A Stereoscopic Look Inside the Mind of Leonardo da Vinci.

iamstatic released the trailer for their upcoming feature length documentary Inside the Mind of Leonardo last week, and based on the look of the trailer, this is going to be something worth going to see in the theater.

Created over an 8 month period of time the film is about the threads of thought and working processes of genius inventor and artist Leonardo Da Vinci. Based on pages of handwritten notes and drawings the 30 minute documentary is a stereo 3D animation that transports the audience into Leonardo’s thoughts and ambitions. Director Julian Jones, and a masterful crew from  iamstatic and Township & Company have created something that I can’t wait to catch in the theater later this year.

Woodland Park Zoo Gets Crushed.

Here’s a little Tuesday inspiration. Toronto studio Crush via creative agency Wong, Doody, Crandall, Wiener, Seattle have created a really nice animated spot for the Woodland Park Zoo.

Designer Jullian Ablaza and children’s book illustrator Ashley Barron created the stylized look of the animals. Once the animals were created, Ablaza designed the simple environments to compliment the animals as the film flowed from scene to scene. The animation was built by senior designer and animator Yoho Hang Yue in a single After Effects project helping to keep everything streamlined and reduce costs.  The result is beautiful, fun, and entertaining.

“We wanted a very tactile feel, which we would have done in camera if the budget and timeline allowed,” said Gary Thomas, Creative Director, Crush. “The end result was very close to that and allowed for a lot of flexibility. The creative team at Wong, Doody, Crandall, Wiener were a dream to work with. They were totally on the same page and brought great insight to the work. We are incredibly pleased with the final result.”

The Audi quattro® Experience, Interactive Installation.

OK this is the kind of interactive advertising/marketing that I love. It’s more than just digital. It has a physical component that is tied to an iPad app, and website.

Audi built a one of a kind experiential event that was tied directly to an integrated campaign  that allowed participants to drive 1/32 scale custom fabricated Audi slot cars on a 140 square foot hand built track. The track was placed in the heart of Toronto’s financial district where participants could use the world’s first iPad slot car controller that featured live in car camera feeds giving participants the feel of being inside the slot car itself. What a great idea. I hope Audi takes this on a tour of North American cities because I want to play.

Sound of Vision.

In the last 5 years film making has undergone a revolution. Camera technologies have improved. Editing and compositing software has gotten so good and so easy to use that anyone with a good eye and design sensibility can produce a pretty solid film with a digital camera, and a laptop. This is something that would have been really hard to do a few years back. I’m not saying that everyone can do this. There is plenty of junk on the internet, but when the right tools are in the right hands, magic happens.

A great example of this is from Konstantin Syomin and “20Coop”. Their documentary film, “Sound of Vision” was shot entirely on a Panasonic GH2 micro four-thirds camera. The film won the International Documentary Challenge in Toronto. I tried to embed the video below but couldn’t instead click on the image below to be taken to the film page. Here you can see this wonderful film, plus the rest of the finalist.

The film won

— Best Film
— PBS’ POV award
— Best cinematography
— Best editing
— Best use of Genre

Looks Fast. Even in Park.

When I first saw this I thought it was some nice Photoshop work for a concept/proposal for Mercedes. After looking at the images I realized that BBDO, Toronto, actually built the props and created the blurred wall and sidewalk. That is pretty impressive. I’d like to see this in person to see if looks as good as it does in the photos.

According to the copy on the image, “To launch the Mercedes-Benz 2012 C-Class Coupe, one was parked in front of a motion blurred wall, sidewalk, and billboard that read: “Looks fast. Even in park. The 450hp 2012 C-Class Coupe.” To complete the motion-blur illusion, real 3D models of a motion blurred fire hydrant, parking sign, and mailbox were created to be part of the street scene.

Agency: BBDO, Toronto, Canada
SVP Executive Creative Directors: Peter Ignazi, Carlos Moreno
Art Director: Jonathan Guy
Copywriter: Frank Macera
Photography: Philip Rostron, Instil Productions Inc.

Curvy, Sexy, Continue, Desk.

In the last 5 years I have pretty much gone paperless. I mean that, I have a desk with drawers and there is nothing in them. I’m not saying that I don’t ever use paper, I sketch and draw out concepts the old-fashioned way to get started. I just don’t keep a whole lot of paper items around. That might be one of the reasons I love this desk by Ontario College of Art & Design student Francesco Angiulli.

Recently exhibited during the Interior Design Show 2011 in Toronto the Continue Desk, is a curvy sexy drawerless desk that exemplifies that minimalist ideal of needing no paper.  I could see this with nothing more than my iPad or laptop sitting on it, paired with a classic Eames Aluminum Management chair ( the original with 4 legs not 5).

The Charcoal House, by Atelier Rzlbd.

A little over a year ago, my wife and I moved into our new house which is by most standards, sized at a modest 1500 square feet of finished living space. I say that because the average home in America these days reigns in at about 3000 square feet. Part of our decision was based on the idea of reducing our footprint, and minimizing what we own. If you come to our house, like most people you are probably going to ask, “Where is all your stuff”. The other half of the decision was based on the desire to live in a modern architect designed house. After moving into Modular 4, I set up a series of web feeds around modern architecture in North America, and this morning when I was going through them on my iPad, I came across this remarkable structure located in Toronto Canada.

The Charcoal House by Atelier Rzlbd:

This modern single-family residence presents a very bold modern facade of manganese brick, carried right up to a parapet wall concealing the rooftop terrace. The windows pushed through the South face of the structure to allow for solar gain and help reduce heating costs in the cold Canadian winters. The windows play off the minimalist exterior structure of the home helping to break up the flat charcoal surface.

The interior is a play of open spaces and light that is cast from the volume of windows placed across the vertical faces of the structure. Multiple skylights and extensive use of double-height space creates a welcoming and visually stunning home.

At 2100 square feet the house is still moderate in size compared with most homes in North America, yet it feels large do to the open expanses of interior space and the amount of glazing used to open the house up to the outside world.

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The Charcoal House by Atelier Rzlbd:

“Charcoal House, situated in Pape and Danforth neighborhood in Toronto, Ontario, is deceivingly presenting a raucous box. The randomly patterned square windows on its façade and the hidden entrance door at the corner of the building are elements that not only make it difficult to associate the building with a single family house, but they also trick the eye to an extend where the scale of the house is distorted and one might not be able to guess the number of floors inside.

Although the monolithic facade, the black brick cladding, states an asperous architecture, the airy spaces within the black box reveals the true identity of its functional spaces. The house as the architect describes, resembles a “coconut” which is dark and hard on the outside, white and delicious on the inside.

While it’s successful attempts to minimize physical connection to the front street creates a bizarre solitude for the building-such as the front door, which is carefully hidden inside an exterior corridor and melts into the facade around the corner of the building- this wood-framed single-family house of about 2,100 square feet suddenly transforms into a dynamic living space with a careful attention to openings and natural lights in each room, and once again deceives one’s immediate impression of disengagement from the outside by creating unexpected and glorious openings to the outside.

The Charcoal House sits on a small lot with a narrow plan. It is not a spacious house to live in, but an avant-garde mind that seeks an alternative living space is perhaps looking for a change in effects. A modern house is about a modern living style, and the Charcoal House is an attempt to provide that chance for Torontonians.”