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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: tech, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 1 - 25 of 77
1. Ex-DreamWorkers Aim to Make Animation Production Easier Than Ever With Nimble Collective

Their new cloud-enabled platform will allow indie producers to make work faster and more efficiently.

0 Comments on Ex-DreamWorkers Aim to Make Animation Production Easier Than Ever With Nimble Collective as of 1/1/1900
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2. Unreal Encourages Filmmakers To Use Its Game Engine

Unreal's game development toolset is now free for filmmakers and artists.

0 Comments on Unreal Encourages Filmmakers To Use Its Game Engine as of 1/1/1900
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3. Toon Boom Launches Harmony 12 and Introduces Subscription Pricing

The same software used by Disney and Cartoon Network is now available as low as $15 per month.

0 Comments on Toon Boom Launches Harmony 12 and Introduces Subscription Pricing as of 1/1/1900
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4. Adobe Character Animator Lets You Animate With Your Face

A new Adobe program allows you to animate using just a microphone, a webcam, and your face.

0 Comments on Adobe Character Animator Lets You Animate With Your Face as of 1/1/1900
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5. Pixar’s Powerful RenderMan Rendering Software is Now Free

Pixar's RenderMan software has been used in the creation of all its film, as well as blockbusters like "The Lego Movie," "Guardians of the Galaxy," and "Interstellar."

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6. IOS Programming – Codea – The Calculator

A friend of mine talked about LUA for game programming, so I got curious and looked some stuff up and happen to stumble on a IOS app that allows you to program using LUA for an IOS app. It is called Codea. I was skeptical at first due to the major limitations and constraints this […]

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7. Maya Will Become Subscription-Only Software in 2016

Autodesk, the developer of Maya computer graphics software, offered new details yesterday about its transition to a subscription-only software model.

0 Comments on Maya Will Become Subscription-Only Software in 2016 as of 2/5/2015 9:13:00 AM
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8. Wacom Introduces 27-Inch Monster Cintiq

Wacom raised some eyebrows yesterday at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas when they announced a new flagship pair of tablets—the Cintiq 27QHD and the Cintiq 27QHD Touch.

0 Comments on Wacom Introduces 27-Inch Monster Cintiq as of 1/9/2015 2:40:00 PM
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9. Tagtool Launches New Animation Creation App for iPad

OMAi has released Tagtool PLAY, an iPad app for creating "spontaneous animations" using simple gestures.

0 Comments on Tagtool Launches New Animation Creation App for iPad as of 12/30/2014 2:09:00 PM
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10. Disney Researchers Develop Hyper-realistic Cartoon Eyeballs

Disney researchers presented their latest study on how to craft more realistic-looking CG eyes.

0 Comments on Disney Researchers Develop Hyper-realistic Cartoon Eyeballs as of 12/16/2014 12:02:00 AM
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11. How A Chinese Animation Studio Uses An American ‘Robot’ Director

The BBC created this video profile of Beijing, China-based animation studio Light Chaser Animation, which is one of numerous companies in China that is aiming to create high-end Hollywood-quality CGI.

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12. Nikon Introduces $4,000 Stop Motion Animator’s Kit

Stop motion animation just got a little easier with the introduction of Nikon Animator's Kit.

0 Comments on Nikon Introduces $4,000 Stop Motion Animator’s Kit as of 8/12/2014 7:44:00 AM
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13. A Call to Tech Support

The wifi in my eldest daughter’s laptop died recently. Being the home’s Chief Technology Officer, I worked through the handy troubleshoot on the system which told me it was working perfectly. Of course, the inability to connect to the internet and the distraught look on my poor daughter’s face told me it wasn’t. No worries, I bought a USB dongle and she was up and running.

Little did I know that my trouble-shooting skills would soon be needed again. A week ago, she informed me that her dongle wasn’t working. Of course, at 11:15, my system was shut down, so I didn’t pay much attention and went to bed. When I awoke, I realized it wasn’t her computer – there was a wholesale internet outage in the house!

