Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The Magic Carpet

When I wrote for Animated News I used to get all sorts of neato stuff sent to me. One of my favorite things was this Aladdin-themed mousepad that looks just like the magic carpet from the film, complete with real tassels:


Click here to see some bigger versions of the photo so you can catch all the detail.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Twenty Years and One Day Ago

Twenty years and one day ago the world lost a wonderful, kind, creative soul named Jim Henson, yet his legacy lives on.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Shrek: The Final Chapter: Fun Facts!

The fourth and final Shrek film was initially going to be called Shrek Goes Forth, then it was going to be called Shrek Forever After and they have apparently now settled on calling it Shrek: The Final Chapter. There may actually have been some other titles tossed about. Anyways, here are some fun facts recently released about the production of the film. One of the facts even mentions one of the discarded titles.
  1. There were 65 sequences written, recorded, and storyboarded over the course of the production. The final film has 32.
  2. Nearly 70,000 storyboards were drawn in the making of SHREK FOREVER AFTER.
  3. 23 storyboard artists contributed to the film.
  4. Shrek is 7 feet tall, has 22 teeth and his hand is about 13.5 inches from the base of his palm to the tip of his middle finger. His shoe size would be a size 22 (15 ½ inches) – similar to Shaquille O'Neal.
  5. Rumpelstiltskin's feet are 6¼ inches. That's like a child's size 9 or 10 – similar to a 2 – 3 year old kid.
  6. Rumpelstiltskin wears 4 different wigs in the movie: business wig, speech wig, angry wig and victory wig.
  7. Shrek 4 is the first show that did Cloth, Hair, Finaling, Chains, Smoosh and Feathers in one show.
  8. Crowd characters have up to 3 layers of clothing while most hero characters only have one.
  9. The S4 book was built to have 60 double sided pages.
  10. There are 241 shields in the ogre ball, and 34 ogres inside it.
  11. In the Ogre camp, there are 35 torches in 59 shots. That's 2065 layers or 4130 for stereo.
  12. In the World Fades, the tornado elements are generated (combination of 2 separate elements) simulating around/over 500 million particles per frame. Total length of the shots utilizes the tornado element is well over 1000 frames. The final look is achieved by compositing 14 separate channels.
  13. DreamWorks Animation software generated 74,016 different ogre variations, of which the same 51 were used throughout all the ogre shots.
  14. There are 430 witches on the dance floor and balconies when Shrek is brought in meet Rumpelstiltskin.
  15. Reference for the battle between ogres and witches was done with motion capture. Three actors with over 22 years of combined martial arts experience including one Aikido instructor, and one US collegiate Wu Shu champion. There were four fully choreographed fights.
  16. Reference for the dancing ogres with Pied Piper was a video of a professional dance troupe with about a dozen members. The choreographer was Michael Rooney, Mickey Rooney's son.

Admirable Asperger's Animation

Now animation should always be entertaining but sometimes it should be educational. Check out this well-animated spot about Asperger's Syndrome:

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Annie Awards Videos

In my time spent skirting the edges of the animation community for the past several years I've been to a number of events that I thought would be great for people to see who weren't able to make it for whatever reason. Some of these events have been video recorded but I never find out later that it made it to the Internet. Fortunately that could be changing now with the appearance of the 37th Annual Annie Awards Webcast.

Here's a couple of the clips: