Aug 31, 2013

The Art Of Miko

Miko Maciaszek is a Warsaw, Poland born illustrator who moved to Canada following the fall of Communism, and enjoyed a happy transition and life spent fostering his love of art with two nurturing parents behind his direction. Following a stint at Sheridian with an initial goal of doing concept art for videogames, Miko has gone down the path of the freelance illustrator, getting a chance to work with publications including The New York Times, The Globe and a growing list of publications.

With aspirations of someday creating a comic book and world of his own, with a project currently brewing in his head. Reading through his Tumblr you'll be able to get a really in depth look into the world as he sees it, including his future aspirations and thoughts on his current career. One of the favorite things I saw him mention was a quote by Theodore Gericault that did wonders for my creatively frustrated mind lately:

If obstacles discourage the mediocre talent, they are, on the contrary, the necessary food of genius; they ripen and exalt it, where the easy road would leave it cold. Everything that opposes the triumphant progress of genius irritates it, and induces that fever of exaltation that overthrows and conquers all to produce its masterpieces.

Your Man

Created by the Pearsmiths, Your Man is an absolutely fantastic mega-homage to 80's flicks, 90's videogames and...the fine Irish city of Dublin. It's a little hard to describe, but let's just say that it's a bizarre mixture of pixel art, 3D, Sim City 2000 disasters all being propagated by a mysterious, apparently omniscient man with a yellow hoodie, who seems to be behind some of the madness unfolding on this isometric recreation of the capital of Ireland.

The sheer insanity of this awesome short, scored by the pretty damn talented rockers (Also from Dublin) known as Sounds of System Breakdown (Check their awesome music here) definitely took me back to watching some of Paul Robertson's insane animations like King Of Power 4 Billion, which you can check out after the break. Their music definitely draws some parallels with the likes of LCD Soundsystem, Depeche Mode and others

I Am Street Fighter - 25 Years Of Inspiration

25 years of blisters, passion, broken controllers and ruined friendships: Capcom brings us I Am Street Fighter: 25 Years Of Inspiration. A testament to the ultimate fighting game that has been going strong for over two decades now. Street Fighter is the game that set the foundation for the modern fighting game, and it's a franchise as universally recognizable as Star Wars in this day and age.

Courtesy of UDON
Fans, developers and pro players recollect about how they first got into the franchise, and the impact that it's had on their lives. Personally, Super Street Fighter IV continues to be the go-to game for stress release after a bad day at work, although I do long for another Capcom VS SNK someday. At over an hour long, it's a true celebration of everything Street Fighter to date.

Aug 30, 2013

En Puntas by Javier Perez

Javier Perez's performance art short made me nothing short of anxious. A lovely ballerina attempts what would appear to be impossible: Stand and even dance a little on the points of knives. Yep, attached to her pointe shoes are knives, and not only that, but she does this on top of a piano. A metaphor for the human condition, she gradually becomes more and more exasperated in her quest for perfection. The scraping and cutting of the knife against the piano top and her frustrated outbursts create nothing short of anxiety in the viewer.

L'Arte Della Felicità (The Art Of Happiness)

The Italian animation industry isn't one we hear about very often, so this trailer for a new animated feature by director Luciano Stella and MAD Entertainment came as quite a surprise today. L'Arte della Felicità looks like it will deal with some rather heavy issues and soul searching, as it's protagonists, a man named Sergio sets out to reflect on life, death and the meaning of it all when a grave occurrence regarding his brother turns his life upside down. The movie is currently screening in the festival circuits abroad to some fantastic reception.

The feature was accompanied by a famous quote by the 14th Dalai Llama, Tenzin Gyatso: I believe that the very purpose of our life is to seek happiness. That is clear, whether one believes in religion or not, whether one believes in this religion or that religion, we all are seeking something better in life. So, I think, the very motion of our life is towards happiness

William Trubridge - Freediver

There's something truly beautiful and yet terrifying about watching this docu-short of William Trubridge, a freediver. While there's an entire universe out there, the ocean is also commonly referred to as the Great Unknown, and Mr. Trubridge willingly dives to it's depths unassisted (well, as far as humanly possible). As he prepares for the dive, he takes his time on the water's surface relaxing. As any energy spent at the surface is needless and wasteful, he finds his sense of serenity and calm before taking his journey. Created by The Avant Garde Diaries.

Majin Station Trailer By Level 5

Hideaki Anno teamed up with Level 5 to create this pretty amazing trailer for Majin (Demon God) Station, an upcoming title for iOS and Android platforms. While it appears to be a typical anime style on first glance, I called it amazing after learning that the entire trailer was executed using Anno's Studio Khara digital team in 3D instead of hand animation, showing off the progress made in advanced cel shading pipelines for animation.

The last time we say anime styled 3D this impressive was back in May with the announcement of Guilty Gear XRD - Sign, which features some of the most seamless 2D style 3D running in an actual real time engine. That aside, Majin Station probably won't be making the jump overseas but I'll find any excuse to post work by the man who directed Neon Genesis Evangelion.

The Surreal Works Of Okimi - Pizza, Tengu And Beyond

Okimi is the artist name for Yaegashi Sho, a rather prolific illustrator and Tokyo resident with a self proclaimed bizarre style that feels like a blender of folklore, pop culture and influences from abroad. Mythical creatures like Tengu and Kappa grace the same illustration space with slices of pizzas and scantily clad ladies, marveling at this rather insane mishmash of elements. Is it an east meets west? No answers are offered, and it is all left up to interpretation.

The entire style also includes a rather retro anime themed illustrator flair, reminiscent of the cruder animation style present in the late 70's and 80's. I'm not quite sure what to think about it, but Okimi's work is just that strangely compelling. Check out more of his quirky illustration work after the break, and be sure to head to Thumbtack Press for some prints of his work.

Aug 29, 2013

The Toyota X Gundam Crossover Is So Ridiculous It's Awesome

In another spectacularly Japan-centric stroke of genius, Toyota has teamed up with Sunrise animation to create this rather bizarre, yet fun crossover starring Char Aznable, an infamous antagonist from the Zeon faction in the Gundam universe. Following a rather graceful dismount from his characteristically red Zaku and a small courting with a sporty Toyota, some ZEONIC TOYOTA DRIFT gets under way. I've got a soft spot for the retro sound treatment and visual flair especially, nothing like a little retro anime nostalgia to sell you on a fictional vehicle...oh wait.

