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You might not know Paul Robertson's name, but there's a good chance you've seen his pixels. Robertson made his first big splash with the animated short Pirate Baby's Cabana Battle Street Fight 2006, a 12-minute-long black-and-white movie depicting an amazing, though sadly fictional, side-scrolling action game. Since then he's gone on to produce art and animation for a number of terrific games, including Scott Pilgrim vs. The World: The Game and Wizorb.

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Here’s a new sci-fi short that features some solid world-building. Lunar, by Tyson Wade Johnson, jumps off from modern concerns about an intrusive surveillance state and reliance on drones to create a future America in which a faceless police force holds civilians under its thumb. It’s a place where walking down the street with your face covered is illegal; even wearing a hood is enough to have the robo-cops on your ass.

All that is just setup for a story about a man convicted for basically nothing, after which he’s sent to a lunar prison that turns out to be not quite what the public thinks it is. So add the privatization of prisons and some Judge Dredd-style paranoia to the mix of influences.

Check out the 7-minute short below.

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Portland-based creative group Kamp Grizzly have directed the visuals for Local Native's track "You & I". The strange video is set in an apocalypse-style hospital and revolves around the hospitalisation of the last dog on earth. Don't worry if you're a dog lover though, there's a happy twist to the whole affair at the very end. The track comes from Local Native's latest album Hummingbird, which was released in January, 2013. Check out the video above.


www.thelocalnatives.com

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I am working on implementing Braid's rewind functionality, and coming up with an interesting design is proving difficult...

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Though three different actors have played Bruce Banner on the big screen in the past decade, only one can really say he also played the Hulk. When Mark Ruffalo appeared as the iconic character in last summer’s The Avengers, he was the first actor to actually portray the Hulk half of the character in motion-capture. (His predecessors Edward Norton and Eric Bana let the CG artists take over that part.)

The decision paid off, as fans enthused that Ruffalo’s Hulk was the best they’d seen in recent memory. Now a new video shows just how Industrial Light & Magic pulled off the trick. Hit the jump to check it out.

First founded by George Lucas in the ’70s for Star Wars, ILM has been behind some of the most notable cutting-edge effects work of the past few decades. Last year alone, they contributed work to Red Tails, The Hunger Games, Battleship, Cloud Atlas, and Paranormal Activity 4, in addition to The Avengers. Grantland posted this video from their studios.

No matter how often I watch these behind-the-scenes videos, I’m always startled by the massive difference between what I saw in the theaters (i.e., the Hulk stomping around Manhattan) and what was actually filmed on set (i.e., Ruffalo in a goofy hat prancing around a green-walled room).

As we’ve said before, part of the “problem” with VFX is that the really good work is so seamlessly done it’s easy not to notice it at all. But videos like this one demonstrate just how much skill and labor have to go into making scenes like this one work — and, unfortunately, the recent VFX protests highlight just how badly these talented artists are treated in return.

If you’re curious to see more of Grantland‘s series on the famed effects company, here are Parts 1 (From Star Wars to Today, Inside ILM Headquarters) and 2 (The Evolution of Filmmaking Technology at Lucasfilm).

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After disasters (or to minimize expensive data use generally, and take advantage of available Wi-Fi), bypassing the cell network is useful. But it's not something that handset makers bake into their phones. colinneagle writes with information on a project that tries to sidestep a dependence on the cellular carriers, if there is Wi-Fi near enough for at least some users: "The Smart Phone Ad-Hoc Networks (SPAN) project reconfigures the onboard Wi-Fi chip of a smartphone to act as a Wi-Fi router with other nearby similarly configured smartphones, creating an ad-hoc mesh network. These smartphones can then communicate with one another without an operational carrier network. SPAN intercepts all communications at the Global Handset Proxy so applications such as VoIP, Twitter, email etc., work normally."

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Greg Capullo artwork

DC Comics' Death of the Family has been one of the best-received Batman series in recent memory, not least because of Greg Capullo's fantastic art work. The artist ABVH has created some expertly-animated GIFs based on a selection of illustrations from the series by Capullo and Patrick Gleason.

ABVH has made a name for himself animating famous works of art. His Animated Banksy series, which saw some of the famous street artist's best works turned into GIFs, got exposure on a number of art sites. As the files are quite large, we'll hold off sharing more GIFs, but you can find the full collection in the source link below.

Continue reading…

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In the fall of 2012, the Mars Curiosity Rover—after years of travel—finally reached its destination, touching down on the Red Planet and transmitting back to Earth a series of strange landscapes of the planet’s surface. Here on Earth, the scenery sometimes resembled the barren Martian terrain, as wildfires, droughts and natural disasters shaped the landscapes of Earth. Climate change, too, had a say on Earth’s canvas—bringing a cold snap to Europe, a dusting of snow to the Middle East and a super-powered hurricane to the East Coast of the United States.

But as much as natural phenomena shaped Earth’s landscapes, humans forced their intentions upon Earth as well. Wars in the DRC and Syria reduced entire city structures to rubble. Careless chemical spills dyed our waters strange and unnatural colors, and continued deforestation in Brazil’s rainforests left huge swathes arid and bare. And finally, large-scale accidents remind us of man’s hubris, like the Costa Concordia in Italy— it’s abandoned carcass standing as a monument to man’s recklessness.

Here, TIME looks back on the byproducts of man’s folly and nature’s fury in a gallery of the year’s strange and surreal landscapes.

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In Joss Whedon‘s The Avengers, the director has two long takes that feature all the members of the team. The first is in the research lab on the Helicarrier where Loki’s plan to disband the team goes into play. The second takes place during the Battle of New York where the team completely get in sync with their combat. Speaking with Whedon during the release of the film, he explained the choice as follows;

I did know I had a couple [long takes] that I felt were integral, one because it was a way of showing how disjointed they all were and one to show how united they all were.

That second one, with people flying around the city, jumping on enemies and more, wasn’t actually shot as a long take. Obviously. It was the result of countless man hours at Industrial Light and Magic as effects were placed in the shots and each was stitched together. A brand new video has come online that explains the creation of this shot, shows some animatics and more. Check it out below.

Thanks to Comic Book Movie for the heads up.

Here’s the description from the ILM YouTube channel.

While “The Avengers” posed many visual effects challenges, one of the larger challenges was pulling together the “tie-in” shot during the third act of the film. Rather than frames, this single shot is measured in minutes on screen and is one of the longest effects shots in the film. It incorporates both practical special effects and extensive digital visual effects by ILM. The New York City environment that serves as the setting for this shot (and virtually the entire alien invasion) is computer generated by the visual effects team at ILM.

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