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Pixar, Sony, and Lucasfilm Host Studio Nights at SIGGRAPH

As part of the newly expanded format of the Computer Animation Festival, SIGGRAPH 2008 will feature three all-star Production Studio Nights hosted by industry powerhouses Pixar Animation Studios, Sony Pictures Imageworks, and Lucasfilm.

In addition to the Festival's popular Competition and Invited Screenings, Festival Talks, and Production Sessions, each studio will host evening events at Los Angeles' famed Nokia Theatre. Highlights will include an exclusive advance screening of "Star Wars: The Clone Wars", preceded by a conversation between Animation Director John Knoll and Director David Filoni. Read on...

Posted: July 22, 2008

Is IMAX Missing the Big Picture?

The specialist in big-big-screen cinematic experiences backed a turkey in Speed Racer. The critically panned film was a multiplex dud during its opening weekend, so it follows that the frenetic flick should also swing and miss on IMAX's bigger screens. Sure enough, the film rang up just $1.9 million in ticket sales on 84 IMAX screens.

Only a handful of films get the IMAX remastering, and the company's 0-for-3 this young year with The Spiderwick Chronicles, Shine a Light, and now Speed Racer. It almost makes you wonder whether Pluto Nash 2 or Gigli: The Musical weren't available.  Read on...

Posted: May 13, 2008

An Industry Gets Animated


In Pixar's "WALL-E," an animated film being released next month, the hero is a robot who has to wait 700 years before learning his destiny. The computer- animation specialists behind Pixar are lucky by that measure: It has taken them just two decades to get to where they are. Pixar, founded in 1986, is now a $7 billion company whose computer-generated movies, such as "Toy Story" and "The Incredibles," are admired for their technological wizardry but beloved for the humanity they project on the screen. Read on...

Posted: May 14, 2008

IMAX Signs Deal With DreamWorks Animation

IMAX and DreamWorks Animation SKG, Inc. today
announced an agreement to release Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa into IMAX
theatres worldwide on November 7, 2008. The agreement completes IMAX's
integration into DreamWorks Animation's release strategy for the studio's
next five theatrical releases from June 2008 to May 2010.

    Under the terms of the agreement, Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa will be
digitally re-mastered into the unparalleled image and sound quality of The
IMAX Experience and play for a special release in IMAX theatres,
including select new IMAX Digital theatres, which will begin rolling out
this summer.  Read on...

Posted: May 12, 2008

Inside The Armour Wars: Len Uhley Talks Iron Man

A veteran of various animated shows throughout the years, Len Uhley has written for various Marvel cartoons since the mid 1990’s. The Marvel Animation Age and Toon Zone News caught up with Len via an email interview to talk about his freelance assignment on Iron Man, the critically acclaimed Armour Wars storyline.  Read on...

Posted: May 12, 2008

Fox, 20th Television Launch Animation-Development Push

Already boasting a venerable Sunday-night lineup of animated hits, Fox and its corporate cousin studio, 20th Century Fox Television, are launching a new initiative geared toward primetime animation development.

“Fox Inkubation” is charged with finding the next The Simpsons or Family Guy for the Fox network, and it will do so through the creation of short pieces as opposed to full half-hour projects.  Read on...

Posted: May 11, 2008

Robotic future

THIS science-fiction number by Appleseed producer Fumihiko Sori has ingredients that anime fans will appreciate: a dazzling hybrid of 2D and 3D animation, heady action scenes and jaw-dropping images of a futuristic world and the brilliant technology that drives it.

Well, all except for a gripping, original story, that is.  Read on...

Posted: May 11, 2008

Disney the ecowarrior

Lost artworks by Disney animators have been restored to America after being discovered in Chibo University, Japan. The works, hand-picked by Walt Disney, were sent to Japan in 1960 as part of an exhibition which coincided with the opening of Sleeping Beauty.

The display, which was designed to explain the various processes of animation, included rare images from the Oscar winning cartoon Flowers and Trees. No doubt the leafy theme of the discovered paintings pleased David Whitely, the Cambridge professor responsible for giving Disney a green make-over.  Read on...

Posted: March 31, 2008
  Read on...

Films cash in on new media

The media and entertainment (M&E) industry estimates that while 63 per cent of the revenues for a film are generated from the box office and around 13 per cent from home video sales, other sources contribute anywhere between 2 and 25 per cent of a movie’s earnings today.

