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FEBRUARY 2003

02-24-03: I don't get it ..... PC's far outnumber Mac's but there seems to be more animation frame grabbing programs available for Apple's 'puter? I am totally PC but I shall not discriminate. Here is one called Stop Motion Studio (for Mac). The user interface seems too simple and designed for a child but they're claiming it is good enough for professional use? They have a downloadable demo version then if you want to pay for full version, it's $39.95. There is also Framethief and BTV Pro for Macs and to me they look more sophisticated than Stop Motion Studio. One unique thing about Stop Motion Studio is, they have the entire manual online so that you can really study how it works and its capabilities.
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02-18-03: Well, someone at Ain't It Cool News has already spilled the beans about Tim Burton's possible stop motion project, Corpse Bride that is suppose to be now underway in England. I had some inside info but was keeping a low profile. The tip I got is, that Will Vinton Studios is involved with Corpse Bride because they have a high concentration of stop motion specialty equipment, cameras, lighting gear, etc.. Also Mckinnon & Saunders in the UK will be handling the puppet construction. Because of labor laws that exist in many countries, only a few USA people would be hired (example stop mo animators), as England hires their own first, so Corpse Bride will primarily be an overseas production. Too bad, I just wonder why it was not going to be done here in the USA to maybe slightly re-energize stop motion. Hmmmm .....the "politics" of the mainstream movie biz, and also, we now know this is CGI Country.
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02-13-03: When I worked on projects I usually did not have a chance to photograph armatures or other behind the scenes. Also, I make enough human type armatures and they all start looking somewhat the same to me which is another reason I did not take pictures of some of my work. Anyway, recently someone who worked on The PJ's emailed me some photos of the Thurgood armature which I originally designed for the production in additon to designing armatures for the other characters. Go here to Gallery, then scroll near bottom and you will see The PJ's .
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02-06-03: This pertains to local news ....ASFIA-SF which is an animation association covering the San Francisco Bay Area, apparently has been sponsoring yearly open screenings for professional animators and production companies. I live here and I did not know about this!? It says, "Surprise us with your professional reel", so I assume they do not want to look at strictly amateur work but an actual demo reel you put together for studio's to see. I am not clear if you have to live in SF Bay Area to be able to show your reel. Get this ... it is FREE .... no fees, no forms, no registration .... just show up with your work. Also, FREE for public to attend. Also, ILM, PDI, Tippett Studio & others will be representing and showing some stuff. The event will be on 02-21-03, 7:30PM .... Annual ASIFA-SF Open Screening
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02-04-03: The Future of the Cartoon Feature Film....Compute,Model or Draw? Good treatise that mentions much about stop motion and the affect CGI has had on it. I have differring perspectives. The article seems almost like a "scientific paper" and going by "the facts only". Author does not delve into the "checkered" history of stop motion ..... it really never had any kind of sustained success in mainstream movie business. Does not explore other future possible outlets for stop motion. Also no mention of the "politics & ego" factor about stop motion. Directors just hate the process primarily because "animator has a more key role" in bringing characters to life. Then there is that obsessive thing about CG-holics ... they are sucked-up in an endless Black Hole that "The Technology will Mature" (when?) as though more techincal toys and automation will be that magical Silver Bullet that will supposedly create better animated products or special effects? Audiences do not really care about digital bells & whistles. Just entertain them with good story/characters. I do not believe the pundits when saying that audiences supposedly want CGI and/or Visual Complexity ..... but I think, there is kind of an Unspoken Monopoly going on, to Shut-Out alternative Visual and Animation-Special Effects Styles. Obviously, I have different observations than the author, but as I stated before .... he did a good presentation..
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