Motion Graphics

This is Gullwing

When I first started producing digital content at the end of the 1990s 3D most high-end CG work was done by large studios that could build out render farms to distribute the render load. I remember working on a Mac Quadra 950 with megabytes of RAM, yes megabytes not gigabytes, in Strata Studio Pro, and the computer taking all weekend to render one or two frames. The point of me mentioning this is just how powerful computers and software have gotten in the last couple of decades and the amazing quality of work that is being produced.

This afternoon a friend emailed me a link to the video “Gullwing”, below that was produced by the Lisbon-based studio Briktop. It’s a stunning piece of work that is 100 percent CG. There is a nice little storyline that demonstrates the director João Elias passion for the Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing. The editing is executed so well helping to draw you into the piece. The sound design combined with the music adds a sense of completeness and drama. It just works. I have no idea what his hardware and software set up is, but I guarantee it’s an affordable desktop rig. If you want to see more of the work from Briktop you can find it here. He’s got a really nice BMW 2002 short as well as more commercial stuff.

By the way, Briktop has some mad skills. He’s been in business for about ten years and started out doing architectural visualizations. The work on the Briktop site shows just how much they have grown, and what they have been able to accomplish in just one decade. Hat tip to them.

Directed and animated by João Elias | Music: Evan Macdonald | Sound design: João Elias

Evermind Your Stress and Sleep Better with Device

Evermind is a science based approach to wellbeing for iOS and Android devices. It looks at things like stress and sleep deprivation and how they impact your mental health and physical wellbeing.

Usually when a company is promoting something like what Evermind provides they turn to typical visual strategies where you show a stressed out individual and the factors that got them to that point. Evermind took a different approach.

Teaming up with Device they created a storyline that uses abstract visuals and animation, paired with a calm voice over and some subtle sound design. The result is really, really well done, and very engaging. Both videos below held my attention and left me intrigued and wondering more about Evermind – which is exactly what they were supposed to do.

Acting as the main character in the story, the white sphere introduces us to the main causes of stress in working environments. Performing as the individual in society, our protagonist explains us the app’s main goal: overcoming stress by managing the factors which usually provoke it, the “stressors” (read: tight deadlines, excessive self-demand, traffic jams…). Travelling around a highly abstract universe, the white ball progressively collides with the “stressors”, identified with an anguishing curved-texture, the ones which block our protagonist’s movement and harm its inner balance. Depicting only synthetic shapes along with a colourful and warm graphic style, the story aims to symbolically convey the benefits that some specific stress-tackling techniques can bring to increase the individuals’ wellbeing.

From Device

The Creative Journey – Wacom

It’s Monday March 16, 2020 and the world is in shutdown mode over the Coronavirus outbreak/pandemic. The stock market is losing ground again, people are hoarding supplies like the world is ending, schools are closed, businesses are having employees telecommute rather than come in to work and a slight sense of general pandemonium has settled over my part of the midwest.

Here is a way to hopefully help you forget all about what is going on in between washing your hands, coughing into your elbow, keeping your distance and doing all the other things the WHO wants you to do to stop the spread of COVID 19.

“Not To Scale” and “Iris” have collaborated to produce a beautiful series of eye-catching short animations for the Wacom Cintiq 16. The films imaginatively illustrate the typical journey and endeavors that an Artist takes through their career to realize their creative ambitions.

There are 6 in all and I have the behind the scenes/making-of video at the end. So, do yourself a favor and take a bit of time to escape the pandemic news and watch this series of short animations. You’ll be glad you did.

The London Symphony Orchestra, Dancing on the Edge of a Volcano

I’ve been a season ticket holder to the Kansas City Symphony for ages, and I’m pretty familiar with their marketing materials. I know they don’t have the same budget as the London Symphony Orchestra, but they should watch this video and take notes.

Wowza talk about a stunner.

London agency Superunion and motion studio Found combine dance, pyrotechnics, and mo-cap to create a spectacular campaign for the London Symphony Orchestra’s 2020/21 season.

“In his fourth year with the LSO, Sir Simon Rattle leads a two-year exploration of music written in the first half of the 20th century. The title refers to a phrase used to describe the febrile atmosphere in Germany in the 1930s, as Europe lay on the cusp of profound social, cultural and political upheaval.

With such an emotive theme, Superunion wanted to create something unexpected, something that would reflect the tension and volatility of the new season.

This meant shifting away from the CG approach of previous campaigns and embracing practical live-action effects to create a dramatic, explosive and tension-fuelled abstract film.

Conceived for both film and print, the resolution was of huge importance. We opted to shoot on the RED Helium camera at 5K so as to capture as much detail as possible.

Filmed against black, from a dramatic top shot, we worked with dancer Ella Robson Guilfoyle, to interpret the motion capture data of Sir Simon Rattle’s baton into an expressive dance sequence. 

Costume designer Karen Avenell was commissioned to create a custom-made silk dress to further accentuate Ella’s movements.

The sequence would have been impossible to perform in real-time, so we broke it down into 19 individual bite-size movements. These were then edited together in post-production and re-timed to precisely match the motion capture data. 

This ‘base’ layer of fabric was then processed with a bespoke echo trail, to create a fiery flame-like effect.

In addition, we filmed an array of pyrotechnics and practical effects [sparklers, flares, smoke grenades, and chalk dust] at high speed which were later composited into the sequence to enhance the volcano effect, culminating in an epic final shot.”

Mike Sharpe, Creative Director at Found Studio

This so nice. I’m mining the internet to find any related marketing and advertising materials. If I track them down, I’ll updated this post with them. I have to say, I’m not sure how any of them could compete with the drama created by the choreography and music presented in the video.

The next step for the London Symphony Orchestra, is to replace that hideous logo with something as grand as this video. That however is a topic for another time.