Software Behind Futurama and Princess Mononoke Is Going Open Source

When it comes to software these days there are always options for you to choose from. The big decision is often based on your budget. If you were interested in making your own anime then you might be in luck as the software some great shows is going open source.

Toonz is a company that develops several pieces of software and even without knowing it you have probably seen it in use. Their main piece of software is an animation tool that helps with cleaning up drawings, composing and animating images and has been used on some big names.

It was thanks to Toonz software that we have Futurama and Studio Ghibli’s Princess Mononoke and Spirited Away. The problem was often though that software of such high calibre needs maintenance and, therefore, a license cost (rumoured to be upward of $10,000 per each license). The program though has been brought out as part of a deal with Dwango, a term of the sale though is that the tool will become open source.

The new tool, OpenToonz, will feature functions developed by Studio Ghibli and the new tool looks to have “research labs and the animated film industry actively cooperating with each other”. The cost of the product will instead be recovered through training, support and customization services, leaving everyone from a teenager at home to a company to explore the software as they wish.

Matt Groening to Create Animated Comedy Show For Netflix

Simpsons co-creator, Matt Groening revolutionized television and made it acceptable for adult audiences to watch cartoons. The Simpsons became renowned for its lovable characters, emotional storylines and remarkable comedy. While the show hasn’t been that great in recent years, older episodes still hold up remarkably well. Of course, the incredibly talented writer, and artist went onto produce, Futurama, which is one of my favourite programmes of all-time. I particularly enjoy the obscure mathematical references and over-the-top characters like Calculon! According to Deadline, Groening is set to create a brand new animated comedy for Netflix in addition to working on The Simpsons.

As you might expect, details are pretty sparse, and no-one currently knows what the new show will entail. However, this is just another example of Netflix expanding on their exclusive line-up and attempting to procure more subscribers. During the last couple of years, streaming video content has posed a legitimate rival to traditional television broadcasts especially among the younger demographic. It’s always going to be an impossible task to produce a show which comes close to matching the impact of The Simpsons. Nevertheless, Groening’s history is flawless despite Futurama being cancelled far too many times.

Are you looking forward to seeing something new from Matt Groening?

Image courtesy of Redditer stupidsexystartrek

Watch Disney Animator Glen Keane Work and Talk About VR

Disney’s animators have always been considered some of the best in the world and now one of them, Glen Keane, is showing us how to embrace the future in form of Virtual Reality for that kind of work. It was Glen Keane that brought The Little Mermaid Ariel to the big screens over 25 years ago and the possible tools to create such a thing have changed a lot in that time.

Keane is using an HTC Vive virtual reality headset and Tilt Brush, a VR drawing and animation tool that got acquired by Google earlier this year, as he takes us on a little trip into his world. This isn’t the first time that Glen Keane ventures into the virtual world that lets us experience everything in 360 degrees, he has previously created an animated short film called Duet which plays on a 360-degree stage.

The new video doesn’t just show the technical aspect as so many VR videos do, Keane also shares his thought on the whole deal as well as what drawing means to him. It isn’t so much about the drawing itself, it’s about entering a whole new world where he becomes the thing that he creates. You can watch the 5-minute long video below, it’s well worth it.

Thank You Variety for providing us with this information

Japanese Company Wants to Build a Stunning 3D Holographic Display

We’ve been talking about holograms like something out of sci-fi movies, but with today’s technology, it really is possible to make a holographic display. We’ve previously seen this as a DIY project, where a guy showed you how to build your own pyramid-shaped display and use it with your smarphone. Now a Japanese company named ‘SSS’ seems to take it even further and started a crowdfunding project on Indiegogo for a 3D holographic display, dubbed ‘Holo case’.

As with the DYI project, the display is shaped as a pyramid for a full 360 degree holographic effect. The company already has a lot of useful real-world applications for it, from meeting your favourite characters in the ‘real-world’, to displaying expensive jewelery and minimize the risk of it being stolen from the showcase.