That trailer wasn't kidding! The actual car itself is a pretty badass piece of fan service, slathered with Zeon logos, tech insignias and an uncharacteristically aggressive (For Toyota) Zeon flavored styling, and even an internal assistance system themed to Char's voice, which kind of makes me wish there was a market here for such amazing crossovers. The 'Auris Char's Customize,' released with 19 points of customization will be released in Japan on October 1 as a limited release with a price range of $28,000-$34,000. Ask yourself: How deep do your pockets, and Gundam fandom levels go?


Vancouver based animator Jeannette Lee created this abstract and awesomely strange short entitled, Epeolatry.  The title means the worship of words, and is fitting in this segmented short showcasing the meanings of several uncommonly used words.  I'm not gonna lie, a lot of these words were new to me, and I'm especially fond of "tittle," and will try to somehow find a way to use it very soon.  Anyways, I loved the whimsical aspect of the short, and appreciate how something that can teach can feel so silly and mindless at the same time.

Sleep Walk by Hey Beautiful Jerk

With the supposed Doomsday almost a year behind us, we're still finding no shortage of apocalyptic themed arts, film, and more.  Some lean on the side of bleak, while others tend to be a bit more lighthearted.  Animation team Hey Beautiful Jerk, consisting of Mark Szumski Gina Niespodziani, combines the two moods really well with their animated short, Sleep Walk.

Based off the Santo & Johnny 1959 instrumental song (Which you may remember from the film La Bamba... Or maybe that was just me.  Anybody?), the short also takes place in 1959, and features a doomsday enthusiast who finds his one last shot at redemption.  I loved the contrast between the harsh black and water, and stylized art with the emotional and soft classic song (which in this short, was produced by Pleaserock).

Aug 28, 2013


Created as part of Olivia Marion's graduation film from the French animation school EMCA, Hound is a highly atmospheric short which is impressive both in it's aesthetic and choice of lighting and color, which must have been pretty damn complex to pull off.

In Hound a man travels through a dark forest aided with nothing but a flashlight and his senses, seemingly hunted by a predator out for blood. While the setup seems to indicate some rather sinister events are bound to unfold, the final result is thankfully quite cheerful. Man's best friend

Worth Checking Out - Octopus City Blues

Octopus City Blues is looking to be a pretty unique and surreal experience in the scape of  point-and-click adventure games. The game tells the story of a city which for whatever reason resides on a giant octopus, which leads to an oddly quaint area for exploration. The folks at Ghost in a Bottle have quite a knack for creating a creepy an uneasy setting without treading into the horror genre.

Touching on the dark subject of a junkie, the game is destined to provide a dark and twisted ride. If you're unsure on whether you want to toss a few dollars at the game I suggest you take a look at the game's Kickstarter rewards. For only $3 you can test your luck at Monopoly and win a lunch from CEO Firas Assaad, hell yeah!

Ezra Vine - "Celeste"

Directed, designed and animated by Robert Wallace with additional anim support by Jonatan Jönsson, Ezra Vine's Celeste is a wonderfully mellow music video in both an aural and visual sense, narrating the long and fantastical journey of a mysterious shadow man across fantastical landscapes, seeking something only he knows.

While this is our first time hearing about this New Zealand based inide band with somewhat folk-y sensibilities, their sound is impeccably reminiscent of groups like the Fleet Foxes with their multi-instrumental, melodic tunes. Celeste is a truly infectious, upbeat little track that should offer us a taste of what's coming. An EP is rumored to be dropping sometime this November from the outfit.

Adventure Time In Lego

The fun folks at Screen Novelties, a collective of self proclaimed 'creative weirdos' specializing in stop motion work were approached by the folks behind Adventure Time to recreate the awesome opening of the show with Legos for a special episode. The end result is a completely spot on 1:1 recreation using everyone's favorite bricks. Originally featured on Youtube's spectacularly awful Geek Week, we waited until it showed up on Vimeo to feature it as to not fuel that fire.

Our friends at Adventure Time hired us to play with Lego for a couple months. It was one of the most Mathematical-est projects we've gotten to do.

Pompeii - Teaser Trailer

The teaser to the far-off release of Paul W.S. Anderson's Pompeii was recently released (well, I guess February isn't that far off).  Starring Jon Snow Kit Harrington and Emily Browning, the story takes place during days leading up to the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius. Appearing like an epic and romance story not unlike what we've seen in the past, It's a cool twist to see how the narrative will be affected by a massive volcano eruption and the ensuing chaos (in the fictional sense, geez..).  For some perspective, the AD 79 eruption released 100 times the thermal energy of the Hiroshima bombing.  Yikes.

Aug 27, 2013


Deathsigner initially caught my eye as by it's charming style, showcasing an art style similar to many of Dreamworks' earlier hand-drawn animation. While the story is simple, a tale of of a young Grim Reaper finding it's talent in life, the execution is awesome and the inclusion of other bringers of death adds an extra level of style. Animated by a team from the National Taiwan University of Arts, Deathigner once again proves that the next generation of animators is something to keep an eye out on. 

Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn Launch Trailer Feels Like It's Not An MMO

I'm going to admit that I'm absolutely obsessed with Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn at the moment. After the trainwreck of the 1.0 release, it's incredible to see the turn around of quality thanks to the amazing team lead by Naoki Yoshida (better known in the community as Yoshi-P). While A Realm Reborn plays like a typical MMO, the pure quality of storytelling and design of the world is what instantly drew me in. The quest dialogue and the world exploration bring me back to the glory days of JRPGs, and really shows off the passion the team has for bringing some much needed life into this game.

To celebrate today's release, a launch trailer has been released to showcase the game's narrative, which manages to portray the game as just another Final Fantasy entry instead of an MMO. If you're looking for a timesink with quality, I definitely suggest taking a step down the road of FFXIV: A Realm Reborn, I doubt you'll be disappointed.

What Is Leviathan?

Something very interesting is coming our way, courtesy of director John Yeo who is teasing a new project called Leviathan Ages that looks like it's set to offer us some very striking visuals as well as a pretty cool sounding narrative. With a long laundry list of directorial work for big brand advertising under his belt, I always look forward to personal projects from directors in that field, as they definitely tend to have somewhat repressed creativity seeking that perfect time to explode (Neil Blomkamp comes to mind).

