Nov 30, 2013

Laika's "The Boxtrolls" Making Of Trailer

Laika gives us a look into the intense craftsmanship that's going into their upcoming Boxtrolls feature in this interesting trailer, which gives us an intimate look at the crafting process. With the clever tagline of From the hands that brought you Paranorman and Coraline, it's cool that Laika seems intent on showing off this niche they've carved out for themselves with their stop motion features. Paranorman was one of last year's best animated features in our opinion, and we're looking forward to checking The Boxtrolls when it rolls out in fall 2014. Check out the new theatrical poster after the break.

Yusuke's Movie Redesigns

Pixiv user Yusuke (NSFW) decided to take a bunch of popular franchises and throw a coat of anime paint on top, resulting in some cute to outright bizarre takes on beloved protagonists and antagonists. Check out his take on Xenomorphs from Alien, Murphy and friends in Robocop, the Cenobites from Hellraiser and more after the break!

Young Galaxy - "Sleepwalk With Me"

The latest music video from the Canadian indie/synth pop outfit Young Galaxy takes a page from actual history, with the direction taking inspiration from Letter to a GI, a 1953 book which tells the tale of a relationship between two GI's during World War II. This abstracted retelling is presented with a variety of vignettes always framed by the silhouette of the sleeping soldier, representing the dream state in which these recollections are coming from. The track is taken from the album 'Ultramarine,' which is distributed by Paper Bag Records.

The Faile Arcade

The Brooklyn based art duo called Faile have already done 2 separate pop-up arcades in the past, taking vintage cabinets, gutting them and reloading them with custom videogames and art. The goal of the duo is a mixture of a tribute to their own childhoods spent in dimly lit arcades as well as recreating that distinct atmosphere for a new generation to experience. This third installment of the Deluxx Fluxx arcade will be popping up in Miami from December 3-7.

It’s a connection for us to a time and a place. Not only to the games but the whole experience – the environment, the artwork, the lighting, the sense of losing yourself in this world.

Nov 29, 2013

Sticky Ends

A fish-man hybrid named appropriately named Jinx, unknowingly causes havoc to those around him. His latest unintentional victim is a man taking a flight.  Beyond the obvious outcome, it further delves into a contrived yet funny scenario. I've always rather enjoyed animated shorts that are either dialogue free, or include a non-descriptive language, as words don't always matter as much.  The art style is sketch-like, and the animation is uncomfortably twitchy, which is perfect for an uncomfortable scenario.

The Awesome Art Of Bibo X

As the gray unrelenting winter season rolls in, artists like Bibo X bring us a breath of fresh air with their colorful, refreshing art styles. Based out of the coastal city of Xiamen in Southeast China, Bibo X's art is quite a departure from the painterly, badass concept artists that we see emerging from the region on a daily basis..Sharing more in common with more stylized artists like Zhichao Chai (A must see), his art mixes his love of scifi and colorful palettes with a regional version of an anime aesthetic.

The way his designs are pushed and exaggerated definitely brings to mind the work of Akira Toriyama, who's work exuded a similar playful feel. Check out more of his awesome commercial and personal work after the break!

Broken Fingaz - "La Fabrica" Graffiti Timelapse

Directed by Broken Fingaz, this timelapse is an elevated version of what the next level of how amazing graffiti stop motion can be executed. Absolutely incredible quality considering the scale Broken Fingaz and his partners, Sachbak Hafakot and Gida 1 were working at here. The film was shot in Mexico in collaboration with Cutout Fest, a yearly animation festival that takes place in Querétaro, Mexico. Kickass.

If you've been looking for a non-Super Mario platformer to play, without a doubt Ubisoft's Rayman Legends is the way to go. Aside from the tight controls and ridiculously gorgeous art style, the hand animated look they captured was really charming. Ubisoft artist Neeko just recently posted some of his research and development work that went into creating that look, using a Flash foundation and hand animated approach to give the characters a ton of personality in engine.

Nov 28, 2013

The AwesomeRobo Store Black Friday Clearance-Ocalypse!

As this year comes to a close, we're going to shamelessly jump on the Black Friday bandwagon in order to clear our AwesomeRobo Store stock to make room for future projects (And potentially new designs). So what are the deals we'll be offering?

The breakdown chart.
At about 12 AM CST (10 PM PST/1 AM EST) we'll be dropping the store prices for all shirts to $8 to clear the remaining stock (We're running low on quite a few designs), and with the purchase of any 2 shirts or more you'll get a bonus mystery shirt for free (While supplies last), and an additional free stainless steel bottle opener thrown in on any order of 4 or more! All proceeds will go towards the development of the Awesome-Robo 3.0 website, which we're hoping to launch sometime in 2014. If you've been on the fence about getting a shirt, now's your chance to get a hand on these designs!

Nov 27, 2013

MIT's "ZeroN" suspends gravity and disbelief

Magnets. You know the jokes, you know how they work. Jinha Lee and Rehmi Post of MIT certainly do, and they're using that knowledge to produce "ZeroN", a physical and digital interaction element that floats and moves in space by computer-controlled magnetic levitation.
To realize such interactions, we developed a magnetic control system that can levitate and actuate a permanent magnet in a pre- defined 3D volume [...] combined with an optical tracking and display system that projects images on the levitating object. Conventional levitation only enables levitating an object at one point. In ZeroN Project, users can move a levitated object to anywhere in a predefined 3D space and leave it there without dropping it since the system constantly readjusts both magnetically and mechanically. It is about turning 3D space into levitating space.

