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Posts tagged as classic quickie

Motionographer Classics: Chris Landreth


In the early days of the internet, downloading videos often meant painstakingly collecting sequential 1.44mb .rar files, hoping none of them were corrupted, and finally unpackaging them in a sort of digital christmas present opening.

There are two short films that I will always associate with patiently watching a modem trickle down data – and that no doubt imprinted many a young animator’s brain. The first is The Spirit of Christmas video christmas card, which would spawn the South Park empire. The second video heralded a no less auspicious arrival. In 1998, Chris Landreth created Bingo, a horrifying, hilarious short film that showed off the capabilities of a new 3D software package called Maya.

Six years later, Landreth would win the 2004 Best Animated Short Oscar for Ryan. The haunting short film centers on legendary animator, Ryan Larkin, and his struggles with success and addiction.

Rewatching Bingo and Ryan I was struck with how great both films still feel. There’s a bit of that old CG look, but the script, editing, and acting are all so strong and fresh. Especially in Ryan, animation feels much more than a stylistic choice – it allows for visual metaphors that do heavy lifting in the storytelling.

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Motionographer Classics: Prince of Persia


We’ve been playing with classic quickies for a while, since not all inspiration has to be the latest and greatest. A couple months ago, Jordan Mechner released his game dev journals, videos, and even original Apple IIe source code from his 1989 gaming classic Prince of Persia. It was one of the first computer games to combine arcade action with realistic animation and cinematic storytelling. The characters were animated using rotoscoped references of Mechner’s brother climbing and leaping around a parking lot.

Watching these videos, there are two things I can’t get out of my head. The first is how visceral the animation still feels through just a few limited pixels. The second is the fun, hands-on nature of the old video tapes. They remind me a lot of my early days in motion graphics where we would often run to the roof to quickly shoot some silhouettes or sloppily shoot some splashes or ink splats with a miniDV camera. These days, most people are probably using a dSLR for run and gun shooting, but I think motion graphics still allows for that kind of tactile experimentation.

For more info, check out The Verge’s article on telling stories in 48 kilobytes or less.



Hat tip to futurestack.

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Motionographer Classic Quickie: Inside 1980s ILM

Motionographer Classic Quickie: Director Gavin Rothery hosts a great review of groundbreaking analog VFX techniques with a series of videos peeking inside 1980s Industrial Light & Magic.

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Motionographer Classic Quickie

Motionographer Classic Quickie: The Art of the Title pays homage to Saul Bass’ classic Anatomy of a Murder.

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Classic Quickie: Key Frame Animation

Motionographer Classic Quickie: National Research Council of Canada’s Key Frame Animation, 1971. (Hat tip to Retroist.)

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Herbal Essence

A classic quickie from 1972 for Herbal Essence. Studio/artists unknown.

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Classic Quickie: Zbig Rybczynski “Tango”


Classic Quickie: Before Michel Gondry got big with clever videos, Zbig Rybczynski explored epic loops in his 1983 Academy Award-winning Tango. Excellent write-up at Not Coming to a Theater Near You. (note: some NSFW naked bits start around 3:50)

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