Industry experts at FICCI-FRAMES 2008 said that Bollywood has been quick to cash on the various emerging opportunities to make money. 
Posted: April 2, 2008

Schoolboy's dream now a real success

Eddie White dreamed of starting an animation studio while still a budding 14-year-old artist at school. Running on enthusiasm, talent and passion, he has not waivered from his dream.

With friends James Calvert and Hugh Nguyen, he started The People's Republic of Animation (PRA) in 2003 while studying drama at university.

By the time the trio graduated in 2005, they had ready made jobs.  Read on...

Posted: March 29, 2008

Disney unveils anime 'made in Japan'

US entertainment giant Walt Disney on Thursday unveiled pilot versions of television animation series it is producing in first-of-a-kind tie-ups with Japanese animation studios.

The move, first announced earlier this month, marks a change of strategy for Disney, which has traditionally distributed US-made characters Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck around the world.

A Japanese adaptation of the popular US "Lilo and Stitch" series will start in late 2008 as "the first Disney animation made in Japan and set in Japan," an official at the Japanese arm of Walt Disney said.  Read on...

Posted: March 27, 2008

The "Secrets" to Writing for Animation

Creative Screenwriting, a widely read and highly referenced magazine publication for those in-the-know of Hollywood screenwriting and direction trends, has announced the sale of a DVD release dedicated to animation. Hoping to serve as a sort of catch-all guide for curious writers to lend their hand to the film or television spheres of entertainment, the DVD release "Secrets of Animated Movies & TV Shows" by Ken Rotcop (Richie Rich, Superfriends, Charlotte's Web) claims to tackle everything from graphic novel adaptations to Disney-Pixar styled scripts.

Currently on sale as a part of Creative Screenwriting's collection of the Craft and Business of Screenwriting, "Secrets of Animated Movies & TV Shows" -- for $19.95 -- aims to open up the mind of the writer and delegate what one should and shouldn't do when writing for animation.  Read on...

Posted: March 26, 2008

Hollywood on the Plains: No. 21, Iowa City

When Stephen Jennings landed in California, he quickly shed his Iowan roots. His first job carried the only-in-L.A. title of "assistant flame artist."

At Digital Domain and Sony Pictures Imageworks, his animation and special-effects projects included Spider-Man and The Fight Club. He wore bowling shirts, hobnobbed with big-name producers at Oscar parties, and founded Grasshorse Technologies, an animation and special-effects film production company whose clients include the Cartoon Network and Warner Brothers Studios.  Read on...

Posted: March 26, 2008

Catch Stop-Action Animation At Its Best

The hauntingly beautiful and melancholy "Peter and the Wolf" is the class act to catch tonight on PBS.  Airing as a "Great Performances" presentation at 8 p.m. on WEDU, Channel 3, this 30-minute work was this year's Oscar winner for best animated short film.

With expertly crafted stop-action animation, the film is based on Sergei Prokofiev's classical composition. The Soviet composer wrote it in 1936 for a son who loved the fable about a young boy's encounter with a hungry wolf.  Read on...

Posted: March 26, 2008

Animation: Global partnerships, fresh perspective the way forward

MUMBAI: The Indian film animation space has seen a lot of activity and interest from players in recent times. Companies like Percept Picture Company, Shemaroo Entertainment, DQ Entertainment, Pritish Nandy Communications, Adlabs, to name a few will all have their animation films releasing in the next couple of years.

With the sector attracting companies increasingly as the backdrop, the first day at FICCI FRAMES had the top brass of the Indian animation industry discussing where Indian animation was headed. Moderated by Graphiti CEO Munjal Shroff, an eminent panel shed some light on the intricacies of the world that is animation.
  Read on...

Posted: March 26, 2008

WEB TV: The Wizardry of Movie Animation

Dan Barker has come home to Mzansi from New York to promote the animated cartoon "Horton Hears A Who", which starts on the movie circuit on Friday.

Animation company Blue Sky Studio’s newest film is based on a Dr. Seuss book. It continues the magic we’ve been led to associate with them, such as "Ice Age" and "Robots".

The Horton script is rendered with sparkling wit and precision by an army of animators, Dan Barker being one of them.  Read on...

Posted: March 25, 2008

Vancouver studio tackles painstaking animation project

Animator Mike Hollenbeck reaches into the miniature native Indian village and grabs a puppet's jaw, moves it slightly, then hits a button on his computer that activates a camera. He hits another button, which replays the last three frames of film shot for this scene, so he can check that the character's movements are smooth.

"You have to be careful with every move," says Hollenbeck, who is animating by stop-motion a scene of campfire dialogue. "It kind of feels like defusing a bomb."

