Saturday, 28 February 2009

Nexus Productions Coca-Cola

The guys at Nexus Productions have done it again! I was reading this article here: and was amazed on the effects and the visual on making the short commerical.

I remember I first seen their work, they've done a parody to Grand Theft Auto series for a Coke commercial which was later used for the promotional release for GTA IV when it came out. Check the video below:

GTA Coca-Cola:

It used GTA reference like the driving car and map navigation system in the beginning. Later it used the 3rd person camera view following the main character around the block doing good deeds.

It first started resembling GTA game until the main character grabs a Coca-Cola which makes the audience feel confused and surprised.
The whole environment changes to a brighter and happier mood with it's cheerful musical. Obviously the whole commercial is made in 3d animation. It used techniques like matt painting to reduce the rendering and it recycled using the side characters.


"The most meaningful peer-to-peer connections happen face to face. "

I think this would be my second favourite Nexus production commercial they've done (First goes the GTA one). They've really captured how technology becomes so important in our life in communication and how we secretly want to be.
when people look at a cell phone or computer, they turn into an avatar (a digital charactiature of themselves). they also become unaware of the outside world. personal communication shows your personality while digital communication just hides it. But it also comes to my attention whether technology suppress how we express our true emotions and sincerity towards people.

And I think what the Coca-Cola trying to say that by giving Coca-Cola, we can physically able to express our feelings, perhaps?

The sound track is “Stranger in the Crowd” performed by Cee-Lo Green of Gnarls Barkley (and originally made famous by Elvis Presley).

Quite Random but still kewl

Once again looking at visual references or inspirations for my own project.

Syke makes life like a videogame!

Director & Animated by Paul Robertson

I've actually seen some of Paul works and he used 16 bit graphics video game for his animation piece. Though there isn't a narrative storytelling that I can really follow but there is so many video game references for his work.

He also done a short film called Kings of Power 4 Billion % but I will write a post about it soon.

It brings me to another attention when I watched the Mario & Bowser from "Syke makes life like a videogame!" Seth MacFarlane (Family guy creator) made a parody to the Mario franchise:

Super Mario Rescues The Princess: Seth MacFarlane's Cavalcade:

I just laughed so hard when I first watched this because it took a more realistic approach to the game with it's dark humour. It makes us think why Princess Peach gets kidnapped so many times.

And the classic Mario Cartoon series:

Children shouldn't even watch the above clip when this aims for children. It also makes me wonder whether playing video games for ages would make us hallucinate and distort our view of reality?

The Meth Minute 8-Bit

"Episode 33 of the Meth Minute asks the question "What if the entire cartoon series so far had been a 1980's video game?". We asked 8-Bit specialists Ben Ross (visuals) and Niko Anesti (music) to step in and explore this scenario. Every single Meth Minute character appears in arcade-vision and the result is an all-time high score."

I also seen these guys work and they are so funny and it was good to see all their work displayed as a 8 bit video game.

Friday, 27 February 2009

181 Grad Show

Hello followers of my blog. I like to mention that my Course grad show is called 181. So we're pretty much organizing the show right now.
Here is something I'm working on at the moment, I'm making an ident of the 181 awards:
It's obviously inspired by the Oscar and the baftas Awards.
Some Visual references:

From the feedback I've got, they like it but they're expecting more of a edgy cabaret feel to the grad show - sort of burlesque.
Check out the blog site at:

Some Video Game Console Ad

Once again I was looking through the Internet and I found an interesting article WTF commercials. I've picked some of the funny ones and how ridiculous it looks when we look back.

Atari 2600 - Centipede

From what I've been told, this ad has no relation or connection to the game itself. Heck if I watched it back in the 80s I would of thought this was some horror flick. Giant Atari anthropod attacks the 80s and tricks woman into bed for steamy insect love.

Atari 2600 Advert
Song with sinister sexual subtext? Check. Retarded static images? Check. Breakout screen replica created using fuzzy felt?

Odysee 1973 Magnavox

The graphics looks really awful on these console.
Final Note: Geography is a game!?

Sega Mega Drive ad in 1992

I found it funny when it says it's the "most advance machine" because that is a contridiction. It done a good job of transporting the scientist to the virtual game world in terms of visual and it does sell the idea of how advance it was back in the 90's.

