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This Week in Animation: August 11

Aug 11, 2017

Welcome to this week's animation and motion graphics news. Here are the headlines...


Director creates abstract music video using Trapcode Suite

To create the music video L'oiseau Qui Danse for Canadian electro band Tennyson, artist and director Jean-Marie Marbach decided to exclusively use the popular After Effects plugin Trapcode Suite.

The video follows one bird’s journey through a luminous world, which took inspiration from the abstract animation style of visual music as well as the work of Walter Ruttman and Oskar Fischiner.

“Instead of recreating what those artists did in their time, I wanted to showcase today’s tools used in the same spirit (and more specifically particles which I find especially suited for abstract animations),” said Marbach.


CNN series Colourscope explores our perception of colour one shade at a time

Colour is an extremely influential tool when creating animation and motion graphics, as certain choices can evoke certain emotions. This is something CNN is exploring with its award-winning Colourscope series.

Each week, a different colour is put under the microscope, where subjects like human perception and cultural meaning are explored in more detail. Every colour is also supported by an animation from artists and studios all over the world.

Episodes so far include “Why the colour red turns us on,” “What it really means to see green,” and “When life on Earth began, it was purple.”


Animal Logic announces open source release of USDMaya plugin

Animal Logic has announced the open source release of its USDMaya plugin AL_USDMaya. It will enable powerful authoring and editing of 3D graphics data using Pixar’s Universal Scene Description (USD), which was previously released as open source in 2016.

The plugin aims to leverage the strengths of both Maya and USD, maintaining a “live” connection between both in order to keep scenes in sync and allow for a better user experience.

For example, artists can swap in and out different representations of objects in their scene, including Rigs for geometry caches and levels of detail.


Animated short “In a Heartbeat” about LGBT love becomes overnight success

It might be more computer animation than motion graphics, but the short film “In a Heartbeat” deserves recognition for its moving depiction of two adolescent boys falling in love, which has captivated online audiences.

Senior computer animation students Esteban Bravo and Beth David funded the project with a Kickstarter campaign, quadrupling their initial goal of $3,000 by raising over $14,000. Just 72 hours after the film was released, it had amassed over 12 million views on YouTube.

“From a business standpoint, it makes sense why studios are afraid to portray LGBT characters,” said Bravo. “But as leaders of children’s content, it’s really important for them to represent these people because not showing LGBT characters leads to a lot of internalised confusion as kids grow up.”


Mini documentary of Jumbla Academy student journey in the works

Semester 2 of Jumbla Academy 2017 is well underway, with a full class experiencing what it's like to work in an animation and motion graphics studio, honing their craft along the way.

One student, Molly, kindly volunteered to be part of a mini documentary, which will track her progress from start to finish and show what signing up to Jumbla Academy could do for your skills and showreel.

Filming started this week and will continue for the duration of the semester. Keep your eyes peeled for updates and the final video!

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