Hoards of Anonymous Figures React to a User-Controlled Character in an Interactive World by Universal Everything
UK design studio Universal Everything (previously) is in the midst of crafting an experimental open-world environment called Emergence, available in a preview film. In Emergence, the glowing yellow user-controlled character is surrounded by crowds of anonymous people who react to the character’s movements. The scenes are set in a variety of abstracted but familiar environments like city streets and under water. Presumably, the viewer will be able to control the figure in a VR or immersive gallery setting. Universal Everything explains the experience on their Vimeo page:
Emergence is an open-world environment, expressing the primal feeling of maintaining your individual identity whilst being part of a crowd. As you immerse yourself in a crowd of thousands, shafts of light beckon you closer. As you touch the light, the environment – its atmosphere, its gravity and the choreography of the crowd – transform in powerful ways, continually challenging your perception.
Universal Everything was founded by Matt Pyke, who leads a variety of digital artists, animators, musicians, and developers in creating a wide variety of digital projects. Another notable project from the studio is a Sydney Opera House’s Living Mural collaboration, where digital murals from artists around the world were projected on to the Opera House’s iconic nesting rooflines. You can see more from Universal Everything on Vimeo and Instagram, and the studio also has a solo exhibition of their work on view until February 2019 at Borusan Contemporary in Istanbul. (via The Awesomer)
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Using modeling software and multi-material 3D printing, industrial designer Nicole Hone created a series of 4D-printed futuristic aquatic plants, or Hydrophytes, that are as full of character as the natural organisms they mimic. In the film of the same name, the hydrophytes are activated by pneumatic inflation in water, and transform into dynamic organisms that you could swear were actually alive.
“I have always been fascinated with nature,” the designer tells Colossal. “It inspires my design ideas and aesthetic. For this project, I became particularly interested in botany and marine life. I was amazed by the way sea creatures and corals moved, and I wanted to reflect similar qualities in my designs.” While working on her Master of Design Innovation thesis at Victoria University of Wellington, Hone learned about plans to redesign the National Aquarium in New Zealand. She thought that it would be interesting to develop a “future-focused exhibition” with moving models as an interactive installation for visitors. She began making test prints and discovered that the models moved best in water, which eventually became the pieces used in Hydrophytes.
Hone explains that software was used to create the shape, surface texture, and internal structures for the Hydrophytes. One benefit of the 3D printing system is that there can be a varying degree of hardness for the parts, but the machine can still handle printing them as a seamless object. During printing the works are encased in a support material, which Hone has to then painstakingly remove (sometimes a 4-hour process) by soaking them in water and using a toothpick. After cleaning, air is passed through the CGOs (computer generated objects) and they are placed in the underwater environments.
“They can respond to external forces such as gravity, water ripples or currents, and interaction with people or other 3D prints in real life,” Hone said. “Their man-made composite materials behave uncannily similar to living organisms.”
She went onto explain that each Hydrophyte has a unique character that is defined by both their style of movement and appearance. The colored lights that illuminate the printed plants were chosen to “complement each personality and amplify the emotive qualities of the film,” and the functions of each plant were inspired by the effects of climate change on marine species. “As the 4D printing experiments developed from abstract shapes into more plant-like models, their appearance and movement helped me think of which function would best suit each character,” she added. It’s fascinating to see the intersection of art and technology produce such a unique collection of objects. To view more of what Hone has created with her research, visit her website. (via Designboom)
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In a new ad campaign for the 2019 MINI Countryman, MINI USA invited artist duo Nix + Gerber (previously) and animator Kirsten Lepore (previously) to produce stop motion films in the vehicle’s cargo space. Nix + Gerber explore space in their film Camping, while Lepore goes deep under the sea in her work Underwater. Nix + Gerber utilized two dioramas for their models of Earth and the Moon, creating each of the terrains with foam, wire, flock, dirt and rocks. Lepore’s ocean-based love story was built entirely from paper, with an overlay of plexiglass to give the set that underwater shimmer. The short films explore the 2019 vehicle’s slogan “Created in a Countryman,” examining what sorts of vast worlds might be constructed in the confines of a MINI’s trunk.
