Dec 31, 2013

Oblitus Is Dark Souls-Inspired Sidescrolling Action


I'm saddened to say that Oblitus completely flew under my radar this year. The one-man developed sidescroller by Connor Ullmann is truly a labor of love filled with a whole lot of talent. With both the programming and art done by Ullmann, the game is quite a feat for one guy and it's looking like it will pay off. Despite inspiration being drawn from both Dark Souls and Shadows of the Colossus, Oblitus is looking to be a highly original experience that focuses on a deep player-understanding of mechanics (much like Dark Souls).

After a bit of a hiatus took place during the game's development, Ullmann promises development will continue in January. Color me stoked.




While rough around the edges, Ullmann's art is rather endearing and shows the amount of time he's put into this project, especially after his previously proposed artist left. The game's atmosphere has been set for me, and I'm hoping that Ullmann decides to stick with his "placeholder" art for the final release.

Judging by the trailer the game's soundtrack, composed by Josh Whelchel, is sounding like a wonderful musical treat. The game may be a ways off, but the quality that drips from this project is more than apparent and has me prepared to dig in. 
 
To get some more insight on the game's development you can check out his Tumblr here.

Dec 30, 2013

Orlando Arocena's Awesome "Akira" Vector Tribute Series

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New York based illustrator Orlando Arocena set out to pay tribute to Katsuhiro Otomo's groundbreaking Akira anime, and that he did with this amazing vector series-featuring the most iconic cast members (And that unforgettable bike) from the 1988 feature.

I've alway have been a fan of Katsuhiro Otomo's creativity. His elaborate characters and profund interpretation of society, often reflect a familiar impression about the philosophy of relationships.
The 1988  movie adaptation of Otomo's story depicted a cyber-punk japan in the year 2019 ( only 5 years from now...) and had an incredible influence upon me- a city boy from the Bronx-ready to embark on pursuing a curriculum of art at Pratt Instiute. It's with the utmost respect, that I pay tribute to him and his story of AKIRA with this vector tribute.


A cool thing to note was Orlando's addition of a making of section, showing off just how incredibly complex his illustrator files were for the project. All the pieces were created without any use of gradients, tracing (A common trend with vector folks) and no filters, which for anyone with some knowledge of Adobe Illustrator, that's pretty damn impressive. Check out the rest of the Akira vector tribute series after the break, featuring everyone from Kaneda to Colonel Aramaki after the break.

The Voxel Based NES Emulator



Pretty cool experimental emulator by Youtube user Potor, who managed to create an NES emulator that renders out typically flat NES games into a 3D based voxel engine while maintaining the gameplay intact. While it might seem like a gimmick at first glance, the entire idea of perhaps layering multiple levels of flat gameplay using a voxel engine could be a cool premise for a new indie puzzle game (Credit where credit is due folks).

La Nuit De L'Ours (Night Of The Bear)



Co directed by Julien Regnard and Alexis Fradier for Annecy 2011, this recently re-discovered short was simply too good not to share. As a huntress stalks a dark forest in hunt for some prey to help her survive, she stumbles onto a formidable predator and unlikely friends lurking in the shadows.


The choice of going monochromatic offers a beautiful sense of mystery to this short, which employs a rather expressionist and wonderfully executed approach to it's backgrounds. The characters are rendered in a flat style, allowing them to pop out from the painterly backgrounds as well as facilitating some truly fluid animation. La Nuit de L'Ours is a success in it's wonderful subtlety

Dec 29, 2013

The Art Of Pacific Rim - Japanese Fanart Edition

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I'd always been pretty curious about how Japan, especially their creative community would react to Pacific Rim, a movie that was a whole-hearted ode to various pop culture genres like Kaiju films and various 'Tokusatsu' (Special effects) genres that their cinema scene popularized with internationally acclaimed franchises like Godzilla.

Just recently we set out to see if Japanese artists had taken a liking to the various Jaegers, especially after stumbling into box office figures for overseas sales of the film, which did pretty amazing in Asian markets. What we found was a plethora of amazing tribute pieces executed in a variety of styles and interpretations of both the Kaiju and Jaegers alike, showing that the movie had definitely found it's place with artists abroad. Check out a ton more Pacific Rim fanart pieces of the break!

Dec 26, 2013

Metronomy - "I'm Aquarius"



The new wave/electro pop outfit Metronomy just recently released a new track from their upcoming album called Love Letters, a follow up to their 2011 album called English Riviera. The Edouard Salier directed music video for I'm Aquarius is a retro tinged trip taking some notes from Kubrick's 2001 and the unforgettable classic scifi Roger Dean illustrations created for Psygnosis back in the day.

I Hate You Red Light!


Absolutely loved this. Created by the folks at 1881 Animation, a Colombian based studio, I Hate You Red Light is presented in a way that emulates the classic Walt Disney format, which included a live action intro followed by the cartoon itself. I Hate You Red Light centers around a man named Fred and his battle with a seemingly endless amount of red lights. Awesome vintage style, and it's mildly reminiscent in theme of the 1950 Disney cartoon called Motor Mania, which centers on Goofy getting a bad case of road rage.

Nicolas Bannister's Awesome Movie Car Tribute Posters - Banncars!

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Nicolas Bannister made my day with his ongoing Banncar series, dedicated to capturing iconic vehicles from movies and TV series that have left a mark on entertainment history. Using the same composition, which centers around the back of a car pointing to a visual element that ties into a key scene or character (Like that hauntingly goat-less chain from Jurassic Park) - His series perfectly encapsulates the spirit of each movie or series.

If you're in the mood to check out his takes on over 30 years of iconic vehicles presented in his awesome execution style, check out more of his Banncar series after the break! Some of our favorites included his takes on Akira and the Dr Who Tardis (Which kind of counts as a vehicle). Enjoy.

