Everything I ever guessed about converting 2D to 3D is true!

I guessed it was a big pain in the arse, and this article at Slate.com confirmed this. And if you’re thinking, “oh more reading? I hate reading!” Well it’s relatively short, and easy to understand even if you’ve never laid in bed thinking about this before (“laid” or “lied”?).

It brings up an excellent point at the end, why would any filmmaker convert from 2D to 3D in post production instead of just duct-taping a second camera to the first. The post-method requires dozens of artists to go slightly crazy 30 times per second as they have to separate elements of the movie into layers, and occasionally fill in some of the separation gaps. The duct-tape method requires some guy named Jim to hit the Record button on two cameras at exactly the same time. Seems to me with ALL the money that goes into a big budget movie, having a second camera rolling right next to the first one, wouldn’t even be something you would do for 3D necessarily, its just a good Plan B.

Well, what do I know. I still check my 3D glasses for a red and blue tint.

O.M.G. Someone posted all the title cards from T.M.M.o.F

T.M.M.o.F is short for The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack which is a pretty darn decent show on Cartoon Network. I’ve seen probably 10 now and its definitely an awesome show kids and usually a half-awesome show for easily amused adults (like me). But at this point in my life, ANY cartoon I can have on with my 14 month old which is not Dora or Diego is great.

Anyway, about the show titles! They are often the most arteestic part of the show, and I went searching for these a few weeks ago and came up empty, but have stumbled onto the mother load today. Here’s a link to them all, and I’ll post some of the best below…

Super pump-up speech by Ralph Bakshi

Oops, I meant to post this two days ago, and as usual I forgot to actually check to make sure my computer did something after clicking something else. Anyway, below is a great interview tipped off to me by Elias Dancey. It comes from a Comic-Con panel with Ralph Bakshi. And like a wise old Jedi he’s got some nuggets of wisdom for us younger saber wielders.   After the interview, check out some of the related stuff Youtube has posted. Pretty wild, definitely some of it is racy. And sadly somewhere in my DVD collection there’s an unwatched copy of Wizards that I’ve had for probably a decade.   The first 40 seconds are skippable, but afterwards get ready to be schooled…

And again, thanks to Elias for showing me this. He’s got some awesome work of his own too. Here’s his Vimeo page and professional links: MadeInEastwood.com and DrawnInEastwood.com

Justin Leach’s Majestic XII, and some tips for other self publishers!

A few weeks ago, my internet chum Justin Leach emailed me about his fantastic just-released comic book Majestic XII. He’s self-publishing through Ka-Blam.com, and I got to see the finished comic, which looks incredible. A perfect printing. It amazes me that there’s such an awesome resource now for indie comic authors. If you don’t know, Ka-Blam specializes in print-on-demand comics. So an author like Justin would upload his work (for no fee), and then send his friends, family, & perfect strangers to his sales page to order the comic. Speaking of which, why not buy Majestic XII #1!

I asked Justin some questions about the process, here’s what came back…

Me: The quality looks fantastic, some of my students might be curious about printing their own comics too. Would recommend Ka-Blam to others, and do you have any tips to publishing through them?

Justin: When dealing with Ka-Blam make sure that the pages are pre-pressed(they have exact sizes and everything on their FAQ page. Also make sure they are TIF files. And you will have to load a zip of the files onto a FTP server like Sendspace.

Also make sure that your lettering is good. That is the first thing that usually goes in an indie comic. Great art and great coloring but they are using COMIC sans which is a no-no.

Me: Tell us about your illustration process: Did you draw on paper then scan and color, or do you use a Wacom / Cintaq tablet to go straight into the computer?

Justin: My artist in Montana drew in blue pencil, then inked over the top , scanned it into the computer, then sent it to the “flatter” in the Phillipines who lays down the original flat colors(most likely in Wacom), then the colorist puts down the next set of colors using Wacom, He then sends it to the letterer who uses a computer to put down the lettering and sound effects.

Me: Whoops, I thought you drew it. Take me further back in time then.

Justin: First it starts out with me (the writer) and then I send it to an editor to make sure spelling and grammer are correct.
Me: Ah, well I can’t imagine the process ended for you at that point, did you then have to manage the production?

