The Seeker : The Dark is Rising
This adaptation of Susan Cooper's novel, I thought held some promise. Though I havent read the book, after seeing the film I am more encouraged to do so - the film seemed to leave so many holes that I now feel the book would have bound things together far better than what we got in the cinema.
The trailer at least held some promise for us, but The Seeker: The dark is Rising never quite brings it all together for us. The plot leaves us wanting in so many areas that I wont cover it any further - the books just have to be better. There is some serious potential around all the characters, but none of them is explored.
Things arent all bad though, the cinematography by Joel Ransom is excellent and breaths a whole heap of life into the shots. The musical score by Christopher Beck also brings some tension and mood to what would otherwise have been flat. The special effects work was pretty good actually with some nice swarms of crows, snow and ice sequences and such. These guys cannot rescue the film alone though - lest just say I am disappointed - it could have been so much better.
I spent a little time admiring details of a few Maya rigging, skinning and animation videos loaded into Youtube. It is wonderful to see the control that a bunch of handles and morph targets can bring. Here are some worth watching:
Joel Beaudet - Rigging Reel
Felipe Sanges - Rigging Reel
Phil Sloggett - Rigging Animation Showreel
Dawei Sun - 3D Rigging Reel
Giorgio Bertolone - Caracter TD Reel (not Maya)
Vancouver Film School - Rigging Reel
(indeed do a search for VFS in Youtube and there are many great things to see)
Animation Nation - Wendy Rig
Dan Robertson - Maya Character Rigging (embeded below as well)
What I like about many of the rig setups shown here is that they use some nice graphical feedback, handles, zones and UI elements to extend things beyond direct control through the Maya rigging elements. I still like the rigwork by Victor Vinyals I looked at on Day256.
Worked on my Screen Culture Review a little as well.