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Original author: 
Amid Amidi

For his thesis film at the Animation Workshop in Denmark, Giovanni Braggio made a helpful tutorial to teach the masses how easy animation can be:

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Original author: 
Amid Amidi

Everything I Can See From Here has a simple quality that is all too rare in animated filmmaking: mystery. As a viewer, I had no idea where the short was headed, but it was an engaging journey in which I was kept thoroughly engaged by the narrative skills of filmmakers Sam Taylor and Bjorn-Erik Aschim. They made the film as a personal project at the London-based collective The Line. It’s a timely piece, too, in that it serves as a reminder that hand-drawn animation is a vital art form that is evolving in exciting and fresh new directions.

CREDITS
Directed by Sam Taylor and Bjorn Aschim for The Line
Produced by Fritzi Nicolaus
Sound & Music by Box of Toys Audio

Animation:
Sam Taylor
Bjorn-Erik Aschim
Adam Hodgson
Alexander Petreski
Dante Zaballa
Geoff King
Hozen Britto
James Duveen
Jim Round
Kristian Antonelli
Tim McCourt
Wesley Louis

3D Modelling and Rigging
David Hunt

3D Modelling
Max Taylor

3D animation
Max James van der Merwe

Backgrounds
Bjorn-Erik Aschim

Compositing
Bjorn-Erik Aschim
Sam Taylor

Cleanup:
Adam Hodgson
Beth Witchalls
Caspar Rock
Clarice Elliott
Denise Dean
Freya Hotson
Hozen Britto
Hugh La Terriere
Isobel Stenhouse
Jessica Toth
Jose Saturno
Stewart Wagstaff
Tom Loughlin

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Original author: 
Amid Amidi

Within 15 seconds of hitting the play button on Kou Kou by Takashi Ohashi, I did something I rarely do when watching films on my laptop: I turned off the lights at my workspace to create a dark theater environment. Good abstract animation, like a good song, demands the audience’s full attention, and I sensed this was going to be something special.

Takashi Ohashi, who has been featured on our Animated Fragments feature, has created a masterful piece of abstract animation with Kou Kou. Ohashi does something rare for abstract filmmakers, which is to organize his visual ideas with the clarity, pacing and dynamism of a more traditionally narrative storyteller. The second ‘movement’ that begins around the 4-minute mark packs a real punch. The competing red and blue offsets create tension and instability in the imagery, which serves to heighten the visual excitement.

To a non-Japanese speaker, the film is a beautiful visual experience, but the Japanese speaker will enjoy an additional layer of depth. Ohashi sent Cartoon Brew the following explanation of the film:

Kou Kou is a visual work based on an abstract animation synchronized with a song comprising the unique syllabic sounds of the Japanese language, without actually using any full words.

It is in the elements of sounds from which words are made that we find syllabic sounds. In the case of the Japanese language, the linguistic roots, or ‘Yamato Kotoba,’ each individual sound possesses a unique meaning. For example, words containing ‘su’ exhibit a frictional characteristic and hence are used to represent a linear or direct movement. In modern-day Japanese, ‘sasu’ or ‘susumu’ represent a concrete, tangible action.

Furthermore, words with fewer syllables are used to express simple onomatopeia-like words, whereas the more syllables a word contains, the more concrete it becomes.

However, although a given syllabic combination may not be understood despite its constituent syllables possessing their own meanings, there are particular instances where we are able to discover meaning from a meaningless word.

This is what I feel is most interesting about the Japanese language and why I’ve thought to express myself by combining just how good the combination of vowels and consonants unique to Japanese resonates with music synched to abstract animation.

This musical composition was made by recording 6 natural voice vocal tracks from singer Luschka and selecting lyrics with Japanese syllabic combinations which afforded expression. The track comprises words which themselves are meaningless, but carefully combining syllables and their respective unique resonances ensured highly musical peaks and troughs.

CREDITS
Director: Takashi Ohashi
Composer: Yuri Habuka
Mixing: Masumi Takino
Vocal: Luschka
Drums: Kyojun Tanaka (from DCPRG)

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I’ve been following (and posting here) UK-based Stephen Irwin’s films for several years now. His work is always fresh and surprising – telling unique stories in exciting, stylish ways. His latest film, Moxie, just gone online after months on the festival circuit, is about the final days in the life of a suicidal, pyromanic bear…

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One part Foster’s Home, two parts The Dot and The Line – Hector Herrera’s Typesetter Blues is a hundred percent pure design eye candy. The film is the first chapter in an animated collection of silly rhymes called Beastly Bards – and the inaugural project from Herrera and writer/producer Pazit Cahlon as Toronto-based content creators Together: Words + Pictures for Art & Culture.

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The trailer for Seventeen director Hisko Hulsing’s new short Junkyard excites the senses with solid character animation, rich environments, and a cinematic quality. Can’t wait to see the whole thing.

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Welcome to the third annual Cartoon Brew Student Animation Festival. Over the course of the next ten weeks, we’ll be debuting ten remarkable student animated shorts.

We’re launching the festival today with 21 Years in 7 Minutes by Caroline Torres (Rhode Island School of Design). Autobiographical stories are a staple of student filmmakers, but rarely have we seen one as confident and original as this one. Torres’ fast-paced accounting of her life uses superb visual storytelling filled with comedy and heart, and pairs it with a distinctively quirky animation style that complements the simple line artwork. The film is a pleasant reminder that life is most often about friendship in all its many forms, from boy-next door crushes to BFFs who share in everything to animation school friendships in which people often connect through their characters.

Click HERE to meet the filmmaker Caroline Torres and comment on the film.


The Cartoon Brew Student Animation Festival is made possible by the generosity of our presenting sponsor JibJab.

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The incomparable Robert Valley (Gorillaz, “The Beatles: Rock Band” cinematic, and character designer on the upcoming Tron: Uprising series) has posted an animatic for a personal short film that he’s working on called Pear Cider and Cigarettes. Fans of Valley’s aggressively angular figures and dynamically staged animation will be in for a treat. No word on when the film will be completed.

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Easy Way (Camino Fácil) by Juan David Velasquez Bedoya is from Bogota, Colombia, a country where CG animation is just starting to emerge. It’s about 8-minutes and well worth a look. It’s a metaphor for life, as Juan David explains:

Easy Way is the story of a man who, from childhood to adulthood, is prepared to follow a specific path. When he begins his travels, he discovers that it is more difficult than he thought. He decides to change course to a path that seems easier, but the travel is equally difficult – and he’s unprepared for this new challenge.

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