Friday, November 28, 2014

Pas de deux

When I saw this film for the first time, I was stunned. Deeply moved. It was the first thing of its kind, it took insane hours and exacting calculations on an optical printer with staggered exposures done with exquisite timing.....and it is just as beautiful as ever today. Thinking of good old Norman McClaren...whom I was lucky enough to meet almost daily for some time, at the NFB in Montreal, mid 70's.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Elemental Magic effects experiments

I have started compiling a variety of visual effects experiments, many of which are actually
science based fluid dynamics experiments that are continuously being created by students of physics. Remarkably, I have taken my Elemental Magic animation workshops down the exact same path that science has taken, engaging my participants in dynamic, real-time physics experiments in order to better understand the dynamics we wish to achieve in our animated visual effects. At Harvard and MIT they are doing the exact same thing in their fluid dynamics physics studies, in order to observe and prove the various theories and that have been previously developed and observed around flow and turbulence. I think it's fantastic, that through both hard science, and through the flowing creative vibe that I try to generate in my animation workshops, we have arrived at the same process of understanding the world around us, rolling up our sleeves and engaging with the real stuff of life, real physics, the way things work....we study the exact same thing, as animators, or scientists.

Got to love that!

As you'll see, some of my student's visual effects experiments are just a little bit more 'on the fly' than a well put together Harvard graduate science experiment. But we learn just as much, sometimes with the most rudimentary of experiments. At the same time, my workshop's experiments are increasingly becoming slickly put together, with quality high speed cameras, good lighting, and some pretty solid fluid dynamics experiments are being put together. I am compiling more and more of the fantastic experiments from my workshops, soon to be posted.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014


 Another old favorite of mine, I'm so glad I caught this rare video, this guy used to hang around all the time, don't even know his name, I couldn't get rid of him when there was fresh caught wild salmon around. Serious freak this dude, but pretty entertaining, so we'd let him hang around.....

Things that make you go hmmmmmmm............

I can't believe I actually found a jar full of live active leeches,
on a sweltering hot early summer day in Bulgaria, amazing!

Flash Balls

An oldie but goodie of mine, a rather unique use of Adobe Flash, taking pre-animated effects 'symbols' that I animated by hand on a Cintiq, and repositioning them as abstract elements....almost, working with vibrant colours, and a vibrant and unique soundtrack...courtesy of...(still waiting to officially receive permissions) Aphex Twin

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Sitting at a desk, animating on paper, for fully forty years now....

I'm so glad I have this priceless photo of me 
doing my animation thing, back in 1980, in 
Montreal, working on 'Heavy Metal' The Movie. 
I had been at it already since 1974. And now, 
in 2014, it is fully 40 years since I started drawing 
animation on paper on a classic animation 
disc with back light.

Hard at work on Taarna...

The Montreal studio on Bishop Street, 
was the hub of the whole Heavy Metal film production.
Several studios, in Toronto, Ottawa, London, Los Angeles, 
etc, worked on sequences that were all compiled and brought 
together by the director Gerry Potterton, in our downtown 
Montreal studio, Heavy Metal Productions.
A very dear friend of mine, Thomas Haegle,
who has been the director of the world famous
Filmakademie School of Animation in Ludwigsburg,
Germany for many years, is leaving his post.
Thomas has been an absolutely pivotal person in my life,
his input and encourage led to my entire
Elemental Magic journey, my books and workshops.
Between him and dear friend Ed Hooks,
I was practically led by the hand,
to get myself published and start
a whole new way of life.

I owe an enormous debt of gratitude to these men.

This is a little something for Thomas......

Monday, November 24, 2014

LIQUID PEACE: Ultra-Slow-Motion Water Effects

This slow-motion fluid effects reference is beautifully shot. With hi-speed cameras widely available
and affordable these days, I have begun implementing them into my Elemental Magic Workshops with great success. This is a very slick example! Thanks to verticalhold! Gorgeous video.

My first 'live' quick note......

Here's an update folks, my first 'live' video 
 update, from my YouTube site, Elemental Magic
.....on all the stuff I am working on 
that I can not talk about....

It's wildly out-of-sync, I know.....

Saturday, November 22, 2014

There Are No Good Guys, There Are No Bad Guys

Throughout my forty years as an animator, I have always made a great deal of music on
'on the side' so to speak, even getting a couple of pretty active and successful bands off the ground 
along the way. Music compliments animation brilliantly, demanding of the artist a knowledge of time/space, timing, phrasing, the space in between, anticipation, 
follow-through, overlapping elements, etc.
Exactly the same components that make up any
great animation performance.

This music video for my song "There are no bad guys" 
is the basis for a music video project that I am starting up,
a project that will eventually cover many songs by many diverse artists
from different cultures around the world.

I'm doing my best to get this out there, and get it viral if I can. I think with the lyrics posted, 
like subtitles, it gives viewers a better connection...what do you think?

Please, help me get this video going really viral,
post it, send it to friends, play it up, 
because I PROMISE you,
I will make the final animated 
musical/animation/cultural extravaganza,
based on this song, recorded around the world,
well worth the wait to see it, mark my words!

JOSEPH GILLAND, new video on YouTube from ACM SIGGRAPH in Santiago, Chile...

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

ElementalMagicTrailer 001

Check out this great new trailer for Joseph Gilland's ever popular visual effects
workshops, coming soon to a dimension near you!