Archive for the ‘News’ Category
Sliced Bread are very proud to be partnering with The Green Marine (TGM) team on their new venture. The project is a proposed animation series for digital broadcast. We worked with the TGM team on character development/ design and an animatic trailer. We were drawn into the project by its original concept idea and existing interest by leading industry figures. Visit the site to get a full understanding of the properties fantastic potential.
David Pye is an award winning Transport Planner, campaign Director and CSR specialist. Continually striving for success he is recognised for his creativity, innovation and CSR project impact.
Committed to providing solutions to some of the most challenging economic, ethical, social, health, transportation and environmental issues individuals and organisations face – he is a man on a mission. That’s what motivates him. Combining passion with business aptitude he is an effective influencer at all levels. Advising organisations how to become more sustainable, socially and environmentally responsible, applying common sense and without any flannel!
At a time when there is genuine concern about the future of children in our society, he believes that we should be demonstrating the positive role that media can play: the impact it can have on culture, social values and learning as well as providing relaxation and entertainment.
He has developed a new children’s sci fi action adventure animation series…A BROTHER AND SISTER, AFRO CARIBBEAN JUDO MASTER, A FROG FROM OUTER SPACE AND A HANDFULL OF ECO VILLIANS. The series follows The Green Marine and the team as they act locally and battle globally to protect Planet Earth not only from its inhabitants but also from a succession of evil alien eco-villains.
New technologies and new patterns of use provide us with opportunities to re-invent our relationship and connections with our kids. Using a clearly defined set of environmental, health and social values The Green Marine animation series and accompanying applications will entertain, empower and help keep children on track. As The Green Marine says ‘The time is always right to do what is right.’ Nothing is impossible!
They are currently looking for commercial investment to bring the property forward and fulfil its objectives. If you are interested please contact David Pye direct via the TGM website, LinkedIn or Twitter.
We are currently in development of our first iPad app which will be an interactive storybook (more on that later) but since the iPad’s launch there has been quite a lot of discussion about HTML5 and creating web based application as ‘non-flash’, this has caused quite a stir amongst the animation community. We all have our grumbles about Flash, Sliced Bread has only just upgraded to CS5 from CS3, because from what we could gather, going to CS4 was way too much of a risk in animation production. 85% of our output is web based, which is why we are particularly interested in this issue. We have also started working on a number of client projects where the end product needs to work on a ‘mobile’ device, so not only the Apple favourites (iPad/ iPhone) but also Android, Windows Mobile, RIM products etc, etc. There is definitely a need now, more than ever, for some kind of web standard (without the need for plugins). A lot of HTML5 debate seems to be how will the video/ dynamic web elements ‘play’, rather than how it can be created, whilst at the same time keeping the filesize efficient and of good quality (unlike animated gifs).
From what I understand from some our digital agency clients and because its only the start, these type of productions are quite hard to budget, particular on fixed based budgets as you just don’t know what you are going to come up against. Currently the developer will do most of the ‘animating’ through creative direction, or a prototype is built (in Flash) which is then ‘converted by code’, creating almost double the work. Also, with regards to apps, sometimes there is need for several iterations before they are approved. However, I do understand that Apple have now (recently) relaxed some of ‘their rules’, mainly relating to ‘objective C’ conversions.
The thing is, Flash is such an easy programme to pick up and get animating and that’s all an animator really wants to do. Quite often we have spent weeks coming up with the idea, storyboarding it, creating vector elements (say in Illustrator), etc, etc. From Flash or wherever, we don’t really care about the output as long as it works on what we need it to. Even against H.264 compression, Flash (SWF) files can be tiny in filesize and this has added advantage for gaming, particularly since they quite often require lots of assets for ‘non-linear’ use (see 1066 The Game for reference).
Whenever we do a work placement and where that student is still at school, we tend to offer them Flash as the right tool to get them started. Its not only an easy way to teach the basic principles of keyframe animation but all the tools are there to aid the animator and get the job done. When I was 18, I did a media course and at the college they had an Amiga with Deluxe Paint 3, this was a big step in the right direction of me becoming an animator, as I could very easily get my idea up and running. I do remember exporting to video being a nightmare as you needed some kind of card and another unit to be able export (just to VHS!). Being able to afford to be able to have one at home, also had its advantages. Given that Flash is also part of the Abobe suite it also has the added benefit of integrating neatly with other products like Photoshop, After Effects etc.
I think the biggest concern is, if it needs to be non-Flash what other tools are out there to get the job done? At the moment not a lot, Adobe has a new application coming out called Edge, here’s a link to a prototype presentation. There is also Sencha, which I have recently download at had a little play with, it is only a beta version, and seems very light not nearly early enough the intuitive tools like Flash has, and certainly not something we can use professionally. However, I do think in both these cases its a move in the right direction to achieving a ‘web standard’ for this type of content.
We have just completed a 2nd Flash game installment for the Fire & Rescue Service (client: Meteorite) called ‘Hotel Havoc‘, the game comprises of 3 games in 1 and includes a PaperVision (3D) element.
