Cutting open a log or thick board is one of the most rewarding feelings a DIYer or woodworker can experience. Who knows what the grain will look like? Who knows if you'll find a burl, a beautiful sapwood/heartwood transition, or a knot you'll be proud to feature, not hide? Beneath all that bark lies a world to be discovered, a geode of cellulose waiting to be explored.
Right? Well...sometimes. Or, you can split something open only to find punky, foamy wood, damage from bugs, or just boring, boring grain.
Woodworker and film maker Frank Horvath maintains an excellent YouTube channel discussing some of the details, tools, and design aspects that goes into his craft.
Over the last year, he's released two of these stunning stop-motion animated videos telling the story of furniture being milled, cut, shaped, and assembled, without dialogue...or human hands.
Animation is nothing more than arranging relatively stable things, taking a picture, and then moving and doing it again, frame by frame. Some artists use pen and ink, some clay, some real world objects. This creative team of IBM researchers decided to use atoms. Atoms!? A. toms.
The Atlantic blog offers this tribute to the animated GIF - the once maligned but now embraced moving "still" photo. Last week, there was an entire festival dedicated to the GIF as "high art."
This two-minute video was produced in conjunction with the festival. It "chronicles the graphic interchange format’s journey from the late 1980s through the dot com bubble up to today’s multi-platform media world -- in claymation. Not only did the GIF pave the way for future digital art memes, but even the savviest of media creators cannot decide whether to pronounce it with a hard or soft ‘g’."
The answer? "Inventor Steve Whilhite pronounced it
Adam Pesapane, known as PES, is a talented animator known for his use of real 3D objects to suggests the colors and shapes of, er, other actual things. You may know his excellent "Spaghetti Western," or the "Human Skateboard" commercials from a few years ago.
This week, PES, released another short, "Fresh Guacamole" in which a grenade filled with Play-Doh and a billiard ball avocado, a baseball/gaming dice onion, and Monopoly house jalapeño get mashed to become a tasty guac served with fresh poker chips.
Click play to watch the video:
You sit down. Read a magazine. Have some tea. Chat up that cute bookseller with the glasses.
And then, you go home, and the bookstore closes, and that, my friends, is when the real fun begins.
Watch the video below to see what really happens. (Trust me, you'll love it.)
The world has Peanuts, the Muppets, and any number of 3D computer-animated movie characters, but those of us who were kids in the late 80s and 90s, we have Calvin & Hobbes.
Fans and filmmakers Jim Frommeyer and Teague Chrystie created this stop-motion tribute to Bill Watterson's amazing contribution to pop culture and art, recreating 3D models of some of the strip's most notable recurring themes - Calvin's joyfully demented snow creations.
Click play to watch this awesome video:
So, apparently there was a major internet event involving a little guy named Marcel, a sweet, confident mollusk with one googly eye and a pair of shoes.
And. I totally missed it. Had no idea about it, really, until yesterday, when "Marcel the Shell with Shoes 2" hit, to accompany an actual print book and interactive iPad app. Along with partnerwith partner Dean Fleischer-Camp,Marcel was conceived and voiced by Jenny Slate, the former SNL featured player who never stood a chance after she swore during her first sketch ever, despite how awesome that doorbell character was. ("Jingle bell...jingle bell...answer your door")
If you're already familiar with Marcel, I'm sorry to be redundant, but if not yet, you most certainly need to know about this.
I was fascinated to read idsgn's piece on Jim Henson's non-puppet oriented, Oscar-nominated animation/live action side project, Time Piece. Skylar says, "Recently I had the opportunity to see Jim Henson’s Fantastic World, a new exhibit at New York’s Museum of the Moving Image. Not surprising, the exhibit is heavily Muppet focused, but it doesn't end there. The exhibit spans Henson’s entire career from early sketches to his pioneering television work.
Among the many classics, one piece really stood out to me: a short film from 1965 titled Time Piece. Produced, written, directed by, and starring Jim Henson himself, the short experimental
"Step-by-step" is a dedicated tool for helping children learn the basics of geometry through animation. It resembles an iPad with a lamp mounted to a beautiful wooden enclosure that allows kids to operate the tool on their own and film and view their own animated movies.
I know, it's kinda hard to explain. So, watch this video. It's pretty amazing:
I'm sure by this point, folks are getting sociology Ph.Ds on email forwards, viral videos, and internet memes. And when they publish their dissertations, I'll be glad to read them, and hopefully be able to understand what it is that captures the popular attention and makes something "viral."
Until then, I'm gonna imagine it's because they're very funny, and stuff that no ones really seen before. So, with that in mind, here is my favorite YouTube video so far this year, and probably ever. And it's an award winner.
The Washington Post reports, "Dolphins, llamas, boars and baboons. Taking the top prize at Australian short film festival Tropfest, the Animal Beatbox by Damon Gameau appropriates animal names for musical awesomeness. A fair warning: The words "dogs and cats" will probably be stuck in your head for the rest of the day."
Chloe Fleury has creative a very watchable short stop motion animation film about...the history of stop motion animation.
Now, what do you think about that?
With the exception of Ed Wood, I do my best to avoid Tim Burton movies. (Well, and PeeWee's Big Adventure, but that doesn't really qualify). Sure, they've got the visuals down, but dude can't tell a story...After six minutes, I'm boooooooard.
Thankfully, Burton's first animated short, Vincent, last's just that long. It's a stop-motion treatment of a Burton's eponymous poem about a macabre little boy obsessed with Vincent Price (who narrated) and Edgar Allen Poe. No surprise there, but it's quite fun to watch each year around Halloween time.
While we're certain this isn't the first time that someone's re-created a game of Pac-Man using stop motion animation, but we're pretty sure it's the best.
French-Swiss artist Guillaume Reymond, the same guy that did the human Tetris game a few years ago (see below), is back with his most ambitious project to date: a two-minute full level of Pac-Man created with 111 human pixels, lots of colored t-shirts, and a really, really tall tripos at the Trafo cinema in Baden, Switzerland.
The advent of digital cameras and animation software has put stop-motion in the hands of the masses, and we couldn't be more thankful. Folks will keep on making great stop-motion, and we'll keep watching them.
This Super Mario Brothers recreation was made for bunkasai, the Japanese cultural festival held at most schools to display the students' achievements. By the looks of this thing, this school has plenty to be proud of...
Over the last few years, there's been a trend in filmmaking and commericial work towards using frame-by-frame stop motion techniques to animate, well, animated objects, namely human beings. And I say great! It looks cool, adds an element of humor, and provides for wacky situations to place persons without the need for CGI.
"Drive on Chairs," produced by Nissan to share their hope for a zero-emissions vehicle, has all of those features, plus a bit more, like a blinking orange as a turn signal.
See!? I knew God liked mashed potatoes.
This unbelievably enjoyable and smile-inducing stop motion short is the first in the series of The Ten Commandments, animated by Chris Mckinlay, Patrick Beechinor and Justin Longoz. They begin with number five, Thou Shall Not Kill.