Feb 28, 2014


Created for producer Julio Bashmore in collaboration with Jessie Ware, Peppermint is a fun electro music video directed by Noah Harris. The narrative's inspiration was supposedly the evolution of house music, which I guess visually translates into an assload of random but cool stop motion sequences. Other than that kick, clap, hat, snare, repeat.

"Dark Souls II - Rogue Warrior" Is Pretty Damn Clever

Youtube animator Veselekov just recently uploaded this awesome little parody of Dark Souls, poking fun at the butchering of many IP's back in the 80's and 90's in order to create cash grab/merchandising vehicle cartoon tie ins for various companies. Shows like Captain N: The Game Master for Nintendo, the hilarious Capcom endorsed Street Fighter: The Adventure Begins and Darkstalkers come to mind, which butchered or straight out disregarded the source material so badly that it was kind of hilarious.

This particular take on Dark Souls features guns, cyborg eyes and plenty of VHS tinged visual goodness. It nearly feels like the illegitimate half child of Farcry 3: Blood Dragon, and that's not necessarily a bad thing.

Black Gold By PES

Very interesting. Stop motion artist PES, best known for his work on his playful Academy Award nominated short called Fresh Guacamole returns with this collaboration with Italian designer Delfina Delettrez. Black Gold is centered around her insect based jewelry designs and their interaction with a golden female figure, who finds herself overcome by their numbers. It's definitely a departure from his other work, bearing more of a resemblance in tone to the work of Russian stop motion artists like Jan Švankmajer, who excelled at delivering an unsettling feel to all his work. Delfina's collection can be browsed here.

Feb 27, 2014

Haim - "If I Could Change Your Mind"

If you get a familiar vibe while watching Haim's latest and greatest, chalk it up to Warren Fu, who's worked on the last few retro Daft Punk music videos. The faded 70's quality captured in the productions music video gels well with the groups already retro inspired sound. Since their debut last year, the LA based pop rock outfit has been making some amazing waves. I always get vibes of 80's pop bands listening to Haim, but they've always described themselves as more of a 70's soft rock outfit with R&B elements. Enjoy.

"Life After Pi" - An Intimate Look Into The Troubled VFX Industry

Life After Pi is a documentary born out of a deep sense of frustration over a completely broken system in Hollywood, one that's adversely affected over 21 US VFX Studios in the last ten years or so. In an article that we wrote last year, we noted how foreign subsidies were driving VFX studios to bankruptcy by stretching them extremely thin and forcing them to bid lower and lower for movie projects: Ryhtm and Hues was just one of the companies to fall victims to this trend at a most inopportune time back in 2013, going into bankruptcy while winning Oscars for Life of Pi simultaneously. At the time it seemed baffling that such a thing could happen, but troubling rumors started to pop up while last years Oscars were ongoing.

The event that caused a large stir in the VFX industry came about when director Ang Lee and the Cinematographer completely failed to acknowledge the hundreds of (Now jobless) people that poured their life into making their CG heavy movie a success. This unified artists from many different fields to share their disdain for the current state of the movie industry, which has paid no regard to fostering the home grown studios that made dozens of their movies into visually stunning box office hits. Life After Pi goes into what happened at the studio during and after this period, and the type of broken system in Hollywood that has been driving many studios into bankruptcy.

Considering that we've seen little to no acknowledgement of this problem from studios, we'd encourage you as a reader to share this documentary wherever you can to educate people on this issue. Especially with the Oscars around the corner, it wouldn't hurt to see actors or directors acknowledge the hundreds of people working long, unpaid hours in the VFX trenches out of love for their craft. The same could be said about many other creative industries, where figureheads get all the credit for the work of hundreds. There needs to be a change.

Feb 26, 2014

Illustrations By Matt Rockefeller

Matt Rockefeller has the benefit of having an awesome last name as well as an amazing knack for illustration work. Currently studying illustration with an animation focus at the Marylands College of Art, he's pursuing his passion for comics, animation and videogames and prides himself on being a visual storyteller.

There's a narrative aspect to every illustration he's put out so far, as if it's been ripped straight out of a fantasy novel. Each image has a story to tell, and that's the fun of looking through all his work-Aside from being wonderfully executed from a technical standpoint, each pieces feels like a still from an animated short I'd love to see. For his current skill level as a student, I get the feeling that Rockefeller will have a bright career ahead of him. Check out more of his awesome work after the break!

Monsieur Cok

Following an incredibly successful international festival run (Including Sundance) in 2009, Franck Dion's Monsieur Cok is finally online in it's entirety. Featuring an absolutely incredible, hand painted diesel-punk aesthetic (Steampunk's cooler cousin) and a cast of truly unique characters, this short is thick with atmosphere and rife with social commentary. If you're feeling the brunt of corporate inequality at your current job, Monsieur Cok will offer  a healthy dose of satisfying moments.

Mister Cok is the owner of a large bomb factory. Looking for efficiency and profit, he decides to replace his workers by sophisticated robots. The formers stare helplessly at the toil of the robotic labourers. But one of the workers does not accept being discarded so easily.

Worth Checking Out - Sir, You Are Being Hunted

Big Robot’s Sir, You Are Being Hunted presents an interesting take on the survival genre, throwing you into a world where you are constantly looking over your shoulder, fearing every step you take. The game pits you against the environment where your task, a simple one, is to collect fragments of crystals scattered across five islands of an archipelago in which the game takes place. These crystals represent your ticket off of this island.

You're the prey this time around.
Before you begin the game you are given a choice of several different classes ranging from an artist to an officer or a cook, dictating which items you begin with. These classes ultimately offer different difficulty levels, such as the officer starting with a pistol and rifle, who is capable of easily defending himself, whereas an artist starts with a useful map of the island and a not so useful painting. Your only ally in this game is a voice that goes by the name Mr. Walters, who guides you on your journey with narration and helpful hints. That’s pretty much it, from there you’re left to handle the situation any way you’d like. This is where the game excels; it makes you feel as if you’re on your own left to use anything you can find in your surrounding, and boy is it awesome.