Of course there's the argument of semantic scruples as to whether this technology actually counts as "anti-gravity" when it's technically just utilizing manipulated fields of electromagnetism. Electromagnetism, Anti-Gravity. To-ma-to, To-mah-to, To-yo-ta. What matter is that it's awesome. Now the question of practical applications...

The Grand Dillama

Caminandes is the name of a rather unique looking llama who finds himself in an epic battle with an electric fence on his quest to get some delicious berries on the other side. For such a simple premise they did an awesome job spicing up the scenario by making the electric fence an actual sentient being. The project was entirely created using the power of Blender and the Blender Foundation, which is a free modeling and animation software package.

The Art of Amin Faramarizian

Amin Faramarizian is a digital artist hailing from Dubai. What immediately leaped to my attention about Amin's work was his emphasis on sharp, contrasting color saturation highlighted by his abstract cartoonish caricatures.

His digital paintings resemble whimsical still-shots of beautiful hypothetical animated shorts that I'm just dying to see realized. Truly a testament to his prowess as a storyboard artist. Check out more of his work after the break, it's like cotton candy for the eyes!

Nov 26, 2013

The Podium Waltz

These animated clips are taken from Daniel Hanai and Bruno Carneiro's documentary titled A Valsa Do Pódio (The Podium Waltz), which chronicles the story of the Brazilian runner Terezinha Guilhermina's exploits in the 2012 London Paralympics.

Visually impaired, she used the help of a guide to allow her to compete within the various sprint events, ultimately winning two gold medals and becoming a world record holder for the 100m sprint. The clip above captures a rather dramatic moment in the 400m final, in which an injury puts everything in jeopardy. Daniel Bruson was tasked with creating animated sequences to show off what the experience was like from Terezinha's perspective, which I believe he captured very effectively.

ASCII Fluid Dynamics

DOS, ASCII and fluid dynamics? They go together like bread and butter, need we say more? Coded by Yusuke Endoh, the entire code of the simulation actually makes up the 'Fluid' text you see above in the thumbnail. Clever girl.

Adult Swim Presents - "Rick And Morty" Pilot

As part of Adult Swim's fall lineup, they just recently released the pilot for their upcoming Rick And Morty show. Created by Dan Harmon and Justin Roiland, the show follows the misadventures of genius scientist Rick and his grandson Morty. If you're familiar with Back to the Future, you'll be somewhat reminded of the dynamic that Doc and Marty had, which I'm guessing was part of the inspiration for this show.

Replace time travel with interdimensional/intergalactic insanity and a healthy dose of alcoholism and you'll have a much better idea of what to expect from this show, which will be premiering December 2nd at 10:30pm.

Oru Burus

Created as a Supinfocom graduation movie by Anton Brand, Guillaume Klein, Charlotte Quillet and Raphaël Théolade, Oro Burus tells the tale of a king who loses control of the sun in his colorful kingdom following a lapse of judgement. With an amazing style inspired by traditional wooden building blocks and a nearly video game styled scenario, I was captivated from start to finish.

The clever title draws from the ancient symbol of the Ouroboros, the tail devouring snake that for centuries has represented the concept of cylicality and reincarnation. This is well represented in Oru Burus via the visual representation of the kingdom, which is powered by clockwork, as well as the king's role being the need to preserve the natural flow of time. One of my favorite animated shorts this year so far.

Salad Fingers Returns For a Birthday Surprise

If you were planning on a pleasant night sleep then I'm truly sorry, because that's definitely not going to happen. David Firth has returned with ten minutes of nightmares in the 10th episode of Salad Fingers. The newest entry titled Birthday is by far the darkest Salad Fingers yet, pushing the series from a fever dream to something resembling purgatory.

Whatever dark corner David Firth has begun to pull inspiration from is definitely getting darker and I couldn't be more pleased.

Along with Salad Fingers' darker progression, the animation for Birthday has definitely upped the ante. It's amazing to series' evolution since it's 2004 inception and I'm excited to see how far Firth can push the series in terms of both its unsettling nature and animation.

Nov 25, 2013

The Art Of Bumhand - Batman Noir And Beyond

Bumhand is the online alias for artist Henrik Sahlstrom, a Swedish illustrator, concept and comic artist currently working at DICE, the developers of the recently released Battlefield 4. Inspired by a mixture of comic book artists like Travis Charest and concept artists like Jaime Jones and Dermot Power, his art style typically ventures into a variety of territories from pieces to piece.

Some of his coolest designs came in the form of a recent set of illustrations for a made up series called Batman Noir, which were painterly renditions of iconic characters from the series like a gun toting Batman (Above). Check those out, as well as some of his other personal work after the break!

No Clip

What if life had cheat codes? That is the question asked by animator Eva Figueroa López, who created this awesome proof of concept trailer for Noclip, a movie she one day hopes to create. A variety of characters use a shared power to defy the physics of the world they live in in order to get past difficult moments in their lives, and I think it's brilliant.

Life is a game you cannot control, but every game has cheat codes! Honestly if this was a Kickstarter project we'd be the first in line to get it funded. The chippy music featured in the trailer (Sad Robot) was created by Pornophique

Arun Tazieff - "Those Visions Have No End"

Created by animator Nicolas Fong for Parisan prog rockers Arun Tazieff, this music video for Those Visions Have No End is a trip from start to finish, created using tons of looped animation. The somewhat psychedelic, warped music video is a perfect accompaniment considering the band's inspiration from groups like King Crimson and the Flaming Lips.

