ROOF Studio Production:
Executive Producer: Crystal Campbell
Creative Directors: Vinicius Costa and Guto Terni
Design: Vinicius Costa, Guto Terni, Fred Palacio, João Lavieri, Pedro Kobuti, Sunmin Inn
Modeling: Rayza Alvarez, Lincoln Horita, Thiago Batista, Lucas Ribeiro, Fabio Paiva, Vinicius Valente, Ramon Lima, Alex Liki, Pedro Kobuti
Rigging: Viviane Adade, Diego Marcel, Leandro Spaletta, Pedro Kobuti, Mike James, Felipe Machado
Animation: Felipe Machado, Jason Tadeu, Lucas Ribeiro, Drika Ooki, Fernando Herrera, Pedro Kobuti, Abner Cirelli, Aulo Licinio, Daniel Sian, Henrique Edmx, Gabriel Prezoto, Fernando Donizetti
Render and Texturing: Pedro Kobuti, Tiago Dias, Shane O’Hara, Daniel Sian, Sergio Dimi Rocha, Vinicius Costa, Guto Terni, Vinicius Valente, Josemar Queiroz , Ricardo Riamonde
Composite: Pedro Kobuti, Tiago Dias, Shane O’Hara, Daniel Sian, Sergio Dimi Rocha, Vinicius Costa, Guto Terni, Felipe Machado
Naked Compagnie Production:
Executive Producer: Philippe Fournerie
Senior 3D Artist : Corentin Seguin de Broin – Jonathan Roméo
Senior Art Director : Benoît Bayart
Junior Art director : Seydou Koné
Compositing ; Laura Saintecatherine / Pedro Carvalho Gomes
Music : StartRec
“Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey,” the reboot of the classic science TV series helmed by Carl Sagan that aired in 1980, should be required viewing for all of us.
In “Cosmos,” artful visual effects and elegant motion design inform and delight in equal parts. Animation is as essential to the success of “Cosmos” as the lovable hosting talents of astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson.
With executive producer Seth MacFarlane behind the show and a 13-week run on Fox and National Geographic, the creators of “Cosmos” are going toe-to-toe with primetime. The premiere launched opposite AMC’s “The Walking Dead” and ABC’s heavily promoted “Resurrection” and still managed to rake in an impressive 8.5 million viewers.
Brannon Braga, co-executive producer and director, is no stranger to space drama. He co-wrote “Star Trek: First Contact” and executive produced all of the Star Trek series after the original.
Co-directing from behind the camera is DP Bill Pope, best known as the cinematographer for “The Matrix.”
Then there’s Rainer Gombos, visual effects supervisor of “Game of Thrones” fame. VFX shots themselves have been handled by a who’s who of facilities including Framestore, BUF, Tippett Studio, Atomic Fiction and Montreal’s Mokko Studio.
Not too shabby.
The Title Sequence
The title sequence (seen above) is as thoughtful and jaw-dropping as the show itself.
Created by BBDG (Shaun Collings and Curtis Doss), the opener oscillates between the cosmic and the microscopic, the tangible and the ethereal. Like the show, the sequence uses the power of metaphor to draw parallels between the mysterious grandeur of the universe and the grand reality of our everyday lives.
The animated sequences produced by Kara Vallow (with whom MacFarlane has a long working relationship) and Six Point Harness are an alternative take on the live-action based historic segments from the original “Cosmos.”
In an interview with Geekosystem, Vallow explains the reasoning behind using animation:
Seth [MacFarlane] thought that [using live action for the historic segments] was going to be prohibitive in this incarnation of the series, because viewers are much more sophisticated now than they were then in terms of historical time periods being recreated by Hollywood. We’re attuned to seeing big budget period movies and costumes and stuff, and in the original series they were done very low budget.
I don’t think they thought that viewers were going to accept that now, and they didn’t have the time to do a big budget Gosford Park type imagining of the narrative. So, it was Seth’s idea to do those in animation.