“Our mission is realize that thinking about how to interact with the characters. VR is the way we go through the world of character. However, there isn’t the only one answer for it. One of these is studying how to ” invite character into this world ” and we’ve realized it.”

“Here’s the example of exhibiting “authentic” ring in “Holo case”. Although the ring itself is just $10, you can display it just like expensive one by giving effect to the ring. Here’s the mini figure set in Holo case. We can display snowing scene.”

The company says that making an app for the Holo case is easy too. It just takes some animations to display on all sides of the pyramid, and you’re all set! They even say that using a game engine such as Unity3D or Unreal Engine 4 will make life even easier for you. You can find more information about the project over on Indiegogo.

Remembering Robin Williams 1yr On

Yesterday (August 11th) marked the one year anniversary since the passing of Robin Williams, who was a beloved, charismatic and exciting comedian, actor and personality. Uniqueness is overused within today’s generic saturation of celebrity; Robin Williams was without a doubt unique and creative. His career spanned the silverscreen which included animation to thrillers and everything in between; the diverse acting ability can even be linked within tech, think voiceovers in animated films such as Robots, Aladdin, Flubber and CGI adventures in Night Of The Museum franchise.

A critical aspect of Robin Williams personality was his movement; he could display a wired comic before stepping it down several notches for a moving scene. Below is a video which displays this and comes courtesy of a Vimeo channel video, it begins with a clip from Good Morning Vietnam; I loved this performance because it felt spontaneous, dangerous and exciting.

A comparison of movement is illustrated 1:34 minutes into this video with a clip of One Hour Photo which is below. As you can see, there are two different scenes which are side by side, these could easily contain the same movements, but Robin Williams subtly changes to convey the effect of variation. A person in real life for example walks to work, but they do not walk with the same movements each day, this also conveys the impression of two different days, not the same structured scene which has been repeated.

A clip from Flubber now which is below and illustrates the way Robin Williams acted, I can’t think of many comedians who would be able to successfully convey a story while acting with a CGI non entity, the performance is natural and embodies the character while still managing to project authenticity, it’s also not forced over the top acting for the sake of it, he understands the skills required.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HJT2QOpnYb8

I was going to place comedy from Robin Williams below, but, I cannot guarantee the clips won’t contain swearing, therefore I have not, also, there are clips on Youtube from a US show by the name of Shrink Rap, by all means take a look, it’s fascinating. The clip is 46 minutes long and again, I have not uploaded it because of the reason above.

1 year on and the world still misses a genius.

Love Pixel Art? Check out These Stunning 8-bit GIFs of Japan

Japan has evolved to a somewhat juxtaposition within today’s fast moving tech world but has still kept its identity and influences from the past. It’s difficult to quantify how life moves within a new direction considering we as humans live through and are not aware of the imperceptible per day changes. Tumblr creative individual 1041uuu has turned everyday life of Japan into 8 bit GIFs, which are both stunning and also simply yet colorfully distil a perspective of this country.

Below is the wonderful GIFs which really do capture the imagination, they also add that old tech vs new surroundings feel to each piece.

The build up of colour for this image below is fantastic and it demonstrates the evolution of Japan’s skyline which is dominated by skyscrapers.

This GIF below has very few animated elements, all you really see move is the rain drops, by doing this you feel that you are not rushed and can therefore sit back and admire the artwork.

I would say the next three GIFs would be my favourites of the ones I have selected for this article, the reason for this is that all three perfectly encapsulate how the digital revolution has changed not only Japan but also large swathes of the world.  The train feels as if it’s from a different era while the passengers are all without exception focused on their Smartphones.

Old style tech on the right of this GIF which is a bulky TV with built-in video player with what looks to be a PC tower from years gone by, this is blended with a new laptop on the table with, well a unique, yes lets call it that, fish tank on the left.