Playing With Guns

Created as a video test for a RED Camera's 4K abilities, Playing With Guns is a stupid, yet funny short about guys and their inability to keep their fingers off the trigger. Dubbed as a 'Cinepoeme about shooting yourself in the dick,' it definitely delivers on that front..In spades.

Nov 24, 2013

Five Knives - "The Future"

Five Knives brings us a stylish new music video directed by Lance Drake, who offers us a vision of a dystopian future ruled by conformity and mind numbing repetition. When an imperfection appears in the chain, a boy chooses to resist against the chrome-faced enforcers who inhabit this world.

Slick visuals accompany the chippy electro-rock music from this relatively new group, who hail from the rather rare electro scene based out of Nashville, Tennessee. The track is taken from their 'Rising' EP, which is set to debut sometime in early 2014 in collaboration with Red Bull records. Follow these up and comers over on their Facebook page for future tracks.

The Painterly Art Of Yun Ling

Yun Ling is an awesome concept artist and illustrator currently based out of Canada, where he currently works as a senior concept artist at Eidos. Originally getting his start in Shanghai back in 2006 as a concept artist at EA, he worked his way up the ladder with plenty of practice and personal work, which allowed him to improve his skillset dramatically.

Using a painterly aesthetic and an awesome grasp of implying detail (A common theme with Chinese concept artists, who typically get thorough fine art training) and color harmony, his pieces emulate traditional painting in a style that reminds me of Craig Mullins. Having just started this year at Eidos, I wouldn't be surprised if his talents were being put towards a next gen Deus Ex. Check out more of his awesome work after the break!

Goldie Blox's "Princess Machine" Stunt - Good Message, Potential Backfire

Offering a very relevant message challenging the social norm of girls only being entitled to certain types of toys - Princesses, dolls and pink colored objects, Goldie Blox's Princess Machine promo hit home with many people that feel like it's time for a change. Using a remixed version of the Beastie Boy's Girls track and the same director who created the Rube Goldberg filled music video for Ok Go's This Too Shall Pass, this viral video had it all; With the exception of the Beastie Boys' permission for the cover.

The company is now being sued for unauthorized usage of their intellectual property, claiming that it's not exactly 'fair use' due to the fact that it's an actual advertisement rather than a parody skit. I'm all about the message offered here, but this startup seems to have made quite a gaffe by not clearing this ahead of time. So what is it, fair use or infringement?

Nov 23, 2013

Face-O-Mat Travels Around The World

While our interaction with machines does facilitate our day to day life and make us more efficient, machines cannot replicate a simple smile..Until now that is. A rather silly idea by Tobias Guttman called the Face-O-Mat has ultimately ended up taking him around the world since it's inception in December 2012, creating over 700 abstract portraits for participants. From Stockholkm to Dar Es Salaam, London to Tokyo and beyond, the Face-O-Mat continues it's journey to generate smiles.

You can follow the progress of Tobias' ingenious invention and it's journey over on Facebook and Tumblr. Check out the original video for the Face-O-Mat right after the break!

Studies on Hysteria (Very NSFW)

Adam is a young man living in a small, quaint, remote village. In this village, all of the inhabitants are constantly nude, as clothes do no exist. One day he goes on his merry way, just like any other day (Can I just say I really wanted to started singing "Little Town" from Beauty and the Beast? Anyways...).

Except on this day, he happens onto something that will change the course of his life. Based on the psychological theory of hysteria, and in turn mass hysteria (also known as moral panic).  Definitely NSFW based on reasons stated in the beginning. Duh.

See more from the team behind the film here!

The Art Of Audrey Benjaminsen

Hailing from the frigid northern lands yet currently studying illustration at Ringling, Audrey Benjaminsen is one of the most promising artists I've seen in a while. At only 20 years of age she's already pumping out some incredible illustration work which showcases a variety of influences including Gris Grimley, Arthur Rackham, Tim Burton, JC Leyendecker and many others.

Her art has a subtle macabre aspect to it, a sensibility that reminds me of what Edgar Allan Poe was all about in a more visual form. It's kind of amazing to think just how good she'll be in a few years time, so this is one of those artists to keep your eyes out for. Check out more of her awesome illustrations after the break!


Created by Teehan+Lax labs, this awesome little visualizer which uses a retro display language (In this case those old school number displays) to show off a variety of programmable patterns. These would make a great addition to any crib, so here's to hoping they start mass producing these with interchangeable visual languages.

D.I.G.I.T. is a digital mirror that draws a segmented camera feed through seven-segment displays. It channels the long-standing tradition of rendering graphics within the constraints of simple computing paradigms, exemplified best by techniques such as ASCII and typewriter art.

Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Project

It all started out as a mild curiosity in the junkyard, and now it's turned out to be quite a great spirit of adventure. This quote by the first doctor from the now internationally famous Dr Who series inspired Chang Dai to create this awesome tribute for the 50th anniversary of the series, featuring a handful of the doctors that have come and gone over the years. Don't forget to check out the front page of Google today as well if you're a fan!

