Variety’s 2017 10 Animators to Watch: Arthur de Pins

A few weeks ago Variety came out with their Top 10 Animators to Watch in 2017. We were impressed with their selection and wanted to begin profiling the animators along with their work on the blog! First up we have Arthur de Pins, a french animator and cartoonist. 

Arthur de Pins has made several successful shorts, TV pilots, animated commercials, and character designs. His career took off when he began creating comics and became known for his expressive characters and colorful scenes. 

His first comic series was called Péchés Mignons, which followed the love adventures of Arthur and Clara. The graphic novels gained popularity among young adults in France. 

After several years of cartooning, he decided to turn to animation and created his first 5 minute short called The Crab Revolution. A story about a tragedy that affects a species of crabs, and they can't turn back to their colony and need to find a new leader. The short is in black and white, yet still has style. 

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Pins most recent piece of work is Zombillenium, his first feature, which released last month at Cannes. The film was applauded for its impressive animation and design. The Hollywood Reporter noted that the film had "dazzling visuals, a hyper-seamless melding of 3D rendering and 2D design that extracts lines and shadows from the figures but still has an extraordinary fluidity". 

With all his international success, we're not shocked Arthur de Pins was considered one of the top 10 animators to watch in 2017.

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June's Popular Animation Channels!

Happy June! It's time for another installment of Popular YouTube Channels we'd like to showcase! Channels are selected based on their high viewership and subscribers. Lets get to it!

Super Planet Dolan

Daniel James Johnson, aka Planet Dolan is an Australian YouTuber who began his channel in 2014 to animate trivia games which were narrated by animated characters. Once his channel grew in enough popularity he started his own production company called Danger Dolan Pty Ltd -- and even hired actors to narrate his videos!

Subscribers: 1,641,786
Views: 226,648,596

Check out a video of 10 Dolan Life Mysteries About Earth HERE.

Shut Up! Cartoons

Subscribers: 2,012,795
Views: 387,748,826

Shut Up! Cartoons was created by Anthony Padilla, Ian Hecox and Barry Blumberg in 2012. They first launched with a popular do's and don't video, which lead to full on animation series. So far, they've had 18 series on their channel, each lasting 10 episodes.

Check out a video about b(read)heads HERE.

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Egoraptor

Subscribers: 2,644,677
Views: 423,687,060

Egoraptor aka Arin Joseph Hanson is a animator, cartoonist, comedian, voice actor, songwriter, and rapper. When not creating videos for his person animation channel he can be found animating projects for larger companies, including MTV. Hanson's rap career isn't doing to bad either, in 2016 he preformed at SXSW.

Check out a video of from his "awesome series" HERE.

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2017's Most Noteworthy Visual Effects in Film

We tend to focus on animation on our blog, but this week we wanted to pay homage to some of the best visual effects thats been seen in films so far this year.

1. "Blade Runner 2049" (Warner Bros.)

Bladerunner which comes out in October of 2017 is projected to have great visual effects, yet producers tried to use real sets and compositions as much as possible. Director Denis Villeneuve told Screen Daily "I can count on my fingers the amount of times we put a green screen on set. Most of the movie was done on camera, me and [cinematographer] Roger Deakins worked very hard to do it that way."

2. "War for the Planet of the Apes" (20th Century Fox)

Planet of the Apes, which opens in theaters on July 14th used a ton of visual effects to complete the film. VFX producer Ryan Stafford explained to online magazine Collider that snow was the largest hurdle for his team, “Our characters are digital and they’re played by humans so that introduces the very nature of their footfalls are different. They have a different gait. They have crutches instead of hands. So every time the apes are walking in snow, that entire path has to be digitally recreated. We basically erase all the human footfalls and we replace it with ape footfalls. That presents a huge challenge. Just the sheer logistics. Additionally what snow looks like when it’s balled up and icy on the tips of fur is going to be a whole new challenge that has to be applied. Last movie we had a real big breakthrough with wetness on fur and this movie, we’re going to take that ball and run with it. We have tons of wet fur in this movie and then the additive complexity of snow and ice on fur. “ 

3. "Transformers: The Last Knight" (Paramount Pictures)

Transformers is known to go heavy on the special effects, in fact director Michael Bay revealed to online magazine SlashFilm that "the visual effects of the Transformers franchise are so complex that they have broken the computers of Industrial Light & Magic (ILM)." Transformers: The Last Knight is set to release on June 21st.

