Monday, 21 March 2016

The Butterfly Dragon - [2010, Sushan Yue]

Animation from COFA student Sushan Yue, winner of the Wacom Award for best 2D work at the 2010 COFA Annual Awards.

Sushan Yue's The Butterfly Dragon is a gorgeous piece of art. The artform of traditional, 'hand drawn' animation has, I think, only grown more beautiful given the modern prevalence of computer generated animation in the film realm.

Yue's film is a fable like tale, with an almost spiritual, esoteric quality to it. The predominately purple visual palate is contrasted stunningly with the ethereal, stark white beings that populate it. The animation in the film is dynamic and Yue has not been afraid to try things that are out of the ordinary. My favourite shot is a short one, from a first person point of view of an animal bounding excitedly away. Just like All Bound which we featured in the Online Cinema last week, The Butterfly Dragon features an impressively matched soundtrack which draws out the themes and emotions of the film. Narratively, I think it is one of those great stories from which everyone can take their own meaning. For me the film depicted some of the trials that we all go through in life - the failures, lessons and growth that combine to define someone. There was also an interesting repeated suggestion of guardian angels through the film, the ethereal white beings who exist to save and teach the film's young protagonist. In its short running time, The Butterfly Dragon also manages to create a tender parent-child dynamic, as these two beings interact, interrelate and are forced to change their relationship. And the entire joyful experience is rendered in animation that will move you simply through its distinctive and artistic formulation.

Your film is such a beautiful example of traditional or 'hand-drawn' animation. Although I assume that most of the work is computer based these days. Could you give us an insight into the process of bringing these films to life?
The production process for traditional animation is very similar to films created using other media in that it begins with developing ideas for the story, designing characters and setting, and drawing up storyboards. From the storyboard the animatic is created, which determines the length of each shot and the film as a whole, and then comes animation. The program I used to animate was Photoshop CS5 so I actually drew everything straight onto the computer.
The animation process is broken up into a couple of stages: keyframes, in-betweening, and clean-up. For each of my shots I have rough sketches of the background done first before I start drawing in the keyframes of each character. After the keyframes, I start the task of filling in the rest of the animation (the in-between frames). I do test renders constantly as they track my progress for each shot and also help me pick up any timing issues. Since I opted for a sketchy art style, clean-up for me mostly involved detailing the backgrounds and fixing up movement(s) of tails, wings, hair, etc.
After completing the animation, colour is added to characters and backgrounds. That and applying textures were the last things I did before rendering out each shot properly. For my film, post-production was handled in After Effects and included adding scene transitions, audio, and credits, and doing the final render of the film.

And how long, from start to finish, was the process of making the film?

All up the production of the film took about nine months from March to mid November. Pre-production took place in the first three months, the following six months were spent doing the animation, and post-production was done in the last two or so weeks.

Could you tell us a little about the story of the film? The inspiration behind it and any special meaning it has for you?

A couple of years ago I came across a Latin phrase, "Est deus in nobis", which means "there is a god inside us". It was this phrase that gave me the idea of a bunch of little creatures who 'grow up' by creating masks--faces of their very own. These masks are an expression of each creature's individuality and have the ability to transform the one who made it into something wonderful and unique.
My film, then, follows the adventure of one such creature discovering the concept of individuality, imagination personified as a butterfly and a dragon. It is, in essence, a story all about the power of one's imagination, the unlocking of creativity within you, and the gift of sharing it with others, to help them do the same.

Do you have a favourite shot or scene from the film?

I'd have to say my favourite scene is the ending, specifically the final two shots before the credits.

As a short filmmaker, what were the major challenges you faced getting the film made?

Getting the story together was a major challenge, actually. Since the film was my graduating piece from COFA, I had a deadline to meet … and a traditional animation with an initial storyboard 45 pages long was going to be a bit difficult to make in a couple of months. I had to scrap a number of ideas and rework the story so that it would be much shorter/more manageable.
Another major challenge I faced was rendering. The file sizes for some of the shots became so large because they were either enormous dimensions-wise or contained so many layers (or both) that when I tried to render the finished shots in Photoshop, it would crash the program. Rendering out the final animation in After Effects was also a nightmare; that program would frequently crash too.

