Sep 30, 2013

Million Dollar Extreme Returns With "Whypz"

What is it about the guys at Million Dollar Extreme that keeps me coming back? I think it has to do with their unique take on humor, which is farthest removed from the type of content you'll find featured on the front page of Youtube. For example, a quick search of featured humor videos today brings up '25 Ways to know you're gay,' another edition of 'Teens react to (Insert popular video),' and 'Common white girl tag (Man edition).' Keep in mind that all these titles are capitalized and screaming for attention at your unwilling eyes. Watching these videos to me is like browsing websites like Buzzfeed, which has intentionally taken so many steps to dumb down it's content in recent years to rack in more views that it's nothing short of baffling.

MDE embraces anti-humor as their modus operandi, and they do it well, turning the spotlight back onto detestable pop culture trends in an endless stream of irony. In their latest WHYPZ video, a surreal snapshot of car culture unfolds, with interviewees completely oblivious as to the real intentions of their incredibly sarcastic hosts (Sam Hyde and Nick Rochefort). Tricked out mini vans, a $100,000  2001 Honda Civics and a roided out guy who calls himself the 'best Hulk' next to his lime green Lamborghini set the stage for this surreal video.

O Menino E O Mundo (The Boy And The World) Teaser - A Colorful Brazilian Animated Feature

Colorful, hopeful, sobering - Just a few phrases that come to mind after watching a few trailers for O Menineo e o Mundo, an upcoming animated feature directed by illustrator Alê Abreu. The premise is bound to be heartwarming, following the journey of a village boy into the modern world (São Paulo) as seen through his eyes and imagination, in the search for his father. This colorful feature film looks like it will have it's ups and downs as well, and it reminds me of Benh Zeitlin's recent Beasts of the Southern Wild, which featured a girl called Hushpuppy dealing with a difficult life through the power of her imagination.

Even down to the art style, the journey of the boy will reflect the power of his imagination in the face of reality, with it waning the closer he gets to the realities of the city. I'm really hoping this dialogue-less feature will show up on US shores at some point, as the message of the movie itself is universal in it's appeal. O Menineo e o Mundo - Algun Sonhos Sobrevivem (Some dreams survive) is set to premiere in January in Brazil with no word yet as to international distribution.

Suffering from the absence of his father, a boy leaves his village and discovers a fantasy world dominated by animal-machines and strange beings. An animation unusual made ​​of various artistic techniques that illustrates the problems of the modern world through the eyes of a child.

Worth Checking Out: Knite & The Ghost Lights

Mobot Studios is onto something extremely special with Knight & The Ghost Lights, from their art assets to the lore that they have created, Knite looks like the full package. Using techniques to handcraft and photograph all art into the game (similar to that in The Neverhood and The Swapper), Knite & The Ghost Lights ends up looking more like an early stop-motion film by Tim Burton than an actual video (which is good thing, obviously).

It isn't every day you see this kind of work go into each of object of a game and due to the handcrafted nature of this game, everything has more of a purpose than a randomly placed doodad. The gameplay will feature action-platforming while providing puzzles that will push players to explore, which hopefully means a ton of lore explanation.

As you can see by the Kickstarter video, the team holds a ton of passion for this game and introduces a world few games seem to capture in this age. Mobot Studios has offered a great list of pledge rewards, but I feel that their modest goal is low enough to reach in a day. Here's hoping even the studio's stretch goals are made, because this project is looking amazing. Head over here to check out the Kickstarter page.

Attack on Minecraft; Attack on Titan Shiganshina District Recreated

The incredible first season of Attack on Titan has reached it's conclusion, and while I'm left feeling a bit numb from the incredible experience I can't help but want to indulge myself in as much Attack on Titan content as I can. The Minecraft group, Studio Miyabi is the first fan-made content for the series that has truly wowed me and for good reason. The group has recreated the Shiganshina Distrct from the series to the tee, even including the Colossal Titan as it peers over Wall Maria.

Of course, this recreation wouldn't be as incredible without a bit of editing magic (everything needs an aerial fly over with touching music), but the team at Studio Miyabi has done a fantastic job at providing a cinematic showcase of their work. I can't even begin to fathom the amount of time that went into this project, and with 35% of the work to go the amount of dedication to this project blows my mind.

While nothing has been announced for the next season of Attack on Titan, I think I'll be alright with fan-content like this for the time being.

Sep 29, 2013

The Art Of Forest Sakae Two

Forest Sakae Two is yet another young, talented Chinese illustrator not pursuing an art career, choosing to treat her talent as a hobby instead while pursuing medical studies. It's kind of a shame, isn't it? Although on second thought, with this type of raw talent at such a young age and her choice of a stable career path, she just might just be approaching her art in the smartest way possible. I've met quite a few artists over the last few years who wish they'd kept themselves out of studio art settings, at the mercy of other peoples tastes, micromanagement and other pitfalls, but thankfully that isn't always the case.

There's a really refreshing looseness to Sakae's art, which is all thanks to her fluid, yet intricate line art style and refreshing color palettes. Her art really needs to be experienced at high resolution to fully appreciate all the attention to detail that she imbues each of her images with. Check out more of her awesome work after the break!

Portepluie by Idriss Bodhy

We came across another great piece from a Supinfocom student: This time we present Idriss Bodhy's Poretpluie.  Utilizing vibrant colors and interesting textures, Bodhy tells the short and simple story of a man who comes to the realization he is in the wrong business.  Knowing your market is pretty much step 1, and he discovers this much to his dismay.  However, sometimes life finds a way, and we end up utilizing the most random of objects.

Disney's Frozen - Full Trailer

We brought you the teaser trailer to Disney's Frozen back in June, and a comparison to a 2009 student film that same month.  Now we have the full length trailer to the CG animated film, due to be released in November.  Seeing as it's Disney, it's almost certain we're going to see it on that basis alone.  That said, if I had to base off the trailer alone, then I have some reservations.  It's possible Disney decided to splice together several of the action and comedy scenes into the trailer just to garner an audience, but it feels forced somehow.

It feels like any other popular American animation, with the same wacky hijinx and gags.  While I'm admittedly no marketing experience, I would think that Disney could preview one of their films minus the shtick, and still attract a wide audience.  That said, perhaps I'm off-base and Disney is previewing their upcoming feature accurately.  Basically, what you see is what you get?  Of course, final judgement will be reserved upon viewing, and I really look forward to this release.