I think that is mentioned in Revelation, isn’t it? The Mark of the Beast and the inability to access High-Speed Wireless is in chapter 13, if I remember correctly. I looked outside and it didn’t appear the Battle of Armageddon had begun yet. A check of the beds told me the wife and kids were still here, so the rapture hadn’t left me behind (Whew!)

But I still had no internet.

This has happened before and I fixed it. What did I do? Oh yeah, I unplugged it and it rebooted itself. So I pulled the plug and let it regenerate. Unfortunately, the light blinking was still red long after power was restored. So I called my ever-helpful internet service provider and got stuck in the web of automated attendants who sound helpful, but are very patronizing. Don’t they know I am the CTO? That should give me some status, I would think.

My biggest problem wasn’t the self-righteous know-it-all computer voice on the other end of the phone, it was the fact that my cell phone service is spotty in the basement where the router resides. So I put the phone on speaker and listened as best I could. Like a rat pushing through a maze, I found the tech support cheese after seventeen minutes and the new, smarter sounding Tech Support Weenie voice tells me we are going to have to restart the system.

TSW: I will now tell you how to restart your system. This is a medium level procedure and will take approximately 3-5 minutes.


TSW: Can you see your internet router?


TSW: Please find the power cable on the back of the router and say yes when you’ve found it.

Got it

TSW: I didn’t understand you.

Er…  Yes

TSW: Trace the cable to the electric outlet. Unplug the cable and wait 10 seconds before plugging it back in.

Well, that’s what I did before, but okay

TSW: Did this solve your problem?


At that point, my spotty cell service affected my ability to clearly hear the next steps in the process. What I am pretty sure it said was for me to disconnect all cables, kick the box across the room, plug it back in and see if any lights were blinking. Repeat until no lights function.


After I hung up, I went to work early and left this note on the floor:



The good news, there is free wifi at the hotel, but I really wish they would call.

Filed under: It Made Me Laugh

6 Comments on A Call to Tech Support, last added: 8/5/2014
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14. How Japanese Animators Use Flash to Create Amazing TV Animation

Science Saru, the new studio started by Japanese directors Masaaki Yuasa and Eunyoung Choi, has shared a behind-the-scenes look at how they used Flash in the recent TV series "Ping Pong."

0 Comments on How Japanese Animators Use Flash to Create Amazing TV Animation as of 7/31/2014 8:42:00 PM
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15. Watch Glen Keane’s New Google Short ‘Duet’

Watch Glen Keane's new short "Duet" that he debuted this morning at the Google I/O developer conference.

0 Comments on Watch Glen Keane’s New Google Short ‘Duet’ as of 6/26/2014 4:59:00 PM
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16. Animake It Software Allows Anyone to Make Animation—In One Minute

The world of animation software is dominated by a handful of industry-standard titles. However, the margins are dotted with more specialized pieces of software, often designed for animators who prefer to work outside the demands of studio production. One such program is Animake It, a piece of software that aims to provide an accessible animation experience that ties in with current trends in online content.

0 Comments on Animake It Software Allows Anyone to Make Animation—In One Minute as of 6/6/2014 11:13:00 AM
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17. Microsoft Surface Pro Tablet Review by Christy Karacas

Editor’s Note: Last Friday, we posted about how Microsoft has recruited Superjail! co-creator Christy Karacas to promote their Surface tablets. The video that Christy starred in was nicely produced, but noticeably short on details about how he uses it and what he thinks of it. Thankfully, Christy left a terrifically informative comment on that post in which he shared his thoughts about the Surface tablet. With his permission, we are republishing his review below. It’s particularly timely, too, since tomorrow in New York City, Microsoft will unveil the new Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 tablets.