Nov 22, 2013

Carter - An Unlikely Swordsmith

Murray Carter's tale is an incredible, and inspirational one; A man who took an incredible risk to pursue the dream of mastering a craft in a completely unfamiliar culture. Born in Nova Scotia, a chance encounter with a master bladesmith in Japan while there for Karate training set his life on an completely unexpected course, ultimately becoming a 17th Generation Yoshimoto Bladesmith. Murray makes some very important points about success and failure, and the difference between an 'I could' and 'I do' type of mentality in regards to life. Nothing comes easy, and the pursuit of a dream to result is the ultimate form of happiness.

Team Fortress 2 Gets Massive "Two Cities" Update

For all you folks who've been too busy playing Dota 2 and next gen consoles as of late, let's not be forgetting about Team Fortress 2 now. In the latest mega-update from the fine folks at Valve called The Two Cities, this update to last year's Mann Vs Machine mode centers around giving everyone's favorite German-accented medic a much more active role in the battlefield.

In addition to the ability to bring dead team members back to life thanks to a very Ghostbusters-esque contraption called the Reanimator, he also gets an uber powered projectile shield and special 'Mad Milk' healing syringes. With the addition of two new (And hard as ever) maps taking place in Manhattan and a European town called Rottenburg, this will be a welcome excuse to jump back into the action. Enjoy the Sound of Medicine cinematic that came with this mega-update!

The Moose Knuckle Series

Directed by musician and animator Chris Harding, Moose Knuckle is an awesome pixel fueled journey into the fever dream of an anxious Moose, which go in a variety of strange directions, including the above's (Moose Knuckle 3) descent into a strange 8-bit rave mode. If you've been craving some retro visuals as of late this should absolutely do the trick.

Check out part 1 and 2 of this awesome series by Chris Harding after the break, featuring the unlucky moose getting himself into a variety of strange conundrums.

Nov 21, 2013

The Art of Ville Ericsson

I'm seriously smitten with Ville Ericsson's work. There's no other way of putting it, because this guy is phenomenal. The body of his work is a beautiful marriage between his deft painterly style and his detail-saturated subject matter.

Space stations, cyberpunk rooftops, bipedal battle mechs and lovingly rendered scenes from Frank Herbert's Dune. This guy is pushing all of my buttons. It's like Robotech meets Greg Broadmore, with a dash of Syd Mead environmental flair.

Ericsson currently lives in Sweden and studies full-time at Atelier Stockholm. His self-described focus lies at the crossroads of painting and drawing and collaborating with other artists to bring products of the imagination to fruition. Check out more of his work after the break.

The Art Of Zarnala - Animalistic Tendencies

Zarnala is a female illustrator with a knack for anthropomorphic illustration, combining human and animal elements to create something altogether new. Unlike other forms of anthropomorphic art one can find out there though, her work always retains a tasteful, professional edge similar to the feel I get from comics like Juanjo Garnido's take on Blacksad.

With an awesome watercolor themed approach to all her illustration work and her use of graphic shapes to frame her characters,  at times it gives her art a strangely retro look that reminds one of the works of Norman Rockwell and JC Leyendecker. Check out more of her work after the break!


I've seen people express their love of typography, but rarely with these production values. Directed, designed and animated by F. Lazzari, Montserrat is a haunting demonstration of a typeface set to the rather unsettling poem by Jorge Luis Borges titled Break of Day, take from his 1923 book titled 'Fervor de Bueno Aires.'

This is a tribute film to the amazing Montserrat typeface, recently designed by Julieta Ulanovsky. A tribute, also, to the Montserrat neighbourhood in Buenos Aires, which inspired the font. 

Cartier's "Winter Tale"

Directed by Bibo Bergerson, Winter Tale was created following a trend of high end companies producing animated shorts to promote the coming of the holiday season, like the recently posted Bear and the Hare short we feature. Winter Tale has some reoccurring characters that represent the Cartier brand, including the retro styled bellhop and a panther, which was featured in last years visually stunning short, L'Odyssée de Cartier.

Nov 20, 2013


Created as an intro for an upcoming Tamagotchi-like app, Hatch is a good example of companies really putting a lot of care into every aspect of their game, including lore. While somewhat unnecessary for a game like this, it's nice to see companies take that extra step to draw players into the colorful world they've created.

Narrating the tale of a cute animal race called the 'Fugu' that predated domesticated cats and dogs, it's a really well animated look into the time, culture and history of these creatures as well as their relationship with humans.


Solstice is an awesome little fantasy western trailer created by Lynn Wang and Edd Skudder on their free time for the past 3 months or so. Using a ping-pong approach to creating this animated short, they split the responsibilities in half for background painting, animation, clean up and everything in between. As a taste of what this world might have to offer some day, I think they did an awesome job leaving us wanting to see more of Solstice. Fantastical creatures, strange artifacts and mysterious entities dominate this world.

Superbot - A Magnifying Mess

Created as both a standalone animated short and pilot concept, Superbot revolves around a playful concept that could actually be a premise for Portal 3 or a puzzle game. Once this robot discovers that his magnifying glass can actually manipulate the size of things through the looking glass, things go quite awry. To any indie developer that takes this idea and runs with it, credit where credit is due!

SuperBot, a tiny toy robot, will learn that reality depends on the looking glass you are looking through. This short animated film plays double duty as the pilot episode for an animated series project.

Night [Νύχτα]

Created by Greek artist/animator Afroditi Bitzouni, Night is a visual interpretation of a famous poem by the same name crafted by Greek poet Tasos Livaditis. Executed using an animated paper collage aesthetic, it's a touching piece about struggling to cope from loss. The full poem is below, taken from 1972's Night Visitor.