Sir's worlds are also procedurally generated, leaving this fresh feeling every time you start a new game. On top of that, before you do in youbegr new game, you have the option to customize your experience changing which biomes you’d wish to explore. There are four to choose from: Rural, Industrial, Mountainous,and Fens and each presents a different world to explore with varying architecture and terrain. In many circumstances, you’ll find yourself developing different tactics that only work well in particular biomes.

Enemies in the game are varied and interesting, some utterly terrifying. The AI is relatively strong; enemies react the way they you’d expect and are quite good at tracking down and slaughtering you. All of them are robotic in some form or another and all function in a way they should. From robot hunting dogs, classic pipe smoking British huntsmen robots who sometimes ride on a hybrid pit bull/horse/hover bike combination, hot air surveillance balloons, and a very large, almost grandfather looking enemy wielding a cane that is absolutely terrifying to deal with. Factor in that ammunition is sparse, you find yourself running for your life screaming most of the time.

While Sir is currently in alpha there is enough enjoyable content, and constant updates to justify joining the early access. Given the procedurally generated nature of the levels, every replay feels fresh and offers conditions that are unique to that playthrough. Sir You Are Being Hunted does a fantastic job of making you feel as if you’ve been thrown in a reverse robotic industrial European society world where humans are constantly being hunted for sport. It truly is the stuff of nightmares, and one hell of a fantastic game. The game's available for early access on Steam for $19.99. 


Created for the annual, internal Titmouse 5 Second Animation day- Mike Roush's Fly is a dizzying look into the highlights of the rather brief, yet intense lifespan of a green bottle fly. This short, among many others is part of an annual tradition at the company of allowing their employees to dedicate a day to creating a cartoon they've had brewing in their twisted minds.

About a week or two ago they actually did a screening at the Egyptian Theater in LA for the first time since starting the tradition, where they showed off a slew of 5 second shorts along with some Titmouse 'vault' classics like the Motor City pilot and other goodies to the public. An event to plan for next year! Check out Nathan Rico's contribution to the event, Space Malaise after the break!

Feb 25, 2014

Broforce - The Over The Top February Update

The most patriotic game of all time just got an update (Which we're a tad late to post), and it's looking absolutely glorious. While the game itself never touted itself as the most sophisticated or innovative title, it definitely delivers on the fun aspect, both thematically and gameplay wise. Frantic Metal Slug meets Contra style gameplay mixed with a tongue in cheek ode to action movie heroes from the 80's, 90's and beyond. The latest update adds Brochete and Bronan to the roster, as well as a bunch of other fun features, which you can watch on the insanely over the top trailer above. The game will be landing sometime this March on Steam early access thanks to a successful Greenlight campaign.

When evil threatens the world, the world calls on Broforce - an under-funded, over-powered paramilitary organization dealing exclusively in excessive force. Brace your loins with up to four players to run 'n' gun as dozens of different bros and eliminate the opposing terrorist forces that threaten our way of life. Unleash scores of unique weapons and set off incredible chain reactions of fire, napalm, and limbs in the name of freedom. This. Is. Broforce.

Storm Jumper

Directed and animated by Malcolm Sutherland, Storm Jumper tells the tale of a solitary shaman sensing the arrival of something terrible to his homeland: A storm of epic proportions that has the potential to bring disaster to the planet he inhabits. In order to counteract this disaster, he transcends his own physical being to get more in tune with the source of this disturbance.

The Moebius/retro bande desinee influence is undeniable here, with Malcolm stating that the late French comic artist has an apartment in (his) subconcious. With a vintage art style and musical quality to this short, it's a pleasant blast to the past.

The Art of Yong


If there's one thing that Yong is able to capture in his work, it's scale. This thirteen-year veteran concept artist from South Korea excels at depicting fantastic and painterly moments of both inspiring beauty and impending destruction. A UN mecha patrolling through the derelict streets of a war-torn metropolis, a Chernabog-esque giant reeling back to deliver a crushing blow to a cathedral city. New worlds hatched from eggs, Giant teddy-bears run amok, titans grapple for supremacy, and the last fleeting moments before the end of days. I can't wait for you to check out more after the break!

Feb 24, 2014


Ever since Virgin Airlines arrived in the US, I've pretty much stopped flying with any other domestic airline (About 90% of them share the distinction of being f***ing awful). In an era of cutting every single cost and making travel as tedious, annoying and frustrating as possible, it felt like Richard Branson's company set to reinvigorate it. On my first flight on the airline I found myself in spacious seats playing Doom 2 in a cool, purple lit economy cabin and ordering drinks from my seat interface. Is a little comfort too much to ask for?

Down to the safety videos on Virgin, they seem to have fun with every aspect of it. Trip is the actual animated safety video used on Virgin Atlantic, and it actually puts some effort into not being a generic, boring video. Mixing the typical information with touches of Western, Scifi and other genres the folks at Art & Graft created a refreshing take on the typical aircraft safety video. If you haven't given the airline a shot yet, I'd highly recommend it for the next flight (I wish I was paid to say that).


Animated by Andy Martin, Selfie is a fun little 60 second warning about self obsession. If you're into this type of random format, you'll also enjoy Titmouse's absolutely insane Dogsnack series. Selfie is part of the Pictoplasma Character Selfie project, which invites artists from all around the world to submit art based on the phenomena. There's a few hundred submissions already on their official Tumblr.

The Colorful Art Of Karla Castañeda

Karla Castañeda is a Honduras born, Georgia based freelance illustrator who graduated from SCAD (Savannah College of Art and Design) just last year. Her illustration work is colorful and characterized by a distinct, pleasant fluidity. Forms flow into each other seamlessly and there's a great sense of cohesion to her pieces, even with their occasionally wild color palettes.

Even before graduating Karla's already been noticed by the Society of Illustrators, received multiple scholarships, been exhibited in places like Gallery Nucleus and worked with companies including Neonmob, En Fin el Fin and other clients. All the telltale signs of a bright career ahead! Check out more of her work after the break.


