from the epic battle, we venture through a panoply of monsters, machines, and their monumental feats. IF Creative Director Miguel Lee and his team worked closely with the film’s director Guillermo del Toro to present his colossal creations in stylistic fashion, combining macro-photography and a graphic novel aesthetic in stereoscopic 3D.

UK based company Galaxy Chocolate brings Audrey Hepburn back in a CGI break though

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You know that feeling you get when you’ve seen a ghost? Okay, some of you may not know what I’m talking about, but I’ve seen one, anyway I digress. That’s exactly how you’re going to feel when you see this UK commercial for the chocolate company Galaxy. The chocolate conglomerate apparently got permission from Audrey Hepburn‘s estate to use her likeness for a commercial theyaudrey-galaxy--478x270 shot for their tasty confection. I say likeness with a smirk…Holy Damn! They nailed this girls likeness to the point of being demonic. If this is any example of what the future holds for cinema, expect to see Marilyn Monroe resurrected by way of computers. The timing on this commercial couldn’t be better, given all the hysteria behind CGI houses laying off engineers who’ve sweat over several Hollywood blockbusters only to get the shaft. Fuck cloning? This is a million times more powerful and more accessible than cloning is at present. To many issues of ethics comes into play when dealing with dna, but not with computers. The only ethics issue is who and what are they using dead people to sell and will the owners of the estate allow it. If anyone has any info regarding how much Audrey’s brother/owner of her estate, got to allow this please throw us a bone. Also if you know of the digital house responsible for this masterpiece…Holla Back! Meanwhile I’m going to watch this again. Audrey we miss you!

 

Web series ‘Dynamo’ will hook you with its wonderful weirdness

Moment Factory will light you up

MakeMake Studio and My Robot Friend collaborate on videos for ‘Goodbye’ and ‘Waiting’

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