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Raging Pencils by Mike "Choking Hazard" Stanfill

Barbie's Paradise Falls Dreamhouse.

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Raging Pencils is a childish conceit of:

Mike Stanfill, Private Hand
Mike Stanfill, Private Hand
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Today's mystery web comic is:

start rant

Your Lyin' Eyes.

pixar's up I'm going to assume that you have by now seen Pixar's The Incredibles. (If you haven't, then leave this web page imediately and continue hunting for used, Japanese school girl underpants or hunting for misplaced apostrophes or whatever the hell it is that occupies your time.)

As you know, the movie was 115 minutes of mind-boggling action and adventure. Explosions, giant robots, the coolest cars and the hottest dames, evil lairs inside active volcanoes and super heroes superheoing their butts off. Not to mention dinner with the family and a brief look at inside the garment industry.

But you know which part that had other animators dropping their sodas and scattering their Raisinettes in the aisle at the local googolplex? That one bit of action that left them convinced that the animators at Pixar are in league with some ancient tribe of blood-demons?

It's when Mr. Incredible poked his fingers through the holes of his ripped blue uniform.

Believe it or not, that was technically a very difficult shot to accomplish. It's very challenging to make one computer-created object slide through another, especially one with such ragged ends as cloth, without having the two areas collide or intersect. That the scene employed the use of several fingers compounds the complexity.

I bring this up because I saw Pixar's Up again last night. Before going I read some background on it in my lastest issue of Computer Graphics World. What I learned dismayed me in the same way a really good magician makes you mistrust the physical world.

Let's begin with the iconic image from the film, the one where Carl and little Russell are trudging along with the floating house tied to their bodies by a garden hose. Simple, right?

Hardly. Carl himself was said to be one of the most complex characters Pixar has created. I shan't go into excessive detail but the way his body works with his clothing was much harder than it looks. It's only through the Herculean labors of the Pixar animators that his movements look so natural.

Then there's Russell, the Wilderness Explorer. Not only is his clothing similarly complicated but attached to his body are at times over 30 independently-moving objects. As a Flash animator I almost weep when I think of trying that.

Remember the "holes" in The Incredibles? Now do a "reverse-hole" and tie both Russell and Carl to the hose. Now add the physics of a floating house and 10,000 balloons, plus atmospheric effects and the occasional giant bird and talking dog... or thirty talking dogs chasing our heroes down a mountain in the midst of a avalanche.

Holy Sha-moley!

Yes, the animators at Pixar don't get paid enough. Luckily for you and me they seem to love their job.

So go see Up, or see it again, and steep yourself in the appropriate level of awe it richly deserves.

To paraphrase Ben Franklin: "Pixar is proof that Cthuhlu loves us and wants us to be happy."


end rant

Bonus Animation
A little about Dug the dog, from Pixar's "Up".

Extra Deluxe Perpsective Bonus Fabulousness

good boy!
Another kind of "up".

Raging Pencils salutes the Mystery Reader of
Doha, Qatar
Whoever you are, thanks for reading my crappy little 'toon.

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Today's Google Chow.
Girl playing with toy from Pixar's Up.
Needless to say, the marketing department for Barbie's Paradise Cove Dreamhouse did not get their performance bonus this year.