26 October 2015

Movie magic - the story of special effects in the cinema

John Brosnan 1974

This is less a review of a book and more a remembrance of my youth. I recently had an overpowering desire to read this book again. My original was lost in a flood eons ago and I thought I had forgotten about it...but I found myself frantically searching Amazon and buying the hard cover without a second thought.

I have absolutely no regrets. It is rare when something so influential from your youth not only holds up, but surpasses your expectations coloured by decades of fond memories. In many ways this book cemented my desire to work in visual effects for movies. I, like many kids was fascinated by monsters and spaceships, but unlike many kids I wanted to know how they were made and do it myself. This book is still inspiring despite or possibly because of the now out of date descriptions of how special effects were done back in the days before Star Wars and digital techniques changed forever how films were made.

Written well before the digital age, the histories and interviews seem much more authentic than something written today. After all, the people who invented film magic were still around to talk about the early days of the art and scale models, puppets and hand done matte paintings were still state of the art when this was published. Brosnan does more than just explain techniques but gives the context and personal stories around how all the classic and not so classic miracles of the silver screen came to be.

Reading this book has inspired and encouraged me all over again to keep pushing my craft and reminding me that while some things may be easier, sometimes the old ways were best or at the  very least, retain their charm and power to this day in a way modern effects are somewhat less able to accomplish.

Erich Zann with narration

So this is the final version. Thanks to Mike Luce who took the time and effort to narrate the film which allowed me to replace the titles cards which were not exactly loved by everyone.

Music of Erich Zann (final) from Vincent-louis Apruzzese on Vimeo.

15 October 2015

Trapeze artists drawing

I am still not 100% happy drawing in photoshop for my black and white illustrations. I bought Kyle's brush set and that has helped a lot but the water colour like backgroundsI easily get in Sketchbook is still somewhat out of reach. It's nice but not exactly what I am looking for so I'll need to do a lot more experimenting. Of course the best scenario would be a person of sketchbook available from the App Store without rapid you every month for cash like Adobe and a few others are doing. There was just an update to pixelate and Affinity photo is getting close so maybe I won't need either one day.

14 October 2015

Health Information videos with Christopher Labos

I was asked to help out with some health videos for Moutons No More and Doctor Christopher labor at McGill University. The illustrations of people are for the most from the graphics department at McGill and the less than stellar ones are by me but we might be getting more help in that regard soon. I combined 3D and 2D motion graphics to try and get a fast moving animation based on the narration.
One thing I am not is a cartoonist, no matter how hard I try!

05 October 2015

animation: " Music of Erich Zann"

Finally done after 5 years. This was a challenging personal project as I am not great at modelling characters like humans etc. I kept trying and changing and adapting from pre-made characters but finally got to the point where it was accept what I have now or NEVER do it. I changed the street a hundred times as well choosing to go with a more based on the story description version than what I had in my head and I think it was  a good choice. The sets are much more complicated and realized than in previous solo projects and this time I am really telling a complicated story and trying to get more subtle emotions into the characters. Plus little horror I hope.

The street set from above:

The final street:

Early Zann concept:

Early street concept: