Thursday, December 31, 2009

New Year's Eve Day, 2009

It's been getting as cold as -30 here at night, making it a pretty tough winter, especially if it's your first one ever. This deer kid has been hanging around the house lately. We didn't particularly think anything of it, other than trying to keep the dogs from giving it a hard time. Apparently though, it had become desperate to find any kind of food or shelter from the cold. We found it this morning curled in a ball near one of the measly exhaust vents of the house, where it must have just succumbed to cold and hunger. It missed the sunrise by no more than a few hours.



Tuesday, December 29, 2009

I went down, down, down...

And the flames went higher.

Check out Jeff Scher's new film!

I did a little after effects futzing on it...



Sunday, December 13, 2009

Here's a cool band!

This weekend I helped out the always wonderful Kendra on a music video shoot for a great band called Lavalier. It was a whole lot of fun, and I think the video will be really sweet when it's all finished up, so keep an eye out for it. Thank you to everyone who was involved!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Candymation!...

...is the word that I promised myself I wouldn't use when I started making this.


Sunday, November 29, 2009

Heaven

Here's a 3D self portrait from Heaven...

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Sing Sang Sung - AIR


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WuSPRu4lzag

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Racist Robots and Guinea Pig Spies? Fine. But Sound Scientific Theory?!



Science and reasoning has no place in popular American cinema. I was pretty upset by the fact that in its most recent Ice Age installment, Blue Sky abandoned all understanding about the Earth's prehistoric timeline, simply for the sake that, well, kids love dinosaurs. Whatever, it's just a cartoon that's bound to confuse kids. What else is new.

But this is ridiculous. The film Creation, starring the fantastic Paul Bettany and Jennifer Connelly as Mr. And Mrs. Charles Darwin (respectively), can not find a distributer in the U.S. because the theory of evolution is simply too controversial for an American audience. It has a deal EVERYWHERE else in the world, except our own country. It's embarrassing, and not just because such a huge percentage of the American public (61%) refuse to believe a beautiful and simple truth that has done more to further humanity's understanding of the natural world than any other idea. It's embarrassing because so many American's refuse to give a film that the Hollywood Reporter called "even-handed and wise" a chance because they're so vehemently opposed to any form of thinking other than their own.

I've been to church, several of them in fact in fact. Not my thing, but hey, I see the appeal. Is it too much to ask of the American public for a similar show of open-mindedness?

Saturday, September 12, 2009

NY GeekCast Cult Classics

It seems the only thing internet related I do these days involves the GeekCast. Not that that's a bad thing, but still... I need to plug back in.

So check it out!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

NY GeekCast's Pc vs. Mac

I make a short and irreverent appearance on the most recent NYGeekCast episode. In my defense I had just been at a bar. And apparently, these do not have a great microphone...

Here's the link.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Beeatify me, baby.

I love being on film sets. It can be a lot of work and mean giving up a little sleep, but when the people are fun it is more than worth it. Plus you get to goof around and make fun stuff like this:


Untitled from Ben Oviatt on Vimeo.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Animation + Science = Awesome

I've been to three animation festivals in only the last two weeks, and I didn't see anything half as... I don't want to say good, but, awesome perhaps, as the films that Drew Berry is making. 

Seedmagazine.com Revolutionary Minds
I hope that there can be more of a place for this type of animation in a festival setting. I don't see why there couldn't be. These are amazing and beautiful films that anyone can appreciate.

link to more

Thursday, May 14, 2009

CS 4-EVA

Ooooooooooh:


Cisma's "Le Sens Propre" from glossy inc on Vimeo.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Meet one of my role models.

His name is P.Z. Myers, and I've been following his blog on ScienceBlogs for a while now. His most recent post, however, went so far as to earn him a special introduction.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Scanimate!

Try out some scanimation on your own!   link
special thanks to j.d. amato for helping me out with some java-scripting on this one.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Schizophora: The Trailer!

You've seen the files...

You've seen the card...

Now don't miss...

THE TRAILER!


Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Schizophora: The Card!

       front back

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Synesthesia






I'm very intrigued by the principles of Synesthesia. I'm almost a little jealous of people who experience the phenomenon. 

