Book of Life — animation from Guillermo del Toro

Category: Animation / 3D / VFX, Design, Film / Multimedia

From producer Guillermo del Toro and director Jorge Gutierrez comes Book of Life, an animated comedy with a truly unique visual style. From the recently released trailer we can tell that the concept art and character design is superb. The style reminds me of the Alebrijes, the brightly coloured wood carvings of Oaxacan-Mexican folk art sculptures of fantastical creatures.

The animated film tells the story of Manolo, a young man torn between fulfilling the expectations of his father and grandfather to become a bullfighter and following his heart by becoming a musician. Before choosing a path, he embarks on an incredible adventure that spans three fantastical worlds, where he must face his greatest fears. Watch the trailer and get lost in the magical world of the Book of Life. The film premiers on the 17th of October, in time for Halloween.

Kyle Glass
Images: 20th Century Fox

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NewSchool of Architecture + Design

San Diego, California
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Bachelor of Arts in Animation

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Advice from Valve & Weta concept artist

Category: Animation / 3D / VFX, Design, Expert insight, Film / Multimedia, Fine Art, Gaming

It’s more exciting times at Media Design School, the award winning design institution in Auckland, New Zealand. Being top of the game in 3D means it has direct access to the best of the best in digital design. If it’s about movies, television or gaming, chances are Media Design School have their paws all over it, this includes inviting industry superstars in for guest lectures and studio visits. An advantage of being near to the famous Weta and Middle Earth I guess.

So as it recently happened, legend Weta concept artist Laura Dubuk visited the classrooms, taught a masterclass and left the students inspired with some awesome work and valuable advice. Laura is one of those top notch concept artists we’re all a tiny bit jealous of. Not only has she worked on some of the world’s biggest games at Valve, she now she works on super-secret blockbuster projects at Weta Digital in Wellington. With a background in traditional art, painting and some pretty amazing abstract sculptural pieces, this talented artist has managed to cover all the art bases incredibly well. Wanna see what she has to say? Well then click to read what she shared with young concept artists, students and aspiring digital designers at Media Design School over on their blog!

Frontier

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Media Design School

Premium Design Academy in Auckland, New Zealand
http://www.mediadesignschool.com/

Relevant Courses:

Bachelor Software Engineering (Game Programming)
Bachelor of Creative Technologies (Game Art)
Bachelor of Art and Design (3D Animation and Visual Effects)

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Winners Announcement – VisionFest Video Competition

Category: Animation / 3D / VFX, Film / Multimedia, Fine Art, Graphics / Illustration

Wow, this competition has far exceeded our expectations! The amount of excellent quality work entered shows how much talent and creativity lives in our Frontier Community.

Looking at the best entries during the judging we decided to introduce more prizes to recognise more then one winner. So on top of the ArtFest scholarship and flights, we’ll give away two Apple iPad minis to two of the runner ups.

The judges

We had outstanding industry experts from Santa Fe to look at the entries and choose the winners.

Terry Borst has worked as a professional screenwriter for more than 20 years. His screen credits include Midnight Runaround (a sequel to Midnight Run, which starred Robert De Niro); the independent film A Private War; many episodes of the popular internationally syndicated television series Bugs; and Wing Commander III and Wing Commander IV (two of the most popular video games of the late ‘90s). Borst has been commissioned to write feature-film screenplays for studios and a TV series pilot for the BBC and collaborated on the scripting and development of other AAA-level video games.

He also co-authored two books about combining classical Hollywood storytelling techniques with game development processes. Borst has taught screenwriting at UCLA, USC, and other universities before joining the Film School at Santa Fe University of Art and Design.

Katelyn Peer, Program Director at Creative Santa Fe, is a graduate from The Film School at Santa Fe University of Art and Design. At Creative Santa Fe, Peer focuses on directing the annual FANTASE Fest (a light, music, and design festival), as well as community programming initiatives such as the Santa Fe Arts + Creativity Center, and connectivity throughout the city of Santa Fe with projects such as WALK [SANTA FE]. Peer worked on the Santa Fe Studios Operations Team at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival and directed The Film School’s 1st Annual Shoot the Stars project, The Boston Post. Peer’s video, The Chromatic Typewriter was featured in the Santa Fe Independent Film Festival, the Outdoor Vision Festival, the Santa Fe Day at ISEA, and the Downtown Santiago, Chile Video Art Festival.

 

So … let’s get to the winners!

The full ArtFest scholarship with flights goes to Esteban Erazo from Quito, Ecuador. His short film ’The Invention of the Century’ has been chosen for the grand prize by the judges.

The judges thought: ‘In 26 seconds, the filmmaker showcases a unique animation look and style, slyly tips his hat to film history, and tells a complete story with humor and irony. No other film accomplished quite as much in so short a time.’

Congratulations Esteban!

But we just can’t stop here, we decided to give an iPad mini to two other contestants. One of them goes to Can Kesim from Santa Fe, US for his amazing abstract piece ‘Flatness’.

The judges noted: ‘Outdoor Vision Fest is about in part — the play of light against the darkness. The filmmaker plays with line, geometric planes, and dimensionality in an always intriguing exercise in chiaroscuro.’

The other iPad mini goes to Laura Bianco in Milan, Italy for her beautiful short film ‘Underground’. Laura’s short was a unique blend of digital animation made with old family photos and mixed audio recordings of her relatives talking about their lives.

The judges thought: ‘A charming meditation on memory, history, and seizing the moment: a unique blending of media.’

On top of these we have a list of films that will be exhibited at the Outdoor Vision Fest on the Santa Fe University of Art and Design campus on the 2nd of May 2014. Here is a ‘best of’ selection of more awesome entries and the list of works who will get to add this exhibition to their CVs.

