Animation

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.

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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

A is for Albert

You don’t have to have kids to appreciate the humor associated with this animated short from Studio Lovelock. “A is for Albert” is an animated alphabetical adventure about the highs and lows of parenting. Along with the short animated video, there is a corresponding website where each letter of the alphabet is broken out into its own animated section. Produced by Joe Lovelock this was a side project that took some time to complete while he was working on getting his studio off the ground. Built with simple shapes, a soft color pallet, and nice little soundtrack, the video is a breath of fresh air in a sea of negative soundbite, news blips, and uncertainty these days. Below the video is an excerpt from Lovelock on the project.

 

Like all side projects this has taken ten times as long as I thought it would, about three years to be more specific.

I put that down to the unforeseen issue of having to use all 26 letters in the alphabet, and secondly I’ve just been busy. It turns out the little man who inspired the whole thing is pretty demanding timewise, compounded by the fact that somehow that one little man became two. On top of that I’ve been trying to build a design agency (studiolovelock.com). It turns out that’s pretty time consuming too.

Truth be told I’m not entirely happy with it, but I’m proud of the fact that I’ve managed to finish it and can finally move on to something new. I’m also proud of the two little champions that inspired it. Their mum’s pretty awesome too.

Google Got Nominated For An Oscar

Google introduced their 360 Spotlight Stories a little over a year ago and they have been gaining steady traction since. If you haven’t checked out the VR tech you can see all of the videos on YouTube here, and if you have a VR headset that is connected to the internet I suggest giving it a view that way as well. The films themselves are really well done with compelling stories and solid animation to match, and while this has the opportunity to be a huge marketing tool for any number of industries it really shines as an entertainment vehicle. Case in point the video below that has been nominated for an Oscar at this year’s Acadamy Awards. Yes, Google is in the running for an Oscar for the animated short “Pearl”. The five and a half minute animated short tells the story of a girl and her father as they travel the country in their car chasing dreams and bonding over

The five and a half minute animated short tells the story of a girl and her father as they travel the country in their car chasing dreams and bonding over song, life, and the open road. To get the full experience of the short film you need to actually pan around the environment. You can get the full impact of the story by simply watching, but the experience is far greater when you actually dive into what Google offers here, which is an immersive experience that extends the story.

Google has only released a handful of these short films, all of which are available on their YouTube channel. I think that is a testament to a couple of things. How long it takes to produce quality content, and how complex crafting this kind of immersive environment can be. I’m pretty excited to see how far this can be pushed, and I’m really looking forward to Google releasing a full development kit for this. The potential is huge on so many levels.

Division & Unity

It’s a beautiful mid-winter afternoon in the midwest. The sun is shining and it is a  surprising 60 degrees for the end of January. For the last week, everyone in America has been bombarded by the new president’s “Alternative Facts” and shifting misinformation. No, I’m not going to go on a political rant. I am however going to post this nice little piece of eye candy with a message that might make you stop and think. Produced by T

Produced by Territory Studio / ODD, Division and Unity is a black and white animated short narrated by Oli Whitworth. The message is a comment on how our digital age has shaped and influenced us, and a message of how we’re stronger together. It is also a message about how people bend the facts to meet their needs and attempt to influence those that now live by sound bites, and 120 characters as though they were absolute truths.

Oh and it’s quite lovely to look at, so if you don’t want to hear the message, turn the sound off and just look at the nice visuals.