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Design

GridDrones: These Self-Levitating Nanocopters Might Be the Future of Smartphones

October 12, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

Starting tomorrow researchers will gather in Berlin for the ACM Symposium on User Interface Software and Technology. The symposium features projects on computer-human interaction, web user interfaces, tangible computing, virtual and augmented reality, and more. During the Human-Robot Symbiosis session a matrix of self-levitating nanocopters called “GridDrones” will be introduced by Sean Braley, Calvin Rubens, Timothy Merritt, Roel Vertegaal. The miniature flying machines act like pixels which can be programmed to perform specific animations and manipulated in real time. Instead of dragging and dropping apps on an iPhone, the technology could lead to manipulating flying objects in physical space which would completely alter how we view the landscape of a computer or phone “screen.” (via Fast Company)

 

 



Animation Design

Satisfying Looped Animations Inspired by Interior Design Elements

October 2, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

Motion graphics artist Andreas Wannerstedt designs short animated loops that present invented machines performing mesmerizing tasks. His videos are often inspired by real-world interior design, and incorporate elements such as rose gold, dark wood grains, and tropical Monstera leaves. The works are published under a series of iterations titled “Oddly Satisfying” which he posts to his Instagram and Vimeo accounts. You can see additional projects by the Swedish designer on his website. (via Vice)

 

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Animation Art

4D-Printed Aquatic Plants Spring to Life in “Hydrophytes” by Nicole Hone

September 17, 2018

Andrew LaSane

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)

 

 



Amazing Design Food

Watch How Steel Ribbons Are Shaped into Cookie Cutters

September 12, 2018

Laura Staugaitis

CookieCutter.com makes and sells exactly what you think they do. The Missouri-based company uses a combination of hydraulic and hand-operated machines to shape steel ribbons into classic shapes like gingerbread men, along with more complicated designs like deer and even the Statue of Liberty. The methodical push and pull of the shaping devices makes for great visual fodder, and CookieCutter.com frequently shares their process videos on Instagram and Facebook.

 

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Animation Science

The Milky Way’s Glimmering Core Captured in a Timelapse Video by Adrien Mauduit

September 7, 2018

Laura Staugaitis

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)

 

 

 



Animation

Billions of Color Changing Particles Create Amorphous Waves in a New Art Film by Maxim Zhestkov 

August 14, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

Volumes is a new 4K experimental art film by artist and director Maxim Zhestkov (previously) which explores the laws of nature through the interactions of billions of spherical particles. As the digitally produced elements collide they transform into a series of brilliant colors, morphing from black and grey orbs to pink, blue, and white balls and back again. The spheres combine to create sweeping waves that disperse and meld back together in large, amorphous forms. You can view more of the director’s projects on Vimeo, Instagram, and Behance.

 

 



Animation

3D Editing Tools Manipulate Everyday Life in This Reality-Bending Video by Vladimir Tomin

July 26, 2018

Sasha Bogojev

Russian motion designer Vladimir Tomin recently went viral with his most recent, mind-blowing video reel titled Прогулка (Stroll). As the title suggests, the footage is a first-person view of a casual stroll, filled with a collection of reality-bending events. Tomin places the interface of his work tools in the real world, gaining virtual superpowers that allow him to bend street lamps, cause a wave of painted street markings, digitally move a slinky down a set of stairs, move or knock things over, and more.

“When you have an idea, you can’t wait to see how it is going to work, and if it is going to work,” he tells Colossal. “So you work towards it, and during the process there is stuff that you have to figure out, stuff that works easier than you planned, and stuff that is much harder than you anticipated. It’s a very fulfilling process that is fueled by curiosity.”

The inspiration for his animations comes from different sources, but in this case, he was particularly intrigued with the power of Instagram’s realtime AI filters. With everyday gadgets being so technically advanced and providing such possibilities to end users, his reel was made with the vision of what future technologies might allow. By borrowing elements from the generic motion graphic program interface, the video constructs an illusion of utilizing 3D workstation tools in real time, just as commonly as one might use Instagram filters.

The concept was realized using his actual video footage as the background, with all objects that are being manipulated being animated in full 3D, mostly using Adobe After Effects and Cinema 4D. “Sometimes the idea is above everything else, and even if you currently have no clue how to make it work – you will find a way,” he explains. “That sometimes is challenging and it feels great to finally win that fight. Probably not unlike beating some nasty level in a very hard game. Hard but satisfying.”

Tomin has actively worked for over a decade as a graphic illustrator and motion designer, and has an impressive list of awards and projects under his belt. His list of clients includes Bloomberg, Boeing, Coca-Cola, Google and Intel. Vladimir is also a big Nintendo fan, and really enjoys the current trends and novelties of that world. You can see more of his graphics and video-based work, including this animated Nintendo Switch, on Instagram. (via Prosthetic Knowledge)