Saturday, February 25, 2017


Illumination gave us more animation with animals in the main role. This time we have a bunch of animals with their life problems and dreams.

The movie starts with Buster Moon, a young koala, who falls in love with everything about theatre and gets enough money to buy his beloved theater. Nonetheless, the business is not going well. He decides to run a sing contest to save what is left, with a “generous” reward for the winner. This is when we are introduced to the other main characters, all having different personalities and paces of life. The story line is well-known - characters are given 
a chance to change their live, all doors are opened till they hit the rock bottom. Then they have to raise up, get stronger, open up and walk forward. Simple enough for kids.

The animation is appealing. There are fluid movements, characters, depends on their species, have their own way of moving. For instance, Meena, the elephant, flattens her ears whenever she doesn’t feel confident or Rosita, the pig mother of twenty-five, who walks with small steps, straight, insecure … well, at the beginning. All the characters, by the way  they move, show their personality.

Although I loved the animation, there is, in my opinion, few flaws. The design of the characters from same species are sometimes too similar. I was twice confused with the characters. Gunter – Piggy Power – is too similar to Rosita’s husband, I actually thought he was the latter until he presented himself. The same occurred to me with the bouncer at the disco; he is an ape similar to one the ape in Johny’s Father’s gang.

 The studio has also done a really good job with the dialogues rather than ‘gag’ actions. Also the characters like Mr. Moon’s extremely old chameleon assistant or Japanese’s dancers were droll. The chosen songs were nicely interpreted and matching with the character’s emotional state. Despite all of that, I would make an exception with Beyonce’s song in the chasing scene in the club which I didn’t like, "Run the World (Girls)"...  girls... Not an arrogant mouse running away from angry bears, which in comparison to other songs and timing just doesn’t match.

In my opinion there are also two other issues with the movie. One father-child-relation-drama for a movie is enough but this time there are two. First, we have Johnny who just wants to find himself, follow his own path and be appreciated by his father. Right, this is nice. Secondly, Buster Moon –  optimistic and deluding himself –  who gets his theatre with the money collected by his father and his father only. I find that this was unnecessary knowing that later, he is failing to manage his businesses and looks for other ways of getting support, but never gives up!  All of that to say that maybe one day someone loaded will see how visionary are your ideas and might help you to achieve them.

Overall the movie is nice. We are given divers characters in different stages of their life. Action. Singing makes it even more enjoyable and appealing. You can't be bored. 

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

// VIEW Conference 2015 Part 2

Shaun the Sheep: Telling a Story Without No Dialogue

Richard Starzak (Creative Director) and Paul Kewley (Producer), Aardman Animationexplained how they decided to took 7 minute episode TV serie Shaun the Sheep to a 90 minute feature movie. The audience could see one of the scene made from sketches, through storyboard and animatic until the final stage. 
Aardman Animation will not stop making Shaun the Sheep, which became their most famous character, and we should expect new episodes this year.

Production Designing: Hotel Transylvania 2

The speaker, Michael Kurinsky (Production Designer at Sony Pictures Animation) spoke about difficulty and challenges in designing new characters,  places, choosing the right colours for the new Hotel Transylvania 2.

Dennis's hair was one of their challenges, they struggled to bring the appealing design from the drawings to the 3D model. Although the sketches have a perfectly enchanting looking, it does not mean that they will be as appealing in the 3D world.
Nevertheless, it was a good lesson for people who wants to have their career focused on designing characters. Lots of patience - lots of sketches.

Every Pictures Tells a Story

Jorge G. Gutierrez and his serie El Macho

Jorge G. Gutierrez, director, Annie and Emmy Awards winner related his life story; how he managed to create and released his recent movie, Book of Life. He started his career in the California Institute of Arts and later he developed the series El Macho and El Tigre: The Adventures of Manny Rivera. As he said, Gutierrez always put his own experience into his work, therefore, in El Tigre, the main character was young and confused as himself. Also he didn't hesitate to turn down an offer from Disney Studio. Later he explained how he got an offer from DreamWorks to make his own movie (based on the script of Book of Life) but he turned down the offer. Why somebody would say no to DreamWorks? Because the studio wanted to make the movie their own way. It wouldn't be a Mexican inspired world but a New York environment with confused, blonde, young, female character. Gutierrez moved on and he finally got an offer from Real FX Creative Studios with 50% of the budget and the rest was found thanks to Guillermo del Torro. Later on, another problem appeared when the studio wanted to change the ending and the director got an ultimatum: he had to change the ending or there would be no money for marketing. In the end agreement was reached and some changes were made.

Book of Life
It was a very inspiring speech. I have heard the amazing story of how one person (with his wife support) had achieved that much. Never give up and follow your dreams.

The Spirit and The Stories of PDI

Glen Entis, computer animation and video games pioneer, Oscar Award winner narrated the origin of PDI ( Pacific Data Images) until its last day in 2015. 
When I have read the news on Twitter, I couldn't believe that suddenly 200 people lost their job. I have got the occasion to hear and see tears in the eyes of those ex-employees who had worked and spent an amazing time over there. Also, the audience had the opportunity to hear good advises about how to run the businesses. 
  1. Milk the cash cow - yes, it sounds harsh but being honest, if you need to run your company, you need money and you cannot lower the price or sicken your client with yourself.
  2. Never have debts in equipment - I think that nowadays, with banks restricting loans and a never ending economic crisis, working only with what we can afford is not a bad idea. Obviously we speak about creating a studio where you would need good PCs, you would only start with 5 of them and then grow progressively...
  3. Reinvest the money in the field.
Beginning of 3D software
The company started they adventure with creating 3D software, motion graphics and broadcast graphics for TV stations. We could see how 30 years ago all calculations, measurements were made by people where now everything is done by software. In the 90's PDI focused on CGI and started developing their first 3D animation and at the same time they were bought by DreamWorks SKG. PDI's first feature film was Antz. Who ever followed DreamWorks on the markets, knows that 3 years ago company had some big lost. In January 2015, PDI was closed.

