Wednesday, August 29, 2007
IMAGE RESIZING TECHNOLOGY
Yes, I know, you're probably tired of me talking tech talk, but that's just who I am.
So, I present you IMAGE RESIZING TECHNOLOGY FROM THE FUTURE...AND BEYOND!!!
This technology is so amazing! And, the co-creator of this technology was just hired by Adobe! So be prepared!
It is coming soon!
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
SUPERNORMAL DEBUTS ON CITV!
SUPERNORMAL will make its TV debut on the CITV Channel this Saturday 1st September at 10:15am, and then on ITV1 (the official series launch) on Saturday 8th September at 10:15am and Sunday 9th September at 11:05am (start times for 8/9 Sept have not yet gone to press so may still shift slightly)
It's too bad we don't get these channels here in Canada however SuperNormal is a great show and won't be too long before we see it on our TV's on this side of the pond.
We've been working on SuperNormal with World Leaders Entertainment for exactly a year this month and it's been a great experience.
The crew at Fatkat deserve a big pat on the back as well, Animation Directors Jon Roth and Sean Rule and their animation teams for doing what it takes to make the show shine. Mike Concannon / Lauren Grieman and the design/assembly team for their solid performances throughout the production. Of course to Doug Little and Robbie Anderson for keeping it all on track at the 'kat. Great job everyone!
About The Show (Taken from the CITV website... ...thanks!)
In the ordinary city of Crumptonville can be found a school for superheroes!
Sure, the students wear Spandex and study Death Traps and Doomsday Machines, but they still have all the problems normal kids have at normal schools. There are super-achievers and super-slackers, super-nerds and super-jocks… there's even a teacher's pet - but it lives in the basement, and eats cats!
SuperNormal follows the adventures of four of the, er, less promising students at the school.
There’s Changerella - a peace-loving shape-shifter who thinks the world would be happier with more flowers, love and pink stuff.
The Brass Butt (BB to his friends) - he's not too bright, but is super strong and uses his mighty and shiny brass butt to fight the forces of evil!
Buzz Girl - a sarcastic four-armed girl who possesses a multitude of powers from the insect world... and a weakness for porch lights!
And Eric Normal. An ordinary boy with no superpowers whatsoever. Yet through a combination of sheer good luck and a little dash of common sense, he was able to get through the school’s combination obstacle course/entrance exam.
It's here that brave, enthusiastic and earnest Eric Normal and his friends will learn what it really means to be heroes, with or without superpowers!
"Eric never rests, and neither do I!" vows Eric Normal, the world's first superhero without superpowers!
Eric Normal may wear a Spandex suit and a home made cape, but the only thing super about him is his total normalcy.
Fiesty and determined, Eric is living every kid's dream: he gets to dress up in a colourful costume and punch things, but he takes his role as a superhero-in-training very seriously. He's filled with enthusiasm, a keen sense of justice and is itching to give evil a swift kick in the butt. Eric knows that he doesn't have any superpowers, but that won't stop him from getting stuck in!
He fancies himself as a master planner, but his plans are rarely thought out.But whether it's luck or coincidence, Eric Normal will always stand victorious.
When the fate of the world teeters on the brink of oblivion, a 13-year old kid with the power of being super normal may not be the first person you think of ringing, but Eric always has his hand on the phone, ready to answer the call of justice!
Strong, loyal and, er, strong! The Brass Butt is Eric Normal's best friend and constant companion. BB (as he's known to his friends) comes from a long line of Brass Butts. His father was a Brass Butt. His father's father was a Brass Butt. His father's father's father was a just a tin butt, but that guy's dad was a Brass Butt too!
BB can stop an army of tanks with one hand tied behind his butt. But he’s not the brightest of superheroes. Luckily, he's very clear on his role: Eric thinks, he punches! The Brass Butt is always eager to follow Eric's lead, and often with disastrous results because he's rarely capable of following even the simplest plan beyond "Okay BB, now listen..." - he's got the "now listen" part down, but everything after that is just a blur!