Tell us about the journey the film has taken since you made it. Other festivals it has played at etc.

Since making the film I have spent a lot of time building the world of the butterfly dragon, creating some more masked characters and fleshing out their 'culture' as I would love to produce more short films set in their world. Currently I am collaborating with another short filmmaker. We are planning on making a 2D animation (though not related to my film), which, if all goes well, may become something like a mini web series in the future.

What is your predominant source of inspiration for your films? Is it animated films, live-action ones, art, literature?

I have drawn ideas from a number of places including art and literature, but I find that I am inspired the most when I am listening to music, particularly pieces that are purely instrumental. As music isn't a visual medium I am free to let my imagination run with the melody, which means stories and characters can form more easily in my mind. It's then just a process of building on the ideas that are the most interesting and/or have the most potential.

What are some of your favourite animated films, particularly ones that we may not have heard of?

There are many animated films that I enjoy very much as I love the medium itself. My favourites include: from Walt Disney Animation Studios, The Fox and the Hound and Alice in Wonderland; Hayao Miyazaki's Laputa: Castle in the Sky; Cartoon Saloon's The Secret of Kells; Dianne Jackson's The Snowman; and Katsuhiro Otomo's Memories.

Disney or Pixar? Or both? Or neither?

Both Disney and Pixar. Each studio produces its own fantastic animations with wonderful stories and characters; their movies are always a joy to watch.

Could you give us a list of your five favourite films of all time (feel free to give a short reason or just the title)?

It's really hard to choose as there are many great films out there, but I would have to say my top five favourite films are: The Fox and the Hound, The Secret of NIMH, The Land before Time, The Prince of Egypt and Fantasia (1940).

 photo ButterflyDragonbySushanYue2.png

Oscar's Oasis - Best Cartoon Short Films

Oscar's Oasis title card
Directed byDavid Garcia
Tae-Sik Shin
Country of originFrance
South Korea

Oscar's Oasis (French Oscar & Co) is a non-verbal animated cartoon produced by TeamTO and Tuba Entertainment in association with Cake Entertainment based on the original show broadcast on Disney Channel Asia. It started as a series of 1-2 minute shorts under the title Ooohhh Asis. Oscar's Oasis can be viewed on the Nintendo 3DS in 3D. In the United States and United Kingdom, all episodes can be seen on Netflix Streaming. In Latin America and Brazil, the Spanish and Portuguese dub airs on Cartoon Network Latin America.

Oscar is a lizard living in a non-specific desert that has features from several different real deserts, like the SaharaKalahari Desert, and North American deserts. An asphalt concrete highway runs through the area, used from time to time by various cargo trucks. Oscar is generally searching for food or water; he sometimes discovers liquid, in bottles or elsewhere, but is usually frustrated from recovering it for drink. An oasis supplies the only fresh water in the area, but its thick population of irascible and hungry crocodiles renders it inaccessible. At considerable personal risk (lizard is a delicacy for chickens), Oscar occasionally manages to steal an egg from a nearby hen coop, and he sometimes explores one of the piles of trash that litter the parched landscape. Popy, a fennec fox; Buck, a vulture; and Harchi, a hyena, inhabit a derelict school bus situated on a neighboring hill, but they mostly race about on a cast-off warehouse or grocery cart powered by Harchi and directed by Popy. Like Oscar, the trio constantly search for food and water - often competing with him, sometimes abusing him as a means, but occasionally cooperating with him when it suits their purpose. The main characters often find themselves falling off cliffs a la Wile E. Coyote chasing the Road Runner, wherein the law of gravity is briefly suspended while the character comes to realize their imminent doom.