Justin: Yeah it is even more a job about dealing with people than a creative job. It has to all mesh. I had to fire a couple of people or else the project would never have looked as good as it did. You have to be good at dealing with different personality types and sometimes just listening to people’s problems.

Me: And personalities aside, artists don’t work for free. Any idea of the total cost of the project?

Justin: It can cost alot of money, so find the best unknowns that you can to keep the cost down. Sometimes you might have to give up a little ownership in order to get the cost of production down.It also makes your crew willing to put more of themselves into it. SAVE like there is no tomorrow. It will cost around 1,500 – 2,000 to produce a good comic. Unless you are doing the artwork and or the coloring yourself.

Me: How long did issue 1 take to do?

Justin: It took us 4 months. Issue two is going to take us 2 monthes and be released in January.

Me: Just curious, what’s your favorite comic? Aside from your own of course

Justin: My favourite comic? Ummm, My fave when I was kid was Uncanny X-Men by Chris Claremont and John Byrnes. I also loved it under Jim Lee.

Me: Yeah, I read that one too. I think I’ve still got a pile of them sitting under some leaky pipes at my parents house.  Anyway, thanks for the interview! Best of luck with everything!

(I shut my laptop before giving him a chance to reply…jk )

Again, you can pick up the first issue here.

Also check it out, Majestic XII got a nice mention in this video podcast…

Art Deco Up Posters from Pixar

Its pretty rare one of the uber-nerd websites I go to (way too often every day) has some actual art posted as  geek news, but AintItCooNews had these posters linked up. Which might prove someone running that site has some design sense, and could possibly one day change AICN to look like something other than the worst. designed. site. ever.

Screen shot 2009-11-03 at 9.21.49 AM

I forgot how cool The Price Is Right is.

When I was a kid,  11am was the greatest time of day because of The Price Is Right. Well during the summer at least. For fall thru spring, 11am sucked because I was in school not watching Price is Right, and I knew my mom and youngest sister probably were watching it. An early lesson in life not being fair. And over the past couple decades, I haven’t been fair to The Price is Right. Its an awesome show that I haven’t appreciated since childhood. I heard recently they changed the set to have a more 1950′s look, so tonight I went looking for pics and discovered the greatness of PriceIsRight.com .

And just for design-nerds like myself, some brilliant person on their web staff decided to include a nice-sized picture of the logo for many of their games. If you click on one of the games (like my favorite), you’ll first land on the video tab, but click the Photo tab and there’s the logo in glorious 2-dimensions. The 2D-ness shouldn’t be overlooked, because in the show these same logos are part of set-pieces so they are molded in plastic, extruded, etc. So its very cool they decided to post these fun  (sometimes even bad) logos like this.

Oh and back to the set redesign, this blog has some video on that. Continue reading there if your  I Don’t Give a Crap Meter isn’t already topped off.

Flip Flop logo

I snapped these pics at the ATM…

…and risked looking like I was casing the place to bring you these giant letters. Can you guess where I bank at? The logo should make it obvious. But just looking at the “S” and the “A” by themselves might not be. I’ve been with this bank for 15 years almost and never really noticed how spacey the lettering is. Maybe just because these were so well lit and right in front of my face that they looked cooler than usual. Again, placement is everything. Earlier today I was thinking the weeds in my lawn don’t get killed for bad design, its where they are at that earns them a death sentence.

The letter S

Oh creepy, I saw my first Cube yesterday

…Nissan Cube that is. This isn’t a car blog, but it is a design blog. And there’s something very off about these cars. Since you’re usually looking at the ass-end of cars, lets take a look at a couple examples from that perspective. This first pic is straight from Nissan’s Cube site . This is probably the best it will ever look. Nice , glossy, and cleaned up for the site. Does the license read “ASHTRAY”?… Oh no, “ASYMTRY”.

Nissan Cube

Next up, the street example. This looks more like the car I saw. Not in a showroom or website, its just an odd car on the road. Kinda like a Cylon’s head. See what I mean…

I’m definitely not against playing around a little conceptually but even without the asymmetrical back, this car is just too boxy. So its a fail for me, but Nissan at least tried something new. It does make me wonder when asymmetry works. And as a designer you might want to consider the same.  I did see some concept car pics a few weeks ago that looked awesome, and were very uneven. But maybe the concept part, of a non-driveable car, is artificially hyping the design for me. Click the pics below for article

Google concept car