animation

The team behind Baidu’s first smart speaker is now using AI to make films

The HBO sci-fi blockbuster Westworld has been an inspiring look into what humanlike robots can do for us in the meatspace. While current technologies are not quite advanced enough to make Westworld a

Alibaba takes an 8% stake in Tencent-backed anime streaming site Bilibili

E-commerce giant Alibaba is continuing its push into the world of youth culture after it scooped up an 8 percent stake in anime streaming and game publishing company Bilibili. According to a securitie

Digital influencers and the dollars that follow them

Animated characters are as old as human storytelling itself, dating back thousands of years to cave drawings that depict animals in motion.

More investors are betting on virtual influencers like Lil Miquela

Brud, the company behind the virtual celebrity Lil Miquela, is now worth at least $125 million thanks to a new round of financing the company is currently closing. Meanwhile, new venture-backed compan

Hollywood gets its own open-source foundation

Open source is everywhere now, so maybe it’s no surprise that the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (yes, the organization behind the Oscars) today announced that it has partnered with

Disney tech smooths out bad CG hair days

Disney is unequivocally the world’s leader in 3D simulations of hair — something of a niche talent in a way, but useful if you make movies like Tangled, where hair is basically the main charac

Big tech companies are looking at Hollywood as the next stage in their play for the cloud

This week, both Microsoft and Google made moves to woo Hollywood to their cloud computing platforms in the latest act of the unfolding drama over who will win the multi-billion-dollar business of the

These five trends are rocking the animation industry

I’ve been very lucky to have been in the animation industry since the mid-1980s. Here’s a quick survey of trends in the animation landscape that have me pretty optimistic about the future.

Inside Atari’s rise and fall

By the first few months of 1982, it had become more common to see electronics stores, toy stores, and discount variety stops selling 2600 games. This was before Electronics Boutique, Software Etc., an

Barnes & Noble teeters in a post-text world

Barnes & Noble, that once proud anchor to many a suburban mall, is waning. It is not failing all at once, dropping like the savaged corpse of Toys “R” Us, but it also clear that its cu

New Harry Potter game, launching today, lets players enroll in Hogwarts

In the first step of what could be an endless exploration of the wizarding world of Harry Potter, the Los Angeles mobile games studio Jam City is releasing its Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery game

Taiwanese startup Kdan Mobile raises $5M Series A for its cloud-based content creation tools

Kdan Mobile, a Taiwanese startup that makes cloud-based software for content creators, announced a $5 million Series A today, raised from investors including W.I. Harper Group, Darwin Venture Manageme

ServiceTitan is LA’s least likely contender to be the next billion-dollar startup

The city of Glendale, Calif. seems like an unlikely place to grow one of the next billion-dollar startups in the booming Los Angeles tech ecosystem. Located at the southeastern tip of the San Fernando

Apple’s 2019 Mac Pro will be shaped by workflows

A year ago, I visited the Apple campus in Cupertino to figure out where the hell the new Mac Pro was. I joined a round-table discussion with Apple SVPs and a handful of reporters to get the skinny on

The day that changed your phone forever

MIT uses Lego to prototype low-cost micro pumps

Lego bricks (or, if you’re not a pedant, Legos) are highly precise and highly consistent plastic objects. Anywhere you go in the world the Lego is the same. That means that scientists at MIT can

‘BoJack Horseman’ gets picked up for a fifth season at Netflix

Netflix’s narcissistic neigh-sayer is coming back yet again – BoJack Horseman will have a fifth season on the streaming service, as confirmed by a tweet from the official BoJack Twitter accou

Dodles brings your doodles to life

I’ve always wanted to create my own animations. One idea is simple. My characters would be born, live, fall in love, and die in real time in a 80 year long masterpiece of constant animation. It

This neural network could make animations in games a little less awkward

The graphical fidelity of games these days is truly astounding, but one thing their creators struggle to portray is the variety and fluidity of human motion. An animation system powered by a neural ne

Pixar offers free online lessons in storytelling via Khan Academy

There are few organizations in the world that can claim more expertise when it comes to storytelling than Pixar . The Disney-owned animation studio is known for its ability to consistently create worl
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