Main characters

  • Oscar - The main character of the show. He is a lizard that is always getting into trouble with the trio – Popy, Buck, and Harchi – and the chickens too. Oscar is always trying to catch flies and find some water, but most of the time things don’t come out right. Whenever he has something interesting, the trio always tries to take it from him. Whilst he in turn often tries to steal the trio's food.
  • Popy - a fennec fox, the boss of the trio, the one who gives the orders. As shown in the episodes Pronto Express and Bad Seed, she is also greedy.
  • Buck - a vulture, the nerd of the trio, he always approves when Harchi gets yelled at by Popy.
  • Harchi - a hyena, the brawn of the trio, he is given the physical jobs. He normally acts as the driving force behind the makeshift cart that he along with his friends chase Oscar or the chickens with. In the event of them taking a collective tumble, it’s he who catches everyone so they avoid the ravine. Sometimes he can also show stupidity.

The Looking Planet - [2014, Eric Law Anderson]

| AnimationShortAdventure | 26 April 2014 (USA)

Enjoy this CGI animated short film and winner of over 50 film festival jury and audience awards including Best Short Film, Best Sci-Fi Film, Best Animated Film, Best Production Design, Best Visual Effects, and Best Sound Design. During the construction of the universe, a young member of the Cosmos Corps of Engineers decides to break some fundamental laws in the name of self-expression.

Produced on a 2007 Mac Pro home computer. Very special thanks to the Kaingang of Brazil. Thanks also to Solid Angle SL, Marcos Fajardo, Kathy Smith, and the USC School of Cinematic Arts. 

Written, Produced and Directed by

Producer - ANNE M. UEMURA

CG Supervisor


Additional Technical Animation and Compositing










Additional Modeling


Additional Character Rigging


Additional Design


Friday, 4 March 2016

Norio Matsumoto (松本 憲生) NARUTO MAD

A collection of NARUTO scenes animated by Norio Matsumoto (松本 憲生)

Music: Creed by Feint


Source video: BlueSakuga

Source info:

