The imagineNative and the National Film Board of Canada (NFB) have a call for digital arts project proposals. imagineNative is open to any indigenous aboriginal in Canada, and any “digital genre” is welcome, such as animation and interactive animation. Applicants are asked to summarize their ideas on two pages for submission. ImagineNative and NFB will choose one submission to make a new $50,000 production. The deadline is 9th January 2012.

Animation for regional dialect preservation

A cool idea to make minority tribal languages and obscure regional dialects popular again. Use the power of animation and humour by dubbing those classic old Tom & Jerry episodes into the language…

“I wanted to find out what was the most viewed Tom and Jerry short on YouTube tonight, and it turned out to be Salt Water Tabby with 24.4 million views. But this is no ordinary copy of the short; it has a completely new dialogue track in a Moroccan Arabic dialect by Bouchana Abdelilah. By comparison, the non-Arabic version (i.e. the boring original) of Salt Water Tabby has a mere 346,000 views.”

Speaking of laugh-out-loud humour in animation, I’m pleased to say that the movie Arthur Christmas is really excellent on many levels, including being very funny — although it’s uncompromisingly British and so some Americans may need subtitles. It’s nice to know that 2011 had at least one really outstanding animation feature film.

IKinema launches WebAnimate browser-based animation tool

IKinema has launched the beta of its browser-based animation tweaking service, WebAnimate. It’s aimed at amateurs who want to…

“rework their mocap and animation data”.

Basicially it sounds like Autodesk’s Motionbuilder, but online and much cheaper. There’s a still a long development road ahead…

“Over the course of the next year, users can expect to see new features added to WebAnimate. The introductory version of the platform will allow for the retargeting of motion capture data to models from standard formats such as BVH, FBX”

It’ll be free only during beta, and thereafter will be a pay service.

123D released

Autodesk’s 123D free modelling software has been released. It’s not just a competitor to Google Sketchup, because it also offers to transform your set of digital photos of an object into a photorealistic 3D model, with the processing power kindly provided by Autodesk’s cloud of computers.