Posts Tagged ‘Animation’

Wonder What Cogswell Alumni Do? Here’s a CGI Sample from Rhythm & Hues

Tuesday, February 19th, 2013

While the news coming from Rhythm & Hues last week seems bleak as they head in to bankruptcy, there is always hope for a new beginning.

In a statement issued by Lee Berger, president of Rhythm & Hues Film Division, he said, “Following the filing, R+H will be seeking to secure financing for future growth. I believe that we are going to come out of this situation stronger, more efficient and as prolific as we are now.”

Whatever the eventual outcome – and we are rooting for R+H to succeed – their artists have done a lot of amazing work over the years as demonstrated in this video showcasing their CGI abilities.

Quite a few Cogswell College graduates worked on projects in this clip and we are happy to celebrate their talent as well as the great work of R+H.

Animation is here!!!

Tuesday, May 8th, 2012

Animation from students
As promised, I have some final animation from the students! I am going to post a few here on the blog and if you like them, let me know, I’ll put up more if they let me! I love these guys and think they are going to go a long way! Keep on working hard and always learning Jimmy, Taylor and Robert!

Animation COMING!!!

Thursday, May 3rd, 2012

Final Student Animation Projects

Hey Everyone!

Just thought I would let you know that since this semester is coming to an end I have been talking to a few of the animators here. I asked them if I could feature their final projects on the Cogswell’s YouTube Channel and they said “no way”….. jk, they totally said yes! So I will have three amazing animation vids for you soon! Check back later this week!

Thanks Taylor, Jimmy and Robert!

-Zombie

Beverly Hills and Newport Beach Film Fests

Wednesday, May 2nd, 2012

Worlds Apart Crew at Newport BeachNewport Beach Film Festival (from left to right): Evan Clover, Josh Hodges, Jeron Moore

Worlds Apart Crew at Beverly HillsBeverly Hills Film Festival Awards Gala (from left to right): Josh Hodges, Evan Clover, Ivy Clover, Jeron Moore

Recently a few of our alumni attended two film festivals in southern California; The Beverly Hills Film Festival and the Newport Beach Film Festival. Both festivals were very exciting, the gang started their weekend off with attending the screening the animated shorts portion of the Beverly Hills Film Festival and we happy with the way Worlds Apart was received by everyone. After that, they took off to the Newport Beach Film Festival to attend the Shorts for Shorties portion of the festival. The animation they saw there was astonishing in quality and said it will be tough competition.  They were invited to the front of the theater to answer questions from the audience and then hopped out to the red carpet for pictures. Finally their weekend concluded with the Beverly Hills Film Festival Awards Gala. They got all gussied up with their suits and skirts and arrived to rub elbows with other film makers and celebrities. The awards ceremony was very classy and there we tons of laughs. Worlds Apart did not walk away with an award but there was high praise among  attendees for the films high production value and story. The Project X crew was all in all very pleased with the festivals and the weekend they had.

We will let you know as soon as we hear back from Newport Beach if Worlds Apart won an award. Stay tuned!

-Zombie

Tornado Season Coming!!!

Tuesday, April 3rd, 2012

Student Project

Attention Dragons and Dragonettes- we’ve received notice of incoming storms next week. Windows are scheduled to be boarded over in attempt to prevent the front door from shattering and putting out an eye. You guessed it, it’s Tornado season. A Local meteorologist managed to weasel a paper airplane past the guard dogs and onto the front desk. After we ensured his remains were fed to the hounds, the note informed us we’re due to expect unusual debris across the school. In an effort to recover from the tornado damage, students are requested to participate in clearing the school of the artifacts left by the tempest. Keep an eye out for paper dragons guarding their treasured tickets, and for the love of the approaching singularity find and protect our future robot masters. Other such efforts that contribute to ensuring the integrity of our facility may include recording your participation in assigned tasks, or doing the bidding of your professor(s) for rewards. If you’re the competitive type then be sure to keep an eye on the front lobby television for daily details. What’s that, you want to collect points with a friend? How about three? Make some matching uniform and name to identify yourselves and bonus participatory happiness points will be awarded- but any more than four to a team and the stamp of frown-sadness will descend upon your final score. Take pictures and we’ll keep track of your deeds- who knows, perhaps those who live through the apex of the storm here on Saturday 14th will earn some eternal glory in the halls of Cogswell. Rations? Check. Dueling ART? Check. Fighting to the last breath with boffer swords? All bets are off boys and girls- it’s Tornado Season.