NES Advert

"Real pictures that come out and hit you in the face!" I had one of these and I don't really recall being hit by it in the face or maybe it has which explains why I have no recollection of memories and why my parents gave it away...

XBOX First Advert:

I remember this ad back around 2000. It got banned because the slogan is "Life is too short, play more." I mean it tries to promote XBOX but it gave the wrong communication to the audience and this is why it got banned. Nothing sells consoles like a rapidly aging man flying through the stratosphere.

Fanmade "Wii Transform" Commercial:

This fanmade made video is trying to sellout the Nintendo Wii. It shows the evolution of nintendo home console because the project of Wii was originally called "Project revolution". I liked how the animation played out when it transfrom into different console. I'm wondering if they used keyframe vertex?

Thursday, 26 February 2009

Video game movies

It comes to my attention that all video game based films sucks, I think the reason is that the audience has expection to meet it's standard. You can check out the list here.
I've been reading some Internet article: When A Video Game Movie Isn’t. It comes to my attention that there is a fair share of flicks that feature everything from gimmicky camera styles to plotlines.

The Shining Computer Game (1982)

"The poorly pitched Shining computer game from 1982. This family party game was released for the holiday season on the Atari 2600, but failed to sell due to scenes of gratuitous violence and a nausa inducing atmosphere. Within half an hour of playing, children were reported to start shaking and hallucinating. Talk of the game being re-released on the 3DO system never came to fruitition. However, Stanley Kubrick was said to be a great fan of the title and held the high score for level 6 (the infamous axe/door speed test) for 5 years. this footage was recovered from an old Betamax tape I purchased from a car boot sale."

Now that I looked at this video pitch for the game, it looks quite contemporary 8 bit. But other then that I would love to see it made now with all the technology we have.

And don't forget about my previous post about the Dark knight:

Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Project status & Schedule

I haven't talked much about my project so this blog post will do for now.

One of my ideas was telling daily routine in a 8bit video game. There we will have options to "What if" situations and the next thing leads to a split screen showing different scenerios but it all ends with the same linear ending.
One of my inspiration comes from The Black Dog's Progress:

Director – Stephen Irwin

"A series of flipbooks tell the sad story of the Black Dog."
What I liked about it is that the story builds up and it connects to a bigger piece. It uses the technique where the audience would try and put the narrative of different flipbooks linking together.

My other inspiration comes from Consoul:Director – Lasse Gjertsen
"A man's life told in 8-bit video game graphics"

When the split screen comes in, the screen will split into 4 screens (reference to multiplayer gaming) and three other screens will be in three different style from 16bit, 32/64 bit and the current generation of gaming. However the current generation screen will be loading throughout the split screen (reference to the large amount of data of todays gaming), it was planned so that the only when the three screens finishes their scenario it would lead to the current gen screen revealing the ending.

A quick moodboard on how the split screen is going to work (Mario by Nintendo):

I quite like the idea but this is only personal opinion but I have to be realistic here. First of all, I feel that doing 4 different styles will be very time consuming after looking at the schedule and it would be impossible since I'm going to design and animating them all. Secondly do these different style serve a purpose.

I also need to think of a simple story and what am I trying to communicate exactly. Now I'm scratching my head.

Here's my rough schedule of my gant chart. Just shows how time is precious is right now so I better get cranking.

8 BIT Stuff

I mentioned in my previous post about what is 8 bit film. Well I'm going to talk 8 bit documentary films I've found.

8 Bit: A Documentary About Art And VideogamesDirector - Marcin Ramocki

"8 BIT is a hybrid documentary examining the influence of video games on contemporary culture. A mélange of a rocumentary, art expose and a culture-critical investigation, 8 BIT ties together seemingly disconnected phenomena like the 80’s demo scene, chiptune music and contemporary artists using machinima and modified games. Produced in NYC, LA, Paris and Tokyo, 8 BIT brings a global perspective on the new artistic approaches of the DIY generation which grew up playing Atari and Commodore 64."

Here is the main website of the Documentary film 8 BIT:

The trailer can be seen here:

One of the quotes I definitely agree is how "Growing up playing Video Game is important to our childhood."
"If you grow up of something you make art out of it."
"For a certain generation people would evoke childhood, when a artist uses that. Now it has many meanings invested in it."
What I thought was amazing is that artist uses the old gameboy system to create an 8-bit midi sound.

