Welcome to this week’s edition of our Friday Quality Linkage column. Please enjoy this week’s collection of interesting and entertaining links. Brew a fresh cup of coffee, find a comfortable place, and relax.
Yesterday (ignore the
2018/3/5 in the URL), Pixar graphic artist Josh Holtsclaw published an amazing post of the behind-the-scenes research and work that went into crafting the visual cohesiveness and overall look of The Incredibles 2:
The world of the Incredibles is very specific in its design, but also a little hard to define. Ralph Eggleston, the production designer always summed up the look of the Incredibles by saying “you know it when you see it.”
To get into developing artwork for the film, I did a deep dive into the first Incredibles. One thing I noticed is that while it is definitely Mid Century Modern inspired, not every piece of mid century design would fit into the world of the Incredibles. I tried to get more specific about defining the look of the graphic art in the film.
Some of the most inspiring and useful sources of inspiration were the 1962 World’s Fair in Seattle and the 1964 World’s Fair in New York. The World’s Fairs were examples of futurist thinking from a mid century perspective. They took place in the 60’s, but were about a distant space age future which was perfectly in line with Brad’s vision for the world of the Incredibles.
The amount of detail they put into everything — from living and urban spaces to product packaging to business cards to motion graphics to tech interfaces to entire company branding — is insane. It’s no wonder Pixar’s the best at what they do.
Speaking of animation giants, this video essay by Kristian “kaptainkristian” Williams breaks down the 12 techniques used by Disney animators to breathe life into an image, as laid out in the Disney animation bible, The Illusion of Life.
This quote near the end is so great (bold emphasis mine):
So there you have it. You’ve had your peek behind the curtain and now you know everything there is to know about animation. Well, not quite. These are just the first twelve basic principles — animation at its most stripped-down fundamental elements.
There are dozens of other techniques in play any time you see an animated piece of art, and the mark of a great animator is knowing when and how to use them effectively, and understanding that animation has all the possibilites of life without any of its limitations.
What strikes me about this video is the quality of the editing. It’s like watching an official special feature by Disney themselves — the transitions, the overlays…everything is top-notch.
Over at The Sweet Setup, our editor-in-chief Shawn Blanc shares some initial thoughts and impressions about the new 12.9″ iPad Pro as it relates to his personal workflows for writing and photo editing. Here are some things he hits on in the article:
- How does the bigger size feel and handle compared to the smaller size?
- How does the new Keyboard Folio compare to the older one for writing?
- Is the bigger screen better for productivity?
- How is it for photo editing?
He also answers some reader-submitted questions about the switch to the new iPad Pro.
Octavi Navarro is a Barcelona-based pixel artist who paints scenes inhabited by tiny characters, under the name Pixels Huh. I basically just stole that description from the project’s About page, which tells the rest of the story:
The idea behind this project comes from my love for all those classic video games I’ve been playing since the day my parents bought me a second hand Commodore 64 with a box full of cassette games.
I remember being blown away with the rich worlds those first designers and artists were able to create with such heavy limitations. In Pixels Huh, I’m mixing my own painting techniques with some of the restrictions of classic pixel art, resulting in very personal scenes that tell unique stories.
- The thing was already funded one week ago so there’s not much point now. If memory serves, I’ve only ever made one exception on this matter.
- As cool as the product sounds and as much as I’d like to get my hands on the set, the video they made is the real star here. I’m honestly surprised it’s not a Sandwich Video production — the inspiration is clearly there.
I found this via Jeff Sheldon’s Ugmonk newsletter, where he adds:
This is one of the best Kickstarter videos I’ve ever seen. Funny, compelling, and perfectly executed. Not easy to pull this off.
Speaking of Sandwich Video, remember those three Wistia videos of theirs I linked a while back? Wistia actually documented the entire process behind the scenes and produced a four-episode video series about it:
We challenged a video production agency to make three videos with three very different budgets. With curious minds and a camcorder in tow, Wistia heads to L.A. to explore the complicated relationship between money and creativity.
The videos each range from ~10 minutes to ~43 minutes long, and they go a lot of really interesting places. The ads themselves were already a pretty cool project, and this series just adds a whole ‘nother layer of awesome.
It’s here: The 2018 Tools & Toys Christmas Catalog is ready for all your gift idea and wish list needs. Happy shopping! 🎄🎁
Got any suggestions for articles, videos, stories, photographs, and any other links you think we should be posting in our weekly Quality Linkage? Please do let us know on Twitter.