Dec 25, 2013

Hyperbubble - "A Christmas Synthesizer"



Christmas might be over already (Sigh), but Ambar Navarro's awesome little stop motion video for Hyperbubble was just too catchy to pass up. Funky looking claymation, countless synth models and a retro synth christmas tune will make you want a synth for Christmas as well.

Dec 24, 2013

RoboGal's Cute Mixtape: The Christmas 2013 Edition!

Step 1: Decoration! Lights! Sparkle! (Via)
Well it's only been a million and a half years (also known as 4 months), but I'm back with a new Cute Mixtape!  It's Christmas Eve, which for us means some house cleaning, cooking, and prep work before the big dinner.  And drinking.  I probably should have put that first.  Anyway, let this mixtape be a reminder of the steps you should be taking to ensure a proper Christmas.  

Step 1 is above, and click through the break for the rest of my sage advice!

Dec 22, 2013

The Glitched Out Art Of Burrito Chan (NSFW)

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Burrito Chan's (Aka Jason Ibarra) works are an acid washed, glitched out fantasy from start to finish- born from a colorful Mexican/Panamanian/American upbringing. Mixing various influences with a very unorthodox, yet strangely harmonious approach to laying out his colors, Ibarra's works deliver a visual punch and even more peculiar subject matter.

Ibarra's clients have included Reverge Labs (Skullgirls!), Konami, Udon Entertainment, Playboy, White Wolf Publishing, Wizards of the Coast and many others. Check out more of his awesome work after the break!

Lil Bub's Magical Yule Log



With the chilly weather and Christmas drawing ever nearer, a lot of us are left craving the physical and emotional warmth associated with fireplaces, which we aren't all that lucky to own. Turns out that in my house the previous owners decided to seal off the fireplace, which still baffles me to no end. However fear not, as a rather awesome, hour long digital alternative (One of many) starring the e-famous Li'l Bub purring away happily will provide you with a pretty decent alternative to the real thing. Happy holidays and all.

Arcadia



 Federico Gutiérrez's Arcadia is a trippy, playful little adventure that he himself dubbed as an 'playful utopia of eternal childhood'. A series of vignettes channel the rich and colorful creative forces of youth, using a medium which mixed analog and digital mediums in a really awesome fashion. Abstract doesn't even begin to define it!

Arcadia was a four week project made with the support of the Digital Culture Center in Mexico City. The film is animated traditionally, colored with markers and composited in After Effects.

Dec 21, 2013

Ra Deflin - "Tema"



You haven't heard of Ra Deflin, and we don't blame you. He's the textbook definition of fresh off the block- but the sound that he captured for this debut music video is absolutely amazing, mixing new wave instrumental compositions with soulful rap with a strong emphasis on narrative. The LA based artistt/songwriter and producer exudes experimental sensibilities that left us wanting more.


Accompanied by the silky smooth vocals of Jessica Johnson, the track seamlessly blends with the equally chill visual aspect of Tema, directed by Tim Hsiun and Ra Deflin himself. We've rarely had the opportunity to be the launching point for an artists career, but it's not hard to tell that Ra Deflin is going to be making a mark on the music world if his future releases are of this quality. Show him some love on his newly christened Facebook and Twitter pages.

Dec 20, 2013

Strike Vector Heads Into Beta Next Spring



When the first trailer for Strike Vector hit a few months back, we were absolutely amazed at just how much progress a small group of passionate indies were able to make on their concept, which we described as a mix of Macross and Adhesive Games' Hawken. Using the same clever modular building process that the small team on Hawken used to great success to build large, believable worlds and arcadey looking FPS mechanics, Strike Vector will be in beta on Steam early next year. Sign up for a beta key here!

The Cubli - A cube that can jump up, balance, walk and beyond



Some very interesting work coming out of the Institute for Dynamic Systems and Control in Zurich, featuring a device called the 'Cubli,' which uses a series of reaction wheels on various sides to actually give these devices the ability to move, balance, jump and control their fall direction. It seemed like a cool gadget until the video mentions towards the end that the research is being used for potential planetary exploration devices, as well as 'studying self assembling robots,' which is a little freaky/singulatiry thought invoking to say the least.

Harley



Tom Teller's Harley employs a nice marriage of live action and CG to narrate the story of a customer regretting the purchase of a rather peculiar looking goldfish. Following a revelation about it's history, an initially uncaring man finds himself swayed the other way. Simply story, nicely executed.

Harley is the short film I created for my Intermediate Production class at the Dodge College of Film and Media Arts. I've poured more than 200 hours into this project and couldn't be happier with how it turned out. It was a blast creating this short all the way from conceptualization to the final screening, thank you so much to everyone who helped me make this a reality. Enjoy!

Goodbye Mister De Vries



Mister De Vries (93) sits at his window awaiting his death. Until one cold winter day he is surprised by the arrival of a parcel. When he subsequently sees a pigeon flying off he knows that this is no ordinary message. His time has come. Mister De Vries momentarily hesitates to open it. When he chances it, he finds his old Frisian skates. There’s only one thing to be done.

Journey To The West - From The Creators Of Kung Fu Hustle



Stephen Chow's 2004 feature Kung Fu Hustle was one of those movies that successfully made the jump overseas, offering a nicely balanced mix of over the top action and comedy that was accessible to western audiences. Following a nine year hiatus from the action scene it seems like Chow is finally returning with yet another fun looking movie loosely based off the Ming Dynasty epic Journey to the West, focusing on the adventures of a Buddhist monk trying to protect his village from a variety of demons and even the Monkey King himself.


If he manages to capture that same style of action comedy that made Kung Fu Hustle memorable, this will definitely be a movie to keep an eye out for. The movie will be hitting select theaters on March 7th next year. Love that they went with a classical Drew Struzan themed poster style by Paul Shipper (He's the famous illustrator that did classical posters for movies like Indiana Jones, Harry Potter and countless other movies).

Dec 19, 2013

Tony Stark Gets His Sailor Moon On



A lot of the content I find is due to long restless nights filled with insomnia and caffeine, but there are other nights where my lack of sleep creeps up on me and pushes me into content like this where I later find sitting in my drafts. Thanks to a freshman class at Chungkang College of Cultural Industries we're finally given the chance to witness Tony Stark in his true transformative-environment.


