Art

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.

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Creatures of the Deep

When I first watched this video on Vimeo, I was drawn in by the fantastic cinematography, and the atmosphere that is created in Alan Williams studio. The visuals hooked me but as his story, and discussion about process unfolded, I knew I was here for the full 8-minute duration. After watching it with the sound on, I muted the audio and watched it again, full screen and really looked at the way this was shot, edited, and composed. Ben Cox does a really nice job of framing his shots and using shallow depth of field to focus the viewer on specific elements within the frame. Lighting and color grading come together to really help enhance the story and create a mood that captures Alan Williams personality and the artwork he creates. This short has such a solid look, and great story hooks as well, it’s definitely going in the visual reference library for inspiration at a later date.

Paypal Cut Paper 3D Animation.

The video below from Sehsucht is one of those great examples of where technology and craft come together to create something that makes you question if it is 3D animation, stop motion, or a blend of the two. It turns out it was all done on the computer, but the effect is fantastic. Botht the finished video, and the making of are below showing you how it was done. The finished video looks like animated cut paper and is surprisingly convincing as something that was done with physical materials by hand. The animation was built using Cinema 4D and if you watch the making of video you can see how the team developed the sequence from storyboards, to style frames, to some intense animation sequences that capture the look of layered paper cutouts. Great stuff.

“PayPal isn’t just an online payment method, it is a licensed bank as well. Die Botschaft and SEHSUCHT Berlin developed a nice concept to communicate this and other facts about PayPal.  Our main Character Mr. PayPal is explaining that PayPal is more than just a bank and shows the benefits of using it. We really had fun bringing him to live in this beautiful 3D paper cut world. The goal was to animate everything exactly like it would be done if animated by hand with stop motion techniques. This was a tedious and mind-bending challenge, but fun and every frame was worth the love and passion.”

“Velo”, or Chair Porn. Not That Kind of Porn. Get your Mind out the Gutter.

It’s been awhile since I have posted any chair porn, so here you go. Velo designed by Jan Waterston is a solid example of how taking a good creative concept and executing properly can reinvent an ordinary item creating intriguing beauty.

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The chair has been redefined by Waterson as a sinuous piece of furniture with a sculptural, yet inviting presence. It is a demonstration of  master craftsmanship and creativity as it becomes a flowing form that wraps around the seated form. When not in use it is an object of art, a sculptural piece of wood that is visually dynamic, even though it is a static object.

Waterson says the beauty the chair was  inspired by the flowing forms of bicycles, “This relationship between body and object is echoed in bicycle design with tubes flowing seamlessly into one another, constantly changing shape, to improve function and aesthetic”. 

Velo is hand sculpted from ash and features seamless construction, which is a testament to the Waterson’s woodworking skills Each element of the chair blend into one another, making the Velo seem as though it is crafted from a single piece of wood.

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Accidents, Blunders, and Calamities.

Once again student work that is blowing my mind with high-quality production values, attention to detail, story craft, and animation skills. The video below was put together by a team of 44 students at Media Design School. The students crafted 30 CG animals and blended them with live action footage to create a short black comedy inspired by the work of Edward Gorey. This really is a fantastic little short, and it truly shows just how far design, animation, film making, and illustration have come in the last 10 years. When I look back on the student animations and films that were being produced when I was in school, this makes them look positively horrible in terms of quality. Then again when I was in art school, a Mac II was about the most powerful computer you could find.

 

Here Comes Summer. Lets Go Swimming.

It is the first day of summer in the Northern Hemisphere. Summer officially began at 6:34 p.m. EDT, and what better way to celebrate than by showing a series of paintings that capture one of summers official past times, swimming. The paintings below are from a series of swimming figures painted by Colombian illustrator and painter Pedro Covo. Covo was born in Cartagena de Indias – Colombia, graduated from Visual Arts in the Javeriana University of Bogota in 2011. The figurative paintings capture the figures as they are obscured by the splashes and movement of the water rendered in frenetic splatters of paint, bold strokes, and sinuous line that seems to melt into the deep blues, greens and gray’s of the water itself. There is a dream like quality to each of them that really appeals to me, an almost abstract quality that allows you to get lost in each painting. I’d love to see these in person, since your computer screen leaves out so many details.

Covo most recently exhibited at Río Laboratorio, and has has been shown internationally  since 2013. We are in the midst of an early summer heatwave here inn the midwest and these make me want to take the day off and head to the pool.

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Today’s Inspiration, the AIGA Medalists on YouTube.

I’m always on the lookout for design inspiration. It can come from anywhere, and take on many forms. I think it’s that always curious about learning new things, or looking for new ideas. One of the latest things that has sucked up a huge amount of my time is the AIGA Medalist playlist on YouTube. If you’re looking to be inspired, look no further. 44 videos averaging about 3 and a half minutes in length. The latest video is below. All 44 are at the link above.