Friday, 29 January 2010

Virus game project finished and starting up graduation project

Finally an update on my blog. Last week we completely finished the Virus Game Project. Together with some other students (Tim Jansen, Mitko Kralev, Jan Meyer, Lex Offerman, Jelle Barendregt and Frank van der Bijl) I had to make a game for veterinary students. It was commissioned by Utrecht University. Our brief was to develop a game about a virus outbreak on a petting zoo (kinderboerderij). This game should teach veterinary students how to deal with such an outbreak and make the best possible choices. Due to time constraints (we had less than 6 months) and the complexity of the subject matter we didn't produce a finished game/simulation. Here you can see a trailer of how the game should have been conceptwise:

As promotion material I made three papercraft models of game characters. The first one in the little girl. You can download the PDF and cut and glue your own model if you want to.

Other news is that together with Percy Tienhooven, I started working on our graduation project this week. We had some nice brainstorm sessions resulting in some interesting ideas. The vague idea we had is really shaping up now. More information will follow soon. So stay tuned ;).

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

ASF part 2: Budapest

So today finally another update about the ASF workshop. At the moment I'm in Budapest attending lectures at MOME University. This module is about finding the right visual style. We've seen lots of Eastern European animations. Which is good, because in Eastern Europe they have made very interesting animations. Partly this is due to the Soviet period. The Communist Party aknowledged animation as an important way to reach the people and time and money were of no great concern. Simply put, the animators could do what they want as long as they didn't openly criticize the Communist Party. As a result, aside from the propaganda, a lot of artistic animations were made. It's a good thing to see these animations, because usually we only see a lot of American (oriented) or Japanese animation. Of course I already knew about these animations, but it never hurts to be reminded again. No matter how great the American or Japanese animations can be, I myself would really like to see more different (maybe more European) styles.

first impression of Budapest... at night...

We also went to two studios. Espacially Lichthof Productions was interesting to me. They are now working on a feature film which gets mainly made in 3d. What is very nice about this production is that they really capture the 2d concept art in their 3d work. The concept art and the final look are quite similar. The textures for the 3d models also have the drawing lines from the 2d art in them. Here you can find some more info about the film and see some visuals. Also they developed a rather interesting technique for animating the characters. It's what I would call stop motion capture. They have these puppet armatures which they animate the classical stop motion way. But these armatures have little lights on it and they photograph them from different angles (just like normal motion capture). The images taken are then fed to their home made software and presto, they have a stop motion animated skeleton in the computer. It's too bad that they can't use it right now, because of a lack of money.

entering MOME...

Besides this we also had a talk about SourceBinder which is a promising on-line node based flash creation kit (that was a mouthful). A lecture about visual effects in the movies, a presentation by Tamás Waliczky about his artistic computer animations, something about scriptwriting and some background information about Log Jam. Log Jam is a very funny series of short animations by Alexei Alexeev, who, by the way, also gave the presentation.
Well, that's it for now. Hopefully the last few days will be fun and inspiring. And then I will go home to my beautiful and sweet wife.

Thursday, 29 October 2009

ASF blog

Just a quick update today. Again it was an interesting day. If you would like the latest information (and more extended than mine), you can check out this blog.

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg

Last sunday I safely arrived at Ludwigsburg where Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg is situated. Here will be the first module of the Animation Sans Frontières (ASF) workshop. I was pleasantly surprised when I arrived at the hotel: I have a room all by myself and better still, it has a small kitchen!
In the evening I met the other participants as we went for an introduction drink. Yesterday evening we showed some of our works to each other: It was very nice to see all the different drawingstyles and animations. So now we all know each other a little better.

going in...

a work room for students...

On monday morning we had a little tour of the Filmakademie and I have to say, it all looks pretty nice. All of us got a pass so we can get in 24 hours a day, which is great.
Monday afternoon and yesterday we had a lecture from Harrison Ellenshaw ( It was fun and educational to here lots of stories and tips from him.

Harrison Ellenshaw...

Today we had a lecture from Mike Dicks ( This lecture was about multiplatform productions. He told us about making productions in which for example the internet, your mobile phone and the television are equally important. If you combine these different platforms you can create a very nice interactive experience for your audience. This was an interesting lecture and gave me a lot of food for thought.

Mike Dicks...

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

First post (how original)

Wow! Yesterday on facebook and today on blogger. Twitter tomorrow? But seriously, the reason I started this blog today is because of Animation Sans Frontières. That's an European animation workshop I will be attending. Sunday is the big day. Then I will be going to Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg in Germany where the first module will be held. I am very excited about it and am eager to meet my fellow workshoppanists. I think it will be a very inspiring and fun experience and a huge boost for my animation making.
The next few posts I will document my time in Germany and tell you all (or at least a bit) about it. Oh, expect some pictures too! :)