Usually a haven, this hotel is now reeking havoc upon its guests. A fire is raging. The building unstable. And five people’s lives hang by a cable, in a broken lift. It’s up to you to save the day. But you’ll have to be quick, think on your feet, and smart to get the job done. The call is in…
Game 1 – The fire is spreading fast. You’ve got 60 seconds to get it under control and extinguish the flames. But be careful not to run out of water, and watch out for the wind!
Game 2 – You’re about to see how to support a building by using wooden poles. Memorize the picture. You’re going to have to replicate the structure in 2-minutes. Good luck!
Game 3 – There are five people trapped in the lift. You need to navigate the corridors and get to them ASAP. The only problem is, the lights are broken and the hallways are clog with smoke. So mind your step.
Sliced Bread Animation are pleased to announce their involvement in the HP Mr. Z Designer Challenge. Our ‘week’ comes in a couple of weeks and we are busy thinking through ideas. We will blog regular updates on both the machine’s performance and the animation developments. More info here
HP has given the UK’s leading digital content creation (DCC) agencies a tough, yet exciting task: capturing ‘a day in the life’ of Mr. Z, a superhero designer with SFX superpowers.
Using HP’s recently–launched Z–800 workstation and Adobe’s Creative Suite software, each DCC agency selected by HP accepted the challenge to develop a 30–second animation or film clip about Mr. Z and his powers. Once all the clips are produced, they will all be joined together, to create a ‘A day in the life’ of Mr. Z.
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I wrote a draft post about this some months ago (see below) but held back until the release was confirmed. Now an official release has been sent via Kotaku, its now Ok to reveal that Disney are now releasing 3D games titles (with glasses) and we helped them. Back in the Summer of last year I was ask in to consult (for free!) on how to get the 3D (anaglyph) looking right, and in early March of this year I was shown the complete G-Force game with the 3D capablity. The strength of the 3D came into question against health and safety concerns, watching a minute piece is OK but for hours of playing time, this can be an issue (Disney ran a couple of focus groups to deal with this). When I was there to see the final piece I really thought the developers had done a superb job, the 3D was at the right level against the concentration of gameplay, where the cuts scenes also made full use of the 3D effect.
Guinea Pig sporting action title G-Force and Wii mini-game collection Toy Story Mania will both ship with 3D support, the developers announced tonight.
G-Force, a game based on the upcoming 3D movie, did have the 3D display on show this evening. Both the Playstation 3 and Xbox 360 versions of the game will support 3D graphics, which can be switched on and off on the fly.
The 3D graphics used in the game requires gamers to sport a pair of cardboard blue and red lensed glasses and uses a type 3D known as off-axis, the developers said. The effects seen in motion were surprisingly good, The guinea pig lead stood out on the screen, enemy shots seemed to blow out of the television and the world felt more realistic, though with slightly muddled colors because of the graphics.
Though not the first game, by a long shot, to sport 3D graphics the game certainly seems to put a shine on the red/blue technology.
Draft post not sent [Jan 5, 2009]>>
Not a particularly ‘animation’ post this one, nor am I entirely sold by the trailer. However, I do have a little insider knowledge on the G-Force Wii game that is due to be part of this, where I know they are definitely doing an anaglyph (with glasses) version of it. How do I know this? Well back in the early summer of last year I was invited to Disney HQ in London to consult for a couple of hours as they were having an issue getting the 3D working. There are so many permutations to getting it right, and of the few projects we have done, we have always come across various issues – but the end result is always rewarding.
Its interesting that the anaglyph approach has become fashionable once again (remember Jaws in 3D?), I think it has something to do with the upcoming Monster vs Aliens by Dreamworks which will be the first ‘proper’ 3D release on their new-fangled screens (no need for glasses here). Apparently its based on the same technology as our ‘special’ 3D monitor.
There are no hard and fast rules on getting the 3D right for use with glasses (although you should ensure you have the right type of glasses), but having some knowledge on distancing and targeting objects does help (there are a number of Maya and After Effects tutorials online that can assist). That’s was mainly the problem at Disney, and thankfully the game developers had given them some tools so that we could adjust aspects in situ. Its a thoroughly satisfying experience to be able to pass on the (little) knowledge that we have and I’m sure the end result will look amazing. Although, I am slightly concerned about people playing an anaglyph game for hours on end – but we’ll leave that for another day!
Here at Sliced Bread we are really enjoying these UPisodes from the forthcoming Pixar feature movie ‘UP’. I’ve said before this movie looks like it could be a ‘hit’ or a ‘miss’, but these little snippets are a great way for potential audiences to start to ‘bond’ with the characters. Click image to view.
So Wallace And Gromit: A Matter Of Loaf And Death (Short Animation) and WALL.E (Best Animated Film) are this years 2009 BAFTA winners. Not so sure either of those would have got my vote. W&G was the same formula we have seen over and over, and not nearly as original/ stunning as Marc Craste/ StudioAKA’s Varmints. If WALL.E was up against Kung Fu Panda (as it for the Oscars) I think it would be a close call, as they are both commercial features – but lets see.
It taken us a while, but we are all nice and settled now, so to celebrate we thought do a little animation sequence.