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Archive for March, 2013

“Marvel” by BlackMeal

Paris-based Blackmeal loves Marvel so much, they decided to make an homage to the company’s 74-year history of creating inspiring characters and telling thrilling stories. We asked Blackmeal a little bit about the project:

Quick Q&A with Blackmeal

Was this a project for a client? Or did you do this purely out of love for Marvel?
It was just purely out of love for Marvel.

It looks like it is mostly traditional animation. Is there any CG involved? If so, how?
It’s hand drawn (frame by frame), but we cheated for some characters: Ironman, Cyclops and the end title were created in 3D (Maya).

Was it difficult figuring out how to portray all of the Marvel characters? How did you design each of them?
No, it was easy. We started with a basic idea: The world of Marvel can be explained with simple shapes.

Thomas Lecomte (animation supervisor) is amazing. He chose 11 characters and wrote a screenplay in a few days. After that, you cannot really explain … it just came naturally. Marvel inspires us.

What is your favorite moment of the spot? Why?
Our favorite is without doubt, the first explosion. This is where it all begins.


Design and animation: Thomas Lecomte
Art direction: Vincent Ben Abdellah
3D composition: Mael François
VFX: Donald Simonet
Editing: Matthieu Colombel
Sound: Mooders

Tip o’ the hat to Will Adams.

Friday, March 29th, 2013 | 5 Comments »

Palazzo.tv Relaunch



NYC heavy-hitter Christopher Palazzo is back on the scene with a new site and grip of top notch projects.

Friday, March 29th, 2013 | Comments Off

Big Black Delta “Side of the Road”


Stylish, minimal music video for Big Black Delta from Warren Kommers

Wednesday, March 27th, 2013 | 15 Comments »

Motorville by Patrick Jean

Patrick Jean returns with this thoughtful, clever piece about everyone’s favorite hydrocarbon. Packed with nice little details.


Wednesday, March 27th, 2013 | 2 Comments »

AENY meets this Thursday, March 28, 6:45pm – 9:00pm

NYC-ers! This Thursday, Mar. 28, AENY meets with a panel on the state of VFX and the larger working condition issues in VFX/mograph and ZYNC cloud render for Maya/Nuke. Register here to attend.

Wednesday, March 27th, 2013 | Comments Off

Brice Linane 2013 Reel


Check out the impressive new reel by Brice Linane – the 3D wunderkind behind much of Buck’s output from the last few years

Tuesday, March 26th, 2013 | 3 Comments »

HALO 4: Forward Unto Dawn – Title Sequence + Q&A – Polynoid

In December of last year Halo 4 came out and the world rejoiced. Along with it came a web series called Forward Unto Dawn which was a live action VFX set that brought the Halo universe to life. It opened with 5 fantastic title sequences created by Polynoid a German Design/VFX house.

From the Press Release:

Polynoid’s microfilms illustrate the intense relationship between Cortana, an artificial intelligence entity and indispensable aide to Master Chief, the long-time hero of the Halo series. Set aboard a spacecraft, the UNSC Forward Unto Dawn, as it drifts towards imminent doom, Cortana must battle to awaken Master Chief from cryo-stasis before it’s too late.

“For us, Cortana was the centerpiece around which we spun our story,” said Polynoid’s Jan Bitzer. “When we started working out the scenes and shots, we did it under the premise that Cortana is the only ‘alive’ being we could play with.”

With elegantly framed shots, drifting cameras and gloomy lighting, Polynoid emphasized the soul-crushing loneliness aboard the nearly empty spacecraft. To effectively communicate the passing of time, Polynoid switched from the relative calm of zero-gravity to intense time-lapsed action.

“[The time lapse sequence] was technically the most challenging. We spent a lot of time tweaking it; always trying to improve every shot simultaneously to guarantee a consistent quality for the overall piece,” Bitzer noted.

Polynoid and Blacklist collaborated with 343 Industries every step of the way, carefully guarding production from the massive press surrounding “Halo 4.” “Polynoid are gamers, and this was a dream opportunity,” said Blacklist Executive Producer Adina Sales. “This project was a perfect fit for our team.  343 was looking for a sophisticated interpretation and they encouraged us to push the artistic lense.  Polynoid had a clear vision from the outset and we were determined to deliver in spades.  We’re very proud of the results.”

Here you can see a detailed making of that goes through their entire process from conception:

Don’t forget to check out their site page for the sequence for some stills and styleframes!

We dropped them a line to do a little Q&A with Polynoid’s Jan Bitzer and Fabian Pross.  Here’s a snippet but click ‘Full Interview’ to view the entire thing!

Fabian Pross on the FX:

We used Softimage ICE for almost all our effects work. The rampancy is actually not simulated, but a combination of procedural modeling and some keyframes.

Jan Bitzer on the Asset Development

343 Industries provided us with most of the CG assets which we had to bring together on an equal production level. Some elements where very high poly and had to be optimized, while others were simplified game assets and needed detail work.


Full Interview

Monday, March 25th, 2013 | Comments Off