Animation

John Carpenter’s First Music Memory.

A couple weeks ago Device pushed out to Vimeo a wonderful little animated short.  The film is narrated by John Carpenter, as he explains his first music memory. The animation is really nice with great transitions between the scenes using the current frame to morph into the next scene as the story unfolds. The limited color palette and subtle textures help to frame the narrative as it unfolds, with all of it drawing you in and holding you captive for a minute and a half. Great stuff, and like all good stories it got me to thinking about my first music memory. I was sitting in my bedroom upstairs with the window open, and my mom was playing Harry Belafonte singing “Midnight Special” on the record player in her studio. The studio window was open and the sound just floated out across the yard

I was sitting in my bedroom upstairs with the window open, and my mom was playing Harry Belafonte singing “Midnight Special” on the record player in her studio. The studio window was open and the sound just floated out across the yard and upstairs. It was summer. It was warm, and I was sitting in the sunlight on the floor playing with Lego. I was 3 or maybe 4. I hadn’t started Kindergarten yet, so I know I was younger than 5. I know I heard music before that, but this is the first time that the total experience stuck with me and permanently burned into my memory.

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A Little Monday Fun.

About 15 years ago I worked in the marketing and design department for a large midwestern based bank. Like most financial institutions, the marketing materials were conservative, and not very adventurous which was driven partly by corporate policy, and partly because the people running the department weren’t exactly visionaries in terms of design, advertising, and branding. That’s why when I saw the video below for Comdirect Bank I started grinning from ear to ear. There is no way this would have flown at my former employer, even if it is a spot aimed at recruiting UI designers. If this had been executed at my former job, by the time the committee running the project got done with it, and a thousand people hand commented or asked for changes this spot would have been a talking head in a yellow shirt giving a 15-second pitch. A pitch that probably would have appealed to an accountant, not a UI designer. Watch the video. It has no editorial, no voice over, just some really nice animation that was built using Cinema 4D, and it works. I tried to find additional parts of the complete campaign but came up with nothing. If I find additional images or a specific site, I’ll post an update.

We were honored being asked by the German bank, Comdirect, to create a short animation for an online campaign — aimed at attracting and recruiting UI-designers.

Our idea was to create a bunch of action-reaction based animations. The very first concept was based on the idea of pushing, shifting, scrolling and clicking various buttons triggering a diverse mix of animations. We then worked up different metaphors for dealing with money and at the same time used keywords the client had provided us. During the process, the client fell in love with all the little “reaction” stories so we ended up stitching them together to create a seamless narrative — open to interpretation and detached from conservative visualizations so often associated with banks.

The color palette is based on the new CI of Comdirect, predominantly anthracite and grayscale. Yellow acts as the highlight color with a gradient to green drawing the viewer’s attention to the stories’ heroes. The environment is based on dots, points, and circles inspired by the visual language used in the world of stock markets.

Our software package was Cinema 4D and Octane renderer. The edit and compositing were done in Adobe Premiere and After Effects.

“All the Things” You Need For Wednesday

It’s a rainy Wednesday afternoon, and I’m creatively spent. My brain has been drained by a fast paced time-consuming project that has left me mentally spent. So I set out to find some creative inspiration, and refuel for the second half of the week. While cruising around on Vimeo I came across the video below and a link the project breakdown on Behance.

All the Things from Chris Guyot is a wonderful animated short filled with oversaturated colors, fluid animations, great sound design, and absolutely no real story. I love it. 8 short vignettes in a minute and a half that left  me with a smile on my face and the desire to create something just as fun.

“All The Things” is a collection of individual narratives, unified by a cohesive style.

Our intention was to work on a short, simple piece. As many of you know, sometimes personal projects evolve and take on a mind of their own. As the months rolled along, we found ourselves frequently going back and adding more content to each scene. We had a lot of fun allowing our imagination drive the development of the various narrative.

Full project breakdown and BTS here: behance.net/gallery/45468431/All-the-Things

The Adventures of Orange, an Aperol Apparition.

There are times when I see a piece of work that I wish I could see in context to the environment, and the video below is one of them. Every time I am at a sporting event and I see the wrap around animation that rolls on those LCD panels that ring the stadium, I’m curious about the pre-vis planning that goes into developing them. And in the case of the video for Aperol produced by Buck, I’m curious not only about how they planned it out, but how they executed it, and what it looked like at the Australian Open. Think about this, you have an animation that has to play in sequence as it wraps around the court, starting at one point, and ending at the same point. And it has an aspect ratio of something like 1500 to 1.

So how do you set that up? How do you plan for delivery to something like a Cayin digital signage system, get everything rendered correctly, and make sure playback is seamless? So many questions, so little time.

With all that said, the animated piece below from Buck is once again a great example of the quality of work these guys do. It captures the Aperol brand so well, plus the casual and somewhat elegant feeling of a tennis open so well. There is a really fresh feel about the look with a retro nod to the late 1970’s and early 1980’s stylistically. The warm color pallet enhances the fact that when this was released it was mid summer in Australia, where an Aperol spritzer would be quite refreshing on a warm summer afternoon. It makes me wish I had been there

It makes me wish I had been there. Not only to see the animation in context but to imbibe a bit as well.

Dear Europe, Vote.

If you think the political turmoil and change has only been happening in America and the UK, you would be mistaken. A number of European countries have major elections this year, and the Nationalist, Take Your Country Back ideology is gaining traction.