Loved this heavily FX driven short by Olof Storm, which chronicles the daily routine of a supernatural entity known as the Vesper, also known as the evening star. His actions are mysterious to us, but a familiar routine to him. Shifting day to night, bringing the stars into the skies with definite intention. If you've evern enjoyed Avatar - The Last Airbender, there's a lot to love here.

First Minute Of Knights of Sidonia Anime Previewed

Knights of Sidonia is probably my favorite series currently running, Tsutomu Nihei has truly refined his storytelling skills and has provided an awesome mech experience. Like most popular long running manga series, Knights of Sidonia is getting the anime treatment and while I was originally on the fence with their use of CGI, the newest preview has cleared up a lot of my doubt.

Not gonna lie here, I'm pretty f**king hyped.

CGI in anime very rarely appeals to me, but it seems that Polygon Pictures has really stepped up their game and is providing an awesome animated experience. I'm actually pretty happy with how the mechs look, it's a lot less janky than I would expect. The series will air in Spring 2014 in Japan and in the Summer for Netflix subscribers. Can't say that I'm not ready for this.

Pacific Rim LEGOs Need To Happen Immediately

Hot damn. It's been a minute since we've gotten a chance to post something Pacific Rim related, but luckily Japanese LEGO modeler MOKO has brought this to the table. After creating the 3-foot EVA 01 masterpiece last year, MOKO has been on a roll with other projects including the four main Jaegers from Pacific Rim. Mark 4, Mark 3, Mark 5, and Mark 1 have all been modeled in their full mecha-glory and it's pretty damn impressive.

Each of the four Jaegers are completely poseable, adding a second layer to their already awesome awesomeness. Mark 3 even includes it's freighter ship from the film, adding to the cool factor. After the jump you can check out each of the Jaegers in their full glory and wish that LEGO would back a future project as cool as this (not that Back to the Future and The Simpsons aren't already radical).

Feb 22, 2014

Ice Crystal Timelapse

Using a photography technique known as cross-polarizating light in combination with an extreme macro lens, Shawn Kol created one the most relaxing time-lapses I've run into in recent memory. The reason these snowflakes all look so colorful has to do with the fact that cross-polarized lights eliminates reflected, or ambient light on the source materials (Ie, these snowflakes), allowing their native color schemes to shine through. While the crystals melt we are presented with a rich array of incredible colors all melding together, coupled with an excellently paired ambient score. Enjoy in fullscreen.

MX3D - The Multi Axis 3D Printer

Created by the Joris Laarman Lab and the Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia (IAAC), the MX3D is a showcase of a machine capable of conjuring organic metal shapes and irregular patterns. This seems like a breakthrough, as most existing 3D printers work on a more platform based, layered approach. The robotic arm extrudes a quick curing resin and will be able to print 3D objects out of thin air in steel, stainless steel, aluminum, copper and bronze. While it's still rudimentary in some regards, this type of 3D printing sets the stage for much faster complex 3D object manufacturing.

The Art of Artem Shumnik

Artem Shumnik is a Russian concept artist whose portfolio of clients and projects reveals only a fraction of his otherwise immense talent. A lead concept artist for Saber Interactive, responsible for such titles as 2007's Timeshift and Halo: Anniversary, Shumnik is also a freelance artist for the South Korean art stable Applibot. 

His penchant for dreary, snow-capped metropolises and otherworldly weirdness makes me sincerely wish that he was helming an original IP at the Milburn-based studio. Check after the break for more of his gritty urban landscapes and sci-fi oddities.

Feb 21, 2014

The Art Of Amei Zhao

Amei Zhao (Aka Constance Chew) currently resides in Sydney, where she's busy working in the TV and feature animation field. She holds the distinction of also being a holder of a PhD in Pathology and Medical science, which she's mentioned as being occasionally useful. Her work follows a philosophy of wanting to capture emotion, and she does that wonderfully-using both the protagonists, as well as her composition layouts effectively to sell whatever mood she's going for.

There's a great sense of space to most of her work, whether it be a sense of verticality and a fantastic usage of light and shadow to create a narrative. The fact that she uses all these tools at her disposal with such finesse showcases a deeper understanding of her craft. More of her work after the break!

Riverr - "Lamu"

Directed by Mathieu Grimard, Lamu is a curious music video comprised of 25 very distinct portraits, each offering us a very distinct perspective and self contained story. Each person is shown behind a surface- Glass, water, plastic, metal and we're left to interpret their condition through these small, fleeting moments. Each and every face and expressions is an open book with a story to tell. Loved the concept of the music video, and the distorted electro soundscape that Riverr offers with this unique journey of a track.

Say Hello To Google's Project Tango! Augmented Reality On The Go

General interest in augmented reality seems to be going through a reinvigorated phase, and It's exciting to say the least. Google's 'Tango' initiative is an experiment in space, depth and motion, and it seems like the company is intending to crowd source the research and see what people come up with. Crowdsourcing has become a very common trend in various industries, including Valve handing out Steamboxes to developers just recently, DARPA outsourcing vehicle design to concept artists and many other initiatives. The end goal of Tango will probably end up as some sort of mobile wearable interface (A guess), which would be a step beyond what the Oculus Rift could do for gaming.

Project Tango is an exploration into giving mobile devices a human-scale understanding of space and motion. What if you never found yourself lost in a new building again? What if directions to a new location didn't stop at the street address? Imagine playing hide-and-seek in your house with your favorite game character. Imagine competing against a friend for control over physical space with your own miniature army.

Feb 20, 2014

Tuzki - Love Assassin

Tuzki is a popular illustrated Chinese rabbit mascot who enjoys the same type of niche popularity as Sanrio's Hello Kitty cast. Created back in 2006, the character became popular over the years in broadcasting, icons for messenger programs and cellphones, as well as various media ranging from comics to animated shorts.

