multi plane

The Answer - Earliest concepts

We were sitting in the writers room breaking the story for The Answer. The story became more and more fairytale like, and I recall Rebecca coming up with the idea that the episode could look like a story book. I did these quick roughs in marker which eventually became the foundation for the look of “The Answer”. I did these on the spot while we were still figuring out the story, so the events in these drawings don’t specifically line up to anything in the final… but I guess some of the concepts ended up getting used.

After seeing them, Rebecca brought up the works of Lotte Reineger, the german animator. This fit perfectly, we had both studied The Adventures of Prince Achmed and her other films in college and Lotte Reineger is a huge inspiration. Not only are her films hauntingly beautiful, she created the first ever animated feature film and the first multi-plane camera way before Walt Disney did. She’s an unsung animation pioneer. 

I originally thought the whole thing would be in silhouette but we allowed the main characters to have interior detail with limited palettes. I love limited palettes!!! Rebecca oversaw the resulting design process with our art director Jasmin Lai and I really think it came together great. In the final episode, the Shadow Puppet section is boarded by Lamar Abrams and he completely made the whole thing work which was not an easy feat. There’s some really inventive stuff in there.


Take a Magic Carpet Ride with Prince Achmed by Susan Doll

I confess I am tired of the look and tone of computer-generated animated features, which are dominated by simplistic narratives aimed at children. I have seen computer animation by senior students at Ringling College of Art & Design that is stylish and creative as well as serious in tone and content, so it is possible for this type of animation to be more challenging than the latest releases from Pixar, Disney or Dreamworks. But, kids and their parents are accustomed to the Pixar style and associate it with contemporary commercial animation, so the formula remains unchanged and unchallenged.

If you are interested in animation that is an alternative to the norm, then I suggest you start with THE ADVENTURES OF PRINCE ACHMED (1926), which is currently streaming on FilmStruck. Lotte Reiniger used the lost art of silhouette animation to depict the story of the title character, a prince from an exotic land who is tricked and manipulated by a sorcerer. The stories were based on The Arabian Nights, specifically “The Story of Prince Ahmed and the Fairy Paribanou.” The narrative begins as Achmed is whisked away on a magical horse to an enchanted island where he falls in love with a princess. The sorcerer interrupts Achmed’s happiness by kidnapping the princess and carrying her off to China. In true fairy-tale fashion, the Prince pursues his beloved to the ends of the earth.

The magical atmosphere is enhanced by the use of silhouette animation, in which the characters were rendered as articulated cut-outs reinforced with tin. The figures, which are black like silhouettes, were tied at the joints by wire or thread so their limbs could move and change positions. The arms and legs were moved only a fraction at a time by assistants while Reiniger shot each change in movement one frame at a time. It took Reiniger and her associates three years to shoot and complete PRINCE ACHMED. The original release included color tinting in which vivid backgrounds behind the black silhouettes created a rich effect.

For many years, Disney enthusiasts touted SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN DWARFS (‘37) as the first animated feature, but, PRINCE ACHMED, which is 65 minutes in length, preceded it by a decade. Reportedly, at least two feature-length cartoons were produced in Argentina even earlier, but PRINCE ACHMED is likely the oldest existing animated feature. SNOW WHITE has also been credited as the first cartoon to be created with a multi-plane camera, but PRINCE ACHMED was also made with a version of the multi-level animation stand. Reiniger was assisted by Walter Ruttmann, who is better known for his work in experimental filmmaking, and Berthold Bartosch, who experimented in animation. Ruttmann created special effects on one plane of the stand, such as the grotesque transformations in a scene where monsters battle, while Bartosch animated the waves in the sea or the stars in the sky on another level and Reiniger manipulated her silhouetted figures on a third level. As such, THE ADVENTURES OF PRINCE ACHMED represents a unique collaboration by some of the biggest names in avant-garde cinema.

Unfortunately, avant-garde film has always lacked the organized distribution and exhibition systems of commercial narrative filmmaking. Haphazard distribution and scattered screenings limited PRINCE ACHMED’s exposure to specialized audiences. However, Reiniger’s little film did have a knack for attracting friends in high places. PRINCE ACHMED debuted in a theater in Berlin. Legendary playwright and director Berthold Brecht arranged for the press and members of Berlin’s thriving art scene to attend. The film also opened in Paris, where it ran for six months at Louis Jouvet’s Champs-Élysées Theatre. French directors Jean Renoir and René Clair saw PRINCE ACHMED during its run at Jouvet’s theater. Renoir lauded the film for its imagination and because it exhibited “a spirit and grace … a fine feeling for detail…”

I envy Reiniger and the artistic circles she travelled in. She experienced firsthand two of the 20th century’s most significant eras in art and cinema, German Expressionism and the Lost Generation of Paris. She was mentored by Expressionist theater director and filmmaker Paul Wegener for whom she created her first animated work. In 1918, Reiniger constructed the wooden rats for Wegener’s version of THE PIED PIPER OF HAMELIN and was also allowed to animate the film’s intertitles. With the success of PRINCE ACHMED in the mid-1920s, she cultivated friendships with Renoir and other artists and filmmakers living la vie bohème in Paris.

Experimental films are not part of an organized industry that might support their care and upkeep, so their preservation has been spotty. Over the decades, all original prints of the German version of PRINCE ACHMED were lost. Fortunately, during the late 1990s, British and German archivists restored the film using nitrate prints from later decades, even recreating its original color tinting. Poetic, enchanting and colorful, THE ADVENTURES OF PRINCE ACHMED is as timeless as its source material.