Brooklyn based director, designer, and illustrator Erica Gorochow created a collaborative video about the upcoming European elections and how lessons gleaned from Brexit and Trump, might relate. The piece was made by artists who call the US and the UK home and is narrated in English. Turn on closed captions for French, Dutch and German and Italian if English isn’t your mother tongue. The animated short was produced with a crew of 23 US and UK artists and delivers a message to European voters ahead of the upcoming elections on “how lessons gleaned from Brexit and Trump, might relate.”

It’s a really nice animated short with a nice look and a solid message. The complete list of everyone that worked on this is listed below the video itself. It just goes to show you how many people can take to produce quality work.

DIRECTOR
Erica Gorochow

ARTISTS (IN ORDER OF APPEARANCE)
Alexandra Lund
Allen Laseter
Marie-Margaux Tsakiri-Scanatovits
Pablo Lozano
Johnny Kelly (Design)
Terra Henderson
Kyle Strope
Ege Soyuer
Nick Petley
Joe Donaldson
Jay Quercia
Brian Gossett (Design)
Louis Wesolowsky (Animation)
Freddy Arenas
Thea Glad
Lana Simanenkova
Yukai Du
Miguel Jiron
Bee Grandinetti
Damien Correll (Design)
Adam Grabowski (Animation)
Robin Davey

MUSIC + SOUND DESIGN
Upright T-Rex Music

SCRIPT
Erica Gorochow

ENGLISH VO
KK Apple
Jordan Craig
GERMAN
Saskia Keultjes (VO)
DUTCH
Wouter Boon (VO)
Martin Pyper
FRENCH
Julie Saunders (VO)
Adrien Joulie

The Infinity Wall

Over the last few years, I have seen a ton of projection mapping projects for everything from commercial product launches to venue openings and trade show keynotes.  Most of the time they have glitzy over the top projects that have a very specific theme or story line. I think the reason I am so impressed with the example below is because it is a hypnotic blend of simplicity, monochrome hues, and mesmerizing shapes.

In an empty lot on the outskirts of the city of Doha a 54,000 square foot tent was erected for a private event. In front of the tent stands a 360 foot wide by 30 foot tall fabric-covered wall.  On to it digital projectors,  projection-mapped 3D animations onto the it, giving the illusion of a large-scale kinetic modern art installation floating in the desert.

With less than three weeks lead time Megavision Arts, and top Qatari event producer and designer Fahad Signature tasked produced the 3D projection-mapping effect in order to mystify, entertain and engage the 1200 guests as they arrived at the event site.

With support from BARTKRESA Design and Creative Technologies, Megavision Arts Creative Director David Corwin and producer Amber Bollinger quickly assembled a team of artists, designers, technicians, and programmers to complete the project. With only one face-to-face meeting between Corwin and Art Director Vincent Rogozyk, the entire team assembled in Doha five days before the event. A fully-equipped design and animation studio was temporarily configured in a meeting room at the St. Regis Hotel in Doha, and they managed to produce this spectacular piece.

Based on the clients’ request for a 3D projection mapping that would be “very modern, artistic and magical” Corwin and Rogozyk began playing with abstract concepts that were evocative of Fahad Signature’s designs for the event, which included elements such as curvilinear wood furniture and sculptural wooden columns. Polish artists and animators Maciej Bałauszko and Michał Czubak were added to the team and began expounding upon the sketches, turning the rough curvilinear biomorphic and geometric ideas into polished animations. Four basic scenes of abstract 3D kinetic animations were programmed to loop, morph and transition from one design to the next over the course of just under 3 minutes. The animations included Optical Waves, Piano Tiles, Ribbon Architecture and the Involuted Helix.

Eighteen double-stacked Panasonic DZ21K projectors converged and were blended using a Dataton Watchout media server to create one large seamless image. They illuminated the Infinity Wall with over 300,000 lumens of light. The animation files consisted of 14,148,000 pixels per frame, which equates to over 21 BILLION pixels per minute being pushed through the system.

As guests pulled off the highway onto a freshly graded and paved driveway, to their surprise and delight they encountered a fantastic undulating phantasm looming on the horizon. As they continued towards the projected mirage, a custom score with synchronized sound design elements enhanced the illusion even more.

Panthella Mini

Verner Panton’s Panthella lamp, launched in 1971 and went on to become a design classic and is now being relaunched in a smaller version as the Panthella Mini. To help launch the new product and promote Panton’s iconic product, Frame. was commissioned by Louis Poulsen to create a spot for a lamp, and they nailed it. Frame not only captures the essence of the lamp design, they have created a look that mirrors the materials Panton used to create the original in this fun animated spot.

The legendary Danish designer Verner Panton is known for his use of powerful colors, organic shapes, and unconventional materials – designing everything from furniture to full art installations that looked, and probably felt, like an acid trip. Unsurprising, when you think that he completed a lot of his work in the 60’s.

As a starting point, we investigated Panton’s aesthetic universe and commenced designing a tour de force of lamps, eye-popping colors, and abstract shapes, inspired by the man himself. We were also encouraged by Louis Poulsen to give it our own personal touch so we had the freedom to interpret the unique style of Verner Panton with a unique twist and establish a lighter, more contemporary tone.

In the end, it was all about creating something warm, happy, alive, intelligent and playful – just like Panton himself. To create a setting for the lamps to shine (no pun intended) and allow the focus to remain on these beautifully designed objects.

Frame