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We told our cool friends at Wacom that we loved them. They told us, “we love you too” and sent along some Wacom Cintiq Companions to help with the making of the movie. We’ve just received them, so join us in our first hand experience with this gorgeous piece of hardware. What is the Wacom Cintiq Companion? The Wacom Cintiq Companion is a standalone Wacom input pen display. Think a 13″ Microsoft Surface Pro, merged with a Wacom tablet and you’ll get the idea. Wacom released two standalone tablets, the Cintiq Companion, running Windows 8, and the Cintiq Companion Hybrid, running Android. When not used as a tablet, the Android version can be use as a second monitor & input device on a PC/Mac whereas the Windows version can welcome a second screen for a dual display through mini-dvi As you can see, you can also add two USB3 drives if the 256Gb (512Gb on the higher end version) SSD is not enough for you. The Cintiq Companion have a gorgeous full HD (1920×1080) 13″ inches display, but the global form factor is closer to the size of a 15″ inches laptop, thanks to the very useful side controls. The first thing you notice when you get the tablet out of the box, it’s its look and refinement. The level of detail and quality of the form factor makes it feel like an Apple Product. One Pen to rule them all Of course, a Wacom tablet wouldn’t a real Wacom tablet without its pen. As you can see it’s your standard Wacom Pen, nothing specific about it. If you already have a recent Wacom tablet, chances are that your Pen is already compatible with it. As usual, a bunch of additional leads are offered (10) and color rings to customize your pen. Handy if you have several ones. Mine is blue (default color) and I’m happy with it. The Windows 8 Question I had the same question: why isn’t there an option to have Windows 7 instead, Windows 8 is such a burden. Well, I’m glad to tell you that Windows 8 feels really great on a tablet. Once you know the few must known gestures you’ll feel at home, and navigate with a breeze. It comes pre-installed with Windows 8.1, which means that once you’ve gone to the desktop, it will boot on the desktop, no more annoying start screen (I confess I kinda liked it, but straight to desktop mode is so much better). Photoshoping and After Effecting After a two full weeks of Photoshoping and After Effecting, I can say that Photoshop support for gestures is something I’d like to see across all Adobe DVA Apps. Sketching and drawing, pinching to zoom, rotating, resetting the view and so on feels so natural that I can hardly come back to my standard desktop Photoshop. What’s wrong? As a first generation product, the actual Cintiq Companion version have is already a full fledged product. There’s only a couple of details that could be improved in the future versions. The first thing is the adjustable stand. The four predefined positions are great, but I wish it was built-in in the tablet (akin to the Microsoft Surface) instead of being an external device (akin to the actual Desktop Cintiq). Sure...read more
We’ve been silent, September is upon us, but we’ve been busy. <tl;dr> Anthony has been on a chara’ design frenzy, adding 10 new characters to our Work In Progress roaster Jerzy has been busy designing a new way to create automatic shading on characters I’ve been traveling to Poland to work on the story & schedule with him Budget! And much more Wanna get the gritty details? Just click the button and see what’s all it’s about! Visual Research Anthony has been working hard on designing new characters, most of them not yet in the screenplay. “Wait what?” You might say. Well they already are in the screenplay, but they are not named nor have any significance. But they’ll have some soon as I’m working on milking the script and preparing a third draft closer to what the movie will be. If you look closely above, you’ll see that some of the characters are not new, but its their debut in color. More than just drafting out new characters, we’ve been working on their color, to see how it could fit the moods of our little universe. Of course, the watercolor look is not what we have in mind for the movie, we’ll be very far away from that, but still, it gives an overall feeling of where we’re going, and what we’re looking for. Fear not, the final movie will be more saturated. In fact, the colored version of the header frame is much more vibrant than the characters you’re looking at right now. That brings me to the two frames Anthony worked on. We’re not yet trying to picture out the framing of some shots of the movie, but more trying to get a sense of what the movie will feel like. On the first one, you have a look at most of the characters, with the “good” guys on the left, and the “bad” guys on the right. I call them good/bad just for easiness, but it’s more complex than that. Even if we’re a satirical comedy, our main characters psychology is more akin to Miyazaki’s style rather than the good old obvious Disney dichotomy. Not that it’s a bad thing, it’s just not what we’re aiming for. On this picture you can feel the energy, the density and the upcoming mayhem. On the second frame, we tried to capture a more subtle irony, with the priest heavily focused on a special version of the Bible to the extent that he doesn’t notice his cathedral burning. Like the first frame, it’s not an actual scene of the movie (even though there are, at some point, some stuff on fire) but more a hint at what we want to do. It’s still very early, and is not at all representative of the final look, style or theme of the movie, but it’s a start. Meanwhile in Poland… Jerzy is always a busy man. When he is not touring his country with Edu Web, he is designing new tools to figure out solutions to complexe situations that are easy to play with for the creative teams. Called Toon Shader, you can have a quick look at what does the prototype version 4. Only Edouard and the Scream-look-a-like killer are characters from the movie, the others are from mysterious...read more