This last GIF again demonstrates how things have evolved within a short space of time, from the fluorescent green of an arcade machine to the latest MP3 player which is currently being used.  This could also be a perfect observation of many people’s life’s over the years who have bought each new piece of tech.

These GIFs are colourful, creative and have hit the nail on the head in a subtle yet powerful way, by all means take a gander at 1041uuu Tumblr page for more GIFs, link is below, it’s certainly worth it.

Thank you 1041uuu for providing us with this information.

Miyamoto Shares How He Designed Super Mario Bros

Oh Mario, that cheeky Italian plumber has graced our consciousness for nearly 30 years. To celebrate this anniversary, Nintendo have both released the original drawings when designing the first Super Mario Bros and also talked about their upcoming game Super Mario Maker. This game allows you to create your very own Mario levels and share them with all your friends.

So how do you create a world of plumbers, mushrooms and many colours? Well, according to the plans and artwork, video games designers Shigeru Miyamoto and Takashi Tezuka, discussed how they used graph paper with the aim of roughly sketching out their imaginations. This was then refined so that each level was more accurate before submitting them to the game programmers.

But how do you make a level so well refined? Well I studied for a Degree in Animation, so I do have an idea, maybe surprising to hear but I do. Basically what each animator, storyboard artist or designer does is very lightly sketch out the level, any parts which seem to be in inaccurate, wrong or will not work are rubbed out before being re drawn. If you are a character designer for an animated series, and you wish to make your person move in very small increments, you first sketch the first movement of the character on thin animated paper; you then place this onto a light box and place the next piece of blank paper on top. You can then see the first piece of paper from beneath the next piece which then shows you what to draw next.

This is a variation of what the games designers employed, they used tracing paper on top of levels so that editing was easier. If you keep correcting paper drawings, said paper will become worn and messy, image is below of the original drawings.

The level of detail with which these designs have been, well designed is amazing, for example, the first level of Super Mario Bros where the player falls into a pit does not kill the character, but, it informs the player that these will kill you and you should really not do that.

If you are reading this and would like to be a games designer, or you are at college and studying animation, then by all means check these drawings and concepts out. Yes games have evolved, but it’s the principle which should be studied, never take shortcuts and always delve into the notion of what games designing is all about. If you do this, perhaps a career in games is for you.

Also, sorry, to go on as I bet you thought that was the end of the article, if you are studying animation, from experience, always read and delve into as many sources and examples as you can, you may not like a certain game or style, but all concepts are influenced somewhere. When studying animation, you don’t need to always stick to storyline conventions, let your imagination think outside the box, if you’re designing a project which allows you to animate what you like, then plan it. Always keep any ideas down, even if they sound stupid, as these ideas morph into other ideas which then in turn morph into other, other ideas.

When you are studying it, you have no pressure to conform to what a games company or Film Company is asking you to do. Therefore, enjoy it and be creative.

Thank You Rocket News 24 for providing us with this information

Sega and Relic Want to Revive the Company of Heroes 2 With a New Expansion

It’s been a long time since I heard about any news regarding the Company of Heroes title. The hype around it suddenly died soon after it got released, though the expansions that came after it did try to keep it going. The latest one, Adrenaline Assault, also shifted the focus on the eastern World War II front, taking the focus off the Allied forces and placing the Red Army in the spotlight.

This time around, the focus will move to the Brits and their forces. The upcoming expansion will be called Company of Heroes 2: The British Forces and will introduce fifteen new unites and six commanders, along with eight new multiplayer maps. It will also be a standalone multiplayer expansion, which means you don’t need to have Company of Heroes 2 in order to play it.

In addition to the expansion, Relic and Sega is planning a big update for all Company of Heroes 2 titles too. The latter will feature an improved balance between all factions, improved animations and visual improvements to the majority of units. It’s nice to see they are still supporting the Company of Heroes 2 title, but will this move to attract more players actually work this time?

