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View Full Version : Blurring the Lines at Blur with Animated Shorts


Slurry
05-14-2005, 07:00 AM
Itís been a decade since Blur Studio opened its CG facility in the Southern California beach town of Venice. Its founders had left jobs in the high-end Unix business of visual effects to set up a PC-based facility of their own. They set up a 3ds Max pipeline, (a move that was more daring then than it seems now) regularly made contributions to the growing body of Max-compliant software, (like the Brazil renderer) and built a base of loyal clients.


In the last couple of years, success has led to major changes. Blurís still near Venice Beach ó though in a building four times bigger that houses a staff of 75. And Blurís creative director and co-founder Tim Miller, along with co-founder David Stinnett, are still proponents of Max, running a pipeline thatís optimized for doing full 3D character animation with notable speed. But whatís especially striking is how Blur has parlayed its success as a work-for-hire shop into a place where the art of animated short films is flourishing. The studioís first forays, Aunt Luisa (http://mag.awn.com/index.php?article_no=1789) (2002) and Rockfish (http://mag.awn.com/index.php?article_no=2011) (2003) were short-listed for Oscar consideration, and Blur again accomplished this in 2004 ó twice ó with Gopher Broke (http://awn.com/oscars05/?type=shorts&id=gopherBroke) and In the Rough (http://mag.awn.com/index.php?article_no=2359). However, when Gopher Broke landed an Oscar nomination as best animated short film, Miller found himself seated on the aisle of the Kodak Theatre alongside the filmís writer-director Jeff Fowler. It was the culmination of a long-developing effort to position Blur as a creator of original animated films, and Miller, as executive producer, saw it as a big step toward Blurís ultimate goal of making animated features. Now thereís buzz on the street that Vin Dieselís company, One Race Films, is partnering with Blur to do a feature version of Millerís Rockfish, so VFXWorld asked him to explain how Blur has managed its success so far.

more...


Link to Article (http://www.vfxworld.com/?sa=adv&code=319b255d&atype=articles&id=2489)

Tim Miller
05-14-2005, 07:37 AM
I doubt anyone actually give a shit....

But before anybody on this eternally kind and gentle forum decides to light me up.....I just want to say--for the record--that I KNOW I sound a bit retarded. The interview was pretty much of a "let it rip" verbal interview without the chance to go back and clarify statements or put things in context. Statements like this: "People submit ideas. We get about 33 separate ideas each year ó several people put in two, so we probably have about 14 people putting in ideas." Don't make me sound like a guy you'd want signing your pay check since the math doesn't quite add up. :)

But this is my favorite: " I about the color of the pee!" What I meant was more like "I learned to eke out every little creative crumb that I could. I really CARED about the color of the pee! :) I wanted to make the commercial the best I could"

And that statement of course, makes me sound MUCH more intelligent! :rolleyes: I just thought I'd clarify.

Tim Miller
blur

insanepoly
05-14-2005, 07:54 AM
http://www.insanepoly.com/temp/RockFish.jpg

Anyone notices the resemblance?:D

RayenD
05-14-2005, 07:58 AM
I just got one question besides usual "you guys are awesome"

Was "Rockfish" guy designed with you as reference? :)

P.S. Very good interview no matter the math and stuff

Slurry
05-14-2005, 08:03 AM
...--for the record--that I KNOW I sound a bit retarded...

Heh heh. Well, at least you have a sense of humour about it. :D

Art

ThomasMahler
05-14-2005, 08:16 AM
I just want to say--for the record--that I KNOW I sound a bit retarded.


Heh, no worries! :)

Actually, I didn't really like Rockfish too much - And I think that it's maybe not the best base for a feature. I would have loved to see something that is more of the likes of Gopher Broke, where you guys also have total creative freedom to really show what you can do. But we'll see, I certainly wish you the best of luck! :)

dominicqwek
05-14-2005, 08:22 AM
"People submit ideas. We get about 33 separate ideas each year ó several people put in two, so we probably have about 14 people putting in ideas."


Haha. I was like "ok now that doesn't add up correctly..". I can't wait for you guys to ramp up for Rockfish. :)

insanepoly
05-14-2005, 09:58 AM
...I think that it's maybe not the best base for a feature. I would have loved to see something that is more of the likes of Gopher Broke...

I for one would love to see a good sci-fi CG movie, I think all sci-fi fans are just crying out for one. Excellent as all the Pixar movies are, I think it will be good to see the genre diversify a little in terms of style, look and storylines.

There's more than enough of Pixar clones out there, I applaud the blur guys for willing to take another direction. It would make my day to see a Warcraft CG movie by Blizzard.

vfx
05-14-2005, 10:03 AM
Congrats Tim on getting so far with Blur - Hope to see some awsome animation work in the future from you guys. I don't think we have to worry too much about how you come off in the article - we know what you're capable of. Oh and my major congrats for using Max the whole way - my background is max, and it seems too difficult to secure work with that being my main software - Everyone wants Maya guys so I'm transitioning boo hoo - although I still think Max is much more complete in many ways and can easily be used in movies - you've done it as has Unchartered Territory. Keep Maxin'.

archerx
05-14-2005, 01:56 PM
i hope you guys make a rockfish movie, i think we need more mature cg movies, im not talking about violence and sex.... but those are nice, well not cg sex thats just weird...

Unled
05-14-2005, 06:24 PM
I doubt anyone actually give a shit....

But before anybody on this eternally kind and gentle forum decides to light me up.....I just want to say--for the record--that I KNOW I sound a bit retarded. The interview was pretty much of a "let it rip" verbal interview without the chance to go back and clarify statements or put things in context.

(snip)

Tim Miller
blur


Interviews are always awkward things aren't they? Well at least it was for me when I was in highschool and interviewed by the school paper.

So I know that Paul Taylor graduated from the Academy of Arts, which is where I'm currently learning the trade. Has the Academy spoken to you fine folks about coming to the school to speak? I think it'd be very inspiring for all of our 3D students to hear some words of advice from past alumni. Plus I could pester you guys about an internship :twisted:

soulburn3d
05-16-2005, 07:21 PM
Was "Rockfish" guy designed with you as reference?

I have no clue about Rockfish specifically since I left before that happened, but I do know blur always had a nice collection of photos of the employees for use in texturemaps, Miller's was a favorite for both 3d characters and photomanipulation :)

- Neil

Gamoron
05-16-2005, 07:34 PM
@ Tim - I just want to say thanks to you and the rest of your guys for the great scripts.

Keep up the good work.

Irfan
05-16-2005, 08:14 PM
Was "Rockfish" guy designed with you as reference? :)



No he wasn't, at least I didn't think of it when I modeled the face.
I used some of Tims photo turntables as texture reference though ;P

Or maybe I'm totally wrong and Tim manipulated me :O


Cheers

KolbyJukes
05-16-2005, 08:27 PM
nice article,

I can't wait to see what happens with the Rockfish movie, that would be awesome.

-K.

emptyvoxel
05-17-2005, 10:25 PM
Hmmm... I get the impression this interviewer won't be doing much more work with Blur or Tim Miller.
Regardless, it was a very informative article about a studio I've admired for quite a while. Thanks for the heads up, Slurry.

~T

Lunatique
05-18-2005, 05:44 AM
Tim - Please check your PM.

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