Cogswell College on ABC News

Thursday, March 1st, 2012

esterday a camera crew from ABC News came and did a story on the Project X class and the films it has produced yesterday here on campus! It was really cool when a large group of us sat around the tv in the student lounge and watched when they aired it last night. Also, I just got the link for the online version! So, check it out everyone!

The link to the whole article is here:
http://abclocal.go.com/kgo/story?section=news/education&id=8564323

The Offering is on Vimeo

Monday, February 13th, 2012

The Offering - Short Animated Film

Hey guys,

Just thought I would let you know that the first Project X film, The Offering, is now on Vimeo for everyone to see. This channel is going to be dedicated to the outstanding work of Cogswell students. And on that note, I will now link you to the beautiful piece of art and look forward to seeing many more amazing videos up on this Vimeo channel. See ya later everyone!

https://vimeo.com/36503176

-Zombie

The Offering – Online at last!

Thursday, January 19th, 2012

Cogswell Animated Short Online

Hello and good day to you all!

I have some really awesome news for you. The first Project X film, The Offering, has made its way through the film festivals and is now finally back home. Since this fabulous animated short is all done with its circuit, Cogswell has decided to place it online for all to see! It gained much acclaim and won many awards during its run. So, I hope you will all stand with me and congratulate The Offering on its success and head on over to watch it, I am just about to for the fifth time today!

The Offering: Click here to watch

-Zombie

Alumni Interview: Jessica “Psy” DeLacy

Tuesday, January 3rd, 2012

Jessica "Psy" DeLacy

Yesterday I got the honor to sit down and chat with one of our most recent and successful alum, Jessica “Psy” DeLacy. She was really easy to talk to and had so much to talk about. Read on to see what we talked about in the interview!

Zombie: So Psy, where are you working right now and what is your job?

Psy: I work at Rhythm and Hues!  I am a Technical Animation TD, and I’ve been working here since December of 2010.  It’s my job to make cloth, fur, dynamics, and interaction look awesome.

Zombie: So what would be a typical day at work for you?

Psy: When I get to work in the morning, I usually have a few shots waiting for me that need attention, and I will work on these based on highest priority, aka what lighting wants first.  Shotwork involves simulating clothing and fur, but for everything to work correctly I need to make sure all geometry is cleaned up and the characters are interacting with each other in such a way that the cloth can evaluate properly.  Then there’s getting certain materials to act and feel a certain way: a sweatshirt on a chipmunk behaves differently than a kite tied to a penguin, wet fur will move differently on a character standing still than it will on a dry character that’s running, etc.

I have a whole toolset that I use to clean up geometry and make interactions play nicely together, but often I will script out tools that I use a lot to optimize them and make my workflow faster.  Generally I will do this if I’m waiting for animation or feedback on shots, or if I have multiple simulations running that I am waiting for.

Zombie: Can you give an example of something that surprised you about your job when you first started?

Psy: I was genuinely surprised that they’re paying me to do this.  I mean, this is fun – this is what I do on the weekends for fun.  I guess I was also surprised how prepared I was – I was able to dive right in and adapt to the pipeline fairly quickly.  Thanks PX!

Zombie: So what projects have you worked at at R & H?

Psy: At Rhythm I have worked on Hop, Mr. Popper’s Penguins, Alvin 3: Chipwrecked, and currently I am working on Snow White and the Hunstman.  So far Alvin has been the most fun, and the most challenging.

Zombie: What would you say is the most rewarding part of your job?

Psy: Figuring out the monster shots and making them look good.  When you work on a shot for weeks on end, and then see it on the big screen and it looks great – that’s an awesome feeling. I had this shot on Alvin that was a monster for tech: Simon unties a piece of seaweed from around his arm, ties it around his head, then rips off his sleeves.  That shot took hours upon hours of doing RnD, testing out different ideas, building the rigs to allow for the sleeves ripping, getting the fringes on the sweatshirt and the fur to react correctly – it was a multi person effort, and at times quite frustrating.  Seeing the final render of that shot caused high fives all around.  Also seeing peoples’ reactions, especially kids.  When kids in the theater are excited and enjoying the movie, I’m happy.

Zombie: Do you have any advice for students wanting to get into your industry?

Psy: Yes I do, You have to want it.  It’s a competitive industry, and you can’t just expect to get a degree and automatically be ushered in.  You really do have to work hard through school, and come out with a good reel and good communication skills.  Get to know people, get used to working in a team, and be the person that everyone wants to work with.  Always thirst for knowledge, and be passionate about what you want to do, and be willing to adapt to a new pipeline.  It takes work and diligence, but you can get in, and you can go far, if you want it enough.