Although the brass butt he wears is a mere accessory, he chooses to "express" his super-strength through the heavy chunk of metal attached to his bum. It may be easier to use his shoulder to knock down a wall, but BB will always go butt first. And of course, his brass butt is prone to falling off at the most inappropriate - and embarrassing - times – usually revealing comedy boxer shorts!
BB would do anything for Eric. He eagerly compensates for Eric's lack of superpowers by picking up his friend and hurling him into action so Eric can "fly" - usually straight into the side of a building! With just a few more brain cells, The Brass Butt could be a superhero legend - or at least make it through the day without squishing one of the other students!
Sometimes evil just needs a hug - and Changerella's just the girl to do it. Driven by eternal optimism, Changerella just wants to make Earth a nicer place.
If you ever need a bright pink tank that shoots daffodils, Changerella's the superhero that you should call. A powerful shape-shifter, Changerella can morph into anything.
Despite her optimism she has no problem with getting down and dirty when someone clashes with her vision of the world order. She can be a whirling dervish of adorable ferocity!
The most empathetic of the group, she often feels bad for foiling the villain's plans to rule the world and hurting his or her feelings. Caring and sensitive, Changerella finds that tipping the cosmic scales in the battle between good and evil is totally boring. She's just as willling to do battle against a villain because he trampled a flowerbed as she is because his nasty alien spaceship fleet threatens the planet!
In her spare time, Changerella likes to collect greetings cards and memorise the sayings from inspirational posters.
Buzz Girl has all the powers of a bug. Sure she can fly, climb walls and spin a web - but she also has strong cravings for sugar and a long, unpredicatable tongue.
Sarcastic and cunning, Buzz Girl is a rule breaker illing to bend the rules if it'll help the group to succeed. In Eric's case he'll break a rule to achieve a higher good - Buzz Girl just thinks it's fun.
Buzz Girl always viewed herself as an outsider, and in Eric she found the ultimate outsider - a kid with no superpowers at all. Besides, who else is Buzz Girl going to hang out with? The ultra-vain Captain Scrumptious? Yeah, right!
Buzz Girl's darker nature can most likely be blamed on her family. A few members of her extended hive have dedicated their powers to the forces of evil and now operate as villains. Needless to say, this makes family gatherings a little uncomfortable…
Regardless of her strong personality, she is still ruled by her bug impulses. She's capable of flight - if you can call zigging and zagging and bouncing off windows like a fly "flying" - and is often compelled to bang her head against the nearest lightbulb. She's cool and level headed.
Just don't call her "four-arms"!
Big Thanks to World Leaders Entertainment, Granada and CITV
Here's to season 2!
Saturday, August 25, 2007
MR.DUNN LOSES A BET
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
WORLD MEET GAVIN... ... GAVIN, WORLD.
I now have a new found respect for my parents and for parents in general, Doug, Drew, Dallas, Robbie, Carol, Tracy, Liz, Geri, Paula, Wanda, Pierre and Kate. My hats off to you.
I will soon know what it's like to cope with the animation business and parenting for that I will lean on my friends in production for tips! So to Oliver, Tomoko, Jess, Nina, Kettela, Sean and Aadel, I look forward to our chats about balance!
As for my new son Gavin, he looks forward to meeting you all.
Thanks for all the support!
Love from Tara and I.
ADOBE LAUNCHES MOVIESTAR
That's right Kats and Kittens!
Adobe has just released "Moviestar" beta.
What is that you say? Well, since FLV video format doesn't really give us that quality look and sound; Adobe has rectified that problem by creating "Moviestar." Allowing for a better video codec to be played within it's own proprietary player which is where the H.264 standard video support comes into play – the same standard deployed in Blu-Ray and HD-DVD high definition video players. In other words, the quality of video has been substantially improved from the previous version of Flash Player 9. Also added to the mix is High Efficiency AAC (HE-AAC) audio support and "hardware accelerated, multi-core enhanced full screen video playback."
WOW! Way to go guys!
But I'm waiting till the day comes that they support graphics accelerated support, but it is great they are finally opening the gates of multi-cored systems!