ILM: 40 Years of Creating the Impossible

The team for Industrial Light&Magic reminded us how much the studio has done for movies ... or rather for special effects in the industry. It was funny to see show real of the studio and realised that ILM has probably participated in all Hollywood movies special effects! Obviously, this isn't the truth but we cannot deny how much effort the company put into it. 
We heard few stories about different movies. In The Perfect Storm, the creation of water was quite challenging. In Pearl Harbour, they created new techniques for light and smoke; also, during the Japan attack over USA, planes and some of the ships were CGI, whereas the rest were just big miniatures. For Harry Potter movies, the studio made a new engine for fire and in Dragon Heart (1996) they were challenged with facial expressions. Now ILM focuses on VR technologies.
And for all fans out there...


Over all the conferences were amazing. Not only because you get inspired but also because it is the most honest conference I had heard. People who works for international studios also struggles with lack of money for new projects (like Mark Osborne who tries to collect money for a new 2D stop-motion animation taking place in Space), making some agreement with producers, trying to make things you love and show them to the world. It was worth to see all this amazing work and hear stories that can happen to everyone.

Monday, May 2, 2016

// VIEW Conference 2015 part 1

It was the first time that I attended to the VIEW Conference. I was very pleased being there and listening what other artists had to say. In my opinion there were the most honest panels I had ever attended, I will explain it later (see part 2).

The Challenge of Adapting a Beloved Classic: The Little Prince

Mark Osborne

At the first panel Mark Osborne introduced us with his private journey with the book Little Prince. The book followed him all his life. He likes so much the story that at the beginning he refused to create a movie based on Saint-ExupĂ©ry's novel. Finally, when he felt ready, he created this amazing movie combining stop motion animation and 3D. It wasn't a secret that producers were seeing this movie made only in 3D but fortunately the makers could present the parts of the book as a paper-fragile world. Only the concepts were made in France and rest of a production in Montreal and Ottawa.

It was interesting and inspiring to see that Mark Osborne's traveling book becomes his destination; though he wasn't aware of it and neither can we.

Sculpting a Galaxy: Inside the ILM Star Wars Model Shop

Obligatory panel for every fan of Star Wars. It was part of celebration of Light and Magic's 40th anniversary. Lorne Peterson presented us some of his work. He has done models and miniatures for all six Star Wars movies. Funny fact, in all movies G. Lucas used models, even if he wanted to push CGI in parts 1, 2 and 3, e.g. the Lava's scene on Mustafar at the end of episode 3. It  is a huge amount of work, and models had to be destroyed during shooting (explosion...) but Lorne did not feel sad or bad, it was just part of a creative work.

Woman in Animation Panel: 50/50 by 2025

The panel was hold by Jinko Gotoh (Board Member and Film Producer), Kim White (Director of Photography), Mikki Rose (Director), Deborah Fowler (Visual Effects Professor) and Mark Osborne. The panel presented an idea by Woman In Animation (WIA) to try to increase the amount of women in the animation field. The goal is to get 50% of female employees by 2025. There were presented statistics from USA and France about how many women study animation and then work in the industry. For example in USA there are only 10% producers/directors or 23% in animation; whereas the statistics are looking better in France. WIA doesn't want to discriminate males employees, because anyway, skills remain important, it's just to make a point and notice a problem. 

//To be continued...

Thursday, March 31, 2016


So, I finally refreshed my virtual portfolio!

Now, there are 6 different categories and also new projects!

In the section Motion Graphics are the latest animations, which I have made while I was working as a Motion Graphic Designer.
In the section Project there is a stop-motion animation. That was a big challenge! But, in the end I have learned new technical stuff about cameras.

Let me guys know what you think about them:)

I the next post I will write about the VIEW Conference 2015 in Turin (Italy).


Friday, August 8, 2014

Welcome back!!!

It was a while since the last time I write something on my blog... I have to change it!!!

First, please find link to my animation, which I made for my master degree.
It took me around 10 months to create plot, storyboard, character design and later model my characters, rigs, background, animate it ...

In next posts I want to share with you my knowledge (about Autodesk Maya) which I gathered during my studies. I hope it will be helpful.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

"From script to screen"

Exploring further my knowledge of animation I came across a book called "Animation-from script to screen" Shamus Culhane.

This is an interesting position for the majority of people that start their adventure with animation, but anyone can read it.
There are lots of tips on where to begin their work on the film, what to do during your project, for example, carry a small notebook to write everything that you can think of. Sometimes in the past while I was walkking on a street or sitting in a bus, I came up with an idea and later at my home I could not recall it .
One of the more interesting quotes is "animation has a definite limitation in its exploatation of animals and human beings". He was writing about gags that in real life they can be funny but in a film- not.