Looking back on a great 2013 there we’re a handful of videos that I found to be very inspirational. The creativity of these small teams is breathtaking, revealing themes that cover the illusion of magic, how ignoring mistakes could blind you from the hilarious, artificial intelligence that will fight our wars to set us free, a concept car that defies preconceptions, and lastly a CGI character so real, it blurs the line between the real and artificial.
These videos all reach for the same goal, to help us peek through the veil of convention. Whether originating from non-profit or big budget projects, the originality and thinking are both a humbling and welcomed experience.
First on the list is titled “BOX” from Bot & Dolly, a design and engineering studio specializing in automation, robotics, and filmmaking. “Box explores the synthesis of real and digital space through projection-mapping onto moving surfaces. The short film documents a live performance, captured entirely in camera.” The demo explores five principles of stage magic, being transformation, levitation, intersection, teleportation, and escape.
Second is a hilariously funny short film titled “Late for Meeting” by David Lewandowski, director and animation artist. Below is an excerpt from a Fast Company Co.Create interview with Lewandowski .”When you create a character in 3-D,” Lewandowski says, “you normally design a restrictor plate so the kneecaps, for example, can’t move in impossible ways. “But Lewandowski wanted unnatural movement so he disrupted the standard settings. “This idea of broken motion capture data, where all the bones are inverted and flipped and looping incorrectly and contorting, has been used very effectively in horror films for creatures and stuff, but I haven’t really seen it exploited in comedy.”
Third is a short film titled “Keloid” from BLR_VFX. “The world has become a cell for all man and women, who withstand and endure their lives, rather than living them. Machines might have found a solution. From now on, you are set free. .. Two years in the making, Keloid was a “free reign to the creative aspects of production that many times are so much missed during profit work”.
Fourth clip is a “making of” video from the Mercedes-Benz Design Group, who was challenged to develop the stunning AMG Vision Gran Turismo Concept car for Gran Turismo 6 PS3 racing game. The team developed a car that was not restricted by production or show car constraints. They went as far as creating sound design for the engine and a real world physics application for the GT6 game.
Last but not least is from AMV BBDO and Framestone, a creative ad agency powerhouse and visual-effects company, respectively. The commercial shows a stunningly real computer generated Audrey Hepburn promoting Galaxy chocolate. The agency originally ended up with subpar results when trying to use Hepburn’s eyes compiled on a CGI visage of Hepburn. Going back to the drawing board and using Arnold, and a brand new rendering software, along with frame-by-frame hand animation techniques, the two company’s results were on the leading edge of what is possible.
Bonus reel. Title: Oblivion GFX: From Bradley G Munkowitz Design Director, and Lead Designer for Joseph Kosinkski, via Universal Pictures.