Sep 28, 2013

The Art Of Junkboy

Junk Boy is a mysterious artist based out of Stockholm, Sweden - And I have to say that he's a man of a very varied artistic diet, enjoying experimenting and tinkering in a variety of styles in a successful manner. When he's not tinkering with some truly amazing pixel art mockups of fictional videogames over at Pixeljoint, he's typically working on some truly cool illustrations featuring homages to videogames, old and new. One of his tributes to the very visually distinct retro Psygnosis covers (After the break) is incredibly spot on, kudos if you get the reference.

If you guys ever remember that explosively viral image of Haggar from Final Fight body slamming a shark from back in the day, it was Junk Boy who came up with it. Take a trip into the colorful world of the Swedish artists mind after the break!

Vanishing Waves - Reality Shatters

Directed by the upcoming Lithuanian director Kristina Buozyte, this trailer for the now released Vanishing Waves is a pretty amazing glimpse into the surreal scifi thriller. The plot shares some definite similarities to Tarsem Singh's The Cell (A guilty pleasure of mine), involving a protagonist jumping into the mind of a comatose young woman as part of an experiment. Inevitably, things go astray. This type of premise is just ripe for some truly stunning visuals, and it definitely looks like it didn't disappoint in that regard.

The end result is a mix of Tarsem with a dash of inspiration from 70's surreal, new age directors like Alejandro Jodorowsky (The Holy Mountain, Incal, El Topo). Overall reception from people who actually checked out the film was pretty positive, although the movies release was so limited earlier this year that it flew under just about everybody's radar (Ours included, sadly). Thankfully, the DVD version was released just recently on Amazon, although a movie like this might find new life on Netflix like Panos Cosmatos' similarly surreal movie Beyond the Black Rainbow did.

Worth Checking Out - Le Gouffre

Three Montreal based animators and a healthy dose of good old fashioned ambition - That is the current driving force behing Le Gouffre (The Abyss), which just recently hit the Kickstarter block in the search for additional funding to help keep them going on their journey to finish this 8 minute short. This team took the ultimate risk in order to pursue their passion, quitting their jobs because they believed so much in what they were working on. That's pretty damn cool. Le Gouffre is pretty beautiful, employing a painterly visual style developed thanks to a handful of cool shaders, which resembles a mix of Borderlands and cel shading. If you're interested in throwing some coin their way, I'm sure they'd appreciate it.

This is the first teaser for our short film Le Gouffre, which is almost finished and should be released in spring 2014. It's made by a team of only three people, and we've been working on this close to 2 years with no salary. This teaser was created to promote our Kickstarter campaign, which will be running from Sept. 9th to Oct. 9th 2013, to help us pay for the music and sound design of the film.

Gravity - Behind The Scenes Featurette

Children of Men director Alfonso Cuaron talks about the amount of work that went into creating the upcoming space thriller with Sandra Bullock and George Clooney. If you're wondering why we haven't covered it much, we felt that the trailers were simply giving too much away with full 5 minute sequences of pivotal moments. Not a good trend in trailer production lately, and we don't like spoiling experiences for our readers. I've never done this before, but I honestly found myself covering my eyes during a trailer scene preview for Gravity to avoid further spoilers.

We're excited about the feature, and after watching this featurette and seeing the type of pre-production and research that went into creating a believable experience for viewers, honestly can't wait to check it out when it comes out October 4.

Sep 27, 2013

The Art Of Tara - A Touch Of Cute

Tara is a 23 year old illustrator from Tokyo with an absolutely adorable style centered around the things she loves in life and provide her with daily inspiration. Cats in all shapes and sizes, the works of Lewis Caroll and a traditional Japanese dessert called 'Taiyaki' ((鯛焼き), which literally means 'Baked Sea Bream.' The Japanese fish shaped cake is a surprising reoccurring theme in her pieces, although we're no strangers to artists who enjoy incorporating food into their work.

Tara's art is just pleasant to look at, easy on the eyes and created using pens and soft watercolor washes on textured paper to give each of her pieces a very tactile feel. Check out more of her awesome work after the break!

MGSV: The Phantom Pain Gets English Opening; Makes My Heart Confused

I still don't know what to think about Kojima's sudden decision to drop David Hayter's voice from the Metal Gear Solid series, but it's confusing to no end. While the reasoning to provide a new voice for Big Boss during his transition into... Big Boss is completely sound, the mystery behind the sudden change still has me perplexed. Despite the mass amount of conspiracy theories surrounding the voice change, the opening for Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain has finally been giving an English voice track.

I'm still going to give Keifer Sutherland the benefit of the doubt when it comes to Snake, but I couldn't help but cringe a little on the inside during some of his delivery. Despite my reserves for the new voice actor, the game looks gorgeous and I can't wait to actually get my hands on it. The overall cast sounds great, and while Sutherland has me on the fence, the rest sound fantastic. 

Khôra By Macula

The folks at Macula are absolutely incredible. When we first ran into their early projects back in 2011 when the projection mapping movement was starting to get some momentum, we were absolutely amazed by their large form projection mapping installations across Europe, which were an audio visual experience unlike anything we'd ever seen before.

Using iconic buildings from various cities rich histories (The building above is the 100 year old Collegium Maximum in Torun, Poland) as their backdrop, the folks at Macula tell full stories of incredible transformation based off of pre-established themes. The sound treatment alone is bound to send chills down your spine. Their latest piece revolves around an ever transforming entity, an in between of actual forms, a truly abstract concept.

Khôra (Khora or Chora; Ancient Greek: χώρα) is a philosophical term described by Plato in Timaeus as a receptacle, a space, or an interval. It is neither being nor non-being but an interval between in which the forms were originally held. Khôra gives space and has maternal overtones (a womb, matrix). A formless and unnameable it that we cannot identify but only evoke with images of unidentifiable places, like a kind of dissolution into the tohu wa bohu (waste and void), what Levinas calls the ilya (the Other - a formless void; a frightening neutrality devoid of meaning), the elemental night.

Back To The Future And Knight Rider Go Hand In Hand

Youtube user TheMoeFwacky created an awesome mashup of the Knight Rider theme with Back to the Future visuals- and it's a strangely perfect marriage. Sure, there's no Hasselhoff, but I would have taken time travel, DeLorean's and KITT over him any day of the week. Short and sweet.

