Monday, March 24, 2014

The Boxtrolls!



So I've spent a few years helping with design on Laika's next film, The Boxtrolls. I've been behind on showing you guys some stuff!

There's been 3 trailers released so far!







Not to mention the awesome stuff going on the Boxtrolls Instagram Page.

Go see it September 26!!!

Friday, March 21, 2014

Behind the scenes of Ernest and Celestine...



If you haven't seen it already, run, don't walk to check it out!

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Dr Sketchy's!







Better than nothing, right?

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Motorola's "Windy Day"



Motorola and Google have put together an awesome interactive short for users of the Motorola X, called "Windy Day." Director Jan Pinkava, as well as Doug Sweetland, Jon Klassen, and Tadahiro Uesegi all contributed.

There's a great wired article on the short here.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Michael Dudok De Wit's Commercials...

I hadn't seen a lot of these before... enjoy!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

The Scarecrow....



Manddy made me do it.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Cintiq Companion Review! First Impressions...

So I got to try out a Cintiq Companion for a few days! Thought I'd share some thoughts because I haven't seen many first hand reviews. I've used a few Android-based Tablets as well as worked extensively on both Tablet PCs and Cintiqs so I was excited to give this a spin.

Hardware:
- The Build quality feels really sturdy. They took a lot of design cues from Apple's iPad. In many ways it's the unit that Apple should have made for us artists, but couldn't care less.
- Overall finish of the device feels really well made.
- It's a hefty feeling unit weight-wise but it feels appropriate for its size. It's definitely heavier and less portable than an iPad or Surface Tablet but it's much more functional.
- Apparently the Windows 8 Cintiq Companion can't be hooked into another host computer to use as a Cintiq.. this to me is a big letdown (as the cintiq would still be usable long after the computer's hardware is obsolete). For people wanting to do this the Cintiq 13HD or the Cintiq Companion Hybrid are the only ways to go. This is a letdown also because the unit itself isn't upgradable at all.
- The 13" screen size with 1920x1080 resolution is less of an issue than I would have figured. It currently has the same resolution as a 22" cintiq, so I figured it would be cramped. The resolution makes working on a small 13" screen more manageable, but it does cross over a certain threshold, making some interface elements, like closing windows, a little on the small side.
- Screen is quite bright and doesn't get hot. Wasn't thrilled about Wacom still shipping Cintiqs with only 75% of the Adobe RGB gamut displayable (meaning they can't be color calibrated as well as many good monitors), but it seems good enough. It has the same semi-matte finish as most other cintiqs.
- As usual I find the bezels too large on all Wacoms and would have personally loved to have seen a 15" active size with the same resolution, even if it was a slightly bigger unit. Currently it matches the dimensions of a 15" macbook pro, which means there are pretty large bezels on each dimension. That being said the buttons on this unit are definitely more useful than on a full sized cintiq, which I've almost never used because the placement of them keep changing.. and keyboards are always the same.



The Cintiq Companion is really close in size to both the Intuos 5 Medium as well. Which begs to question.. would you rather have a fast computer with less accurate pen input (via an intuos), or a slower computer with very accurate input (via a Cintiq Companion)?



Wacom is definitely betting on their Cintiq tech as being capable of competing with a full fledged laptop, especially considering it's pricing ($1999 for a 256GB model, $2499 for the 512GB).

- The charger is really compact. I would have loved to see them include a two-stage adapter similar to apple's models where you can decide either plug the adapter brick right into the wall, or plug in a cord if you need more length. The plug is a hefty three prong adapter. Here it is with a wacom pen for size reference:



- Touch is a nifty feature that is easily toggled on and off. Unfortunately gestures don't work as well or consistently as I'd like (pinch to zoom, etc). I can't see using touch very much unless it was seamless. Probably only really for the software touch keyboard itself when inputting text into a browser, for instance.
- There isn't a slider or touch ring at all on the unit.. the circle on the left is a four way button. This means there is no hardware sliders for zoom or brush control. Instead this is handled in software (see below).
- Speakers aren't the best in the world, but work better than most tablets I've seen (closer to a laptop speaker). It can get fairly loud which is great.
- The included case seems just about perfect for what it needs to be.. a neoprene sleeve type thing with a magnetic cover as well as a zip. Glad they included it in the unit. It does indeed hold both the tablet itself and the the tablet attached the stand folded flat. The case itself has a hole to slide the pen case into, as well as a separate larger hole to slide the power adapter into. Personally I would have loved for them to find a way to put the pen inside or attach it to the unit itself, but putting it inside the case works well enough.