In this latest collaboration with Japanese Studio 4°C, we get to see Tuzki get prompted to kill a mysterious figure with a heart and bazooka in tow. Using a mixture of CG and hand animation, we're given a taste of Tuzki's hatred of ducks and ill fated attempts at romance.

The Art of 'The Last of Us: Left Behind'

'Left Behind' is one of the most memorable, thoroughly exquisite game experiences I've played in a long while. Within two and a half hours, Naughty Dog crafted a beautiful addendum to their latest masterpiece that offered a number of tense, heartfelt moments that fit perfectly in line with the main game without the typical  feeling of contrived DLC scraped together from post-development refuse. If you haven't played it yet, I can't recommend it highly enough. It's not something you want to miss.

Much of what made Left Behind and the original game so appealing was its exceptional art direction, owed in part to the contribution of concept artist John Sweeney. Check out more of his stunning work after the break!

Feb 19, 2014

Dolby Presents "Silent" - A Short Film

Silent is animated short film which created by Moonbot studios, which is a celebration of storytellers, inventors and technological innovation work hand in hand to create magic. Using the character of Mr Morris Lessmore (Star of Moonbot's Oscar winning 2011 short, check it out after the break) alongside a little girl, we witness two street performers stumbling onto something truly magical.

The story follows two street performers who dream of bringing their 'Picture and Sound Show' to life. When they discover a magical contraption inside an old theatre, they embark on a cinematic adventure of sight and sound to find the audience they always wanted.

Guardians Of The Galaxy Trailer

Hey guys, here's a trailer for a comic book movie based off of an obscure Marvel property. Gauging the reaction this trailer got, this movie might also be the equivalent of the second coming of Jesus/Buddha combined (Insert 'my body is ready' jokes here). Warning: Wacky humor, super clever dialogue, excessive sarcasm, aliens, Blue Swede's Ooga Chaka song.

The Supernatural Artwork of Rodrigo Luff

'Jaundice' was the word that came to mind when I first saw 26-year old Rodrigo Luff's stunningly beautiful moleskin portraits.  A graduate of the Julian Ashton Art School, Rodrigo has hosted a number of successful exhibitions both in LA and his native home of Sydney, Australia. His latest series of paintings, Neon Forest, depicts the symbiotic relationship between between beautiful female subjects and the indomitable forces of the natural world. Check out more of Rodrigo's awesome paintings after the break!

Worth Checking Out - Nidhogg

While in the works for a while, Nidhogg recently joined the ranks of Steam titles, introducing this fast paced, side scroller pseudo-fencing game to a more mainstream audience. On the surface it’s a simple tug of war style battle visualized through the use of a barebones pixelated aesthetic. Almost immediately after starting one can begin to see a wealth of depth and options within a limited control scheme.

Players will stab, jump, roll, and disarm their way through each level, seeking to reach the opponent’s side of the map. It really gets interesting trying to predict your rival’s moves as it only takes one hit to be defeated,  respawning after a short period of time to continue your defense or assault.

It’s a unique title that’s just as much a sport as a traditional video game, with plenty of room for players to experiment with different strategies. You’ll want a buddy nearby to enjoy this one properly, but damn is it worth it. The game is available on Steam, so let the tug of war begin.

Feb 18, 2014

Wakfu - Ankama's Awesome Animated Series Making The Jump To English

Woohoo! If you've been following this blog for a while, you've probably heard me lament a few hundred times about the lack of France's Ankama animation never making the jump overseas. Wakfu in particular impressed me with it's fantastic animation quality, stylization (Courtesy of Ankama's Xaxaxa, among others) and popularity in it's home country which we noted during a trip to Paris. That was in 2011.

Fast forward a few years and it seems like Ankama launched a Kickstarter about a month back (Something we missed), which with less than 15 hours to go has blasted through all it's goals, achieving 500% funding (About $360,000). Among the rewards are some amazing art books, Blurays of the first season and more. I'd highly recommend checking it out if you get a chance. Here's to hoping other overseas studios take a similar approach with their franchises.

The Painterly Art Of G. Grossman

Just ran into some truly gorgeous illustration work by G Grossman, who blew me out of the water with her gorgeous watercolor aesthetic and stylized character designs. There's something about her work that reminds me of the art for the older Final Fantasy Tactics, especially with the use of heavy bristol card stock, watercolor paints and gouache.

Stylized yet ornate in just the right places, textured yet not too overly noisy, flowy yet not too liquid..Her work has a nice visual balance to it that I really admire. She's only been active since mid 2013, so this is one artist definitely worth following (Tumblr). Check out more of her beautiful pieces after the break!

Kangaroos Can't Jump Backwards

Ever find yourself in bed with your mind racing at a million miles an hour for some reason? This Rafael Mayrhofer directed short captures that stream of consciousness feel perfectly, with imagery coming in at a machine gun pace, thoughts coagulating, shattering and showing off the potential to head into a million different directions.

I mean it would be nice if we really could grow forever, but what if infinite growth on a finite planet is a fairytale? Maybe it's hard to see if you already grow at such an exhilarating speed. Nonsense facts mixed with history and a political opinion form an abstract narrative on three independent but interwoven levels.

Wind Up Bots

This fun little video by the Argentinian collective called Black Sheep Films (Who also created that fun rollercoaster mashup) features more of their awesome compositing work. Using a mixture of CG and live action, an army of these retro robot constructs seem to descend on the sunny streets of Buenos Aires to wreak some rather harmless havoc. The locals don't seem to mind at all, I don't think I would either. Directed by Fernando Livschitz.

More Awesome Space Shower TV Idents

We're back with some more amazing idents from Japan's Space Shower TV, a channel that I dubbed as a spiritual successor to the 'classic' MTV formula. The channel regularly collaborates with local and international artists to create some truly fun, colorful and out of the box eye candy to show between their musical programming.

Among them we have a fun hybrid of live action and over the top mecha action by indie animator Rapparu (Above), and after the break you can find a glitched out dating sim, live action stop motion, and a sweet light tracing exhibition.

