May 31, 2014

The Art Of Ricochet188 - Birth Of A World

One of the coolest things to stumble into in a growing artists gallery is the beginning of a core idea or narrative development driving illustrations. Catching these types of developments early on give us the joy of following an artist as he builds a world, which could at a later point become part of something much bigger. Ricochet188 is one of these artists currently embarking on that journey, with a series of illustrations following an ancient machine waking up for a dormant slumber and embarking on a journey in a dystopian future.

While the narrative is still in flux, with bits and pieces of narrative coming in here and there, pieces being reworked over and over again, the recurrence of certain characters solidifies the fact that certain ideas have taken hold. From what I've understood along the way this mysterious entity, comprised of a strange oily substance encounters a dying female cyborg whom ultimately joins him as part of his journey to discover what happened to the human race that crafted them.

The Turkish illustrator is onto something here, and I'd recommend heading over to his Deviantart page to read up on all his notes and bits of lore regarding this illustration series to get some insight into his thought process. Who knows, if he keeps going this could be the premise of a scifi feature in a matter of years or decades. I kind of wish more artists would take the initiative of trying to create their own worlds, although I do acknowledge that the fear of being derivative and the process of formulating a world is no overnight process. Check out more of Ricochet188's original, and as of  yet unnamed scifi project after the break.

Brain Damage Meets Vibronics - "Sufferation"

Directed by French animator Wasaru, this music video for Sufferation represents a truly interesting attempt at narrating the horrors faced by a forgotten group of soldiers who participated in WWI, with 2014 marking the 100th anniversary of that terrible conflict. Taken from 'Empire Soldiers,' the LP is dedicated to narrating the forgotten stories of the Carribean, African and Indian soldiers who fell during the campaign.

Down to the lyrics, Sufferation offers us a harrowing look into the terror that Sikh soldiers (Dubbed the 'Black Lions' by their British comrades) faced in an attempt to bring peace to embattled Europe. A total of 75,000 Indian troops died during the course of the conflict.

"Song Of The Sea" - A New Animated Feature From Ireland's Cartoon Saloon Studio

Cartoon Saloon is an Academy award nominated studio based out of Kilkenny, Ireland-Best known for their work on The Secret Of Kells, which garnered international acclaim for it's rich art style and mythological narrative. The same director behind Kells, Tom Moore just recently announced Song Of The Sea, which will be a similar romp into an untapped realm of Celtic mythos.

From a first glance the animated feature is looking absolutely beautiful, featuring a slightly different direction from the high stylization present in Secret Of Kells. Their first feature seemed intent on emulating a flat woodcut look in every shot, which was a little hit and miss. Cartoon Saloon seems to be retaining the same look for the characters with Song Of The Sea, but are focusing more on a fairy tale book illustration approach to the rest of the world.

On a fun note, Cartoon Saloon actually released a pretty spot on proof of concept for the movie back in 2009, which was pretty fun to compare to the final look that the studio decided to go with (Above). The movie will be released sometime this year, and we're hoping it gets picked up for wider western distribution rather than limited release, an issue that it's predecessor suffered from.

Song Of The Sea tells the story of Ben and his little sister Saoirse -- the last Seal-child -- who embark on a fantastic journey across a fading world of ancient legend and magic in an attempt to return to their home by the sea. The film takes inspiration from the mythological Selkies of Irish folklore, who live as seals in the sea but become humans on land. 

May 30, 2014

Danger - "1:30"

Franck Rivoire, aka Danger just dropped his humorously titled latest EP, 'July 2013' a few days ago, retaining the same distinct naming structure that's defined him in the scene. Four tracks, four distinct time stamps as titles and a varied array of soundscapes we've come to expect from the French artist, who gives off a similar vibe as Kavinsky with his persona.

In 1:30 we witness the birth of Danger's machine persona in a factory in an intricate assembly sequence that ends with his awakening. I'm king of hoping this is the beginning of a narrative that will span many music videos to come. Stay tuned for more Danger.

The Art Of Rakuchi

Rakuchi is a Japanese hobbyist and illustrator with a bright, poppy colorful style that fits perfectly with the onset of summer. Backdrops of rich blues, warm oranges and more pop his characters off the canvas they're rendered on, giving his vibrant pieces a pleasant aura that we couldn't get enough of. This usage of ultra saturated elements has been very popular with a growing generation of young illustrators on Tumblr especially, who've been incorporating these unorthodox stylistic flairs based off of higher accessibility to websites like Pixiv.

The artist also does enough things different to differentiate his anime aesthetics from most of the crowd, with wild compositions and a great sense of movement to his work. You can check out more of Rakuchi's portfolio after the break.

"The Book Of Life" - Life, Death And Guillermo Del Toro's First Foray Into Animated Features

Interesting. It seems like 2014 and 2015 are years dedicated to La Dia De Los Muertos, with both Fox Animation and Disney/Pixar attempting to take a stab at the Mexican holiday celebrating those who have passed. Disney recently hit a negative PR road block by attempting to actually copyright the phrase 'Dia De Los Muertos,' which drew international ire in their direction for their 2015 feature. That aside, from a visual standpoint The Book Of Life is looking beautiful, drawing from the colorful folk art that's prevalent during the festivals.

My only concern comes from the indications that there will be plenty of pop music covers present throughout the movie- but hopefully those won't detract from the absolutely gorgeous visual style that director Jorge Gutierrez and producer Guillermo Del Toro crafted up for the upcoming feature. During protagonist Manolo's adventures, he'll end up visiting a total of three worlds: The land of the dead, the land of the remembered, and the land of the forgotten. Looking forward to getting engrossed in all three worlds come October 17.

The Book of Life is the journey of Manolo, a young man who is torn between fulfilling the expectations of his family and following his heart. Before choosing which path to follow, he embarks on an incredible adventure that spans three fantastical worlds where he must face his greatest fears. Rich with a fresh take on pop music favorites, The Book of Life, encourages us to celebrate the past while looking forward to the future.

Plaid - Wallet

For those in need of a Friday morning chill session plug in your headphones, full screen this video and relax to the newest single by Plaid. With an overwhelming sense of soothing nostalgia, Wallet holds a similar feeling that many of the tracks Boards of Canada produces while still maintaining it's own sound. Plaid, like many Warp Record artists, does an excellent job at pushing the boundaries of their sound, continuously changing style and evolving electronic music in all the right ways.

If you get a chance and dig the tunes, I suggest giving the entire album Reachy Prints a go. It holds the same feeling of nostalgia as Wallet, it's pretty damn radical!

May 29, 2014

Guillermo Del Toro Presents "The Strain"

Following an impressive pilot, the decision was made to expand Guillermo Del Toro and Chuck Hogan's The Strain into a full season, finally bringing Guillermo's original vision for this franchise to reality. While Del Toro had originally envisioned this vampire horror series as a TV his initial attempts to find a party interested were unsuccessful, resulting in novelizations and comic book adaptations between 2009-2011 that eventually piqued the interest of FX.