Yves Geleyn (Hornet) brings his trademark charm to bear on a chilling subject for States United to Prevent Gun Violence in “Monster in the Closet.”
Director: Yves Geleyn
Produced at Hornet Inc
Executive Producer: Michael Feder
Head of Production: Greg Bedard
Producer: Jan Stebbins
Editors: Joel Miller & RJ Glass
Assistant Editor: Stephanie Andreau
Storyboard Artist: J. Todd Anderson
Character Designer: Oren Haskins
Background Designer: Mark Boardman
Supervising Technical Director: Sang-Jin Bae
Lead CG Artist & Compositor: David Hill
CG & Compositing: Richard Kim
Modeling: Erwin Riau & Dan Fine
CG Animation: Sean Thorpe, Andrew Boccio, Emily Griswold
Lead 2D Animator: Mike Luzzi
Animators: Keelmy Carlo, Mark Pecoraro, Nivedita Sekar, Frank Summers
Animation Clean Up: Emma Noble
Development Producer: Kristin Labriola
R&D: Arman Matin
Edited by Joel Miller at Cut and Run
Assistant Editor: Tom Akey
Assistant Editor: Stacy Peterson
Producer: Melati Pohan
Executive Producer: Rana Martin
Composed by Mark Mothersbaugh of Mutato Muzika
Producer: Natalie P. Montgomery
Engineered by: Bradley Denniston
I’ve done a lot with my career, and yet I feel like I haven’t scratched the surface of my potential. I struggle to balance the demands of the real world (paying bills and feeding the family) with the demands of my creative spirit (making cool shit).
I’ve talked to a lot of you about this. Some over email, some over beer. I’ve learned that many of us feel we’re not doing enough. Worse, we’re not doing enough fast enough.
Cooking the Last Supper
If that sentiment touches a nerve, give the above video from Adam Westbrook (published by Delve) a quick watch.
Yes, it’s a visual essay told in the language of motion design, but I’m posting it for the core ideas it’s presenting. So try to zero in on that and chime in with your thoughts in the comments.
To be honest, I’m ambivalent about its message. I appreciate that mastery and success often take longer than we publicly acknowledge.
But I’m also suspicious of the whole concept of “success,” at least in the context of creativity.
Which success matters most?
I’ve interviewed many of the top talents in our field and talked to a good deal of other accomplished artists about success. While they all strive for it, even those who achieve it don’t seem fundamentally happier or more at peace because of it.
Success, like money, is one of those slippery treasures that squeezes out of our grasp and lands just out of reach — over and over again throughout a lifetime.
Maybe the real challenge isn’t painting a metaphorical Last Supper but realizing that true success is in enjoying the process more than the product.
That definition of success doesn’t preclude other definitions, of course. In fact, I suspect that those who enjoy creation for creation’s sake probably also enjoy a good deal of “traditional” success. They just don’t define themselves by it.
Not sold on the idea of going back to school? Neither was Daniel Savage.
The NYC-based designer/director just released his animated short, “Helium Harvey,” a labor of love that doubled as self-directed education:
After much debate on whether to go to graduate school or not, I decided I would take part of 2013 off to explore storytelling and character driven narrative on my own. I turned down most commercial jobs (except the really exciting ones), read as many books as I could, explored things outside of my comfort zone, and made “Helium Harvey.”
It was completely self funded, teaching a few classes at NYU and online, as well as select freelance projects to help pay for it.
Q&A with Daniel Savage
Let’s rewind to before you decided to make Helium Harvey. You were considering going to grad school, right? Why?
I come from a graphic design background, so jumping into character driven narrative isn’t an easy task. It’s a different way of thinking. But I love the idea of cartoons and technology meeting, so that’s where my interest is.
Originally, I wanted to make a story app, but I felt I had a lot to learn in animation first.
How did you come to the idea of making a short film?