Feb 17, 2014

The Art Of Five Rings

Five Rings (Patrick Awa) is a California born, Tokyo raised illustrator with an awesome illustration style that embraces a 'fluid' mentality. By fluid I mean filled with flowy lines, exaggerated curves and colorful, poppy layouts that reflect a love of comic books and anime.

Patrick's had a chance to work on Disney's Valiant, 9, Tron Uprising, Legend of the Guardians and many other projects over the last few years, although recently he's been sharing a ton more personal work with the world (Which we don't mind at all!). Among some of his awesome fanart pieces you'll find after the break, Ryuko Matoi of Kill La Kill, Kamen Raider, Dracula and other awesome tributes!

Aachi & Ssipak (NSFW)

To put it bluntly, Aachi & Ssipak is f*cking crazy. The South Korean animated film has been available for sometime,and recently picked up by Mondo Media for translation. While it's filled to the brim with juvenile poop jokes, the insanity of it all is hard to look away from. Telling the story of a forsaken clan of juice pop addicts, Aachi & Ssipak is really as silly as you can get when it comes to a plot. 

Over the next 17 weeks, Mondo Media will be releasing a new chapter from the full-length film which can be bought in it's entirety from iTunes, Google Play, and Amazon. To kick things off, Mondo Media has released two episodes in one week, with the second episode available over here. If you're okay with a silly plot that does nothing but smear poop jokes in your face, Aachi & Ssipak is definitely a fun ride that you'll wanna check out.

Worth Checking Out - Samurai Gunn

Samurai Gunn is a fast paced arcade fighting game based around three simple actions: Jump, Shoot, and Slash. It’s simplicity can be deceiving as you start to learn the nuances of traversal, mixing in wall jumping with quick dashes, enabled by precisely timed attacks during the start or end of airtime. There are over a dozen arenas to do battle in, each with their own flavor or gimmick, adding to the replayability of the title as you discover and migrate to new favorites periodically. My favorite in particular is a flat play area that gradually opens up to a floor of spikes as players rack up their kills, turning a harmless arena into a dangerous pit of death.

This game is the epitome of 'screenshots don't do it justice.'
The game is limited to local play and fares best with a couple friends nearby, though it does feature a single player survival mode if you wish to brush up on your skills before taking on real foes once more. Considering that the similarly styled Towerfall has yet to make the jump from the Ouya, let this game tide you over in the meanwhile. The game is available on Steam for $15, and will be making the jump to the Vita and PS4 sometime in 2014.

Feb 16, 2014

The Dazzling Art of Kubo Isako

Kubo Isako is the kind of artist that defies first impressions. What at first look like impeccable black paper, color-penciled sketches are in fact beautifully rendered mixed media illustrations, flushed with a startling contrast of dark backgrounds and neon technicolor. Her technique is reflected in her subject matter, everyday mundanity juxtaposed with spacey whirlwinds of supernatural pallets and delicious confectioneries. Check out more of her beautiful work after the break!

I Don't Even Know Where to Start With "Begin"

This is, without a doubt, one of more bizarre and terrifying 'music videos' I've come across lately. Stranger than Reboot, though not quite Going to the Store. Like something pulled kicking and screaming from the loins of Xavier: Renegade Angel. The most I've been able to gather is that this is the work of a mysterious experimental synth-electronic musician from New York who simply goes by 'Brian.' I wish I had more to go on than that, but this guy seems deliberately defiant to offer any easy explanations for his bizarre shenanigans.

"Jodorowsky's Dune" Trailer

I've always loved documentaries that go into larger than life projects or directions that never came to be. Among a few that come to mind, Lost In La Mancha, which went into Terry Gilliam's attempts to bring a Don Quixote movie to life with Johnny Depp as a lead, as well as the entire saga of The Thief And The Cobbler, which Disney tried to physically destroy before taking the concept an turning it into Aladdin. Jodorowsky's Dune tells the tale of the larger than life attempt by the visionary director, before financial difficulties stunted the project (The movie would be taken over by David Lynch). Of all the film projects that never came to light, this is one crazy project I would have loved to see completed.

The option was then taken over two years later by director Alejandro Jodorowsky, who proceeded to approach, among others, Peter Gabriel, the prog rock groups Pink Floyd and Magma for some of the music, artists H. R. Giger and Jean Giraud for set and character design, Dan O'Bannon for special effects, and Salvador Dalí, Orson Welles, Gloria Swanson and others for the cast.

Frank Herbert traveled to Europe in 1976 to find that $2 million of the $9.5 million budget had already been spent in pre-production, and that Jodorowsky's script would result in a 14-hour movie ("It was the size of a phonebook", Herbert later recalled). Jodorowsky took creative liberties with the source material, but Herbert said that he and Jodorowsky had an amicable relationship. The project ultimately stalled for financial reasons. The film rights lapsed until 1982, when they were purchased by Italian filmmaker Dino DeLaurentiis, who eventually released the 1984 film Dune, directed by David Lynch.

Heart Of Africa

Filmmaker Michael Sugrue put together this beautiful little travelogue encapsulating a trip to Africa. Edited together as a series of abstract vignettes, Heart of Africa is an intimate, colorful look into the brighter side of a turmoil filled region. Musical accompaniment by Mobygratis and Jongnic Bontemps.

This film is an abstract composite of my memories and experiences from a trip to Rwanda and Uganda a couple of years ago. It was nothing at all like what I expected. Amid toil and triumph, this is an incredible part of the world, with amazing people doing incredible things. I hope people consider visiting these two countries.

The Official Lego Ghostbusters Set Incoming

It was just recently announced on Lego Cuusoo, the blog dedicated to user submitted ideas that the Ghostbusters set will be made commercially available soon. Considering that 2014 is the franchises 30th anniversary (The original film was released in 1984), the folks at Lego are fast tracking this set for release in June 2014 as  #21108 LEGO® Ghostbusters™ with a price point of $49.99. Featuring the Ecto-1 and 4 minifigures of Peter Venkman, Ray Stantz, Egon Spengler and  Winston Zeddmore.