Channeling the powers of Sailor Moon, Tony Stark gets pretty damn kawaii, and it leads me to question why all Marvel characters don't have magical girl transformation sequences. Someone get on that crossover stat, just be sure to invite me to the first screening.  

Thor: The Dark World VFX Breakdown


Thor: The Dark World was an interesting, and very strange movie- while it was better than the first movie, the incredibly heavy handed use of CG brought back memories of Episode 1's Green screen-itis, with protagonists not reacting in a believable manner to the unbelievable settings and events unfolding around them.


Opinions aside, Blur was tasked with crafting one of the best scenes in the film- a taste of an epic conflict between Dark Elves and Asgardian troops. After realizing that Blur was tasked with this scene while the rest of the movie was handed off to other studios, it now makes sense why there was such a disconnect between this amazing opening scene and the rest of the film, which really felt visually inconsistent in regards to the CG quality.

Life Size Lego Hot Rod Is Ridiculous



This is redefining over the top..An actual functioning, full scale drivable Lego hot rod powered by air thanks to close to 256 mini Technic pistons to propel the vehicle forward. Despite the fact that it's never shown taking off at high speeds (Probably due to a fear of it exploding into a million pieces), this is a pretty amazing little piece of engineering.

Specs:
- The engine is made from standard Lego pieces and runs on air!
- The engine has four orbital engines and a total of 256 pistons.
- More than 500,000 LEGO pieces.
- Top speed around 20-30km (We drive it slow as are scared of giant lego explosion)
- Built in Romania and shipped to a secret location in Melbourne.
- It's a Hot Rod design, mainly because hot rods are cool.

How To Train Your Dragon 2 Gets First Official Trailer



Hot damn does this look amazing. After Dreamworks' more than stellar How to Train Your Dragon and the announcement of a sequel, the fear that the studio would produce a shoddy cash-in was becoming a bit worrisome. While the teaser provided some hope that the new sequel would be a solid followup, I wasn't ready for the incredible feeling of excitement that the first full-length trailer has brought.

How to Train Your Dragon 2 is looking to be the continuation that the original deserves, giving that feel-good warm feeling that the original instilled over countless views. I'm really digging the time-lapse, and I'm interested to see how Hiccup and Toothless' relationship has grown (as well as their combat skills).


In an age where soulless sequel cash-in are all too prevalent, it's great to see Dean DeBlois raise his animated baby the way it should be. It's always a little dangerous to judge a movie by it's initial trailer, but I'll be giving this the benefit of the doubt. All that's left now is to cross our fingers in hope that the third entry will hold up the quality.

Dec 18, 2013

The Cute Art Of Becky And Frank

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Whenever I see the work of Becky and Frank, I'm transported to a whimsical, care free land filled with heart warming designs that put a smile on my face. Channeling a style that seems to be a mixture of classical children's books and retro Disney animation. Part of that comes form the fact that the duo at times chooses to work in analog painting format, mixed with modern subject matter- Which creates a really fun contrast. It's as if artists from the 50's were tasked with doing fanart of popular shows like Spongebob or Adventure Time.

The New Zealand based duo also work on comics like Tiny Kitten Teeth, tour for conventions to sell their awesomely cute art and dabble with music, writing and other creative endeavors. Check out more of their great work after the break!

The Elephant's Garden



Created as Felix Colgrave's third year animation project at RMIT University in Melbourne, The Elephant's Garden is an indescribably trippy adventure into the darkest recesses of this Aussies artist's brain. A series of increasingly bizarre creatures that inhabit a world held up by elephants do their thing in an otherworldly setting. For being entirely created by one student it's actually pretty impressive considering the five minute run time.

The Art of Gino

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Zhang Yuan, better known as 'GINO' in digital illustration circles, is a hard man to find and even harder to describe. What first caught my eye was his impeccable talent for composition, his points of focus succeed in capturing attention, without skimping out on the vital details that make his entire pieces feel like monuments to precision. Themes of his work vary between magic realism (such as my personal favorite above) to the mythic feudal showdowns typical of Wuxia; the Chinese sub-genre of supernatural martial arts folktale.

From what I can strain to make out through the clumsy browser translation of his website, Zhang is a professional concept artist focused on design-related entertainment, cartoons, illustrations and contemporary art. An alumni of the China Central Academy of Art and the Communication Arts program of New York University, 'GINO' is just further proof that a barrier of language should be no deterrent in the pursuit of great art.

Future Relic 01



Future Relic 01 is a multidisciplinary effort created by debuting director Daniel Arsham, fashion designer Richard Chai and hip-hop producer Swizz Beatz. The narrative seems to follow a futuristic archaeologist unearthing relics of our present, a visually striking apocalyptic scenario filled with plenty of symbolic imagery that is left open to the viewers interpretation.


The overarching theme here is a search for meaning in this shoreline scattered with artifacts of a long lost civilization. This white robed archaeologist emits a sense of wonder to discovering objects we would typically find mundane. Loved the ambient sound work as well, fit the surreal tone of the short film well.


Blue Zoo's Xmas



The multi BAFTA award winning, London based animation studio Blue Zoo decided to get together and craft themselves a nice little Christmas themed short centered around a man with an appetite for ornaments and a decoration minded squirrel.

It seems to be a common trend for animation and VFX studios to sometimes put together seasonal videos as a nod to their fans and to showcase their personal work to potential clients. The art direction was really cool on this one, looks like they were going for capturing a visual look reminiscent of stop motion sets and a sculpted, chiseled look for the characters.

Dec 17, 2013

Sodagreen Story



I don't think we've ever posted a Taiwanese music video, but this was simply too beautiful to pass up. Created by the talented folks at Taipei's Grass Jelly studio, Sodagreen Story is a beautifully executed, soulful musical adventure. Executed with CG to emulate a world powered by clockwork automata, it's one of the visually richest, original music videos I think we've posted this year despite the language barrier. A synopsis of the videos concept below, and thanks to reader Crystal L. for help with translations!


