Sophisticated computer animation programs such as Autodesk Maya, Softimage and 3ds Max can cost thousands but there is a free program called Blender that offers many of the same features. Some impressive animation has been produced with Blender including Lighthouse (2008), Kajimba Trailer (2009) and Sintel
Screen shot from iClone video tutorial 'Scene Creation'.
There are many reasons why people are attracted to making animated films. If your overwhelming desire is to use animation to tell a story then the iClone computer animation package is definitely worth a look.
It uses the same sort of technology that powers the animation in computer games. As you create the animation it can be played back in real time to see how it is progressing. It can also be rendered to various movie formats for upload to YouTube and such like.
So much of what we love during Christmas-time is based in nostalgia and tradition; fond memories of decorating the tree, taking a nighttime drive to see Christmas lights, and, of course, cuddling around the TV with yummy treats and a warm fire to watch a Christmas movie. December is here, so tis’ the season to break out all of the holiday movies! Here are ten of our favorite animated Christmas movies and TV specials, old and new.
1. A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965)
There is a reason why people wait every year in anticipation of the annual TV airing of A Charlie Brown Christmas. It’s hard to go wrong with the Peanuts gang, but the Christmas special might be the best of all their holiday offerings. Every scene is memorable, from the group decorating the tree that Charlie Brown brings home to Linus’s speech on the true meaning of Christmas. The soundtrack that goes along with the movie – featuring both original songs by the Vince Guaraldi Trio, as well as covers of older Christmas songs – stands apart from the movie as being one of the greatest Christmas albums of all time.
In the history of animated film, relatively few films have been released for adults (with the exception of the anime industry in Japan). Here are ten ground-breaking films that feature mature adult themes and prove that animation can be just as moving as it was when we were young.
Time for Melody by Robin Allan The fortieth anniversary of Melody Time (1948) serves as an opportunity – and much more than an excuse – to reassess one of Walt Disney’s neglected animated feature films; it was not a success either critically or commercially, and like its predecessor Make Mine Music (1946) with which it… Read More »
There were more package films to follow: Song of the South (1946), Fun and Fancy Free (1947), Melody Time (1948), and The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr Toad (1949). All these films are interesting, but for experiment and adventure in animation Melody Time is the most rewarding. It lacks The musical quality of Make Mine… Read More »
Once Upon a Wintertime (Director Hamilton Luske) This is a stylised story, sung by Frances Langford, of boy and girl romance on the ice, the human lovers echoed by two rabbits who travel to a frozen river on the young couple’s sleigh. The girl and her rabbit counterpart are trapped on an ice floe (one… Read More »
Johnny Appleseed (Director Wilfred Jackson) This is the story of “a real life pioneer” called John Chapman (1776 – 1847) who, “with a tin pot hat, a bag of apple seed and a holy book.., all alone set out to meet the great unknown… without no knife, without no gun”. The film chronicles his courage… Read More »
Trees (Director Hamilton Luske) This is a visualisation of Joyce Kilmer’s famous poem, with Oscar Rasbach’s music, sung by Fred Waring’s Pennsylvanians. The music is too lush and we are subjected to one of those lapses in taste to which Disney is prone, but otherwise, this little section is a gem. It is the direct… Read More »
If you are a young computer games enthusiast who is thinking of taking up games design as a career then The Computer Game Design Course: Principles, Practices and Techniques for the Aspiring Game Designer will help you decide what area to specialise in. It is packed with screen shots and illustrations from computer games. The book… Read More »