Posts Tagged ‘3D animation’

World Premiere of The Flying Machine at Toronto Film Festival

August 17, 2011 2 comments

As announced recently on Polish Film Institute website, The Flying Machine (2011) is going to be premiered at 36th Toronto International Film Festival that takes place next month. 

The Flying Machine is an interesting project undertaken by producers and creators of an Oscar winner, Peter and the Wolf by Suzie Templeton (2006). The film combines 3D stop-motion animation with live action (here they even got a star Heather Graham) and with Fryderyk Chopin music played by famous Chinese pianist, Lang Lang. Apart from Chopin himself, there is of course a huge Polish input in the production – from financial support from Polish Film Institute or Lodz Film Commission to my best liked Polish names, like Marek Skrobecki or Krzysztof Ptak (cinematography).

I am under impression that to find a full list of credits  you would have to check quite a few sources and actually compile it yourself. Or maybe one day Sight and Sound will publish it in full length – that’s a very good practice of the magazine! So, to avoid creating additional confusion I will just refer you to the website of the film’s British producer, Breakthru Films. It is said that The Flying Machine will reach Polish cinemas on 21st October 2011. And I only hope that it will be possible to see it in other parts of the world, too – not only at festivals…

You know, there was once a piece of text published in FilmPRO 1/2010 (a Polish film industry related magazine), entitled Preludium by Marta Luchacz and Jarek Somborski. Even though it got printed almost 1.5 year ago when The Flying Machine production was actually at the stage of preproduction I guess, I think it provides quite a nice insight into the film concept and the way the works were planned. And that’s exactly why I would like to refer to it a bit and give you some shadowy (sic!) facts. (Sure, if you ever happen to find anything more up-to-date, do drop me a line as I’ll be happy to learn about it myself.)

Anyway, The Flying Machine is supposed to be the first stop-motion puppet animation in Poland made with the use of stereoscopic technique (and, so far, I have not heard of any similar project, so my assumption is The Flying Machine still holds the title of a pioneer on Polish scene). However, the film will be screened in both: traditional and 3D cinemas. There were supposed to be two different scales for puppets created for the purpose of the film – a scale of 1:4.5 for 30-40cm puppets and 1:9 for those of 15-20cm. The film was to combine 50% of animation with the remaining 50% of live action. All that was to be filmed in a specially built studio with over 20 sets prepared by Marek Skrobecki.

In the initial phase of works on the film the crew made a lot of tests, first of all, based on reference material used by creators of Coraline (2006), in order to work out the best way of creating the stereoscopic effect. However, due to completely unsatisfying results and disparity in the depth of the picture in different frames, the crew decided to reject it and set up their own rules. The challenge seemed to be even bigger when you realise that what you actually get in the film is a mix of stop-motion animation, live action (sure, I already mentioned these) but also computer animation (was to be added in the postproduction process) along with both postproduction and compositing to have been done in stereo alike (if I’m making myself clear at all 😉 ).

I am not going to get into more technical details here as I am not that technical person myself nor it’s a post on meanders of stereoscopy. It’s definitely worth reading on that fascinating subject if you are not a specialist in the field and, to be honest, the mentioned issue of FilmPRO magazine gave me a good insight into the technical details as well as the historic aspects. For the purpose of this post, though, enough to say that stereoscopy is fascinating and if you’d like to learn more, this time from a critic’s point of view, check a post by Jasper Sharp on his blog: Cinematism, Realism, and Spectacle part 6: Changing our Focus – StreetDance 3D.

In the meantime, let’s watch The Flying Machine space and fingers crossed the final effect is worth the noise 😉

Below, as usual, is a bit of a moving picture…


Animation Magazine on Damian Nenow

August 15, 2011 Leave a comment

Animation Magazine published on 7th August a piece of text on Damian Nenow, a Polish animator of Platige Image.

It tells us about Nenow’s  lifelong obsession with flight and objects that traverse the sky, his inspiration for his acclaimed by now Paths of Hate as well as Nenow’s view of Polish current animation scene.

(…) The idea for Paths of Hate occurred to me about five years ago, when I was still studying at the film school in Lodz, says Nenow. After producing two earlier shorts, I felt the need to create something that was surrealistic, but dynamic and serious. I couldn’t imagine a subject more exciting than a duel between two fighter planes. (…)

For the whole article, go to: Polish Animator’s Career Takes Flight.

Damian Nenow Presents Making of to Paths of Hate at SIGGRAPH 2011

August 10, 2011 Leave a comment

For those who have missed it today as I already have (sic!)…. Well, Polish artist of Platige Image, Damian Nenow shows how he used Autodesk® 3ds Max® to create the animated short Paths of Hate.

Paths of Hate won the SIGGRAPH Jury Award and a number of animation festival awards. Follow the link to see the video:

– 9th August, Tuesday 11:30am local time
– 10th August, Wednesday 03:00pm local time
– 11th August, Thursday 01:00pm local time

Six short films nominated for the Cartoon d’Or 2011

July 12, 2011 Leave a comment

Six short films from Germany, Ireland, Netherlands, Poland and United Kingdom will compete for the Cartoon d’Or 2011, the award for the best European animation short film.

