FMX 2012 Announces Program Highlights
At FMX, Supervising Animator Nick Bruno and Lead Animator Jeff Gabor, who won the Annie Award for "Best Character Animation" for Rio just a few weeks ago, provide valuable insights into the process of animation two months before Ice Age 4 is officially released. In their presentation "How do you Scrat?" Bruno and Gabor pay tribute to Scrat, the most popular of all Ice Age characters. They share Blue Sky's approach to squashing, stretching, manipulating and contorting the CG squirrel into his famous extreme poses.
And as if that isn't enough snow for one FMX, Aardman Animation brings additional winter cheer to Stuttgart. The British production company, internationally known for their Academy Award-winning Wallace and Gromit series, constitutes another "Animation Highlight:" Director-Supervising Animator Seamus Malone explains the work on the Christmas tale Arthur Christmas. He traces the film's creation from its story development, character design and animation test at Aardman in Bristol to the actual animation production at Sony Pictures in Culver.
Madagascar 3 and The Pirates!
The Madagascar movies have been just as positively received by both movie goers and specialist journalists as the Ice Age movies. Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted is the third installment and the first of all three films to be released in 3D. The story follows the much loved characters Alex the lion, Marty the zebra, Melman the giraffe and Gloria the hippopotamus on their adventurous escape from Africa and involuntary stop-over in Europe. One month before its official release, Scott Peterson, Head of Effects at DreamWorks Animation, looks behind the scenes and delivers exclusive insights into their journey.
In a similar vein, Tom Barnes, the Technical Director of Aardman Animations, discloses why The Pirates! Band of Misfits is not only the company's first stop-motion clay animated feature to be released in Digital 3D, but also the most ambitious Aardman stop-frame film to date. One of the film's outstanding features is its attention to detail: Several Aardman designers molded approximately 340 individual latex figures to give the movie its distinctive touch.
Wild 'n Strange Animation
The art and craft of Animation exceeds blockbuster and family entertainment - the FMX slot "Animation: Wild 'n Strange", curated by Animation Director Andreas Hykade, explores how three short films and one media institution use animation to achieve their aims.
Director Marv Newland explains how he used animation techniques to create his experimental short CMYK that constitutes a symphony of color and sound. In a similar vein, filmmaker Rosto A.D., whose artwork has been compared to Tim Burton, reveals the animation processes involved in creating his 30-minute musical The Monster of Nix that features the voices of Tom Waits and Terry Gilliam. In addition, Bo Mathorne, who directed the graduate film project Backwater Gospel from the Danish film school Animation Workshop, demonstrates how animation can be used in a convincingly macabre style.
However, animation is much more than entertainment: Kevin Chuan-Chang Wang (Next Media Animation) elucidates the production of Animated News with the help of game development technologies that accelerate the production processes to match the rapidly changing news cycle.
Two successful game series: SSX and Mortal Kombat
The extended games section at FMX serves two successful gaming long runners this year. TJ Galda, Senior CG Supervisor at EA Sports, illustrates how the latest SSX edition sets new standards for visual arts in Games. Moreover, he illuminates how he was able to create one hundred drops on 29 different mountain peaks with a budget that would have sufficed for a mere 15 tracks a few years ago.