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Digital Comics for Literacy August 1, 2007

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CTSIStorytelling is a key element of learning. We tell stories to explain the world not just for others, but for ourselves. Being able to explain relationships allows us to build on our knowledge, as is related in Paiget’s Theory of Learning: Each child builds on the previous stage of cognitive development, increasing the child’s ability to solve more complex problems.

For our effort at World Children’s Festival, we used the sequential, visual nature of the comic book to have students create simple stories, allowing them to combine text and imagery, both skills they already possesed. The intent up front was to make the process utterly approachable. For small children in particular (such as the precocious 9 year old named Jason) it became important to get on with the task, make it simple and streamlined; more about telling a story and less about mechanics (such as drawing recognizable objects). That can come later…


The Knights’ Tale July 20, 2007

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Living a quiet life as an animator, Travis Knight never dreamed he’d work for his father. Then the Nike founder gave him an offer he couldn’t refuse…

I would have to say that the July/August issue of Fast Company is the best one I’ve read in the last year. Somehow it managed to contain just the right amount of politics, environment, design and technology to keep me reading cover to cover this week.

Spark ConRaleigh was ranked in the Fast City listing, however it was ranked for Research and Development not necessarily for Creative-Class or Design which I think someone should clarify with the editors. If you need more proof… keep an eye out for Design Expo Raleigh ’07 and SparkCon.

Laika Animation StudioAnyways, there is a great article about Travis Knight and the animation production studio he and his father have been developing. They are slowly (since 2005) working on making the next (little)big thing in animation. The article is online, some photos are in the zine but not very many on the actual animation projects they are working on (Check Laika’s website below).

Read more about their animation studio at Fast Company.

Laika Entertainment (yes, they are hiring.)

Visual Effects Details for 300 March 8, 2007

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300Fusion-developer Eyeon has added interviews with the houses behind the special effects in the VFX-driven films and TV shows such as 300 and Battlestar Galactica.

The first piece interviews Screaming Death Monkey’s Jeremy Hunt about his work on Zack Snyder’s film of Frank Sin City Miller’s graphic novel 300. The company worked on three sequences that required matte paintings, sky replacements, set extensions, fire and smoke effects and compositing. [ Read more… ]

BGalacticaThe second interview talks to Brenda Campbell from Atmosphere, which one a VES Award for its work on the US TV show Battlestar Galactica, which is shown on Sky One in the UK. [ Read more… ]

As spring break comes quickly to a close… here’s hoping we get to go on a ‘team building exercise‘ this Friday when Frank Miller’s 300 opens in theatres.

Just balance all that movie going fun make sure you learn something new and pick up a a FREE learning edition of Eyeonline’s Fusion compositing package.

[via digit ]

Lecture: Scott McCloud, Cartoonist/Author January 12, 2007

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Scot McCloud

On January 16, 2007, Scott McCloud, one of the leading cartoonists and popular scholars of comics, and his family will brake their 50-state tour in Raleigh for McCloud’s “Making Comics” seminar, sponsored by Lulu.

To celebrate the HarperCollins release of Making Comics – and because we’ve always wanted an excuse to do it – the family and I are going to visit all 50 states, plus a country or three,” says McCloud.

The seminars, which began in New York in September 2006 and will conclude in Hawaii in August 2007, will focus on McCloud’s most recent book, Making Comics, and the different ideologies about the future artists’ markets.

Admission for this event is FREE!

January 16, 2007
Doors open at 6:30 p.m., and seating is open (first-come, first-serve style).
Lecture promptly begins at 7pm<>

NC State University
NCSU Ballroom
2nd Floor, Talley Student Center
2620 Cates Avenue
Raleigh, NC
NC State University Campus Map

scene detection December 12, 2006

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scene detection is a tool to automatically detect scene changes in pre-recorded video and generate automatic chapter markers for quick navigation.

scene detection is written in Java and relies on a somewhat modified version of Dan O’Sullivan’s vxp library for pixel-level video access.

what can you do with it – chop up your favorite movie and watch it in an entirely new way, analyze the director’s version, see patterns in the movie by way of indexed and abridged scenes without all the “fluff” in between.

grab a copy a Leron’s Crib.

Requiem JumpCut is a good example and can be viewed here:

It’s Jerry Time. November 22, 2006

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Jerry's Time

Not that Jerry or this Jerry. This Jerry.

He’s still going strong. Animations, docucomedy and sage advice for anyone to listen. Great film/animated concepts developed from short stories and anecdotes. I’ts like a mini-thisamericanlife webisode – but don’t hold that against him. Using some nice techniques (camera angles, layering, After Effects 3d cameras, etc) to create some very intriguing animated shorts.


Happy Feet – Previsualization Lecture November 9, 2006

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Shawn Lovette, Previsualization Lecture

North Carolina native Shawn Lovette is visiting the state after working on location in Australia and California to share his experiences of working on the recent blockbuster feature films SUPERMAN RETURNS, HAPPY FEET (Warner Bros. first computer animated feature film) and TALLADEGA NIGHTS (filmed on location in Charlotte, NC).

Shawn’s lecture will be held in the HD Theater at the School of Communication Arts in Raleigh on Saturday, November 18th from 10am – 1pm, and tickets are available to the public. To register, please call 1.800.288.7442 or e-mail Shawn Lovette slovette@higherdigital.com

HD Theater, School of Communication Arts

Saturday, November 18th from 10am – 1pm

Tickets are $45/person, Please register by calling

Lecture | Art of Machinima, The Garage Innovators November 6, 2006

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Hal Meeks makes a great comparison to the early innovators working out of their garage (Apple, HP, Disney, et. al.) to the new animators creating content from non-traditional applications. He may not know that he’s really hinting at is basic “Long Tail” economics theory but I won’t go on about that soap box… (read the book).

So where are we now? Animation/video that is found online can be prolific and viral… A great example is that we have StrongBad coming to market. (more…)

O’Reilly Digital Media 2006 Photoshop Cook-Off July 11, 2006

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2006 Photoshop Cook-Off

The 2006 Photoshop Cook-Off ” contest is open all summer.

This contest is open to anyone and everyone in the United States who shoots photographs and manipulates them with Photoshop. Not only can you win Adobe Creative Suite 2, an Epson Stylus Photo printer, and other cool prizes, but you’ll also quickly expand your knowledge of Photoshop with easy-to-follow recipes from the O’Reilly Photoshop Cookbooks.

Bonus: NO ENTRY FEE. Entries will be judged by eighteen Photoshop experts, including Mikkel Aaland, Bert Monroy, Deke McClelland, and Katrin Eismann, among others.

The deadline for submissions is August 15, 2006. Winners will be nnounced at PhotoPlus Expo in New York on November 2, 2006.

More information can be found here:

PDF brochure can be downloaded here:

Edward Tufte’s Beautiful Evidence June 12, 2006

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Edward Tufte’s new book, Beautiful Evidence, is now available.

Centaurs, Beautiful Evidence