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While i’m in a blogging mood and talking animation, let me share this video with you. It’s a trailer for an upcoming Pixar short, The Blue Umbrella. While you’re watching this, please keep in mind that it is made completely inside a computer. No video footage of the real world here, only computer graphics. Just CG.

Just. Cee. Gee.

Simply incredible. There’s a piece in the Wall Street Journal about the short and its director Saschka Unseld if you want to know a bit more.


Have you seen Paperman, the short that Disney made to partner with feature film Wreck It Ralph? No? Oh, it’s superb. See for yourself…

Fantastic, i’m sure you’ll agree. A fantastic, unique mix of 2D and 3D, hand-drawn frames and CG. Yeah? Yeah. I saw it, enjoyed it and closed the browser tab. Done. It was only after watching the film again with my 4 year old son and him insisting on watching something else that i discovered the video below. It features Paperman’s director, John Kahrs, telling us about the look and style and techniques used. I found it fascinating. The software they’ve created to achieve the Paperman look appears to be incredible.


As you may have noticed, the look of this place has changed. I’ve been meaning to update to a newer, refined version of the SimpleX WordPress theme for ages now but the fact i’d have to find, note and re-do all my little personalisations (read: shitty CSS hacks) has been putting me off. Then i happened across a lovely simple theme that i liked the look of – Elmastudio’s Ari – and decided to “update” to that instead.

Out of the packet, Ari allows for more customisation than SimpleX, which is obviously a big plus, though i’ve still had to have a little dabble in the PHP and CSS files to alter one or two things.

I’ve noticed some pages looking a little odd with the new theme active (related to image positioning, i think), so please do shout up if you spot anything that looks wrong. There’s a prize1 for the person who finds the most faults.

  1. Prize to be entirely verbal. Zero cash value. 

“Today I want to tell you three stories from my life…”

Yesterday i posted a link to a great video of Steve Jobs talking technology. Today, on the 1st anniversary of his death, i’m posting this video of his 2005 Stanford Commencement Address, in which he talks about life.

Yes, you’ve probably seen it before. I don’t care. I think it’s massively (re-)watchable and an inspiring speech. The bit that really resonates with me is towards the end:

… For the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?” And whenever the answer has been “No” for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.

Everytime i watch/hear/read this I wish i had the fucking balls to live by the same sort of rule. And then almost immediately afterwards think, how can i afford not to? (Yet I change nothing. I’m an idiot.)

PS. There’s a beautiful tribute up on today.

“I have opinions on most things, so…”

At the other end of this link is a video. It’s of a man answering some questions from a roomful of computer programmers. It was shot 15 years ago, the video and audio quality is poor and it is over an hour long. Doesn’t sound very appealing, does it?

Thing is, the man in question is Steve Jobs. Steve Jobs giving honest and carefully considered answers (and opinions) to a crowd of the Mac faithful at the 1997 WWDC (shortly before he returned to Apple as CEO). I think it makes for compelling viewing.