Category: aspiring animators

The Endless Possibilities of the ‘Spider-Verse…

The Endless Possibilities of the ‘Spider-Verse’:

This Thursday, Sony Animation’s “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” hits theaters in the U.S. 

But the film has already been making some major waves, with amazing pre-release reviews, an impressive collection of animation styles, and, as The Hollywood Reporter argues in the link above, the chance to establish animation as the ultimate superhero platform for diverse stories that “we would never see come to fruition in live action.”

“The Spider-Verse is about to forever change our perception of what Spider-Man can be on film with an ambitious multifilm franchise that looks to be the next great leap for comic book movies,” journalist Richard Newby writes. 

The support Spider-Verse has is special. Sony already greenlit a Miles Morales-lead sequel and a “Spider-Women” spinoff feature film. Outside companies are also committed to Sony’s Spider-vision — Deadline reported earlier this month that Spider-Verse should already have earned more than its budget ($90 million), thanks to global brand promotional partners alone. 

And by establishing each area of the Spider-Man multiverse with distinct animation styles, the potential for continued innovation in animation and storytelling has a strong foundation. As Newby argues — or perhaps, praises —Sony should take this film as an opportunity to keep giving light to new voices, outside the traditional view of the web-slinging hero Peter Parker, and outside the traditional view of who can make a great superhero movie.

This animated film is set up to make history and, just maybe, to blaze trails for animation to be seen in new ways by the general film audience. As Newby says, “This is an opportunity to see experimentation within the superhero format, to test boundaries, push limits and see what sticks to the wall like only a Spider-Man can.”

– Courtney (harmonicacave)

Here’s What Goes Into Animating ‘BoJack Horseman’- Exclusive

Here’s What Goes Into Animating ‘BoJack Horseman’- Exclusive:

Animation-focused blog The Dot & Line has been covering Netflix original series Bojack Horseman all week in well-researched, heart-tugging, spoiler-filled posts. This week of Bojack articles concluded yesterday with a look into the animation process of the show, linked above (with many spoilers still); here’s what you need to know if you’d prefer to avoid spoilers on seasons 3 and 4 of the show:

1) Bojack Horseman is produced by L.A.-based company ShadowMachine, who animated for Robot Chicken and many Adult Swim shows. ShadowMachine will be animating the new TBS animation Final Space from Olan Rogers and Conan O’Brien, and they’ve also been announced to be animating Guillermo Del Toro’s Pinocchio film, but little information is available on the film’s status.

ShadowMachine will be animating Olan Rogers’ Final Space for its 2018 premiere on TBS.

2) While the pre-production is done in Los Angeles, the animation is done in South Korea (as are a majority of U.S. animated series). @shadowmachinestudio receives the scripts from the Netflix show’s writers and create their own outline and thumbnail illustrations. Directors pass the thumbnails to storyboarders after writers and producers sign off, and the storyboards are sent to South Korean animators.

“When you send them to [South] Korea, you can’t leave any room for misinterpretation,” [Bojack Horseman’s assistant director James] Bowman says. “You’ve got to make sure they’re animating the correct character, or it needs to be done again.” … Ideally, Bowman says, “you make your storyboards really, really tight, so they don’t make any mistakes.

3) However, unlike many South Korean-animated shows, some animation is actually still done in L.A. rather than sent back endlessly for revisions. There are two options with revisions, reports The Dot & Line:

One: “If it’s not quite right, or they misinterpreted something, or it’s not animated to our expectations or something, we give them notes, send it back,” Bowman says. “They’ll get a chance to fix it and animate it again.”

And two: “Then it comes back to us [in L.A.], and if it’s still not right, then it goes to us, the retake animators, who make it look good and the way that we want it to.”

James Bowman and the rest of ShadowMachine’s retake animators are vital in meeting the show’s production deadlines because they can speed up the animation process. Collaborating with animators in another country can be difficult when there are language and timezone differences, so the retake animators are on hand to make fixes themselves. Retake animators rarely fix entire scenes on their own, however; they only work on certain shots that need to be changed. 

4) Another addition to the season four workflow was an on-site ShadowMachine representative working in South Korea as a go-between for the two studios. “He worked in Korea to help with the translation process,” explained Bowman, who added that the representative’s work cut the need for retake animators by half because the final product “was a lot better animation than ever — a lot more polished, a lot more of what we were looking for.”

For more information on the highly collaborative process of television animation on Bojack Horseman, check out The Dot & Line’s “Bojack Week.”

– Courtney ( @harmonicacave​ )

Comic-Con 2017: The Complete Movie Lineup

Comic-Con 2017: The Complete Movie Lineup:

San Diego Comic-Con’s schedule is still being updated, but some quality film panels for animation fans have already appeared in the first couple days. 

On Thursday, we recommend checking out Disney Animation Studios: The Art of the Story (Room 7AB, 2-3 p.m.). However, DC comic fans may prefer to hit up the DCU Original Movies 10th Anniversary panel (Room 6BCF, 2:15-3:15 p.m.) instead just a few minutes later. 

Later that day, pencil in stops for “Batman: Mask of the Phantasm Remastered and Ready for Blu-ray” (Room 6A, 4:15 – 5:15 p.m.) and “The Lego Ninjago Movie” panels (Room 6A, 6:45 – 7:45 p.m.)

Friday moves its focus to aspiring animators and Hollywood artists, with two panels on art in the film industry:

  • Hollywood’s Illustrators: Craft, Pop-Culture and Careers (Room 9, 2 p.m. – 3 p.m.)
  • ASIFA-Hollywood: The State of the Animation Industry (Room 28DE, 5 p.m. – 6 p.m.)

Nothing much yet on the Saturday schedule, but there might be some news during the Marvel Studios panel (Hall H, 5:30-7 p.m.)

Since the Movie Panel lineup is still being updated, you’ll have to check the link to The Hollywood Reporter above for a full and updating 2017 SDCC movie panel schedule. 

– Courtney ( @harmonicacave )