Our only clue to the narrative comes in the form of a somewhat cryptic excerpt: Bound in ancient celestial ballet, nine dead Kings arise to claim a fallen Emperor. That amazing shot of the somewhat unsettling techno-organic squid entity sold me on this project pretty much instantly, and I look forward to seeing what other twisted visions director John Yeo has in store for us. Stay tuned for more updates on the project over at the Leviathan Ages website.

The Art Of Christian Pearce - Elysium And Beyond

Christian Pearce is a veteran visual designer/concept artist over at New Zealand's famous WETA workshop, which attracts some of the brightest designers and artists in the world, who in turn contribute their creativity to the film industry's needs. How much experience are we talking? 12 years, which has allowed him to contribute to some of the most groundbreaking films in recent memory from a visual standpoint.

Among the films he's contributed to: King Kong, District 9, Avatar, the Narnia series, The Adventures of Tintin and most recently Elysium. His WETA work could best be described as very production oriented, created using a series of time saving techniques considering the crunch and deadlines these professionals face. His personal work shows off a more playful side, and his love of warplanes, muscle cars and beyond. Check out more of his awesome work after the break, including a few cool ship designs from Elysium.

A Blizzard Cinematic Animation Reel

Ever wonder what 8 years of animation experience at one of the top companies in the videogame industry looks like? Senior cinematic animator Corey Pelton just wrapped up his 2013 reel, showing off tidbits of the work that he's been fortunate to animate for Blizzard during his 8 year (and counting) tenure on projects including Starcraft 2 and Heart of the Swarm, Diablo 3 including the recently announced Reaper of Souls, World of Warcraft and beyond. Pretty damn impressive.

If you still haven't seen the Reaper of Souls trailer yet, you should check it out simply for it's artistry after the break. I was as disappointed as anyone else by the troubled 3rd installment of the franchise as anyone else, but put those thoughts aside to enjoy a trailer crafted over months by a hard working group of artists, regardless of the companies questionable design choices.


Shot on a slow motion specialized Phantom Miro camera, Salience is a surreal short about ethereal, barely visibile spirits crossing into a forest opening before being assailed by bursts of colored powder similar to those used in the colorful Indian festival of Holi (Festival of colors). Via this act they are given form and shape in this peaceful and somewhat clever short film directed by Paul Trillo. Filmed at about 1500fps, you can check out the rather technical making of after the break, breaking down exactly how they composited these invisible forest inhabitants into their setting.

Sourcing Music From Unlikely Places - Stock Market Crash Music, Project Bootleg

Some interesting content regarding some rather experimental forms of creating music today. On one hand we have Geraldine Juarez, who converted market crash charts into waveforms to create a custom vinyl called Wealth Transfer, as a means of turning something negative into a more palatable, positive creation.

Capital rely on algorithms to manipulate markets, their effects are everywhere yet is hard to see them immediately, given the scale of time and fabricated complexity in which accumulation and exchange is performed at high frequency scale. The patterns produced by their activity are testimony of the behavior of financial markets, and unlike them, these patterns aren't sacred or untouchable. They can be used to generate other forms of wealth, like music.

Project Bootleg, on the other hand was an experimental performance piece by Manuel Urbanke, created by placing empty vinyls on a dance floor and letting people dance on it to create abstract noise to be converted into actual tracks via scratching. If you're in the mood for highly experimental goodness, head over to Ma-Ma to check the final result out

We produced empty vinyls. No music. No Sound. Before concerts we put them on the floor and people danced on them. After the live shows the records were scratched. These scratches made sound on the record player.  We mixed this noise in the studio and created new tracks out of it.

Aug 26, 2013

The Pixel Art Of Vixels

Vixel is the alias for Vic Nguyen, an artist and pixel lover currently residing in Toronto who got our attention with his awesome Street Fighter III-IV pixel tribute, capturing the entire cast with some absolutely spot on 8-bit flair. In the process of scouring for his portfolio, we also realized that he was offering a pretty awesome service on a commission basis: Pixel portraits.

Our guess is that he got swamped with requests for the time consuming portraits as he's currently on a temporary hiatus, but we'd definitely be interested in hitting him up for some staff portraits. If you're interested in hitting him up with a request, head on over to his Vixels commission page, if not check out more samples of his awesome pixelated portraits after the break!

The Storybook-esque Art of Alina Chau

Alina Chau's work provides an incredibly refreshing viewing experience with both her original work and her personal spin on pieces of pop-culture. Each of Chau's painting is beautifully crafted and would fit right in home in a children's book, although I'd argue the level of quality from each piece deserves it's own separate print.

After the break is a particularly awesome James Bond piece which depicts the suave spy in a seductive yet playful way, a tone that many of Chau's work seems to incapsulate. The precision of each stroke is wonderful, blending together with a beautiful array of colors. Hit the break to check out more of Alina Chau's work.

Japanese Baseball Stadiums Have The Coolest Jumbotron Animations

Japan's love for all things Baseball never ceases to amaze me, the amount of love and dedication put into the sport by many citizens is unlike anything I've ever seen. With the amount of love received by almost the entirety of Japan, it's no surprise that the sport is far more of a visual spectacle than other places in the world. The above animation showcases a variety of visual indicators shown throughout the games of the Hiroshima Toyo Carp, and it's damn amazing. 

It's incredible to imagine an animation like this playing on a Baseball stadiums giant Astrovision screen, especially when compared to stadiums in the United States with simpler, less stylized animations. There's a few sporting events I'd love to see around the world, but Japanese Baseball has always sat comfortably at the top of my list.

The Art Of Jian Guan

Jian Guan (aka Masterkey 23) is a Chinese illustrator with an amazing art style drawing from the rich history and legends of his country, both in execution and lore. His piece titled 'warrior' above draws from Shui-mo ( 水墨), a technique based on watercolor and brush styled painting. While his work is exclusively digital, there's tell tale signs of an education that was mostly traditional, especially looking at his color usage and painterly style.

Much to my chagrin though, Jian Guan is one of those excellent artists who doesn't bother to post online much. Unlike what some people might think, not all artists are out to seek the limelight, instead opting for a more humble path of self improvement away from the public eye. Despite having scoured the net for a portfolio, I was only able to get a glimpse of this artists amazing work, which you can check out after the break. His take on a battle between Mongol leader Temujin (The early name of Genghis Khan) and his mortal rival Jamukha is one of the coolest historical paintings I've seen in a while.

