Tuesday, March 17, 2015

'Primordial' - an Otherworldly Animation

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'Primordial' - an Otherworldly Animation.

Primordial from PeterClark on Vimeo.

'Primordial.' This is a pretty trippy video in more ways than one. Imagine you are an interstellar visitor just minding your own business, and you crash into a deserted planet and - well, things happen. Lots of things! Psychedelic things! And with an interesting end result.

It is not the result that you watch for with a video like this, but the journey. Turn the lights low, have some wine, put it on full screen, and just relax. It will be fine. Quite fine.

According to the artists:
The core of a dark planetoid hosts a primordial soup of microscopic life. Within the neural pathways of these organic compounds, intelligence is born from the primitive drive for survival. Each stage of Primordial has been designed and animated by separate artists and sequentially stitched together as one evolving timeline.
Animation: Jason Kerr / Chris Bjerre / Peter Clark
Title Design: Peter Clark / Wendie Ing
Title Cinematography: Joe Picard
Sound Design: Peter Clark
Vocals: Haley Varacallo


Friday, March 13, 2015

Frozen 2 is On its Way!

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Disney Animation's official tweet announcing "Frozen 2."
Those who are truly captives of the Disney universe surely know that the annual shareholders meeting is held every year in March. Far from a sleepy little confab of wizened old men, it is a big celebration at which news of value to people far and is released. This year, the news was even more exciting than usual.

Well, what do you know, it's March 2015.

Bob Iger, who runs Disney, made the announcement at the meeting that 'Frozen Fever,' an animated short featuring the 'Frozen' characters, debuts in theaters on 13 March 2015 as the lead-in to the new live-action 'Cinderella.' Yes, 'Frozen' and 'Cinderella' on one bill. That, my friends, is known as synergy.

Of more long-term importance, "Frozen 2," a sequel to the 2013 'Frozen,' also is on the way. There is no word on when that will be released. I will make a prediction right now, on 12 March 2015 - with no word from the studio itself - that 'Frozen 2' will be released on 7/8 November 2017. At midnight. Unless they run into production difficulties.

You heard it here first.

There also was news about Disney's new Star Wars franchise - and arriving at the same time as 'Frozen' news is probably the only time a new 'Star Wars' film ever comes in second. After the seventh core film is released this December, the follow-up, Star Wars: Episode VIII will come out on May 26, 2017. Episode VIII will be written and directed by Rian Johnson (Brick, The Brothers Bloom, Looper). The spin-off is called 'Rogue One' and stars Felicity Jones.


Monday, March 2, 2015

Global Rainfall and Snowfall Animation from NASA

Global Rainfall and Snowfall Animation from NASA.

I love entertainment animations, but I also love science ones that expand your mind and your horizons.

This is a cutting edge animation from NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center which uses data from the Global Precipitation Measurement Mission to illustrate rainfall and snowfall patterns around the globe. It depicts the period from April to September 2014. The animation covers the 87 percent of the Earth that falls between 60 degrees north and 60 degrees south latitude, as updated every half hour during that time - so, for all intents and purposes in an animation of this length, it is continuous.

The narration during the animation explains everything very succinctly.

The GPM Core Observatory (as it is called) was launched on 27 February 2014. It is a collaboration with the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency. It is an active project, updated every half hour, that allows scientists to observe almost in real-time precipitation events around the world. It is composed of a string of 12 satellites ("IMERG") that funnel data to the central collection point at Goddard.

If you think that precipitation is unimportant or tedious to consider, you probably don't live in California. NASA itself puts it this way:
Falling rain and snow are essential parts of Earth’s water cycle, which moves water and heat energy around Earth. Near the equator where the sun’s heat drives evaporation that keeps the air moist, rain systems move westward in a steady stream. At higher latitudes, which have not previously been observed in 3-D with high-resolution precipitation sensors, enormous storm fronts march eastward across North America and Europe in the Northern Hemisphere, and across the Southern Ocean that surrounds Antarctica.
As a bonus from 2010, below is an animation that shows global air circulation as simulated by the Community Climate System Model (CCSM) and the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR). The simulation spans one calendar year, and it consists of hourly data. Cloud cover appears whitish with areas of precipitation shown in orange.

Thanks for watching it.