Monthly Archives: January 2010

After Effects New York

Tiny Inventions is presenting at the January meeting for After Effects New York.
We will mainly show “Electric Car” and its making of.
-Actual puppets and sets
-How to put crafted objects in an environment
-How to rig characters using puppet pins

Plus some scenes from our up-coming independent film, “Something Left, Something Taken”.

location: PS 41
116 West 11th street
(BT 6& 7 Av)

time: 6:45pm

See you there!

San Francisco Street View

Will Krause came over again and helped me finalized the set for San Francisco street view.
Originally only 3 houses were constructed over a year ago. At one point, I figured the set will be huge, I put it aside until the last moment.
Now, there are 15 detailed houses and 13 simpler background houses.
The neighborhood grew so much!

Last 5 houses gradually get smaller, forcing perspective.
Something we learned to do since there is a limitation in the studio.

Many people often ask me what I do with the sets and how I store them.
Here is my trick. When I design the sets, I also design how to put them away.
They can be apart easily. For example the airport was constructed in over 7 parts. Some were held with paper clips. (Some fell apart during photographing, of course)

For the SF street view, the stairs in front of the houses made it very difficult to store.
Simpler bg houses are like Russian dolls, everything fit into the biggest house. For the detailed houses, I just pretended to play 3D Tetris and put into boxes.

After lots of work-in-progress posts and anticipation, we are very happy to announce that “Something Left, Something Taken” will be completed by March 1st.
In 2 weeks, we’ll hand the film to our sound designer.
Right now, we’re animating the last scene, editing, fixing up some scenes, rendering TIFF sequences to be composited. Last 3 miles of a long marathon called “making a film”.

Rainbow Video

First year of submitting my film to festivals, it was a combination of VHS and DVD. (Mostly VHS)
Second year of submitting my film to festivals, it was mostly DVD. But still made over a dozen VHS tapes.
My school had Beta SP transfer set up so making tapes and submitting was rather cheap.
In 2008, when Max and I were preparing to submit “Davy Crockett in Outer Space” to festivals, the beta decks were no longer at Parsons. But festivals still wanted Beta tapes. We had to call a few video transfer places in NYC. The price had gone up so much compare to 3 years ago.
This year, we had to prepare Beta tapes for “Electric Car” and called more places wishing that there is a better place.
So far the best pricing. We saved about over $200 than other places.
Plus, incredibly helpful and flexible. They even let me check the beta tapes after they were done transferring. Best price and best service. Highly recommend it.

Mr. Fox and his friends are TOO fantastic!

“You must watch Fantastic Mr. Fox, you’ll LOVE it”
This is the line I heard from many people and for some stupid reasons, it took me a long time to actually go check see the movie.
Well, I finally did last weekend and I LOVE IT!
My friends were right! It is the best film in the past 10 years for sure!
I can’t stop thinking about how fun and inspiring that film is.
The pan of Mr. & Mrs. Fox taking a short cut blew my mind. What a blend of dialogue, music, action and fun. My favorite is Kyle the Possum and how charming he is. (How can you not love him?)
I love how his eyes swirl but he will still give a sign to Mr. Fox.
My favorite moment was at the very end, when the gang is dancing in the super market, Kyle is just sliding left to right. You can only do this in stop motion, if this was done in CG, the audience will take it as a mistake.
I had not seen any animated film that really took advantage of animation so much.
It cheated a lot by not showing their feet in walk cycles! I had not seen that in feature films for so long that it was almost refreshing. The techique was so retro that everything seemed unique and different.
What a genius film…..the writing was extremely funny, animation was beautiful and the sets are AMAZING! Amount of details that went into those sets is hard to imagine but every little effort was worth it.

Early Christmas gift from Japan

There are many situations that remind me of how much I love to be part of the animation industry world-wide. Film festivals are awesome because you can make animation friends from other countries and share the passion for animation. Of course it’s sad to know that you won’t get to see them for awhile, but at the same time, as long as we all keep making animations, we’ll encounter each other in a few years.
It’s also encouraging to know that there are people who are going through the same emotions as you on the other side of the world.

I had a wonderful early Christmas gift last year. Dai Sato, a famous Japanime script writer, whom I worked with over the summer came to NYC again to do a research for his new film that he is writing for.
Along came Producer Emi Matsumoto from Robot (Academy-Award winning director Kato belongs to this production company)andMasaaki Yuasa (Director of Mind Game and Kaiba)! They wanted to come to my apt/ studio to check out the lives of New Yorkers.
I don’t think I have a normal living situation, being surrounded by miniature sets and absolutely no decoration. But Max and I spent an entire day to make it look somewhat “normal” and welcomed them.

It was so encouraging and inspiring to have such established people from Japanese animation industry to give us advise. What a wonderful Christmas gift that was…

P.S We also received a wonderful Christmas gift from Estonia. Lots of Estonian animations from our dear friend Janno Poldma!