The expansion and update are said to arrive on the 3rd of September, having the expansion cost £9.99. Sega said it will also offer a 20% discount to players who already own any Company of Heroes title, but only for pre-order purchases.

Thank you Rock, Paper, Shotgun for providing us with this information

Image courtesy of SegaBits

Batman vs. Superman Trailer Recreated With Lego is Epic

I love a little bit of Lego animation from time to time, mostly because you’re never too old for Lego, but also because I appreciate the time and effort people put into these fun little projects, just to amuse random people on the internet.

The movie is already shaping up to be quite an interesting addition to the whole comic book movie scene, despite many lingering questions over how ridiculous it is going to be. If you haven’t seen the original trailer which leaked a few days ago, I wouldn’t want to spoil anything for you in the form of Lego animation; you can check out the original trailer right here.

The original trailer is certainly dark and intense and it’s great to see that none of that is lost in the Lego version, although I now wonder if this movie will get the now seemingly obligatory Lego game release, just like virtually every other film does these days.

Will you be in the line to see the new movie on release day? After an intense trilogy at the hands of Christopher Nolan, I’m eager to see how this new Batman holds up, not to mention settle the debate of who will win, Batman or Superman?

Brad Bird Starts Writing The Incredibles 2

Writer/director Brad Bird has revealed that he has recently started work on the script for Disney-Pixar’s sequel to 2004’s animated action comedy The Incredibles. Bird told NPR’s Ask Me Another, “It’s percolating. I mean, I’m just starting to write it, so we’ll see what happens.”

Pixar Animation Studios, an innovator in the field of CGI rendering since its inception as a spin-off from George Lucas’ Industrial Light and Magic special effects department, revolutionised animated films with the release of Toy Story in 1995, the world’s first fully CGI movie. Since then, CGI animation has become the standard, influencing the successful Shrek and Ice Age franchises, and even bleeding through to television, with traditionally animated sitcoms The Simpsons, Family Guy, and South Park adopting computer animation in recent years.

However, despite Pixar changing the landscape of animation, since its purchase by Disney it has become locked into a cycle of releasing sequels, rather than risk new intellectual properties, with Toy Story 4, Finding Nemo sequel Finding Dory, and Cars 3 joining The Incredibles 2 on the follow-up list.

Source: Flickering Myth

Father and Daughter Built Jurassic Park Out of $100,000 of LEGO

A father and daughter have not only recreated Jurassic Park – the dinosaur-filled theme park from the eponymously-titled 1993 Spielberg film – from over $100,000 worth of LEGO bricks, they, with the help of some animator friends, recreated some of the movie’s best moments as a stop-motion YouTube short.

The high quality of the animation compares favourably with 2014’s multi-million dollar The LEGO Movie, and the recreations of famous Jurassic Park scenes are very charming. The pair even made a ‘making-of’ video, which gives us a better impression of just how vast some of the scenes they built are.

Source: The Verge

Pixar Releases New Trailer for ‘Inside Out’

Pixar are preparing to dazzle us once again with their upcoming movie Inside Out. While we’ve known about this film for some time now, details have been fairly limited. The latest trailer gives us a much more in-depth look at the story, setting, animation and cast for the movie and it looks fantastic!

The story focuses on a girl named Riley, with the bulk of the cast being the little voices in her head. You’ll find Amy Poehler as Joy, Mindy Kaling as Disgust, Bill Hader as Fear, Phyllis Smith as Sadness and Lewis Black as Anger.

Inside Out will hit the big screen on June 19th.

Artists Recreate Animation Frame-by-Frame with 3D Printing Technology

Have you ever wondered how beautiful an animation can be? Well, now you can view it at its best, frame-by-frame, in the real world. The MOVE ON…! exhibition in Netherlands is apparently hosting a CGI animation which has been converted into a real-life frame-by-frame illustration of it using 3D printing technology.

