Ty Carter – Viz Dev Extraordinaire, Art Giveaway!


Yes that’s right folks – he’s giving away art for the holidays. And it’s good stuff.
I had the great pleasure of meeting Ty at CTN. Super nice guy and very talented. Currently he’s working at Blue Sky Studios as a Viz Dev artist and is working on next year’s action adventure flick Epic which let me tell you, is aptly named.

Check out the trailer here.

And you can check out the deets of the contest here.

Good luck everybody!

Best aspects of childhood combined: Wreck-It Ralph


Saw “Wreck-It Ralph” today before the big trip to CTN. It combined two of my fondest childhood memories, watching cartoons and playing video games. It is apparent from the 8-bit Mickey Disney Animation Studios logo to the beginning sequence of the film that director Rich Moore and crew deeply respect and appreciate the games of yore as well as today’s more modern fare. Seriously though what got me super excited about seeing the movie was this guy:

courtesy Forbes.com

Sonic and I go waaayyy back. We’re talking back in the days when 16-bit technology blew your mind. I spent hours playing this game, and seeing not only one of my favorite video game characters, but one of my favorite characters PERIOD on screen was a delight.

There are some amazing works of animation in this film. The way the characters moved astounded me. Animation is all about the illusion of life, but the detail they put to the illusion of 8-bit life was nothing short of impressive. The citizens of Fix-It Felix, Jr. MOVED the way you would expect game characters to move. Clyde the ghost from PacMan hovered exactly how he does in the real game. Qbert is Qbert.

The story surprised me as well. I was not expecting something as heartfelt, particularly the ending, which was “Iron Giant”-esque in its emotional impact and nearly caused me to shed a tear. There is a definite trend in movies towards rooting for the anti-hero, the guy who may be on the side of bad but perhaps is not a bad person in and of themselves. It reminded me of “Megamind” – is he truly evil, or does he just want love? And it is not false emotion either. As we journey with Ralph we understand his reasoning to the point where we want him to succeed, even though that may cost him everything.

The time spent in Sugar Rush seemed longer than I would have liked, and Sarah Silverman was a little hard for me to get used to, as I am not too familiar with her comedy. But even she won me over in the end. In fact all of Sugar Rush won me over. It needs to become an actual thing. I would buy that game.

In terms of the plethora of animated films I had the supreme pleasure of watching this year, I give it a solid B+, right behind “ParaNorman,” which I believe should win Best Animated Feature this year.

One thing that “Wreck-It Ralph” did that some other films I saw did not this year was truly inspire me. I am working on a collaborative film for my thesis project, and seeing the what can be done in animation today is fantastic. So many different types of stories have been told just this year, and I am excited to add to the pantheon of films.

The Force is strong with them


My friends and I attended a fantastic 3D screening of ParaNorman at ILM this afternoon. Great film and great studio. What I liked most about it, and what I’ve noticed about animated films now, is how much they are using the film language of live action pictures. The film was filled with the type of cinematography that one usually sees in live action horror movies. Expertly done with a wonderfully heart-wrenching story. Well done, LAIKA.