The Strain offers an unorthodox take on vampire mythos, treating the symptoms of vampirism as a contagious, parasitic virus that originates on a Boeing 777 and ultimately spills out into the streets of New York. And these vampires are nothing like what we're accustomed to, with giant retractable stingers reminiscent of the Plaga monsters from the later Resident Evil installments. Following rave reviews of the pilot, which was directed by Del Toro the series was expanded into a full 13 episode season that will premiere July 13 on FX. Something to look forward to.

The Strain is a thriller that tells the story of Dr. Ephraim Goodweather (Corey Stoll), the head of the Center for Disease Control Canary Team in New York City. He and his team are called upon to investigate a mysterious viral outbreak with hallmarks of an ancient and evil strain of vampirism. As the strain spreads, Eph, his team, and an assembly of everyday New Yorkers, wage war for the fate of humanity itself.

The Art Of Svjeeta

Svjeeta (Jiří Světinský) is a professional concept artist hailing from the Czech republic, where he currently enjoys working as a freelancer for Volta, one of the biggest concept art outsourcing houses in the world. As both a concept artist and modeler, Jiří originally worked at 2K Czech, Warhorse gaming and Kuju where he created titles including the latest installments of Silent Hill, Mafia and Top Spin franchises before moving on to Volta. 

Employing a painterly brush stroke style to his work, most of his pieces possess a pleasant traditional style that I really enjoyed. Despite using some photobashing throughout some of his pieces, he does use the technique in a way that's secondary to painting, effectively masking the source material in a non-distracting way. Check out more of Svjeeta's concept art and illustration goodies after the break.


Looking at these stars suddenly dwarfed my own troubles and all the gravities of terrestrial life. I thought of their unfathomable distance, and the slow inevitable drift of their movements out of the unknown past into the unknown future.

-H. G. Wells, 1895

May 28, 2014

Röyksopp & Robyn Glitch Out With "Sayit"

Scandinavian electro outfit Royksopp and synthpop mistress Robyn just dropped Sayit, as part of their five song mini album collaboration called 'Do It Again.' Starting off as a pulsating, muffled track Sayit eventually transitions into delirious house coupled with an amazing glitch/corrupted visual accompaniemnt that's hard to look away from. The speak and spell vocals mixed with Robyn's very own smooth vocal accompaniment create an unsettling narrative about an unlikely love connection.

As the visual corruption builds up to a fever pitch, everything eventually ends with a visual bang of melting characters and pixelated dissonance. While the music video was directed by Sandberg & Timonen and Kacper Kasprzyk, Sayit is what I'd like to imagine Suda51 would come up with if he was tasked with creating a music video for a client.

Sci-fi Weapons - Aftereffects Tinkering At It's Best

If this doesn't make you want to pick up a copy and tinker with After Effects, I don't know what will. Created by Andrew Kramer, the entire showcase was created using a nerf gun, some black matte spray paint, a green screen, post processing and a healthy sound effect library. The result? A nearly endless showcase of scifi firing modes. Andrew Kramer is part of Video Copilot, which is a really cool resource of Aftereffects tutorials and 3D materials.

Robo Reminder: 7 Days Remain To Kickstart OMOCAT's OMORI

It's been a little over a month since OMOCAT began her Kickstarter campaign for OMORI, and after the massive response from the internet her dream game has accrued over 4x the initial goal. OMOCAT's initial goal and a slew of other stretch goals may have been met!

Still, while the game has been fully funded seven whole days remain! That means you have no reason not to hop on board and get this game to the moon and back.
With the low stretchgoal of $180,000, we can help get OMORI onto the 3DS, something that would end up being me and many other's platform of choice for the Horror RPG. If you've been on the fence about donating now is the perfect time to give the game the final boost it needs. You can Kickstart OMORI over here.

Project 2501: An Incredible Homage To "Ghost In The Shell"

Illustration juggernaut Ash Thorp finally unveiled Project 2501, a tribute to Mamoru Oshii's groundbreaking 1995 adaptation of Shirow Masamune's classic cyberpunk manga. Project 2501 being a reference to the original antagonist of Ghost In The Shell, an aggressive artifical AI that escapes the confines of the bureau that created it, Section 6. While the project began as a visual tribute by Ash Thorp to some of the iconic imagery present in the timeless opening of the 1995 feature, his take ultimately attracted a worlwide collective of artists from various mediums eager to contribute to what a remake of the movie would look like.

While I must admit that I was expecting an actual CG rendered remake of the 'creation,' opening due to the way it was teased- It turns out that Ash and his team actually did an entire series of visual pre-production pieces instead. Proof of concept shots, CG renders, posters with an intent focus on the iconic opening sequence of the 1995 film. In this groundbreaking sequence, we witness Colonel Motoko being created to a haunting accompaniment of a vocal track featuring the ancient Japanese Yamato language (View below).

What Ash Thorp and his team did was really awesome, creating a series of tribute images as to what a 'respectful' western adaptation of the movie might look like. I absolutely loved looking through all the imagery created by the likes of Thorp, Furio Tedeschi, Maciej Kujiara and many other talented artists. Here's to hoping they find a way to actually recreate the entire sequence via crowdfunding, or expand this tribute project into something much larger sometime soon. You can check out a collection of stills and illustrations from the project after the break.

A respectful homage to Shirow Masamune’s manga and Mamoru Oshii’s seminal film Ghost in the Shell, this is a modernized direction that still tries to stays true to the original creator’s vision. What started as a photo tribute directed by Ash Thorp and Tim Tadder (photography), soon became a worldwide collaboration of more than 20 artists from around the world, with each and everyone coming together to help breath life into the project, resulting in the artistic interpretation you see below.

May 27, 2014

"Manners In Public" - A Korean Action Manner Short

Dubbed as a 'subway action short' by Korean director Han-Jae Park, Manners In Public is an action packed short about an eye patch donning bear losing his cool during a train commute filled with some rather rude patrons. A pig playing his videogame at unbearable volume levels, a kid picking his nose and taking pictures of anyone nearby, a rabbit lady gabbing away on her phone at ear splitting levels.

When his attempts to sleep are disturbed and the polite route draws no results, we're treated to a pretty epic subway beatdown. Park successfully channeled the types of annoyances that are commonplace with anyone used to public transport, although beating obnoxious people up is typically something we fantasize about rather than acting on it. Mind your manners, folks.

"Plants" - A Stop Motion Tribute To Nature

Directed and edited by Kelli Anderson and Daniel Dunnam, Plants is a stop motion short about the types of cycles occurring in nature that keep forests alive and going. Created for an app by Tinybop, Plants helps kids understand that the forest is a system-, making nature’s cause-and-effect patterns well known through a sandbox like game.