The video below shows the progression of the character as he moves around the room, including the objects he interacts with.

“The whole animation is made in CGI, and we used a 3D printer to print each frame. The result is a weird string of characters in different poses. This explains the principles of animation beautifully, without a single bit actually moving. It is a static installation: a frozen movement. If you look closely, you can figure out what happened on that table.”

More pictures of the animation can be viewed below:

Thank you Gizmodo for providing us with this information

Unity 5 Released, Including Fully Featured Free Version!

Unity 5 is finally here! This has proven to be a quick response to Epic’s shocking shift in making Unreal Engine 4 free last weekend. Unity 5 brings “over a thousand” improvements, including making the engine 64-bit and adding support for 21 platforms.

In terms of more detailed improvements, the team at Unity call the new engine a “graphical powerhouse”. What they mean by this is that there have been a lot of changes in terms of rendering:

  • Physically-based Standard Shader
    • The new Standard Shader will make your materials look consistent in any lighting environment, across mobile, high-end desktop, and consoles. Apply it across 95% of the materials in your game, such as metal, plastics, wood, ceramics and cloth. Use it together with the new HDR Skybox, Reflection Probes and Global Illumination System to create stunning visuals.
  • Real-time Global Illumination
    • Animate lighting with Real-time Global Illumination built on Geomerics Enlighten technology. Achieve dynamic lighting treatments on high-end mobile, desktop and consoles, and for lower-end devices, create beautifully detailed results with baked artwork.
  • HDR Reflection Probes
    • Enhance visual fidelity with our new HDR Reflection Probes. Add richer detail by having any object realistically reflect its surroundings. Reflection Probes are easy to implement—just place a probe at any location in your scene to sample reflections for its surrounding objects.

Moving further under the hood, we see some major changes in the Editor as well, having added a new audio mixer, enhanced animation workflows and PhysX 3.3:

  • The Audio Mixer
    • Now anyone can massively improve the audio in their game! Our new Audio Mixer brings nested mixing workflows, with snapshots to capture mixes in different areas of your project, plus industry-standard effects to add immersive new depths.
  • New Physics Engine
    • PhysX 3.3 brings massive performance improvements to 3D physics in Unity 5. New multithreaded simulation is available for platforms that support it, and there’s a new cloth component for character clothing. New wheel colliders bring better support for suspension and tire force simulation. Collision detection is improved and bake-free scaled MeshCollider support is added.
  • A more powerful Animator
    • We added more flexibility to the animation system. Add State Machine Behaviours to states to give precise control of script functions during animation. Anything in your game that requires some kind of State Machine-like logic can now use our visual editor live feedback. A new Asset Creation API is now exposed so animators can now create all sorts of tools to create and edit animation assets.

Other improvements include WebGL Preview, which is a preview of the deployment support for advanced 3D and 2D content in modern browsers. It aims at enhancing support for HTML5 and WebGL applications through Unity Web Player, stating that the new improvements will “deliver performance at native speeds”. Aside from WebGL, Unity 5 now supports iOS Metal Rendering, taking full advantage of iOS hardware in order to achieve greater detail, smoother performance and interactivity in games at a lower CPU usage cost.

Also, Unity 5 along with Oculus are working to “further boost the exceptional frame rates achievable with Unity on the Oculus”. This means we are going to see a lot of developers taking an interest in VR technology and in return, we should expect a lot of titles supporting the technology in the future.