Interstizio by Mattia Kollo

State of Mind by Trevor Giove

Light Tribe by Chris Stahelin

And the list of films goes on:
The Cairns, Smokin’ Bones, Fishman, Dot Project, and Feed Me.

Congratulations to all … until the next VisionFest competition in 2015!

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Media Design School

Premium Design Academy in Auckland, New Zealand
http://www.mediadesignschool.com/

Relevant Courses:

Bachelor of Art and Design (3D Animation and Visual Effects)
Bachelor of Media Design (Graphic Design, Interactive, Motion Graphics)

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Santa Fe University of Art and Design

Santa Fe, New Mexico
http://www.santafeuniversity.edu/

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Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Moving Image Arts (Film/ Video)

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Who Will Conquer?

Category: Animation / 3D / VFX, Film / Multimedia

This is absolutely epic and a must watch. I know that we’ve kind of missed the boat in terms of the Winter Olympics timeline, but I had forgotten to share this and when I remembered I thought, well, it’s just too amazing to not… even if the event is all done and dusted.

This incredible sequence is a promo for the BBC’s coverage of the Winter Olympics. What to say apart from the fact that this is an incredible piece of work. Part live footage and part CG, Platige Image, the post house behind the job, have absolutely and completely nailed it. Full of drama, full of vast domineering mountains, full of rich dark hues and perfectly shot action, it’s a sports promo like no other. When I look at a job like this I can’t quite understand the scope of it all. There is so much work here that it’s amazing that it’s for a television channel (albeit one of the worlds largest) as it really feels like this should be made for the big screen. Even the storyboarding is astounding, and if you have any interest in that I highly suggest you click here to see it all laid out in pencil, along with some pretty impressive style frames. The creative agency behind the job Y&R, and it’s post house of choice Platige Image have really scored 100% on this one. It’s nearly impossible to fault.

Beautifully scripted, beautifully shot and beautifully realized. Whether you like sport or don’t like sport, either way, you’ve got to admit that this thing gets the pulse racing.

Im serious with this one. Turn it up, make it big and watch some incredible computer generated action.

(Right… done that? Now take a look at the making of. Just as impressive!)

Logan Bradley

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Media Design School

Premium Design Academy in Auckland, New Zealand
http://www.mediadesignschool.com/

Relevant Courses:

Bachelor of Art and Design (3D Animation and Visual Effects)
Bachelor Software Engineering (Game Programming)
Bachelor of Creative Technologies (Game Art)

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NewSchool of Architecture + Design

San Diego, California
http://www.newschoolarch.edu/

Relevant Courses:

Bachelor of Arts in Animation
Bachelor of Science in Digital Media Arts

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The Radiohead app — Going down the Wormhole

Category: Animation / 3D / VFX, Design, Fine Art, Graphics / Illustration, Interactive

‘Your screen is the window into an evolving world.
Move around to look around.
You can follow the red dot.
You can wear headphones.
You can get some pretty strange looks on the train.’

This sums it up nicely. Radiohead’s new app PolyFauna takes you on an abstract journey into your subconscious. I’m resisting all the easy drug references that could be attached to making an interactive trip like this one, instead I recommend just getting in there to see it for yourself (Download here for iOS or Android) as it’s a truly immersive experience.

In the spirit of Björk’s Biophilia project, this app for Radiohead takes you to explore alternate realities on multiple levels of a virtual universe. It’s like digging down a wormhole into your subconscious, and it is not always a pretty experience.

PolyFauna is inspired by Radiohead’s last album The King of Limbs, and the imagery and sounds are taken from the brilliant Bloom from that record. For the project Radiohead collaborated with experimental interactive design agency Universal Everything to create the app. And what an amazing job they did. While testing the app I tripped and banged into furniture a number of times. That’s because the interactivity and gyroscope sensitivity of this app makes it a completely flawless and engrossing experience. It really feels like you are looking around a subconscious world, wandering through and experiencing it as you turn with the device.

This flawlessness comes from the simplicity of the app design. Vast, minimalistic landscapes, abstract plant-like elements that float around which you draw and bring to life to with your touch. Restricted colour schemes and moody gradients set the scene for every beautiful level of this ‘Radiohead consciousness’. It is a nice balance between “less is more”, but still with lot’s to explore. A red dot guides you to the next dimension, which can be quite a relief as some worlds make you want to leave quickly, whereas some layers make you want to explore in all thier depth.

The soundscape for the app has been created from Bloom and is obviously a perfect match as it pulls you in even further. If you take my advice you’ll install this app on your tablet (iOS or Android), plug in your noise canceling headphones and play around in a completely dark room. Remember, if it get’s too depressing, just follow the red dot to boost you to another landscape! Have fun!

Kyle Glass

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Media Design School

Premium Design Academy in Auckland, New Zealand
http://www.mediadesignschool.com/

Relevant Courses:

Bachelor Software Engineering (Game Programming)
Bachelor of Creative Technologies (Game Art)
Bachelor of Art and Design (3D Animation and Visual Effects)
Bachelor of Media Design (Graphic Design, Interactive, Motion Graphics)

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Domus Academy

Design and Fashion School in Milan, Italy
http://www.domusacademy.com/

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Masters in Interaction Design

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NewSchool of Architecture + Design

San Diego, California
http://www.newschoolarch.edu/

Relevant Courses:

Bachelor of Science in Digital Media Arts
Bachelor of Arts in Animation
Bachelor of Arts in Game Art
Bachelor of Science in Game Programming

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