The theme of this song's lyrics regard the singer's initially bittersweet emotions witnessing the autumn scenery before his eyes. The feeling gradually becomes cheerful and elastic because he slowly understands that what he yearns for is a peaceful and tranquil life. After all, life is like a dream. The protagonist eventually realizes that he should follow his fate and live a free and unfettered life, rather than letting his worries get to him.

The theme centers around a lot of Oriental philosophical thinking. The first major topic of the thinking is originated from Tao Yuanming’s Peach Blossom Spring, an ancient Chinese prose written over 1,500 years ago. It depicts a land hidden from the outside world called Peach Blossom Spring, a land which all Chinese people yearn for. There is no pollution in the land and it’s just like a utopia, a beautiful place which one can only imagine or dream about.

Kumi Festival Opening



Created for KUMI's (Konkuk University Moving Images) 7th annual graduation screening in South Korea, this awesome high energy intro features the work of the various disciplines from the senior class. Animators, compositors, background painters and FX animators came together to create this awesome little promo. A bite sized visual treat.

Jeff Gabor's "Epic" Animation Reel



Animator Jeff Gabor just released this truly fascinating reel showcasing his process for cinematic animation on Blue Sky's 2013 feature, Epic in all it's different stages. I think it's awesome to get a behind the scenes glimpse as to how animators bring different scenes to life. In Gabor's world he plays the role of everyone and really gets into it to deliver the best performance possible. To some companies, it's just as important to see the process of the artist as the final product before hiring, keep that in mind.


On a side note, Blue Sky's Epic was a truly fascinating example of the type of damage that kneejerk media coverage can cause to a movie's reputation. When the movie came out and had a slow opening weekend, every single news outlet, movie forum and person I knew was quick to label it as a 'bomb,' dismissing it without even giving the movie a chance. After doing some research I learned it had actually grossed over $260 million worldwide on a budget of $93 million. After watching it it's actually not half bad, just a good case of misleading word of mouth and overshadowing by other features.

The Mario Bros Serenade Peach in Luigi's Ballad



It's been all quiet on the animation front for Egoraptor lately. It's understandable, what with the amount of time he devotes to producing Game Grumps and  the bizarre level detail/comic insanity he somehow crams into the average 2-minute short. His videos lately haven't really met the standard of guffaw-inducing, double-take WTF-ery his fans have come to expect from him in the past, but it's videos like Luigi Ballad that remind us why we keep the faith.

Will Luigi manage to get the girl, or is Mario still an unrepentant dick? The answer may surprise you.

The Amazing Art of Vance Kovacs

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The closest contemporary I can think of to compare Vance Kovacs' artwork to is Frank Frazetta. That may sound brazenly audacious at first, but after looking through Kovacs' high fantasy-infused warriors and CG-sculpted vistas, I rest happily knowing that the legacy of the late-great Frazetta lives on through the generation he inspired. And of which Kovacs is undoubtedly a part of.

Vance is a digital artist and illustration designer who has dabbled at the intersection of game design, publishing, and major motion pictures for more than 15 years. His previous clients include Disney, Warner Bros, Epic Games, Blizzard, and Paramount Studios; And has worked as a concept artist for such films as Narnia, Thor, John Carter, and MIB 3. Check out more of his awesome work after the break!

Dec 16, 2013

Operator



Director and animator Sam Barnett has spent the past 8 months working on Operator and damn does it show. The 7-minute sci-fi thriller holds the perfect blend of sound design, camera work, and animation in order to create one seriously disturbing short. I found myself wiping the sweat from my palms on more than one occasion as the dark sci-fi thriller creates tension many big-budget films fail to create.

While the character design can be a tad tough around the edges, it actually adds to the gritty reality Barnett has set out to create in Operator. 


With inspiration stemming from cordyceps mushrooms and cult-like oppressive regimes, it's apparent that Sam Barnett has more to show than just a few jump scares (and it truly shows). The mood and tension Operator creates is absolutely unreal for a stop-motion video, setting grand expectations for the future of Barnett's work.

In the end, while the imagery and camera work is fantastic, it all boils down to the sound and Operator uses it in an absolutely incredible way. 

Beans



Beans, also known as 'animation and director with a lot of extra time on their hands' is a hilarious short film that might just make your day. Animated by Alvise Avati and produced by animation director Eamonn Butler, the short was created to raise awareness about their Soho, London based VFX company called Cinesite.


The company has been around for nearly twenty years and contributed to projects including Harry Potter, World War Z, Pirates of the Carribean, Skyfall and many other features. Nice to know that some companies still have a sense of humor. Check out Cinesite's full portfolio of movies over on their website.

What Would You Do With $25,000?



Casey Neistat is part of a rare breed on Youtube, dedicating most of his submissions to a good cause and raising light to various social issues. When he was recently approached by 20th Century Fox to create a 'follow your dreams' short film as a marketing move to raise awareness for The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. 


In an awesome turn of events, Casey managed to turn this opportunity into a straight charity attempt to deliver $25,000 of aid to one of the hardest hit cities in the recent Philippines typhoon, Tacloban. While the video starts off chipper enough, it all becomes sobering once we're given a glimpse to the sobering conditions the population is reduced to living in. Thanks to his efforts over 10,000 meals, equipment and medicine were provided to the local populace. If you're in a giving mood these holidays, donate to Unicef's efforts in the region.

Lumin



Warning - This short contains strobing lights. Created by Mark Wincek, Lumin is an interesting animated short with a narrative driven by an interplay between darkness and light. In a world of darkness a hunter must track and capture his prey under the guise of neverending darkness. The unorthodox style Wincek used makes Lumin look like it was animated using chalk and a blackboard. Unfortunately the short was never quite finished the way he wanted it to be, but we'll be keeping an eye out for his future endeavors.


