Tuesday, July 30, 2013

old friends found at siggraph

this is my friend evan. we went to school together an increasingly long time ago and are still animating, and he's also writing a novel.

bumped into him at a food cart just after getting dropped off by sandro, below, from lunch. small world, that of computer graphics.

and this is my friend sandro. we also went to school together an increasingly long time ago and he is also still animating, just about to launch into his newest film.

they are both talented and amiable young fellows. feel free to check out their work and heap loads of praise upon them.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Saturday, July 27, 2013

and finally...

...a bit of festival swag, procured by Harris and destined for my tea-professional animator.

people lined up and ran in the exhibitor area in the mornings just to get their hands on these bits of plastic, this one identified as number 1962 of 3000.

Friday, July 26, 2013

end of the conference

manned the booth, saw some old friends from CalArts, and had dinner at a mexican restaurant in walt's town. we met alum, people promoting things, and saw some new technologies (cloud-based pipeline organization and file storage, motion capture systems, ultra-hi-resolution photography, "air painting," and many others).

someone stole the little green guy, so I stood in for him.

A whole city was built and torn down with effciency. this guy started talking to me, and I fled immediately, figuring him to be a plant from the NSA.

I also got to see the new umbrella film out by Claire's friend Saschka, who works at Pixar. This at one of the screenings, which included student, commercial, and I guess independent work. Nice design with the Pixar short, strong atmosphere and rich but subtle color palette. Same old heartwarming story. One shouldn't look to Pixar to do anything avant garde, content-wise, and their framework in that regard is conservative and conventional, unchallenging in its comforting nostalgia.

this body-fitting device is used to control a virtual environment. one nice thing about an event like SIGGRAPH is the high level of interactivity - unlike at a film festival, you get a lot of hands-on participation with the ideas being presented.
...and los angeles is a strange place. this image of sweet little silver baby Jesus and Mom taken out at the old "Tower of Power" church grounds in Anaheim, the Crystal Cathedral, oddly purchased by Southern California Catholics from evangelical zealots fighting amongst themselves over God Knows What (but I bet it had little to do with God).

out west, you still feel the optimistic allure of people doing whatever they want, in the technicolor sunshine, much of it coming to fruition as trashy and superficial (rather displaying a naïveté unaccompanied by anything resembling depth of content), but nonetheless embodying a sense of energy and open-ness that one doesn't feel on the East Coast, where people live in congested urban agglomerations and where the deeper roots can result in a more grumpy perspective. it's good to have both coasts. now about that middle section...

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

siggraph, anaheim '13

here we are at siggraph, watering hole for industry folk involved with technology, a geek's temporary paradise. and this time in anaheim, right next to disneyland of dreams oh boy.

southern california is a made up place. a pleasant illusion. and I lived here for two and a half years during my education. lots of industry wizards at the convention.

everything created at once. a weird holo-deck kind of unity.

inside the interactive arena.

virtual wheelchair flying.

right next to (but not inside the gates of) Disneyland - this purgatorial place, a weird kind of protected suburban shopping mall, is Downtown Disney.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Saturday, July 20, 2013

local artists

always curious to know what's going on, animation-wise, here in this grimy city, and so here are links to three animators and a figurative artist who make their home in the whereabouts:

Geoff Beatty (animation instructor and CGI/interactive media artist, University of the Arts alum): Germantown Studios

Ahmad Ajouz's (animation instructor and CGI specialist): Ahmad Ajouz.com

Paul Fierlinger (veteran animator whose work ranges from Sesame Street segments to independent feature films, these days devoted to paperless, admirably sketchy digital animation, most often built around a narrated soundtrack): on YouTube

Dave Krevolin (is an excellent figurative artist, teaching at Fleisher and studying for a master's degree)

Friday, July 19, 2013

going to california

well, it's been inhumidly hot for quite some time, now in Philadelphia. but I get a respite from this swampy excess and get to head to SIGGRAPH, over in Anaheim, California, where it's just as sunny but not unbearable. in fact, it looks very comfortable, with a moderate, dry heat hovering around 80 degrees this coming week.

we go to SIGGRAPH to represent UArts, manning a booth and showing student work. hopefully there will be an alum or two in the area dropping by to say hi.

it's an important conference, and largely techie, so I will be staring at new motion capture devices, drawing tablets, and tons of 3D. when will Apple come out with a pressure-sensitive tablet...

Disneyland is right next door - in fact, the hotel looks to be right in front of it:

I've been there twice: once at the age of twelve, when it was a sore disappointment, after reading Disney books and being saturated with the movies as much as any other american kid. the matterhorn was a fake-looking hill, snow white's castle didn't really have an "inside," the monorail felt chintzy and the whole place was flat as a pancake.

but my expectations were a bit high.

the second time I went was twenty years later, and with sufficiently low expectations and memorable company, I had a decent time.

this trip is not about the Magic Kingdom, however. it's about geeks, and waving our school banner, and checking out what's coming round the bend in the world of constantly evolving digital technologies...

I'm also going to take advantage of the hotel swimming pool.

updates to follow...

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

ogre/mermaid animatic revision, 16jul13

Lots of pukas, needs a lot of editing, revising, but it has moved foreward since April, to be sure.

main 16jul13 small from Christopher Magee on Vimeo.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Sunday, July 7, 2013

japanese short

trolling the internet for independent animation, I stumbled upon this environmentally-oriented piece:

japanese animated short

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

dialogue with the internet

a cursory search for animation blogs online turned this up.

looking for quirky, authentic, intelligent sites with no pretentions to grandeur...

there must be at least a few needles to be found in this haystack...

former students in japan

Several alum from University of the Arts went to Japan several years ago to teach English. Some of them never came back, and have established themselves as visual artists, there - pretty impressive, eh?

Jeremy Doe at jeremydoe.com

William Greenawalt's Ice Block Films

Stephen Murphy's Wicked Lantern Workshop

Liesje Kraai also lived in Japan but has since returned to make creative waves in New York.