Tag Archives: animation

Facebook hires a Pixar Illustrator to re-imagine the emoticon


Emoticons have been around ever since the world wide web became fairly prominent in our daily lives. There are thousands of different variations, designs, animals, really any type you can imagine. Facebook, however, thinks that they can do better. They recently hired famed Pixar illustrator Matt Jones to re-invent the emoticon all together.

“Facebook was canny enough to realize that traditional emoticons are quite bland,” says Jones. “At Pixar we consider emotional states every day with every drawing we make. Our work is informed by the years of study we do, constantly studying people’s gestures and expressions in real life.” (To be clear, it isn’t an official collaboration between Pixar and Facebook. Jones is working independently.)

Jones was studying facial expressions for his work on a new film by Pete Docter (director of Up and Monsters, Inc.), which takes place in the mind of a young girl coming of age. The film, referred to as The Untitled Pixar Movie That Takes You Inside the Mind, is set for release in June 2015. Pixar is famous for bringing to life inanimate, and even mundane, objects: lamps, cars, a hockey puck. This film required an extra level of emotional detail. A young girl’s mental state is a complicated thing.

Docter brought in psychologist Paul Ekman, a pioneer in the research of facial expressions, as a consultant on micro-emotions, the small mini expressions that happen between more major ones. (You may have heard of Ekman as John Cleese’s collaborator on the BBC series, The Human Face.) At the same time, Ekman’s protégé, Dacher Keltner, codirector of University of California-Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Program, was starting work with Facebook to improve their emoticons. When Keltner heard about the project at Pixar, he approached the company. That’s how he found Jones.

Keltner started off by giving Jones some of the classic universal emotions (anger, disgust, fear, happiness, sadness, and surprise) to translate into emoticon-style drawings. He loved what he saw — and decided to up the ante. He handed over Charles Darwin’s The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals, which Darwin published 13 years after On the Origin of Species. The book explores similarities between human and animal facial movements, in support of Darwin’s theory that humans and animals have a common ancestor. It became one of the seminal works on the facial emotive expressions.

Read more here

Tagged , , , , , , ,

Website of the day: Monsters University (prequel to Monsters Inc)

Website of the day: Monsters University In preparation for the upcoming Monsters University movie, Pixar has put up a pretty detailed fake website for said university of monsterdom. Link

In preparation for the upcoming Monsters University movie, Pixar has put up an extremely detailed fake website for said university of monsterdom. The detail and hilarity of this website only makes me more and more excited for this incredible movie.
See the site HERE and watch the first trailer for “Monsters University” and Pixar’s entire lineup of coming films HERE.

Tagged , , , , , ,

Animated short of the week: One Day

A beautifully animated short about a man with a house that teleports to a new location everyday.

Tagged , , , ,

Mediocre Cartoon of the week

Tagged , ,

The next 12 years are… insignificant. The Eagleman Stag

A gorgeous and wonderful animated short about the acceleration of time:

Peter’s life has been spent in both fascination and fear of his quickening perception of time with age. As he nears the end of his days, his interest turns to obsession and he undertakes progressively extreme measures to control and counter times increasing pace. Peter also discovers that if you repeat the word ‘fly’ for long enough it sounds like you’re saying ‘life’. This is of no real help to him. His answers lie in the brain of a beetle.

Tagged , , , , , ,

Watch the first full episode of Disney’s ‘Tron Uprising’ animated series right now

Disney recently put the first episode of their brand new animated series ‘Tron Uprising’ on YouTube for now, so give it a peek. This first episode is called “Beck’s Beginning”, about a program named Beck who has aspirations of becoming the next Tron.

Tron Uprising premieres on Disney XD June 7 at 9pm EST.

Tagged , , , , , ,

Sharks must have great moms

Dana Terrace is a third-year animation student at the School of Visual Arts, and probably has tons of stories to tell. Kickball, about two new friends meeting after a quick dust-up, is a really sweet beginning.


Tagged , , , , ,
%d bloggers like this: