Monday, November 30, 2015

Calm wallpapers focusing on environment, not characters


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Tokyo Ghoul:re 55


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New Coldplay Video Features Motion Capture by Andy Serkis’s The Imaginarium


LONDON -- Coldplay has released the first music video from their new album, “A Head Full of Dreams,” due out on December 4th. The video for “Adventure of A Lifetime,” directed by Mat Whitecross, sees the band becoming chimps using performance capture provided by performance capture leaders The Imaginarium Studios (co-founded by actor Andy Serkis) with visual effects by Paris-based studio Mathematic. The video, which involved a studio shoot with the band in full performance capture rigs, is produced by Hannah Clark of My Accomplice. Both Mat and Hannah are long time collaborators of the band, having worked together previously on six Coldplay videos over the past five years.

From idea to completion, the video took six months and the end result follows the four chimps as they go an “Adventure of a Lifetime” discovering music. The video was commissioned by Parlophone Records, part of Warner Music UK, who also orchestrated a deal with Beats for an excerpt to be used in their latest ad.

“Our motivation in approaching Beats was to make as much noise as we could around this incredible song and ground-breaking video,” commented Bob Workman, SVP, Brand Partnerships, Warner Music UK. “I believe the collective effort of everyone involved has managed to achieve an authentic product integration that remains true to the band's narrative. At the same time, together we’ve created a fantastic and memorable advert for Beats.”

“Every Coldplay video is a completely new adventure. They usually begin with a midnight call from Chris, and end with a unicycling elephant or a music hall built in the snow on the bank of the Thames,” said director Mat Whitecross. “This time was no exception -- Chris and Andy Serkis texted me a selfie from a plane heading to LA, and a month later we found ourselves on the floor of the Imaginarium studio, with the band pretending to be dancing chimps! It’s the most fun I’ve ever had as a filmmaker, and one of my all-time favorite Coldplay tunes -- I just hope we’ve done it justice…”

“The video is nearly five minutes long, and comprises of over 100 shots, all of which feature at least one chimp, and therefore required extensive animation, and fur dynamics,” said My Accomplice producer Hannah Clark. “As creatures to animate go, chimps are one of the more difficult: not only are they quite human in their movement, but they are covered in hair… Add to this that we had no backgrounds shot, and we were asking an awful lot of any post collaborator. The Imaginarium and Mathematic did a fantastic job of leading Mat and I through unknown territory.”

“After a chance meeting with Chris Martin on a flight, I was delighted to hear that he often worked with my friend and director from Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll, Mat Whitecross, who’d been convincing him that Performance Capture was the best medium for the next Coldplay video,” said Andy Serkis, co-founder of The Imaginarium Studios. “Within no time at all, we were jumping and climbing around the studio, bringing out our inner apes. We are delighted to have worked with the band on this and now are thrilled to share the finished video with music fans worldwide.”

“For us it was a challenge like no other and we just had jumped at the chance, also watching Coldplay act around like monkeys was pretty funny!” said Mathematic’s Guillaume Marien. “We worked solidly for 4 months with a team of over 50 specialized CG animators and designers. We are very proud of the final result and enjoyed working with the whole team.”

Source: The Imaginarium Studios

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Nelvana Signs Multiple New SVOD Deals


TORONTO -- Corus Entertainment's Nelvana, one of the world's leading international producers and distributors of children’s animated and live-action content, announced that they have sold over 800 episodes of content from their extensive library to multiple subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) service providers around the world.

Subscribers to iFlix’s SVOD service throughout South East Asia can now watch series such as Babar, Babar and the Adventures of Badou, Babar and Father Christmas, Babar: The Movie, Babar: King of Elephants, The Berenstain Bears, Franklin and Friends, A Franklin and Friends Adventure: Deep Sea Voyage, A Franklin and Friends Adventure: Polar Explorer, Max & Ruby, Oh No! It’s An Alien Invasion, Sidekick, Trucktown, and Willa’s Wild Life.

The Martian Group has licensed the SVOD rights to seasons of Beyblade Metal Fusion, Bob and Margaret, George Shrinks, Maurice Sendak's Little Bear, Mike the Knight, My Dad the Rock Star, and Ned’s Newt in Argentina.