The stop motion promo for Plants took a few months with a very analog style approach to stop motion, taking over 6,000 photographs to complete. The entire set and characters were cut and fashioned entirely out of paper: 400 tiny leaves, 500 blades of grass, and 25 squirrels. If you get Wes Anderson/Fantastic Mr Fox vibes, I think it was the type of aesthetic they were going for. Check out the making of Plants after the break.

Wayne The Stegosaurus

Poor Wayne. So incredibly charming and pink, but filled with such a strange, deluded sense of the world that's it's kind of endearing. Animated by Aran Quinn with co-direction by Jeffrey dates, Wayne was inspired by a poem by Kenn Nesbitt, which is narrated throughout the short.

Absolutely loved the style of the short, which seems to be a mix of CG and hand animation with some really playful shaders that make Wayne look like he was filled in with a crude painted style for each frame. The birds were animated in Flash, while Wayne was created using a mix of XSI, Maya and Zbrush.

May 25, 2014

Making Of "The Verge" - An Epic Scifi Concept Piece

In order to celebrate the launch of Lightfarm's 3rd studio based in Rio De Janeiro, the group created a timelapse of a massive scale, planetary sci-fi painting using just a few of the techniques that the group has up their sleeves. Ranging from CG creation to extensive matte painting, the video offers a really awesome in depth look at every step of the process. If you're a concept art especially, you might pick up on a few tricks while watching this video.

The entire project was inspired by a concept piece by Andre Freitas called Rama and the Monolith, which you can check out after the break alongside the final version and a few gorgeous stills from the making of process.

Max Cooper - "Supine"

Shot through a series of broken mirrors, the Tom Geraedts directed track for Max Cooper's soothing, glitchy track Supine is a wonderful exploration of projected, pulsating imagery as seen through a reflection. Each shard imbued with it's own unique shape and way of reflecting imagery, the overall aesthetic is strangely mesmerizing, and takes your mind off the millenia of bad luck the crew probably brought upon themselves by smashing an incredible amount of mirrors.

Music video for Max cooper about the nature of complexity. And also the beauty that comes with increased complexity in our lives. Evolution has always been about increasing detail, variation and resolution of life. This refinement of life is something truly miraculous. The video has been shot through the reflecting light of countless mirrors.

"Monkey Rag" - An Incredibly Catchy Animated Short By Joanna Davidovich

Monkey Rag is a charming old school animation featuring the music of the now defunct Asylum Street Spankers band, an Austin based progressive folk/ragtime group that dissolved in 2011. Created by Joanna Davidovich using nothing but hand animation and a copy of Toon Boom over the course of countless evenings and weekends, this short was a labor of love to say the least.

The style she employed has a semblance to a progressive version of a Hanna Barbera cartoon with plenty of modern touches, evoking the same type of vibe as the retro-contemporary folk music that it was created to accompany. Davidovich mentioned that despite using plenty of digital animation tools at her day job, she felt inclined to go old school with this one to capture a certain feel that she rarely got from her digital work.

Over the course of production (Which lasted a total of four  years) Joanna collaborated with Nate Foster and Darren Tate to take care of the compositing and coloring process respectively. You can check out the humorously made making of reel after the break! There's no better feeling than doing personal work when you get a chance.

May 24, 2014

The Art Of Milky Liu

Milky Liu (Aka Liu Naizhong) is a certified fresh™ 26 year old concept artist and illustrator hailing from China. Whenever we're hunting for artists abroad, one of the coolest things to run into is artists with a definite artistic interest in what's across the pond. Liu fits that bill, with plenty of awesome art dedicated to western movies, comics and more (He's definitely a DC fanboy).

Stylistically I just really loved his loose, line art based approach to his work. Instead of opting for a very tight, refined style Liu really enjoys keeping his work rough, which gives his pieces a certain sense of movement and energy that is always more subdued in vector traced, squeaky clean illustrations. Instead of erasing out those mistakes and smudges, he incorporates them into the entire aesthetic of his pieces, which is really refreshing. More of Milky's awesome work after the break!

Motion Poems - "Working Order"

Created by Gentleman Scholar, Working Order is a visual adaptation of Dora Malech's poem by the same name. Using some truly creative shader work over CG models, the team at Gentleman Scholar managed to emulate a really amazing hand painted look to all the frames that's nothing short of stunning. If you guys recall, Capcom used a similar technique in their 'Ink' videos to promote Street Fighter IV back in the day.

Basement Jaxx - "Unicorn"

It's been over five years since British dance duo Basement Jaxx have made any moves in the electro scene, but they're set to change that this year with their upcoming album 'Junto,' due late August. As part of the promo creep they've just released this colorful music video for Unicorn, which was concepted and animated by animator Tomek Ducki.

To accompany the distinctly retro tinged EDM track, Unicorn features a dancing unicorn leading a veritable army of colorful, neon dancers to the beat. The entire sound of this track seems like a throwback to early 90's house music created by the likes of Bizarre Inc.

"Chinti" - An Animated Short Made Entirely Out Of...Tea?

We've seen creative applications of materials for stop motion shorts in our time, but Chinti is entirely on another level with it's creative usage of tea leaves as it's primary medium. The stop motion short was created by Natalia Mirzoyan, and narrates the story of a weakling ant who finds true inspiration from a random scrap of paper that happens to fly it's way with an image of the Taj Mahal on it.

Conflicted between it's duty to it's colony and it's dreams of heading somewhere new, the ant eventually chooses to lives a life of struggle, hoping to find a way to bring this dream land to life. Unbeknownst to him, the and doesn't realize that his dream land might be closer than he originally thought.

I honestly have no idea how Natalia pulled this off with the medium she chose, but Chinti turned out absolutely beautiful, garnering selections and wins at over 50 international animation festivals. The narrative itself was also really nicely paced, efficiently narrating the everyday of struggle of helping a dream come to fruition.

"Phone Home" - An Awkward Interplanetary Exchange

The Brothers McLeod animated this silly little short about the first phone call from Mars by an astronaut called Jeff. To his chagrin though, his wife displays the type of enthusiasm typically reserved for occasions like watching paint dry, followed by a twist that could only be delivered with millions of miles of distance between two people. Enjoy the most dysfunctional display of interplanetary communication ever animated.

May 23, 2014


Created at New York's School of Visual Arts (SVA), Nexus is an absolutely stunning exploration into the most basic relationship present in the animal kingdom: Predator and prey. Directed by Ho Kwan Au & Briana Franceschini along with a dedicated team of animators, compositors, matte painters and more, the team delivered a cinematic quality production about a nocturnal confrontation between a salamander and a bat.

