Wednesday, November 13, 2013
MacBook Airs, iPhones, and a few iPads have been put to superb use in creating an original music video for upcoming Ukranian indie popsters Brunettes Shoot Blondes. In total 14 Apple products were utilised to tell a touching love story between a man with a rabbit's head and a girl who is always just out of his reach. In an interview with Dezeen magazine band member Andrew Kovaliov described the protagonist as: "... a typical bad boy, who tries very hard to regain her attention... and finally he receives it - a love story with a happy ending." The video involved friends of the band turning up with their hand-held digital devices on the day of the shoot and providing the hands to move the Apple products around. Kovaliov said: "We had an idea of graphic elements that would interplay between the gadgets. So then we created the characters and started to work on synchronisation of the video fragments downloaded on different devices." Having decided on the animated story it was time to calculate the fragments in Adobe Premiere to make sure that each would synch with the next. Kovoliov said: "After several rehearsals we could run the fragments on all devices simultaneously." The silhouettes of the Felliniesque girl and her amorous lepine lover were created in Adobe's After Effects and Autodesk's Maya software. In total a single iPod nano, six iPhones, three MacBook Airs, two iPad minis and two iPads were used, as well as a lot of patience!
Glasgow-based special effects geniuses axisVFX are the brains behind the Dr Who episode in which Peter Capaldi faces the chilling Boneless. The haunting apparitions in the 'Flatline' episode are completely created in CGI. The Scottish studio has taken over the reins from London-based post production giants the Mill and Milk VFX. axisVFX is the lovechild of Axis, an animation studio established in 2000 by Stuart Aitken, Richard Scott, Graham McKenna and Dana Dorian. Talking to Scotland Now, Aitken explained: "We had an opportunity to pitch on a few stories in this season and we were successful in getting episode nine. He went on: "It's conceptually one of the most interesting VFX-wise. The story involves beings that are and are not there - the word 'impossible' came up several times, and that's always a challenge when a script says something is impossible. How do you create something that's never been seen before, how do they exist within our world, and how would you make it believable?" The challenge was to bring the creatures to life and marry them to Steven Moffat's, the show's helmsman, vision. 3D scanning and motion capture were used to grab the actors' performance. Scott said: "It helps that some of the CG creatures weren't meant to look like people. The Boneless are creating an ever changing facsimile of the people but you never see it clearly." The animators were able to work to a tough timetable because of the collaboration tools that are now available online. Dr Who first aired more than 50 years ago, and is still the biggest sci-fi event on British TV.
If Game of Thrones means absolutely nothing to you, you probably want to stop reading now, or download the epic HBO series and come back to us in a week or so. The first four seasons of the fantasy saga have been summed up superbly in an animation by directors Blackmeal and Baptiste Pagani. The team has managed to pull together the atmosphere of the show in an elegantly wrought animation that is simple in its execution, but balletic in its 2D tracking shot that takes us through a journey of the seminal points in the George R. R. Martin masterpiece.
3D printers are something that nearly all of us struggle to get our heads around. However artist Julian Maire is somebody who does understand the concept and has proven this by producing a 3D short film using the technology. Maire built 85 digitally printed figures of a man in various stages of doing nothing more than digging a hole. He then attached each to a reel of film running through a slide projector programmed to a constant speed to produce a minute-long animation. Whereas conventional film projection produces a 2D image, Maire's innovation produces a 3D projection the viewer can see without the use of silly glasses. Maire told Motherboard: "I wanted to do a film with stereolithagraphy since almost 15 years, but it was very expensive before, and very slow." However, he has now utilised the technology to create a 3D image. The artist added: "...the impression of 3D is much more coming off because of the blurriness - the blur aspect of the image." And it is this blurriness that gives the image its depth of field. The man digging the hole is in perfect focus whereas the background has blur, and this is why the film has a 3D feel. "A picture without blur is totally flat" explains Maire. The director is currently working on a longer film employing the same technology.
And finally, a brilliant animated short that bluntly illustrates how dangerous the simple cigarette can be. Not necessarily for our health, but for the lives of others. Written, directed and animated by French filmmaker Matthieu Van Eeckhout. The film opens with an office worker enjoying a gasper while watching a gorgeous sunset over a city skyline. Having completed his reverie he idly flicks the butt out of the window. What ensues, nobody could have predicted. And the denouement? Well I can't spoil that...