I recommend playing with the above visualization, created by synesthetic Cassidy Curtis.

Also, this documentary does a really great job of describing the life of a synesthetic, and it has some really great animation in the titles.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Schizophora: The Film

Hey I finished animating my Advanced Film, Schizophora!



Feel free to watch the film below.


video

Friday, April 10, 2009

Scanimation Card: Final Draft

I finished my invitations to the spring animation showcase!

If you get one of these in the mail, it means you are either important to me, or the animation department... or both (you know I mean you, Lamar Sanders).


video

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

and more scanimation

i have learned thousands of ways to make this not work...

and i have learned one way to make it kind of work...


video

Friday, April 3, 2009

Scanimation Experiment 2

I've completed a rough prototype of my poster for the 2009 NYU Spring Animation Showcase.

It utilizes the ever popular "scanimation" technique.

As I said, it's rough, so the image is a little too wobbly. But I'm very pleased with this.


video

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Scanimation Experiment

I'm trying my hand at some scanimation.

Here's my first pass with a series from Muybridge.


video

Original photos:

Thursday, March 26, 2009

That's a jellyfish.

video

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Evolution of Life in 60 Seconds


This is a simple and elegant, and very successful short video.

I wish I had made it. 

The Ocarina of Rhyme


The first thing I thought when I heard this mash-up of classic rap with the soundtrack to "Zelda: The Ocarina of Time" was where was this ten years ago?

But now I realize, it had to wait. It needed time. These songs needed to stew in my sub-conscious, dormant for this last decade... almost lost... forgotten.... like my very childhood itself.

Thanks to Joey A. for this!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Where The Wild Things Are


Fact: When I was a child, I had a pet chicken named Max after the kid in WTWA. 

So, yeah, I'm pretty excited about this. 

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Friday, March 13, 2009

Son of Mac

The unnecessary specialization of my computer continues. Now in honor of one of my favorite artists.

Check out Cory Doctorow and read everything of his you can get your hands on... Which would be everything he's written, as he is a copyfighter, not a copyrighter. 


SketchBook


I've been very into icon designing lately. I call this the SketchBook series, and soon I'll have them finished and uploaded to my website where you can download them and see how to change default icon settings in Mac. If you like them, let me know, and I'll probably work faster on them.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Who Watches The Watchmaker

Yo, Lincoln's pocket watch did have a secret message in it... and it was pretty much just a watchmaker's diary entry, typos and all. 

And that's what National Treasure would look like in real life. "When I bite this apple with George Washington's wooden dentures... the imprint reveals these words! 'June - 1779 - My teeth hurt...'"

Monday, March 9, 2009

Duracells on NYC Subways

Do you live in New York? Do you know about this?

I heard some years ago, and have since come to truly believe, that anywhere you go in New York, at any point on any subway platform, you can look off onto the tracks and see at least one, if not many, Duracell batteries. I have my own theories as to why this appears to be true, but I'd be more interested in hearing yours.

Snap some photos, if you're so inclined. and label them with train and stop. I'm interested to see how true this is.N,R,W at 14th St. Union Square
1,2,3 at 42 St. Times Square

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Why I'm an Apple Fan Boy


I will openly admit to being an Apple Fan Boy. That doesn't mean that I think Macintosh can do no wrong. And it doesn't mean that I feel compelled to own every single inane device that they manufacture. I'm well aware that Macintosh, like IBM or Dell, is simply a company that has one goal; improve sales. What sets Apple apart is that they recognize that the most important step towards improving those sales is not to sell many cheap items, or to cut corners to save money, but rather, it is to make the customer truly as pleased as possible.

I am writing this in my new aluminum MacBook, which I received today... for free. My 2.5 year old MacBook had been acting up a lot lately, which wasn't too bad, since I had applecare. But after several repair processes, the problems persisted. So Apple hooked me up with a brand new, upgraded laptop...

If I wasn't before, then I am definitely now a customer for life. And that's how you run a company.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Watch The Watchmen


Watchmen is to films, as Brazil is to socioeconomic structures.