During the Cuusoo selection process, it turns out that there were actually two competing Ghostbuster projects at the same time, but Brent Waller's take ended up meeting the Kickstarter style supporter quota that the website employed. When the set comes out, he'll be entitled to 1% of the royalties from the sales of this set. Check out more shots of this set after the break!

This fun and iconic vehicle from the blockbusting ‘80s movie is fully loaded with all the paranormal detection equipment needed to track down those ghastly ghosts. It also features cool Ghostbusters logo decoration, removable roof, tracking computer and seats for 3 minifigures.

Feb 14, 2014

The Art Of Lin Wenjun

Continuing our trend of featuring young Chinese artists who are face meltingly talented, today we present Lin Wenjun (Who goes by 'Junc Art' online), a Shanghai based concept artist and freelance illustrator. Specializing in chaotic, combat filled fantasy illustrations, Lin spends his time doing freelance work for the Japanese Legend of the Cryptids TCG, as well as contributing his talent to various regional MMO's.

No photo bashing or cheap tricks here, Wenjun digitally paints everything by hand and truly pulls off some really cool compositions from piece to piece. If you're interested in checking out some of his process shots, check out his blog over on Sina. More eye candy after the break!

Edgar Wright And The Art of Close-Ups

Slash Film created this really cool interview with Edgar Wright (Director of Shaun of the Dead, Scott Pilgrim Vs The World, Hot Fuzz, The World's End ), which goes into his signature technique of using close ups in his various movies.

Edgar offers some really good insight as to his reasoning behind why he used close ups in fun, unorthodox manners to give his movies some memorable cinematographic flair. Some of his insight is stuff I never noticed, which really has me itching to dust off some DVD's and rewatch his body of work. Following having concluded the Three Flavors Cornetto Trilogy, Mr. Wright is slated to direct the upcoming Marvel  Ant Man feature

This Year's Oscar Nominees - Lego Edition

As the Oscars draw nearer, someone took it upon themselves to turn the entire cast of Best Picture nominated flicks and give them a really well done Lego-fied treatment, and the results are nothing short of amusing. On a side note, I've never had a harder time guessing which movie might be the best overall (although I will be boycotting the Oscars in support of VFX artists this year).

Revel in the strangely calm demeanor of Lego Leonardo Di Caprio as all hell breaks loose behind him in Wolf of Wall Street, look on in horror as Lego Sandra Bullock's Lego helmet is missing it's visor in Gravity, and many others after the break!

Pluto and the Vessel

Stop motion always manages to bring some of the most unnerving imagery, the jittery frame rate and the often abstract art can add a lot to the the content's mood. Harrison Browning's short Pluto and the Vessel does an incredible job at using stop motion imagery to it's full effect. With a feeling very similar to John Carpenter's The Thing, Pluto and the Vessel tells an experimental story of one man's journey into the frigid unknown.

If you're looking for a deep and enthralling story, Pluto and the Vessel probably isn't what you're looking for. Instead the short does an incredible job at setting the tone and running with it, providing a dark and twisted experience. The stop motion in the short is absolutely topnotch, often blowing my mind that it isn't still used in modern blockbusters. \Seriously Hollywood, just look how well this sets the mood hurry up and get on that.

Feb 13, 2014

Everything But The News - A Report From Youtube's Vidcon

This was pretty amusing. PBS representative Jim Lehrer took a long, hard look at the world of Youtube entertainment through some seriously virgin eyes at the Vidcon expo, mainly centered around vloggers and personalities from Google's highly produced channels. Upon discovering a world of self absorbed folks with views in the tens of millions, Lehrer must ultimately make a tough choice: Become part of the jump cut, fast talking, low attention span grabbing crowd. For a PBS produced video, there's a lot of meta humor and self deprecation which makes it a pretty charming, old meets new piece.

Jason Gamber's Disney Constructs

Industrial design mixed with iconic Disney characters, such is the formula of Jason Gamber's distinct art style, which draws from a love of mechanical components, cross contours and crisp line art.

The Oregon based artist gained his love for his diagram-esque love of mechanical complexity in a rather funny manner: Owning cars that were lemons and dysfunctional, which resulted in him spending a lot of time reading through repair manuals. Throughout years of repairs and many unreliable vehicles he gave himself a challenge- Imbue this mechanical language with some emotion and movement, the unlikely beginning of a very unique art style. Check out more of his Disney characters and original pieces after the break!

"Life After Pi" - The Rise And Fall Of The VFX Industry

The 2013 Oscars marked a dark moment in the VFX Industry, when artists were presented with a very strange moment: The Life Of Pi getting an Oscar while Rythm and Hues, the studio behind it's beautiful visuals went into bankruptcy, just one of many VFX house casualties in that short period. At that ceremony an entire group of people who owed their success to these hundreds of hardworking artists took on a dismissive tone. Ang Lee accepted that Oscar and failed to even thank the hundreds of people who made the heavily CG reliant movie possible, which honestly disgusted us to no end.

As Walt Jones, a CG supervisor best put it: It gelled the entire VFX industry into being horrifically pissed off at the way they were being treated. A new documentary will be released in just two weeks time called Life After Pi which is set to be the first chapter of an upcoming feature-length documentary: Hollywood Ending that delves into the larger, complex challenges facing the current US film industry. This year's Oscars will also feature a march of solidarity for these artists, a second plea to Hollywood to not destroy the American VFX Industry in favor of cheap outsourcing. The film will be released on the 25th.


Jeremy Clapin's Palmipedarium is a moody, stylized short about a boy and his encounter with a rather strange duck and a rite of passage as he goes out on a hunting trip with his dad. The short, which has been making the festival rounds this year is based off that thin line we walk between reality and our imagination during childhood. Clapin also directed Skhizein, which won awards at Cannes and Annecy back in 2008 (Check it out after the break).