The Kinect Powered Manga Creator

Another pretty damn cool use of the Kinect, created by some truly fun folks at Shirai Lab following the success of the Manga-Camera app (You've probably seen at least a few people post their creations on Facebook), which allowed you to turn any photo into an over the top frame from a manga. Using a mixture of clever pen and ink shaders and some on the fly compositing, this fun experimental application turns you into the protagonist. Practical application? Who knows, but it looks like these guys had fun creating it.

For a story created in advance, you take up your desired pose. Then, the shader runs in real time, converting the image to manga style. The biggest feature of this system is, it observes a person’s posture, chooses a background to match, and synthesizes the two. The real-time manga shader still has room for improvement, so we’re working to enhance the image quality. Then, there’s the issue of layout. We’ve made great progress on layout with text in the right places, and interactive stories. Some aspects of this research can be applied to e-books and interactive e-books.

5 More Minutes

Created by Tom Yaniv as a tribute to the experiences his young daughter brought to his life, 5 More Minutes is a heartfelt journey into the world as seen through a child's eyes. Starting off in a greyscale world (Perhaps from the perspective of the parent), a simple swing ride turns into a fantastical journey across impossible landscapes, before returning back to normal.

Eye Of The Beholder

Shot in the Canadian Rockies, High Sierra Nevadas and Southern Appalachians, Upthink Labs' Eye of the Beholder is a wonderfully relaxing look at the nearly surreal beauty of nature around us. Over 2 dozen separate timelapses accompany the soothing narrative that encourages one to enjoy their life. Not a bay way to start the week, full screen recommended.

Featuring an array of scenes from the North American landscape, EYE OF THE BEHOLDER is a short film that encourages the viewer to shed previous conceptions and ideas about the world, and to return to a place of wonderment and awe.

Aug 25, 2013

The Jungle Giants - "Skin To Bone"

Created for the recently debuted Aussie indie rocker band known as The Jungle Giants, director Anthony Salsone collaborated with illustrator and animator John Grist to create a fun, chalkboard styled animation with a truly cosmic narrative, covering the expanse of the universe, life and death and beyond. Abstract at best, but fun as hell to watch. The upbeat track is taken from the debut album of the group's debut, 'Learn To Exist,' set to be released on August 30th. Can't wait to check it out.

Passer Passer

Louis Morton's Passer Passer is a graduation film created at the University of Southern California, utilizing the ambient sounds of th ecities he grew up in to create a rythmic soundscape of all the different locales you might find yourself in on any given city day. The clinking of silverware, the droning of commuters nearby and traffic, construction and more, accented by an ever evolving, simplistic yet fluid art style.

The Art Of Natali Martinez

Natali Martinez is a Venezuelan born, Florida raised artist and illustrator currently residing in Brooklyn, NY following earning a hefty BA in Animation. Her art is chipper, bright and colorful, reminding me of a strange mix of John K/Spumco, Matt Groening's Simpsons style mixed with a dash of residual anime.

In an interesting way, Martinez reminds us of Omocat's light side, as she also employs the very fine technique of semi-animating her illustrations, which has become quite popular on the Tumblr circles. Check out more of her wonderfully chipper, animated art after the break, and be sure to visit her store for some really cool creations! Bandwith intensive fyi.

Aug 24, 2013


Surrounded by relics of a bygone era, musician Julian Corrie put together an absolutely amazing orchestra of retro hardware at the bottom of a drained pool at the behest of filmmaker James Houston in Polybius. While we've regularly run into videos of hard drives being used to do covers of classic songs, this takes the concept and ups the ante a hundred fold. Amazing.

We are submerged in a dry swimming pool. A SEGA Mega Drive, Commodore 64, floppy disk drives and hard drives sing in unison. The unusual ensemble (controlled live via MIDI) are given a last curtain call in a nostalgic farewell to forgotten friends.

The Art Of Eric Scott Pfeiffer

Eric Scott Pfeiffer is a Richmond, Virginia based editorial and comic book style illustrator with a very distinct, stylized approach to his art, which is all about the lineart and limited color palettes. While a few of his illustrations have that distinctly editorial style, you can tell that he's definitely leaned more towards the comic art side of things.

I ran into Eric's work sometime late last year, when he launched a Kickstarterfor his Kid Havoc project (Video above with this insights), a unique multimedia concept combining his love of comic books and fashion into a comic series/clothing company in collaboration with freelance fashion designer Fernanda Chavez (The campaign did well). Check out more of his awesome illustrations after the break!

Dreams Are Real

Time travel. Space Exploration. Violence. Drama. Love. Cats. Dreams. Need we say more? This cosmic cat journey was created by Ryan Barger and Katie Akan, and all we can say is that there are no words to describe this opus to the incredible creatures known as cats. When this video is pulled from an ancient hard drive from the debris of our long lost race centuries from now, they will know what these cats accomplished. They will know.

Aug 23, 2013

Dungeon of the Endless - What's Behind the Door?

Woah, this game really came out of nowhere. The team at BlackMeal has quite an awesome surprise up their sleeve with Dungeon of the Endless, a game they describe as a Roguelike RPG with tower defense elements. Originally revealed at Gamescom, the studio has put out a second teaser for the game showcasing the game's incredible pixel-art. 

Boasting 4-player co-op and over 30 classes, this game is sounding pretty damn sweet! The trailer shows off an interesting cross between sci-fi elements and fantasy, and the environmental art is absolutely gorgeous. While no firm release date is set, expect the game later this year through Steam's Early Access.

Bravest Warriors (Minisode 3) - Browser Fail

While Cartoon Hangover works on their full length episode, they keep rolling out these fantastic minisodes. Even when the episodes sit a minute and thirty seconds, it's hard to complain when the humor is everything you come to expect from the full episodes. I might even go out on a limb here and say that shorter episodes have often been funnier. Next month looks to be a busy time for Bravest Warriors so hold tight!

DC Nation's Wonder Woman Shorts Are Ridiculously Stylish

DC Nation finally released their awesomely stylized, bite sized shorts for their artist driven Wonder Woman reimagining, featuring a male pilot crash landing on the femme-only Amazon island of Themyscira, resulting in quite a bit of chaos. The stylish reimagining comes courtesy of Robert Valley (It does annoy me a lot how they never credit the artists behind these), whom we recently covered for his amazing work on Shinjuku - The Film and Massive Swerve

Have to give it to Valley, he actually made Wonder Woman look pretty damn cool in these shorts, especially in her take down of the rather pissed off Giganta that comes after her and the unfortunate male tag-along. Check out part 2 & 3 after the break. 