Microsoft Surface Pro Tablet Review by Christy Karacas

For people who want to know, I think it’s a great tablet and I have been using it very often during Superjail! season four production. I use it for sketching/thumbing/boarding on the go. The most important thing I’m looking for in a tablet is a natural drawing experience/interface. I use a Wacom Cintiq to make Superjail!, which is great in my opinion, but obviously that’s a big and powerful non-mobile workstation I can’t take with me.

If you download the Wacom driver for the Surface tablet, the pen pressure/sensitivity is great and I’ve had no latency issues—meaning you can draw very quick and fast which I like to do—and the line doesn’t lag behind the actual pen in your hand. This was a problem I had with previous tablets/laptops.

Prior to this, I owned a Toshiba Portege tablet PC, and used it often to thumb/board during season one. The pressure sensitivity on it kind of sucked and so did the speed, but I would still use it as an option when not in the office or out of town. After season one, I stopped using it. (It was also very heavy and huge by today’s standards…haha). I would only work at the office or home and if I thumbed outside of work, I would do it on paper and then re-draw it in Flash which was kind of a pain in the ass. But when boarding, I like to get away from the office sometimes. I love storyboarding in cafes or bars so I can let my mind wander, people watch, get ideas, etc. I work so often I find a change of workspace inspiring and necessary.

As far as ‘negatives,’ I honestly don’t have any. My biggest hurdle was getting used to Windows 8 as I have a Mac at work and still run Windows Vista at home. I wasn’t used to the ’tiles’ system that is the interface of Surface, but it was just a matter of getting used to it. There is an automatic brightness sensor so when I was drawing sometimes my hand would cover the tablet and the screen brightness would change, but I just disabled that setting so it’s not an issue.

I haven’t and don’t think I would use the Surface for full animation because of its screen size (being a tablet) but I wouldn’t really want to animate in a public space anyways. I would want to work in the quiet of my room or studio. But I do really like storyboarding/thumbnailing in active cafes/bars/even the subway-I don’t know why but I get really good ideas in the subway—and for that, the Surface is great. I boarded a huge chunk of the premiere of Superjail! season 4 on the airplane to San Diego Comic-Con. I was able to email the .FLA file to my storyboard team right on the plane directly from the tablet—super convenient and allows me to get work done, send it to the storyboard artists and keep production flowing while I’m away. The battery life also impressed me—better than my iPhone which I seem to have to charge twice a day.

I think iPads look really nice, but they don’t have the pen driver support, only those blunt ‘stylus’ type pen interfaces that I can’t stand. Also, the iPad can only run apps, not true software like Flash which I need to make Superjail! I know there are more and more tablets on the market these days so there are probably going to be lots of new options.

The Microsoft guys approached me and let me play with it, I loved it and agreed to do the video. Also I have to say that I am really sick of Mac constantly updating their OS. It’s really annoying, and for some reason I find Flash runs better on PC. My PC at home has NEVER crashed making this show—not once! But the Macs at work sometimes do crash when we have a really heavy file. Flash really wan’t designed to do this kind of animation, but that’s a whole other discussion.

So yeah, for directors and storyboard artists, or anyone who wants to sketch digitally away from their workstation with a really sensitive natural pen interface, the Surface has worked out really great for me and I love using it.

0 Comments on Microsoft Surface Pro Tablet Review by Christy Karacas as of 9/22/2013 5:50:00 PM
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18. A Look at Rhythm & Hues’ Oscar-Winning Technology Voodoo

The Oscars just did a little segment on their Scientific and Technical Awards. Among the the winners of the Technical Achievement Award this year was Rhythm & Hues for its proprietary Voodoo software.