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4. "Star Wars: The Last Jedi" (Walt Disney Pictures)

Visual effects will be used in Star Wars: The Last Jedi but director Rian Johnson made it clear that the late Carrie Fisher who had already filmed scenes for the film before her death would not be altered. Johnson told SlashFilm “In Rogue One, we created digitally a few characters, one an actor that had actually passed away but had been in an earlier Star Wars film. We’re not doing that with Carrie, although technology gives the ability to do so many different things today.” Star Wars: The Last Jedi comes out in December of this year. 

5. "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2" (Marvel Studios)

Guardians of the Galaxy's visual effects was largely used to create avatars.  VFX supervisor Guy Williams explained at a VFX conference the thoughts that went behind blowing up an avatar telling the panel “At one point, we had to blow away a large portion of his face, and we were worried about ratings,” he continued. “We needed a solution that was visually compelling but not too gory. We relied heavily on fractals [and used math to create the look] to make the destruction areas not look very biological, because we could get away with it as long as it doesn’t look like a human. We removed parts of him and then had them grow back.”

Source: User generated Awardscircuit.com

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Summer 2017's Animation Blockbusters

Summer has unofficially kicked off! You know what that means...it's the time for summer blockbusters! We wanted to take a dive into which anticipated animated films will be releasing this summer.

Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie (Fox, DreamWorks)
June 2

Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie is based on the children's novel series of the same name by Dav Pilkey. The film follows two elementary school kids who hypnotize their teacher into thinking he's captain underpants! Stars that will be voicing characters in the film are Ed Helms, Kevin Hart, Thomas Middleditch, Nick Kroll, with Jordan Peele.

Cars 3 (Disney, Pixar)
June 16

The 3rd installment in the Cars franchise follows the life of race cars who have to endure life after a car crash. The voice over cast includes Owen Wilson, Larry the Cable Guy, Cristela Alonzo, and Armie Hammer. 

Despicable Me 3 (Universal, Illumination)
June 30

Steve Carrell is back in Despicable Me as Felonious Gru, the former villain-turned Anti-Villain League agent. During this film we find Gru feuding against a former child star and his long lost upbeat brother. Joining Carrell in the cast is Kristen Wiig, Trey Parker, Miranda Cosgrove, and Julie Andrews. 

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The Emoji Movie (Columbia, Sony)
Aug 4th

The much anticipated Emoji film will follow the life of an emoji that is capable of expressing more than one emotion. He is determined to become normal, so with the help of his emoji friends, he sets out to become one-emotional in his town of Textopolis! The films voiceover cast includes James Corden, Maya Rudolph, Christina Aguilera, Anna Faris, and Patrick Stewart. 

The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature (Open Road, Gulfstream, Red Rover, ToonBox)
August 11

The Nut Job 2 follows park animals that must come together to prevent their mayor from bulldozing their park. The star studed cast includes of the voices of Will Arnett, Maya Rudolph, Bobby Moynihan, Jeff Dunham, Gabriel Iglesias, Jackie Chan, and Katherine Heigl. 

Leap! (Weinstein, L’Atelier)
September 1

Leap follows an 11 year old Parisian orphan, Félicie and her imaginary friend Victor. Félicie dreams of becoming a dancer while Victor has goals to become an inventor. During the film, you see the children take leap of faith in order to follow their passions. The animated film features voices of Maddie Ziegler, Mel Brooks and Carly Rae Jepson.

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Which are you most excited to see?

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May Animation News Round Up!

Time to catch you up on the top animation news thats been going on this month! 

Deadpool to be turned in to TV series

The mega popular film Deadpool is officially going to be turned into a tv series with FXX. The series is meant for adults and will feature Donald Glover. 10 episodes have been ordered and are set to air in 2018.

