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Archive for September, 2009

Backgrounds: The art behind the animation

Lilo and Stich watercolour background

It’s no secret that I’m a big fan of all aspects of animation, from concept artwork to storyboards to roughs to the finished scene. One often overlooked piece of the animation puzzle is the humble background. Whilst the eye is drawn to the life of the moving characters on screen little attention is often given to the illustrated scene behind.

The Animation Backgrounds blog digitally removes characters from scenes and stitches together panned shots to reveal the uncluttered artwork underneath. There’s a wealth of background artwork here from the watercolours of Lilo and Stitch (above) to the Mary Blair-inspired Alice in Wonderland. (via Aegir)

Gowalla: The location based travel game

Gowalla web and iphone screenshots

Ok, “game” might be pushing the term a little bit but it’s still good fun. Much like other location based social services like Brightkite and Foursquare, Gowalla allows you to “check in” to locations in the real world to update your profile on the website and on the iPhone app.

What makes Gowalla a little different is that it’s been created by Alamofire, the people behind the moderately addictive Facebook card collecting and trading (stealing) game, Packrat.

Simply, as you check into places in the physical world (using GPS — no cheating here!) you might find that someone who has checked in before you has dropped a virtual item and, if you want it, trade it for an item in your possession. Trading, checking into locations and other actions offer rewards in the shape of virtual pins, much like your Xbox or PS3 achievements.

So, what’s it got that’s better than Foursquare, the current fore-runner in this area? Well, for starters you can play it anywhere — Foursquare is limited to a few cities, mostly in the US. Secondly, Trips. Checking into a series of locations such as a series of iconic locations in Central Park, or Frank Lloyd Wrights buildings in Chicago unlock bonus pins. These are limited at the moment but there’s promise of more.

Finally, it features a lovely user interface and exquisite collectable pins, stamps and location badges illustrated by Brian Brasher and David Lanham.

Oh, and did I mention that it’s free? What are you waiting for? Get collecting!

Gowalla Free (iTunes App Store link)

COMBO by Blu and David Ellis

You may remember MUTO, an animated short by Blu made using chalk and paint on real-world environments, which we featured here a year or so ago. Here’s his latest collaboration with artist David Ellis.

Blu also has a new website (or certainly one that I haven’t seen before!) featuring some of his more static artwork. (thanks Ward!)

Sheepfilms’ GPS

Dave Packer creates wonderfully humorous short films and animated gifs under the name Sheepfilms. You might recognise his stuff from b3ta.

Here’s his latest one.

You Will: AT&T’s eerily accurate predictions of modern day technologies

In 1993, AT&T ran a number of commercials in which Tom Selleck (or someone who sounds remarkably like him) predicted the kinds of crazy things we’d later just take for granted in our everyday lives, like in-car GPS to help us navigate our way, pay road tolls without cash, TV movies on demand and so on. (thanks Will!)

If you hadn’t seen these before but thought they seemed a little familiar, it may be because Universal Studios parodied them in their Terminator 2 3D attraction pre-show video.

Walt Disney on What’s My Line?, 1956

Here’s mystery guest Walt Disney on the North American version of the TV quiz show “What’s My Line”, first aired on CBS in November 1956. The show also features Jerry Lewis as a contestant who asks, “Walt, did you check with the government to see if they needed any money lately?”

Also fascinating are Walt’s comments on his love of the immediacy of television. I wonder what he’d have made of the internet.

Vintage Disney newspaper comic strips

Mickey Mouse newspaper comic strip from 1930

D23, the new Disney fan community, are putting up classic newspaper comic strips every day. Right now they’re showing vintage Mickey Mouse strips from 1930, Donald Duck dailies from 1938 and Scamp (the son of Lady and the Tramp) from 1955.

There doesn’t seem to be any sort of archive, unfortunately, but hopefully they’ll add one in the future. And an RSS feed, please!