There is a door in the night that only the blind see,

darkness makes the animals hear better,

and him, staggered, not from being drunk, 
but from his futile effort to climb 
up to the tower, we once lost.

Nov 19, 2013

The Wind Rises

Sadly dubbed as Hayao Miyazaki's 'farewell masterpiece,' The Wind Rises finally gets it's US trailer debut, and it's a bittersweet one. Dubbed as a high point of Hayao Miyazaki's directorial career by critics, the movie will be making it's way to US theaters in late February on a wide release under Disney's Touchstone Pictures banner. While it's sad to see him that seat, after seeing his son capture that essence that makes Ghibli movies quintessentially 'Ghibli' with Up On Poppy Hill, I'm not too sad. Looking forward to watching this one in theaters.

The Wind Rises is Miyazaki’s take on the life and times of early 20th century aeronautical engineer Jiro Horikoshi, blending aspects of the real-life Horikoshi’s experiences with fictionalized elements (based on the novel written by author/poet Tatsuo Hori). As such, the film is thematically a fitting capstone to Miyazaki’s career-work, as it explores the impact of WWI on Japanese society – in addition to the lead-up to the second World War.

"Synchronicity" - A Taste Of Next Gen Facial Animation

Uncanny valley has been a term that's been brought up time and time again when people in the CG realm have attempted to bring believable, photorealistic characters to life in feature film and movies. Most attempts have typically walked a fine line between a character being believable or just creepy and lifeless. Quantic Dreams have probably had the most success in this realm with titles like Heavy Rain and most recently Beyond Two Souls, whereas directors like Robert Zemeckis have failed time and time again with their mocap heavy CG films that simply lacked that 'spark' which made their characters all fall into that creepy, uncanny valley.

I really think It's all about the eye movement. If there's one thing that people sometimes forget is how expressive eyes can be, constantly darting around, an open book to the mental state of a character. Synchronicity is a next gen test by Side, 3Latereal and CubicMotion using a new type of head rig for capturing performances from an actor (Lydia Leonard in this one) working on the latest in game engines. While it's a solid performance and very impressive, pay attention to how the eyes work and think about how yours shift around during a casual conversation. It might be a technological hurdle, but I feel that once somebody really dedicates some time to capturing eye movement in a performance the medium will improve dramatically in it's believability. Just my two cents.


Presented by the folks at Big Lazy Robot FX, iDiots is a tale of materialism and conformity. The idea of finding happiness in things we don't quite need, governed by entities we have no control over. It's not like the folks at Big Lazy Robot are looking down on anyone, as they themselves acknowledge that like anyone, we all have our own iDiot lurking inside. Have to say I'm part of the cat movement myself.

It’s not a secret we love robots here at BLR, so we wanted them to be the heroes in our latest promo clip. Luxury cars with powerful engines to drive through roads under severe speed restrictions, cable TV that allows us to pay to watch all kind of sports, all from our comfortable sofa, and of course, hyper expensive cell phones that do almost everything but making a decent phone call.

Fortunes - An Experimental Comedy

This glitched out project directed by Greg Barth is a pretty accurate portrayal of how repetition and that daily grind eventually drives anyone crazy. As the same tasks play out over and over again, a sense of madness begins to creep in and a chaotic breakdown ultimately unfolds. Love that strange early 90's vibe he captured with his color schemes and set design, it all starts to feel like an MTV ident gone awry.

Fortunes is an experimental comedy that portrays a collection of domestic rituals, highlighting the monotony of repetitive daily routines. Its an study on perception, ultimately demonstrating how doing something long enough can drive you crazy.

Till Dance Do Us Apart

Created as a graduation Film of Tom Mourik, Ben Vinkenburg, Thijs Viegers and Jessy Suharyanto at the Netherlands based HKU institute, Till Dance Do Us Apart is a rather bizarre, and kind of hilarious short about a woman's need to dance that just won't go away. Using a mixture of hand drawn animation and cell shaded 3D animation, this more action oriented short take a more action oriented route with no need for dialogue.


Since its first publication in the early 80's The Obscure Cities, the co-creation of childhood friends and collaborators Franscoise Schuiten and Benoit Petters, has won praise and award equally for Schuiten's breathtaking architecture and Petter's labyrinthine stories.

Obscure Cities takes place on an alternate "counter-Earth", where isolated city-states of hyper-advanced technology vie for power not only between themselves but the otherworldly forces that underlie the surface of their reality. To celebrate securing the rights to re-publish the entire series into English, including some works that have never seen publication outside of France, Alaxis Press commissioned a beautifully animated short that's frankly been sitting around unappreciated for way too long.

The video reenacts scenes and locations from one of the series' most famous volumes, A Fever in Urbicand. If you love fantastically surreal stories set in beautifully intricate cityscapes, I can't recommend this series highly enough.

Nov 18, 2013

The Art Of Redredundance

Redredundance is the alias of Christina Ellis, a Los Angeles based concept artist and illustrator currently working at Moonbot Studios, which just recently released Diggs Nightcrawler for the PS3. Educated at Ringling College of Art and Design, Christina's work is a highly stylized affair which walks a fine line between painterly and children's book inspired.

Her elongated protagonists inhabit pastel-tinged realms that are quite relaxing to look at, and all her shapes are driven by a strong sense of flow, curve and counter-curve. Christina is currently hard at work on a really cool comic called Flaske as well, which you can check out over here. More of her work after the break!