Read more HERE.

Daytime Emmy Animation Winners

Netflix's Trollhunters and Amazon's Lost in Oz shows won big at this years Daytime Emmys. Both shows feature kids on journeys in fantasy worlds, both series have also been applauded for its humor.

Read more HERE.

Lin Manuel Miranda joins Ducktales Cast

Does Lin Manuel Miranda ever sleep? The Actor/Playwright/Composer/Rapper has just signed on to join the voice cast of Disney XD's upcoming "DuckTales" series. Miranda will be lending his voice for Ducktale character Gizmoduck.

Read more HERE.

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Variety's Top 10 animators To Watch Announced

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Variety has officially unveiled their top 10 animators to watch this month. Honorees included "Zombillenium director Arthur de Pins, Pinky Malinky supervising director Megan Nicole Dong, Loving Vincent director Dorota Kobiela, stop-motion animator and Hi Stranger director Kirsten Lepore, Disney animator Kira Lehtomaki, who is currently serving as co-head of animation on Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck-It Ralph 2, Dave Mullins, the director of Pixar short Lou, British animator Julia Pott, who is the creator of Cartoon Network Studios’ forthcoming Summer Camp Island,  Carlos Puertolas, the animation director of DreamWorks Animation’s The Boss Baby, DuckTales animator and director Dana Terrace, and Cartoon Saloon’s Nora Twomey, who is currently directing The Breadwinner." Congratulations to all the winners!

Read more HERE.

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Did you know we have both a quarterly newsletter which gives you insight to all Eric Miller Animation business updates as well as this weekly Friday blog that keeps you up to date on our company as well as other industry happenings? Don't miss out on either!

Subscribe HERE.

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May Showcase of Popular Animation YouTube Channels

It's time for another installment of Popular YouTube Channels we'd like to showcase! Channels are selected based on their high viewership and subscribers. Lets get to it!

Planet Dolan

This Australian based YouTubeAnimation channel was started in 2012 by Daniel James Johnson. His channel focuses on "Top ____" list style videos, countdown videos, Q&A videos, and gaming videos. His channel is loved by many which is why he has accumulated over 800 pieces of fan art from fans in the past several years.

Subscribers: 5,367,838
Views: 1,301,350,498

Check out a video about cheating on tests HERE.

BlackSen

Jordan, the Detroit based animator behind BlackSen, began his channel in 2006. His videos are typically commentaries and parodies on his every day observances. His most popular video "My First Fangirling Fangirl" went viral and garnered over 1 million views in record time. 

Subscribers: 234,874
Views: 11,629,120

Check out his viral fan-girl video HERE.

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Element Animation

 

Element Animation, run by Dan Lloyd and a few other animators in the UK, consists of 2-5 minute comedy animations mostly based on Minecraft. After the channel gained success and earned over million's of views, they created a series called "The Crack" and a second channel known as “Element Shorts”, where they create even shorter shorts - some only 14 seconds!

Subscribers:2,186,014
Views: 524,471,348

Check out an episode from The Crack HERE.

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5 Animation Series that have been Greenlit

During this late spring season we begin to see shows either be canceled, renewed, or approved for further production. We wanted to highlight several shows that have been greenlit by the studios. Which of these shows are you most excited to tune into? 

Netflix's Carmen Sandiego

Carmen Sandiego has officially been greenlit by Netflix. The series, which is set to release in 2019, which will feature Jane the Virgin's Gina Rodriguez as Carmen and Stranger Thing's Finn Wolfhard as Carmen's Friend. The show will not only follow Carmen's international escapades, but will also take a deeper look into her past. 

carmen sandiego + eric miller

Adult Swim's Apollo Gauntlet

Apollo Gauntlet, follows a superhero who fights evil in a futuristic feudal society. The pilot was first showed on Adult Swim's website in August 2016 along with several other pilots which viewers were able to rate and review. Apparently the reviews went well because the show has now been greenlit and is set to relase in the fall.  