A lone hunter making ends meet in a world without a sun. He uses light to catch his prey, but unfortunately so do the other creatures.

Bored Game™



What a blast to the past...The folks at Dark Igloo set out to recreate the unforgettably campy mid 90's toy commercial style that dominated that era with Bored Game. A tribute to hazy bedrooms, overly enthusiastic flannel donning kids and some seriously gimmicky (yet effective) selling points. They nailed it on the head with their 90's in a blender concept.


A commercial for Bored Game™ - the greatest game never made and fifth place on 1994’s Hottest Holiday Toy List. Starring The Technodrome, Hot Shots Electronic Basketball, Boglins, a GoPro mounted to a slot car, Mall Madness, the TMNT Pizza Thrower, Power Glove, Toe Jam & Earl, Laser Tag, Don’t Wake Daddy and at least one thing you had growing up. Some assembly required.

Tis The Season



Directed by Jens Blank & Anna Benner, Tis the Season is a seriously cute animated short presented in a style similar to Aardman's Create Comforts. A series of interviews with a variety of Christmas participants, ranging from reindeers to gifts, christmas trees and beyond. Love the 3D style they employed, they made it fit perfectly with the live action environments.


Hot off the presses, we'd like to share with you our latest short film, called Tis the Season. 
It's an animated musing about what Santa and his friends are up to in their time off. 
It's got pretty presents, grumpy reindeer and free-diving Christmas trees.

Dec 15, 2013

Arnold Schwarzenegger Kills Everything



In this supercut to end all super cuts, Youtube user Auralnauts created this amazing ode to the one and only Governator. Kill Count serves as both a chronicle of every kill captured in the course of 24 movies as well as unintentionally showcasing the evolution of his Austrio-American accent. Check out the rules that they came up with for this 30 minute cinematic epic below.

THE RULES
1. Guns, blades and projectiles always kill unless otherwise depicted
2. Close proximity explosions kill unless otherwise depicted
3. Indirect kills as a result of an explicit action by Arnold count
4. Kills must occur on screen, or be reasonably indicated through on screen action
5. Dream sequences, fantasies or movies within a movie count. If it's on screen, it's a kill.
6. People that are killed more than once count each time.
7. We don't care what Mossberg says in T2. They didn't show that many.
8. Everything up to Escape Plan. Nothing unavailable on Bluray.

Dec 14, 2013

Everything Is A Remix - The Iphone Case Study



We've featured Kirby Ferguson time and time again for his Everything is a Remix series- a compelling look at how everything is inspired by something at some point. Over time he's done some truly fascinating studies on movies, music and beyond, and his latest installment turns the magnifying glass over at Apple's iPhone, a product that could not have existed without the innovations pioneered by many other companies. Time and time again we've been shown that some of the best inventions were simply created by remixing existing technologies or concepts.


From a website standpoint, two examples come to mind: A)Facebook, which pretty much killed Myspace by taking the idea of a social platform and streamlining it and B)Reddit, which was created to fill a void created by the disastrous Digg V4 implementation, which stripped power from the users. And honestly this mentality applies to just about any creative field. Every creation is inspired by something that came before it.

Hi-Dilly-Ho!



Some pretty silly holiday elf animation loops from Allakinda- Who created this fun little piece on her free time in between jobs. Aside from being just pure fun, Allakinda introduced us to the music of Pelo Mono with this bite sized animation, a Spanish Rockabilly-styled group. Give their awesome debut album a listen over on the Pelo Mono Bandcamp.

The Power Of Empathy



Animated and directed by Katy Davis (Aka Gobblynne), The Power Of Empathy is an animated short created in collaboration with the UK Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts (RSA), a fellowship created to turn people's hopes for a better world into reality. This short delves into the difference between sympathy and empathy, in an exchange between a troubled fox and a bear looking to help. Very informative, and a great way to turn a lecture into a more visually engaging experience.


What is the best way to ease someone’s pain and suffering? How can you really be there for another person?  In this beautifully animated RSA Short, Dr Brené Brown reminds us that we can only create a genuine empathic connection if we are brave enough to get in touch with our own fragilities.

Dec 13, 2013

Wallflowers (NSFW)



This awesome new animated short by British collective The Line offers a variety of portraits of typical club-goers in a variety of settings and musical genres, presented in a rather interesting cube aspect ratio. Tweakers, texters, drunkards, geeks, introverts, extroverts..There's something here for everyone. Loved the concept and execution from start to finish.

Worth Checking Out - Mohrbacher The Gathering

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Peter Mohrbacher, fantasy artist extraordinaire, has been blowing minds with his epic and beautiful fantasy art in recent years. He is a man of many talents ranging from contributing his concept art skills to CCP's various titles to crafting amazing illustrations for Magic: the Gathering, every image he crafts just screams cool.

Peter has been creating these uber-illustrations over the past few years, and has put together a Kickstarter to make some of his work available to his fans for a limited time. It's ending very soon, so be sure to stop by his Kickstarter and get a chance to pick up something one of a kind! Some more samples from his extensive portfolio after the break.

Dec 12, 2013

The Midnight Show's "PokéMAN!" Makes Me Feel Weird



It's been a minute or two since I've gotten a chance to post a new sketch by The Midnight Show, especially one written by the fantastic Heather Anne Campbell (most notable for her recent work on Whose Line Is It Anyway). Some might argue that they've had enough Pokémon parodies for one lifetime, but The Midnight Show manages to up the ante by getting a little more sensual and a whole lot more uncomfortable.

Metal Bum



Directed by Daniel Kim, Metal Bum is a heartfelt short about a turf war between a street musician and an unlikely pan handler- An obsolete robot model trying to survive in a cold urban setting (Assuming he has thermal sensors). When things come to a head, the robot is faced with a daunting decision.


Filmed using a mixture of live action and a composited 3D robot, Metal Bum is really taken to the next level thanks to the prowess of Black Rapid Media's excellent work on the sound design aspect, providing a silent film style score to this monochrome short. Loved it from start to finish.