Hollenbeck is one of 80 crew members toiling at a former native residential school in Mission on Edison & Leo, the first Canadian-funded feature-length stop-motion animated film to be made in Canada.  Read on... 

Posted: November 22, 2007

'Spanish Oscars' animation nominees announced

The best animated short film nominees for the Goya Awards have been announced.

The Goya Awards are the equivalent of the Spanish film industry’s Oscars.

The nominees are:

- Atención al cliente by Marcos Valin and David Alonso
- El bufón y la infanta by Juan Ramón Galiñanes García
- La flor más grande del mundo by Juan Pablo Etcheverry
- Perpetuum Mobile by Raquel García-Ajofrín Virtus and Enrique García Rodríguez
- Tadeo Jones y el sótano maldito by Enrique Gato Borregán.  Read on...

Posted: November 22, 2007

Beowulf Conquers

The critical and box office success of Robert Zemeckis's latest motion-capture animated film, Beowulf, made at Sony Pictures Imageworks, confirms that movie-going audiences are seeking new and improved experiences on the big screen.

Beowulf, which opened first at the domestic ($28.1 million) and international ($17.3 million) weekend box office and is poised to have a strong showing over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, is the most ambitious computer-generated animated film ever produced. Driven by both the director's vision and by visual effects technology, it was the artists at Sony Pictures Imageworks who brought the characters and worlds to life on screen in both 2D and 3D formats.  Read on...

Posted: November 21, 2007

Where is the line on animation?

The tagline for Disney's upcoming "Enchanted" could well be the motto for the latest push in animation: "The real world and the animated world collide."

Not in the slapstick tradition of 1988's pioneering "Who Framed Roger Rabbit?," but in the sense of transforming actors into animated characters and vice versa. 

The technique is seen in Charles Schwab TV ads and Richard Linklater's bomb from last year, "A Scanner Darkly." Peter Jackson and Steven Spielberg are collaborating to make three comics-based movies blending performances with computer graphics.  Read on...

Posted: November 22, 2007

Disney's Enchanted Holiday Formula

It has been a staple of the holidays for years. As the leaves turn brown and the holidays beckon, Walt Disney greets kids and their parents with a family movie that does tons of business and, if the stars are aligned (as they often are), the hit plays straight through New Year's Day. Heck, Disney virtually invented the notion of a two-month holiday box office back in 1987, holding off releasing its Ted Danson/Tom Selleck flick Three Men and a Baby in the summer to ship it to theaters for Turkey Day. The rest, as they say, is history, marked by such November megawinners as The Incredibles, Disney's top-performing film in 2004, and $100 million films such as The Santa Clause 2 and Monsters, Inc. The common denominator for those films: They were either high-end animation movies or films with big-deal movie stars like Tim Allen in The Santa Clause.  Read on...

Posted: November 21, 2007
Big budget animation from Bollywood in '08

There is a cyclone brewing in India’s animation film industry, after ‘Hanuman’ took the Indian film industry by storm. Many animations films are taking shape in studios, with big budgets riding on them and industry insiders claim that close to 10 such films will be ready for release in India in 2008. Here’s a peek at what viewers can expect.

Yashraj Films Ltd in alliance with The Walt Disney Studios has finished 60% work on its first animation film ‘Roadside Romeo’, slated for release in June 2008. Shemaroo has also finished work on ‘Ghatothkach’, its second animation film after ‘Bal Ganesh’. Govind Nihalani is working on ‘Kamlu’, his first animation film, and has lined up three other animation projects after that.  Read on...

Posted: December 9, 2007

A Primer to Methods in Computer Gaming Graphics
Part I of II

Modern computer gaming graphics are pushing the limits on today’s computers. With games getting more realistic, interactive, and detailed, more and more computing power is demanded. In order to make computer games run in real time while maintaining near photorealistic graphics, programmers find it absolutely essential to use a number of efficient and clever algorithms. This primer focuses on the techniques used to make modern computer gaming graphics fast while at the same time keeping the graphics and visual effects very realistic and convincing. Read on...

Posted: August 4, 2007

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Beaumont and Kerry: Peter Pan’s Leading Ladies

As the release of the Peter Pan Platinum Edition DVD drew near, Animated News & Views’ Josh Armstrong was lucky enough to speak with two of the women responsible for bringing life to the cherished classic. The lovely ladies referred to are none other than Kathryn Beaumont, the voice of Wendy, and Margaret Kerry, the model for Tinker Bell. While both conversations regarded the latest DVD vehicle for Peter Pan, each actress offered her own perspective and memories on working with the talent behind the film. Read on...