The jury composed of directors and producers Stéphane Bernasconi (France), Tony Loeser (Germany) and Victor Maldonado (Spain) have selected the finalists among a shortlist of 30 films award-winners at the major European animation festivals.
The nominees are:

– “Mobile” by Verena Fels (Germany, 2010, 6’25”. Prod: Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg)
– “Paths of Hate” by Damian Nenow (Poland, 2010, 10′. Prod: Platige Image)
– “Pivot” by André Bergs (Netherlands, 2009, 5′. Prod: Il Luster Productions)
– “The External World” by David O’Reilly (Ireland / Germany, 2010, 17′. Prod: David OReilly Animation / DETAiLFILM)
– “The Gruffalo” by Jakob Schuh & Max Lang (UK, 2009, 27′. Prod: Magic Light Pictures in association with Studio Soi)
– “The Little Boy and the Beast” by Johannes Weiland & Uwe Heidschötter (Germany, 2009, 6’30”. Prod: Studio Soi)

The winner will be announced on Thursday 15 September 2011 in Sopot (Poland) during Cartoon Forum Polska, the platform aimed to boost the co-production and distribution of European animation for television. The directors of each nominated short will present his film to an auditorium of key players in European animation, providing them an opportunity to strengthen their ties with the industry. The winner will receive a trophy together with a financial aid of 10,000 EUR, thanks to the support of the MEDIA Programme of the European Union.

The Cartoon d’Or was created in 1991 by CARTOON in order to promote the talents of European animation and to act as a pipeline between short film makers and the industry. Previous winners include Nick Park, Sylvain Chomet, Mark Baker, Michael Dudok de Wit and Jacques-Rémy Girerd.

[extract from Press Release,  12th July 2011 (opens as .pdf)]

*For more info visit the website (link above)

Witness 1919 – 2004 by Krzysztof Kiwerski (2008) vs. Animated History of Poland by Tomasz Baginski (2010)

June 6, 2011 Leave a comment

Shorts for today… With a bit of twist as even though it’s Monday and in our society of workaholics and lustful consumers it’s not the best time for patriotic feelings, I decided to post here a bit of history. The films are similar but very different in the same time.

Can you learn anything about Poland from any of them? You know, not every local piece of art must be clear and understandable for outsiders and I try to keep that in mind 🙂 Hope you’ll enjoy.

Mouse by Wojtek Wawszczyk (2001) plus a few words on being an animator in Poland

June 2, 2011 3 comments

I think Wojtek Wawszczyk is one of those animators on Polish scene who has proved both: his artistry and professionalism and in my eyes, as a viewer of his films, he doesn’t really have to prove it anymore. Hm.. that doesn’t sound good, does it? Well, I basically mean that he’s NOT as good as his last film as for some reason Wawszczyk’s name carries for me the whole package and even if any of his projects occurs to be weaker, it doesn’t make much difference to the way I see him as an artist.

There is a good book giving an insight in current situation in Polish animation, however it was published (as far as I am aware) only in Poland. It’s called 24 Frames per Second. Talks on Animation (24 klatki na sekunde. Rozmowy o animacji, 2009) and contains interviews carried out by Mariusz Frukacz with 21 fairly young Polish animators. For each interview the starting point seems to be each artist’s art plus the way he / she sees his / her artistic situation and circumstances in Poland. Conclusions are interesting but, here, I want to focus only on one aspect.

The aspect: If you want to be an animator in Poland, you can choose from the following options: 1. do commercial animation and perhaps loose your dignity as a former artist; 2. do artistic animation and do not make a penny out of it; or 3. do a bit of both and make descent money from / to fulfill your artistic ambitions. I can imagine that in many countries the situation looks somewhat similar. And I’m not even sure if, generally speaking, there are any other scenarios possible for a career as an animator. If you think of any other, feel free to let me know…

Anyway, getting back to Wawszczyk – he seems to be very much number 3. He has decent education from both Lodz Film School and the one in Ludwigsburg, Germany (for those who don’t know and also to simplify the subject as much as possible, it means he learnt classical  animation in Poland and 3D in Germany). He has good professional experience gained e.g. in Germany, USA, India, and now Poland. He makes good (technique-wise but also subject-wise) animated films that are watched by audiences with pleasure. And I think the latter places him in the same league as Tomasz Baginski.

For more information on Wojtek Wawszczyk, visit his website: It is bilingual to make the access easier to other nations. You can also view quite a number of his films there.

And here comes the Mouse which is his last student film from 2001 (so we are pretty much getting back to the roots now). Enjoy! 🙂

Tomasz Baginski’s Master Class

May 23, 2011 1 comment

Last Wednesday Tomasz Baginski, acclaimed Polish animator, gave a master class to Israeli audience. A nice post by Daniela Sherer was published yesterday on The Animator Meets his Audience: Tomasz Bagiński’s Master Class.

Below is Baginski’s Fallen Art from 2005 (one of my favourites, actually 🙂 ).

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