Simon knows about ducks quite well. They make noise, fly, swim, some even roll. Sometimes, it's a bit confusing and Simon gets lost.

Feb 12, 2014

The Art Of Christian Ward

Christian Ward is a freelance illustrator from London with a knack for graphic style illustration. Bold, complementary color palettes and a penchant for a rather organic feeling vector line quality. It's a distinctly retro approach, drawing inspiration from what appears to be some aspects of the 60's pop art movement as well as 80's era comics.

The illustrator has worked on projects including a Steve McQueen tribute, a comic project called Athena ODC and Dead Cats, an illustration series featuring the same characters presented as parallel universe versions. Check out some samples of Ward's illsutration works after the break!

Flappy Bird By Kud

This is probably the only Flappy Bird related piece of content you'll ever see on our website. Created by Kud and voiced by the folks over at Mega64, it's probably the funnest thing to come out of the media circus that this game has attracted over the last few weeks. Curious about our opinion regarding Flappy Bird? This entire debacle was complete bulls**t. Instead of focusing on social gaming's terrible trend of ripping off and copy pasting the same version of games over and over again, mainstream gaming websites decided to turn the spotlight/internet hate machine on a guy who actually made a fun game on his free time. Does having a Mario themed warp tube in your game warrant death threats and people wanting to ruin you?

Let's not forget that other games have made very obvious references to Mario games. Let's not forget Jonathan Blow's Braid (In general), Muigin and Larion from World of Warcraft, Super Guacamelee's princess quote and this entire list of over 130 games that make direct references to the series. Was it worth dozens of articles damning an indie dev who made a little cellphone app on his free time with elements that paid tribute to his favorite games growing up? I think not, and this is why I personally stopped reading a bunch of gaming sites in the last few weeks as this got blown way out of proportion. In the meanwhile, dozens of unscrupulous fly by night devs are capitalizing on it's unwarranted notoriety to create dozens of clones. Thank you, sh**ty game journalists for pushing yet another developer into darkness.

The Satellite Girl and Milk Cow - A Rather Trippy Animated Feature From Korea

Every once in a while we get a peek at some of the features coming out of the Korean animation market, and I always find myself a little bewildered due to the sheer cultural differences. This Jang Hyung-yun directed feature titles The Sattelite Girl And Milk Cow has some great animation quality (A little reminiscent of Studio Ghibli's house style), and has a story that seems to be inspired by Astro Boy, My Neighbor Totoro and Pinocchio respectively. The story features a satellite who becomes a human, a heartbroken boy that turns into a cow, an angry incinerator, an anthropomorphic toilet paper roll and a human organ trafficker armed with a plunger among it's list of characters..I'm not kidding. After watching the trailer a few times I'm convinced that this is what Hayao Miyazaki's fever dreams are made of.

A pianist-in-training loses his heart and becomes a cow, while, with the help of Merlin (the Wizard, who has taken shape as a role of toilet paper) a satellite felled from the cosmos by a supernova is transformed into a girl. Following a narrow escape from secret agents chasing heartless people, the two mismatched characters draw close.

Well, that sounds absolutely insane. Anyway, there are no current plans for this movie to be distributed in the US just yet. The feature was created by the Korean 'Now Or Never' animation studio, which has been around since 2005.

"Play & Listen To Music" - The Trippiest GIF Remix We've Seen In A While

Created as a musical promo for the collaborative Play & Listen To Gifs website project. The premise is simple, taking existing 80's/90's box art adverts for various toys and boardgames and visually remixing/corrupting them alongside the crunchiest, chippiest Banger tune I've heard in a long ass time.

Curated by Who's Next and directed by Dent De Cuir, I'm guessing that this fun little project might add even more gif remixes as it goes on. As of now the website offers a thanks for checking out the first Listen to Gifs website, which implies that there might be more to come in the near future.

Feb 11, 2014

The Ark Is The Coolest Art Installation You'll See All Week

Each time a piece of 3D projection pops up I have to say it and I'm going to say it again, 3D projection is the coolest.  There's something incredibly mystifying about normal everyday objects given such awesome purpose. The Ark is an installation set up in the Ethnobotanical garden located in Oaxaca, Mexico set up by artists Romain Tardy and Squeaky Lobster. The installation is described as a a three part audio-novel in which the the spectator takes the role of the cameraman, giving viewers the opportunity to create their own unique experience

The smooth ambient track and the beautifully lit cactus sit together hand-in-hand creating an experience unlike any other. It's instances like this that make me wish I had more opportunity to travel, just for the sake of seeing one of a kind pieces like this. Dammit, 3D projection is way too cool.

Out Of Bounds

Out of Bounds tells the tale of a phobia plagued pet owner, and his relationship with his 179th fish, who have all been called Paul. While dealing with a mixture of agoraphobia and a healthy dose of obsessive compulsion, we're given an intimate look at his rather stressful life. However, an unexpected event ultimately tests his love for his fish and leads him to face his deepest fears.

Created by students at the Animation Workshop in Denmark, the short employs a lovely CG style with plenty of painterly elements throughout. Loved the subtlety in storytelling of this short, which kind of reminded me of another Animation Workshop short we featured recently, Unimagined Friends

"Our Robocop Remake" - The Crowdsourced Tribute In It's Full Glory

Just like Star Wars Uncut and various other scene-by-scene fan remakes, the people behind Our Robocop Remake decided to pay tribute to Paul Verhoeven's classic dystopic 1987 feature rife with satirical social commentary. And they timed it just right, releasing it just a few days before the reboot premieries, which from what we're hearing, is already getting slammed with negative reviews and people walking out from screenings. While it's not a shot by shot remake, it definitely follows a scene by scene retelling structure. For a full list of everyone that contributed, see the list here.

Fatal Farm's scene contribution will make you cross your legs and cringe pretty hard.
Our RoboCop Remake is a crowd-sourced film project based on the 1987 Paul Verhoeven classic. We are a group of filmmakers and RoboCop fans who have split the original film into 60 pieces and have remade the movie ourselves. Because if anyone is going to ruin RoboCop, it's us.

