Animation Magazine - - Editor’s Letter - Tom McLean Ed­i­tor tom@an­i­ma­tion­magazine.net

The an­i­ma­tion and vis­ual ef­fects world is pre­par­ing to get its tech on as SIGGRAPH 2014 con­venes in lovely Van­cou­ver from Aug. 8-10. We’re try­ing some­thing dif­fer­ent this year with our cov­er­age — boil­ing it down to the most es­sen­tial info animators and ef­fects folks need to make the most of this awe­some show. We also, of course, look at the show’s long-run­ning Com­puter An­i­ma­tion Fes­ti­val and can as­sure you that the win­ning films — and pretty much any­thing else in the fes­ti­val — are well worth check­ing out.

We take a look this is­sue at Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, which has turned out to be one of the most en­dur­ing fran­chises of the last 30 years. I re­mem­ber when it was a gritty, black-and-white comic book that in­spired fans to shell out big bucks for the rare early is­sues. But TMNT re­ally came into its own with an­i­ma­tion, where it was able to reach a broad, en­thu­si­as­tic and young au­di­ence. Now, the Turtles are back in a big-bud­get fea­ture film with all the lat­est and great­est tech brought to bear on bring­ing Donatello, Leonardo, Raphael and Michelan­gelo to the big screen. Stay­ing true to the blend of ac­tion and com­edy that made the Turtles great required ILM to step up its game, as you’ll see in our cover story on page 10. We also have a look back with Turtles cocre­ator Kevin East­man, a long­time friend of An­i­ma­tion Mag­a­zine we’re glad to wel­come back to our pages.

The his­tory of an­i­ma­tion is some­thing that takes sur­pris­ing turns, as renowned USC an­i­ma­tion ex­pert Tom Sito dis­cov­ered in his re­search into the mys­te­ri­ous Boris V. Morkovin. Sito un­cov­ers a hid­den gem of a story about “Dr. M.,” who pi­o­neered teach­ing an­i­ma­tion at the univer­sity level, be­came friends with Walt Dis­ney him­self and even lec­tured animators at the then-young stu­dio on their craft.

The TV an­i­ma­tion front is a mix of the old and the new this month. We chat with Grav­ity Falls cre­ator Alex Hirsch about the show’s long-awaited sec­ond sea­son, preview a new take on an old fa­vorite in Dora and Friends: Into the City, and then go into new ter­ri­tory with a look at BoJack Horse­man, the first orig­i­nal an­i­mated se­ries from Net­flix.

Lastly, we’ve got the scoop on the vis­ual ef­fects be­hind the most-re­cent Marvel Stu­dios ex­trav­a­ganza, Guardians of the Galaxy. I’ve long had a soft spot for Rocket Rac­coon, one of the weirder char­ac­ters to ever come out of Marvel Comics. We also dig into some in­ter­est­ing new tech and then swing by Gotham City as Bat­man in­tro­duces the Sui­cide Squad in Bat­man: As­sault on Arkham.

All in all, not a bad way to play out the sum­mer. Stay cool!

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