Cartoon Network's Apple & Onion

Apple & Onion follows an apple and an onion's adventures in a city filled with other living food. The show was first shown as a mini series on Cartoon Network's YouTube channel last May. The show has been applauded for its humor and unique art style. 

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Cartoon Network's OK K.O.! Let’s Be Heroes

OK K.O.! Let's Be Heroes follows K.O an "endlessly optimistic kid attempting to level up to be the best he can be in a dynamic universe of friends and challenging foes". Not only was the series ordered by Cartoon Network, but video game studio Capybara Games has also begin developing a game based on the series! 

Cartoon Network's Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs

Based on the popular children's book and film series Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, the series is a prequel, showing the high school years of Flint Lockwood, a budding scientist that is set to change the world one invention at a time. The pilot, which aired on Mar. 6th received positive feedback leading the network to greenlight the series. Cartoon Network first released the pilot to audiences using their app. 

Which of these shows will you be tuning into?

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Daytime Emmy Animation Winners!

The Daytime Emmy's were this past Sunday in Pasadena. There were over 20 Animation winners but we wanted to highlight the 2 big animation winners of the night, Netflix's Trollhunters and Amazon's Lost in Oz

trollhunters

Netflix's Trollhunters (co produced by Dreamworks Animation & Double Dare You) won 4 Emmy's including, Outstanding Performer in an Animated Program, Outstanding Casting for an Animated Series or Special, Outstanding Writing in an Animated Program, and Outstanding Directing in An Animated Program. Created by acclaimed filmmaker Guillermo del Toro, the show is set in the fictional town of Arcadia, where Trolls live and follows a teenage boy who find a magical amour suit which has him defending the Troll city from predators. The show has been recognized for its humor, developed characters, and realistic adaptation of teenagers.

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Amazon's Lost in Oz, another fan favorite, won an Emmy for Outstanding Children's Animated Program, Outstanding Sound Mixing and Outstanding Sound Editing. The Lost in Oz series, inspired by Tim Burton's 2002 Lost in Oz and L. Frank Baum's Lost in Oz. The show folllows 12 year old Dorothy and her friends in a modern day Emerald City. Lost in Oz has been applauded for having a strong female lead and a great combination of magic, adventure and mystery.

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Listed below are all the Daytime Emmy Animation Category Winners:

OUTSTANDING PRE-SCHOOL CHILDREN’S SERIES
WINNER: Sesame Street | HBO

OUTSTANDING CHILDREN’S OR FAMILY VIEWING SERIES
WINNER: Give | NBC

OUTSTANDING PRE-SCHOOL CHILDREN’S ANIMATED PROGRAM
WINNER: The Snowy Day | Amazon

OUTSTANDING CHILDREN’S ANIMATED PROGRAM
WINNER: Lost in Oz: Extended Adventure | Amazon

OUTSTANDING SPECIAL CLASS ANIMATED PROGRAM
WINNER: Taking Flight | www.takingflightfilm.com

OUTSTANDING INTERACTIVE-ENHANCEMENT TO A DAYTIME PROGRAM OR SERIES
Ask the StoryBots – Companion App and StoryBots Classroom | Netflix

OUTSTANDING INTERACTIVE MEDIA – ORIGINAL DAYTIME CONTENT
WINNER: Invasion!

OUTSTANDING PERFORMER IN AN ANIMATED PROGRAM
WINNER: Kelsey Grammer, as Blinky
Trollhunters | Netflix/Dreamworks Animation

OUTSTANDING CASTING FOR AN ANIMATED SERIES OR SPECIAL
WINNER: Trollhunters | Netflix/Dreamworks Animation

OUTSTANDING WRITING IN A PRESCHOOL ANIMATED PROGRAM
WINNER: Beat Bugs | Netflix

OUTSTANDING WRITING IN AN ANIMATED PROGRAM
WINNER: Trollhunters | Netflix/Dreamworks Animation

OUTSTANDING DIRECTING IN AN ANIMATED PROGRAM
WINNER: Trollhunters | Netflix/Dreamworks Animation