Camping will screen on Monday, September 17, 2018 at the BAM Rose Cinema at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, while Underwater will screen at The Other Art Fair in Los Angeles from October 24 – 28, 2018. You can view more of Lepore’s animations on Vimeo, and see an extensive selection of Nix + Gerber’s miniature dioramas on their website.
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GRIS is an new video game designed by Nomada Studio that leads users through a surreal landscape filled with crimson mountains, square trees, and overgrown ruins. There is no danger or death in the detailed watercolor world, but rather the opportunity for meditative exploration with the main character as she unlocks new worlds and abilities. The video game features an original score, which perfectly matches the tone of its soft, gestural graphics, created by Nomada Studio partner Conrad Roset.
The game design mimics the way watercolor pools on paper, with splotches of color often falling outside of the lines in the main character’s face or the hills she slides down or leaps over. “In our game the scenery is very important, and sometimes takes the spotlight over the main character,” says the studio.
GRIS is the first video game by the Barcelona-based Nomada studio, and will be released this December for both Nintendo Switch and PC. You can watch a demo of the indie game in the video by IGN below. (via Creative Review)
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When not working for a NASA-funded citizen-science project, Adrien Mauduit travels the world seeking out remote places to create photographs and films of the night sky. To the naked eye, the galaxies around us appear as single points of light; Mauduit’s “astro-lapse” visuals showcase the dimensionality of the universe through specialized photo and video equipment. His most recent video, Galaxies Volume III, is the third in the astro-lapse series and focuses on the core of the Milky Way.
Mauduit explains in a statement about the project that from a young age he has been interested in the natural wonders of the environment, and by “showing the true beauty of the universe I could contribute in my own limited way to bringing the real dark skies to the hectic and light polluted urban jungle.” The resulting film includes dramatic shots of shooting stars, silhouetted mountains, and rushing clouds foregrounding the shimmering night sky. You can see more of Mauduit’s work on Vimeo and Instagram. (via Vimeo Staff Picks)
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Swedish director and animator Anna Mantzaris has a penchant for the darkly humous as seen in her 2012 film But Milk is Important. Her recent short ENOUGH was made during her first year at the Royal College of Art where she graduated earlier this year. The stop motion film follows several kind-looking characters as they snap during everyday occurrences such as frustrating board meetings, dealing with demanding customers, or just narrowly missing the bus.
“I wanted to have quite soft and sympathetic characters, to contrast with the less soft actions,”Mantzaris explained to Directors Notes. “I also liked them to feel a bit awkward and uncomfortable, just as we can feel sometimes in social situations. I also wanted it to feel a bit grey and boring, to enhance the feeling of an everyday life that we sometimes want to break out from.”
The funny animation is a cathartic release of the darkness we carry bottled up inside, and showcases what might happen if you finally let yourself lose control. The London-based director recently worked on Wes Anderson’s film Isle of Dogs and has won several awards for her films including the Walt Disney Award for Best Graduation Film and the Audience Award at Ottawa International Animation Festival. You can see more of her short films on her website and Vimeo. (via Short of the Week)
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Texas-based motion designer Marcus Martinez creates rainbow-hued GIFs against solid back backgrounds, producing animated elements that explode, twist, and sizzle with extraordinary color. He started his own tumblr around four years ago after admiring the works of Admiral Potato, Angular Geometry, PI-Slices, and in that time period has amassed over 45,000 followers. Although each aspect of building a GIF intrigues Martinez, his favorite aspect is creating each name. “I get to give an emotion to the abstraction,” he tells Colossal. “I love that part.” You can see more of his colorful creations on his tumblr, Isopoly.
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Editor's Picks: Animation
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