Wednesday, December 29, 2010

True Grit

True Grit [PG-13]

2010, Paramount

Grade: B

(adjustment for Mattie Ross (Hailee Steinfeld): +1;
Jeff Bridges (as U.S. Marshal Rooster Cogburn): +1;
Pacing and somber ending: par (for the Coen Borthers’ directing and screen writing);
Horseback showdown: par;
Makes me want to read the original novel by Charles Portis: +1)

Final Grade: A

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows, Part 1

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows, Part 1 [PG-13]

2010, Warner Brothers

Grade: C

(adjustment for serial installment, if you’ve only seen the previous six films and have not read the books: -1;
Bad guys being bad: -1;
Good guys on the run: par;
The MacGuffins (a.k.a. the Horcruxes, a.k.a. the things everyone is looking for): par;
Screen time for all your favorite characters not named Harry, Hermione or Ron: -1)

Final Grade: D


Unstoppable [PG-13]

2010, 20th Century Fox

Grade: B.

(Adjustment for building tension: par;
How much do I care about these characters, Frank and Will (Denzel Washington and Chris Pine): -2;
Competent workers (Connie played by Rosario Dawson): +1;
Incompetent workers and callous executives: -1;
Things crash and get smashed: par)

Final Grade: C+

Friday, December 17, 2010

Galactic Empire State of Mind

“He’s got 99 problems but a Jedi ain’t one.”

Funny music video mashes up Star Wars and Jay Z
at College Humor:

Smart Objects - Photoshop tricks

You too can enjoy the powerful CONVERT TO SMART OBJECT option in the LAYERS pane in Photoshop®...

Three good reasons:

(1) You can convert a layer (or even better, a folder of layers) into a smart object, and then apply filters (like sharpen) on the result -- this allows you to apply filters/effects to an entire folder of layers... yet you can still double click the smart object and it is still a completely editable folder!

(2) You can convert type to a smart object and therefore the file doesn’t need the font. Double clicking the smart object opens it up as live type (in another window -- and yes... for THAT new window you will need the font to do any editing).

(3) Saving the best for last. You can work completely in RGB (as we know there’s a lot more options and control over color/effects in RGB. When you are happy with the file, put all the layers into a topmost folder (or alternatively just SELECT all the layers), and convert the folder (or the highlighted layers) into a smart object.

“But, Uncle Belt, we need to send it to print in CMYK!"”

Aha! You can then change mode to CMYK. Sadly all the colors will muddy up as typical with CMYK.... (but I’ve come up with a snazzy color profiles trick to “pop” the colors to almost as bright as in the RGB...).

OK, so you’re file is in CMYK for the printer.... but if you double-click the smart object, it will open a new window in RGB! Save it, and it saves the revised back into the main CMYK file...!

Warning: Converting things to smart objects WILL NOT make the file any smaller...

...also handy is RIGHT CLICKING on the smart object layer and doing a NEW SMART OBJECT VIA COPY... very different from simply DUPLICATING the smart object layer.

Tron: Legacy

Disney (2010)

Tron: Legacy [PG]

Grade: B

(Adjustment for Serialization: +1;
Jeff Bridges [Kevin Flynn, CLU]: +1;
Sam Flynn [played by Garrett Hedlund]: -1;
Story pace: -1;
Visual effects: par)
Final Grade: B

(3D: par) - Final 3D Grade: B

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The Only Exception

The Only Exception
Songwriters: Josh Farro, Hayley Williams
Performed by Paramore
From “Brand New Eyes,” 2009

(verse 1)
When I was younger, I saw my daddy cry
And curse at the wind.
He broke his own heart and I watched
As he tried to reassemble it.

And my momma swore that
She would never let herself forget.
And that was the day that I promised
I’d never sing of love if it does not exist.

But darling,

You are the only exception.
You are the only exception.
You are the only exception.
You are the only exception.

(verse 2)
Maybe I know, somewhere deep in my soul
That love never lasts.
And we’ve got to find other ways to make it alone
Or keep a straight face.

And I’ve always lived like this
Keeping a comfortable distance.
And up until now I had sworn to myself that
I’m content with loneliness.
Because none of it was ever worth the risk.


you are the only exception.
You are the only exception.
You are the only exception.
You are the only exception.

I’ve got a tight grip on reality
But I can’t let go of what's in front of me here.
I know you’re leaving in the morning when you wake up
Leave me with some kind of proof, it’s not a dream.

oh, oh, oh...

You are the only exception.
You are the only exception.
You are the only exception.
You are the only exception.

You are the only exception
You are the only exception
You are the only exception
You are the only exception

And I’m on my way to believing.
Oh, and I’m on my way to believing.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Kevin Tong / Mondo: The Blog

Poster by Kevin Tong. 24″x 36″ screen print w/ glow in the dark inks. 
Hand numbered. Edition of 400. 
Printed by D&L Screen Printing.

If you like interesting poster illustrations (like Kevin Tong’s above), check out Mondo: The Blog:

Don Morris

See the Illustrator's work at Alexander Pollard, inc. site:π=10000&s=15&p=8&a=0&at=0

Though of You

Thought of You from Ryan J Woodward on Vimeo.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Caroline Attia

See the artist/designer’s site:

Mid-Century Design Reference

A place to post *anything* illustrated, from the period spanning 1945-1965.

Dumpster Tales by Elwood H. Smith

In Elwood’s new animation, DUMPSTER TALES, he tells the poignant story of a mouse, a ball, and their veggie pals. It’s a little dark, characteristically offbeat, and darned funny. Elwood created the music, too. Take a look. I think you'll enjoy it.

Matthew Albanese

Willow Study 1

First in a series of studies using a handmade willow tree. The tree is made from sewing thread, sticks, wood and hand dyed ostrich plumes. Construction took two months. The grass is made from a mix of preserved and faux potting moss and dip dyed cotton batting.

“My work involves the construction of small-scale meticulously detailed models using various materials and objects to create emotive landscapes. Every aspect from the construction to the lighting of the final model is painstakingly pre-planned using methods which force the viewers perspective when photographed from a specific angle. Using a mixture of photographic techniques such as scale, depth of field, white balance and lighting I am able to drastically alter the appearance of my materials.”

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Garison Weiland

Check out the artist/illustrator’s site:

Shawn Nielsen

Día de los Muertos

Adventures in Potty Training, Parenting Magazine

Zoomily, Denver Zoo

Check out the artist/ illustrator’s site:

Punch n Cuddle

Punch‘n’Cuddle is what you get when you cross a beanbag with a cuddly toy & a punch bag.

Saul Bass

Legendary designer, Saul Bass, talks about art and commerce in this documentary

"I want to make beautiful things, even if nobody cares."