Sep 26, 2013

Percussive Maintenance

Duncan Robson, along with the help of a crew of cinephiles put together Percussive Maintenance, a compilation of moments in which standard repair procedures fail, leaving only one option. Broken device? Apply force, watch magic happen. This compilation was taken to the next level with some synchronization to a custom composed track by Joel Robinson.

Beautiful Studio Ghibli Tributes - Mucha Style

Japanese illustrator Marlboro created an absolutely gorgeous set of Ghibli Tribute pieces, employing the timeless, graphic style of the Art Noveau illustrator Alphonse Mucha to bring two worlds together. Ranging from Nausicaa to My Neighbor Totoro, each of the posters encapsulate the entire plot and important elements in a truly creative manner, using intricate framing elements in line with Mucha's layered style.

Marlboro admits that he created all of these with no help of digital mediums, instead employing to go down an analog route using Copic markers and a felt-tip pen to execute these awesome illustrations. As the rather saddening news of Miyazaki's departure and the possible closure of Studio Ghibli continue to circulate, these pieces are a welcome reminder of the incredible movies they've brought to the world over the last few decades. May their legacy continue for many decades to come.

Haven't Watched Madhouse's Redline Yet? It's Now Free

Well damn, this is pretty amazing news. Actually I'm kind of in disbelief that a company would do something this amazing, but give it up for Madhouse, as they've released the absolutely face meltingly good Redline feature anime on Youtube, for free. It's nearly too generous considering how good this movie is.

We've raved about Takeshi Koike's hyperkinetic movie countless times at this point, but if you can imagine a fine mixture of the stylishness of Cowboy Bebop, insane race sequences that would put Speed Racer to shame and insanity on par with Akira (Once you see that scene you'll know what I'm talking about), that is what Redline embodies. As one of my favorite anime features to be released in decades, I strongly recommend that you put aside two hours of your time and feast your eyes on this awesome movie, you will not regret it.

Sep 25, 2013

Vargold Norse Vodka Mockups Need To Be Produced

U.K. based illustrator Matt Taylor produced the art for these four fictions bottles of Vargold vodka. Sticking with a Nordic theme, each bottle features a different Norse mythos including Odin and his raven, Vidar battling Fenrir, and the unnamed eagle atop Yggdrasil. Everyone knows alcohol tastes better when the bottle is cooler looking, so it's obvious that if produced, Vargold would be the tastiest of vodka.

After the break are closeups of Taylor's work for you to feast your eyes on, hurry up and take a gander and demand that Vargold Norse Vodka be made! While I wouldn't mind finding myself having a taste one day, I'd be more inclined to put these beauties on display.

Dead Famous

Directed by the relatively new London based RGM collective, Dead Famous is a rather fascinating, optimistic look at the art of taxidermy.The question that we are asked is: 'Aren't these animals lucky to be immortalized as ideal specimens of their entire species, thus achieving greatness?' I'm not sure if I agree with this perspective, but Dead Famous definitely makes a compelling case worth pondering about.

The beauty of taxidermy is that it always paints a positive, if not better portrait of something that once existed. With this, people are not always aware of the stories/circumstances the animals might have actually been in. This film pays tribute to a few of these tales.

Retro Blast - Starcadian And Jacob 2-2

A strange rift has opened in the musical scene, bringing us the works of two artists distinctly stuck in a retrofuturistic state of mind. Starcadian, best known for his lovely H^ART track offers us a peek at his upcoming 'Sunset Blood' EP. The trailer presents the album as a tongue in cheek 30th year anniversary remaster of the long lost album, and is rife with homage to 80's scifi movies. Starcadian has landed people, follow his endeavors on Facebook, and dust off that VHS player in anticipation.

Jacob 2-2's promo for his upcoming 'Herbivore' album is a slightly more dissonant affair with a somewhat upbeat vibe to it, featuring plenty of scanline goodness, retro CG and a scenario akin to a high level concept of 'future education.' Trippy as all hell. The album is now available on King Deluxe records.

The Pixel Creations Of Ta2nb

Ta2nb is a freelance pixel smith and designer residing in Tokyo, where he continues to develop and collaborate with various companies on mobile and handheld games on a steady basis. Originally employed at Sega, he moved on to work with various companies on Nintendo DS and PS2 games before embracing the independent route as his true calling.

On his free time he dedicates himself to his 'diorama' projects, which include his pixelated takes on famous movies and popular videogame franchises like Dragon Quest. Less is more is the mantra of any pixel artist, and Ta2nb represents this philosophy excellently through his many works, which are just plain fun to look at. More of his pixel crafts after the break, including more movies, his low bit take on Gundam various mechs and more!

C2C - "Delta"

Created by the French animation collective known as CRCR, this newest music video for the incredibly catchy track by the turntable group known as C2C is an epic accompaniment, narrating the tale of an empire's struggle against a mysterious Kubrickian monolith. An emperor contemplates the future of his kingdom, the populace becomes restless, and ultimately a revelation comes about. The team, comprised of former Gobelins students did an amazing job delivering a compelling, epic story that first perfectly with the music in just 3 minutes, filled with mystery, atmosphere and personality. So good!

Sep 24, 2013

Aer - A Proof of Concept That's So Good It Needs To Be True

Low poly counts seem to be all the rage in a lot of indie games nowadays, but when they look as beautiful as a game like Aer it all becomes clear. Aer is currently in pre-alpha but the proof of concept they devs at Forgotten Key have put together show something special. The game feature's a ton of aerial movement, often times reminiscing the Sega classic Knights Into Dreams, but with a transforming twist. While the footage in the trailer isn't necessarily what the final game will look like, the vision of Forgotten Key is an awesome one, and I can't wait to see the final product.

The Amazing Custom Model Kits Of MDSP - Master Level

A dash of Gundam, a few Tachikoma from Ghost in the Shell, some Maschinen Krieger with a dash of Armored Core - Those are just a few components of a model kit hobbyists complete breakfast. We just recently unearthed the website of Japanese custom model kit maker/customizer/kitbasher MDSP, who does this work for a living. A master of his craft, the level of detail that he dedicates to each and every piece is nothing short of astounding, showing off just how absorbed he gets into each one of his projects.

Through the painting process and the application of wear on the Zaku above, MDSP successfully conveys an image of a battle hardened veteran unit which has seen it's fair share of time on the battlefield. You can't help but just appreciate someone who truly treats every little miniature as a labor of love from start to finish..His vast gallery houses dozens of amazing projects, but we've hand picked a few for you to check out after the break! For any mech head out there, prepare yourself for some truly amazing eye candy.