Friday, August 17, 2007
SKINNY ON A FATKAT | GEREMY WALKER
GENE - You were the first person I hired when I started Fatkat back up in 2003. In 2004 you left for another studio but returned again in 2006. What made you want to come back to Fatkat?
GER – The main thing was how I was treated at the other studio. I went from feeling like I was useful and ‘in demand’ at Fatkat, to feeling like I couldn’t do anything right, and that I was expendable. I constantly had to worry about how long my job would last, and when the work finally dried up, I was promised more work that never came. When I came back to Fatkat I immediately felt useful again, it was great. It’s also nice that I don’t have to worry about my taxes, and my health care, two things that were major concerns at the other studio.
GENE - Since you’ve come back to Fatkat, what’s the biggest change you’ve seen besides the obvious massive growth.
GER – Pretty much everything! The number of people we have now allows us to do things in a more structured way, which is fantastic. When I was here before, we just didn’t have the bodies to have different people for all the required positions, so there was constant changing of gears happening. That’s calmed down now.
GENE - What are some of the more memorable projects you’ve worked on over the years at Fatkat?
GER – I suppose I’ll just list the ones I can remember, and the rest aren’t memorable, eh? And Yet I Blame Hollywood, RCMP Safety and Security, Bank of Commerce Monopoly, Mr.Mom, Toyota spots, Magic Mountain spot, Museum of Energy, My Adventures with Cloe, Happy Tree Friends, Trevor Romaine Collection, Gushy Grams, I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter.
GENE - You’re a producer at Fatkat now, and a producer can sometimes mean different things at different studios. What does your job entail at Fatkat?
GER – Basically bridging the gap between the crew and the client. Whenever the client has concerns, questions, suggestions, or anything, they come to me, and I smooth things out. Sometimes it’s as simple as answering their questions, but for requests, I have to assess the difficulty and time requirements, and come to an agreement with them. Often, end clients know nothing about the processes of animation and don’t realize that what is, in their mind, a simple request, is actually a nightmare for us. Most of the time when I lay out what’s involved they change their mind, so it’s helpful that I’ve been through pretty much every animation process already. It’s also my job to keep the projects on a schedule that works for both the client and for Fatkat, in accordance with when other projects are starting up, etc. I don’t really draw or animate anymore, but there’s a lot to manage!
GENE - As a producer you’re responsible for a lot of people, what works best to get on your good side?
GER – As a producer, I like it when people ask me questions. It shows that they actually think about what they are doing. People think they’re bothering me, but they don’t realize they’re earning themselves brownie points in the process.
I also appreciate self-control. Being able to contain your level of work based on the needs of the show is a skill in itself, and one that a lot of people who are otherwise great animators don’t use. It’s great to push yourself artistically so you improve, but when I see someone able to adapt to the level of the show, even if they CAN do it better/more fluid/etc shows a respect for the project that I applaud.
GENE - If there was one thing you’d like to have a crack at doing at Fatkat what would it be? Why?
GER – I’ve done pretty much everything to some extent already. I’d say my favorite thing so far was working design. I enjoy being able to draw, and I find a design quota relaxing and easy to deal with. Of course, that wouldn’t get me any closer to my REAL ultimate goal..
GENE - Developing shows internally at the studio has become more and more popular over the last year. Your show “Dumb Green Meat” is getting good reviews from the higher ups. Can you tell us a bit about your show and how you came up with it?
GER – Well, Dumb Green Meat began while I was still in college as a sort of joke. Making fun of the typical “Huge guy named Tiny”, I decided “How about an ugly guy named Sexy?”. Anyone who knows anything about me knows that I love big green things, so naturally, Sexy would be an Orc. It just kinda went from there. Sexy developed into something quite different from his initial concept as I added more to it however.
Dumb Green Meat focuses on the misadventures of Sexy and Heavy, two orcs rooming together in a perfectly mundane modern city. They deal with regular everyday issues like work, commuting, taxes, and love. The official pack says that I use Orcs and fantasy creatures to poke fun at cultural and social differences but the real answer is that I want to see a cartoon about Orcs. One of my personal philosophies has always been “Don’t pander to anyone.” How can I tell a story convincingly if I don’t even want to hear it? My target audience is always me. If other people like it, well that’s great. If they don’t, then I still like it, and at the end of the day, I’ve poured myself into something I really love. Funny how it works though, because I’ve always found that when I create for nobody but me, everybody likes it better.