Absolutely loved the very ethereal sound treatment and the top notch attention to shader work and lighting, which were executed at a quality level we're quite unaccustomed to seeing from student work. You can literally feel the texture of the salamander's moist but heavily textured skin, and the translucency present in the bat's wings was executed in a very convincing way as well.  The molecular sequence that occurred at the end was pretty spectacular too. Amazing work!

"Another World" - An Incredible Cinematic Tribute To The Classic Scifi Videogame

A group of dedicated fans from Poland recently set out to recreate the opening of Another World, a classic 1991 adventure title by Delphine software that was revolutionary at it's time for the usage of rotoscoped graphics. Even as a kid I remember the title was mind blowingly fluid and cinematic for it's time, even more so with it's follow up called Flashback.

The recreated intro follows the protagonist, genius physicist Lester Knight Chaykin heading out to his underground lab in a sleek Ferrari 288 GTO during a thunderstorm to work on a top secret experiment. While attempt to reconstruct what happened when the universe was born with a particle accelerator, lightning strikes and sends Lester hurtling into an alien world where his adventure begins.

The team did a stellar job recreating the intro (Compare it to the DOS-riffic original below), and are actually hoping to perhaps get a Kickstarter going to adapt a longer form, 15-30 minute version of Another World with the techniques they learned from this project.

Handmade in Poland! Over 800h of work, months of preparation, 5 shooting days, weeks of postproduction, countless hours spent on building movie props and set pieces.

Another World aka Project 23 emerged a few months ago as an idea for a short film inspired by a well-known game Another World . Initialy it was planned as a short promo video for the Pixel Heaven 2014 event, but during months of preparation it became clear that it will be something much bigger.

The Art Of Guillaume Singelin

Guillaume Singelin has been at it for a while on Tumblr, curating his 'Black Junk Gallery' as an outlet of his more personal work. The bande-desinee artist has been publishing various comics with French publisher Ankama since 2009 or so, including works like Doggy Bag and The Grocery. Singelin's work reminds me of the same level of stylization present in the likes of Zac Gorman and Bryan O' Malley (Of Scott Pilgrim fame), who both developed a style with inspiration like Akira Toriyama and Otomo lingering in their creative subconscious.

Within his portfolio of personal pieces it's easy to see ideas for future projects taking shape, including the one eyed femme mercenary that's been present in a lot of his recent illustrations. Check out more ork by Guillaume after the break, and keep an eye out on his Tumblr for a healthy stream of regular updates.

Mike Diva's Cyborg Beatdown; A Wach_Dogs Live Action Short

It's been a minute since we've gotten a healthy dose of Mike Diva's insanity, and while I admit to being a bit harsh on some of his recent videos Cyborg Beatdown shows an awesome transition in his career. Don't worry, Mike Diva's signature style is still intact (neon colors, electronic music, fast moving action, and more neon colors), but his direction seems to much more refined with a little less ADHD (not that I want that to disappear).

Yes, this an advert for Watch_Dogs, and yes I may have lost any interest in this game I once had during it's initial announcement, but it's such a pretty short that it doesn't matter. If the recent gameplay videos weren't such a bore, this would get me over-the-top hyped. Instead I'll enjoy this on it's own.

May 22, 2014

Disney's "Big Hero 6" Looks Awesome

Disney has really been stepping their game up with the likes of Wreck it Ralph and Frozen (a movie which I admit I still haven't seen). With the announcement of Big Hero 6 last year, I have been eagerly awaiting to see what the Marvel inspired movie had in store for us. The trailer may be relatively short on any actual action, but it does an awesome job at setting a tone and it has got me hyped.

Big Hero 6's premise is relatively unknown (at least in terms of it following the comics or not), but we do know the story is set in the fictional city of San Fransokyo, revolving around the young Hiro Hamada who's robot, Baymax, joins a team of crime fighters. I can only assume the team consists of the remaining members of the original Big Hero 6 cast.

Despite the direct correlation with the original comic, I actually felt the trailer gave off more of an early Super Robot genre (Astroboy/Tetsujin 28-go) vibe. I'm completely okay with this. The movie may not be a complete retelling of the original Big Hero 6, but it seems to be taking enough inspiration to make fans of the original happy (at least that's what Disney seems to banking on). Until we get more content revolving around the remaining characters I'll happily watch this movie just for Braymax.

Vitamina T - A Colorful Look Into Mexico's Vibrant Food Scene

There's nothing better than a taco when the hunger pangs strike, and Vitamina T is an absolutely delicious look into the world of the Mesamerican street food festival, an event that takes place annually in Mexico City during May.

Colorful, eclectic and filled with flavors for any palate imaginable, we're offered a look at the festival from the break of dawn till the late hours of night. In between those hours we witness the preparation and consumption of an incredible line up of local specialties ranging from tacos, tortas, tamalaes, tlacoyos and everything in between. In a humorous break amidst all the amazing imagery, we even get to see a squirrel enjoying a snack during the day.

Director Nanda Fernandez Berdillard did an incredible job capturing the essence of the colorful city, and it's gastronomical tendencies. I'd skip this one if you're currently hungry, it'll make things a lot worse.

Anatomy Of Desire (NSFW)

Claire Dejoe's Anatomie du Désir (Anatomy of Desire) goes into the dilemma of a voluptuous vixen, who finds herself spoiled for choice amid a sea of hapless men. Dejoe employed a really cool low-poly look alongside an animation style resembling crude stop motion, and the result is pretty intriguing to look at. The end result is pretty hilarious.

My first short film, directed alone in six months, during my 4th year at Supinfocom/Valenciennes!
Barbie & Ken are made for each other... Unfortunately, this eternal love depends only on the fact that there's only one Barbie and one Ken. And if we multiply Ken, things become complicated.

May 21, 2014

Flakonkishochki feat Mumiy Troll - "It Seems"

While most foreign music videos are limited in their broader appeal thanks to the presence of that ever present language barrier, we occasionally stumble into gems that make up for that with amazing visuals. This music video is for Mumiy Troll, a Russian alt-rock band that's been around since 1983 with their unique brand of melodic 'pop rock,' that's relatively famous in Japan, China and Europe.

For this latest music video Mumiy Troll also collaborated with an amazing Russian artist called Andrey Flakonkichochki, who has an amazing style that I'd sum up as a mix of pop art and surrealism with influences from the ever growing visual glitch scene. His portfolio is an absolute trip and overflowing with amazing work, so I'd highly recommend checking it out.

The music video itself features a very cheerful young girl embarking on a train ride that turns into a seriously trippy inter-dimensional adventure with each car having it's own bizarre theme. Things progressively get more and more bizarre until the girl finds what she's looking for. Loved it.

