Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Mashup Master

You might stay up half the night and return the next night and the next checking out video after video by Tom Compagnoni, an incredible video producer and mashup master better known as Wax Audio.  His combinations seem unlikely harmonies when you read the titles, yet every one is superbly mixed and tons of fun.  Tom does all this in his spare time for no profit and makes all his albums available as free downloads. 

"Careless Rebel"

"Stayin' Alive In The Wall"


Monday, January 21, 2013

Sophisticated Jacquards

Boing Boing has a cool blurb today by Maggie Koerth-Baker
about why the jacquard loom is considered the first computer, with a good explanation of how they ran on punch cards.  The electronic looms of today add even more fascination to the whole process with their incredible speeds and high tech parts.
Here are a few jacquard upholstery samples that really
show how intricate fabrics can be with every warp
and weft thread controlled by the designer.
The entire design process is a complicated one, involving choices with fibers, colors, yarn textures and sizes, warp setups, pattern styles, repeat layouts, weave structures, and much, much more...

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Children's books 67

When The Favorite Album of Fun and Fancy was published in 1880, stories and lessons were a bit more harsh than today's: a young cricket dies for disobeying her father, a fish who was just crowned king of the sea for winning a jumping contest is suddenly devoured by a bird, and a greedy tortoise murders another just to have more berries for himself! Not all the stories are grim, however: a frog capsizes his boat but perseveres to win the regatta, one lizard helps another who had previously bullied him, and a "grub's" patience is rewarded when he emerges as a beautiful butterfly.  The book's detailed engravings are superb illustrations mostly by Ernest Griset, who lived near the zoo in north London and drew animals for many books and the magazines Fun and Punch.  


Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Lobster Lover

neat old postcard from 1910
"Beauty and the Beast"

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Illustration for Animation

Last fall I took an online class through CGMA, "Storyboarding for Animation," taught by Steven MacLeod, a storyboard artist at Dreamworks Animation.  The classes are set up to view video lectures, download reference files, participate in an hour of live Q & A, and upload assignments every week that get video and written feedback from the teacher, plus comments from fellow students.
 The school's motto is "become a better artist," and it certainly gives you the tools to do so. The spring semester starts very soon, and there are workshops and classes on character design, figure drawing, digital painting, environment design, and more, all taught by experienced professionals working in the animation industry.

Steven is an excellent teacher and I can't say enough good things about him: he covered a million aspects of the jobs in the industry and how a big studio works; he gave great references including scripts, boards, cartoons, movie clips, books, blogs, and websites; and he critiqued scripts and storyboards to help students' stories and boards gain more clarity and intrigue in the composition, point of view, proper progression of action, dialogue, and character poses and expressions.  Steven's laid-back attitude and great sense of humor, combined with a class full of cool and curious artists, made the chatty Q & A sessions fun.  It's fantastic to find a thousand more artists through teacher and student blogs and websites and all the other artists they know and watch.
I found the assignments stimulating, including drawing gags and taking cinematic photos with my toys as seen below.  The best part of the whole experience was finding a new ability in coming up with character designs quickly and plentifully, cracking myself up, and drawing fruitfully every day. 

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Dreams of the Swiss Alps

 Check out this beautiful time lapse video project of places in the
Swiss Alps by Alessandro Della Bella called Helvetia's Dream

Wednesday, January 2, 2013