Toronto Film Review: ‘Breath’

A pretty complete review.

SEPTEMBER 15, 2017 

Having directed several episodes of his own long-running TV vehicle “The Mentalist,” Aussie actor Simon Baker makes a confident transition behind the camera to feature filmmaking with “Breath,” the tale of two teens’ introduction to surfing under an older man’s tutelage. Baker also plays the adult lead, and co-wrote the screenplay adapted from celebrated Oz scribe Tim Winton’s 2008 novel (his 20th). Though not without its flaws, the movie has authenticity and resonance; there have been plenty of good surfing documentaries, but very few good dramas about the sport — a short list on which “Breath” instantly earns a prominent spot.

Keep reading


yeah i ship it

anonymous asked:

I think it's a shame that blogs like this ruin the magic of the Disney Parks. I'm sure you put a lot of effort into it, but the parks are a lot better enjoyed not thinking about how everything works all the time. I know that Disney is very open towards the workings of attractions/shows nowadays, but having backstage photos online showing parts of character costumes and guessing how that all works just goes a bit too far. And now I shall await the usual "Then don't visit this blog" reply…

Nah, no “don’t visit this blog” reply. You get to make your own decision on that.

What I will do is point out that Walt Disney himself spent a great deal of time showing people how things worked when he was alive. Ever since using the Disneyland TV show on ABC to share updates on the park as it was being built,

…to sharing with us preparations for the 1964 World’s Fair,

…Walt was never one to act like the knowledge of how things worked was in any way sacred.

Walt taught us about audio animatronics,

…he showed us how the multi-plane camera worked to make cartoons look more realistic,

…he showed us the scale models of attractions that were being planned,

…he showed us how cartoons were made.

Somehow, in recent years, some of that thirst for sharing knowledge has been lost. Some people have started treating this information as something that shouldn’t be public, like we’re supposed to just accept that it is “magic” and move on.

Walt Disney was an entertainer, and he loved to blow people away with fantastic new effects and attractions.

Walt Disney was also a teacher who loved to educate. He understood that imagination requires knowledge in order to become reality.

If there was one thing Walt loved more than blowing your mind, it was explaining how he had done it (or how he would do it in the future).

As with all entertainment, there is a suspension of disbelief that comes into play when you are experiencing it. But that doesn’t mean that the secrets behind how its done should never be shared.

Walt Disney took us on amazing journeys - but he didn’t hoard the road map, he shared it with us. Whether or not you want to read the map is entirely your choice.


So here it is:  “Childhood Memories 2.0”  I’ve been working on this project slowly over the last half year or so.

I’ve been very much inspired by the amazing look and feel of Ori and the Blind Forest, Rayman Origins and Rayman Legends.  I also really admire the work of Mikael Gustafsson.  I’ve always had a love for multi-planing, so I wanted to try some stuff out for this project.

I’ve spent a good chunk of time painting everything and creating asset libraries before really diving into Blender at the end of August and figuring out the software as I went along.  I think I spent over half that time just Googling things, watching tutorials and problem-solving things.  These last couple of weeks I’ve worked on the ambient sound effects and learning Cubase for digital composing which I found to be ridiculously fun!

I’m currently working on more music stuff, but I will probably work on some smaller art projects again here and there.

Just want to say a quick “Thank You” to several people:
Ahsley Adams for answering some of my earliest 3D questions and helping me figure out what software route to go.
Naomi Edwards for being encouraging while seeing me work on this almost every day during lunch at work for the last three months or so.
Shane Plante for pushing me and helping me with all sorts of audio-related things.
Pascal Aupry for helping with figuring out the best render settings for this project.
And Mercury Filmworks for letting me use their hardware at work to render this whole thing out.  My computer would not have been able to handle it :D

Dancer (1915). Gino Severini (Italian, Cubism/Futurism, 1883-1966). Oil on canvas.

One of the leading artists of the Italian Futurist movement, Severini created works that embody the group’s interest in movement and modern technology. In this painting, the gradation of color and the unusual multi-colored planes reinforce the whirling motion of the dancer.


Okay so at the airport I lost my pen that I brought with me to doodle, so instead I replace it with one I buy at the shops there that has multi colors!

On the plane I doodled these, last one I drew when I was getting impatient cause haha I wanna go home :,D (on my way tho)

I kinda have been getting ideas lately and I had a blast on my trip to Florida for megacon

I will hopefully have some photos to share from a photo shoot I was at (spoilers, it was for undertale)


Walt Disney’s Multi Plane camera!

Plane pony blog is officialy open!

Meet Airpon:

A highly advanced Multi-role plane pony built by PJ, her creator. Curious thing is, she’s mute! And she can’t talk! She express her emotions by doing gestures and bip boop sounds, sometimes she makes robotic mare sounds. She’s very friendly when meeting new people, but may be very dangerous if she’s pissed, so be careful!

And remember kids, plane ponies are best ponies c:

Orlando, Fla. - Barely visible beneath the wings of a Lockhead P-38 Lighting are the deadly bombs with which this multi-purpose plane can blast enemy troops, ships and gun emplacements. As shown in recent demonstartions at the AAF Tactical Center, Orlando, Fla., the Lockhead P-38, now being used as a fighter-bomber, is capable of carrying bomb pay loads up to 2,000 pounds, thus affording the Allies another potent weapon for use against Germany and Japan in coming offensive.