Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Goodbye World of Idents - Hello dotmogo!

Much pedalling has been going on behind the scenes at World of Idents - I have been setting up a replacement stand-alone blog called "dotmogo"

"Why the change?" I hear you ask - well, when I set up World of Idents it was a bit of an experiment - just to see how it would work and if it was popular. Two years later I realised that, although I have many readers, I wanted to open up the remit beyond idents and broadcast graphics and cover animation and VFX as well as the film industry and commercials.

Many people are always asking me about jobs - people that are free to work, or companies that are looking for people, so I realised that I had to have a job board as well as the directory of companies and freelancers.  It's a free service for the next two months, so give it a try

With my new multipage format I can fit more in and cover more topics.

I'm still in Beta stage - so please let me have any constructive critisism - I want to make this the best resource for the UK motion graphic community that I can...

see you at dotmogo

Monday, July 25, 2011

CG Studiomap - location based CG fun!

As you know by know - I am all for building our beautiful motion graphic/animation/VFX community and I recently stumbled accross a fun way of doing that - the CG Studio map. - click here to have a play and add your studio or service

Created in 2010, is a map-based website aimed at gathering and sharing information on CG studios worldwide. This new generation tool was developed by professional members of the CG and web development communities, focusing efforts on user friendly interfaces.

At the moment there 1757 studios in the database, from all different countries around the world - virtual reality in Uruguay, I hear you say? no problem - just contact 3ymedio...  There are only 88 companies listed in Greater London - so I'm sure most of you have not added your name already.

The other thing I liked is that you can browse not only by general area, eg "animation" but also by software skill, eg cinema 4d, Maya etc team is comprised of :
Jordi Riera - founder and manager of PR - who also works at MPC in London.  Laurent Ripoche, project lead, and admin, Thomas Pinaud, main web developer, Hervé Greme in charge of  design and ergonomics.

Have a play, don't delay!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The Wombats "Techno Fan" video

Check out this beautiful music video for The Wombats by The Found Collective. Collaborating with Memo Akten to use C++ and OpenFrameworks, they created a custom application to process the footage. The result is a beautiful triangulating pattern that gives an indie band a techno reference, as though the technique was inspired by the lyrics. The stills rendered out of this system are simply jaw-dropping and combine with the original footage excellently. I knew I was a techno fan, this video just confirmed it.

Director: Barney Steel, Production: The Found Collective Compositing/Post: Raoul Paulet, Barney Steele James Medcraft, Software development: Memo Akten, Client: Warner Music

Friday, July 15, 2011

MIE - London Wasps v St. George's Dragon Army for 188BET

One for the rugby fans out there....I thought this was a really fun spot leveraging the idea of the London Wasps rugby team fighting a symbolic Welsh dragon as a sponsorship association with betting company188BET.  They enlisted the help of rugby players Dave Walder, Simon Shaw, Riki Flutey, Joe Worsley, Serge Betson, Rob Webber and Ben Broster to fight a bunch of invading dragons, like a sort of live video game.

I was amazed when Joe Marshall of MIE told me: "It was all in camera/live projections, no post. You incorporate the look of the building into the animation to create an optical illusion.... The players could see what we see..." and they were interacting with the dragons in real time. He further explained - "director and sometime copy writer, Ben Jones, came to us to help realise an idea he was working on with ad agency, Pitch. 

The concept was based around 3D mapping projections, where you incorporate the shape of a building into the animation you are going to project onto it, to create an exciting optical illusion. The results worked really well, and the players at London Wasps had a great time filming the viral, even though I don't think they were as scared as they made out..."

Class - just sorry I didn't get to posting this earlier.

Credits:Director:Ben Jones, Producer:Joe Marshall, Production Company Helimax Films / MiE, Animation:MiE, Agency: Pitch

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

UK Motion Graphic census - last chance

Hi, a reminder that this year See No Evil joined forces with Bran Dougherty-Johnson to get the first UK Motion Graphic Design Census.