The Awesome Environments Of Zhichao Cai

Art director Zhichao Cai (aka Trylea) uses no tricks or photocomping in his amazing, ridiculously vertical compositions, featuring incredibly pushes perspectives, impossible architecture and a plethora of detail to scour for in his incredible digital painted illustrations. As an art director at the Hangzhou, China based Gamecox, his emphasis is on creating striking worlds via his knack for environment painting, which he's really damn good at.

Zhichao uses personal narratives to give thematic direction to his pieces, including crafting lore including projects like his personal set of paintings titled Legend Of Yunzhong, featuring five kingdoms based off of 5 elemental powers (All after the break). If you're in the mood to gawk at some impossible, fantastical landscapes, you'll get your fill with this incredible art. Enjoy.

Ketagino's Awesome Maschinen Krieger Kitbash

Who doesn't love a little kitbashing? Custom figure maker and Maschinen Krieger fanatic (A scifi/model kit universe created by Kow Yokoyama) Ketagino set out to combine his favorite sets from the Krieger universe to create Yumiru, a construct assembled from pieces of other sets, especially the GANS Panzer, this type of recombining and kitbashing has become prevalent in conceptual fields in recent years, using pieces from various places to create altogether new designs with familiar visual languages.

While Ketagino has crafted quite a few kitbash creations, few have been as successful as his Yumiru, crafted at a 1/35 scale. If you're in the mood to do some kitbashing yourself for free, I'd recommend downloading Google's awesome Sketchup program and using the free 3D warehouse function to find pieces to recombine into an all new designs. It's all the rage these days with mech heads like myself. Check out more shorts of Ketagino's awesome kitbash mech after the break!

Dog With Electric Collar

Basing off the title alone, I had to tuck away my rage as a dog lover for a second in order to enjoy Steve Baker's (whom we recently featured with The Video Dating Tape of Desmondo Ray) animated short, Dog with Electric Collar.  Upon viewing of this dark yet adorable short, I found my initial sense of anger misplaced, as the short takes a run and rather out-of-this-world turn.  The short is at times gritty, and at times done in a semi noir style, tells the story of a poor apartment stuck pup who is forced to literally watch the world walk by.


Directed by Mohamed Fadera and Sami Guellai, Tulkou is an incredibly charming short, especially considering the medium it was executed in, using a mixture of stop motion, 3D and hand animation to craft a truly appealing, cardboard cutout style. The somewhat cobbled together look fits perfectly with Tulkou's shanty town-esque setting, following a fisherman dragging in his catch of the day, which turns out to be anything but a fish.

Over the course of a few hours the fisherman's fascination with the mysterious entity dragged from the depths turns into an odd and unlikely friendship, ultimately culminating in an unlikely gesture of their unspoken relationship.

Aug 22, 2013

Let's Check Out - Loot Crate (August Box)

A few months ago at E3 we were approached by a rather friendly group of folks, who turned out to be the founders of a company called Loot Crate. Their idea was novel - Capitalize on the recent trend of subscription boxes and cater it more towards a more niche, geek crowd at a cheaper price. Needless to say, the concept has taken off and they have been doing really well. The idea of looking forward to a mystery box every month is pretty appealing, especially considering the sheer variety of product that you can be expected to receive on a monthly basis.

The August box swag, along with the July box's awesome pixel glassses (Can't get enough of 'em)
We were invited to check out their crates, and received our first one this month after a shipping mix up that delayed our June box till it was a little too late to make a video. We'll be checking out the contents of these boxes on a monthly basis, and the folks at Loot Crate were even gracious enough to hook us up with some discounts for our readers. If you head over to , you can use the code 'CAKE' to get 12% off any subscription to the service. Cheers!

Juan Behren's Awesome Motion Graphics Reel

I love motion design, the ability to bring static illustrations to life, imbue them with personality with movement and fluidity. Juan Behrens (Aka Br4k) is one such artist, a well traveled animator, designer and illustrator specializing in high end motion illustration in the fields of broadcast advertising and beyond, with a total of 7 years of experience across a range of continents and a resume filled with high end clientele.

I think my personal love for motion design comes from the fact that I see it as a much more difficult, creative craft than plain out animation, which typically involves bringing a character to life. Motion design involves bringing things like text, and more abstract concepts to life within a much more limited timeframe, especially when it comes to things like idents..So when it's done well it's something to be really appreciated. Check out Juan's website for more extensive breakdowns, as well as a slew of different projects.

Joshua Tree during the 2013 Perseid Meteor Shower

Wow, just wow. I honestly am a little taken aback after watching this beautifully crafted time-lapse of the Perseid Meteor Shower. The view is absolutely phenomenal and the time spent to get these shots was well worth it. After a long week, it's videos like this that let me sit back, relax, and enjoy the simpler things from the awkward glow of my computer screen. Take a few minutes off your back and give this a whirl, it's certain to lighten your mood.

The Art Of Tom Rainford

Tom Rainford (Aka Monkey Mafia) is a type of artist we don't run into too often, employing himself as both an illustrator and animator, with a wonderfully stylized aesthetic reminiscent of the retro-inspired preproduction that studios like Pixar and Dreamworks partake in on any project. While taking on new skills is sometimes a good idea, the typical scenario that plays out as it is referred to in the industry is known as the 'Jack of all trades, master of none.' Not the case with Tom. There's something refreshingly clean and bold about Tom's style, which emphasized bold shapes and colors over minutia that typically bogs down most artists. It's not always about rendering folks.

Tom's reel hasn't been updated in a bit, but once you check out his work after the break you'll get a chance to see how effectively his design decisions translate perfectly into creating some truly appealing animated entities. In between working for clients like Virgin, BBC and many others, Tom is currently at work on an exciting new short film that should debut sometime soon. We'll be sure to feature it when it does, because we definitely like what we see so far.