Movile has acquired global rights to Babar and the Adventures of Badou, The Backyardigans, Franklin and Friends, and Max and Ruby.

In Chile, VTR subscribers can look forward to watching Babar and the Adventures of Badou, The Backyardigans, Franklin and Friends, Hot Wheels: Battle Force 5, Max & Ruby, Mike the Knight, Ruby Gloom, and Willa’s Wild Life.

SVOD service, Vibiquity in Latin America, has added 6Teen, Babar: King of Elephants, Beyblade Metal Fusion, Cyberchase, Mike the Knight, and two specials, Miss Spider’s Sunny Patch Friends: The Prince, The Princess, and The Bee, and Miss Spider’s Sunny Patch Kids to their roster of programs offered.

Additionally, in the United States, Cinedigm has gained the rights to provide Babar to their viewers.

Source: Nelvana

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Jennifer Wolfe is Director of News & Content at Animation World Network.

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Disney Orders New Season of ‘Star Wars Rebels’


Disney XD has ordered a third season of its animated series Star Wars Rebels from Lucasfilm. The third season is currently in production and scheduled to premiere in 2016.

“We are proud to bring our audience a third season of Star Wars Rebels, a series that has resonated across generations,” said Marc Buhaj, Senior Vice President, Programming and General Manager, Disney XD, in making the announcement. “The creative team behind the series continues to do a brilliant job in delivering on the key tenets that fans have come to expect from a Star Wars property, including adventure, hope and the battle between good vs. evil.”

“We're very proud of our incredibly creative Rebels team,” added Lucasfilm SVP of Development, Kiri Hart. “The show continues to tell fun, heartfelt, exciting new Star Wars stories week after week, and it's beloved by fans of all ages. Season Three will see our Rebel heroes face new obstacles and find new allies in their fight against the Empire.”

To date, Star Wars Rebels ranks as Disney XD’s number-two series in Total Viewers (1.3 million), Kids 6-11, Boys 6-11 and Boys 2-11. It’s the channel's number-one program among Adults 18-49 and Men 18-49. In the most recent quarter tabulated (3Q15), Star Wars Rebels reached over 48 million unique Total Viewers in 157 countries/territories and in 30 languages. Star Wars Rebels has also generated nearly four million video starts on WATCH Disney XD.

The transformative second season of Star Wars Rebels featured the return of fan-favorite clone troopers Captain Rex, Captain Gregor and Commander Wolffe, and the debut of new characters including the Seventh Sister, a cunning and crafty Inquisitor who is tasked by Darth Vader to track down the rebels. Following a series of critical events, the lives of our heroes will be changed forever as Season Three begins.

Star Wars Rebels is created by Dave Filoni (Star Wars: The Clone Wars), Simon Kinberg (X-Men: Days of Future Past, Sherlock Holmes) and Carrie Beck. The Lucasfilm Animation production is executive-produced by Filoni and Kinberg.

The Season Two voice cast includes Freddie Prinze Jr. as Kanan, Vanessa Marshall as Hera, Steve Blum as Zeb, Tiya Sircar as Sabine, Taylor Gray as Ezra, Ashley Eckstein as Ahsoka Tano, Dee Bradley Baker as Captain Rex, Captain Gregor and Commander Wolffe, David Oyelowo as Agent Kallus and Sarah Michelle Gellar as the Seventh Sister Inquisitor.

Source: Disney XD

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Claude Cloutier’s ‘Carface’ Wins at 2015 Sommets du cinéma d’animation


MONTREAL -- Carface (Autos Portraits) by Claude Cloutier, a short produced by Julie Roy for the National Film Board of Canada (NFB), won the Prix Guy-L.-Coté Best Canadian Animation Film at the 2015 Sommets du cinéma d’animation on Sunday. The Festival ran from November 25-29 in Montreal.

The film has made the shortlist of 10 works in consideration for the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film, along with another NFB production, Cordell Barker’s If I Was God. The five nominees will be announced on January 14.

Carface is the seventh short film by Claude Cloutier, whose 2007 film, Sleeping Betty, won a Genie, a Jutra, and more than 20 other awards around the world. It was the opening film of the Rendez-vous du cinéma québécois (RVCQ) and was in official competition at the prestigious Annecy Animation Film Festival as well as the Ottawa International Animation Festival.