Staff in:
Akira (movie) : Animation Check (assistant)
anohana: The Flower We Saw That Day (TV) : Key Animation (ep 2 uncredited)
Arjuna (TV) : Episode Director (ep 4), Animation Director (ep 4), Key Animation (eps 4, 13)
Armored Trooper Votoms: The Heretic Saint (OAV) : Key Animation (ep 1)
Baccano! (TV) : Key Animation (eps 1, 7, 13)
BECK: Mongolian Chop Squad (TV) : Animation Director (ep 15), Key Animation (5 episodes)
Birdy the Mighty Decode:02 (TV) : Storyboard (ep 12), Key Animation (OP; eps 7, 12)
Birdy the Mighty: Decode (TV) : Animation Director (ep 12), 2nd Key Animation (ep 13), Key Animation(ep 12)
Blood: The Last Vampire (movie) : Key Animation
Bokurano (TV) : Key Animation (OP; ep 18)
Boruto -Naruto the Movie- : Storyboard, Unit Director, Animation Director, Key Animation
Casshern Sins (TV) : Key Animation (eps 6, 19)
(Le) Chevalier D'Eon (TV) : Key Animation (OP; ep 18)
Colorful (movie) : Key Animation
Crusher Joe: The OVA's : Key Animation (ep 2)
Doraemon: Nobita no Kyoryu [2006] (movie) : Key Animation
Doraemon: Nobita to Midori no Kyojin Den (movie) : Key Animation
Eat-Man (TV) : Animation Director (ep 7), Key Animation (eps 1, 7, 11)
El Hazard - The Magnificent World (OAV) : Key Animation (ep 6)
Flame of Recca (TV) : Key Animation (eps 6, 22)
Gosenzo-sama Banbanzai! (OAV) : Key Animation (eps 5-6)
Gunsmith Cats (OAV) : Key Animation
Gurren Lagann (TV) : Key Animation (ep 14)
H2 (TV) : Design (eps 25-41)Key Animation (4 episodes)
Haibane Renmei (TV) : Key Animation (eps 4, 8, 13)
Hunter X Hunter (TV) : Key Animation (4 episodes)
(The) Irresponsible Captain Tylor (TV) : Ending Animation (ED 2), Key Animation (9 episodes)
JoJo's Bizarre Adventure (OAV) : Key Animation (ep 5)  (ep 12)
Kid's Story (OAV) : Key Animation
Koi Kaze (TV) : Key Animation (OP; eps 11, 13)
Koi Suru Tenshi Angelique: Kagayaki no Ashita (TV) : Key Animation (OP; ep 11)
(The) Legend of the Dog Warriors: The Hakkenden (OAV) : Key Animation (ep 1)
Macross Frontier (TV) : Key Animation (OP 1)
Macross Zero (OAV) : Key Animation (ep 1)
Miss Hokusai (movie) : Key Animation
Naruto (TV) : Key Animation (OP 1, 3-4, 9; 4 episodes)
Naruto Shippūden (TV) : 2nd Key Animation (1 episodes), Key Animation (OP 3-4, 6, 18; 4 episodes)
Naruto the Movie: Guardians of the Crescent Moon Kingdom : Storyboard, Key Animation
Naruto the Movie: Legend of the Stone of Gelel : Key Animation
Neon Genesis Evangelion (TV) : Key Animation (eps 5, 8)
Ninku (TV) : Key Animation (ep 2)
Noein - to your other self (TV) : Animation Director (ep 12), Key Animation (OP; 5 episodes)
One Piece: Baron Omatsuri and the Secret Island (movie 6) : Key Animation
Overman King Gainer (TV) : Key Animation (ep 23)
Paranoia Agent (TV) : Key Animation (eps 1, 8)
Patlabor The Mobile Police: The New Files (OAV 2/1990) : Key Animation (ep 2)
Peacemaker (TV) : Key Animation (eps 1, 4)
Peter Pan no Bōken (TV) : Key Animation (7 episodes)
Popolocrois Monogatari (TV) : Animation Director (ep 3), Key Animation (Dust)
Princess Jellyfish (TV) : Animation (all for ED), Key Animation (ED; eps 1, 6, 11)
Princess Lover! (TV) : 1st Key Animation (ep 9)
Ranma ½ (TV) : Key Animation (9 episodes)
Ranma ½: Nightmare! Incense of Spring Sleep (special) : Key Animation
Real Drive (TV) : Key Animation (OP; ep 16)
Record of Lodoss War (OAV) : Key Animation (eps 8, 10)
Robot Carnival (OAV) : In-Between Animation
Roujin Z (OAV) : Key Animation
Rurouni Kenshin (TV) : Storyboard (eps 31, 85), Key Animation (5 episodes)
Rurouni Kenshin: Reflection (OAV) : Key Animation (eps 1-2)
Rurouni Kenshin: Trust & Betrayal (OAV) : Key Animation (eps 1-2, 4)
Sci-Fi Harry (TV) : Key Animation (OP)
Sengoku Basara: Samurai Kings (TV) : Key Animation (ep 2)
Shugo Chara! (TV) : Key Animation (OP 1)
Spring and Chaos (movie) : Key Animation
Stink Bomb (movie) : Key Animation
Super Mobile Legend Dinagiga (OAV) : Key Animation (OP)
Sword of the Stranger (movie) : Key Animation
(The) Tale of the Princess Kaguya (movie) : Animation (uncredited)
(The) Tatami Galaxy (TV) : Key Animation (ep 2)
Tenchi Muyo Movie 3: Tenchi Forever : Key Animation
Tokyo Godfathers (movie) : Key Animation
Tokyo Marble Chocolate (OAV) : Key Animation (ep 2)
(The) Vision of Escaflowne (TV) : Key Animation (ep 20)
Welcome to the NHK (TV) : Key Animation (ep 24)
Welcome to THE SPACE SHOW (movie) : Key Animation
You're Under Arrest (OAV) : Animation Director (ep 2), Key Animation
You're Under Arrest (TV) : Key Animation (Uncredited; ep 39)
You're Under Arrest: Full Throttle (TV) : Key Animation (OP)
Yozakura Quartet ~Hana no Uta~ (TV) : Episode Director (ep 12), Animation Director (ep 12)