Borderlands 2 Shorts - Tales from the HQ

Back in the fall, 2K Games took a project, the Borderlands Cooperative, to the Academy of Art University where they not only had students pitch stories and their storyboards but then continue on to produce the three winning stories into shorts. Through the process of creating the short films, a documentary was made! It took awhile but the documentary and the three shorts were finally premiered back on Thursday, May 15th and now publicly on Youtube on Unfortunately the documentary primarily focuses on the story artists and the animators, leaving out all the rest of production so I was not in it. I had the privileged of working on the shorts as a texture artist. I was going to light a few shots but unfortunately whenever I went to ask for shots, nothing was ready yet so I decided to move on to other projects. Congratulations to all my other friends who have worked on this and it was extremely exciting to see my name out there and public. Apparently the livestream when the documentary and shorts premiered capped out at over four thousand viewers at a single time. [youtube] [youtube] [youtube]

Little Freak

Little Freak, by Edwin Schaap, is about a young deformed boy lives as a side-show freak. When his father asks him to make a birthday-wish he starts to imagine what life could be like. This short film was amazing in animation, story, and the visuals. From the very beginning there were beautiful visuals and a strong sense of atmosphere but with just 30 seconds into the film with nothing but a little flutter of a flyer and a hand whittling away at some wood you can already tell that the animation is and will continue to be amazing. [youtube=]

Absolutely do not forget to watch "The Making of Little Freak" as Edwin Schaap takes us on a tour throughout the process of creating his film. The references are amazing and what I really loved were his animated displacement maps and specular map to really drive the facial expressions of his character. It was also interesting to see that his film was initially created in color and then edited to be black and white. This is different than Frankenweenie which was completely made originally in black and white. But really, that tear roll at the end is a work of art. [youtube=]

Dino Hunt

Dino Hunt is a very cool animated vfx short film that will be going into production and has just started up an Indiegogo campaign to try and get some funding for it. If you love dinosaurs or animation and vfx be sure to support it, and keep up with the news on their Facebook and Twitter! [vimeo 65721456 w=400 h=300]

Dino Hunt is a dinosaur inspired short film, in which a herd of Styracosaurs are hunted by a pack of Dromaeosaurs. The short uses a CG dinosaurs that are composited onto environment plates that are shot in the real world, and for that Lake Tahoe, CA. While slotted to be finished for June 2014 seems like a long ways away, a lot of care is being put into the short as it is not just about a bunch of dinosaurs running around but also being as accurate and possible, with consultations with many paleontologists, in order to bring life into the extraordinary creatures.

I know quite of lot of the people working on it from the CG side and it is looking extremely amazing. It is beautiful and hopefully, maybe, that I will get a chance to work on a shot or two for Dino Hunt.

Oscar nominees for Best Animated Shorts

For those who haven't seen them yet, the 5 Oscar nominees for best animated shorts have finally made it onto the internet for public viewing pleasures. Of the five I had already previously seen Paperman and Fresh Guacamole. Now being able to watch the rest I have found a love for Adam and Dog and Head over Heels, both beautifully crafted and tells a lovely story. I previously had thought that I wouldn't care much for the Simpson's one but after watching it I found it to be a very endearing short. [youtube] [youtube] [youtube] [youtube]

*Will update with Maggie Simpson's The Longest Daycare when I can find a good full length version. It does not appear on youtube yet, the vimeo one has embeds disallowed and metatube does not work with wordpress*

Inspiring Shorts

Here are some examples of a student or professional short that I have found inspiring or amazing. In no particular order, enjoy!Crayon Dragon, by Toniko Pantoja, was done during his second year at CalArts. A girl is commissioned to paint over an old concrete illustration, in which to her surprise, sinks into and befriends a one winged dragon. [vimeo w=500&h=281]

Out of Sight, by a group of 3 students as a graduation project at the National Taiwan University of Arts. A beautiful short on the imagination of a blind little girl as she wanders, seeing only with touch and sound. [vimeo w=500&h=375]

Morty's, a student film by Gaëlle Lebègue, Aurélien Ronceray-Peslin, Mathieu Vidal, and Nicolas Villeneuve from ESMA, tells of the generational conflict between mother and son. [vimeo w=500&h=281]

The Monk and the Monkey, a student film by Brendan Carroll and Francesco Girodini at Ringling College of Arts, follows a young monk as he takes on a test but learns what is truly important. [youtube]

Mytho Logique, a student film by Jessica Ambron, Amandine Aramini, Alexandre Belbari, Guillaume Poitel, and Yannick Vincent from ESMA, is a hilarious and raunchy story that follows an incident caused by a faun. [youtube]

Sunshine Girl, by Yoon Jung-Wook, winner of the 2010 Seoul Animation Award, is a group of old men's sorrowful memory for a girl they knew 70 years ago. [youtube]

Dragonboy, a student film by Lisa Allen, Bernie Warman, and Shaofu Zhang at Academy of Art University, is an epic battle for love and honor between a knight, a princess, and a dragon. [vimeo w=500&h=281]

Thought of You, by Ryan Woodward, is a beautiful 2D animated short that cries over the love between two people that has been cut short by mortality. [vimeo w=500&h=281]

Red, a student film by Hyunjoo Song at CalArts, is a cute and different take on Red Riding Hood as an innocent short about a young boy liking a girl. [youtube]