I guess it’s what everyone comes out of school with, so it made the most sense. Plus I had the idea of Harvey for a while, so I wanted to make that.
Do you feel that making Helium Harvey was a good substitute for going back to school? Or was it a different kind of learning?
It’s tough to say. I’m sure I would have a better film if I was surrounded by other people in the same situation, but I like to learn the hard way. When someone tells me something it goes in one ear and out the other. I think it depends on the person.
Looking back, are you happy you decided not to go to school? Are you considering still going in the future?
I am happy, it was a great year. I don’t think I will go back, I will always take a class here or there though.
How hard was it to fund everything yourself?
Not very hard, it was really about time more than money. My rent is super cheap, I was on my lovely girlfriend’s health insurance, and having a skill I’ve developed (After Effects animation) that I could help other people learn was my biggest asset. People got something valuable out of it, and I got enough money to make a film. I still took on a few fun jobs, which also helped pay for it.
For those that are thinking of doing the same thing, can you give them advice/warnings?
I would take it slow, do a month here and there (being freelance helps) to practice new skills before jumping into a project as overwhelming as a film.
Making of “Helium Harvey”
The making of montage is bursting with goodies, from concept art to time-lapsed After Effects sessions.
Director Johnny Kelly’s latest short, “Shape” is about the changing shape of the world around us. From home to school to work, it’s a tale of progress and technology rendered in deceptively simple line work and meticulous animation.
MAKESHAPECHANGE is a project to get young people thinking about how the world is made around them and where design fits in. At its heart is a short film that shows changes happening before our eyes that we might not normally notice, and how these affect us.
The co-star of “Shape” is its delightful analogue soundtrack by Antfood. The sound design is seamlessly woven into the music, which rolls along with the same effortless optimism of the film.
Set in the south side of São Paulo, where Criolo grew up, the short involves 3D printed weapons, futuristic drugs and the inescapable dangers of poverty. The film seems to agree with the old adage: the more things change, the more things stay the same.
From the release:
From the start, the director imagined a record of the Brazilian’s “favelas” in the future, 30 years down the road, in 2044. This idea was too ambitious to materialize without large sums and Criolo is an independent artist, but became possible with the support of the Grajaú community and the production team.
Nearly the entire cast is made up of friends of the singer and people who live in the neighborhood, most of whom had never acted before. The main cast includes Daniel Dantas, Morgana Naughty and Léo Loá, young students chosen with help from the drama teacher of CEU Jaçanã public school, named Tiago Ortaet.
Produced through Paranoid, Clan did an admirable job handling all post-production.
As her relationship with her boyfriend was coming to an end, the writer Sarah L. Courteau grasped for a moment of tenderness between them in “Fight or Flight,” the latest installment for NYTimes’ Modern Love animated series.
The mixed media approach uses collage, rotoscoped live action, cel animation and CG to create a unique, endearing look. The team behind it, Reanimation, is a collective of 4 directors, graphic designers and musicians based in Paris and Brussels.
The filmmakers are keeping Peanuts’ plot details under wraps (“it’s about a round-headed kid and his dog, and that’s about as far as I’m willing to go,” says Craig). But the story will bring together the entire cast from the strips and Bill Melendez’s famous television specials, from Pig-Pen to Peppermint Patty.
Additions include the unveiling of Charlie Brown’s lifelong crush, known only as “the Little Red-Haired Girl.” Martino is excited about exploring the Peanuts world with detailed animation (“We’ll see that Snoopy has soft-white fur”) and exploring traditionally imagined realms such as Snoopy’s World War I fighter-pilot adventures.
We jumped at the chance of working with them and set out on a journey to create our most elaborate and detailed animation to date, mixing multiple techniques such as 3d, 2d, cel animation and live action footage to create a hybrid style that feels unique to the project. It was a rare chance to get the entire studio involved as well as a chance to collaborate with our sister company ilovedust on the design.