One year ago, I rebooted the movie project and went public about it. That was the best choice I could ever make. A year later, I just reached the first major milestone: I finished the 2nd draft of the screenplay. Why is it such a big milestone? Lets see. One Draft to rule them all… So why does this draft matters? And more importantly, why does it matter more than the first? The short answer is simple: this is the first draft I shared with the team. The long answer is a bit more complicated. Writing the first draft of this rebooted Mythomen Movie project took me a lot more time than expected. I planned 4 month of writing, it took me 8, including a 2 month burnout period. I knew it would take some time to get to the end of the first draft, I’m having a day job, plus I’m running a publishing company on the side, but what I didn’t expect is how difficult it was to write the whole screenplay in english, and to make the new structure work. The big issue was to get this new structure up and running (I teared apart the old Mythomen project to only keep the substantifique moëlle), and while it was working perfectly in my mind, on my index cards and various flowcharts, it was far from being as straightforward in the screenplay. In any first draft I write, I’m putting way too much information. That’s because I embrace iterative writing, and because of an old mantra that says “if it’s not in the script, it won’t be on the screen“. If I rely on the old Hollywood fashion of timing a screenplay, that is 1 page equals 1 minute, my first draft was 171 minutes long, 2 hours and 51 minutes. If I rely on Adobe Story way of calculating length it was only 2 hours and 43 minutes. That is obviously too long. My target is around 110 minutes, 1 hour and 50 minutes. If you do the math, I had 1 hour of additional material that I need to get rid of. Because of the creative breakdown, I had a 2 month break on writing, and this is never good news. You loose the flow, you forget stuff you had in your mind but not yet written down, and its hard to get back on track. In order to finish it as fast and as efficiently as possible, I finished the screenplay in french. So this first draft was half in english, half in french, on top of being 60 pages too long. Now you can guess why I didn’t sent it to anyone. I had to trim it down, and make it a better version. Not only because of all the flaws explained above, but also because you should never share a very first draft: its just too rough. I took a 2 weeks vacation from the screenplay in february to get some perspective and to cool down my brain. That’s a mandatory thing to do in order to be effective. Then I took the printed version and started to read it. It was as painful as it should be. Then, I started to work on the second draft, removing a lot of unnecessary stuff,...read more
Copy Paste Markers Markers inside After Effects are so useful that we use them everyday for various purposes. But for some reasons, you cannot copy or paste them. Hopefully this script is here to help. Simply select the layer with the marker(s) select the ones to be copied using our range selector dropdown list, and that’s it. Select the target layer(s) and hit copy. Quick Introduction video If the embed doesn’t work, click here: http://youtu.be/9HW_rFZoDAc You can get the script here on aescripts.com And remember, every dollar made with these scripts directly goes into funding the movie...read more
Story Boarding v1.5 It’s finally here. Our newest version of Story Boarding, a tool that lets you import screenplays inside After Effects and create all the needed comps and setup to create an awesome previz (or shooting board) in a breeze. Check out the quick introduction video below and discover its awesomeness. And of course, be sure to get your own licence here on aescripts.com Quick Introduction Video If the embed doesn’t work: http://youtu.be/25AOBMXE-f0 Save Comp As Project v2.0 Save Comp As Project is probably one of my most popular script, and it’s back with a new version on popular demand. You can now collect files while exporting an After Effects composition as a separate project. Check the introduction video below and go get it here on aescripts.com Quick Introduction Video If the embed doesn’t work: http://youtu.be/2BFC1RjX6KM And don’t forget, any buck we make selling these scripts goes directly into the movie funding, that’s a great way to help us build our...read more
It’s with a bit of delay that the first part of the Mythomen Universe (MUniverse for short) section is now live on the website. There, you’ll find our first characters bios, and some of the companies involved in the movie storyline. We’ll keep adding content in the universe as time goes by, so make sure to come back on a regular basis or follow us / like us on Twitter and Facebook to stay updated. Hope you’ll enjoy...read more