GENE - I haven’t unveiled the strategic plan yet to the crew, but where do you think Fatkat will look like in 5 years? Where do you see yourself in that mix?
GER – Seeing as I haven’t even seen it, that’s a tough question! I see FatKat in a sort of puberty stage right now. I think we’re just about done growing, but we’ve still got some maturing to do, filling out a bit as it were. In 5 years I expect Fatkat will be sturdy and barrel-chested. Like a sasquatch.
As for me, well I’ve made it no secret from day one that my true passion is games, not cartoons. By the time 5 years have passed, I’ll have been 9 years in this industry, and in my 30s (eww). I’ll have at least one game under my belt (does that mean it’s in my pants?), hopefully a few more than that. Ideally I’d be sitting in an office somewhere thinking up games all day and contracting the animation work to you guys! Hah!
Thursday, August 16, 2007
First, I give you Toyota!
The link to the site!
North Kingdom of Sweden brought you this beauty! I love this style so much! I think my next site I design will be somewhat similar to this. SOOO COOL! And just zany, but in a good way!
Next is Happiness Factory! This is by far one of my favourite advertising campaigns that I have seen in such a long time! And as our very own Pat Wong says, "It's Epic!" and I completely agree; that's what gives it such appeal to me, and every time I watch it I smile! Just gorgeous! Honestly, that's what makes me love this industry so much! Is the emotions and feelings I get watching our stuff and other advertisements that really make a difference, they aren't just created by people to sell a product, but to tell a story, to have an influence with blood, sweat and tears. It's so great to watch stuff like this, and really think about the people behind these creative forces that govern all that is 'us' as creative professionals. As Brad Bird himself said "...art - experiencing it, trying to create it - is one of the biggest reasons there is to get up in the morning. It's the same for me - I can't think of a better way to celebrate life than by trying to add something new to the world."
The original spot was done by Psyop and I do believe that the boys and girls over there are still managing things. My hats off to you boys and girls of Psyop! Keep it up! I LOVES IT!
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
RIP | LARRY MACLAGGAN
We were shocked over this past weekend to learn of the death of Larry MacLaggan and his wife due to a traffic accident.
We've been doing business with Larry's company - Miramichi Engineering and his team for a couple of years now. It was his team that designed the renovations to our new studio.
He was a great man with just a ton of energy. No matter the circumstances you could count on Larry for a good laugh and some smiles.
We will miss you Larry,
Gene & Fatkat.
Sunday, August 12, 2007
AUGUST 10, 2007 – DAYONDAWATA
This year's DAYONDAWATA Event was so awesome, what a release. We gotta do this again and soon, before all the hot weather is gone. Who's in?!
PS: Check out the pictures I took before someone tipped my kayak and I lost my camera to the sea. (Yeah yeah, you shouldn't have had it out there anyway, I know).
Always working... Mr. Dunn.
Papa Fowler scarfs down a hotdog!
Momma Fowler soaks in the sun!
Dave Rigley disoriented by sandy beaches, can't believe there isn't a monitor in front of his eyes.
Mumma Fowler about to bust!
Man, this was great!
Leon getting his groove on.
Mr. Theriault shows off the pipes.
Beans is getting creepier by the minute.
Mandi and Dan dancing like ballerinas.
Hennie Blaauw (animation director on Supa Strikas) came out for a bit!
Mr. Jarvis, about to give the kiss of death!
Wynne and I get crazy!
Sandy making poo poo.
Takin in the rays!
Quite possibly the meanest picture of Keizer yet.
Fun for all the kids! Sailboats, canoes, kayaks and boat tours.
Thanks to Upper Oxbow Adventure Lodge for lending us all the canoes and kayaks!
Oliver and Theresa getting their gab on with Andrew and Nadine.
Surprisingly, most of the gang all came out!
There was only one who should have stayed home. Poor Fetus.
For more pictures, keep your eye on the krew blog.