"Lil Guardian Pyro" - A Team Fortress 2 Short

Valve's third annual Saxxy Awards are currently underway, honoring the best in fan created source filmmaker projects. Directed by Brent Kennedy and a small team, Lil Guardian Pyro is a great example of just how far the community has come in getting acquainted with the same tools that Valve uses to create cinematics for all their projects.

The grand prize for this year's 'Best Overall' category will have their team flown out to Seattle for a tour of Valve and to meet the film-making team. If you're interested in giving these guys a vote, boot up that Steam account and head on over to their film page.

The 48 Hour Calarts "Duck" Film Festival Entries

Calarts holds a yearly film festival that challenges it's students to create animated shorts based off a theme or key word in just 48 hours. This years theme was simply 'Duck,' and a massive number of entries have been uploaded just recently to show off what these students came up with (After the break).

The shorts, in order: Abduckted by Seth Boyden, Duck Duck by Matthew Yang, La Vie by Sandeepan Chanda, Night Out by Lauren Adassovsky, Norovirus by Jackie Lee, The Baguette Burglar by Jason Reicher, The Quack by Monica Ekabutr, Whattheduck by Wylder Tomlins, Duck Cycle by Ryan Jouas, Magic Girl Mallory by Val Schwarz, Puptato by Madeleine Mathis, Duck by David Davis, Ducks Are Dicks by Tervero Knapp Jones, Quack Free by Vela Noble, Doodoo by Jerrold Chong, Pato by Tom Law and Duck Face by Yonatan Tal.

Worth Checking Out - Risk of Rain

With the never ending influx of roguelikes (can the majority of them even be considered rogue-likes?) it's hard to pick out one that's right for you. When the trailer for Hopoo Games' Risk of Rain first dropped I was certain I found my next time sink after the 100+ hours I dropped into The Binding of Isaac, unfortunately I was correct.

Risk of Rain is a side-scrolling shoot 'em up with a ridiculously difficult twist, the longer you play the harder it gets. This doesn't mean the further you get the harder it gets (although that is true as well), instead the more time you put into your session the more enemies will spawn and the more powerful they'll become. The way the game's difficulty is presented adds an interesting layer of complexity, forcing you to manage your time while also leveling up and collecting powerups for the next level. 

Of course, no roguelike would be complete without massive amounts of randomization, which Risk of Rain does right.

The game features over 100 different items, each giving your character different power ups and weapons to help push you a little bit further. As to be expected, the items you find are randomized, giving each playthrough a chance to completely screw you over. Even when the game seems to stack you with the best items, getting to next level is no easy feat and you'll often find yourself dying in between blinks.

To put it simply the game is hard, very very hard, but with each playthrough you'll find yourself getting further and a little bit better than before. Risk of Rain is a rewarding yet challenging experience and completely worth your time and money, with the mass-influx of roguelikes it's great to see a developer throw a little bit of spice into the mix. You can pick the game up today on Steam for $9.99

Nov 17, 2013

The Art Of Marucos

Maruco's colorful work stood out from the crowd for the fact that his gallery containted a large amount of fanart of western properties. I've always been quite to see how different countries treat and interpret western culture and franchises, especially through their fanart or tribute pieces - It's fun. Maruco delivers on that front.

Aside from plenty of creative original work, there's an underlying indication that he's got a fixation on videogames, movies and tv shows from his equivalent of overseas. From Pacific Rim to Journey, his colorful takes on familiar IP's are a joy to look at. Check out more of his work after the break!

A 6 Minute Preview Of Studio Ghibli's "Kaguya-hime no Monogatari"

Studio Ghibli's upcoming feature get's an extended preview, and it's looking to be quite a stylistic departure for the studio to say the least. Based off of a 10th century Japanese folk tale called The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter the movie is being directed by Isao Takahata, his fifth movie for the studio following a 14 year directorial hiatus following My Neighbor the Yamadas (1999).

Kaguya-hime no Monogatari is most notable for it's incredibly fluid folk art inspired art style, which channels the same form of traditional Japanese woodcut (Ukiyo-e) art and watercolors. While the movie was originally slated to be released earlier this year alongside The Wind Rises, the production ran into some delays following some storyboard reworks. The movie is slated to be released before years end in Japan with no US released date just yet.


Created for a 48 hour animation jam by Kyler Spears, Quack tells the tale of a father duck stuck between a rock and a hard place when he's unable to provide food for his family. It's a matter of pride for father duck, who makes the ultimate sacrifice to get his family through the winter. That description might sound serious, but this short is anything but. Why did the epic score make it that much sillier?

Nov 16, 2013

The Illustrations Of Shino

Shino is a Japanese illustrator with a style that makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside. Her work reminds me of the holidays, which in a sense can slightly be attributed to her pleasant subject matter. Cats, polar bears, sparrows, foxes are the protagonists of postcard like compositions with warm color schemes.

If you're in the mood to relax your eyes and mind, Shino's work accomplishes that wonderfully. Check out more of her awesome illustration work after the break.


Directed by Edouard Guise, Scintillant follows the evening adventure of a deliveryman with a very large package to deliver to a local zoo. Upon getting wind of it's actual, and incredibly dangerous contents, the delivery man's imagination starts playing some very strange tricks on him.

Scintillant plays a lot with the idea of light, and that universal fear of things lurking and rustling in the shadows. It's a simple narrative, yet highly relatable scenario that teeters between paranoia and plain old fashioned curiosity.

