LFC Mercedes spot stars in SIGGRAPH 2010 Computer Animation Festival

SIGGRAPH 2010 Computer Animation Festival – Out of thousands of animation and VFX entries, LFC’s Mercedes SLR 300 spot, Out of this World, made the cut. And yes, we are sporting smiles as wide as that Nokia Theater screen on which we’ll have the pleasure of seeing our work.

Celebrating its 37th year as the world’s most innovative and stimulating showcase of computer-generated animation and visual effects. This five-day international event presents a wide spectrum of computer animation genres and styles ranging from narrative character animation to scientific visualization and from commercials for TV to digital effects for futuristic movies.

If you are attending a single animation festival this year – SIGGRAPH 2010 is the one. Get your tickets here: http://www.siggraph.org/s2010/ Cheers and see you there!

UTA Unbranded – a giant spot for the Dallas Cowboys stadium

Everything in Texas is big. Some say there ain’t nothing so big as the 17 story high, giant Mitsubishi TV screen that dominates the field of the Dallas Cowboys stadium where, Unbranded, plays to thousands of spectators at every game.

Now an award winning spot for Lipman Hearne and the University of Texas at Arlington, Unbranded is fun, colorful and jam packed with many different characters in many interesting situations. It brings to life in a very fun and immensely colorful way all the best programs that UTA has to offer and moves along at a really fast clip.

The Unbranded campaign is really a series of spots made both for broadcast and for multiple sized stadium screens ranging from the 17 story high Mitsubishi jumbotron – the largest TV screen in the world – to vertical HDTV screens situated in the public areas. Two accompanying :60 second “ribbons” circumnavigate the stadium in a continuously tiled loop. The ribbons use some assets from the ads but each has their own unique look and feel generating excitement as the best of stadium graphics do. Obviously seen at their best in situ at the Dallas Cowboys’ new football stadium, the spots themselves are easy to put on the website and reel but we still haven’t figured out a way to show the enormity of them plus the razamataz and WOW factor of the way everything looks in place. In a word – dazzling!

Both the :30 and :15 second commercials are airing regionally in the south and showing in rotation for the next two seasons at The Dallas Cowboys Stadium. Unbranded is one spot that might just blindside you.

Mercedes-Benz SLR 300 is Out of This World.

The Mercedes-Benz SLR 300 is a machine like no other – sleek, sensual and legendary – the ultimate in bling. Not just the fastest production car in the whole world – with a top speed of 207 MPH – but a veritable goddess among luxury automobiles. In fact a possession so indulgent it’s positively out of this world.

So while the star of the spot is the McLaren SLR 300 undoubtedly the star of Little Fluffy Clouds studio is our creative + animation director, Jerry van de Beek, who modeled the car using available photographs only and without the aid of any factory specifications or a cad cam version. Working with partner, Betsy de Fries, the two designed and directed the spot together. Van de Beek animated the entire piece – writing specialized shaders, applying final gathering techniques, rendering complex layers and compositing the piece in After Effects. VFX extras were skillfully actualized to create a look as luxurious as the car itself.

Out of this World is an original spot designed, directed and animated by Little Fluffy Clouds. Production took roughly 8 weeks – sans model. This sizzling all CGI spot is animated in Maya, composited in After Effects and rendered with Mental Ray. The stunning VFX extras use Real Viz, Trap Code and Sapphire plug-ins.

Ian Lumsden UK Animation Blog – In Praise of Barack Obama

I like reading blogs as much as writing one myself. In fact I often neglect mine in favour of reading others. So, imagine how great it felt when I checked in on fellow Brit, Ian Lumsden’s, intricate animation blog and found our piece, TODAY, there – In Praise of Barack Obama. Here’s an excerpt from what Ian had to say.

“It seems appropriate on a grey day here when such little light as exists is cast by events across the Atlantic. The words resonate with hope and the CGI piece is beautifully crafted by the design team, co-founders, Jerry van de Beek and Betsy de Fries. Quintessentially American rural landscape on a perfect Spring day, butterflies, canary let out of its cage, splinters of light, flowers and a young couple squinting in the bright sunlight: the piece unfolds and matches the rich voice of the narrator and lyrical beauty of the poem. Lovely and uplifting.”