The Illustrations Of Deshi Deng

Ontario based illustrator Deshi Deng is currently still attending school at the Ontario College of Art & Design (OCAD), but she had me fooled with her professional quality editorial illustration work. As a fourth year student edging ever closer to that graduation date her portfolio has a great sense of variety to it, ranging from editorial work to children's book illustrations and the occasional comic or two.

As with any good editorial illustrator worth their salt out there, the key is to sum up a topic in just one image to the reader. Deng's images are very successful in this regard, offering (Even without context) a general idea of what topic her images pertain to. Deng has all the makings of a very promising illustrator, so be sure to follow her journey via her public Facebook page. More of her work after the break.

Paul Robertson's Bubble Bobble Themed Tribute To Everything (And More Goodies)

Now that Mercenary Kings is finally out and doing great, Aussie pixel pseudo-god Paul Robertson has gone back to making regular posts on his Tumblr. His latest post features his heartfelt tribute to the first arcade game he ever laid eyes on, the classic Bubble Bobble by Taito. Channeling his inner child, he crafted over 100 Bubble Bobble-ified takes on chracters from every pop culture corner conceivable, ranging from anime, 90's cartoons, videogames and beyond.

Robertson has also been up to some really amazing pixel gif creations, which you can check out after the break. And as a secondary reminder, Mercenary Kings is the gaming equivalent of Metal Slug and Borderlands having a beautiful pixelated baby, and I personally can't get enough of it. Pick it up on PS4 or PC.

Bubble Bobble was the first game I ever played in the arcades and it pretty much decided what my career was going to be. So I thought I’d try out some Taito inspired characters. There’s 100 all up 

House Matters

House Matters is a short animation about a matter currently affecting his homeland of Spain, an issue that's been prevalent for hundreds of years now. The desire of the majority of Catalonia, including it's capital of Barcelona (Currently a part of Spain) to become independent from Spain as a whole. Featuring two titan forces standing on top of their respective countries, their pushing match eventually lands them both in a wet situation.

Animated by Alberto Mielgo, an amazing illustrator and animator who's worked on projects including Tron Uprising, Harry Potter, The Corpse Bride and more, as well as providing his hand to videogame projects including a few installments of the Rock Band franchise. You can check out his recently released reel after the break.


Jake Fried has boggled our minds before with his additive 'animations,' a process of continuing to add to one base image and taking picture of every layer added on top. Coupled with the dissonant ambient sound treatment always present in his videos, the result is consistently unsettling. The creation of each of his retro-futurist flip books is comprised of around anywhere from 1000-1500 iterations of each painting and take around 4-5 months to complete.

Headspace was executed using ink, gouache, coffee and white out to deliver the final result while under the fine influence of musicians including Flying Lotus and Nicholas Jaar. Enjoy the trip.

Die Antwoord - "Pitbull Terrier"

Pitbull Terrier has all the stylings of a bizarre underground B-movie flick, but we've come to expect nothing less from the South African zef duo. Their latest music video drop features frontman Ninja donning a rather grotesque pitbull mask and chasing down a series of cat girls until getting confronted by an ethereal looking Yolandi Visser, who puts him in his place before resurrecting him with her own very unique form of medicine.

With copious amounts of blood, saliva and that always unfamiliar South African backdrop, Die Antwoord delivers yet another copiously bizarre visual accompaniment to their already insane library. The track is taken from their 'Donker Mag' album, which will be dropping on June 3rd.

May 20, 2014

The Art Of Zoonoid Redux

I just love Zoonoid's work. A relatively low profile artist hailing from Russia, Konstantin Maystrenko has been on a freelance path for close to 3 years following a stint at the countries Blizzard equivalent, Nival Online. And he's taking advantage of all that free time by pumping out amazing work and improving piece by piece, no question about it. After all this time of curating art posts on AwesomeRobo I'm genuinely curious about the Russian art education system and the colleges concept artists attend to get into the career path, because the artists there truly have a little something 'extra' from the get go.

I attribute it to a heavy fine art focus before even touching the stylus, because the design decisions and color understanding (He's up there with Zedig) present in someone like Zoonoid's character designs are just stellar. Mix that fine art aesthetic with the tastes of a modern concept artist, and you get one heck of a great combination.

Konstantin has been on a character concept artists path, and hasn't strayed from that path since he began. While most of his initial designs when he started posting online were really cool scifi/anthropomorphic blends, he's been venturing off in different directions as of late with excellent results. Bizarre alien entities packing heat, sentient and ornate golems, flora gone amok and mercenaries with a soft side, his designs show a great level of creativity with some excellent, tight technical execution. Check out more of his awesome character designs after the break.

"Rigor Mortis" - A Hong Kong Horror Movie To Get Excited About

I think most people would agree that western horror has been failing for decades now, having lost sight of what actually makes a movie scary (With a few exceptions). What is defined as 'horror' these days involves movies that are filled with cheap 'startle' scares and recycled concepts that come out during Halloween to turn a quick buck. As a result I've found myself looking abroad for something fresh, and Hong Kong seems intent on delivering that with Rigor Mortis by fledgling director Juno Mak.

While the trailer is filled with tropes we've been accustomed to, I have to say that the 'cultural horror' aspect of the film might be a draw. Within a two minute trailer we're given a glimpse into Chinese ghost and vampire (Jiangshi) mythology, which are miles away from the ones that we've grown accustomed to in the west. This comes from Mak's wish to resurrect a dormant genre of Hong Kong horror that was prevalent in the 80's and 90's with franchises like Mr Vampire, that were incredibly popular at the time.

Aside from the stellar box office numbers abroad, the movie seemed to get quite a warm reception at the various festivals it was screened at internationally (Tokyo, London, Toronto and others), so we're genuinely excited about catching a screening when the movie premieres in the US on June 6.

"Butts" - Aka Animated Short Of The Century

Having a bad week? Let Butts take any notion of negativity or bad vibes in your head and chuck them into a blast furnace. Despite it's not so serious name, this animated short by Tyler Hurd delves into some very profound issues about making a difference, however you can. The animation style employed might be worth an in depth analysis in itself, but I'll leave it up to you guys to judge it for yourself. Words fail me.

'BUTTS' is a  3D animated cartoon about anxiety, depression, and lending a hand to those in need. Perhaps the most important film of the decade, 'BUTTS' is a reminder that no matter how strange something may seem, people can still make a difference in their own unique and beautiful way.

"On Your Mark" - A Look At Hayao Miyazaki's Venture Into Music Videos

Even the likes of Hayao Miyazaki ventured into music video making at some point, sowe're glad to have finally found a high quality version of his animated music video for On Your Mark to share with you guys. Created in 1995 as an animated accompaniment to the Japanese rock single by Chage & Ashka, On Your Mark represented a side project that came at an opportune time for Miyazaki, who was dealing with a serious case of writer's block during the writing phase of Princess Mononoke.

