Saturday, August 30, 2008

Linkage You Can Believe In ...

... my friends.

ASIFA Hollywood's Archives offers a selection of Jules Engels' color designs for the Alvin show, like for instance:

Pixar creatives describe their work lives in Emeryville to the Korea Times:

... While there is a lot of pressure to work in the studio, it's mostly self-imposed. ``There have been occasions where we had to tell people to go home,'' said [art director Ralph] Eggleston. Having worked at other studios, he said Pixar's family-like atmosphere remains unique despite its ever-expanding size. ``We always want to keep the fun part and not have people feel like they're just a cog in the wheel. I don't think anyone at Pixar wants to lose that, and I don't think we're going to lose that. At other places I've worked, it's very difficult to do,'' he said ...

And one more large chunk of evidence demonstrating the global inter-connectedness of cartoon entertainment:

MARVEL has signed a deal with cartoon producer Madhouse to create a line-up of animated series for the Japanese market featuring the company's comicbook superheroes.

Trade magazine Variety says the first four series will debut in 2010 on Animax, a 24-hour network dedicated to anime (Japanese animation). To strengthen their appeal to Japanese fans, Marvel's superheroes - including Iron Man and Wolverine - will be "retrofitted with new looks and backstories that touch on local culture and Japanese history." ...

Mr. Spielberg is still on board to direct his first animated feature:

Steven Spielberg has debunked rumours that Peter Jackson was moving into the director's chair for the first Tintin movie ... The films will be animated with motion-capture technology and star 18-year-old Thomas Sangster as Tintin and Andy Serkis as his friend Captain Haddock.

Hopefully, Steven's second animated feature will be done at DreamWorks Animation. That would be a kick.

Cinematical reports on Robert Downey Jr. maybe joining the cast of the Ben Stiller animated feature taking shape at DreamWorks.

Entertainment Weekly posts that both [Robert Downey and Tina Fey] are looking into joining Stiller's animated villain film, Master Mind. ... The premise is simple. A villain accidentally kills the guy he's arching, and loses his will to live.

Via Mayerson On Animation, Disney/Pixar honcho Ed Catmull writes:

"Creative power in a film has to reside with the film’s creative leadership. As obvious as this might seem, it’s not true of many companies in the movie industry and, I suspect, a lot of others. We believe the creative vision propelling each movie comes from one or two people and not from either corporate executives or a development department. Our philosophy is: You get great creative people, you bet big on them, you give them enormous leeway and support, and you provide them with an environment in which they can get honest feedback from everyone." ...

And you know, my friends, that you are fresh out of ideas when you link to Homer Simpsons' colon:

The star of Fox's "The Simpsons" will be screened for colon cancer in a special animated bit on the "Stand Up to Cancer" fund-raiser airing on ABC, CBS and NBC Sept 5. In the segment, Marge makes a shocking discovery ... "There's his wedding band! He told me he was getting it polished!"

Have a glorious, three-day weekend.


sunny kharbanda said...

"...The films will be animated with motion-capture technology..."

There's an oxymoron for you.

I was kinda looking forward to the Tintin movies thinking it would be Peter Jackson doing what he does best - live action with supporting fx. Now I'm skeptical. Even with Jackson's vision, an all-mocap Tintin will most certainly go down the lines of The Polar Express -- maybe slightly better.

It's one thing to make a fantasy creature like Gollum or Kong come alive with mocap. But why mocap humans like Tintin and Haddock?

Anonymous said...

It's interesting you would interpret it that way . . .

When I first read the announcement above, I immediately thought, "That's brilliant! -- they can maintain the 'clear line' style of Hergé's work and still have it look beautifully naturalistic!"

I didn't even consider that the characters would be modeled CG versions of real humans, like in the movie you cite. I figured they'd be 'drawn' 2-dimensionally - and I hope they are!

Anonymous said...

from 'weta-holics':
'From our earliest conversations, Steven and I were intrigued about the potential of developing this performance capture technique even further, to apply a real actor's performance to computer generated versions of Herge's vast cast of characters,' said Peter Jackson. 'For well over a year now, artists at Weta have been quietly testing the theory of creating life-like reproductions of Tintin, Captain Haddock, Professor Calculus and many of the other core cast - faithfully replicating Herge's original designs, but not rendering them as cartoons, or the familiar looking computer animated characters, instead we're making them look photo realistic, the fibers of their clothing, the pores of their skin and each individual hair. They look exactly like real people - but real Herge people!'

'We'll be casting actors to play these characters, with all their performance choices accurately captured and applied to amazingly organic dimensional versions of Herge's line drawings - the effect is startling', said Spielberg. 'Herge's characters have been reborn as living beings, expressing emotion and displaying a soul which goes far beyond anything we've seen to date with computer animated characters. The use of capturing the performance of actors on a stage, allows Peter and I to direct these films just as we would with any other film we were making - they won't have the feel of animation - they will have the style of live action films."

this can go either way, IMHO

Anonymous said...

In his most recent films, Jackson has relied on mocap to animate major characters. How, then, is it surprising that he's opt for mocap in a film where all the characters are animated?

Anonymous said...

"I immediately thought, "That's brilliant! -- they can maintain the 'clear line' style of Hergé's work and still have it look beautifully naturalistic!"

The best way to maintain the 'clear-line' style of Hergé
is to draw the characters . It will look beautifully naturalistic because Hergé used natural media like pencils, ink and paper. There is simply no good reason not to do this film in traditional hand-drawn animation to faithfully maintain the look of Hergé's original Tin Tin comics.

" I figured they'd be 'drawn' 2-dimensionally ..."

Yes, but why do you put 'drawn' in quotes ... this seems to imply that it would be animated as CG imagery with all the lighting and texturing rendered in flat colors to sort of approximate the look of drawings , but this is totally unnecessary . (and it won't look as good as hand-drawn animation ... this Toon-Shaded stuff that tries to look like drawiings tends to have that floaty, too-perfect , unorganic look to it. )

If they want it to look drawn then just draw it . Speilberg has a studio full of European animators at Dreamworks who know and love Hergé's work and could faithfully duplicate the clear-line style with very naturalistic animation.

Mo-Cap is totally inappropriate in this case.

Anonymous said...

I think a CGI Tintin would look weird as hell, given the look of Herge's characters. They look good on paper, but in the round? Ugh.

Anonymous said...

"If they want it to look drawn then just draw it . Speilberg has a studio full of European animators at Dreamworks who know and love Hergé's work and could faithfully duplicate the clear-line style with very naturalistic animation."

Mo-Cap is totally inappropriate in this case.

If EVER a property called for the old-fashioned(so called) treatment, it's Tintin. And Anon speaks the gospel in his/her remarks I quote. Those guys know Herge like we know Peanuts.

Anonymous said...

I know what Disney top salaries were in 1939--what were they at MGM and Warners, for animation directors? I have no frame of reference for that at all.

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