Thanks Ian for discovering our work and pairing us with this breathtaking moment in history.

Check out Ian Lumsden’s wonderful blog and even more wonderfully animated films at: http://www.animationblog.org/

LFC creates – The Car and The Road for Lexus

The Car and The Road: A Romance in Automation follows the trials and tribulations of a sensible, straight road as he seeks to reinvent himself for the car he loves. Watch in awe as The Road bears his soul, along with his inner passionate self, to woo the fun loving and flirtatious Lexus – “that can do things other cars only dream about…” Sigh…a romance in automation for the modern era.

This charming work, directed by Jerry van de Beek and Betsy de Fries of Little Fluffy Clouds, was created for the Lexus Car Corporation. Described by the Association Internationale du Film d’Animation (ASIFA) as, “A lovely animated fable…” The Car and The Road pays homage to and takes its inspiration from Chuck Jones’ Oscar winning film, The Dot and The Line.

Original composition for this almost 4 minute film was scored by Trivers-Meyers Music whose arrangement fits hand in glove with the visuals. Commissioned by Los Angeles ad agency, Team One, The Car and The Road, is a colorful and imaginative feast for the eyes and fun to boot!

Animated using Adobe Illustrator, After Effects and Photoshop with Autodesk Maya and hand drawn frames. The Car and The Road will be seen on all broadcast media: Cinema, TV and Web.

Passion in Paris for LFC’s TODAY a la Festival NEMO

Could anything make your heart race more than Paris in the spring? Try animation + Paris + spring + being on the same bill of fare with director, Peter Greenaway. And while I’m at it, try being part of a festival that invites controversy by taking a stand against the lowest common denominator and openly stating that they will show only the best of the highest quality. Now add a true egalitarian splash by opening the festival up to all for free. Viva La France! Viva Festival NEMO!

Festival NEMO takes place in Paris and Issey-les-Moulineaux, France. Here you can see the best of French and International cinema and animation. For their 10th anniversary year, selections were purposefully chosen to give a lasting memory of what is most precious to cineastes – beautiful work of extraordinary quality, shown in optimal conditions. Festival Directeur, Gilles Alverez, states with passionate sentiments indeed, that:

“This is NEMO’s answer to the crumbling values of our art form by social networking sites like Facebook and the generalization of You Tube.”

NEMO showcases multimedia presentations and animations along with music videos and documentaries on such luminaries as Scott Walker, The Smiths, Sigur Ros, Holy Etienne, Daniel Johnston, John Cage, and Phillip Glass. Catch audio visual performances from Pageantry + Transforma, Ryoichi Kurokawa, Quayola, Adriaan Lokman, Otolab, Mikomikona, Mylicon and Scanner + TeZ as part of the Cinema Vivant!  A feast for the senses – let your passion rule.

TODAY screens as part of the Panorama International playing in Paris on Sun. April 12th at Axes Biarritz Salle de cinema and in Issey-les-Moulineaux, on Wed. April 18th at Le Cube.

Festival NEMO – Le Rendez-Vous Multimedia D’Arcadi. Panorama International des Nouvelles Images Experimentales, Cinema et Animations Innovants. April 10 – April 20.

Little Fluffy Clouds wins a Silver Creativity Award for TODAY

The colorful studio’s short, TODAY, commissioned by Sundance for their Billy Collins Action Poetry series, has won a silver Creativity Award in the Consumer TV category. With more than 2700 entries from 37 countries, judges declared that:

“The winning entries stand out because of their ambition, strong communication, and excellent design.”

The 400-page Creativity Awards Annual, is a veritable bible of excellent design and is published by Harper and Collins.