A curious aspect about this music video had to do with the lyrics of the song, which Miyazaki intentionally misinterpreted as an opportunity to share his lingering opinions about the 1986 Chernobyl disaster. We're clued into this at the beginning of the music video, a pristine outdoor scene until we notice passengers driving through the countryside in a protective vehicle with a nuclear symbol on it and a structure resembling the infamous Chernobyl 'Sarcophagus' (The makeshift protective casing built to contain the radiation) in the background. Eventually we transition into a futuristic subterranean city where humanity now resides.

The duration of the music video is non-linear, presenting us with multiple reiterative scenes to depict the plot. The story follows two policemen tasked with raiding a religious cult, only to find an angelic being held within it's premises. When she's taken away by a group of mysterious men, the two friends eventually hatch a plan to free her once and for all..on the surface. In the grand finale, which is hinted at towards the beginning of the music video the police men eventually exit into the dangerously irradiated outside world to give this angel a fresh start, perhaps at the cost of their own lives. We're left to wonder what their fate is.

Regarding the production of On Your Mark, Miyazaki was fortunate enough to use this side project as a chance to get experimental and incorporate computer animation techniques into the traditional hand drawn cell process, which he would eventually incorporate into the Princess Mononoke pipeline at a later point. It's cool to think that something as inopportune as writer's block would eventually contribute to helping Miyazaki improve one of the studio's most epic animated films, but it's the beauty of the artistic learning process. Taking your eyes off a project that you've been focusing too much on for a wheel can typically be the remedy to any roadblock you might encounter. Loved the message of the music video as well.


Following a format very similar to Aardman animation's Creature Comforts, which used claymation to give an animated face to people being interviewed about everyday subjects, Food talks about everyone's favorite meals. In it, the subjects answering the questions are actually represented by various food objects, which are given a similar stop motion animation treatment.

Ranging from vegetarians to some seriously dedicated carnivores, Food offers us the perspectives of a wide variety of eaters from around the world. Created by Siqi Song, a student currently enrolled in the experimental animation program at Calarts.

"A Dangerous Journey" - Heart Of Darkness

A Dangerous Journey is a sobering retelling of the ways two young African women were coerced into human trafficking circles without their knowledge. Using animated sequences to retell the ways they were deceived by people who seemed to have nothing but their best interests in mind, it's a cautionary tale about thinking twice when an offer simply seems too good to be true. Created by Animage films, A Dangerous Journey has been screened around the world in a PSA format to educate people as to the true intentions of certain individuals.

May 19, 2014

"VIRTUS" - Hong Kong Takes A Stab At Scifi

Hong Kong based FX house Fat Face seems intent to throw their hat into the independent scifi project with VIRTUS, a proof of concept film that might become a reality relatively soon. It's a rare treat to see scifi projects emerging from Chinese territories, which seem to be more enamored with exporting historical and fantasy projects abroad more than anything.

With the small taste that the trailer seems to offer, we're given a glimpse of what appears to be a heavy duty factory robot going berserk, at which point a special squad is sent in to take care of the issue. The quality of the visuals in the trailer was cinematic and impressive, and after looking at the robot designs it became pretty clear that they probably came from the mind of one of China's most influential concept artists.

Ulrich Forman - "I Got You"

Fantastic gem of a music video directed by the Parisian duo Garnier/LeGallo , who executed a truly unique vision for alt rocker Ulrich Foreman. The entire short has a strangely awkward, yet charming stop motion style to it, which was accomplished in a surprising manner according to Nicholas Garnier.

While most people would call this style a 'Matrix effect' with a bunch of cameras capturing a performer standing still to allow a rotating view of a frozen performer, they were able to emulate the same effect using one camera, Ulrich standing still and shooting at 12fps with plenty of post work to create those cool transitions in the music video. Would have never guessed unless the directors actually disclosed it themselves. Very cool execution.

The Art Of Toshiaki Takayama

Toshiaki Takayama has been making waves for a while both in his native country and abroad with his awesome art, which has graced promotional materials for anime, various card games, arcade titles and console games for the likes of Konami and beyond. Aside from his wonderfully chunky mecha illustrations, which always have a nice sense of atmosphere and scale to them Toshiaki is incredibly versatile in his subject matter, creating pieces that range from scifi to fantasy, and even combos like his untitled mecha-knight piece above.

All of his pieces have a great sense of movement and calculated flow to them, while also making great usage of secondary elements like saturation to control where the viewers eyes land on his compositions. Considering the sheer amount of work he's pumped out over the years I'm not the least bit surprised at his ever improving skills as an illustrator. Check out just a small sampling of his work after the break. Minor nudity warning for those concerned.

Bord De Mer - Some Boys Just Like To See The World On Fire

Bord De Mer ('Seaside' in French) is the animated representation of the stuff my nightmares are made out of. Created by Lucas Navarro as his third year project at Supinfocom, we get to witness a young sociopath in the making after his deliberate actions cause an animatronic display of a beach to go haywire, self destructing in a spectacular fashion.

Faces melt, circuits catch on fire and we get to watch a young lad smile very creepily at a world set on fire by his own hand. Really have to say awesome job to him for coming up with such an out of the box way of cluing in the audience as to the truly f***ed up nature of this kid. That final shot did the trick.

Elwood Pie - The Pilot

Elwood Pie is a 12 year old kid living in Mud Lake, probably the weirdest place on the planet. And he's the star of this pilot by Kapow Pictures, which seems to take elements from Disney's paranormal themed Gravity Falls and add the twist of a boy obsessed with collecting and trading strange souvenirs with beings from different dimensions including monsters, aliens and beyond. Just like any good pitch video, Kapow successfully encapsulated the entire premise of Elwood Pie in just under a minute.

Elwood's hobby takes him on adventures far beyond the fringes of Mud Lake. Each episode features weird stories and urban myths all told from a kid's perspective. Repairing a crashed UFO for a lost alien, helping a Ghost Biker make the leap into the 5th dimension and unearthing a frozen caveman in the freezer section of the local Shop 'n Save is all in a day's work when you're the most fearless collector of the bizarre, the gruesome and the downright weird!

Pogo & Skye Remix Back To The Future With "Time Machine"

Following a multi-month hiatus of sorts, it seems like Aussie electro artist Christopher Bertke (Aka Pogo) is finally back with his latest cut copy remix of Back To The Future. Except this time around, it's a collaboration with Skye, an older personality on Youtube best known for a series of very popular Pokemon and Harry Potter tributes back in the day.

Using the same resequencing style that he's become famous for, Pogo used the same technique of recording small sounds, quotes and melodies to create new pieces of music synchronized to the footage it's extracted from. We've featured him enough times that he's earned his own tag, so if you're unfamiliar with his music go listen to a few of his awesome remixes.

