We have to talk about ‘The Boxtrolls’

Category: Animation / 3D / VFX

To be honest, 2013 was a dark year in animation. After watching the ridiculously awful ‘Frozen’ from the Disney-factory —  followed by a couple of weak attempts from other studios — I was ready to give up on modern animation in the US. But thank goodness I was wrong! There is a couple of animated features to look forward to this year! We were mentioning ’The Book of Life’ the other day, praising it’s unique style, and now have to talk about ‘The Boxtrolls’.

Based on the children’s novel ‘Here Be Monsters’, the story follows an orphaned boy who is raised by underground trash collecting creatures.

What’s amazing in ’The Boxtrolls’ that it is a stop-motion animation film made by the fantastic Laika Studio in Portland, Oregon. Being a huge fan of their previous work —  ‘Coraline’ and ‘Paranorman’ they are true successors of the classic stop-motion traditions pioneered the likes of George Pal, Ray Harryhausen and many European masters such as Jan Švankmajer. So, for three years, in a huge warehouse in the outskirts of Portland, over 300 craftsmen and women were working with hundreds of puppets and thousands of props, with the most amazing sets I’ve ever seen.

‘The Boxtrolls’ will premiere 26th of September 2014.
P.S. The ‘making of’ trailer (Teaser Trailer #2, third in the row) is a must see!

Kyle Glass
Images: Focus Features, Laika Entertainment 

Leave a comment
Study options

Media Design School

Premium Design Academy in Auckland, New Zealand
http://www.mediadesignschool.com/

Relevant Courses:

Bachelor of Art and Design (3D Animation and Visual Effects)

Get in touch now:

 

NewSchool of Architecture + Design

San Diego, California
http://www.newschoolarch.edu/

Relevant Courses:

Bachelor of Arts in Animation

Get in touch now:

 

We are apes! 3D Magic from Weta Digital

Category: Animation / 3D / VFX, Film / Multimedia

I am very excited about the highly anticipated release of the ‘Dawn of the Planet of the Apes’. Also, fascinated to peek behind the scenes and see where motion capture technology has evolved. Sceptics might think that replacing actors with 3D avatars takes away the human element — but the truth is quite the opposite.

This technology is built on human performances. Excellent actors provide the real essence that get’s digitised, enhanced and ‘dressed’ to create illusions with never before seen substance and realism. Weta Digital in New Zealand has been pioneering this technology for over a decade and created some of the most iconic human performance based digital characters in modern cinema. Remember Gollum from The Lord Of the Rings and The Hobbit?

The ‘Dawn of the Planet of the Apes’ takes all this to the next level. It is a truly revolutionary live-action 3D film that’s been shot with brilliant actors working in motion capture jumpsuits, arm extensions and reference points on their face — every muscle movement captured by small cameras mounted on them. This kind of film making is also pushing acting to the next level. Actors and actresses get the chance to really transform their movements and posture to get into character. This is reaching the very roots of traditional acting.

Hundreds of digital artists and technicians at Weta Digital worked over a year to create around 1,200 special effects — quite a few Media Design School graduates in the crew.

The split screen video comparing the actors and the digital output is a must see!
If you aspire to be part of a production like this and many more to come, worth to have a look at the multiple award winning 3D / VFX course at Media Design School, where the pool of graduates provide a steady supply of new talent for Weta.
If you want to read more details about the production process, read this NY Times article.
The Dawn of the Planet of the Apes hits theatres on July the 11th.

Kyle Glass
Sources: 20th Century Fox, Weta Digital, NY Times
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes — ™ and © 2014 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation

Leave a comment
Study options

Media Design School

Premium Design Academy in Auckland, New Zealand
http://www.mediadesignschool.com/

Relevant Courses:

Bachelor of Art and Design (3D Animation and Visual Effects)

Get in touch now:

 

NewSchool of Architecture + Design

San Diego, California
http://www.newschoolarch.edu/

Relevant Courses:

Bachelor of Arts in Animation

Get in touch now:

 

Summer Design Scholarships to Milan & San Diego!

Category: Animation / 3D / VFX, Architecture, Design, Fashion, Film / Multimedia, Fine Art, Gaming, Graphics / Illustration, Industrial design, Interior Design, Photography

Ah, summer is coming… Time to change your travel plans to add Milan or San Diego to the list of cities you are visiting this year! We are giving out two scholarships to summer design courses offered by four top universities. Yes, you get to spend your summer days soaking up one of these beautiful cities AND all the inspiration and knowledge to be gained from these great schools!

And, as usual, there’s some extra icing on this cake. On arrival, Frontier is giving you a shiny new iPad Mini* to boost your creativity — think of it as our welcome present to you. This sleek little device will slide nicely in your handbag while you are busy exploring and creating. All you need to do is have a current portfolio displayed on Frontier and fill in the online application form.