The Art Of Chuvabak - A Concept Art Troll

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Chuvabak (Oleg Vdovenko) is a self proclaimed 'Russian painting bear' who recently popped up on a variety of western art websites with a collection of truly bizarre, yet technically astounding paintings..Showing off a highly elevated level of talent in a supremely unorthodox fashion. From bizarre paintings of Mario made to look like a heavily worn out children's toy to images making fun of CGhub's at times questionable 'Gold Award' system (He actually got a gold award for it), you're left scratching your head because the execution is just that good.

Despite the subject matter Oleg shows off a masterful understanding of texture, light and depth in his pieces with no weird tricks or photobashing, just straight up painting. For someone with such a high level of skill to use his talents for creating such bizarre imagery borders on troll-like behavior, but on the other hand you never know what to expect next from Chuvabak. More of his intriguing work after the break.

Portraits Of A Sadhu



In Hindu society, a Sadhu (Also referred to as a Baba) is the title given to any abstinent monk who dedicates his life to achieving Moksa, a form of liberation that could be compared to the Buddhists pursuit of Nirvana. Photographer Jeremy Snell headed out to the Pashupatinath Temple in Kathmandu to get a glimpse into the life and mentality of a Sadhu in this visually striking portrait. Wearing bright red and saffron colored clothing and face paint, these monks announce their Sanyasa, or renunciation of various worldly pleasures to help them focus on their spiritual goals.

The Best Of Flipbook.In



For all you fledgling animators, hobbyists and fulltime animators out there- There's a Japanese website that's been around for a while called Flipbook.in, which allows you to create animations in your browser. Someone just recently took the time to compile a 'best of' reel, featuring some of the best animations created using the less is more toolset.

With some seriously high end animators playing around with this fun little service, including Yoh Yoshinari (FLCL, Neon Genesis Evangelion, Gurren Lagann, Little Witch Academia)- You should take Flipbook for a spin yourself.

Dec 11, 2013

The Art Of Fabien Mense

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I'm getting close to resuming my French language education, I really think I am. Every time I get a glimpse into the burgeoning bande-dessinee scene I'm left knowing that most of these amazing original series will never make the jump overseas, and it absolutely kills me. If you guys have been following AwesomeRobo long enough you've probably noticed that some of the best animation work is currently emerging from French schools including Les Gobelins and Supinfocom..What's the deal?

During a random trip to Paris a few years back I discovered some surprising parallels between the Japanese and French art scenes in regards to how they treated their creators, and an overall feeling of a cultural acceptance in regards to pursuing this craft as a career. For some reason I'm left wondering whether societal attitudes have simply allowed creatives to feel unhindered in that particular country, resulting in some truly amazing, out of the box work time and time again. And this is not from a fanboy's perspective, it's simply a trend and opinion formed after following a few years of curating content.

Fabien Mense is the second artist we've featured from the Catfish Deluxe collective (Our first being Gobi). Hailing from a small town called Ozoir-la-Ferreire he studied animation at the Arts Decoratifs de Strasbourg college, where he came to meet the friends who would form the collective he is part of today. Employing a truly vibrant, colorful style and exagerrated design aesthetic, he's worked on everything from comics to contributing designs for feature films like Tartavosky's recent Hotel Transylvania feature. More of his work after the break!

Shinjuku The Film - Chapter 3



Robert Valley continues to astound with his stylish motion comic adaptation of Christopher 'Mink' Morrison and Yoshitaka Amano's Shinjuku in collaboration with Twistory Studios. The third chapter employs Valley's signature elongated visual style and vibrant color palettes. If you're not caught up on the motion comics, check out Chapter 1 and Chapter 2.


Animated, directed and illustrated by acclaimed artist and director Robert Valley (DC Nation's Wonder Woman, The Gorillaz, Aeon Flux) and narrated by actor Danielle Vasinova (To Hell with a Bullet, White Trash Noir), Shinjuku: The Film is an animated adaptation of Shinjuku. Valley's signature style brings Shinjuku to life in a distinctive and captivating way.

FIIIIREEEEEEEEE!



Well that escalated quickly. Despite all the cinematic Source Filmmaker goodness that Valve has unleashed on their community over the last year or two, some creators still insist on using that humorously janky Gmod physics gun stop motion. Can't blame them, it definitely has a feel all of it's own.

Mondo Taurobolium



Animator Galen Pehrson takes us on a psychedelic journey in his bizarre video for Taurobolium, conceived in the style of Mondo film (Not the awesome poster company). The 1960's subgenre was characterized by it's themes of exploitation and the taboo, following a sullen duck sauntering his way through an existential rollercoaster ride of fame and disillusionment. Strangely mesmerizing.

Dec 10, 2013

The Black and White Art of Nico Delort

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The style of Nico Delort's art holds a illustrative likeness found in many classic novels, visualizing a climactic scene in all the right ways. Using only black ink and a scratching nib, Delort's work becomes progressively more complicated as you begin to consider his overall process. Just bellow is an example of Nico Delort's illustrative process, it's truly quite mesmerizing and puts into perspective how much thought and effort goes into each of his work.



Each piece holds a sense of perfection in it's contrast, emitting a feeling of both light and darkness in near perfect harmony. As I mentioned before the classic novel feel is highly prominent, but luckily the lack of accompanying words is easily forgotten with each brilliant painting.  After the break is more of Nico Delort's work, take a peak yourself.

The Godzilla Trailer Arrives



Hype train for the iconic Toho Godzilla reboot? Set to full speed ahead. The first trailer for the upcoming summer 2014 feature from Legendary Pictures and WB has arrived along with clues regarding the plot and antagonists...Created by humanity! We've got a reverse Pacific Rim scenario unfolding here.


Godzilla will pit the world's most famous monster against malevolent creatures who, bolstered by humanity's scientific arrogance, threaten our very existence.