A Horse Throat

DavidBK animated A Horse Throat in just 48 hours as part of the 48 Hour Stuttgart Animation Jam in Germany, and he really did an awesome job tapping into a common annoyance. Ever been at a movie theater and have someone sneeze every 5 minutes during a movie? Stay at home buddy. Featuring a small pinata horse with an inability to stop his coughing, we witness the patrons of this restaurant being to slowly lose their minds until an unlikely solution is reached.

Really liked the choices that BK did to get the most out of this animated short, such as applying a textured background to cover up the nonexistent backgrounds, and the flat colors to differentiate the different customers trying to mind their own business.

The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart - "The Sun Explodes"

Just a bunch of regular high school kids by day, indie rock band The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart turn into 80's interstellar music warriors by night in The Sun Explodes. Channeling the visuals of Jem & The Holograms mixed with the aural stylings of The Cure, Smashing Pumpkins, Lightning Seeds and a few other bands combined, we join the outfit on a cosmic adventure to annihilate the sun. The track is taken from their newest album called 'Days Of Abandon,' which is available for purchase now.

May 18, 2014

A Look Back At Vintage Godzilla Posters

I always get the feeling that the art of movie posters has regressed somewhat over the years, giving way to more 'quick and dirty' driven techniques that always follow a predefined template of a few effective, eye catching designs (Basically giant heads everywhere). We do occasionally seem to get some creative takes, but those are few and far in between.

To celebrate the premier of Godzilla recently, we found the work of Noriyoshi Ohrai- One of the most famous movie illustrators in Japan, and I'd go so far as to call him their equivalent of a Drew Struzan. Over the years he's had the privilege of creating the Japanese poster adaptations of classic movies such as the original Star Wars trilogy, Blade Runner and many other classics, including an entire series for each installment of  Konami's Metal Gear franchise.

Noriyoshi Ohrai’s also spent his career creating some really incredible posters for the original Heisei Godzilla films over the years, which had a style all their own. Check out a small selection of the incredible amount of work Ohrai's created over the years after the break!

Andrew Archer's "The Ghost, The Reaper, The Rock And Hops" Illustration Series

Combining his loves of traditional Japanese Ukiyo-e art and basketball, New Zealand based illustrator Andrew Archer created an awesome mini-illustration series called The Ghost, The Reaper, The Rock & The Hops. Andrew's been working in the freelance graphic design biz since 2007, having worked for clients including Red Bull, BBC, Spin, The Economist, Penguin Books, Nike and countless other clients. Check out more of his awesome series after the break.

Bang Bang! - The Hunt Is On

Written and directed by Julien Bisaro and Claire Paoletti, Bang Bang! is an upcoming short from the same folks who worked on the critically acclaimed Ernest And Celestine feature that's recently made the jump overseas. Aside from it's beautiful black and white aesthetic, it seems like the short will follow the story of a 25 year old girl called Eda trying to get between her dad and his prey during a prolonged hunt. Looking forward to the premiere of this short on June 20th.

Pharrell Remixes Hatsune Miku With "Last Night, Good NIght"

Following an explosion in popularity following his infections Happy track, Pharrell just premiered his latest collaboration with Takashi Murakami for this track from his upcoming directorial debut, Jelly Fish Eyes. Featuring the vocaloid talents of Hatsune Miku and the undeniably unique visual style of Murakami.

Featuring Pharrell as an anime version of himself (Complete with that Vivienne Westhood hat that's become his visual signature), composer livetune and Hatsune Miku performing in front of a soulless robot audience, eventually resonating with them on an emotional level. Murakami mentioned that Pharrell was actually the one to approach him for a collab, especially after coming across his work during his collaboration with Louis Vuitton. It's not surprising, as Pharrell has always had his pulse on the Japanese fashion scene, opening two of his own brands in the country.

The end result of the collaboration and remix is a really nice blend of Japanese and Western musical trends. I've never really liked vocaloids myself, but Pharrell's treatment made this version of Miku actually quite palatable. Can't wait to see what the duo cook up next.

May 17, 2014

"Attack On Titan" Opening - The Pencil Drawing Version

Attack On Titan is without question, one of the best things happening in Anime right now, offering a really cool narrative that's rife with mystery. A planet overrun with mysterious titan entities intent on wiping out humanity, the stories of the last remaining enclaves of humanity, and a plot focused on some truly intriguing conspiracy theories about who is creating these monstrous creatures. It's like that smoke monster in Lost, which left people guessing for seasons at a time (Except AOT actually has answers behind it's mysteries to offer).

Youtube/Niconico Douga user Animesakai took his love of the series to the next level, embarking on an incredible journey to recreate the memorable opening of the series using pencil drawings from observation. The duration of the project? 8 months with a total of 423 drawings generated during that time. To put it simply, that's insane.

For comparison, you can watch the original OP above. After translating his description of the video, Animesakai mentioned that part of the reason he created the video was to show off that analog art can be just as amazing and fulfilling of an experience as the much more convenient, prevalent digital art format. I can imagine he learned a ton during the experience if you look at it from an observational drawing standpoint. Kudos to him for following through till the end with the project, and give Attack On Titan a chance if you haven't already- It's available on everything from Netflix to Crunchyroll.

SenbeÏ - "The Robbery Anthem Song"

Directed by the folks at Grey Monkey Productions, an outfit comprised of Eddy Loukil & Victor Jardel, The Robbery Anthem Song is a colorful endeavor on all fronts. Featuring a polygonal world that gets plugged into the chunky SenbeÏ remix, all the inhabitants of the planet finds themselves enticed by the rythm.

High energy sound with some awesome visuals to boot, it's an awesome combination overall. If you enjoyed the track you can get it for free over on SenbeÏ's Bandcamp.

Christopher Nolan's "Interstellar" Is Looking Quite Intriguing

Christopher Nolan's latest endeavor is headed into the realm of scifi, and it's looking like it'll be one hell of a ride. Featuring Matthew McConaughey as a farmer, father and retired pilot who is given the choice of saving humanity through an interstellar space mission. The Earth in Nolan's vision is in dire straits, with a shortage of food placing all of humanity in dire straits.

What I loved about Nolan's take is his choice of delivering a scifi tale that's well grounded in the technology of today. No incredible cities of tomorrow in the distant skylines, no ultra-futuristic space ships with cold fusion drives..Whatever event it is that drives humanity towards this apocalyptic event seems to be happening in a more realistic version of the actual future, a visual choice I really appreciate Nolan taking.

Considering what we've been given a taste of in Interstellar and Nolan's penchant for mind bending narratives, as seen in movies like Memento, The Prestige and Inception I'm expecting some incredible twists when the movie premieres in November.

May 16, 2014

The Art Of Robot Punch!