Until I see a making of, I'll be pretty damn skeptical of what I just saw. As performance piece centered around the art of projection mapping assisted by robotic arms, it's pretty damn impressive, but due to the overly perfect, nearly impossible looking synchronization of these camera angle reliant projections, I can't help but think there was some pretty heavy post involved here.

The main source of skepticism for me is when the panels actually move away from the camera but still have projected images on them, which is a little dubious and more reminiscent of those stunty viral-bait videos like Ok Go's This Too Shall Pass, which the directors claimed was shot in one take (Which was debunked). That aside, it's an absolutely gorgeous piece which stands well on it's own.

The Awesome Movie Art Of Rich Kelly

I have to say that when we're doing these 'art of' posts on a daily basis, we typically try to represent the artists best pieces (By our own judgement) to always show them off in their best light. Every once in a rare while we run into artists that we simply can't find a piece we're dissatisfied with, and that is the case with Rich Kelly, who via his incredibly experimental, unorthodox style managed to captivate our attention with every single piece he's created to date.

Using a heavily analog foundation to execute most of his pieces, Mr. Kelly experiments heavily with pushing the art of movie poster compositions to their limit, employing a variety of interesting techniques to make each one distinctly interesting in it's own way. There's a ton of narrative to his posters, especially his incredible Beasts of the Southern Wild poster (After the break), which is an incredible accomplishment in terms of selling the concept of the movie. I just love how his playfulness comes out in every piece, showing off his comfort with his skill level. From Adventure Time to Django, Rich has been a rising star in the Mondo custom poster scene, which has shed a light on his many talents. Check out more of his amazing illustrations after the break.

The Mega Plush

This darker themed short by Matt Burniston sets the stage for an epic conflict between a series of seriously battle damaged plushie vigilantes in their war against a scourge of sock monkeys taking over. Battle damaged as in heavily patched up, partially cyborg-ed out and a nothing to lose attitude. Have to give it to Burniston, he really took a silly sounding concept and added some palpable tension and a fine coating of grit to it.

Set in the shadows of a gritty underworld, a war is brewing. The Mega Plush, a group of four plush toy vigilantes, are struggling against the uprising of the SOC (Society of Chimps) army. Good vs evil. Bear vs sock monkey. The question is "who has the stuffing to survive?

Moses Of Prosthesis

Created by Japanese animator ががめ (Aquarius), this lovely little animation is a really awesome little animated interpretation of Moses Supposes, a performance made famous in 1952's Singing In The Rain.

This lovely version features a Japanese spirit finding a set of possessed shoes before taking them over and performing that same famous tap dance number. I found it hard not to smile as it was just that fun to watch, and amazingly animated too! Absolutely loved it from start to finish. Check out the original music number for reference after the break!

Sep 23, 2013

Giangrande - "Paper Plane"

Directed by Gianluca Maruotti, a talented Italian stop motion animator, puppeteer and illustrator, Paper Plane is a lovely interpretation of Massimo Giangrande's track from his titular debut album. Shot using a series of flat paper puppets on layered backgrounds, an animal band accompanies a sullen looking fellow grieving the loss of his love.

I've never heard about Giangrande before, but his work really reminds me of a folkier version of Muse in parts. Check out the album if you haven't already, really love the sound and atmosphere that they delivered. Maruotti also released a nice making of featuring another track by Giangrande (Much More), which you can view after the break.

Final Fantasy XIV Eye Candy

Word on the street is that Final Fantasy XIV - A Realm Reborn is real good. A true redemption to the absolute train wreck that the original MMO was, a project launched unfinished that nearly crippled Square Enix due to the fact that it was well, an unplayable mess. Yet Square didn't give up on a project that they'd dumped hundreds of millions of dollars into, opting to do the unthinkable - Fixing it, revamping it and relaunching it in a last ditched effort to save it.

The trailer for the 'End Of An Era,' (You should check it out) was truly surreal, a slightly meta high budget cinematic that Square released to mark the end of the original FFXIV servers via an apocalyptic event that destroyed everything that represented their failure. The world was reset, and now there's a second chance for it to succeed. In the meanwhile, Square has been releasing some truly gorgeous promo materials by Kazuya Takahashi for you to feast your eyes on, which you can check out after the break. If you're interested in journeying to Eorzea and getting a taste of the new realm, head on over to the official Final Fantasy XIV website.

"Viva Namida" - A Musical Preview Of Space Dandy

As part of the ongoing promotion for Shinchiro Watanabe's (Cowboy Bebop) upcoming anime called Space Dandy, here's a new music video promo for the creators upcoming 2014 show. Considering the director's pedigree with associating western musical influences as an integral part of his shows ingredients, like Samurai Champloo's Hip-hop vibes compared to Cowboy Bebop's more Jazz/Blue feel, I'm not surprised to see music incorporated into promo materials.

The series follows 'Dandy,' a rather extravagant, self absorbed looking bounty hunter in his search for aliens with his feline assistant called Meow and robot assistant QT. The fact that the protagonist refers to himself as the 'dandiest man in space' definitely implies that this will be a more light hearted effort. The show will start airing next January.

The Amazing Illustrations Of Goñi

There's a sense of fluidity that Goñi Montes captured in his illustrations that's really refreshing. The Puerto Rican based illustrator has a knack for capturing movement in his pieces, which while containing elements of prevalent editorial illustration styles out there, he brings a few unique twists to the table. A heavy sense of surrealism, a wonderful sense of flow to his pieces and more unorthodox compositions, with plenty of canted/dutch angle pieces to add an unsettling feel.

As well as an incredibly healthy client list with just about every magazine imaginable, Goñi has also done some remarkable book/comic covers for authors including Cliver Barker, Marissa Meyer and Weston Ochse. Check out more of his incredible work after the break!

Parking Lot

Directed by Joshua Catalano, Parking Lot is a distinctly retro affair which reminded me of late 80's, early 90's attempts at incorporating CG into music videos (Kind of like a monochromatic Dire Straits video with a much cooler score). Surreal is the best way to define this short, with a strange Pacman looking protagonist traversing the strange low polygon landscape around him in the hunt for a certain type of prey that gets his attention. Ultra-mellow score courtesy of Benge and Phase 6.