In terms of new features, Unity 5 apparently is heading “to the clouds”. The team has prepared a new feature for developers, namely Unity Cloud Build, along with a set of game performance reporting tools and analytics:

  • Unity Cloud Build
    • Unity Cloud Build brings the magic of build automation to all Unity developers. Unity Cloud Build automates the creation and distribution of builds, by monitoring your team’s source control, and when changes are detected, it builds your project for multiple platforms in the cloud. Your whole team is kept updated with email notifications, making it easy for them to install builds on their devices with the tap of a button.
  • Game Performance Reporting
    • Game Performance Reporting is a new cloud service for Unity Professional customers that provides developers with new tools for improving game performance, starting with a preview of exception logging. Exception Logging captures exceptions in editor, development and release builds, and delivers detailed reports that can be read via a web dashboard.
  • Unity Analytics
    • Our new cloud-based analytics tool is currently in open beta. Unity Analytics provides you with powerful yet simple-to-understand tools that will help you understand your audience and get actionable insights into your players’ behavior. With that knowledge in hand, you can then improve your players’ gaming experience to boost retention, engagement and monetization.

Other improvements and additions are as following:

  • A 64-bit Editor to handle large projects
  • iOS 64-bit support
  • New Deferred Rendering
  • Graphics Command Buffers
  • Improved Linear lighting, HDR, Skybox and Cubemap workflows
  • Improved job scheduling system, plus a new CPU Timeline Profiler lets you see and investigate multicore usage
  • Improved NavMesh pathfinding system
  • Integrated SpeedTree support to create lush, rich and dynamic vegetation
  • New Frame Debugger to track down graphical issues in your projects
  • Improved Project Wizard
  • Updated Standard Assets
  • New UI and scripting APIs for AssetBundle Build system

Lastly, Unity 5 not only brings a lot of changes in terms of features, performance and improvements, but in terms of pricing as well. The team seems to be working with having two “goals” in mind:

Goal #1 — One of the founding principles of Unity is the idea that we work hard to solve very hard technical problems so our developers / users won’t have to. For this to be at all relevant, our best tools need to be a great value.

Goal #2 — Deep in Unity’s culture is the principle of Democracy. The goal is to price in such a way as to reflect our principles. Democracy is the principle we were founded on, and it means we do our best to put Unity in the hands of developers, Indies or Pros, that may not have the resources to pay for it. It’s about enabling most everyone to create with the best tools we can make. I won’t get too soppy in this post — but is an honor for me to work in a company so mission driven and principled.
Unity 5 Personal can be downloaded for free over at Unity’s website.

This is reflected in Unity 5’s pricing. This is why the Personal edition can be downloaded for free over at Unity’s website. However, the free version does not include the analytics, cloud, performance reporting and some other features. This is why the Professional edition comes with a subscription fee of $75/month.

However, the subscription fee mentioned above is just for Indie companies. There are three more subscription options, which include Enterprise, Education and Industry Solutions which are offered to bring the best subscription package for the job at hand. The pricing and more detail about the subscription packages can also be found on Unity’s website.

Sources: Unity Blog, Unity 5

London Eye and Big Ben Become Animated in Apple Maps Update

A few curious users of Apple’s Maps application on iOS and the Mac, have noticed that the London Eye and Big Ben have suddenly become animated. Yes, when users look at the two popular attractions in the 3D ‘Flyover’ view, the London Eye rotates and Big Ben displays the correct time.

The new feature is expected to roll out to more cities in “the coming weeks”.

Source: The Daily Mail Via: MacRumors

Take a Psychedelic Trip With The Simpsons in Pixel Art

Pixel Art is becoming increasingly popular these days. We’re always seeing music videos, entire movies and nostalgic video games created in this unique style. Paul Robertson, creator of the Scott Pilgrim video game and Ivan Dixon have created this masterful reimagining of The Simpsons intro in psychedelic pixel art.

It comes with everything you know and love from the classic Simpsons intro, but with even more, including a spectacular ending. I don’t know about you, but I think an entire episode made in this style wouldn’t be such a crazy idea. If not that, a Simpsons video game like this would look just as good too.

Source: The Verge

Imgur Introduces New GIF Format

The popular image sharing website, Imgur, has introduced its new GIF format. The company announced last year that it had a plan to reinvent the GIF, and now it has, sort of.

