Friday, 30 July 2010

Font viewer for Adobe Creative Suite CS5

I have used Adobe products for years and one niggle I have is I can't access fonts that aren't in the default  fonts folder location, so I have to manually copy them over... And If you happen to have thousands of fonts like I do you don't want to be copying them all over and clogging up the fonts folder on your machine....

Well thankfully Anastasiy (Who made the fantastic Magicpicker color wheel for photoshop) has a solution called DiskFonts font viewer that can over come this font headache. And I have to say the tool has been incredibly useful to me as I mostly use Photoshop and After Effects out of the Adobe products. With Diskfonts font viewer I can now have my fonts in different locations and navigate too them and just install the ones I need. And this can all be done directly in any Adobe product very quickly. I have posted the Anastasiy video below as it give you a better feel of the product than my ramblings :)

Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Something Left, Something Taken by Tiny Inventions

I heard about this through buzz (on gmail) and have to say this is a such a creatively made film. Its a hybrid of real world elements that are composited in Adobe After Effects and animated. There is a making of here on the Tiny Inventions blog. It really is nice to see animation that isn't just 3D :)

Monday, 26 July 2010

The Sorcerer's Apprentice

So way back in December to mid June I worked on the film "The Sorcerer's Apprentice". I worked mostly on the Fantasia sequence (mops and sponges) and some of the end sequence of the movie at Double Negative in London.

On Sunday I was invited to a special Disney screening at Londons Vue Cinema in the Westend. To finally see the fully finished film way before it comes out in August is thanks to a kind lady at Disney who knew I worked it. And yes my name is on the credits as proof - ok you first have to let 2000 names roll past to get to mine :)

I took my sister and nephew to the screening too, and they both really enjoyed it. It is very fast paced at times and there are a number of big money shots and a few are over rather quickly sadly. So you don't get time to fully enjoy the big VFX. But then if every moment of VFX magic had 10 minutes or so each, perhaps the film would never end... There is just so many VFX moments in this film it can't not disappoint you from that perspective. The story on a whole is very Disney. - the good taking care of evil. There is a love story or two in the film. But its not too over powering that it distracts you from all the action that takes place in the rest of the movie.

The film over all is purely about the "magic" (VFX). There are so many VFX shots and magical things happening, you are constantly wondering what possibly is going to happen next. A very good film for the summer and the kids. It will be out in all Cinemas from August 11th.

I have found a cool Disney video that shows most of the Fantasia Sequence. There are a number of shots in the clip that I worked on. I will post times later on :)

Shots I worked on are as follows:
  • 1:38 -1:43 - Three shots in a row of all chose taking place
  • 1:53 -1:55 - Mops jumping stairs jumping onto Dave's back
  • 1:56 -1:58 - Mop tentacle moving across Dave's shoulders
  • 2:02 - 2:04 - Mop mass jumping screen left, hiding in case being seen
There are more shots in the full Fantasia sequence of the film that aren't present here. It is finally nice to be able to show people some of the shots I worked on for this movie. :)

Toy Story 3 - Round-up

On Saturday I and a host of AMers all piled into the London ODEON Cinema to watch Toy Story 3. For me the best character in the entire movie is Ken voiced by Michael Keaton. Ken has a number of moments in the film which are so funny. I would have loved to have animated some of them shots.

I won't say to much here about the movie as it can be very easy to spoil it. But I did feel the movie dragged just a little at Sunny Side. There is so much going on in TS3 that you are easily entertained and pleased to see the old character back on screen. Even the old toys you possibly once played with as a child. I did in fact have one of them fisher price phones

TS3 has gone all out on technological front. The fur on the bear when it comes into contact with water. The number of models and different sets/locations in the movie. The fact that every character has imperfections like dirt, scratches and blemishes, there is an amazing amount of attention to detail gone into this film. I think old Walt would be pleased that his ideas of pushing things and constantly challenging technology is still being carried on today in his films.

Over all the film is very good and I can't honestly say which Toy Story film is better as they all different.

Sunday, 18 April 2010

Toy Story 3 -New Promo videos out

Toy Story 3 is coming out soon :D And there is some new promo videos out :)

Photoshop CS4/CS5 Colour Wheel /Colour Picker *update*

Back in May last year I spoke about a colour picker/colour wheel for Photoshop (post here). Well there is now a new release out and has a bunch of bugs fixed and new features implemented :)

Sunday, 28 March 2010

How To Train Your Dragon - An IMAX 3D Experience

Well on the 27th of March a huge mass of Animation Mentor (AM) students and Alumni :P (around 25) descended on London's BFI cinema for the IMAX screening of "How to Train Your Dragon" by Dreamworks.

Have to say its one of the best films Dreamworks has made to date. A decent story with no stupid jokes or very predictable ones just randomly thrown in (ok there was one or two). The characters, the look and the effort that has going into this film has clearly been well thought out. The animation, like you would expect was fantastic. If this had been a live action movie with CG vfx I don't think some of the voice actors would have come up to par with their acting ability, to match the amazing animation (acting in CG) that was put into this film. Its a shame that animators don't get similar treatment like actors or pay for that matter, or even the royalties for repeat showings of the movie.....

Voice casting was good too although it was strange how the older Vikings had very broad Scottish accents and the young kids had very American accents!!!!! Apart from that, over all the film was fun and easy to follow.

Not one AM student could find fault or disliked the movie, well done Dreamworks and all the people who worked on it :)

Sunday, 17 January 2010

Toy Story 2 in 3D

On Thursday 14th of January I saw Toy Story 2 in the 3D and it was great to see on the big screen again, even more so in 3D. To think this film is around 10 years old and yet for me it is still a fantastic film to watch. The 3D element is nice, it adds a nice depth of field to the shots, nothing springs out the screen, but to experience the movie again in the cinema was really nice :)
Highly recommend seeing it :D