The Art Of Frank Lin

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Frank Lin's work is just great..A breath of fresh air in more ways than one with his unconventional visual style. We're used to browsing tons of art and illustration work on a daily basis, and at times it does all start to gel together, especially when people don't stick to their guns and simply start following trends. For example- at the moment there's a huge trend in the concept art field to simply photobash everything together with little painting at all..It makes sense for an experienced artist ina production environment, but to the swathes of naive, aspiring concept artists without a proper art foundation- it's a dangerous mistress to say the least. 

Tangent aside, I was drawn in by Frank's style, which is definitely catered to the storybook illustration niche. There's a ton of playful experimentation here, ranging from working with textures and patterns, experimenting with different degrees of painterly to flat areas, and straight out fun work like the eye popping Luchabros illustration pictured above. Check out more of his awesome work after the break.

The Wachowski's Return With "Jupiter Ascending"



WB just debuted the first trailer for Jupiter Ascending, a new original scifi feature starring Mila Kunis, Channing Tatum and Sean Bean embroiled in an interplanetary conspiracy. The plot revolves around the 'Queen of the Universe' marking a rather inconspicuous human (Kunis) for death after finding out that her existence poses a threat to her reign.


Following the lukewarm Cloud Atlas, which suffered from (Dare I say it) simply being too ambitious a plot for one installment and the still lingering Matrix sequel aftertaste, I'd stay cautiously optimistic. The optimism comes from the fact that there's still a dire need for a legitimately good original scifi feature to get that trend kickstarted again following the somewhat disappointing Elysium and Oblivion features this year. Here's to hoping.

Dec 9, 2013

"No Man's Sky" Is Procedurally Generated Space Beauty



If you were to ask my what I thought Hello Games (the folks behind the Joe Danger series) next project would be, a procedurally generated space exploration game would be my last guess. While the majority of the VGX was a cringe-fest(see Exhibit A), No Man's Sky was by far the highlight of the show. Featuring a procedurally generated universe, players are given the ability to seamlessly transition between planets.

Seriously though, did you see them shoot through the center of that meteor?


Not much has been announced for the overall gameplay, but it's safe to say it involves both space-shooty and land-shooty parts. It's safe to be skeptical with independent procedurally generated games, but it's hard not to be at least a little excited with the above trailer. 

Žagar - "Space Medusa"



This is an awesome treat coming straight from the Hungarian indie and electro scene; Žagar was setup in 2001 and has made waves in the region with their fresh, highly atmospheric and psychedelic brand of chill electro.


Barcelona based director Kinopravada (Aka Danila) was tasked with translating their track Space Medusa, taken from their 2013 album Light Leaks. Inspired by the retro sound, the music video effectively captures the state of mind of the various protagonists during their journey, with a visual style inspired by Tartavosky films like Solaris and the works of Alejandro Jodorowsky. Sit back and enjoy the trip.

Brian Whitmore's Blur Animation Reel



If you're unfamiliar with Blur Animation studios at this point, they're THE premiere North American animation studios specializing in cinematic production for video game studios and other mediums. I'd estimate about 60-70% of triple A studios have at some point commissioned Blur to create their cinematics and marketing pieces over the last few years, as they're just that good at it. Animator Brian Whitmore just recently released an impressive reel showcasing a sampling of his work in the cinematic animation department.


In just the last two years alone they've worked on the cinematics for Batman - Arkham Origins, Elder Scrolls Online, League of Legends, Dishonored, Halo 4, Planetside 2, Farcry 3, Overstrike, Dark Souls II as well as plenty of commercials and cinematic work (Including their successful effort to create the cinematic adaptation of Eric Powell's The Goon). On a side note, if anyone can identify the untitled final segment showcased in his reel, we'd love to know what it is.

Pseudopodium



Pseu·do·po·di·um - A temporary protrusion on the surface of a cell for movement and feeding. Director Alan Kępski brings us a concentrated dose of creepy, glitched out visuals featuring a visual representation of a virus overtaking a healthy host and corrupting it from the inside. Kind of reminds me of a type of scene you'd see playing out in a Tarsem film. Twisted to the core.

Power Rangers And Old Man



While ADHD (Animation Domination) is hit and miss at best with their very meme/nostalgia-centric animation parodies, every once in a while they manage to get a chuckle out of us. This classic Power Rangers parody pretty much nails it on the head, with the exception of the addition of a rather unwarranted member to the classic cast.

Dec 8, 2013

The Art of Kakotomirai Has A Massive Sense Of Scale

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I first ran into Kakotomirai's work during an intense Pacific Rim binge a few months back and was lucky to stumble upon it once more. While the focus of Kakotomirai's massive creature design is front and center, the attention to detail on the surrounding environment and capturing that sense of atmospheric perspective creates an astounding, believable sense of scale.

Each of Kakotomirai's creatures has an otherworldly organic feel, at times feeling like a creature pulled straight out of a Studio Ghibli film. Check out some Kakotomoirai's creature design after the break.

Normals Is Coming



Warning- The future contains flashing images. Are you interested in the future? Would you like to know more? Normals is an ongoing book series that just premiered containing a mixture of design fictions, hyperlinked stories and graphic novels all intertwined into a minimalist looking series of books that will be limited to 500 upon their release in January 2014.



The marketing itself is one of the most intriguing aspects-but what is Normals truly about? Get a preview of the book here, and you can order a copy and glean more cryptic information on the official Normals website.

Jason Oda Unveils "Continue?9876543210" - A Surreal Indie Gaming Trip



Despite the artist it was created for, last year's Skrillex Quest was a highly imaginative, surreal adventure that could be best described as a visually corrupted, glitched out version The Legend Of Zelda. The sole creator, Jason Oda just announced that his next project, titled Continue?9876543210 will be premiering sometime next year with a similar, compelling visual style and premise.


You are a dead, failed video game character wandering through the recesses of the Random Access Memory, trying to find peace in the final moments of your existence before being deleted forever...What happens to dead video game characters?