Start Saving for Medicom Toy's RAH Evangelion Mark. 09

While I've always been a big fan of the Revoltech set of Evangelion figures, nothing can compare to Medicom Toy's Real Action Hero series of figures. Continuing the Evangelion 3.0 set of figures, EVA Mark. 09 is the newest addition to the family alongside EVA 01 and EVA 02. If you're new to the RAH-scape of figures, they hold the same level of articulation as a Revoltech with a paint and build quality unparalleled. They're truly the cream of the crop when it comes to toys and figures.

Standing at around 40cm tall, Mark. 09 is definitely a beauty, but it's going to set you back a few pennies. The figure will be releasing in 2014 with a sexy price point of 24,000 Yen (Around $250), but for a figure of this quality, it's more than worth it. After the jump are more shots, but if you have yet to see 3.0 there are a few small spoilers so continue at your own peril.

Kaly Live Dub - "Allaxis"

This awesome music video to kick off your monday is the moody electro/dub track called Allaxis, directed by freelance director Wasaru in collaboration with a handful of folks affiliated with Ankama studios. A man sets out on an endless drive while his companion shifts identities endlessly, an indication of this drivers extremely unstable mental state which eventually takes over.

Really amazing concept, drawing some of the best elements of movies like Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and The Machinist. A bad trip through and through. You can get the recently released debut album right here.

Bravest Warriors Minisode 5 - Terrabeth Bytes

O-oh god.While we're still waiting for the next full length episode of Bravest Warriors, another minisode has been released. I actually think this is the best minisode of the bunch, it has a much better flow than the previous few and I really dig the style. Plus there are nipples. I'm still sitting on the edge of my seat wondering where this wait for a full length episode will lead us, but it's nice to see Cartoon Hangover provide a good dose of the warriors without falling into the trap of lazy animation for the sake of content.

Sep 21, 2013

The Art Of Dan Morison

Over the years I've come to categorize professional artists into all kinds of different divisions as a means of having a better understanding as to how these industries work. In the case of Dan Morison, he falls into the category of 'strong personal style' artist, unlike the other artists out there who fall into the 'adaptive' category, switching styles depending on client needs. There's a need for both in this industry, so don't feel pressured to change your direction if you're going down the art path.

The London based concept artist/illustrator has an incredible list of clients under his belt, ranging from high end fashion brands to car companies, showcasing how brands with a need to have themselves interpreted in different styles recruit artists like Dan. His art is a highly graphic affair, filled with plenty of contrast and highly distorted, loose lineart to bring his designs to life. Check out more of his work after the break!

Niko And The Sword Of Light

When you think of motion comics, the typical look that comes to mind is a standard comic with some very minor movement incorporated to give the frames a sense of life. Well Imaginism studio (Headed up by illustrator Bobby Chiu with collaboration by Kei Acedera, Jim Bryson and Adam Jeffcoat) set out to elevate the medium, creating a fully animated comic book when they Kickstarted their Niko and the Sword of Light project earlier this year. Fast forward to today, and the project is finally released on iOS, with three free chapters available as part of their episodic approach.

The project has been in the works since late 2011 as a completely independent project, with the creators all in agreement that they wanted to create something their own. With some top notch animation and a relatable narrative, this was definitely a labor of love from start to finish. Check it out!

A boy alone in a savage land, fighting the forces of darkness. His people are all but gone, his kingdom destroyed apart from one surviving relic: a magical sword of light that was forged by gods, which will help this lone hero return his land to freedom.

NYC Gentleman

South Korean college student Wonsuk Choi and his friend/freelancer DeeKay Voltroned into the 'Deewon' collective and collaborated to turn some rather standard footage of a trip to New York City into something more memorable, and they ultimately came up with NYC Gentleman, featuring PSY's latest track and a bizarre range of famous (And completely unknown) cartoon and videogame characters turning the streets into a dance party. Awesome exercise in compositing.

Their ultimate goal? As they put it: Our main goal is just to have pure fun with whatever the heck we are making. And we had a blast making this. I hope you guys enjoy it too!

Sep 20, 2013

The Art Of King Conejo

King Conejo's art is wild. Pushed in every way imaginable, ranging from proportions, unorthodox color schemes, compositions with impossibly pushed perspective, his art is definitely on the more striking side of the art spectrum. From a stylistic standpoint, it's as if Moebius, Pascal Blanche and Robin Nishi (Mind Game) got put into a blender, and the resulting art emulsion was the colorful art of Mr. Conejo.

The Valencia based artist is part of the Honkfu collective, which includes artists like the incredibly talented Vasili Zorin. Check out more of his awesome work after the break!

King Kababa and The Knight

While the weather turns ugly, I find myself in the mood for something cheery and fun.  This understated and silly short from CalArts student Jason Reicher fits the bill, and also includes a rather uplifting message.  A knight is sent on a task to put an end to King Kababa's choice of company (bugs).  But King Kababa makes his feelings known, by way of some lighthearted rhymes.  The art style reminded me of some Disney shorts that were popular in the 50's, but with a more modern animation style.

Rob 'N Ron

Using a mixture of live action sets and a CGI aesthetic reminiscent of a flatter style of claymation, Rob 'n Ron is a fun short about two outlaw brothers trying (Futilely) to get a heist planned before things go awry. One of the coolest things I noticed about the short was in regards to the incredible job they did rigging up the models of the characters to achieve some truly amazing squash and stretch animation, most evident while they're riding off in the desert on their trusty steeds. Also they pulled off this animation with models that were pretty much pancake flat, as evidenced in the making of after the break.

The short was co-directed by Magnus Igland Møller and Peter Smith at the Danish animation studio known as Tumblehead. Check out a fun making of featurette after the break as well, also executed using a campy spaghetti-western theme. These guys definitely had a blast making this from start to finish!


Created by Vjsuave (Ygor Marotta), Juli Perez and Dante Zaballa, Trip is one of the most unique applications of projection mapping I've seen yet, with the group actually using the technique to create a full animated short on real life surfaces, incorporating elements of the environment as a means of furthering the story. The story revolves around a boy attempting to find some form of enlightenment, visiting various religious and mystical entities in the hope of finding answers to his conundrum.

Created for the Shiny Toy Festival in Germany, the Brazil based duo really brought the streets to life using their fresh take on projection mapping, choosing to incorporate their own hand animated creations in this relaxing tale.