The company’s format is called GIFV, which claims to provide much higher quality GIFs. GIFV is all part of the site’s new ‘Video to GIF’ service, which allows you to turn any streaming video into a GIFV.

However, while it’s simple to convert any streaming video to a GIFV, it’s not exactly that easy to use it anywhere. Outside of Imgur itself, a GIFV requires users to post an embed code if they want to use it on a website. This means it could be difficult for social media use and for e-mail.

You can try it out for yourself at Imgur.

Source: Imgur

Animator Turns Nintendo Power Glove into a Stop-Motion Controller

Nintendo’s ostentatious NES controller the Power Glove may not have taken off after its 1989 release, but, a quarter-of a-century later, animator Dillon Markey has given the wearable a new lease of life. Markey has converted a Power Glove into a stop-motion animation controller, allowing him operate stop-motion cameras remotely.

Stop-motion animation is incredibly time-consuming: it can take upwards of 15 minutes to capture one frame of film. For scale, just one second of film is comprised of 24 frames. Markey noted that he was spending a lot of time moving between the shooting stage, the cameras, and the computer, so he decided to create a device that helped remove as much movement as he could. With the help of an engineer friend, he added Bluetooth integration to the Power Glove, allowing him to control cameras and his computer from the side of the shooting stage.

Source: Digital Trends

The Simpsons Are Coming to Minecraft on Xbox

Microsoft announced today that everybody’s favourite yellow family is coming to Minecraft. From late February the whole Simpsons family will be available alongside 19 other characters from the animated series as part of a downloadable skin pack.

“We have an active community of more than 14 million die-hard Minecraft fans on Xbox Live enjoying the wide range of downloadable content on Xbox, and they have been clamoring for us to bring Simpsons characters to the game,” – Xbox’s Phil Spencer.

The $1.99 pack will be available for Xbox One and Xbox 360 in pretty much in the same way Doctor Who characters were back in October. This new deal and that previous one with the BBC, appears to be part of Microsoft’s efforts to get the most out of its $2.5 Billion purchase of Minecraft developer Mojang.

Source: The Verge

 

Disney Renders Its New CGI Film on a 55,000-Core Supercomputer.

Prepare your CPU’s – the new bad boy in computer animation processing has arrived at Disney’s studio – a 55,000-core monster supercomputer, and it’s pumping out over 400,000 high level computations per day. What’s it currently at work at you ask? Disney’s new animated film Big Hero: 6. The film tells the tale of a young boy and his soft robot and is said to be a mishmash of varying super powers (think Marvel or DC Comics) crossed with a technology infused fantasy city called “San Fransokyo”.

The visual workings of the film are staggering, the movie’s been created from the ground up using Disney’s new software engine known as Hyperion. Hyperion accurately analyses and calculates lighting from multiple sources of indirect lighting – allowing artists and graphic designers to create scenes with more realistic and creative atmospheres digitally than ever before. Disney’s offered a few looks into the scenes and lighting that’s being rendered – and we have to say that it’s absolutely stunning. To put the power of Hyperion into perspective Disney’s Animation CTO Andy Hendrickson said that Hyperion “could render Tangled from scratch every 10 days.” The fantasy city of San Fransokyo will feature over 260,000 individually rendered trees, 83,000 buildings, 215,000 streetlights and over 100,000 vehicles. This is on top of literally thousands of crowd extras that have been poured into the animation through a special generational tool called Denizen.

The funny thing about it all is that the extreme envelope pushing technology isn’t the kind of stuff that will ever excite your typical moviegoer. The incredible details and calculations Hyperion deliver are just your typical norms that people associate with the moving pace of technological advancements – however, with that said, the hardware and software powering them is just as staggering and mind blowing as always. With the backbone of the film being rendered via a 55,000-core supercomputer, Hendrickson estimates that most of the fancy effects that will be seen on screen will be taken for granted by most audiences.

Thanks to Engadget for providing us with this information.

