Pixar in a Box
Light-based media

Pixar in a box! Animation lessons from the masters

Well now, this is something!

Khan Academy: Pixar in a Box

A collaboration between Pixar Animation Studios and Khan Academy. Sponsored by Disney.

Don’t let the kid-friendly intro video put you off exploring the content. It all seems very good and there’s loads of mathematics, as you would expect from Khan Academy. They cover modelling, animation, rendering and other fun subjects like crowd ‘combinatorics’. I didn’t spot anything on lighting though, outside of the context of rendering.

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Game Maker’s Toolkit – Analysing Mario to Master Super Mario Maker

Mark Brown:

It turns out that playing loads of video games doesn’t necessarily make you a good designer. Who’d have thought it? So, scuppered by Super Mario Maker, I decided to analyse the four Mario games featured within and see what I could learn.

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Animation Master Hayao Miyazaki’s Work Comes to Life in This Beautiful 3D Tribute

Made with Blender, Gimp, Octane and Natron, and lots of love for the films of Hayao Miyazaki.

Light-based media

A tribute to Hayao Miyazaki in 3D

Miyazaki has come out of retirement (again) to make an animated short that will only play at the Studio Ghibli Museum that will be entirely computer generated.

Gallery

Why CG Sucks (Except It Doesn’t)

RocketJump Film School:

Are computer generated visual effects really ruining movies?

We believe that the reason we think all CG looks bad, is because we only see “bad” CG. Fantastic, beautiful, and wonderfully executed CG is everywhere – you just don’t know it. Truly great visual effects serve story and character – and in doing so are, by their very definition, invisible.

Kathryn Schulz: On being wrong

TED: Most of us will do anything to avoid being wrong. But what if we’re wrong about that? “Wrongologist” Kathryn Schulz makes a compelling case for not just admitting but embracing our fallibility.


No, It’s Not Your Opinion. You’re Just Wrong

Jef Rouner: Before you crouch behind your Shield of Opinion you need to ask yourself two questions.

1. Is this actually an opinion?
2. If it is an opinion, how informed is it and why do I hold it?

I’ll help you with the first part. An opinion is a preference for or judgment of something. My favorite color is black. I think mint tastes awful. Doctor Who is the best television show. These are all opinions. They may be unique to me alone or massively shared across the general population but they all have one thing in common; they cannot be verified outside the fact that I believe them.

There’s nothing wrong with an opinion on those things. The problem comes from people whose opinions are actually misconceptions. If you think vaccines cause autism you are expressing something factually wrong, not an opinion. The fact that you may still believe that vaccines cause autism does not move your misconception into the realm of valid opinion. Nor does the fact that many other share this opinion give it any more validity.

Houston Press: No, It’s Not Your Opinion. You’re Just Wrong

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Beam me up Scotty
Use your words

Churchillian drift: Great quotations find their way to famous names

Aaron Hutchins, Great quote! But who really said it?: William Shatner’s character in Star Trek never said, “Beam me up, Scotty.” The closest he came was: “Beam us up, Mr. Scott.” Quotes often get condensed in people’s memories. “Memory may be a terrible librarian, but it’s a great editor,” writes Ralph Keyes in his book The Quote Verifier.

Great quotations seem to find their way to famous names.
(not) Mark Twain

Nigel Rees, Policing Word Abuse: Long ago, I coined the term “Churchillian Drift” to describe the process whereby the actual originator of a quotation is often elbowed to one side and replaced by someone more famous. So to Churchill or Napoleon would be ascribed what, actually, a lesser-known political figure had said. The process occurs in all fields.

Why are people so culpable when it comes to using quotations? In the run-up to the war in Iraq, Barbra Streisand, the well-known Shakespearean scholar, quoted this and said it came from Julius Caesar: “Beware the leader who bangs the drum for war.” Sheer invention. Why did she do it? Ignorance, laziness or what? It’s impossible to know for sure, but she wanted–as we all do–to use the supposed words of someone better than ourselves to lend weight to her argument.

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