0 Comments on A Look at Rhythm & Hues’ Oscar-Winning Technology Voodoo as of 3/3/2014 12:44:00 AM
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19. The Revolution in Interactive Storytelling Has Arrived, and Surprise, Google Is Behind It

Last week, Google’s Advanced Technology and Projects group released the second animated short, Buggy Night, in its Spotlight Stories, a series of interactive mobile-specific animated films available on Moto X phones. Like the first film in the series, Windy Day, which debuted last October, the new short relies on spatial awareness and the sensory inputs of a mobile device to create a distinctive storytelling experience. Readers would be warranted in expressing skepticism at the words ‘interactive’ and ‘animation’ being used in the same sentence. The concept has been touted often, yet rarely executed in a manner that suggests it could become a viable alternative to linear entertainment experiences. These shorts have finally proven, to me at least, that there is a promising future ahead for interactive animation and immersive worlds where multiple stories can unfold at the individual viewer’s pace, with no two viewing experiences alike. While it still requires some imagination to see where this could all go, and how it might eventually figure into our emerging augmented reality environment and mixed digital-physical world, the idea no longer seems as far-fetched and impractical as it once did. Before we imagine the possibilities, let’s look at the pathbreaking animated shorts that exist before us today. The stories of both Windy Day and Buggy Night are simple but effective ideas designed to explore the interactive concept: in one, a mouse loses his hat on a windy day, and in the other, a group of bugs attempt to hide from a hungry frog. Since most readers of this site will not have a Moto X readily available to experience these shorts, simply imagine that you are standing in the middle of an animated scene. The action takes place all around you in a 360 degree space. Anywhere you turn your phone—left, right, up or down—could potentially reveal something happening. The film’s running time depends entirely on how often you, the viewer, chooses to move your camera—the more you move it, the longer it takes to finish the story. This video gives a sense of the physicality of the viewing experience: The interactivity in these shorts not only feels natural, but adds immensely to the viewing experience. This success can partly be attributed to the amount of interactivity allowed to the audience. While control of the camera is ceded to the viewer, the overall narrative remains in the hands of filmmakers. It’s a careful balance between interactivity and linear storytelling that recognizes tried-and-true narrative structures can’t be reinvented—the only thing that changes is how we experience them. Over the years, we have moved from oral tradition to literary form, and finally, visual delivery systems like film and video. While each new mode of expression presents a distinct set of narrative possibilities, the underlying story form must remain intact, an idea heretofore not clearly acknowledged in interactive attempts. Google’s entry into interactive storytelling and immersive animation began almost accidentally with their purchase of Motorola Mobility in 2012. Eager to explore the untapped potential of phones as an experiential device, they launched an open-ended research group called Advanced Technology and Projects—ATAP for short—to foster innovation and develop next-generation concepts. Spotlight Stories is one of the ideas that has emerged out of ATAP, alongside complementary technologies like Project Tango. (Google sold Motorola a month-and-a-half ago, but as an acknowledgement of ATAP’s importance, the group was not part of the sale and remains a part of Google.) Google/Motorola also learned something that it took the computer animation industry decades to fully understand: if the creative potential of a technology is to be fully unleashed, creative people need to “challenge the technology,” as John Lasseter is fond of saying. Google hired incredibly qualified people to push the limits of interactive storytelling. The first two films have been directed by Jan Pinkava (creator and co-director of Ratataouille) and veteran animator Mark Oftedal (who animated on Toy Story and A Bug’s Life among other films). Another Pixar vet, Doug Sweetland (Presto), supervised the animation, and notable children’s book author/illustrator Jon Klassen (This is Not My Hat) styled the look of the shorts. Continuing this trend of working with A-list talents, another upcoming Spotlight short will be directed by Glen Keane. The Spotlight Stories aren’t just exploring new ways of telling stories interactively, they are also pushing forward the technological development of mobile devices. Google touts in their promotion of Spotlight Stories that mobile graphics processors now rival the capabilities of video game consoles such as the PS3 and Xbox 360, a fact that will come as a surprise to the average smartphone user who is accustomed to the primitive worlds of Candy Crush and Angry Birds. This dormant computational power is finally being used, and in turn, developed further to meet the demands of the Spotlight Stories. Among the numerous technological highlights, the shorts contain the first-ever real-time subdivision surfaces on a mobile device using Pixar’s open graphics standard, OpenSubdiv. Not so coincidentally, Windy Day’s director Jan Pinkava also directed the Oscar-winning Geri’s Game (1997), which was the first Pixar production to use subdivision. Stay tuned to Cartoon Brew, where next week we will dig more deeply into the creative and technological challenges of interactive storytelling in an interview with Jan Pinkava. (Disclosure: Google provided Cartoon Brew with Moto X phones to view the Spotlight Stories. The phones have been used for the sole purpose of viewing the shorts.)