Aardman Animation's Take On Pink Floyd's "Dark Side Of The Moon"

Director Darren Dubicki of Aardman Animation set out to create a striking tribute to Pink Floyd's now historic Dark Side Of The Moon album, creating this incredibly executed, surreal mixed media piece to accompany a radio drama based on the album that will air in the UK on BBC Radio 2 on August 26th. Quite an interesting departure for the director, but the end result is pretty striking, perfectly accompanying the incredible score. Aardman released an official press release to accompany the trailer:

Aardman director, Darren Dubicki saw the piece working as a film trailer and the team spent time absorbing the rich detail from both Pink Floyd’s music and Sir Tom Stoppard’s play. In doing so they developed a striking visual concept where images juxtapose with carefully considered lyrics and dialogue from the play encompassing the underlying themes of greed, conflict, consumption, humanity and the descent into madness…

Dubicki says, 'What was fundamentally important to us was that we retained a consistent visual tone that echoed the imagery created over the years for the band. The intensely surreal and powerful artwork created by Storm Thorgerson and Hipgnosis has always had a strong distortion on reality. Their sense of space and twisted context make for some uncomfortably beautiful art. This tone has been consistent for decades and we wanted to honor this with our contemporary digital (and analogue) slant on the style.'

Filth Movie Trailer

It's been a loooong time since the adaptation of Irvine Welsh's extremely dark cult hit novel Trainspotting, and the adaptation of one of his latest novels called Filth looks like it might be a slightly more light hearted affair, dealing with an equally as damaged and cynical, yet humorous character hallucinating his way through life in an attempt to reach the 'top,' whatever that might mean for James McAvoy, who seems to sell the character pretty well. Synopsis below, with a slated fall release that might be worth looking forward to.

Scheming Bruce Robertson (James McAvoy), a bigoted and corrupt policeman, is in line for a promotion and will stop at nothing to get what he wants. Enlisted to solve a brutal murder and threatened by the aspirations of his colleagues, including Ray Lennox (Jamie Bell), Bruce sets about ensuring their ruin, right under the nose of unwitting Chief Inspector Toal. As he turns his colleagues against one another by stealing their wives and exposing their secrets, Bruce starts to lose himself in a web of deceit that he can no longer control. His past is slowly catching up with him, and a missing wife, a crippling drug habit and suspicious colleagues start to take their toll on his sanity. The question is: can he keep his grip on reality long enough to disentangle himself from the filth?

Evangelion Exhibit is A Real Thing

If you don't already know, Neon Genesis Evangelion is my favorite thing period. The anime has been a strong part of my life since my early teens and has continued to captivate me with it's intriguing story and it's recent continuation of the Rebuild films. When the announcement that an Evangelion exhibit would hit Matsuya Ginza in Tokyo, Japan I almost sh*t myself with excitement, but I managed to hold it in. While I probably will never get a chance to visit myself, visitors have been more than willing to share their experience with the internet. It may not be as good as visiting in-person but it'll do for now!

The exhibit is the first large-scale Evangelion exhibit, showcasing over 1,300 items and over 300 pieces from the show and film's production. After the jump is an assortment of photos from the exhibit, giving a decently sized sneakpeak. That lifesize Ayanami Rei is absolutely beautiful looking and I would kill to get a firsthand look at some of the film's storyboard in person. Take a look and feel the need to visit for yourself!

Aug 21, 2013

Dave Rapoza Teases Something New With Starveil

Dave Rapoza has made a name for himself by A)Being an incredibly prolific videogame industry freelance illustrator B)Creating amazing tributes to classic franchises including Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Super Metroid and Heman C)Running an awesome website for people to improve their art skills, Crimson Daggers, which despite what it's name implies is worth checking out if you're an aspiring concept artist.

Last but not least, he's had a chance to work on some cool personal projects, including the work in progress Skull And Shark his teamup with Austin based retro EDM artist Lazerhawk. His latest project has been in the works for a few months, simply presented in the form of sketchier portraits that represent quite a stylistic departure from Rapoza's more heavily rendered style, leaning more towards a Moebius/Otomo mix, which we especially gleaned for his concept for Orbit, a blue skinned humanoid alien of sorts (Right after the break). While details on the plot are scant at this point, the art seems to lean towards a cool scifi comic of sorts, which we're always more than happy to read. Check out a peek at the WIP cast of Starveil after the break!

The Vintage Yet Colorful Art of Kuno

Mixing a vintage feel with the bright neon colors of the 80's, Japan based artist Kuno has a wonderful assortment of eye catching work. With a selection of obscure character art to beautiful architectural art, Kuno's style manages to cross the path of a variety of subjects. While some pieces hold a 30's and 40's style, it manages to encapsulate the feeling of many early manga and anime artists from the 1950's while throwing in a blend of western culture.

Each of Kuno's work deserve to be framed and hung throughout the hippest of homes, and it's honestly something I'd love to see in my own. After the break is more of Kuno's work for you to gawk at, enjoy!

The Assembly 2013 Showcase

Assembly is a yearly gaming and demoscene event held yearly in Finland, with 'demoscene' emphasizing a computer art subculture that specializes in creating audio visual presentations that run real time on various types of computers. In short, it's a competitive subculture centered around people doing incredible things with both likely and unlikely platforms (Like Hedelmae's amazing LCD demo above), showcasing their programming prowess and artistic abilities, all on a limited timeframe with the prerequisite that it has to run real time using the hardwares existing capabilities.

Check out a few of our favorite demos from one of the shows funnest categories, 'Real Wild' created on platforms including graphing calculators, browsers, Android platforms, a Nintendo DS and more. If you're a fan of chiptunes, you'll get a kick out of a few of the original compositions in this showcase. Be sure to subscribe to the Assembly Youtube channel as well for dozens of more creations in a variety of categories, including one dedicated to the true old school demoscene - the Amiga and ZX Spectrum demos.

The Video Dating Tape of Desmondo Ray

Well...Damn.  This is the first time I'm sad that I'm a taken gal, because Desmondo Ray is the man of my dreams. Awkward, uncomfortable, inappropriate; a true lady magnet of the highest degree. Created by Steve Baker of Taxi Film Productions, Desmondo is a man of 33 years (and 3/4, thankyouverymuch) who is on a quest for love.

He decides to set about finding his mate in a very 80's fashion: Creating a dating video profile. This mixed animation/live action short jumps abruptly from touching to WTF, and back, and leaves just sitting here wondering which direction it really wants to go.  But I surmise that's mostly likely the whole point.