Case fully loaded with the power adapter, pen case, Cintiq Companion, and the Stand. In this configuration it weighs a lot more but it's still pretty compact. All that's missing from this setup is a portable keyboard, I'd say.


Slot for accessories, such as the Power Adapter, or portable keyboard.


Slot for Pen Case


It also has an elastic loop underneath the flap for the pen to slot into.


The overall setup can get quite svelte when it's just the Cintiq Companion and the pen.


The inner material for case is a nice soft faux fur like material.

- The included pen case is nice but I doubt I'd need 12 spare nibs with me all the time.. would be nice to include the standard wacom pen nib holder/pen carrier and make the case you bring with you everywhere smaller.



- The stand is neat, works well, but is kind of clunky. Probably would have preferred it built into a case or into the unit itself. Attaching and detaching the stand itself seems more difficult than I'd like.





- Haven't been able to push the unit in terms of performance or battery life, hope to be able to do that before I have to pass the unit on. Photoshop and Painter seem quite responsive.. cursor lag can occasionally occur but I don't think it's anything to worry about personally (though I'm not particularly sensitive to this). As usual for a tablet computer it's fairly underpowered (particularly in the graphics card department), and this unit is not really upgradable.
- The MicroSD card slot is a great idea.. I would have preferred a full SD card but at least they provided a method of expanding the storage. 64GB MicroSDXC cards are relatively inexpensive and seem like a decent enough backup for local files.
-Haven't tested either camera. Will try it though. The placement of the front facing camera seems odd to me though (It's probably a compromise for left handed users)
- I quickly tried out their bluetooth keyboard unit, seems well made and similar enough to apple's wireless keyboard. Would have loved a way to attach it to the cintiq itself but for it's price it seems like a decent accessory.
 
Software:
- Boot time is fast, thanks to the SSD no doubt.
- Seems possible to use quite well with Photoshop without needing a full keyboard, they have built in on screen configurable touch pallettes that can access any function you really want. Unfortunately some of these seemed buggy at the moment, especially after waking the computer from sleep. I would also hope to be able to resize these since I can imagine using them as much with the pen as I would with touch events, and they seem really quite large compared to all the rest of the interface.



- Touch keyboard works as well as an iPad's, though sometimes it forgets to pop up and you have to manually toggle it up.
- Windows 8 will definitely take some getting used to, and I'm pretty comfortable with Windows 7.
- The autorotation feature crashed photoshop more than once, so I set the hardware switch toggle to turn it off. I don't particularly think the unit works very well in portrait orientation anyways, since it's aspect ratio is really wide (16:9). I think a 4:3 aspect ratio would actually personally be more appropriate.

Conclusions:
As of right now I'd recommend the unit with the above caveats. I tried the unit with 512GB and Windows 8 Pro. Personally I would recommend the 256GB unit since it's a full $500 cheaper with all other hardware being the same. Also I stayed away from the android based ones because of the general lack of sophistication of apps on android vs the full windows experience.

Please ask me any questions you have about the device!

Friday, September 06, 2013

The Longest Road



Check out Manddy Wyckens' grad film from Calarts/Gobelins. Also check out the Production Blog and her real blog.

Tuesday, July 02, 2013

The Boxtrolls Teaser!

Monday, June 03, 2013

Norman's Bathroom...


You only see a sliver of this through the door in the movie. They built the whole set though!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Mr. P's Chandelier.


Saturday, May 18, 2013

Norman's Ride.


Tuesday, May 14, 2013

The Sand-Witch



Also known as (W)itchy Weiners.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Aggie's Trees

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Mr. P's Hall


Sunday, March 31, 2013

Dr. Sketchy's...





Sunday, February 10, 2013

More Dr Sketchy's!








Friday, February 08, 2013

"Adam and Dog" By Minkyu Lee



Make sure to check out the Production Blog too.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Dr. Sketchy's...









Friday, December 07, 2012

Another Paranorman Post...

Hey guys!

Paranorman is out on Blu-Ray and instant video. Go grab it if you haven't seen it, or if have and want to see it again!

Here's a slick little animation by the talented Mr Dave Vandervoort. I helped out with the compositing. The animation was used as a reference for creating stop motion faces. Sorry for the quality, will have to find a better way to upload this.


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I love animation and making films.

  © Alan Cook, 2009. Template based on 'Neuronic' by Ourblogtemplates.com 2008

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