Lit­tle Bas­tards Con­cept Rokyn An­i­ma­tion (Spain)

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The project is quite far along in devel­op­ment of vi­su­als, sto­ry­line and tone, as well as hav­ing tech­ni­cal and pro­duc­tion de­sign in place for the fea­ture. Curro Velazquez is cur­rently work­ing on the first draft of the script. Rokyn is in con­ver­sa­tion with a Span­ish the­atri­cal dis­trib­u­tor and with a pos­si­ble Span­ish co-pro­ducer. It is seek­ing a Euro­pean co-pro­ducer who could come in with some fund­ing and could also come on board with an ex­pe­ri­enced 2D an­i­ma­tion stu­dio or team. Based on their track record, Ir­ish part­ners would be ideal.

As with Maya 2016, Max re­ceived quite a list of devel­op­ment love from Au­todesk, but by far, the most ex­cit­ing tool that eclipses all oth­ers is the Max Cre­ation Graph.

Since Max 2016’s re­lease, Maya users have been clam­or­ing, “Where’s mine!?!” and Hou­dini users have been say­ing, “Wel­come to the party!” You see, as much as Max has been open to third-party de­vel­op­ers, the devel­op­ment still re­quired that skillset com­monly known as “cod­ing.” Even with MaxScript, it re­quired some un­der­stand­ing of pro­gram­ming.

With MCG, users can cre­ate cus­tom mod­i­fiers and such in a vis­ual way that is sim­i­lar to build­ing shaders in the Ma­te­rial Edi­tor. Those Max users familiar with Ce­bas’ Think­ing Par­ti­cles or Thinkbox’s Magma sys­tem used within Kraka­toa and Stoke will feel per­fectly at home within MCG.

So, in very loose terms, MCG al­lows you to fit func­tion nodes to­gether to gen­er­ate very spe­cific re­sults. Let’s say, as an ex­am­ple, you would like a tool that can dy­nam­i­cally weld ver­tices to­gether based on a dis­tance thresh­old be­tween verts — which you could do in an EditMesh mod­i­fier, but you don’t want the over­head of a full EditMesh. So you can take a pa­ram­e­ter node hold­ing a num­ber, feed it into a Weld Node like you would a map into a ma­te­rial chan­nel. You then feed a mesh type into an­other slot. And then a mesh out­put.

That could have been done as a MaxScript, you might say. And you’d be right.

But now you can pub­lish your MCG tool as a mod­i­fier, with a lit­tle slider for your thresh­old value, and share it with your fel­low artists.

This is an in­cred­i­bly sim­plis­tic ex­am­ple, but be­lieve me, there are al­ready amaz­ing tools be­ing pub­lished and shared in the Max com­mu­nity. Just do a search on “MCG Max 2016” and fil­ter to videos. Even upon re­lease a Su­perPack of 30 MCG scripts was dropped to give users a chance to get used to this new sys­tem.

Sure, there are other fea­tures in Max 2016 that will make our lives eas­ier: Text Tool stuff, Voxel and Heatmap skin­ning for rig­gers, a cam­era se­quencer for edit­ing a se­quence “in-cam­era,” new cam­era pa­ram­e­ters to make it be­have more like a phys­i­cal cam­era (with the help of Chaos). But noth­ing is a game-changer like Max Cre­ation Graph.

Time-travel sto­ries are no­to­ri­ously dif­fi­cult to present be­cause of the so-called “grand­fa­ther para­dox”: A char­ac­ter who vis­its the past may some­how in­ter­act with an an­ces­tor in a way that would pre­vent his be­ing born. The off­beat sci-fi ad­ven­ture Steins;Gate suc­ceeds where many big-bud­get and live-ac­tion sagas have failed. The se­ries is based on an Xbox game, which was adapted to a light novel, a manga, a ra­dio play and a board game, so the artists had plenty of time to work out the bugs.

When col­lege stu­dent and self-pro­claimed mad scientist Rin­tarou Ok­abe an­nounces, “Work­ing hy­poth­e­sis: Re­al­ity and my brain are at odds,” he’s of­fer­ing a rare un­der­state­ment. Ok­abe seeks ex­pe­ri­ences that go be­yond the bound­aries of nor­mal life — and un­wit­tingly finds them. He’s con­vinced that the re­searchers at SERN (a vari­a­tion of CERN, the sci­en­tific body that op­er­ates the Large Hadron Col­lider) are out to get him. He de­nounces their ef­forts at per­se­cu­tion into his cell phone — when it’s not turned on. But Ok­abe is no lu­natic.

He sets up the Fu­ture Gad­get Lab in a clut­tered apart­ment over a com­puter re­pair shop and re­cruits an off-beat group of mis­fits to aid in his ex­per­i­ments: smil­ing cos­play ex­pert Mayuri, Amer­i­can-ed­u­cated ge­nius Makise, über­hacker-cum-nerd “Daru” Hashida, techno-war­rior Suzuha, trans­gen­dered Ruka and Moeka, who never speaks when she can text. Some­how, a jerry-rigged com­bi­na­tion of an an­cient mi­crowave, a cell phone and other elec­tronic junk en­ables the lab mem­bers to send text mes­sages back in time. The tar­get phone re­ceives them days be­fore they’re sent. Some of these mes­sages change the past in ways that al­ter the present, but only slightly. And no one re­mem­bers how things were pre­vi­ously — ex­cept Ok­abe. Alarmed at what his Ed­sel of a time ma­chine has wrought, Ok­abe makes con­tact with John Ti­tor.

(Back­story note for non-nerds: Be­tween

White and How it In­flu­enced the Look of Some of Your Fa­vorite Dis­ney Char­ac­ters; The Fairest Facts of Them All: Dis­ney Chan­nel Star Sofia Carson Re­veals Seven In­trigu­ing Facts About Snow White, and Al­ter­nate Se­quence — Never-Be­fore- Seen Sto­ry­board Se­quence Where the Prince Meets Snow White. an­i­ma­tion su­per­vi­sor Steven Markowski, The Mak­ing of The Iron Giant – hosted by Vin Diesel and fea­tur­ing in­ter­views with the cast and crew, deleted scenes, orig­i­nal open­ing se­quences and fea­turettes that give you an inside look into the score, char­ac­ter de­sign, sto­ry­boards and an­i­ma­tion, mo­tion gallery, and the new sig­na­ture edi­tion trailer.

(Re­lease date: Feb. 16) the Cir­cle of Life. Though dig­i­tal HD is not in­cluded, the disc does fea­ture a daz­zling se­lec­tion of sub­ti­tles – English, French and Span­ish. There’s also a mu­sic video of Beau Black per­form­ing the sin­gle, “Here Comes the Lion Guard.”

(Re­lease date: Feb. 23)

not talk­ing fruc­tose-y fake sweet, I’m talk­ing “real.” If a char­ac­ter gen­uinely loves, has pas­sion, be­lieves and has some kind of hope, he, she or it can’t help but be like­able on some level. And au­di­ences are wildly at­tracted to that qual­ity — es­pe­cially when their hero has to strug­gle to main­tain sweet­ness in the face of his own comedic in­ept­ness.

Heroes are “good” guys or gals … or ham­sters, or shell­fish. They are not pranksters. They are not lazy. They are not mean (un­less you’re do­ing some sort of par­ody on heroes). Sure, sure, the wiseacre Bugs Bunny is ar­ro­gant, even down­right nasty, but Bugs’ sav­ing grace is charm.

Un­for­tu­nately, in today’s en­ter­tain­ment mar­ket, charm isn’t enough. Great hero char­ac­ters need to ooze a kind of awe­some­ness I like to de­scribe as “best friends mak­ing a fort.” Your hero should have the kind of per­son­al­ity that feels like it did when you and your best friend made a fort in your liv­ing room. You know, when time just sort of dis­solved and you made up se­cret codes, talked in burps and laughed un­til your sides split? That mag­i­cal feel­ing of friend­ship cre­ated by the unique­ness of a char­ac­ter’s per­son­al­ity is com­edy hero gold.

Side­kicks, on the other hand, can be a to­tal mess. Side­kicks can be pranksters. Side­kicks can be lazy. Side­kicks can do awk­ward things and come up with awk­ward so­lu­tions to prob­lems that don’t need solv­ing. Now, don’t get me wrong, your hero needs to in­sti­gate the main through-line of may­hem in your episodes by be­ing overly zeal­ous or by ig­nor­ing small de­tails, but the side­kick can al­ways up the ante, mak­ing your hero’s situation all the more im­pos­si­ble to solve.

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