OUTSTANDING DIRECTING IN A PRESCHOOL ANIMATED PROGRAM
WINNER: Tumble Leaf | Amazon

OUTSTANDING MAIN TITLE AND GRAPHIC DESIGN
WINNER: The Mind of a Chef | PBS

OUTSTANDING SOUND MIXING – ANIMATION
WINNER: Lost in Oz: Extended Adventure | Amazon

OUTSTANDING SOUND MIXING – PRESCHOOL ANIMATED PROGRAM
WINNER: Sofia the First | Disney Junior

OUTSTANDING SOUND EDITING – ANIMATION
WINNER: Lost in Oz: Extended Adventure | Amazon

OUTSTANDING SOUND EDITING – PRESCHOOL ANIMATED PROGRAM
WINNER: Dinotrux | Netflix/Dreamworks Animation

OUTSTANDING MUSIC DIRECTION AND COMPOSITION
WINNER: The Snowy Day | Amazon

OUTSTANDING ORIGINAL SONG
WINNER: “She’s Not Very Nice” Disney 7D | Disney XD
 

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April Animation News Round Up!

Can you believe April is almost already over? You know what that means, another monthly round up of Animation News. Let's get to it!

1. Oscar Rule Changes could Impact Best Animated Feature Category

The Academy has announced that they will now include more academy members to take part in choosing the best animated nominees. Many fear that this could mean it would be harder and more expensive for indie animated films to compete with the larger studio animated features.  Eric Beckman, GKIDS founder/CEO, tells The Hollywood Reporter."I don’t see this rule change as dramatic, but it might be harder and more expensive for a smaller film to get attention,".

Read more HERE.

2. Frozen 2 is Announced

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Disney announced that Frozen 2 would be released in November 2019. The original frozen, which earned more than $1.2 Billion at the box office, making it one of the highest grossing animated films. Idina Menzel and Kristin Bell who were cast as the lead heroines in Frozen are both signed on for the sequel.

Read more HERE.

3. Disney Producers claim to be left out of $100 Million Settlement

Two producers at Disney are claiming that they were not paid out in the $100 million dollar settlement Disney agreed to pay in January. The original lawsuit claimed that Disney conspired with its competitors to suppress animators’ wages.

Read more HERE.

4. Carmen Sandiego to stream on Netflix

Netflix has announced that Carmen Sandiego will be coming to the small screens in 2019. The Animated Series will feature Gina Rodriguez as the voice of Carmen.

Read more HERE.

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5. Island Zero Continues its Film Festival Tour

We are extremely excited and proud that a film we did VFX work on will be screening at its second film festival this weekend. It premiered at the Boston International Film Festival a few weeks ago, and will be screening at Emerge Film Festival this weekend in Maine!

Learn more about Island Zero HERE.

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April Showcase of Popular Animation Channels on YouTube

It's time for another installment of Popular YouTube Channels we'd like to showcase! Channels are selected based on their high viewership and subscribers. Lets get to it!

Smashbits Animation

Views: 33,763,411
Subscribers: 409,006

Smashbits started in 2013 by Smashbits Studios, they concentrate on video-game animations. The channel has 9 animators creating the show -- they say 11 minutes of content takes 200 man hours to create! They are known for their parodies, including mostly Sonic parodies. 

Watch a Sonic Parody HERE

EroldStory

Views:12,062,507
Subscribers: 202,104

Kris AKA Erstory is an artist and animator who is known for sharing personal stories via his channel. Even his parents have been featured in his videos. His subscribe # is high considering he only started YouTubing in 2016! He's already collaborated with tons of animation YouTuber's, including JaidenAnimations.

Check out a video describing his college crush HERE.

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Brandon Turner

Views: 52,746,306
Subscribes: 185,988

Brandon Turner, who started his channel in 2013, is based in the UK. Brandon is most well known for creating animations for the  popular YouTube channel's Eddsworld and Game Grumps. Contrary to many other animation channels, his animations do not include himself. 

Watch a quick animation of Brandon going through the drive-thru HERE.

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