This Sundance Channel promotional film, commissioned in association with JWT NYC, was directed by Little Fluffy Clouds’ creative team, Jerry van de Beek and Betsy de Fries. The film is an animated poem and is written by US Poet Laureate, Billy Collins. The poem is from his Nine Horses collection. Mr. Collins narrates the animation.

TODAY Screens at Landmark as part of SFIAF

The San Francisco Film Society describes animation as being:

“Currently one of the most fertile, creative and productive forms in cinema and television… animation occupies a unique point between artistic, experimental, commercial and industrial media, ranging from the latest visual FX-based arthouse films to family-friendly cartoons.”

Such is the clarion call to join the San Francisco International Animation Festival, and us, in a lively and surprising animation celebration screening at San Francisco’s Landmark Theater.

TODAY, a Sundance Channel promotional film commissioned in association with JWT NYC as part of their, Billy Collins Animated Poetry series, was directed by Little Fluffy Clouds creative team, Jerry van de Beek and Betsy de Fries. The film is an animated poem written by US Poet Laureate, Billy Collins, who narrates the piece.

Little Fluffy Clouds Sundance short, TODAY, screens  as part of the festival’s, Makers Dozen. This lively festival can be seen at the Embarcadero Center Cinema in San Francisco.

www.sffs.org for details.

Little Fluffy Clouds, TODAY, shows at The Art of Digital Show

Little Fluffy Clouds, Sundance studio short, TODAY, is one of the innovative pieces showing at, The Art of Digital Show, a unique international exhibition featuring all forms of digital art. The public is invited to the Opening Reception Gala and Awards Ceremony on October 6th at the Lyceum Theater Gallery, in San Diego’s historic Gaslamp Quarter. The Art of Digital Show runs through November.

Neal Benezra, director of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA), fielded 104 pieces to be exhibited from 2796 entries submitted by artists representing 40 countries. Mr. Benezra selected works which embody imagination, original vision, sophistication, message, content, creativity and technical skill. The show includes 83 fine art pieces, 18 video art pieces, a 3D modeled sculpture, a digitally designed textile piece, and an amazing interactive piece – all of which create a distinct exhibition environment.

“Digital artists are pushing the boundaries and more directly expressing what is in their imagination than in any other art medium. Our great love of this art form drives us to create a truly excellent presentation of digital art from around the world. Our goal is to elevate and promote digital art and to provide substantial benefits to the exhibiting artists.”

~ Steven Churchill, curator and founder of the event.

An estimated 1500 people, including most of the exhibiting artists, will attend the opening gala, and 20,000 people are expected to view The Art of Digital Show during the five-week run. A free 72-page show catalog will be available during the exhibit, featuring all of the selected images.

TODAY, is a Sundance Channel promotional film commissioned in association with ad agency, JWT NYC, as part of their, Billy Collins Animated Poetry series. It was directed by Little Fluffy Clouds‘ creative team, Jerry van de Beek and Betsy de Fries. The film is an animated poem. It is taken from the collection, Nine Horses, written by US Poet Laureate, Billy Collins. Mr. Collins narrates the film.

See: http://www.artofdigitalshow.com for details.

LFC’s TODAY twinkles under the stars at the Coyote Film Festival

The Coyote Film Festival is Lake County, California’s “only voice for independent film”. This small festival-that-could, shows main features, short films, and animations, one weekend a month from June through September.

Enjoy a unique cultural experience under the stars at the beautiful Langtry Estate and Vineyards, once the home of the renowned Guenoc Winery. Lake County is approximately 2 hours north east of San Francisco, home of the Mayacama mountain range, abundant natural hot springs, bountiful wineries and rocking music festivals.

TODAY, a Sundance Channel promotional film commissioned in association with JWT NYC as part of their, Billy Collins Animated Poetry series, was directed by Little Fluffy Clouds‘ creative team, Jerry van de Beek and Betsy de Fries. The film is an animated poem. It is taken from the, Nine Horses, collection written by US Poet Laureate, Billy Collins. Mr.Collins narrates his poem. It screens in rotation nightly throughout the festival.

See: www.EcoArtsofLakeCounty.org.