I am 8 bit I am 8 bit is an art exhibition festival The shows theme involves over 100 artists reinterpreting their favorite old-school video game characters in a variety of mediums, including paintings, plush, sculpture, and even interactive pieces. You can check what it is like in the event:

I've posted one of their work in my previous post, they're made the A Really Really Brief History Of Donkey Kong (King of Kong).

I purchased the artbook of I am 8 bit and I'm loving it. This is what inspired me to make an 8 bit animation because I've grown up playing the early generation of video game and it became a part of my life and why I'm doing Visual Communication in Birmingham City University. Frogger Michael Leavitt Mixed Media Frogger (arcade)

Mario's Lament Reuben Rude Collage and Acrylic on Board Donkey Kong (arcade)

Donkey See Donkey Do Dave Wasson Mixed Media Donkey Kong (arcade)

Check out their website:

Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Other ways of recreating 8 bit style

I've been randomly looking at video/films that are inspired by 8 bit video game culture. I've found an interesting piece, most 8 bit video are replica of the older generation graphics but this one is made in stop motion which I found it inspiring.

Neotericz - Ositos

Director: Marina Spinelli
Music: Buenos Aires chipster

This was clearly done in stop motion and the message towards the audience is so clear. The objective is to help protect the endangered whales and fishes. The character design is very cute that it ranges from all ages.

"Neotericz made using gameboy, midiNES (8-bit nintendo and some vst technology)"

I've posted this image in my previous post and I think the idea of stopmotion is really inspirational but for my final film I want to show my skills in 3d and flash.

Monday, 23 February 2009

A little history behind videogame

I think researching the history of video game will benefit my final film. So I looked up several videos online and I thought they were pretty interesting and useful:

A Short Visual History of Videogames

Directed and animated by Kyle Downes
Voiced by Josh Molenkamp

"Software used: Maya 8.5, After Effects, Premiere, Illustrator, Photoshop and Flash"

This is a 3rd year graduate work I've looked at and I thought wow this was really fun to watch and I learnt something. Anyway Kyle used a combination of motion graphics technique along with some maya 3d animation which blended in so well.
Not only that the voice narrator was so amusing, it sounded like 1970's educational videos which maybe is intentional because the first ever video game console was released in the 70's.

Check out his work at:

A Really Really Brief History Of Donkey Kong (King of Kong)

Directed by Gabe Swara

It was made part of the famous 8 bit festival (Note: I might put up a post about 8bit)
Clearly it was made in flash with it's vector style animation but the animation was fun to watch.

The animatic version, drawn on little yellow post-its:

He also done an ident for the I Am 8-Bit. Though it's more like the 4 bit atari not the 8 bit NES :

Final Edition History of Video Games (114 games)
Here is a collected clips of the history of gaming:

Sunday, 22 February 2009

Student Short Films

I've been recently looking at student short films that involves with any video game and I've found two so far.

Frustrating Nostalgia

Directed and animated by Warren Dunlop.

From this 2 minute film, I can tell that the theme of the film is frustration just as the title calls itself. What I liked about it is that the whole experience of the Game cartridge doesn't work on the NES is absolutely true. I had this experience and had to blow out the dusk many times in order to play game back in the days. Now I feel old because I said that. lol.
However watching this short animation film wasn't really exciting, I mean it follows the theory of many attempts and fails in the end. But it does communicate the idea of nostalgic and I did reminisce as I watched it through so I give credit to Warren who did archieve empathy.
There were times when I was confused while watching like the edited scene of the character and the screen.

The CGI animation was created in 3d application, the modelling of the NES AND game cartridge are very well built. I didn't really liked the character design.
The animation was stiff at most time especially there were close up on the hand, the hand wasn't rigged properly.


Directed by Samuel Lopez De Victoria III.

This short film is just wierd, I didn't really get whats exactly going on with the story but I guess it's trying to portray the mind of a video game addict.
The character went inside the 8 bit world didn't look that good, I mean the world is bright and colourful and it's good but the whole green screen put me off.

Speaking of live action and 8bit combinaton I like to mentioned about this street artwork I've found, it looks visually pleasing with the pixel water.

It just shows that you don't really need to use a computer t0 produce 8 bit effect. For example you can, produce a stop motion animation. The 8 bit effect can be created by blocks of lego to give a video game effect.