Zombie: What kinds of skills or abilities would someone need to get into your line of work?

Psy: For Techanim specifically, you need to have technical and artistic skills.  You need to understand anatomy and have a good eye for how characters, cloth, and interaction should look, but also need to be able to write scripts and understand what’s happening under the hood during a simulation.  Patience is also key, as sometimes you will spend days on a single shot getting it just so.  There’s a lot of “well, object A needs to act like X until it hits object B.  How do I do that?”  And then you figure it out.  It’s a lot like rigging in that it’s both artistically and technically demanding, requires a lot of out-of-the-box thinking, and can be a bit tedious at times.  That’s probably why I love it so much.

Zombie: So how did Cogswell help prepare you for what you do today?

Psy: I’ll give you the same quote I gave to Bonnie, regarding Project X, because although Cogswell laid the foundation, Project X was really what prepared me for this.

“Project X was the most difficult, most challenging, and most demanding thing I’ve ever done.  I loved every minute of it, and I wouldn’t have missed it for anything.  When we started X, we were students.  When we finished it, we were ready for the industry.”

Zombie: You have already said so much, but do you have anything else to leave our readers with?

Psy: Ah man, I could say so many things.  I could talk about how awesome my coworkers are and how much fun we have at work.  But instead I’ll try for something inspiring.

You can get here.  You can get into the industry – whether you’re a modeler, animator, rigger, concept artist – you can get here.  But it’s not easy.  Please don’t be the person who coasts through school thinking that you’ll graduate and be welcomed with open arms.  A degree is not a ticket in.  You want in?  Treat every assignment as if it’s going into your portfolio.  Spend your time after class, your weekends, any time you have learning more and challenging yourself.  Quit playing WoW and get involved in a student project.  Compete amongst yourselves, team up – do something you think you can’t do.  You’re a modeler?  Study edge loop theory, model the same thing over and over until it looks amazing, get someone to rig it and critique the edge flow, and model outside your comfort zone.  Concept artist?  You should be filling sketchbook upon sketchbook.  Draw from life.  Draw from conceptual techniques.  Take the shapes you see everywhere and make something from them.  Take a sketchbook with you everywhere.  You get where I’m going with this.  And no matter what you are, don’t be afraid of critique.  Accept it gracefully and don’t argue it – and most of all, seek it out.

Go forth and follow your dreams!

Zombie: Thanks Psy, keep up the good work!!!

For those of you who have never heard of Rhythm & Hues Studios, check out their website and check back soon for more alumni interviews.

-Zombie

Worlds Apart Wins Honors at Encounters Film Festival, UK

Tuesday, November 22nd, 2011

2011 Winner

Worlds Apart, a short, animated film produced under the umbrella of the Project X class, faced its toughest jury yet. The Encounters Film Festival visited 20 schools in Bristol to present a special screening of this year’s nominees for the Children’s Jury Award to hundreds of children. After the screening the students voted for the short film they liked best.

And the envelope please – Worlds Apart wins the Children’s Animation Jury Award! Film Director and Cogswell faculty, Michael Zachary Huber, was on hand to accept the award.

“The award is regarded as one of the best awards to get at the festival,” said Huber, “because these young judges are so brutally honest and free of bias. At the Awards Ceremony where they also showed the film, people in the audience were wiping their teary eyes right after it screened.”

All Official Selections under 15 minutes long and deemed suitable for young audiences over 7 years of age are entered in this competition. These films demonstrate how animation is a great way to tell stories visually; in ways that require little or no spoken language.

Part science fiction and part cautionary fairytale, Worlds Apart explores the universal themes of stewardship of nature and the fate of humanity. Worlds Apart asks the question, “Can humanity change its ways and save itself?” Watch the trailer.

Encounters Bristol International Film Festival is the UK’s longest running competitive short film and animation festival. The festival presents one of the world’s best-known showcases and meeting points for emerging talent, and seeks to promote the importance of short film as a means to develop the next generation of filmmakers and animators. Of the more than 1,800 films submitted to the festival only a tenth of those made it through to the festival competition.

Project X is a one-of-a-kind, project-based class at Cogswell College that is run like a professional animation production studio using teams of skilled artists and sound designers. Students work tirelessly for three semesters to produce a studio-quality, short film. During production they are supported by a massive collaborative effort from faculty, staff, visiting artists, industry professionals and alumni.

LINKS:

Encounters Film Festival http://www.encounters-festival.org.uk/encounters-2011-awards.html