Billed as a scathing musical-comedy satire about the power of Big Oil, in which cars perform a song-and-dance number while the planet slides toward ruin, the five-minute Carface is produced by Julie Roy for the NFB.

Cloutier first gained fame as a comic-book artist with the series La légende des Jean-Guy and Gilles la Jungle contre Méchant-Man. He went on to make several animated films, including The Persistent Peddler (1988; in competition at Cannes), Overdose (1994), From the Big Bang to Tuesday Morning (2000), Sleeping Betty (2007; some 20 awards), The Trenches (2010) and Interférence (2014).

Source: The National Film Board of Canada

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NVIDIA Launches New Iray Plugins for Autodesk 3ds Max and Maya


NVIDIA Iray, the computer graphics developer’s physically-based rendering technology, can be found in many of the most popular design software applications. Now, for the first time, NVIDIA is offering it direct to designers, artists and others who rely on physically-based rendering to bring their creations to life.

Iray plug-ins for Autodesk 3ds Max are now available in NVIDIA’s new online store beginning today, and will be available for Autodesk Maya starting in mid-December. They cost $295 per year as either a node locked or floating license with no processor restrictions. These products support NVIDIA’s new distributed rendering solution -- Iray Server, which begins open Beta today and ships early next year. Also available is the first edition of vMaterials, a free collection of digital material offerings that have been verified by our material specialists for accuracy, control and consistency.

Iray accurately predicts the final results of a design, so users can reduce the number of prototypes and iterate far more. NVIDIA has been using it for years to design their own products, and global architecture firm Gensler is using it to design the company’s spectacular Silicon Valley campus building. Iray’s photorealistic interactivity allows designers and decision makers to explore variations in full realism while they are designing or reviewing.

Minimizing this feedback loop in order to maximize the creative process, NVIDIA designed the new Iray plug-ins to scale smoothly across all the cores and processors in users’ systems. Users can even connect to Quadro Visual Computing Appliances for near noiseless interaction in final quality.

“We use Iray for 3ds Max extensively in our design process,” said Scott DeWoody, Creative Media Manager of Gensler Architects. “Being able to see your changes, as you make them, in near final realism is transformative -- and Iray’s ability to scale across processors, machines and to Quadro VCAs means you can get even the most complex jobs done on time.”

Users can also harness a network of machines running Iray Server to make short work of their largest images. Attendees of Autodesk University this week in Las Vegas can see these solutions screaming on the latest systems at the Dell, HP and Lenovo booths.

NVIDIA also has several other plug-ins reportedly in development; in the meantime, the Iray plug-ins are available as 90-day free trials.

Source: NVIDIA

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Jennifer Wolfe is Director of News & Content at Animation World Network.

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New Short by Eoin Duffy Celebrates Einstein's Theory of Relativity


Award-winning animator Eoin Duffy, the creative force behind the 2012 “Dumb Ways to Die” PSA campaign, has teamed up with filmmaker Jamie Lochhead, actor David Tennant (Doctor Who), and astrophysicist and science communicator Anais Rassat to create a striking three-minute animation celebrating 100 years of Albert Einstein's theory of General Relativity.

November 25th was the 100th anniversary of Einstein's theory of General Relativity. Einstein's theory of gravity -- called general relativity -- was developed in 1915 and explains everything from how planets in the solar system orbit our sun, to black holes and how the Universe evolved after the Big Bang. “Einstein's theory of general relativity is not just about understanding gravity,” Rassat explains, “it is central to our understanding of the entire Universe.”

“Most of us think gravity is some sort of magical force that pulls us to Earth,” Lochhead adds. “That’s Isaac Newton’s universe, it’s 100 years out of date. Einstein showed us that it’s warped space and time that keep our feet on the ground. It’s mind-bending stuff, but the 100th birthday is the perfect time to enjoy the genius of Albert’s masterpiece.”

Funded by the Science & Technology Facilities Council, #Einstein100 - General Relativity was produced by A Windfall Films.

Source: A Windfall Films

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Jennifer Wolfe is Director of News & Content at Animation World Network.

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Yuru Yuri San☆Hai! episode 9


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Yuru Yuri San☆Hai!

Third season of Yuru Yuri.

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