App Store

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Blender people, just use Blender

It ain't easy. Nobody said it would be. But if you're strapped for cash and must create your animated masterpiece, use Blender3d. It's a free app for modeling, animation, rendering, texturing, IK, character animation, and video game production. And some folks are actually doing something with it!

Check out Project Orange, an open source movie project. I love the idea, and had talked about doing something similar years ago. As James Brown would say, "saying it and doing it ain't the same thing, there's just as much difference as night and day." Or something like that...

Go pre-buy the DVD for Project Orange. Check out the demos on Blender's homepage. When you're ready to get going with Blender, check out the "official" manual in the Amazon links to the right. Support me and the Blender Foundation-- how can you lose?

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Wanna learn animation?

From time to time I'll be posting little "how to" animate links or articles... So here's one I dug out of my bookmarks:

Larry's Toon Institute

A nice overview for character animation.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Unity is awesome for game development

I blogged this up on TUAW (The Unofficial Apple Weblog), so you can read my spin on it there, but MacMegasite has a cool wording read more.

BTW, that was my first post for TUAW-- wooohooooo!

Anyhow, I think Unity is the bees knees. I've played with the demo, and it's amazing. Unity is a fully formed game dev platform. Physics, particles, rag dolls, animation and scripting, all in a great workflow and GUI. The weird thing is that it's Mac-only, but will now export Windows games.

Since I'll be learning Maya soon I probably won't have time to tinker with Unity (for now). Anyone want to team up and work on a killer toy? Notice I didn't say game. What I have in mind is more like a Power Toy. Appealing to the idea of "personal media" and targeting animation enthusiasts, filmmakers, bloggers, anyone interested in making cool stuff...

Let me know at davincifeedback AT mac DOT com...

[ FULL METAL ALCHEMIST - HAGANE NO RENKINJUTSUSHI ] Synposis - Character Bios, Reviews, Summary, Rank System

Getting up to speed on Full Metal Alchemist

Well another anime show has sucked me in! Good stuff. Very inventive, and I love the story line. Recommended for folks who have never seen anime, or think it is porn or something...

There is even a video game that was released here in the states.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Disney, dumber than dirt

Oh man. I don't mean Walt Disney was dumb. I mean the management AT Disney, for the past 15 or so years, hasn't been all that bright. Here's why:

1. Celebrity voices don't matter
2. It's about the story
3. It's not about eye candy

They don't understand any of those rules. The same could be said about Hollywood in general, but the reason Disney has been spectacularly crappy of late is primarily because they just don't get the whole "story" thing.

Case in point: "Valiant." It was a cute movie. But the main character, Valiant, is just a simpering sod the whole time. He "does what's right" from beginning to end, and never really sees any character development. See, no story! Just a bunch of stuff that happens. Great for documentaries, not so good for narrative film.

I always show my students the "making of" doc on the Incredibles DVD. It has Brad Bird explaining why he did a movie with Pixar. "They protect stories here," he says. He goes on to explain how movies are like gambling, and that scares the business suits in the industry. You don't get any suit-ee-er than the current Disney Poobah, Eisner. Megalomania aside, he really wants to churn out formulaic schlock because he figures it's good for the stock. Well, guess who's laughing all the way to the trading floor?

And if all this wasn't enough, I found this on
Pixar tells story behind 'Toy Story'... Basically the gist is that 10 years ago Disney execs canned Toy Story because all their well-meaning corporate-meddling notes had turned it into another formulaic schlockfest. Once Lasseter begged for more time to fix (and he removed all their asinine suggestions), they screened the movie proper and the execs liked it. Ugh. I feel bad that John, Steve, and the rest of them had to go through all that. I can't imagine the stress. Vindication today, but what a pain.

Here's to Woody, Buzz, and the entire crew in Emeryville, CA. If'n y'all didn't live in such a nasty spot I'd love to join you...

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Turn 3d into Real-D

OK, I posted this up over at Download Squad but thought I should mention it here too...

Pepakura Designer is a really boss but bizarre little app that takes 3DS or OBJ files (among others) and turns them into printable templates. Cut them out, glue them, bingo, you have your paper model of whatever you were doing on the computer. Neat-O.

Be prepared for a learning curve. Even the simple objects I tried turned out needlessly complex using the automatic settings. Problem is, it tends to split your meshes along the faces, not the polygons. Those of you working on 3ds max know what I mean, right? Thus, ragged edges where you could've had square ones. Oh well. I need to play with it some more...

Friday, August 19, 2005

If David Lynch did anime...

It would be Paranoia Agent.

Totally freaky, totally amazing. Great story, inventive design. Even the credits (beginning and end) are compelling. Damn. I'm watching it right now on Adult Swim, 1 am. Usually I'm going to bed at this point, but looks like I'm going to have to build that MythTV box to keep up...

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Welcome to crazy town!

That's right, this is blog #5 for those of you counting at home. But this one's all about animation: movies, tv, 3d, 2d, and tools and techniques. I'm hoping to expand into Machinema and stop-motion eventually. Stay tuned!