Saturday, July 26, 2008

JP and I went to Italy in May to give a four day character design and animation seminar. We were invited by Luca Chiarotti, manager of the Nemo digital art Academy in Florence.
Here we are with Giuliano Cenci (director of the Italian Animated Pinocchio) and the the president of Florence (far left). More on this event on Luca's blog.
JP and I ate and spoke way too much and came home with aching jaws and tummies. Highly recommended!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Kung-Fu Panda rocks

I watched DreamWorks Animations' Kung-Fu Panda last weekend. What an awesome animated film. I congratulate directors Mark Osborne and John Stevenson on their inspired craftsmanship and imagination. I loved the opening sequence (Po's dream) so much I was concerned it would be too hard to top; the traditional animation (Did I hear James Baxter?) was sensitively blended with "invisible" CGI, in a way that shows 3D animation has finally grown up, and no longer exists just to draw attention to itself as a technological edge. The beginning felt a bit like Samurai Jack, but it very quickly took on feature qualities with rich palettes and very complex character animation.
Everyone seems to be very excited over Jack Black's voice acting in Panda, but my favorite voice performance was actually Dustin Hoffman as Shifu. His character is facing massive faith and interpersonal dilemmas, and the last thing it needed was over the top cartoon voice. Excellent choice!

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

My tablet is dying...

Just thought I'd share this with you all: My Toshiba Portege tablet is on it's way out. It doesn't play sound any more, and it turns off abruptly (dead black screen) when I pick it up.
I don't know if I can revive it - I'll have it checked when I get back to Israel, but from what I've learned it sometimes costs less to replace a laptop than to fix it.
My tablet has served me for two years. I use it to storyboard, design and comment on animation. I will always remember my Toshiba Portege M 400 (I think) as a trusty friend.