After playing Skrillex Quest and seeing this preview I think it's safe to conclude that Oda is some sort of indie gaming incarnation of director David O' Reilly (The External World). Looking forward to checking this out when it comes out in 2014.

The Art Of Bagger

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Born in the Phillipines, raised in Japan and based out of San Francisco, Dennis 'Bagger' Brown experienced one heck of a colorful upbringing, which ultimately probably contributed to his diverse and colorful art style. Drawing some definite inspiration from street fashion culture, graffiti aesthetics and comic books, his work condenses all these sources into a fine mishmash.

Stylistically he's constantly in flux and experimental, switching it up with digital and analog painting in phases- As evidenced by a recent kick of simply painting skulls for a change followed by Dragon Ball Z fanart. That type of dabbling keeps you on your toes, and shows off a range that keeps the clients coming. His clients have included Juxtapoz, Ecko, Imagine FX, Spectrum, XXL magazine and many others. More of his work after the break!

Difference A Day Makes



This awesome music video directed by Geoffrey Skrajewski of the Shed collective follows the surreal journey of a man traveling to the other end of the universe in order to rescue a mysterious woman. Alone aboard his ship, he must face a series of obstacles to cross the vastness of space that prevents from reaching her. Imagine a low poly version of Gravity with the musical stylings of Jim Guthrie (Swords and Sorcery, Indie Game the Movie) and you get the idea.

Dec 7, 2013

The Art Of Minosch

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Minosch, also known as Nadia Enis is an up and coming German illustrator, and a self dubbed 'survival artist,' which is a pretty good description for anyone currently heading down the freelance artist path. Looking through her gallery we initially thought that we were looking at a collective due to the numerous styles we encountered from piece to piece, but it turned out that she simply wears many hats as a concept artist and illustrator.

While some artist choose to stick to their guns and employ a very strong personal style, there's another breed out there that choose to be stylistics chameleons of sorts..A mentality that really depends on how you want to cater yourself to potential clients. Nadia's worked on a slew of projects including Paizo's Pathfinder, Aion, PoxNora and many other clients in various fields ranging from comic books to teaching. Check out more of her work after the break!

Mickey Mouse In "Sleepwalkin"



In this latest Disney animated short, Mickey makes the mistake of overseeing Goofy's issues with sleepwalking in this slapstick-as-usual filled short, the latest in an ongoing series to reboot their short animation department starring the Disney cast.


We've also posted O Sole Minnie after the break, featuring a very Venetian themed romp with Mickey as a gondola oarsman trying to get the attention of an Italian speaking Minnie. That short is more in line with the international theme present in previous shorts like Croissant De Triomphe, Panda Monium and Tokyo Go. Check out all the previous shorts here.

Wildstar - Introducing The Classes



We haven't been shy about showing our love for Carbine's upcoming Wildstar MMO, and can you blame us for that? Aside from being a fresh new IP, the absolutely amazing art style (Spearheaded by the amazing Garrett Hanna) literally has me frothing at the mouth in anticipation.


This latest promo follows their clever marketing style of adding an animated narrative to videos that other companies would simply slap together using game footage and voice over work. To introduce their classes, we're offered a look from the perspective of Ish'mael the Bloodied, a marauder sharing his stories of the 'bloodthirsty psycopaths' found on Nexus. Check it out and sign up for the beta on the official Wildstar website!

Dec 6, 2013

The Tale Of A Rebellious Stone (NSFW)



Tale of a Rebellious Stone is a truly fascinating, and thematically loaded animated short regarding the concepts of faith and our animalistic desires. From what I managed to interpret, the statue itself represents the pure facade, or front that many people maintain in an attempt to hide their true, 'raw' core that represents their true desires. As the narrative unfolds over a variety of days, the sculptor finds himself tempted time and time again, until a surreal scenario unfolds.


Absolutely loved the feature quality animation and scenario that director Ng Kai Chung set up with this short, produced by a relatively unkown collective called KC.5. The short is rife with symbolism, and will most probably be interpreted in a variety of ways-Yet in a way the approach taken here reminds of the way series like Evangelion married religious themes into their narratives. Quite possibly one of the most thought provoking, and darker animated shorts I've seen in a long while.

A stone, with its unflawed surface, was carved and polished by beliefs and rules.Yet the core is raw. The more eager you are try and smooth it out, the more eager it is to indulge itself. Its untamed nature is no longer restrained.

In Dreams



Very cool pseudo-documentary directed by Samuel Blain regarding the reoccurring or more memorable dreams that different individuals have had. As an interesting means of making them anonymous and offer some interesting visual flair, Blain used 3D to replace their heads with representative designs of the themes they talk about.

Daft Punk - "Instant Crush"



Daft Punk has released the music video for their single Instant Crush and it's quite a trip. Julian Casblancas of Strokes' fame serenades us with the story of his mannequin doppelganger in his tragic quest for love. Will Julian get the girl? You'll have to watch to find out.



Director Warren Fu has been instrumental in the promotion of Random Access Memories. I love the vibe of this video; oddly reminiscent of the strangeness of Michel Gondry's work during the Discovery Era. Here's hoping they do one for Doin' it Right, fingers crossed.

Ashes Cricket 2013 Is Hilarious For All The Wrong Reasons



Vinesauce is notorious for corrupting classics and providing hilarious nightmare fueled "Let's Plays", but Ashes Cricket 2013 is on an entirely different level. Unlike Vinny's previous corruption videos, Ashes Cricket 2013 is completely untouched while still providing one of the glitchiest gaming experiences I've ever had the pleasure of watching. 


The game was released earlier last month and was quickly removed after the publisher stated that the game was cancelled (somehow after release), but luckily a few people managed to get their hands on it before it was pulled. 

I'm not sure what's worse, the fact that there's actually a Cricket video game or the referee's gyrating hips (his hips don't lie). As awful as this game is, the pain in my sides have convinced me to track down this abomination and try it out for myself.