I like to note that Samuel also done another 8 bit project about a knight trying to climb up the castle.

Saturday, 21 February 2009

8 bit music video

Here are a few music videos, I've been looking at with inspiration of 8 bit video game style.

The Lost Levels - The Early Sheets

"The video took four months to complete, with much of that taken up rendering the 'real world' sequence. The whole thing was created on a single PC, using Nevercenter Silo for modelling and Maya for animation, texturing and rendering. The video was then edited together in Sony Vegas."

I really like this music video because it brings a nostaglic feeling with the basic visual graphics of a video. It later uses different camera angle rather than the generic side view, it captures a great mood and went in synch with the beats of the 8bit music.
I can tell that when the game character enters the vector world, it was inspired by Tron for the neon glow.

Check out the bands myspace account:

Junior Senior - Move Your Feet

Quite an old music video made in 2003 but it has a unique style back then. It uses very bright colour to simulate the brain to think that the blocky imagery looks pretty. I'm not sure which applications it was used but I'm guessing it used Flash.

Wintergreen - When I Wake Up

Director: Keith Schofield

"Music video tells story of Atari's E.T. game debacle. An indie band has made a music video featuring the story of the misbegotten Atari E.T. game cartridge. The game stank on ice and millions of copies were buried in a landfill."

Keith Schofield used the back story of ET game, the game wasn't entertaining so Atari decided to bury them in the desert. The band goes digging for these poorly designed game.

YMCK: Aesthetics For The 8bit Generation
I read an internet on Pingmag about a band who uses 8bit visual:

Basically YMCK is a Japanese band who uses 80's video game as an inspiration.

Go YMCK, Go:

Thursday, 19 February 2009

A bit of research

Here are some inspiration videos I've looked up.

Jetmoto 2 commercial

Jetmoto 2 is a playstation game but the idea of the relationship between the gamer and the game character is unique. The theme is waiting and frustration, the gamer is an old lady who doesn't respond or move while the other characters are experiencing fast speed adrenaline . Until the game character comes out and complains to the gamer who reveals to be a old lady which makes the audience laugh when she just doesn't want to move.

Gaming Face

Photograper Robbie Cooper shows us all just how focused young gamers can be while playing with actual clips of kids of various ages while they're playing games.I can tell that VF5, GTA:IV, Call of Duty 4, Fallout 3, Star Wars: Battlefront and Gears of War are being played.

This makes us wondering what are the side effects of exposing violence games to children. Now I'm wondering what is my gaming face.

The Dark Knight for 8-bit Nintendo

This is what if The Dark Knight was made for Nintendo Entertainment System in 8 bit style. Animation produced by Macbee. Original Music by Vic Sagerquist. Batman and all related characters are trademarks of DC Comics

Wednesday, 18 February 2009

My Aims & Video Pitch

Hi, I haven't posted at all because partly because I'm not really sure I'm doing, Bad start already!! Simplicity is the way to go!!! Also I should stick with a working schedule this time because last time was a disaster.

However I learnt that my research and analysis was one of my strong point so I've got to keep that flowing but I have to change the way I work.

Ok Straight to the main topic.
Here is my Video Pitch but I'm still re-editing it:

My Aims:
I aim is to create a short animation film.
My primary objective is to show my visual narrative skills in story telling because I’ve feel that a lot of student work tend to focus more about the visual rather than the narration.
My secondary objective is to make the finish piece look professionally made.
My inspiration comes from early video game culture such as the 8 bit era.
My target audience would be mature teenager to adult because I feel that people who grew up playing video game would feel nostalgic and would feel reminisce.

Learning Outcome:

  • To successfully communicate to the audiences.
  • To show my 2 years worth of study in Visual Communication.
  • Characterization

Tuesday, 10 February 2009

1st post introduction

Hello and welcome to my blog Project 8-bit. I am Nixon the blogger and this blog is part of my Major negotiated Project.
I will try and regularly post on my project such as experiments, ideas etc.

Currently in my thoughts, I have the theme of early video game as a concept, therefore the title has 8bit in it.

I grew up playing video games so I have a broad knowledge about them from the N.E.S (Nintendo Entertainment System) generation to the Current Sony PS3 (Playstation).