Favelas, neighborhoods constructed sometimes literally out of trash, exist directly next to rich neighborhoods. I saw huts built out of old billboards, using the backside of a high class shopping mall as one wall.

That kind of proximate juxtaposition of two diametrically opposed concepts, that is what The Watchmen film is. Great moments of poignancy and beauty, frames away from some truly terrible moments. Words fail to explain how jaw-droppingly bad certain points of this film were. I may never enjoy Leonard Cohen again.

And yet portions of it were truly great. But these things served only to remind that this film could have actually been good.

But that's why it is so worth seeing, because it is such an unbelievably bipolar film, that can really teach you a lot about how to, and most importantly how not to, make a good movie.

Monday, March 2, 2009

My friend was almost destroyed in seconds.

I love the Discovery show "Destroyed in Seconds." It is pure, unadulterated gratuity (and it helps if you're of the opinion that people doing stupid and dangerous shit, deserve everything they get).

I immediately recognized this clip from a recent episode as something that actually happened to my friend. He was telling me all about it while I was home for christmas, and I was pretty surprised by just how awesome/graphic the event really was. Thankfully he (nor anyone) was really hurt.

But damn, that vietnamese restaurant was... destroyed in seconds.







Friday, February 13, 2009

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Penny Arcade taught me to draw


Gabe and Tycho (Mike and Jerry), the characters/creators of Penny Arcade, made for a fine highlight of last weekend's NYComicCon. Their Q&A session was hilarious, particularly when answering my question about whether or not the two of them are friends in real life. (Look out for the audio to that and other parts of ComicCon soon at nygeekcast.com)
Also fun was their panel on how to draw comics. Though intended for younger kids, it was really enlightening. In fact, the only time it got boring was when the talk was highjacked by 20-something-year-olds wanting to ask ridiculously unnecessary questions about the anti-alias nature of Photoshop. Just Google some tutorials and let the little kids learn how to draw faces.

Anyway, I want to thank them for coming to the east coast, and say how excited I am about the next PAX.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

The first half of Disney/Pixar's "Up"


This weekend, at NY Comiccon, I was one of the lucky 300 people that caught the first half of Pixar's upcoming animated film, Up. I have a lot more to say about it than just that it was good, or that it literally brought me to tears within minutes, or that it easily surpassed my expectations. I have to say why.

I should begin by saying that I have been worried about Up. What little information is available about the film led me to believe that Pixar was taking an inadvisable turn away from its focus on character development, and towards the far too expansive realm of gimmicks and cheap humor. That could not be further from the truth.

Two things highlight this perfectly. The first is a scene from the beginning of the film's second act. A series of events has landed the characters in the following position: Carl, the old man, and Russell have fallen from their floating house, which then begins to fly away from them. Carl manages to catch hold of it by grabbing on to a dangling garden hose, and then Russell grabs ahold of his dangling leg. What matters most is what doesn't happen next; Carl's pants do not fall down. The comedy of the situation is in the well-animated and subtle actions of the characters, and the high quality voice acting. This is a very important distinction, when some studios can't even make a trailer without resorting to unimaginative potty humor.

The second thing is a bit of a spoiler, and if you'd rather (as it seems Pixar would prefer it) see Up knowing relatively little about it, you may not want to read this paragraph. Indeed I was very surprised by a clip I saw before the screening that revealed that there are talking dogs in the film. Surprised and distressed. Obviously, talking animals are an age old staple of the animation industry, and one that didn't seem to have a place in Up. In fact, though, the talking dogs are great, as Pixar takes that cliche and puts a interesting spin on it. The dogs themselves are not talking; instead their collars are a high-tech device that speaks for them. The result is a type of multi-tiered animation that is very interesting and funny to watch. On one tier, the dogs themselves bark and emote just like normal dogs, while on the other, they're emotions are translated into spoken word. Instead of the dialogue being lip synced, it's closer to being emotion synced.

For these, and many other reasons, you can rest assured that I will be in line to see Up when it's released in theaters this May. And as far as Pixar is concerned... I will never doubt again.