Google’s Web Designer Updated with Animation Tools and More

It’s been almost a year since Google introduced us to their HTML5 Web Designer, a free tool for all major platforms created to make it easy for any one to create interactive HTML5 sites and advertising. We’ve only seen a couple minor patches and updates since then, but now Google is ready with the first big one.

According to the DoubleClick blog, ad impressions from HTML5 grew 140% in the first half of 2014 compared to the second half of 2013. Ads build with the Web Designer have gained 2.5 Billion impressions since launch and over 20% of the user-base is said to be returning.

While the main focus of the Web Designer always has been the creation of advertising, there is nothing holding you back from using it to create anything else your imagination might spark. There are however many features that are build just for that, like the new direct integration to the DoubleClick Studio where those ads then are automatically tagged with the right account, advertiser and campaign information for publishing.

Google’s AdWords service has also switched to HTML5 now, and any Flash ads that are uploaded will be converted to HTML5 automatic. This is of course to support  HTML5 ads created in the new Web Designer.

The new animation tools are however what will get most people excited. With the new reworked animation timeline with features like animation scrubbing, timeline events and auto key-framing, it’s never been easier building HTML5 based animations. A couple new 3D features have been added as well.

Since this is Google, we’ll of course also get an integration with Google Drive to make it easier to share our Web Designer files with friends and co-workers. The text editor CodeMirror also got a direct integration now.

You can watch the video below to get a visual presentation of the updated Google Web Designer or you can just head over to Google, download it and start creating your very own HTML5 animations.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vTfJFf8f5eg[/youtube]

Thank you DoubleClick for providing us with this information

Image and video courtesy of Google

DreamWorksTV Aims to Build Following For Future Characters

Popular animation studio DreamWorks has launched the DreamWorks TV video channel geared towards children between the ages of 6 and 11 years old.  The movie studio hopes to build a following behind characters in both live action and animation films of the future.

The custom DreamWorks TV will feature the likes of Shrek, Kung Fu Panda and Puss in Boots, providing original live-action and animated short-form videos for families and children.  In addition to the launch of “Gorillaville” and “Record Setter Kids,” DreamWorks will add “Watch This” and “RetroTunes” later this week, as more content is added further.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NhMBqPicB7o[/youtube]

Here is what Jeffrey Katzenberg, DreamWorks Animation CEO said:

“DreamWorksTV is committed to delivering original content, from scripted live-action series based on great characters like Richie Rich, to fresh new animated characters like Jimmy Blue Shorts to vlogs and other short-form content featuring the much beloved Shrek, Po and Puss in Boots.  We are combining the DreamWorks brand with lessons learned from AwesomenessTV to create content that will be embraced by families everywhere.”

Making sure video content is available is an important marketing tactic by DreamWorks, and this could be a great method to keep viewers engaged.

Thank you DreamWorks for providing us with this information

Image courtesy of DreamWorks

First-ever Fully Computer-Animated Series “Reboot” Making A Comeback

If you’re old enough to remember Reboot it was the first full computer animated cartoon series on TV, if you’re not sure how old that makes you feel let’s keep in mind that it is about to have it’s 20th anniversary in the new year! The show launched in 1994.

Rainmaker Entertainment, the studio behind the original show has just renamed its TV division to Mainframe Entertainment and launched development of a sequel to the first ever series of Reboot. Time to revisit the digital world of Bob, Dot, Enzo, Fristket and of course Megabyte.

Mainframe Entertainment was acquired by Rainmaker in 2006 and it is great to see that they’re going to bring back the show, I was 9 at the time of its original release and my son will be the same age for the new series, perfect!

While this all sounds like “hey let’s all watch cartoons”, I think it’s more important to see a return of the first ever fully CGI cartoon series, it certainly paved the way in the industry and it will be interesting to see how things have changed in the last 20 years.

Thank you huffingtonpost for providing us with this information.