Robot Punch is the alias for Vlad Guseg, an illustrator based out of Spain who's part of the primarily Russian art collective known as HonkFu (Most recently getting a spotlight for their work on Sunset Overdrive). Guseg stands out from his peers with his distinctly angular style and flat color aproach to his illustrations, which gives his pieces a really pleasant pop that I enjoy.

When he's not at work on HonkFu business, Vlad seems to enjoy working on personal comics like Cosmos Tales and pumping out plenty of top notch fanart for series Evangelion (A series he seems to love). Check out more of his awesome work after the break.

Super Giant's "Transistor" Launch Trailer

Close to three years since the release of the critically acclaimed Bastion, a title that helped put indie developer Super Giant games on the map we're finally close to getting a taste of their next project, Transistor. Ever since meeting the humble devs at E3 last year, we've been anticipating the release of the new title, which seems like it'll follow a similar isometric ARPG approach that Bastion brought to the table, but in a more scifi setting. The title is going to be hitting Steam and PS4 on May 20.

Animation Workshop Unveils Their "Short Shorts"

The Denmark based Animation Workshop just unveiled a really nice batch of shorts created by first year animators and CG artists over the course of 4 weeks, and I really enjoyed learning about the structure they employed for the exercises.

Each team was assigned a quote, mood/emotion, random element and style guides to base the film on as well as a specific target audience. In this case the target audience was set at a short that would be suitable for kids ages 4-6, and I think all 8 animated shorts produced did an awesome job hitting that. Challenging students to hit age groups outside of their comfort zone is a fantastic idea, allowing them to develop a breadth of styles they normally wouldn't pursue on their own.  other equally awesome animated shorts for you guys to check out after the break.

Tigtone - "The Begun Of Tigtone"

Fantasy has the distinction of being one those genres that's overflowing with cliches and played out tropes, and Tigtone mercilessly parodies them. Created by Babyhemyth Productions, this visually curious parody animation seems to use flat paintings with animation controls added in Aftereffects or 3D software to create movement. Enjoy all of Tigtone's strange (And seemingly endless) trials in this fine short.

The Begun of Tigtone is a parody of every fantasy convention there is, from movies to games. And the star character of this story is Tigtone, a man whose personality is intentionally modeled after a two-dimnesional, anti-hero cliche. Along his journey, he is challenged by pointless puzzles, preposterously clad goddesses, and generic quest goals. Not even the dialog is safe from skewering, as the fantasy convention of convoluted language is parodied right down to the very title of the story.

May 15, 2014

Denmark Gets All Grindhouse For It's Elections With "Voteman" (NSFW)

The folks at Akee just unveiled their latest promotional campaign for encouraging young people to vote in Denmark with Voteman, and it's nothing short of mind blowing. Featuring a rather intense Danish badass as the spokesperson, this little animated advert warns against the dangers of not voting and having an impact on various important issues. Problem is, the cartoon is already banned in it's native country despite having been thought up by Denmark's own Folketinget (Parliament) with a purported budget of $30,000. Following it's release last week the short was removed a day after it's release following the massive backlash that ensued.

Go figure, but I appreciate that parliament's sense of humor. Bans aside the end result is an animated short that feels like a fine blend of part Robert Rodriguez (Planet Terror, Machete) and part Adult Swim. So to our friends in Denmark, please vote on the 25th or else you might end up getting headbutted by a bondage gear wearing dolphin. We wouldn't wish that on anyone.

Uncommon Dragon Hoards By Iguana Mouth

Books like Tolkien's The Hobbit made us aware that dragons are actually closet hoarders always eager to add to their collection of treasure, gold and spoils, but never the types to actually enjoy even a brass ring of it. Tumblr illustrator Iguana Mouth (Aka Lauren) took the concept and ran with it, creating a series of dragons with very odd tastes in hoarding, ranging from videogames to well..panties.

While the original illustration series was comprised of four illustrations, they were so well received that Lauren expanded the idea to over a dozen pieces. Check out her fun hoarding series after the break!

Left 4 Dead Arrives In Japan - As An Arcade Game?

Valve and Turtle Rock's Left 4 Dead franchise has been out and going strong for years now, spawning a sequel (Or two), selling millions of copies on Steam and consoles and being a key player in the zombie genre revival that's been prevalent over the last few years. A new trailer unveiled yesterday shows off a new entry into the franchise called Left 4 Dead - Survivors which will be making it's debut in Japanese arcades relatively soon with field tests at the end of the month.

Developed by Taito, who have had a relationship with Valve since 2006 in creating some truly unique arcade adaptations of their core franchises, this looks like it's shaping up to be a more streamlined version of the core L4D cooperative experience with a series of networked arcade cabinets. You might ask yourself how on earth a first person shooter like this will work without a traditional mouse or keyboard setup, but we have a few ideas.

Half Life 2: Survivor took the classic sequel and condensed the entire experience into a more arcadey dual joystick shooter with a much more linear progression throughout. While the story remained relatively the same, a timer option added quite a bit of stress to wrapping up the campaign. The title was also networked with other machines to offer multiplayer modes, including a coop option.

CounterStrike NEO was an even stranger breed, taking the classic gameplay of the Terrorist Vs Counter Terrorist premise and reskinning it to have cyborg characters with an anime aesthetic, female announcers and maps I've never seen before. The arcade version actually had a rudimentary mouse and keyboard setup with a 'profile card' system that would allow players to store their stats and settings.

So why all these arcade ports of titles that could be easily purchased on Steam and other platforms? It's been pretty well documented that Japan's gaming community has always been lukewarm at best towards first person shooters, so this is yet another attempt by Valve to acquaint Japanese audiences with their franchises in a more palatable, convenient format. Left 4 Dead - Survivor will be premiering in arcades sometime this summer.

Harrison - "Akira"

Toronto based DJ Harrison's lit up alter ego on a stormy night that seems straight out of the late 80's, browsing his collection of vinyls, enjoying his Betamax tapes and a round or two of NES, skating around downtown and taking a ride in a lightning infused DeLorean. Directed by Charlie Tyrell, the highly atmospheric music video feels like witnessing the birth of a new, Daft Punk-esque mysterious alter ego. Loved it.

Mother F***ing Dalle

While Mother F***ing Dalle starts off relatively straight forward enough, with a bunch of bandits traveling around the country side in their beat up car, things quickly go south and get quite surreal. It's what's implied in the short that's my favorite, with one of the bandits hunched up and holding his head- An indication of a job gone terribly wrong.

While I won't even bother reading into what a bovine stand off might mean, the stylish presentation and remixed French rap score came together to offer a pretty damn entertaining watch that left me wanting more. The short was created by a new Parisian animation collective called 'Souviens Zen-Tan,' who seem to have a ton of experience up their sleeves judging from the quality they managed to pull off. The collective also released another equally amazing short called Oh Sh**! about a dung beetle getting some mentoring by a true connoisseur of the craft. Check that out after the break.