Kin - A Fantasy Epic Begins

Sent to us by Montreal based filmmaker Ben and Seb McKinnon, Kin is a beautifully shot tale taking place in a mysterious fantasy realm. The dialogue-less narrative unfolds in a style reminiscent of a music video, in which the path of a golden haired child, a knight and an ethereal princess all intertwine. It really left me wanting more, especially considering the somewhat mysterious ending and the implied relations between the three protagonists.

Kin is set to be an ongoing multi-media project that will be accompanied by more video installments, graphic novels and a whole music album (Loved the original track by Clann with Charlotte Oleena's vocals) that will provide pieces of this entire universe. I've loved this type of concept ever since Woodkid treated us to an ongoing musical fantasy narrative with their 'Golden Age' album.

Considering the taste that the McKinnon brothers provided to us with this gorgeous piece of cinematography, I'm really looking forward to witnessing the next chapter of the Kin project. Head over to the official Kin Fables website to get a taste of what's to come, including a preview of the upcoming graphic novel and some truly gorgeous concept art.

The Art of Gabriele Brombin

Gabriele is an Italian based illustrator and graphic designer, who's done an incredible job at adapting his illustrations into advertisements and cover art. Gabriele illustrations hold a very similar feel to a piece drawn with colored pencils, while holding the same crispness as a digital painting. With work ranging from book covers to Street Fighter, Gabriele Brombin manages to encapsulate the purpose of the project while still keeping in-tune with his style.

Unlike some design work, Gabriele's work stands on it's own despite it's intentions of marketing. Check out the jump for more of Gabrielle's work.

Sep 19, 2013

Bartkira Is Out Of Control (In The Best Way Possible)

I can't make this stuff up. I'm in awe of what the internet has enabled us to do..No scratch that, the entire internet has lead up to this moment right here: A Simpsons flavored recreation of the entire Akira saga that Otomo masterfully crafted decades ago. The original comic/anime was for many their first taste of the mind blowing fruits that the Japanese anime industry had to offer, myself included. The Simpsons offered pop culture a more grown up taste of what syndicated Western cartoons could provide, with protagonists that were anything but role model quality. And in 20XX/2013? These two cultural juggernauts have collided in an absolutely incredible display of collective awesomeness, as marked by the incredibly active Bartkira blog.

Initiated by artist Ryan Humphrey, the project has grown to have over 700 active artists contributing to recreate the entire series in the ultimate collective project we've seen yet. The Tumblr blog is filled to the brim with samples of what's to come, including 'Bartkira'd' promotional materials, covers, sample pages and more. Check out just a few images from the incredible blog after the break starring Milhouse's dark decline, and praise the moment in time in which such a bizarre, yet wonderful idea came to be.

The Last Thing You'll See - A Final Shot Montage

Inspired by a blog dedicated to capturing final image stills in films, The Last Thing You'll See is a touching tribute to that final, transcendent moment in well, good films. Moments that mark the end of a memorable journey, the conclusion, or final catharsis. Broken up into 8 separate chapters, this is one of the best put together cinematic compilations I've seen in a while. I'd recommend pre-screening the full list of movies after the break to avoid any spoilers. Enjoy.

The Art Of Andrew-Ross-Maclean

Andrew R. Maclean channels a mixture of art deco and Mike Mignola (Hellboy) in his comic book styled art, with plenty of graphic, bold strokes and chunky detailing on his panels and covers. In terms of Mignola, there's a lot of play between light and dark shapes- whereas the art deco reference is in reference to the at times very graphic, patterned and flat style of laying out his art that he employs.

A really cool thing about Andrew were his insights into art, including an extremely useful entry regarding developing a unique art style, which I'd highly recommend reading if you're in those formative style stages or curious as to how artists come up with them. In a nutshell, it's definitely not an overnight process- Instead it takes years to develop one that has that strong visual draw that successful artists enjoy. The Massachusettes based artist has contributed and created a slew of indie comics, including SNIP SNIP, Head Lopper and Daruma. Check out more of his awesome work after the break.

White Hot Grid (VHS)

Created by Calarts student Jess Iglehart as part of an experiment in commercial motion graphics, White Hot Grid is a pretty amazing recreation of the types of ads that he grew up with in the 80's, which pushed the entire 'new wave' aesthetic, cyberpunk and futurism mentalities that dominated that colorful era.

I sampled what my young brain was indoctrinated with at the time: Robert Abel & Associates commercials, EPCOT Center promotions and New Wave nonsense.


Jason Reicher was determined to spend his weekend animating a short about hotdogs, ducks and bastard pigeons, and that is exactly what he did in Hotdog. This short might qualify as both a highly surreal piece or profound commentary on social inequality. It's hard not to relate with the duck nonetheless.

Sep 18, 2013

The Art Of Oxboxer

Oxboxer, also known as Jemma Salume is a talented and prolific illustrator based out of San Francisco, California with a colorful, graphic comic book style that's truly appealing. A great attention to line weight mixed with harmonious, flat color schemes enable Jemma to create some truly striking illustrations.

What's not to love? Jemma has contributed covers to the Adventure Time comic books, illustrations to the Etsy created 'Ghostbook' artists compendium and created incredible amounts of high quality fanart for popular series. Check out more of her awesome illustration work after the break.

Paper Cities

It's kind of interesting, but I recently ran into three papercraft/stop motion projects with the same theme just recently- Habitat Patch, Revolution and Paper City by Mauro Lovadina, Helen Friel and Maciel Janicki. All distinct in their own respects, but all centered around the themes of towns and cities.

Nearly a year in the making and shot in a continuous take, Revolution follows the cyclical journey of a single water droplet.

The streets are paved with paper. This delicate animation follows the charming rise and fold of a fragile metropolis. Captured by an unseen helicopter, the narrative unfolds through winding roads, erupting forests and emerging mountains. Paper City grows in one fluid take, with skyscrapers rising from the page – only to crumble, wrinkle and gently crease back into the ground.

Let's Play

Amy Fletcher's video Let's Play is a playful exploration of various visual tricks using her screen capture software and various boardgame parts to create a fun little video. A lot of sleight and hand, and it actually got me wondering how fun it would be to play some of these traditional games via Skype or other video sharing services like Google Hangouts.

By means of this piece, I am exploring the potential of film to create communications between two and three dimensionality. This is a playful look at the contemporary tool of 'screen capture' now installed on almost all computers. So come on and lets play.

