Motion Graphics

Taken – David Bowie by Duffy

I’m a sort of fan of David Bowie. When he’s on, he’s on, when he’s off he’s off. I’m fascinated by his chameleon ability to change personality on a dime and change up musical genres and style at the drop of a hat. He was a true artist that transcended definition and refused to be pigeonholed into a single category. Not only that he was able to continue to be an influence across decades of activity. Not all of his music did it for me, but I have to admit there are certain tracks that will always be in rotation on one of my playlists.

A new touring exhibition documenting the collaboration of David Bowie and English photographer Brian Duffy over a five-album period (from 1972 to 1980) becomes all the more intriguing with this promo by Scottish motion director Chris Bain. The trailer does an excellent job of capturing what is in the exhibition, David Bowie’s transition over time from Ziggy Star Dust to the Thin White Duke, and all points in between. Nice motion graphics and animations paired with photographs from the exhibit combine to create a trailer that gives just enough insight to grab your attention without revealing too much of the show itself. Audio is provided by Box of Toys and gives a solid nod to Bowie’s musical style during the period without being overpowering.

Created for Nomad Exhibitions, Bain has done an excellent job of setting up the exhibition and capturing the mood of the period.

“The trailer celebrates two of the 20th century’s most celebrated creative minds. Five iconic photography sessions, across a period, often referred to as Bowie’s golden years – Ziggy Stardust, Aladdin Sane, Thin White Duke, Lodger, and Scary Monsters.

“The exhibition presented by Nomad Exhibitions in partnership with the Duffy Archive and curated by Paul Morley, will bring to life Bowie and Duffy’s legendary creative process through interviews, music, film, artifacts, photography and also include innovative multimedia displays and immersive projection.”

Art Direction & Animation: Chris Bain Design
Client: Nomad Exhibitions
Music & Sound Design: Box of Toys Audio


 

FutureDeluxe for Nespresso

Mcann / Hogarth recently commissioned FutureDeluxe to produce a CG animated commercial for Nespresso that is really wonderful. OK, what am I saying pretty much everything FutureDeluxe does is wonderful. The short clip takes the viewer on a journey that travels through a variety of spaces. Each highlighting the colors and variety of Nespresso machines, all of which are designed to create an atmosphere reflective of the machine itself. The short is made up of 37 films, 44 CG products, and 40 key visuals that live in 7 unique spaces.

One thing that really stands out to me about this advertisement is the fact that you hardly see any Nespresso branding. You occasionally see the logo on a shopping bag or on the Nespresso coffee pod but that is it, and it works. The brand is so well known they don’t need to smack you over the head by plastering the logo in every single shot. Not only that but the spaces themselves continue to elevate Nespresso to be seen as the luxury coffee item that it is.

If you want to geek out a bit, the process real below shows how this was put together from a fairly high level. Sketches, style frames, animatics, wireframe renderings plates, and all. Personally, I love looking at this stuff. I find it absolutely fascinating.

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