Posted: March 25, 2007

Joe Letteri Talks Digital Acting and 3D Environments
Bill Desowitz speaks with Oscar-winning visual effects supervisor Joe Letteri about staying on the cutting edge of digital acting and 3D environments at Weta Digital.

After winning an Oscar for vfx on King Kong, Joe Letteri has remained at Weta Digital to supervise work on The Water Horse (Sony/Revolution, Dec. 7, 2007), including the CG sea creature, and Avatar, James Cameron’s long-awaited, first feature since Titanic. Letteri also discusses early work on the CG Silver Surfer from Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer (Fox, June 16, 2007). Weta has reportedly enhanced its CG animation process that employs performance capture techniques to add further dimensionality to the liquid-metal hero performed by Doug Jones. Read on...

Posted: December 11, 2006

Smallville: Greater Superpowers From Entity FX
Ellen Wolff speaks with Mat Beck of Entity FX about raising the VFX quotient in the sixth season of Smallville.

When Smallville begins its sixth season on the CW Network this fall, the action/sci-fi series will have a large legacy to follow. For the past five seasons, avid fans have followed a young Clark Kent (played by Tom Welling) as he grows into his Superman powers. They’ve watched Clark exhibit his X-ray eyesight, his heat vision abilities (which can melt a speeding bullet) and the personal velocity to chase — and catch — an intercontinental ballistic missile. Then there’s the perennial effect of “Clark time,” in which the character seems to move at normal speed while everything else appears paused around him. Added to those visual effects are environments such as Metropolis, Smallville, Kansas (meteor capitol of the world), and exotic locales such as Zod — which is why the digital pipeline at Entity FX has kept humming along. Read on...
Posted: September 25, 2006

Where Great Minds Meet
The AnimationTrip Interview Series

Shane Acker discusses his award winning film "9"

AnimationTrip Exclusive! After his Siggraph 2005 Best of Show award win and the recent announcement that Tim Burton will produce a feature-length version of his film "9", we expect that Shane Acker will be around for quite some time. Here to interview Acker is Sam Chen, the Siggraph 2003 Best of Show award winner. Chen and Acker share several qualities: they are both digital animators, both graduated from UCLA, both won the Siggraph Best of Show award, and are both seeing major success in the film festival circuit. It is the perfect chemistry of animator interviewing animator. They offer enlightening insights into Acker's history at the UCLA film school, his near-instant transformation into a polished animator, his work on "Return of the King" with Weta, and finally, a chronicle of his four and a half years working on his masterpiece, "9". Read on...

Posted: July 28, 2005
AnimationTrip Exclusive!  Chris Wedge, the director of new film, Robots, talks in-depth with Steven Lisberger, the director of Tron. It's been over 20 years since Chris and Steven worked together on Tron, so it was good to see the two of them catch up after all this time and talk about the CG industry, stop-motion, anime and filmmaking.  Read on...
Posted: March 9, 2005

Ryan Where Great Minds Meet
The AnimationTrip Interview Series

AnimationTrip exclusive! Read our interview with Chris Landreth as he discusses his film ,"Ryan", the winner of the best animated short at the 77th Academy Awards. He's interviewed by Sam Chen, whose film "Eternal Gaze" won the Best Animated Film award at SIGGRAPH 2003. Like Chen's film, Landreth's "Ryan" is also about an artist. Join them as they discuss the art of filmmaking here. Read on...

Posted: February 28, 2005

Where Great Minds Meet
The AnimationTrip Interview Series

Brad Bird’s Super-Insights on The Incredibles!

AnimationTrip Exclusive!  Brad Bird, the director of Pixar's new film, The Incredibles, sits down to talk to Sam Chen, the winner of the SIGGRAPH 2003 "Best Animated Film Award." Sam and Brad talk animator-to-animator about Brad's growth as an animator and the influences that have led him in his moviemaking process today.  Read on...