If we’re making an animation movie, it’s because we are fan of animation. We grew up watching Disney’s handdrawn features, and then moved on the Simpsons, South Park, Pixar, Dreamworks… So many movies and so many companies. It’s hard to list all the good ones. So we decided to share our Top 10 of what we consider being the best animation movies ever done ! Whenever we could, we added links to legal digital downloads or streaming versions for each movie. 10 The Iron Giant The Iron Giant is the very first Brad Bird movie as a director. The film had critical appraise but was a box office failure due to internal problems at Warner Bros where the marketing dept refused to market it properly as they didn’t see in it something worth supporting. And it’s a shame. Because this movie is really a jewel. It’s a friendship and science fiction story between a giant robot fallen from the sky and a nine years old boy who befriend him. Bonus: You can watch it with your kids. Watch The Iron Giant here: (in France): iTunes, Xbox Video (in the US): iTunes, Amazon Instant Video 9 Tokyo Godfathers From acclamed director Satochi Kon, Tokyo Godfathers, his third movie as a director, is probably the best film from his sadly short lived career. He died at 46 from a fast paced pancreatic cancer, leaving his last movie, produced by MadHouse, unfinished. Tokyo Godfathers is the story of 3 homeless people (a runaway girl, a midlife alchoolic and a trans) who finds on christmas eve an abandoned baby. The film is poetic and yet depicts the harsh truth of wrecked lives. A must see. Watch Tokyo Godfathers here: (in France): iTunes (in the US): Unavailable in digital download or streaming, but you can get it on DVD on Amazon 8 Monsters Inc Pixar’s Fourth film is amongst fan favorites, as it turns upside down our childhood fears by having the monsters afraid of children, but forced to scare them to provide electricity to their world. The story is about two monsters, Sullivan and Mike, working for the company Monsters Inc, that accidentally brings a child into monster world. Bonus: You can watch it with your kids. Watch Monsters Inc. here: (in France): iTunes, Xbox Video (in the US): iTunes, Amazon Instant Video 7 Mary & Max Mary and Max is an independent stop motion movie from Australia. Mary, an 8 years old girl from a poor family decides to write a letter to someone in New York City. Max, a middle aged obese and anxious lonely guy receives Mary’s letter. They start a friendship, and Mary will take the opportunity to learn about adulthood. It’s a very beautiful story, sad and funny at the same time. Max is voiced by the very talented Philip Seymour Hoffman who passed away last month. Bonus: You can watch it with your kids. Watch Mary and Max here: (in France): iTunes, CanalPlay VOD (in the US): iTunes, Amazon Instant Video 6 Aladdin Everybody know Disney’s Aladdin, one of their most critically acclaimed movie, and the one who saved Disney Animation back in the day. The legend says that it was based on The Thief and the Cobbler, Richard Williams (of Who Framed Roger...read more
January was a tremendous month. Writing, writing and writing ! <tl;dr> Finished the screenplay first draft (68 new minutes) Started the Mythomen Movie Project Universe Worked on Storyboarding v1.5 Now on Instagram First Draft Finished ! That’s a Major Milestone ! The first draft of the Mythomen Movie Project is completed. It’s now time to let it rest for a couple of weeks, and I means, for the whole month of february, so I can put it into perspective while reviewing it and taking note for the rewrite. Rewriting a screenplay is of course part of the process, and in our case, it’s more than necessary. First because there was a huge gap in the writing process between september and january. Secondly, because to achieve these 68 new minutes of content, I switched back in french, so now, I have a screenplay half in english and half in french. If I had to do it again, I would go full french for the first draft, then rewrite in english, because I lost a lot of time searching for the correct vocabulary (mainly for the dialogues) that will be trapped on the rewrite. I should have focused on the raw content first in my native language, and then the refining in english. Last but not least, the screenplay is 2h45 long, which is much too long for a comedy. Our goal is to be around the 1h40 (100 minutes) mark, which is the average length for comedies. So we’ll have to strip one hour of content from the screenplay. Well, that may look a lot said like that, but it’s not exactly as straightforward as it looks. First of all, I’ve always been to chatty in my first drafts, so the major area where we’ll have reduction are dialogues. I’ll take the juicy bits and put them together, leaving the not so exciting ones out. Plus, the point of being to chatty is to be really explicit in all dialogue. By enhancing them, we’ll add more depth in less words, which will better. Then, I need to reduce the number of scenes. Not that I have to achieve some golden ratio, or rule of thumb. It’s just, as I’m being too chatty in dialogue, I’m being too straightforward in the expositions. I need to bring subtlety and this comes by removing all useless scene and milk all the important ones. I’ll be taking the point of the removed scenes and add them into the saved ones. I see scriptwriting as an organic process where to create too much, and then refine, refine, refine, to get the perfect shape. The Mythomen Movie Project Universe While writing the 2013 wrap-up post, I noticed that we’ve shared a lot of what we did, technical stuff & all, but not that much on the creative side. That’s a shame. In order to fix that, I started building a little wiki of the Mythomen Universe, which is an alternative future of our beloved earth, not so far away from us. I wanted to first version of this universe to be small, featuring some key characters of the screenplay (some of them you might have seen in design here), the town where the action takes place, and some of the big players of this universe. So...read more