The Making of Ghost in the Shell Arise

If you've yet to check out the first OVA for Ghost in the Shell: Arise then I highly suggest you drop what you're doing and get to watching. The animation for the four-part OVA is by far the best the series has ever provided, and the fresh take on Motoko Kusanagi's early life is perfect. 

To celebrate the upcoming second part of the series, this short making of video was put together. While not as informative in terms of their inner-workings, it gives some great insight on the studio's animation process. The entire video is rather mesmerizing and helps build the hype for future entries, November 30th can't get here any quicker. 

Nov 15, 2013

3A Shows Off Invincible Ironman Prototype Toy

I'm not even the biggest Iron Man fan, but leave it to Ashley Wood and his amazing 3A Toy team to turn me into a believer. Approached by Marvel to do his own take on an Iron Man themed toy, Ashley was given cart blanche to do his own interpretation of their property, as well as handing his company the rights to Doctor Doom, Ultron and Spiderman, as well as other as of yet unannounced characters.

No word on the scale or details yet, but based off my experience I'm guessing it'll be a 1/6 scale with a buttload of articulation, awesome light up features throughout and a price point of about $200-300. Start saving up! More shorts of this awesome proto right after the break!


Somewhere, our limbs get lost in the distance. Nicolas Menard's Somewhere is a first year animated short created at the Royal College of Art. With a striking visual style expertly executed with a limited color palette, the short tells the tale from the perspective of one astronaut on a mission and his lover, who's connection to him is represented via a metaphorical disembodied arm, which intertwines itself into the alien landscapes the astronaut finds himself wandering through after his mission goes awry. Beautifully done, and the retro-synth score is a perfect accompaniment.

The Atmospheric Art Of Danny Burgress

Danny Burgess is a freelance artist with fingers in many pies- Working in the animation, game, apparel and general illustration industry. His personal pieces really got my attention though, as he's got a knack for selling atmosphere with his smoky, hazy pieces that make really good use of negative space to imply additional detail.

Aside from a reoccurring theme of wolves, Danny also has a thing for giant robots lumbering across stretched out landscapes. Check out more of his work after the break, and you can pick up prints of his work over on his Society6 page if you're so inclined.

Nov 14, 2013

Letting Go

What type of footage can you get with a prototype 4k enabled slow motion camera with a $150,000+ price tag? Filmed with a Phantom Flex4K camera at a race track, Gregory Wilson's Letting Go is a stunning piece of slow motion, capturing elements of that green light moment in racing that our eyes can't even perceive. At 1000 FPS, accelerating wheels turn into spinning discs of jelly, the chassis ripples at the sheer horsepower running through it..It's a pretty incredible spectacle with a few inspirational words thrown in by the pilot of this chariot.

Emerson Tung's INKtober Artwork - Redux

Earlier this year we had the supreme pleasure of featuring just a small portion of Emerson Tung's outstanding artwork. Now he's back with a new collection of beautiful ink-point sketches amassed from over a month's worth of intense creative diligence. A bona-fide pantheon of gun-slinging collossi, sentient walking monastaries, crazed dog gods and harbingers of death and rebirth. What can't this guy do?

Tung's recent batch of mind-blowing concepts are the product of INKtober, an annual challenge for artists across the world to push outside their comfort-zone and commit to one ink pen sketch every day of October. Look out for more of Tung's INKtober haul after the break, and check out his blog too! Dude's pumping out some serious work right now.

Worth Checking Out - The Little Bits Modular Synth Kit

Reggie Watts himself gives us an awesome little demo of the little Bits Synth kit, an incredibly powerful, easy to use modular synthesizer which seems to draw some inspiration from Legos. Created for with both amateurs and professionals in mind in collaboration with Korg, the Little Bits kit looks like a synth tinkerers dream come true, as well a gateway for starters to get into the scene. Retailing at about $160 a pop with a ton of optional modules to boot, this one's worth adding to the Christmas wishlist.

Developed to inspire innovation in hardware, littleBits lets users create circuits in seconds, with no soldering, no programming and no wiring required. littleBits has been has been heralded as the most extensive, modular and accessible electronics platform in the world. The brand’s Bits modules revolutionize the way people interact with technology by breaking down electronics into their very basic parts (lights, sounds, sensors, motors, programmable circuits), and making engineering fun and accessible to non experts of all ages including children , teachers, artists, designers, makers, hobbyists and tech-enthusiasts.


Desperation can lead people to do some truly unspeakable things, as is the case in Cody Walzell's Breadheads. Featuring a series of shell shocked shoulders slowly starving  at their frontline base, the arrival of wounded comrades presents an unlikely meal ticket for these troops at the end of their rope.

Walzell did an amazing job creating a truly paranoid aura about this animated short, as well as selling that moment in which the troops well..Simply lost it. Stylistically it definitely reminded me of an old short by Katsuhiro Otomo called Cannon Fodder, which had a similar, albeit less warped vibe to it. Breadheads was created as Cody's senior short at Pratt.

The Art of Nivanh Chanthara - Redux


Nivanh Chanthara's career has taken some pretty huge leaps forward lately. His proclivity for urban redecoration is already well-documented, but it's his professional work for the 2011 smash-hit Deus Ex: Human Revolution and his mysterious personal project Babel that's really peaked an interest in him recently. Chanthara takes the tried-and-tired theme of futuristic urban warfare and gives it his own spin. Fashion-savvy cyborgs, vagabonds touting intricate helmets of interlocking strata and abstract graffiti plastered across claustrophobic corridors and adorning camouflage.

