You may not have heard of Toonz animation software, but you’ve no doubt seen work it was used in: Studio Ghibli films like Spirited Away and Tale of the Princess Kaguya (above), or the animated series Futurama. Now, the Toonz Ghibli Edition used by legendary Japanese filmmakers like Hayao Miyazaki is going open-source, making it free to use by studios and novice animators alike.
CREATING EVEN A few seconds of a hand-drawn animation—think old-school Looney Tunes, or earlier Disney films like Snow White—is a painstaking process that requires artists to draw hundreds, if not thousands, of frames. Over the years, advances in digital animation tools have streamlined that process and, in doing so, created a new aesthetic best seen in the faces of Pixar’s canon of characters.
Microsoft Research, along with the University of Hong Kong and the University of Tokyo, just unveiled a proof-of-concept technology that could bring back the charm of older, hand-drawn cartoons, with the speed and fluidity of today’s animation software. “Autocomplete hand-drawn animations” debuted at the Siggraph Asia conference, and it’s an interactive system that watches what the artist draws and then predicts what frame or line might come next. READ MORE: Microsoft’s Dope New Tool Is Like Autocomplete for Drawing | WIRED
I can well imagine that the insertion of modern technology into many of Edgar Allan Poe’s stories would have a tremendous benefit for those stories’ victims, and a deleterious effect on their monomaniacal plots. In one of the ironies of cultural transmission, the timeless quality of Poe’s work seems to depend upon its use of deliberately ancient methods of surveillance and torture. In a further paradox of sorts, Poe’s work never suffers, but only seems to shine, when technology is applied to it.
I tried accessing ShoutFactory! content this morning (Thursday, February 5) but content is not yet playable/accessable on my desktop or iPad. I’m interesting in checking out Twilight Zone, Bushido Man and Dreamscape. An error comes up “Sorry, the requested video is not yet available on this device.” Content may be accessible later this afternoon or there may be an issue with accessing content from Canada. The About Us page states “SHOUT! FACTORY TV is a free-to-the viewer, ad-supported video offering containing full-length television shows, movies, specials, and original content viewable through desktop computers, mobile, tablet, and “over-the’top” devices such as Roku…In addition, Shout! Factory maintains a vast digital distribution network which delivers video and audio content to all the leading digital service providers in North America.”
The big four broadcast networks — ABC, CBS, Fox, and NBC — don’t really have specific brands. They’re nebulous, offering drama, comedy, reality, and whatever else they put on the air. They’re the giant department stores of TV. Cable channels are more like specialty stores. ESPN is for sports fans. Nickelodeon is for kids. TNT knows drama.
The same is now happening with streaming services. We have a “big three” — Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime. We have offshoots of TV networks, like HBO Go and Showtime Anytime.
And now we’re starting to see the rise of specialty streaming services, like one launching from Shout! Factory. Previously known for releasing DVDs of films and TV shows other studios didn’t want to, Shout’s new streaming service carries the same philosophy to the world of online TV. It’s filled with classic shows and movies that are hard to find elsewhere. It’s got more of an eye toward curation than building a platform. It’s built off of others’ software.
And it’s completely free.
SPLOID is my new favourite blog “a new blog about awesome stuff”. Awesome is right. SPLOID recently posted about this stop-motion video of a bookcase being made (originally posted to YouTube March 2014). Out of this world cool and hypnotizing. Watch the whole thing without trying to plug your ears!
If youre an aspiring animator, this might be the best news youll hear this month: Pixar is giving away—thats right, giving away—a version of RenderMan, its in-house rendering software. Gratis. No catch. Youll be able to download the program some time in August. READ MORE: You Can Grab Software That Helped Pixar Make Wall-E For Free Soon | Gizmodo
The art of stop-motion animation has left viewers in awe for decades. Yet, such a simple pleasure requires a lot of planning for perfect execution.
As part of the PBS Digital Studios series Off Book, a few highly skilled stop-motion artists reveal a little bit of the magic behind their creations.