Posted: October 27, 2004

Where Great Minds Meet
The AnimationTrip Interview Series

Unpublished Interview with Chuck Jones, Circa 1987

A friend of mine, Jay Sabicer, once mentioned to me that he interviewed Chuck Jones as part of his thesis project on artists when he was a student at California State University, Fullerton.  So I thought it would be fun to feature his interview in association with the Eric Goldberg piece.  His interview was conducted in March 1987 and the film most identified with launching the resurgence in animation, Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, was still in the middle of production.  Read on...
Posted: February 7, 2005

Where Great Minds Meet
The AnimationTrip Interview Series

Getting to the Heart of Animation with Eric Goldberg
AnimationTrip caught up with animation director Eric Goldberg recently when he visited our neighboring Laguna College of Art and Design to give an insightful lecture on the work of Chuck Jones. Goldberg’s inspiring two-hour presentation also included his personal selection of film clips that spanned Jones' career. In the audience were several notable animators and directors from Los Angeles. The event inaugurated The Friends of Chuck Jones Lecture Series at the college and was introduced by Aubry Mintz, Chair of Animation, with the following notes on Jones as well as Goldberg...  Read on...
Posted: February 2, 2005

Bruce Bickford Persistence of Vision
The AnimationTrip Profile Series

Bruce Bickford

AnimationTrip Exclusive!   Of all the mediums in animation, it is clay that offers a sensual experience for the animator and the audience. Clay animator Bruce Bickford is profiled in the award-winning documentary currently appearing at festivals called Monster Road .  He has appeared on panels with Ray Harryhausen, Henry Selick and John Lasseter.  His extraordinary stop-motion talents are featured in the teaser trailer for Feats of Clay . Read part one of our profile on Bickford here.

Posted: November 2, 2004


Seuss for a new age

On the 14th of March, from the faux jungle of Nool, comes a glitzy Hollywood hybrid. What's a true Seuss fan to do? If you admire and respect the artistry of the late Theodor Geisel, you'll probably approach the new computer-animated "Horton Hears a Who!" with trepidation. Not to worry. Although Blue Sky Studios, the 20th Century-Fox division that conjured up the "Ice Age" series and "Robots," has created a state-of-the-animated art "Horton" with an all-star cast and all the Hollywood trappings, the movie remains essentially Seussical.  Read on...

Posted: March 14, 2008

Toon Boom Studio
Let's face it - in terms of animation, Flash is rather simplistic. What do you do when your animation skills surpass the capabilities of Flash? Toon Boom Animation may have the solution for you.

Toon Boom Studio was the first product in a line of tools for animation professionals that featured both Flash and Quicktime export. Created by the company behind US Animation - one of the most complete and expensive solutions used in professional animation studios - Toon Boom Studio was their first software for the wider market. It is now accompanied by a "light" version called Toon Boom Studio Express. Toon Boom Harmony, Opus and Solo are the steps above TBS on the ladder. I originally intended this to be a review of Toon Boom Solo, but I soon figured that was well above my skill level, so I decided to rather review Toon Boom Studio (TBS). Read on...
Posted: August 7, 2006

Review: Cars
By Roger Ebert

I wouldn't have thought that even in animation a 1951 Hudson Hornet could look simultaneously like itself and like Paul Newman, but you will witness that feat, and others, in "Cars." This is the new animated feature by John Lasseter ("Toy Story," "A Bug's Life"); it tells a bright and cheery story, and then has a little something profound lurking around the edges. In this case, it's a sense of loss.  What have we lost? Its hero, a racing car named Lightning McQueen (voice of Owen Wilson), has just lost a big race, and then one day on the highway he goes astray, and rolls into the forgotten hamlet of Radiator Springs, in Carburetor County. Read on...

Posted: June 23, 2006

Review: My Neighbor Totoro

My family and I had a little bit of a Hayao Miyazaki film festival when this and Howl's Moving Castle arrived. Since this film was from 1988 and was one of Miyazaki's signature films, I was eager to check it out along with my kids. I sat them down in front of it and they enjoyed it quite a bit. My daughter loved the little girls, the furry little creatures, Totoro, and the Cat Bus. She was totally entranced by it. Her reaction alone made it a worthy addition to my collection. Read on...

Posted: March 6, 2006

Ballistic Four-Book Review: Exposé 2, Exposé 3, CG Challenge XV: Machineflesh and d’artiste: Digital Painting
Fred Galpern explores the latest in digital art wonders from Ballistic Publishing with his overview.

Ballistic Publishing, an enterprising specialty publishing house with offices in Australia and Florida, is really carving out an interesting nîche in the world of digital art. The company publishes digital art books of high quality, both in printing and content. Through their CG Networks websites, the editors have established strong ties to the exploding online digital artist community. The latest batch of books from Ballistic continues to impress, instruct and entertain. The last few months have seen the publication of many new books from Ballistic. For this review, I’ll focus on the two latest books in the Exposé series, the first print compilation of the long running, online CG Challenge series and an excellent book in the d’artiste series. Read on...

You can buy these amazing books in our online store!


Posted: August 5, 2005

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