The Surreal Works Of Ryohei Hase

Ryohei Hase is a freelance artist and illustrator based out of Tokyo, spending most of his time working on pieces for editorial purposes, games, movies and even dabbling in fashion photography. Originally employed at Namco Bandai, he set out on the path to creative freedom in 2008 successfully, building up a healthy list of clients. On his free time he creates pieces that reflect the darkness residing in the corners of everyones minds: Anxieties, fear, jealousy, hatred, sadness and other states using a mixture of digital painting, 3D and photo compositing.

If anything I think Hase would be well suited on taking a stab at a Silent Hill title if the franchise ever gets a chance to be developed in the US again, as his imagery beckons to the type of psychological horror that the series introduced us to back in the day. Check out more of his works after the break!

Le Castle Vania - "Prophication"

Directed by Evan Viera, this music video/teaser for the Atlanta based one man electro/dance army known as Le Castle Vania promises some rather epic things to come with Prophication. Featuring a ship with a mysterious traveling into a mysterious, monolithic fortress, the teaser somewhat reminded me of the type of narrative that groups like Justice like to setup to accompany their new releases.

The upcoming titular EP will be dropping on September 2nd via Mau5trap records, the label founded by Deadmau5 himself back in 2007 before becoming part of Universal Music Group just recently. If you're into EDM, stay tuned for the debut of this fresh talent.

Aug 20, 2013


Director Raphael Rogers had me fooled into thinking I was watching a high budget short with Beyond, a fantastically crafted scifi thriller by the freelance director, who showcased what he was capable of accomplishing with virtually no budget, a trait that is probably quite attractive in the Hollywood market these days. Rogers set out to create a short that would also double as the piece to show off his chops. Filmed in the Mojave desert and in several other locations in California with some rented cameras, the final result also left us wondering how well this would work as a longer form narrative. Here's to hoping the buzz around Beyond gets Raphael the attention he deserves.

 Arya is the last remaining member of her family, a lineage with a unique genetic code that grants the ability to survive the folding of temporal and spatial boundaries... In short, she can teleport. Tasked with exploring new planets, she is in search of something that will explain who exactly she is and where she comes from.

Poncho - "Tiki Tiki"

Now for something a little different, in the form of a catchy-as-all-hell track from the Argentine band called Poncho directed by Jules Guérin (Aka Itza) at the Plenty collective. Tiki Tiki narrates the trippy journey of a dreadlocked young man across a kaleidoscopic, fluid landscape, accompanies by bizarre creatures, splashes of living color and more, all in tune with this upbeat, language barrier defying track.

In the words of the Poncho crew: On the way, this young man discovers new plants and animals and becomes one with them, and meets a sexy Mother Earth goddess (Pachamama) with whom he falls in love.

The Art Of Cellar FCP

Hong Kong based illustrator Cellar FCP (馮展鵬) fits the bill as one of many artists walking an interesting line in between western and eastern influences, recombining them into something altogether new while occasionally straying more in one way or the other with his at times fantastical, at times risqué pieces.

With a laundry list of contemporary and modern influences, including artists like Manet, Degas, Klimt, Toulouse Lautrec mixed with more modern artists like Hioraki Samura (Blade of the Immortal), Tsutomu Nihei (Blame!) and Yukito Kishiro (Battle Angel Alita), you can literally see where the bits and pieces of influence came from to assemble his own distinct style, which I tend to refer as a 'Eurasian' hybrid, especially prevalent with Korean artists. Check out more of FCP's awesome work after the break. A minor warning for some partial, albeit tasteful nudity.

Mike Relm's The Cornetto Trilogy Megamix

As the date of the US release of Edgar Wright, Nick Frost and Simon Pegg's final installment of their 'Three Flavours Cornetto' ice cream movie trilogy draws near with The World's End. The trilogy, centered around an idea that the trio had regarding creating three movies based off of three distinct ice cream flavors: Strawberry (Blood), Blue (Police colors) and Mint Chocolate Chip (Aliens) chronologically. The film is already getting some great reviews and LA based director Mike Relm created this awesome remix of the three movies: Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz and The World's End edited together in a fantastically frantic fashion.

For those of you who remember, Mike Relm was also the same guy behind the excellent Iron Man Trilogy Remix, released alongside Iron Man 3 just a few short months ago, which we'd also recommend checking out. Enjoy the remix madness.

Aug 19, 2013

Barkley 2 Is Amazing Looking (First Gameplay Footage)

If you've never played Barkley Shut Up and Jam: Gaiden, you need to get on that immediately. The super ridiculous post-apocalyptic RPG staring Charles Barkley was an absolute hit with the internet, but the devs over at Tales of Game's Studios aren't done yet. Following up the cult-classic, the studio launched a Kickstarter for Barkley 2 which more than tripled their initial goal. Over 8 months have passed since the Kickstarter goal was met, and as we get closer to the release and it's appearance at PAX Prime's Indie MegaBooth we're finally being treated with some sexy gameplay.

No more is the game's turn-based RPG gameplay, instead combat has been replaced with a top-down action-RPG style. The game looks absolutely incredible, and the improvements over the original are ridiculous for such a small team. I've been looking forward to Barkley 2 since it was first announced, but this just hyped me up even more. 2014 can't come soon enough.

Michael Jackson - Behind the Mask

It isn't everyday we get a posthumous music video for the late and great Michael Jackson, but the folks over at Aggressive have done just that. Featuring the song Behind The Mask, a song originally recorded during the Thriller sessions, this music pays homage to the many masks seen worn by Michael Jackson and crew throughout his career. With cameos by the famous dance crew The Jabbawockeez and Chucky Klapow, this definitely holds the Michael Jackson spirit in check. The song has quite a bit of history to it, with the original mix never released this is indeed a remix, although it holds up quite well with the flow of many Michael Jackson songs.

Major Lazer - "Scare Me"

When's Major Lazer getting a movie adaptation? With the latest music video for Scare Me, it seems obvious that the collective might definitely be headed in that direction with the campy 90's era B-Movie direction they took, featuring Lazer's exploits against a terrorist by the name of General Rubbish. Quite a few cameos in this fun music video, including Nick Kroll in his most serious role yet as the general giving orders to Laser and his side kick called Knife Fight (Lauren London of Entourage), as well as Blake from Workaholics.

If you're a fan of the first Robocop, you'll also get a kick of a certain homage to one of it's more memorable scenes, minus the Omni Consumer Products. The track is from Free The Universe, which is out now via Mad Decent.