Other good news is that the already broad palette of courses on offer is getting even better. For the first time, you get access to some cutting-edge 3D animation, game design and visual effects courses from the award winning Media Design School in Milan. New Zealand’s school that has nurtured digital design professionals to bring you the magic of the biggest current Hollywood blockbusters like The Hobbit, Avatar and Tin Tin has made its way to Europe!

Whatever discipline are you interested in, we have an awesome short course for it! This unique summer collaboration of four universities (Domus Academy, NABA, Media Design School, NewSchool of Architecture + Design) cover a wide variety of areas, including:

  • Design & Architecture
  • Fashion & accessories design, fashion management
  • Digital Arts (3D, Gaming, VFX, Photography, Graphic Design)
  • Business in Design
  • Visual Arts
  • Design experiences

This is too good an opportunity to pass you by. Read about all the details here. Make sure to submit your application and make your portfolio look hot before the 2nd of May – that’s when we are closing the competition and progress to the judging phase.

Who knows…it might just be you winging your way to a foreign land, armed with a Summer Scholarship and an iPad. So get busy getting creative, spice up your portfolio.

Leave a comment
Study options

Domus Academy

Design and Fashion School in Milan, Italy
http://www.domusacademy.com/

Relevant Courses:

Get in touch now:

 

NABA Nuova Accademia di Belle Arti

Milan, Italy
http://www.naba.it/

Relevant Courses:

Get in touch now:

 

Media Design School

Premium Design Academy in Auckland, New Zealand
http://www.mediadesignschool.com/

Relevant Courses:

Get in touch now:

 

NewSchool of Architecture + Design

San Diego, California
http://www.newschoolarch.edu/

Relevant Courses:

Get in touch now:

 

Advice from Valve & Weta concept artist

Category: Animation / 3D / VFX, Design, Expert insight, Film / Multimedia, Fine Art, Gaming

It’s more exciting times at Media Design School, the award winning design institution in Auckland, New Zealand. Being top of the game in 3D means it has direct access to the best of the best in digital design. If it’s about movies, television or gaming, chances are Media Design School have their paws all over it, this includes inviting industry superstars in for guest lectures and studio visits. An advantage of being near to the famous Weta and Middle Earth I guess.

So as it recently happened, legend Weta concept artist Laura Dubuk visited the classrooms, taught a masterclass and left the students inspired with some awesome work and valuable advice. Laura is one of those top notch concept artists we’re all a tiny bit jealous of. Not only has she worked on some of the world’s biggest games at Valve, she now she works on super-secret blockbuster projects at Weta Digital in Wellington. With a background in traditional art, painting and some pretty amazing abstract sculptural pieces, this talented artist has managed to cover all the art bases incredibly well. Wanna see what she has to say? Well then click to read what she shared with young concept artists, students and aspiring digital designers at Media Design School over on their blog!

Frontier

Leave a comment
Study options

Media Design School

Premium Design Academy in Auckland, New Zealand
http://www.mediadesignschool.com/

Relevant Courses:

Bachelor Software Engineering (Game Programming)
Bachelor of Creative Technologies (Game Art)
Bachelor of Art and Design (3D Animation and Visual Effects)

Get in touch now:

 

Who Will Conquer?

Category: Animation / 3D / VFX, Film / Multimedia

This is absolutely epic and a must watch. I know that we’ve kind of missed the boat in terms of the Winter Olympics timeline, but I had forgotten to share this and when I remembered I thought, well, it’s just too amazing to not… even if the event is all done and dusted.

This incredible sequence is a promo for the BBC’s coverage of the Winter Olympics. What to say apart from the fact that this is an incredible piece of work. Part live footage and part CG, Platige Image, the post house behind the job, have absolutely and completely nailed it. Full of drama, full of vast domineering mountains, full of rich dark hues and perfectly shot action, it’s a sports promo like no other. When I look at a job like this I can’t quite understand the scope of it all. There is so much work here that it’s amazing that it’s for a television channel (albeit one of the worlds largest) as it really feels like this should be made for the big screen. Even the storyboarding is astounding, and if you have any interest in that I highly suggest you click here to see it all laid out in pencil, along with some pretty impressive style frames. The creative agency behind the job Y&R, and it’s post house of choice Platige Image have really scored 100% on this one. It’s nearly impossible to fault.

Beautifully scripted, beautifully shot and beautifully realized. Whether you like sport or don’t like sport, either way, you’ve got to admit that this thing gets the pulse racing.

Im serious with this one. Turn it up, make it big and watch some incredible computer generated action.

(Right… done that? Now take a look at the making of. Just as impressive!)

Logan Bradley

Leave a comment
Study options

Media Design School

Premium Design Academy in Auckland, New Zealand
http://www.mediadesignschool.com/

Relevant Courses:

Bachelor of Art and Design (3D Animation and Visual Effects)
Bachelor Software Engineering (Game Programming)
Bachelor of Creative Technologies (Game Art)

Get in touch now:

 

NewSchool of Architecture + Design

San Diego, California
http://www.newschoolarch.edu/

Relevant Courses:

Bachelor of Arts in Animation
Bachelor of Science in Digital Media Arts

Get in touch now: