Building the Millennium Falcon, Brick by Brick

Posted by Tim Sheehy on Feb 23, 2012 in Star Wars

Prepare to be floored. CGI artist, and Star Wars fan, Francisco Prieto pieced together this amazing stop-motion CGI short. The video shows the brick by brick construction of Lego’s Star Wars Ultimate Collector’s Millennium Falcon set. Each piece was rendered using 3ds max and V-ray software, taking him over three years to complete. I don’t think anyone could expect him to make the perfect video, but the results are impressive and the video really speaks for itself. The set can still be found through online retailers, although it can be pretty expensive — the set is considered a collectors item after all. I hope Francisco decides to do more of these videos, and hopefully we won’t have to wait another three years for the next one.

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The Greatest 80’s Cartoon Never Made

Posted by Tim Sheehy on Feb 7, 2012 in Animation, Television

This awesome animated short has been floating around the net for a few weeks now, but hasn’t garnered a fraction of the views it deserves. Space Stallions was created by a group of students from The Animation Workshop attempting to capture the essence of 80’s cartoons like Voltron, Thunder Cats, and so on. Personally, I think they hit the nail on the head. The music was dead on with everything from sequenced arps and laser toms to its poorly written chorus. Visually, they touched on everything you’d expect to see like several of the characters rocking a mustache, Unicorn space-bikes, oh and a keytar sword. While I don’t think I’d ever want to sit through an actual episode should they ever make one, I have to applaud their awesome efforts here. Oh, and if you want to buy a copy of that theme song, you’re in luck. It’s available via BandCamp. Read more…

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Fan Gives Wrath of Khan a CG Makeover

Posted by Tim Sheehy on Dec 27, 2011 in Fandom, Star Trek

It might not be the same quality you’d expect from a major studio like Pixar, but this is worth checking out. Using a mix of CG and footage from the original film, YouTube user Mylex67 recently tried his hand at recreating some of the battle sequences from Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. While it’s my instinct to complain about the lack of accuracy, he notes that the clip is not meant to be a shot for shot recreation, but rather just an alternate take on the battle in the Mutara nebula from the film. Needless to say, I’m a bit impressed, and I hope there’s more to come.

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Planet of the Apes Wins; CG Andy Serkis Can’t Lose

Posted by Gia Manry on Aug 8, 2011 in Cinema

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Everybody cue the banana jokes: Rise of the Planet of the Apes, the prequel to/reboot of 1968’s Charlton Heston flick Planet of the Apes handily beat out its competition at the box office this weekend. But there’s another, possibly more interesting story at work here than the tale of how humanity doomed itself by making super-intelligent simians: the tale of actor Andy Serkis, who has single-handedly become the go-to guy for awesome motion-capture CG acting. Read more…

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Will You Give a Hoot About This Zack Snyder Shoot?

Posted by Michael Pinto on Mar 5, 2010 in Animation, Cinema

As a fanboy I still have mixed feelings about what Zack Snyder did with Watchmen last year, although maybe in retrospect my expectations were too high. So with him tackling Legend of the Guardians which is a children’s book I think I might be willing to withhold judgement until I’ve seen a bit more than this teaser trailer. My doubts spring from the fact that I’ve seen too Pixar wannabe films these past few years and I’m not sure if I want to watch owls for an entire sitting — but I’ll give Zack a chance. The film will be due out at the end of September this year. Read more…

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Dreck Comes to an End, Um I Mean Shrek…

Posted by Michael Pinto on Jan 16, 2010 in Animation

How is it that they’re making the fourth film in this retched series yet they still can’t come even close to the quality of animation that Pixar was doing ten years ago? Over time Shrek has come to represent everything that I detest about bad computer animation films: Stiff movement, flat lighting, lamentable scriptwriting, poor comedic timing for gags, lackluster voice acting, uninspired music, predictable plots and sequels that aren’t even good enough to go direct to video.

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Despicable Me: I Already Hate This Film & It Won’t Be Out Until 2010

Posted by Michael Pinto on Nov 12, 2009 in Animation

Here’s the latest trailer for Despicable Me and I’ve got to say that I’m even less impressed with the film now than when the previous trailer came out. This is the same crew that was behind Ice Age so they’re not as bad as Dreamworks, yet they’ll never be as good as Pixar. As usual we’ve got famous movie stars who are lame at voice acting and visual gags that are overplayed, and the end result doesn’t make me want to stand in line to buy a ticket.



Can Astro Boy Escape Pixar City?

Posted by Michael Pinto on Sep 19, 2009 in Animation

This latest promotional Astro Boy clip is titled Escape Metro City, but it’s more like Escape Pixar City. The more I see of the upcoming Astro Boy flick the more I absolutely hate it. It’s bad enough having to watch every other film trying to poorly imitate Pixar, but then to see such a classic anime character get dragged into the mud is humiliating. This clip sums up while I won’t be standing in line: We’ve got A list actors doing C- voice acting, poorly timed animation that telegraphs its punches and a great deal of eye candy over substance.

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An Animated Film — from Wes Anderson?!

Posted by Michael Pinto on Jul 31, 2009 in Animation

When I caught this trailer my first thought was “oh no, not ANOTHER damn 3D looking animated film!” Although then I noticed that the directors credit belong to Wes Anderson who’s done such an amazing job on films like The Royal Tenenbaums. This film is titled Fantastic Mr. Fox and is based on the book by Roald Dahl. From what I’m seeing in the trailer I have a bit of a mixed reaction: One one hand the animation looks terrible, everything is so stiff and there’s no timing to be found. Yet in the other hand the story looks like it could be good, in which case I might forgive the animation to a degree. I guess we’ll have to see how this goes when the film comes out this fall.

Update: I’ve been informed by the talented wardomatic that this film is stop motion not CGI – however sadly the animation is still terrible looking… Read more…

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Despicable Me: A Pitiful Pixar Photocopy

Posted by Michael Pinto on Jul 16, 2009 in Animation

If you ever want to see what Pixar does right, take a look at the competition! This trailer for Despicable Me is like a free animation course in how to get a near miss. The first thing you notice is that even though there’s some bounce to the animation (called ‘anticipation’) the comedic results are telegraphed and slow, so you don’t catch yourself laughing. On another level the sound effects sound like they’re from a library and you can tell that the voice actors are just regular screen actors with no audible character traits to their vocals. The results is a mediocre mass of mush that’s destined for the drug store value DVD bin in less than six months. Read more…



Ice Age 3: Suffering from Freezer Burns

Posted by Michael Pinto on Jun 17, 2009 in Animation

Why bother to put Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs into theaters when it can go straight to cable? The first film was average but had some decent moments, but this latest one looks like it has freezer burn. There seems to be some sort of Land of the Lost plot going on in this “film” — and I bet that they scripted that before they knew the rebooted Land of the Lost would bomb. You know it’s been about fourteen years since Pixar released Toy Story and yet the other studios still seem to be playing catch up…

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The Most Amazing 3D Animated Toilet Training Video You’ll Ever See

Posted by Michael Pinto on May 26, 2009 in Animation

If Pixar did a toilet training video it would look like this! The clip above is from some NHK kids video show in Japan, the subject matter is strictly bathroom humor as you can see. I think the cutest thing about this video are the flying rolls of toilet paper who seem to be playing a bugle.

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Cat Shit One vs. Astroboy: What Should Anime CGI Be?

Posted by Michael Pinto on Mar 25, 2009 in Animation

This is a trailer for an potential upcoming anime series called Cat Shit One by studio anima. First off what makes this look so different is that it’s interesting to see a Japanese studio do their take on what CGI should look like — we’ve seen Pixar set the pace for years, but this series clearly has its own sensibilities. Which brings me to the next point: The subject matter of this show is war with the twist of featuring cute woodland creatures. The last time anyone has tried anything like this was the animated film Watership Down which while being an amazing film was never a huge commercial success. Read more…

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Monsters vs. Aliens vs. King Kong vs. Godzilla and Godzuki

Posted by Michael Pinto on Nov 6, 2008 in Animation

Before I start trashing this trailer for Monsters vs. Aliens there are two things that I’ll admit to upfront (but if you’re a fanboy how could you blame me?):

1. Dreamworks has always been second banana to Pixar, and I’m not talking Coke vs. Pepsi but more like Coke vs. C&C Cola. In other words: If you thought that Shrek was good you don’t know what you;re talking about (unless by good you mean box office of course).

2. At this point in time if you’re going to do a CGI film you better damn well be ready to blow me out of the water because I’ve seen it all before — or — at least have a unique look for the film that I haven’t seen before.

Now I’m glad I got that out of the way! On paper the concept for this film sounds good, but alas the devil is in the details and from what I see here Dreamworks is determined to ummmm — well that’s a good question?

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Bolt isn’t Blowing Me Away…

Posted by Michael Pinto on Oct 22, 2008 in Animation

Shown above is the latest sneak peak of Bolt which is due out in theaters on November 21st and I have to say that I’m not getting excited by this clip. Now my understanding is that the film will be released in Disney Digital 3D and while that sounds cool it doesn’t mean that there can’t be a story up there on the screen. And from this small sample the whole flick looks like a bad action film which is already based on existing cartoons like Road Runner.

The other thing that’s missing here is that none of the characters seem lovable — the dog character Bolt seems to lack any charm, and even the bad guys in the scene above seem so generic. For crying out loud this is suppose to be a Disney film, having interesting evil characters is half the point! To me it looks like Disney was so obsessed with making a Pixar film that they forgot what makes Disney so special (hint: it’s charm, storytelling and imagination!).

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