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Label: animation

Wednesday 13th April 2016Life Imitates Art After All

It's one of the oldest cliches in the art world, a hoary old chestnut passed down from generation to generation: "Art imitates life, and life imitates art". While it's not exactly clear who originally uttered these pithy words, the most notable figure who has used them is probably Oscar Wilde, who said that "Life imitates Art far more than Art imitates Life" in his essay The Decaying of Lying, published in 1889.

Regardless of where it came about, it was brought home in a hilariously postmodern way earlier this year by a hapless driver and a graffiti artist. For those of you over the age of 50 (or those of you who are younger but were raised by cartoon aficionados), you'll no doubt remember the Loony Toons trope that afflicted poor Wile E. Coyote, who frequently found himself chasing the clever and presumably delicious Roadrunner.

Unfortunately, Roadrunner proved to be a clever adversary and a skilled artist, who regularly painted fake tunnels on the sides of canyon walls during his attempts to escape being made into lunch. The unfortunate coyote found himself running spang into a rock wall and getting flattened, despite the fact that Roadrunner could occasionally make use of the self-same tunnels.

While it remains to be seen if the graffiti artist who painted a false tunnel beside the road was able to use his own tunnel to escape the scene, a poor driver managed to mistake the painted tunnel for a real one and crashed his car full tilt into the pseudo-tunnel painted on the wall.

To add insult to injury, it later transpired that there was in fact a large cartoon Roadrunner painted right beside the fake tunnel, but that apparently wasn't enough to top off the driver. The tunnel wasn't painted in a particularly photorealistic style, as one might guess from the fact that it was done in spraypaint, but it was enough to send this car to the shop.

There's no word on the driver, but hopefully they survived without any harm and learned a valuable lesson about the value of paying proper care and attention to the road while driving! Not to mention everything they learned about how life really can imitate art after all, as Wilde long ago surmised.
 

Posted on April 13th 2016 on 01:48am
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Friday 08th April 2016Secret Animation Software Made Free

There may be those among you who feel that animation cannot be art. You may regard yourselves as purists, and feel morally and aesthetically superior. Hopefully, you will enjoy that - over there, in the corner, where you won't bother anyone else. For the rest of you who have open minds and are willing to explore the possibilities of a medium, you may be extremely interested to know that one of the most famous pieces of (secret!) animation software has just been released to the public.

For free.

The software, which has been used to create the hit comedy series Futurama as well as almost all of the anime hits produced by Studio Ghibli such as Princess Mononoke, Ponyo and Howl's Moving Castle, is somewhat unfortunately named 'Toonz'. It has been released as an open source package, which means that the code for the entire piece of software is visible and editable by anyone with the skills to do so, and will be entirely free forever.

The new free version is named OpenToonz, displaying the open source community's unfortunate lack of nomenclature creativity, despite their incredible technical creativity. The version is subtitled the 'Ghibli Edition', because of the numerous improvements and adjustments that were made by the Studio Ghibli animators and programmers over the years since they purchased the original software from Italian developers Digital Video.

According to Claudio Mattei, “This deal will be also the starting point of a new exciting plan to endorse the open source business model, by supporting training and customizing Toonz for the old and new users.” Digital Video, the original developers, hope to make money off the need for training, support and installation services in a market that will develop thanks to the increasingly widespread adoption of the software worldwide.

Hopefully, this is exciting news for any of you who are interested in motion graphics, film and animation! Despite the move to the internet, animation and video is hotter than ever and this software combined with new media delivery platforms like YouTube and Vimeo offer a whole new method for artists and animators to get their work in front of the general public. OpenToonz should revolutionize the whole animation world, and here's hoping that it inspires you to create something truly beautiful!

Posted on April 08th 2016 on 01:45am
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