Category - Animation and Art

Postings and thoughts on animation and art.

Gameboy from Captain N is Awful

Posting yesterdays article about the Captain N DVDs reminded me about a video Frank made many years ago. I listed a handful of characters from the show like Mega Man, Pit, and Simon, but I forgot to mention the most offensive character of all, Gameboy.

That’s right, somehow Gameboy was a character in Video Land. Isn’t Captain N basically inside of an NES? I guess not since he was zapped into his TV. Regardless, how the hell did Gameboy get in there? They should have just had the NES show up as a character, along with the NES Advantage, Zapper and Power Pad. I hated Gameboy the moment he showed up on the show. They could have had so many other awesome characters join the show like Samus, or Ryu Hayabusa, but they choose freaking Gameboy. I guess it’s better that way, they already wrecked all the other classic characters, so why not give life to a piece of hardware, it’s a clean slate I guess.

Getting back on track, Frank made the following video as a tribute to Gameboy. Relax and enjoy the antics of Gameboy from Captain N, and when you’re done, maybe you’ll actually get the joke at the end of “Stroopid Test.

The Simpsons Movie – Trailer 3

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Today, a third trailer for “The Simpsons Movie” has been released. The previous trailers showed very little of the actual animation that would be found in the film, but this new one shows quite alot. You can see it here. The General John Manfre has already posted the link in The Smorg, but I wanted to chime in with some of my own thoughts.

Personally, I haven’t watched an episode of The Simpsons in years. I was a big fan back in the day when it was first on TV, but have since lost track of it. Recently, I caught a newer episode (the date in the credits was 2005 I believe). I turned it on when Homer and Marge were trying to ditch the kids in a montage parodying the opening credits to Catch Me If You Can right down to the John Williams score. While that opening segment to the Spielberg film was pretty awesome, I failed to connect with it at all in this eposide of The Simpson. It seems like a streatch, and was more likely something you’d see in an episode of The Family Guy than The Simpsons. However, a week later I caught another episode that was clearly older. They were still using cells as opposed to digitally inking and painting in this episode. Here, Homer was at a fast food joint, and was ordering burgers faster than he could shove them into his mouth. It was instantly hilarious. The way it was composed, edited, and treated was a million times funnier than the extravagant bit taken from Catch Me If You Can.

So as you can see, I’m not a huge fan of The Simpsons anymore. So what is my take on the moive? Well, for starters I’m happy to see a mainstream animated film done in 2D. I wouldn’t doubt there was many meetings over weather or not to make this using CGI. I can hear the tagline now: “Its The Simpsons like you’ve never seen them before…IN 3D!!!” Thankfully, that isn’t the case here. The animation itself is slightly higher grade than TV broadcast standards. Things move around pretty well, but its not over cooked. Which is fine. There is limitations to the Simpsons character designs which doesn’t lend to fuller animation. For example, I can’t stand when they show the characters from a frontal view. They look totally odd.

I have no idea what The Simpsons Movie is about. The trailer is somewhat lacking in that department and instead spends its run-time showing us all our favorite characters which will be making their appearance. Nevertheless, I’m pretty excited about the new movie, and I’m looking forward to its release on July 27th.

Digi Artwork

A buddy of mine sent me a link to some really impressive illustration work by an illustrator named Mathias Verhasselt. From what I can tell, its all done digitally with a tablet in I would guess either Painter or Photoshop. The samples I’m giving here have been scaled down to fit the page, so I highly suggest clicking the link to go to Mathias’ site as they’re highly detailed and exceptionally well done.

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If there’s one thing I have to say in criticism of digital painting, it is that all the brush strokes are clearly a replicated pattern that is used to duplicate an actual brush as the stylus is dragged across the tablet. This creates a repetition of the brush strokes across the picture plane and for me has a tendency to flaten the image. While a digital brush does employ pressure sensitivity, it is generally relegated to the tapering of a line and does not take into account the varying opacity or other attributes of an actual brush. The end result is often a series of practically exact shapes that have been massed in by the digital brush. However, this is a minor gripe and the images on Mathias’s page are certainly done by a highly skilled illustrator.

Another thing that is great about his site is that clearly the web design blows, but it doesn’t even matter because everything is just plain awesome. However, do make sure you check out some of his links he has listed as there’s a bunch of really great stuff to be found there, too.

So go check ‘em out and enjoy!

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Arj and Poopy

The Shamoozal is a site dedicated to delivering the nerdiest attractions on the ‘net. However, our main focus is on the shorts we produce in Flash. We’re deffinately not the only ones out there doing their thing in animation, and I’d like to take a few moments to point out another site featuring some very nice stuff.

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“Arj and Poopy” follows the dialy exploits of a guy and his cat…almost sounds like Grey and Jacquo, but hey, they say there’s no such thing as an original story. A third character, “Bouncy the Dog”, has been added to the cast and he’s a hoot. There’s a few episodes up at arjandpoopy.com for your perusal. Some of the earlier ones are a bit too tweeny for my taste. I find excessive tweening gives animation a soft, mushy feel. It doesn’t allow the animation to sit in the frame and robs it of weight.

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However, the newest short,”Congo Windfall“, pushes the envelope with more key-framed animation lending it some much needed tooth to the animation. The narrative starts off a bit slow, but picks up when a “music video” of Bouncy doing his thing kicks in. Its got some really nice timing and alot of expressive drawings. The voice acting is very low key, but fits the slacker attitude of Arj. Poopy is silent, but emotes very well through pushed expressions and alot of takes. And of course, Bouncy lives up to his name with an extreamely well done rap routine. I won’t say any more to ruin it, just go watch it. Its a deffinate must watch. Enjoy!

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