Perfect isometric 3D animation!

This animation, Subprime by Mike Winkelmann is amazing. Lets get that obvious comment out of the way. Please watch it because the still shots below do not do it justice and I think its important to understand what’s so unique about Subprime. But if you don’t get it just from watching it, here goes…

Mike’s camera is constantly swiveling around this iso-world, and YET the rules of iso-symmetry are somehow still VERY intact. What rules do I mean?… well, we all know on paper (or in your 2D illustration programs) isometric art conforms to an infinity parallel grid. So every iso-artist begins by drawing out a ton of diagonal straight lines that are equi-distant from each other and uses that as a guide for every line to follow. The Grid is God, whether or not it lives to be visible in the end of the piece, its still the law. And if you grew up playing Paperboy by Atari (or grew up centuries ago before artists used perspective lines) than you probably have some serious love for isometric art.  Which is why its so painfully ugly when its done wrong.

Remember this post I linked up a couple weeks ago about Comcast’s s**tty attempt at doing something similar. Kris left a comment that summed up better than I could what was so wrong about it…

…the real people/isometric idea is upsetting to me. Upsetting in a obsessive compulsive way. When one of the real people are at a slightly wrong angle, I just want to stick my hand through my monitor, grap them, and twist them so they look right. Unfortunatly, I didn’t lay down the dimensions in my pixel world, and in doing this I have now made a tree look like it’s at the wrong angle. So I twist that. Now the dog looks bad. So I….AAAAHHHGGGG!

Well put. When watching Subprime, I have zero urge to reach in there and force everything back to conforming to the Grid. And yet, if you told me before watching Mike’s incredible piece that some dude made an isometric world in 3D and spun the camera in circles the entire time, I’d be like “How can it NOT look f******?!”

What else raises the Love-Meter for me?… watching the transitions from constructing to deconstructing and back again are hypnotic. I’ve watched this 5 times already and it feels like a different animation each time. I haven’t worked in 3D in years but I know there’s no “magic button” for doing the things Mike has painstakingly crafted here.

Conclusion: I’m going to buy that house for sale at the end. Oops, spoiler.

Subprime (Isometric animation)


Comcast commercials = Isometric fail

Just had to share this other blog’s post slam regarding Comcast’s new commercials. First time I saw one of them I have to admit I was like “neat, at least they tried to be cool”. Now after seeing them 20 times (and worse hearing them), I wish they had done a lot better.  First, the music is horrible. Second, there’s definitely something that irks me about mixing the live action people in the semi-isometric world. I say “semi” because even their attempt at iso-scenes aren’t right. Yeah, probably the lines and angles abide by their infinite parallels, but they look like watercolor in some places, 3D in others. Stick with a style!  Pixels maybe!!!  If Comcast really wanted to be cool they should have just ripped off Habbo Hotel, then emailed every Comcast subscriber an avatar, and made playing it MANDATORY if they want to keep their internet access!

Real Isometric World!

Artist Profile: Cristian Turdera

There’s something about Cristian’s work that leaves me wanting more. But in a good way. I want to be shrunken down and exist in these tiny happy worlds. And I’d love to see them moving around me. There’s always some element in what he (possibly she) draws that craves being animated. Give yourself 10 seconds to scan over the pics of Cristian’s that are posted below and see if you can spot 20 things that could possibly be moving. Not hard right?

I also think Cristian is doing something smart by posting these images smaller than larger. Normally I wouldn’t recommend that, but the microcosm nature of these pieces works well at a smaller image size. There’s a few exceptions where I’d love to see the image bigger, but overall I think it was a good choice. 

Anyway, kudos! Click here to check out Cristian’s site and many more tiny worlds.