The Art Of Klindicative

Klindicative, also known as Klindy is a Brooklyn based illustrator and designer with a truly interesting style that mixes in her interest regarding fashion design to create some truly striking images. It's all a little reminiscent of Yoshitaka Amano's work in terms of it's looseness and usage of patterns, but she takes it to the next level with each piece resembling a new experiment in process.

It's really cool to see her progress from piece to piece, and the different techniques she plays around with to achieve interesting new looks. Flower Boys And Demons is one of her most successful in my opinion, but at the end of the day each piece is an accomplishment in it's own right. Check out more of her work after the break!

Men In Black

This adaptation by director Evan Parsons is a really interesting, motion comic styled adaptation of a pretty dark, tense encounter in Iraq as narrated by Colby Buzzell. It really does a damn good job capturing the chaos and confusion of a soldier trying to keep his cool during a nerve-wracking encounter in an urban warfare situation.

Men in Black is a true story as told by soldier and writer Colby Buzzell about his experience in Iraq. This project is a six minute portion of the feature length documentary 'Operation Homecoming: Writing the Wartime Experience'. The film recieved an Oscar nomination for Best Documentary, up against ‘Sicko’ by Michael Moore, as well as recieving two Emmys.

The excerpt is really well done, and kind of reminded me of 2008's Waltz With Bashir (Above), which employed a similar visual style to narrate the story of a shell-shocked veteran trying to figure out why he can't remember his involvement during an invasion of Beirut in the 80's.

Man of the Year

Created by producer/director/art director Anton Shavkero, Man of the Year is a seriously stylish, bite sized look at a man's world created for GQ. The monochromatic visuals and mild fantasy elements bring up memories of Woodkid's epic music videos for tracks like Run Boy Run. Loved the darker look captured by Anton for the project.

Eagle + GoPro = Awesome

Filmed in the Mer La Glace region in Chamonix, which is situated in the alps of south-eastern France, Youtube user Srachi somehow figured out how to mount a GoPro camera onto an eagle to capture a truly unique perspective. Some truly incredible footage.

Don't Fear Death

Don't Fear Death is the most morbidly optimistic outlook on death that I've ever been given the pleasure of enjoying. After such a motivational explanation of death I'm ready for anything! This short animation by Dice Productions has a fantastically gruesome depiction of life after death and I found myself giggling the whole way through, especially near the end. That ending.

If you're in need of a good giggle and reassurance that life can always be grand depending on the way you look at it, Don't Fear Death is for you.

Sep 17, 2013

The Art Of Otto Schmidt

Otto Schmidt is a Moscow based artist with a sizable international following, with most people being drawn to his excellent, softly drawn pinup work. Inspired by plenty of Western artists, Otto combines these influences with his own, which resulted in an all new hybrid that we've even noticed with other Russian artists and collectives like Honkfu artist Vasili Zorin.

With a fully loaded Facebook page following (Close to 50,000) with regular updates, Otto continues to draw in crowds and is planning to do a master class course on his unique style. Check out more of his awesome work after the break!

Kaleidolapse Barcelona

Cool video from the folks at MyLapse, a group based out of Spain specialized in providing timelapse footage for any client in need. This personal piece features their own manipulation of various timelapse footage from around Barcelona, reorganizing it into a truly stunning Kaleidoscope of patterns and shapes reflecting the rich architecture and beauty of Spain.

Kaleidolapse is a visual technique that applies a kaleidoscopic effect to different shots taken with time-lapse technique. This effect generates multiple moving images that are symmetrically multiplied which gives them an abstract look with a great richness of shapes and colors. 
The music together with the movement rhythm of the images will set the character we want to give to the video.

ThreeA Unveils Their Team Fortress 2 Robot Heavy's

Oh my god, this is absolutely amazing. In their first collaboration with Ashley Wood's 3A, Valve is bringing us some absolutely incredible looking, fully articulated statues of the evil Robotic Heavy's from their massive coop update from 2012, Mann VS Machine. While people initially speculated that NECA was taking a stab at these considering their take on the Pyro and Demoman, this is a really damn cool surprise, and they even come with light up eyes and boxing gloves if you order it through the Bambaland store. That piece of info probable means that these limited edition ones will be sold via Valve as well.

The 1/6 scale statues will be dropping at some undefined time for the pretty reasonable price of $220 each, especially when compared to some of 3A's other offerings. I'm also going to speculate that these will be bundled with a limited edition unlock for an item that will be worth hundreds, so save up and consider this a worthy investment. These figures will be dropping some time this year for preorder, stay tuned for more updates. Check out a shot of Team Blue after the break.

Infinity Blade Origins Trailer Is Gorgeous

Never been a huge fan of the swipe happy Infinity Blade titles, but this new trailer explaining the plot of the first 2 titles and laying out the groundwork for the third installment (September 18) is gorgeous. Created by the Axis animation collective and directed by Ben Hibon (Codehunters, Mirror Mirror), really loved the mix of stylized 3D animation mixed with graphic hand animated elements like the FX.

The World Of Milo - Another Amazing Animated Series From France

Following gorgeously animated series like Wakfu and a trip to Paris to check out the art scene, I'll say it again: France is the second-coming of the anime industry. While visiting I noticed that the art scene followed the same rules as Japan, in which the creator gets all the credit and retains the rights to his creation, which has resulted in a thriving culture there with young artists.

The World Of Milo is from the mind of French artist Christopher Ferreira, a former Les Gobelins alum who has actually worked in the Japanese anime industry on series including Lupin III, Genius Party, Bleach and other series, and he brought those skills back to work on his own series. There's a definite Ghibli-esque feel to the entire premise, involving a boy finding a new world and an epic quest on the other side of a nondescript lake. Here's to hoping it makes the jump to the West, as the animation looks gorgeous.

The World of Milo takes place close to a house by the lake, in which he often finds himself alone. One day he finds a beautiful gold fish, and his life changes forever! Following after the great fish, Milo runs into a man with the head of a toad, then another with an eagle's head, soon followed by a trapped girl. Milo discovers that on the other side of the lake lies an incredible fantasy world in which a battle between good and evil rages on. Over time he realizes that his involvement in this story isn't by chance.

