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

Rubber Bullets

Over the course of 2020, we have all been witness to protests that the news has captured and broadcast to us via TV, the web, and our phones. From “Black Lives Matter” to “End the Covid-19 Shutdown” and everything in between 2020 has been a year of worldwide unrest and protests.

One of the things that come with that, is police enforcement and crowd control using non-lethal weapons like rubber bullets. While rubber bullets are designed to be non-lethal, that doesn’t mean they don’t inflict serious harm on the person that gets shot with one. I’ve seen many social media posts showing the outcome of someone taking a rubber bullet to the face, or multiple bullets to the torso. The result is often devastating and debilitating, and it begs the question is there a need for them? I’m not taking sides here. I’m simply asking.

The video below demonstrates what rubber bullets are capable of. Especially when fired at close range. While the human body is more durable than an eggplant, this video brings home the truth about how much serious harm these non-lethal projectiles can inflict on a person.

Produced by Royale Film Co. and Dan Brown this video was inspired by the protestors in Austin Texas this summer. Protestors including a college student that suffered permanent brain damage when shot in the head with a rubber bullet.

Using a high-speed Phantom camera shooting at 2000 frames per second the video truly highlights what these “non-lethal” projectiles are capable of. And while the visuals are quite stunning and fascinating to watch, they also show what rubber bullets are capable of.

Google’s “Year in Search” for 2020

Just in case you didn’t know it, 2020 has been a pretty trying year on so many levels. So much has happened in the last 12 months that it is easy to forget some of what we have all been through. Each year Google puts out their “Year in Search” video which curates visuals associated with the most dominant trend in search, and this year the trend was “why?”.

Google captures 2020 in 3 minutes and reminds all of us that there is a light at the end of the tunnel and that while this year has been rough, to say the least, there is a reason to keep going. Here’s to 2021 and a better year ahead.

AirPods Max “Journey Into Sound”

With the announcement this week from Apple about the new AirPods Max a flurry of new advertisements promoting the hardware has hit the internet and the airwaves. While the headphones are truly a thing of beauty, and probably sound great I won’t be forking over $549.00 dollars to Apple any time soon for a pair. That doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy all of the eye candy that is popping up.

Case in point, AirPods Max — Journey into Sound from directing duo Vania Heymann and Gal Muggia. The two have put together a spacey, somewhat trippy Spot that shows off the great design of the new AirPods Max while promoting the high tech audio features. The spot is a one minute and thirty-eight-second experience that probably sounds fantastic on the new AirPods max or my surround sound system at home. (I’ll be watching this again tonight on my TV with the sound turned up for sure.) It’s visually stunning as well with some really nice CG effects, editing, and color grading.

The dream like state of the spot feels so fitting for a person getting lost in music while relaxing on the sofa. It is the perfect product/brand positioning for something that is “a perfect balance of exhilarating high-fidelity audio and the effortless magic of AirPods.” according to Apple.