Nivanh is currently a concept artist at Eidos-Montreal working on an undisclosed next-gen project (though one could venture to guess), but he's open to freelance commissions so long as their not video-game related. And that they pay. Check out more of his recent work below the break!

Nov 13, 2013

Table Manners

Table Manners follows three creatures as they venture out into the woods and find that there's no such thing as a free lunch. Directed by Rebecca Manley, the short is an homage to the types of movies she grew up watching, ranging from The Muppets to Labyrinth. Using cardboard as her main medium for these colorful woodland puppets, the end result is strangely charming for this darkly humorous short.

The Art Of Quiccs - Mecha On The Mind

Quiccs Maiquez is a stylish designer, art director and toy creator based out of the Phillipines, working under the mantle of Burnwater Art X Design and Red Mutuca Studios. He's got a definite affinity for remixing iconic mecha with a slick vector style that combines his self proclaimed love of graffiti and graphic design.

The result is a lot of works based around mechas, yet always executed with a variety of different techniques while maintaining that distinct 'Quiccs' branded look. When not illustrating he's off making his custom 'pirate' vinyl toys (Munny, etc) based off of Evangelion, Gundam and other popular franchises. More of his awesome work after the break.

Midnight Juggernauts - "Systematic"

One of my favorite Aussie alt rockers just released their incredibly trippy music video for Systematic, featuring oh so many birds, cats and surreal amalgams of both presented in glorious black and white. The track is taken from Midnight Juggernauts' latest 2013 album titled 'Uncanny Valley' which you can nab in a CD or record format from the Record Makers store. Enjoy the feline rain.

Nov 12, 2013

Worth Checking Out - Interference

Offer me cyberpunk and I'll offer you my money, it's as simple as that. Interference is a tech-noir styled puzzle-platformer filled with juicy cyberpunk imagery and a pulsating soundtrack. With gameplay similar to that of Mark of the Ninja and the sleeper hit Gunpoint, Interference seems to borrow ideas and build upon them in a fully fleshed out world.

In Interference, exploration is just as important as stealth, pushing players to explore the world and progress at their own pace. Drawing inspiration from Blade Runner, Akira, and Dark City, the game's constant neon-fueled world is absolutely gorgeous.

While the game looks to be coming along rather nicely, developer Anthony Beyer is looking for a bit of support. You can donate towards the Indiegogo campaign over here, the campaign still has 28 days left as of now so there's plenty of time fully fund it. Chop chop!

Minecraft Documentary - "The Story Of Mojang"

The 2012 documentary chronicling Mojang's meteoric rise to prominence with Minecraft is finally online for free. As one of the titles that sparked a massive game industry shift towards indie game development, we're appreciative for the type of change they brought about in an industry that was beginning to stagnate with stale ideas, an over reliance on sequels and a focus on money over innovation.

It's pretty amazing to see Markus Persson and his studios humble beginnings as the title was still under development. The documentary directed by Paul Owens was just recently released by 2Player Productions in it's complete glory, without any ads whatsoever. For all you startup minded folks, this is the perfect type of documentary to acquaint you with the types of changes whirlwind success brings about, as well as inspiring an entire generation of small developers to seek that same glory.

Disarming Corruptor - Cryptography For Copyrighted 3D Model Printing

Very interesting tool by M-Plummer Fernandez that also scares me for some reason for what it represents. While 3D printing has been burgeoning with the technology becoming cheaper and more accessible, people have already begun to explore the grayer area of this technology, including copyrighted designs. Corruptor allows people to encrypt these models by 'obliterating' them, a 3D term for damaging a model beyond recognition so they can be passed on without people knowing it's true nature.

Now the scariest part of this type of encryption is that it could definitely be used by the type of people who have taken to printing their own unregulated firearms (Schemas are already floating around) and weaponry, which could single-handedly ruin this entire medium for many if it's used for destructive purposes. I'm all for 3D printing, but not like this.

In a time of prolific online espionage, crackdowns on file-sharing, and a growing concern for the 3D printing of illegal items and copyright protected artefacts, DC is a free software application that helps people to circumvent these issues. Inspired by encryption rotor machines such as the infamous Enigma Machine, the application runs an algorithm that is used to both corrupt STL files into a visually-illegible state by glitching and rotating the 3D mesh, and to allow a recipient to reverse the effect to restore it back to its original form. The file recipient would need both the application and the unique seven digit settings used by the sender, entering the incorrect settings would only damage the file further.

The Record Breaker

The Record Breaker is an awesome little documentary narrating the tale of Ashrita Furman, an unlikely yet charming man who holds the honor of having the most Guinness World Records of all time. It's quirky, profound and an incredibly interesting tale about a very genuine man with larger than life ambitions. Fuhrman really taught me that most of our limitations are self imposed, and only you can break yourself out of them. Enjoy your daily dose of inspiration.

Nov 11, 2013

Flying Around Estonia With An Octocopter

I've heard of quadcopters, but octocopters? Didn't hear about them till today, when Estonian photographers/tinkerers A&J released their stunning little video filmed entirely using a copter film rig piloted by Jorma Suumann. What do these rigs look like?

Something like this. Mixed with a gimbal style image stabilization system it enables photogs to capture some truly beautiful footage with some truly amazing motion. The part where the camera wraps around the abandoned light tower is one of the many stunning little moments captured in this reel.