2013 has been a tremendous year for The Mythomen Movie Project, from the project reboot early May, to the creative burnout late November, a lot have been done, a lot have been missed but in the end, what have we learned? Welcome to The Mythomen 2013 Year review! <tl;dr> 8 Month of production $4900 of budget 87 minutes of screenplay written 15 characters rough designs 3 Member Team 26 Posts published 2 Behind the scenes video released 4 Tutorials video released 4 AE Script developed 1 AE Script released The 2013 Review – 8 Month in Production It’s like I rebooted the project yesterday. Only that yesterday was 8 months ago. Time flies so fast. We are already in the new year and I haven’t taken yet the time to look back to what was already accomplished, what was supposed to be accomplished and what we hope to accomplish in 2014. It will come to no surprise if you’re a follower, that we missed a lot of deadlines: Screenplay isn’t finished CrowdCodile isn’t released yet Storyboarding v1.5 isn’t released yet The shooting board is not even in the next semester timeframe No draft voices recorded No draft main theme music So yeah, a lot of what I expected to be finished is in fact far from being near completion, or even started. Why is that? Well, I guess I was too optimistic on my capacity to do so much in such a short time. I couldn’t imagine that I’ll have a two month creative burnout. Writing the screenplay was much more challenging that originally thought, because I under estimated the difficulty to write it in full english instead of my native tongue French. Still, if I look back at what I wrote, I already have 90 minutes (one hour and a half) of content, which is not that far from the 100 minutes target of the movie. Only that these 90 written minutes are too chatty, too descriptive, so I barely met the half point of the movie. I expected to be too chatty on this first draft, but not by THAT much. With an incomplete screenplay, it’s difficult to move forward with shooting board and draft voices. And this work will obviously need a second draft to be finished before starting. In order to keep the art going, I wrote in depth character sheets for 20 characters yet in the movie (this includes, first, second and third role characters), and Anthony managed to keep his pace by drawing 15 rough, plus some side designs such as full colored buildings, to try to have a broader look of what we want to achieve. Meanwhile Jerzy worked on a lot of cool scripts that will be really useful in the future, as I was focusing on Storyboarding. The version should really have been released this year, but a big fat ugly bug crushed this perfect scheme, and the AE engineers are still scratching their head on it. It’s breathtaking to see such dedication on their part to solve an issue only a couple of scripters would face. But the bug is deeper than expected, so it needs time. I’m regularly in touch with a very talented composer, but his schedule have been so busy in 2013 that he barely had...read more
December was a quiet time. Holiday seasons was a perfect reason to make a welcome pause on the movie. But I couldn’t completely stop working on it either, so, let’s see what was done this past month. <tl;dr> Built part of the town Worked on Storyboarding v1.5 Played with Yoyo GameMaker Pro Started writing great articles, but failed to finish them Pasquin, a city in progress I’m not sure if I already mentioned this, but the story takes place in the fictional city of Pasquin, a wealthy parisian suburban town in France. On this Google Maps view, the district of “La Défense”, right outside of Paris, which is the inspiration for the Pasquin Business District, where the Mythomen HQ is located. Since it’s infancy, Pasquin has always been a mix of several western wealthy cities near Paris. It’s a mix between La Défense, Puteaux, Saint-Cloud, Versailles and some bits and pieces from other town in Paris neighbourhood. While reviewing the actual unfinished screenplay, I noticed that even if the idea of the town was pretty clear in my head, the actual layout of the town wasn’t. This could seem not that important to have the layout before completing the screenplay, but in this case it is: because our super heroes are going from places to places, I need to know over which district they fly, so I can introduce better obstacles and conflicts. This will help building a better consistency, and a feeling of having a real living city. How do I build the city ? Well, first I’m going to research the history of each of the aforementioned towns to make sure I understand how they have been built. Then I’ll extract some key districts from each and then will blend them together to create a realistic fictional town. Needless to say that I’ve always been a big fan of Sim City (until they decided to ruin it with online only mode, and too small building area, plagued with bugs). Part of january will be about this process, and I’ll write a dedicated post about it. Storyboarding v1.5 While on vacation, only relying on my Macbook Air, I spent time to resume development on our Storyboarding script. I found a workaround for the several UI bugs plaguing After Effects CC, and even if it’s not as nice as I would like, it will allow us to use it and release it to you guys. With that in mind, I refined the list of expected features for v1.5, removing a big one that I would have loved to be able to include (It’s not that I don’t want, it’s some ESTK connexion bugs) but replaced it with one I was initially planning for much later (v2.0), so in the end it’ll still be a strong release. The new release timeframe is before spring so it shouldn’t be much longer before putting your hands on it. The roadmap looks clear, and tutorial & doc writing and recording is scheduled. Should be fun. Playing with Yoyo GameMaker Pro Yes, yes, even though you’ve just have bought a Pro Edition of GameMaker, the first screen you see is an ad for the Master Collection. Nice welcome. I love video games, I’ve mentioned that several times here and on my older blog too:...read more