The Art Of No. 8939

Japanese illustrator 8939 is an interesting one, constantly experimenting, always walking a fine line between comprehensible and completely chaotic, sketchy and rendered. Constantly experimenting and trying out new things with his pieces, 8939's works are definitely hit and miss, but when all the fragmented pieces come together every once in a while, they produce some truly stunning results like System Of Decentering Rot above, showcasing the true talent that this anonymous illustrator possesses.

This illustrator is part of the Japanese visual glitch art movement, which we've showcased with artists including Mono, Asagiri and Terracoot, mixing diverse influences, improbable color schemes and shapes into altogether new and unfamiliar combinations. I personally have a soft spot for these highly experimental artists, as they've opened up my eyes to completely new ways of experimenting and being playful in the digital medium. Check out more of 8939's interesting illustrations after the break!

Aug 18, 2013

Art of Jace Wallace (NSFW)

Jace Wallace has a beautiful skill when it comes to illustration and concept art. With work focusing on the female body, each of Wallace's pieces are truly captivating without relaying on sexualization, something many concept artists lack. While nudity is heavily prevalent in each of Wallace's work, it never feels to be the focus of his work, instead focusing heavily on coloring and his line art.

For more of Jace Wallace's work hit the jump and check out his portfolio over here for print options, I'm planning to order a few for myself.

Cafe Allonge / Happy Hour (NSFW-ish?)

This animated short from French animation studio Kaw Animation may be going on a few years old, but I really enjoyed it and thought it worth sharing. The setting is a cafe,and the protagonist are rather upset young guy.  Clearly having a bit of a moment, he appears bitter and angry regarding his relationships with women.  While I'm sure everyone has had that moment of "COME ON, REALLY?!" (anyone?), this dude takes it a step or ten forward. Or at least, so it appears.  Warning: Kinda-sorta NSFW-ish.

Young Galaxy - "Blown Minded"

We've posted videos from Canada's indie pop dream band Young Galaxy in the past (here and here).  And now we're back with a more recent video, for their track "Blown Minded."  Produced, animated, directed, and edited by French artist Carine Khalifé, the video takes us on a surreal journey of a non-descript person. The use of oils on glass gives a real dreamlike feel, and the use of it is a nice variation from a lot of the animation we typically run into.

Aug 17, 2013

RoboGal's Cute Mixtape: Otters!

Greetings, and apologies for such a long absence! Just when you're probably starting to feel cynical and jaded (just humor me), I bestow upon you the gift of cuddly animals and smiles. So, take it and love it. While perhaps not quite as exotic as the Slow Loris or the Quokka, this week we have the lovably, cuddly water dwelling creature: The otter!
There are both sea otters and river otters, and while both are similar, they are some definite differences regarding looks and behavior.  For example, sea otters look fluffier due to a denser coat and are larger than river otters.  River otters usually swim on their stomachs, while sea otters usually swim on their backs.  River otters also have a reputation for be more aggressive, due to it's territorial nature.  More after the break!

Modern Ruins - Black Hole

Created by Jeff Frost, Modern Ruins is set to be a 2 part movie created with the help of Kickstarter. The first half was released, using a total of 150,000 photographs and time lapse footage of riots, optical illusions and more to create an enrapturing experience similar to that of a more contemporary Koyaanisqatsi, centered around a concept of destruction for part 1 (Black Hole), and rebirth for part 2 (White Hole). The Kickstarter for part 2 is already doing well, and it's set to meet it's funding goal in just a few short weeks. Hearing Frost's thoughts on this project are pretty interesting, as he delves into his views of the world and shares his 'bigger picture' mentality.

Modern Ruin is a contemplation of the idea that creation and destruction is the same thing (this half of the film focuses on destruction). The white hole from which our universe sprang, and the blackness into which it may disappear testify to as much, yet these bookends of existence are inadequate to address everything in between. For a better sense of what it is to exist we must speak to atoms, trees, whole collections of worlds, and of course, womankind. 

Gelato Go Home (Director's Cut)

Directed by the duo known as Alisdair + Jock under the Trunk Animation banner, Gelato Go Home narrates a tale of seasonal migration of an entire fleet of ice cream trucks completely out of their element in a frozen wasteland. Once their wings unfurl, the journey towards warmer climates begins in this rather silly 2D/3D hybrid animated short, which could use some narration by Patrick Stewart or Morgan Freeman to give it that true National Geographic style flair.

As the first snow flake settles on cold concrete, the ice cream vans begin to contemplate the harsh winter ahead. For, like the caribou and the grey goose, the season marks the start of a long voyage in search of sunnier climes.

The Legend Of Zelda Movie - Footage Of The Canceled 2007 Pitch Surfaces

In the last few days, a number of users uploaded this fascinating footage of a canceled pitch to Nintendo for a CG Legend Of Zelda movie, created by the Hong Kong based studio IMAGI, best known for their work on the Astro Boy and CG TMNT features. Created in the same house style that the studio has become well known for, it showcases an even more stylized take on the franchise that would have probably been best suited for Western audiences, with cameos by Link, Princess Zelda and of course, Ganondorf.

After some research all we know is that Nintendo shut the project down with little hesitation, which can be attributed to a much more protective stance towards their franchises following that bizarre 90's live action Super Mario Bros. movie that left many scratching their heads. It's definitely an interesting look at what could have been, although with the current precedent of adapting video games into movies, perhaps these memorable franchises would be better off left on consoles. Studio IMAGI declined to comment on the leaked footage, but it really leaves us wondering what other unfulfilled pitches lay dormant in their studio archives.

Aug 16, 2013

Mega64 Brings Back All The Nick Arcade Nostalgia For A New Generation

Interesting times are upon us folks, 90s television is no longer a memory of the recent past and the television we once watched has vanished from the minds of millions. We now have an entire generation that will never know the joys of Saved by the Bell, The Adventures of Pete and Pete, and most importantly Nick Arcade. Thankfully, Mega64 is looking to change that with Nick Arcade 2013, rebooted for an entirely new generation. It might not be the show you quite remember, but it's close enough, right?

While funny, this skit holds a lot of sad truths about the current focus of the video game industry. Where it once stood as an outlet for fun and goofiness that could be broadcasted on national television, it's slowly evolved into an over-budgeted kill fest. Of course there are still plenty of gaming gems being developed, the popular is no longer about just fun, it's about hollywood-esque entertainment. Now, excuse me while I go hole up in my room and rock myself to sleep with a pouch of Capri Sun under my Eddie Vedder poster.