Lost & Found - Portrait Of A Tinkerer

'One man's garbage is another man's treasure.' That's the saying that comes to mind while checking out Joey Bania's fun portrait of a New Zealand based inventor living in a remote forest in the South Islands. Incredibly ingenious and a tinkerer at heart, Blair Somerville's curiosity is really inspiring to watch, and his entire environment is just visually rich and fun to look at. Every available space, organic and inorganic is imbued with some form of mechanism, bringing everything to life with his incredible range of automata.

For over ten years Blair has single-handedly owned, operated and ceaselessly expanded the Lost Gypsy Gallery, his wonderland of homegrown wizardry and a playground for kids and adults alike. Using only recycled materials, Blair takes DIY to artistic extremes. His creations are ingenious, interactive, and often hilariously impractical. They take many shapes and forms and share an uncanny ability to amaze, entertain and inspire.

Sep 16, 2013

The Team Behind Gurren Lagann Show Off 3-Minutes Of 'Kill la Kill'

Since Trigger Studio's inception two years ago, I have been avidly awaiting for the day we would be treated with their first full length series. Compromised mostly with the team behind Gurren Lagann, FLCL, and Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt there's absolutely nothing I could see going wrong. Earlier last year, the studio released Little Witch Academia and showed us the studio's passion for quality animation without falling into the overuse of CGI like many popular Anime. The studio's knack for fast-pace action definitely doesn't fail to deliver, and looks absolutely beautiful in motion.

Kill la Kill is the studio's first televised series, which will begin this October, and while it's only a month away Trigger has been kind enough to provide us with 3-minutes of amazingness. While it's been announced the story revolves around a school ruled by the high school president only to be flipped upside-down by a transfer student, there's obviously quite a bit more to the story than what we were initially lead to believe. The animation for this is looking top-notch, and I'm really digging the character design, while it's only a month away I'm already on the edge of my seat with anticipation.

The Art Of Aryz

Aryz is a badass, and a young one at that. At the ripe age of 24 the Barcelona based street artist is already traveling the world, dropping murals internationally, exhibiting and garnering a massive following on social outlets with his slick work. Working with a mixture of spray paint and rollers, his massive works grace the walls of various cities, incorporating his interesting, semi-faceted style with an overarching theme of bones and skeletal structure tying all his work together into a cohesive mash of awesome.

Unlike a lot of street artists we've encountered though, Aryz can seamlessly transition between effortlessly doing 5 story murals and going back to the studio and working on smaller canvases..A pretty unique talent that's allowed him to have an even wider audience compared to his peers, who reside on one side of the line and not the other. We've collected a few of his studio illustrations after the break, and you can check out his rich collection of mural photos on his Facebook fan page.

Digital Grotesque - Impossible Architecture

It was bound to happen. 3D printing, architects and programming have finally collided to create some truly incredible computer generated forms. All the shapes you see were created using custom written algorithms by Michael Hansmeyer and Benjamin Dillenburger before being printed, and it really shows off the possibilities of what will be able to be accomplished on a grand scale when the 3D printing medium advances. All new shape combinations, patterns and visual languages with a complexity and richness that could never be built by hand in such a time frame.

Digital Grotesque is the first fully immersive, solid, human-scale, enclosed structure that is entirely 3D printed out of sand. This structure, measuring 16 square meters, is materialized with details at the threshold of human perception. Every aspect of this architecture is composed by custom-designed algorithms.

KN1GHT - "Last Moon"

Before you even hit play on KN1GHT's newest music video, your brain was probably screaming Tron! like mine was, but you're going to be surprised as to what it's inspired by. This fantastic piece of retrofuturistic ode is neon tinted through and through, retro-synth filled and even replete with some sweet rotoscoped violence regarding two men and their mission to get a floppy disk (Go figure).

If this is the type of electro you're in the mood for, don't forget to also check out the Austin based Lazerhawk and the entire New-Retrowave movement, who have definitely been getting some attention over the last few months. Sweet.

Kim Jung Gi's Incredible Freehand Drawing Timelapse

If you're not aware of Kim Jung Gi's (Aka Superani) work just yet, man oh man..You're in for a treat. The South Korean artist, born in 1975 with a few art degrees under his belt is what you'd call a 'Rakuga-king' (Coined by Katsuya Terada), a term used to describe someone who 'draws wherever, whatever, whenever.' This man can create masterpieces out of thin air, with a visual library in his head so advanced that he can just get going on a whim with his pens, and never stop.

As an artist myself, It's nothing short of f***ing mind blowing to watch this man work. It all comes so easily to him, and this recent demo of a 'drawing show' done in the city of Pohang (포항) is a testament to just how prodigious his drawing skill is. If you look at his body of work, including his 'recalls' of scenes from real life, created in painstaking detail, it's clear that he probably has the gift of eidetic memory. also referred to as photographic memory. Considering that most people typically use construction techniques for their drawings, his style is incredibly unorthodox, nearly machine-like in it's quality. Check out a few of his sketchbook pages after the break (Click for full size).

All RGB - A Truly Insane Pixel Challenge

All RGB is a pixel art initiative created to truly push the limits of pixel craftsmen: The goal? Creating absolutely staggering, massive images featuring one pixel of every single RGB color, totaling 16,777,216 pixels. No missing colors, no duplicates. As you can imagine these images are absolutely massive, and I can't even begin to wrap my head around how you could even accomplish this so I'll just point you guys to the allRGB website to truly view these images as they were meant to (The Argus' Skull, above is 26 megabytes at full resolution).

The skull above is just one of many community submitted specimens, pretty amazing project/challenge nonetheless. Even though it's been going on since 2008, only a few dozen submissions have been made since then, and you can probably understand why after seeing those parameters.

Sep 15, 2013

The Art Of Machine56 - Art, Fashion And Beyond

Machine56 is following the same type of path that I would imagine put people like Ashley Wood in their current predicament, as both an artist and hawker of premium products based off his work. Whereas Ashley went down the route of incredible (And expensive) toys with his 3A line, I get the feeling that Machine (Rajaya Yogaswara) has similar plans in a more apparel oriented direction.

Inspired by the Designers Republic (The same folks behind the awesome graphic design for the Wipeout franchise), scifi and a love for clean vector art, you can see the groundwork being laid for something big to come later. Most of the art he's created with his group of like minded friends eventually ties in to some form of limited edition apparel that's sold in his Machine56 store, the type of practice that leads to a cult following and day one sold out releases. Keep an eye out for this one, I can see the potential bubbling up. More of his awesome art, typographic and graphic design after the break.