0 Comments on The Revolution in Interactive Storytelling Has Arrived, and Surprise, Google Is Behind It as of 3/14/2014 6:41:00 PM
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20. Animation Paper Aims To Be Easy-to-Use Software for Drawn Animation

Danish animator and director Niels Krogh Mortensen is on a mission: to create "the world's most responsive, intuitive and powerful software for doing one thing, and one thing only: hand-drawn animation."

0 Comments on Animation Paper Aims To Be Easy-to-Use Software for Drawn Animation as of 3/22/2014 2:47:00 PM
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21. Watch A Rare Demo of Pixar’s Animation System Presto

This is a rare demo of Pixar's proprietary animation system called Presto. The program was written originally for "Brave" and is being used on all of the studio's upcoming films. It offers animators a deep level of control within a real-time, interactive environment.

0 Comments on Watch A Rare Demo of Pixar’s Animation System Presto as of 4/3/2014 5:39:00 PM
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22. This Bear Animation Is Not Computer Animated

This short animation of a seemingly CG bear climbing stairs is garnering a lot of attention on the Internet because it's actually a CG bear printed as 3-D models and then animated in stop motion.

0 Comments on This Bear Animation Is Not Computer Animated as of 4/15/2014 3:45:00 PM
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23. A Filmmaker Tests Out The NFB’s $1 Animation App, StopMo Studio

The NFB StopMo Studio app for the iPad provides essentially everything you need to jump into creating an animated film. You won't have any issues getting comfortable with the user interface if you've worked with animation programs before, and it seems more than approachable for newcomers young and old. Once you open up the program, you're welcomed with a short and succinct tutorial that covers the basic tools, and then opens up to allow you to explore the rest of the options available.

0 Comments on A Filmmaker Tests Out The NFB’s $1 Animation App, StopMo Studio as of 4/22/2014 7:07:00 PM
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24. Microsoft Aims To Please Artists and Creators with Surface Pro 3 Tablet/PC

Yesterday in New York City, Microsoft unveiled the Surface Pro 3, the latest iteration of its fully-featured PC/tablet with pressure-sensitivity and an abililty to run any PC-based creative software from Adobe's Creative Cloud suite to Toon Boom, Maya and ZBrush, to post-production filmmaker tools like Assimilate’s SCRATCH and RED’s CineX.

0 Comments on Microsoft Aims To Please Artists and Creators with Surface Pro 3 Tablet/PC as of 5/21/2014 11:06:00 PM
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25. Free tech learning resources – short list

screen shot from Chinese advanced email handout

I mentioned back in January that NYPL has said they were putting all of their handouts for their tech classes online. It took a while for them to get that sorted, but they’re online now and worth checking out. There is rarely any good reason to reinvent the wheel in tech instruction. While computers and the internet have changed a great deal, many old favorites like Mousercise still deliver. There are a lot of things people point to for good tutorials and lessons, but very few that have good information in a clear and easy to understand way. For anyone who is looking to actually spend money on tutorials, Lynda.com is the definite go-go. Otherwise the short list of worth-a-damn sites continues to be short.

If you’re on facebook there is a good group there that is low traffic where people regularly swap ideas for this sort of thing (or answer questions) called Technology Training and Libraries

2 Comments on Free tech learning resources – short list, last added: 5/29/2014
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