Wildstar Flick - Adventures

With the Wildstar beta in full swing and the release date drawing ever nearer, we're still getting some amazing cinematics from the team at Carbine along with additional pieces of the narrative. In Adventures we're introduced to The Caretaker, a digitized creation from the Eldan race - An artifact of a legendary civilization that mysteriously disappeared 1,000 years before the events of Wildstar.

As an originally benevolent figure afflicted by some rather interesting data corruption (His bipolarity kind of reminds me of Hades from Disney's Hercules)- You can just imagine what type of fun twists a character like this might introduce to any quest you might embark on via his simulation programs. Again, I can't stress enough how much I appreciate the folks at Carbine putting so much effort into imbuing each promo video with this much personality. Looking forward to giving the beta a shot! Sign up for access yourself over at the official Wildstar website.

A La Francaise

Set in an alternate reality version of the royal chateau of 1700 Versailles, A La Francaise is a slice of life short about life during the times of Louis XIV. While a court scribe records all the rather strange exploits she observes in this court filled with some rather unique 'bourgeoise' personalities, an unexpected gust of wind ultimately brings everything crashing down. Have to give it to this short for it's really understated narrative style- While it starts off like a seemingly random series of events, things ultimately come together for a grand finale.

Feb 10, 2014

Keep An Eye Out On Adventure Game 'Traverser'

For a game with absolutely zero gameplay, Traverser  has managed to capture my complete attention. The first game by Gatling Goat Studios is jumping on board the adventure game train, and it's full speed ahead with some sexy art and animation. Telling the tale of the female protagonist, Valerie, players will find themselves switching between to worlds to avoid guards. Gravity will apparently play a large role in the game's mechanics, giving each world a different feel.

I'm very rarely a fan of trailers that involve zero gameplay, but for a game early in development with Traverser this trailer has got me hyped. A quick glimpse at the game's art style had me hooked and I'm excited to see how this game progresses. For more information on Gatling Goat Studios, you can click over here to jump over to their website.

The Post Apocalyptic Art Of MarcoDalidingo

MarcoDalidingo is the alias for Marcus Lindgren, an up and coming student studying visual design and game development in Karlshamn, Sweden. As a 21 year old student he's dedicated the last few years of his education going all out in the Photoshop front, experimenting, failing, trying again until a semblance of a personal style began to emerge.

How would I describe his work? A fine mishmash of grungy, post apocalyptic work with some truly nice, painterly brush work that's emerged over time. It's really cool when you can see an artist make major strides in his skill level while browsing his portfolio, and it seems like Marcus has just begun to hit some truly great notes in his work. Keep an eye out for this one, and check out more of his work after the break.

Candice Gordon - "Sound Of Horns"

Directed by Connor Finnegan, this awesome stop motion video for mellow garage rocker Candice Gordon's Sound of Horns follows a strange cotton candy headed protagonist attempting to figure out what the hell happened the night before. Wandering through a strange forest, the pieces begin to come together slowly in between bouts of dejavu and seriously surreal, kaleidoscopic moments.

The track is from Gordon's 'Before the Sunset Ends' debut EP. Check out the making of the music video after the break.

3A's Invincible Iron Man Toys Are Looking Incredible (Wallet Damage Incoming)

Ashley Wood just shared production release photos of 3A's Invincible Iron Man, just the first in an ongoing collaboration with Marvel that will bring us unique takes on characters including Doctor Doom, Ultron, Spiderman, Thor and others over the next few years. Standing at 13.5 inches, the fully posable metal and PVC figure will feature illuminated eyes, chest and palms and ship sometime in Q3 2014.

Taste the limited palette rainbow.
Pricing wise these figures wil run for $220 a pop, with 4 variants- Classic, Silver Centurion, Stealth and the Stark Industries Prototype, which will only be available to members of the 3AA club (A yearly subscription for exclusives and other goodies). If you've got the money to burn, you can get a boxed set featuring all 4 for $800, without needing to be a 3AA member to get the 4th Stark Industries prototype figure.

As a proud owner of a few 3A toys, the craftsmanship on these 'toys' is so high that I prefer to consider them as fine art sculptures. Once you get one you'll never buy another toy again. The item will be available for preorder on February 13th at 9am Hong Kong Time (5pm PST, 7pm CST, 9pm EST) at the newly redesigned Bambaland Store. A boatload of shots from all the different variants after the break!

Game of Thrones Season 4: Fire and Ice Foreshadowing

Even though April 6 is still a ways off,  HBO is taking their hype for the 4th season to 11 with this 15 minutes preview of Game Of Thrones - Ice and Fire. We are presented with teasers of the upcoming chapter, which will mainly feature content from A Storm Of Swords as well as elements from A Feast For Crows and A Dance With Dragons (Books 3, 4, 5 respectively).

Among the preview we are also given a preview of some of the new characters, such as the passionate Oberyn Martell, Prince of Dorne. Following events like the Red Wedding from last season, revenge will be lingering like a heavy fog going forward. Check out some stills from the new season after the break!

Feb 9, 2014

Chromeo - "Come Alive"

Chromeo returns with an amazing new electro funk jam, taking a page out of the amazingly cheesy 1987 movie Mannequin, which revolved around a man falling in love with a magical store mannequin. Starring Toro Y Moi's Chaz Bundick as a janitor and Chromeo's very own Dave 1 as a dreamy mall dweller, they both bust out their best moves on a small armada of truly sexy mannequins who come to life. Tracks don't get much catchier than this.


Living on a on a bridge connecting two worlds, a guardian lives out his days smuggling people across dimensions until a day comes that changes his mind about his own role. I really loved that we were only shown the crossing and never given a glimpse of either world, only a glimpse of the mysteriously masked pilgrims making the solemn crossing.

The subtlety of the storytelling reminded me of the type of short that Studio Ghibli would come up with. This was a graduation short film directed by Jeremie Becquer, Djamel Benannoune, Suheb Zako.