A Boy And His Atom: The World's Smallest Movie

If this is real, it's pretty darn cool.

From Youtube:

You're about to see the movie that holds the Guinness World Records™ record for the World's Smallest Stop-Motion Film (see how it was made at http://youtu.be/xA4QWwaweWA). The ability to move single atoms — the smallest particles of any element in the universe — is crucial to IBM's research in the field of atomic memory. But even nanophysicists need to have a little fun. In that spirit, IBM researchers used a scanning tunneling microscope to move thousands of carbon monoxide molecules (two atoms stacked on top of each other), all in pursuit of making a movie so small it can be seen only when you magnify it 100 million times. A movie made with atoms. Learn more about atomic memory, data storage and big data at http://www.ibm.com/madewithatoms

jab_blast.mel preview

I've been looking at ways to improve workflow lately. Something that I've found moving from studio to studio is that I can spend a lot of time spitting out playblasts to get into edit, dailies, or whatever else they might be called for. I make sure nothing but geometry is showing, the resolution is correct, files are being saved to the correct folder, etc. Now I wouldn't call myself a strong programmer, but I've been using more and more mel on various projects over the years and since I couldn't find anything that did what I wanted online, I put together a mel script that will automate these repetitive tasks yet is extremely customizable. Since I teach an animation class where I require students to deliver homework as playblasts at a specified format I decided that I would try to clean it up and make it usable for them. After that I thought why not make it something I would be comfortable with putting into a production team environment. The result is jab_blast.mel. It consists of two commands. One to run the playblast and one to set consitent playblast settings and output. The current settings window is visible below:

I have some folks beta testing it at the moment but as soon as I feel it's ready I will consider releasing it for public consumption if there is enough interest. Leave a comment if this is something of value as well as any features you're looking for in a good playblast output script.

Animating a Stop-motion Effect in CG

This article is not a step by step tutorial, but rather an account of what CG animators sometimes go through in order to achieve a stop-motion look, and what constitutes a productive workflow. This is not to say that the various forms of stop-motion are any less desirable than CG, the computer merely permits much smoother animation at less cost than it’s analogue counterpart.