Although it asks about earnings - It's totally anonymous. Please, help us to spread this link and get a better view of our industry in UK.
It will only take a few minutes to fill this in and it will do so much for our industry. This census will be closing soon. Take it here

Motionographer (with Bran Dougherty-Johnson and Jake Sargeant) have already done a census for the motion/VFX community in the USA - it's a fascinating read of who gets paid what. You can look at the results of the 2009 US census by going here and downloading the PDF

I had a look at a previous census (mainly US) - and there are some fascinating stats in there, such as average earnings of different levels of designer/creative director etc. As well as average ages and hourly rates. So definitely worth it to see how you compare to everyone else in the industry.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Megaforce video for The Greeks by "Is Tropical"

Been a bit slow posting recently - due to much action in the background setting up "dotmogo" a new improved version of the "World of Idents", due to be launched in the next week or so. anyway enough about me...

Is Tropical have just released a single called "The Greeks" with an outrageous spoof gangster pop promo using children.  This is not as dodgy as it sounds!  Megaforce the dynamic French directors were asked to come up with an idea by Kitsune the French record label and this is what happened...

When asked to explain what they had in mind they came up with the following:
"We’ve been wanting to make such a video since the age of 6 ! Part Rumblefish, part Die Hard, part Akira, we wanted to work together to create something both visually appealing and aesthetically relevant to the band. We like kids, we like gangs, we really like daydreaming and imagination; the video straddles the line between nostalgia and the visual death-porn of our generation – the action film. Don’t get carried away by politics – this is a straight-up kid brawl the way it played out in your head when you were stealing your mums mascara to be like Arnie in Predator. It isn’t a shocking rebuke to our drama queen, populist news culture either – just naive, blissful shoot-yr-mate until he’s definitely dead war-games – the way you wish it still could be."
Apart from praising what is a simple idea done very well, I love the extra layer of thrill you get from the sound effects - it was certainly what was in my head at that age (and probably now as well, if I'm honest...)

The band "Is tropical"  is playing alongside The Scissor Sisters at Lovebox in Victoria Park, London on Sunday July 17th at  14:00

Directed by Megaforce, Record Label : Kitsune, Animation : Seven, Production : EL NINO, post Machine Molle, Producer : Jules DIENG, AE : Gianni MANNO /Francois PELLAE, Sound design : Laurent D’HERBECOURT / Tranquille Le Chat

I'm also chucking in their recent Cadbury's Charity shop" commercial as well - as it also has a slightly surreal sense of humour....

Monday, June 27, 2011

Record player made from only from paper

strictly speaking this is not a post about motion graphics, however I am allowed to wander off-topic from time to time arn't I....?

This is one of the coolest ideas I've seen for a while - very analogue, but brilliant design.

Designer Kelli Anderson concocted a novel approach to the wedding invitation for her friends Karen and Mike: turn the paper invite into a playable sound device. The couple even made and recorded their own song for the occasion.

The device itself plays music without electricity or circuits. You may recall the FlexiDisc, the inexpensive records (normally made of vinyl, not paper), as seen in magazines, books, and comics. Here, a sewing needle is the entire playback mechanism, amplified by the paper and the kinetic energy of a person using their hand to rotate the disc. Working with her partner and music podcaster Daniel, Kelli turned to the power of geometry.

They discovered that the “tent” needed two loosely-swinging bends to allow the record needle to travel as freely as possible. By creating two parallel folds, they made the angle at the peak of the tent variable as needed.

At the beginning of the track, the ideal angle of this peak is about 15 degrees. By the end of the track, the arm needed to stretch further towards the center of the flexi, with an ideal peak angle of about 35 degrees.

Paper Record Player from kellianderson on Vimeo.
If you do want to play the results on a proper turntable, you can drop the same flexidisc on your (electrically-powered) record player for better sound. For more details, go on to Kelli’s blog:
A Paper Record Player - and listen to the song the couple wrote for everybody.

I think there is something so cool about this idea - that you can play a message or music without any electricity - something that might come in handy when all the oil runs out and we move into a post-technology world....or failing that just a hell of a nice way to get a party invitation.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Resonance - OFFF festival

As promised, here is the amazingly ambitious Resonance video - brought together by SR Partners.  It is a collaborative project with over 30 of the cream of  independent visual and audio designers / studios.

Animators and Audio Designers were paired up at the beginning of the project and were given the guidelines to create a piece between 12 and 20 seconds and in HD quality.

The aim is to explore the relationship between geometry and audio in unique ways. Give yourself a moment to take this's amazingly rich in both visual & audio technique...

 Nobody can deny the sheer dexterity of the artists involved in this project - there is some pure mo-graph porn in there for sure!  Personally I would have loved to have some kind of theme or narrative to hang it all together  - it felt a bit like watching lots of clips from amazing feature films of the future.  I can only hope that this film helps some of the people featured find work on bigger projects....

The piece was premiered at the OFFF 2011 festival in Barcelona and is also featured on Stash 81 as the Bonus Film. The film will also be played at Sonar, Pause Fest, Playground festival and Cutout fest.

Collaborators for the complete project:
Mo graph:
SEE || Displace Studios | Esteban Diacono | Heerko Groefsema | Jean-Paul Frenay | Jr.canest | KORB | Kultnation | Mate Steinforth | Matthias Müller | Momentary People | MRK | Murat Pak | Onur Senturk | Physalia studio | Polynoid | SR Partners | Thiago Maia | Tom Waterhouse | Tronic Studio | Spatial Harmonics Group
HEAR || Audionerve | Combustion | CypherAudio | David Kamp | Echolab | Hecq | Michael Fakesch | Mutant Jukebox | Radium Audio | Studio Takt | World Gang

Thursday, June 16, 2011

OFFF Festival - Barcelona

More than a decade ago, OFFF was born as a post-digital culture festival; a meeting place to host contemporary creation through an in depth programme of conferences, workshops and performances by the most relevant artists

Written by Mischa Rozema and British graphic designer, Si Scott, the opening titles reflect their dark thoughts on a possible future. Directed by Mischa and shot on location in Prague, the film guides the viewer through a grim scenario embedded with the names of artists appearing at this year’s OFFF festival. The live action was brought back to Amsterdam for post, primarily carried out by PostPanic’s in-house team of artists but also with the additional help of freelancers and partner companies that we have enjoyed strong creative relationships with over the years. It’s really fair to say that this was a labour of love by a passionate crew of people.

Mischa Rozema, Director, says:
“We knew we wanted to make something that would unsettle and menace the audience. It was always going to be dark but also highly aesthetic. This project has filled our spare hours for the past 6 months and it is incredibly satisfying to work on something that we were given complete creative freedom on – that’s a rare luxury these days.”

Says Ania Markham, Executive Producer at PostPanic:
“The images created by the crew of people working on the titles has been unbelievable, with nationalities represented including Dutch, Czech, English, Polish, German, Swedish and Belgian. It’s been a great opportunity for all of us to work together on a non-commercial project we’re passionate about and we’re so proud of the combined effort and final result.”

These days, OFFF keeps being a reference event throughout the world. A festival hosted in Barcelona, New York, Lisbon and Paris which has featured renowned artists such as SR    Partners, Kultnation, KORB, Onur Senturk, Renascent, Murat Pak, Heerko Groefsema, Jr Canest, Esteban Diacono, Ian Clemmer, Matthias Muller, Mate Steinforth, Tom Waterhouse, Physalia Studio, Displace Studio, Tronic Studio, Thiago Maia, Polynoid , MRK, JP Frenay, Radium Audio, Echolab, David Kamp, Combustion, Studio Takt, Audionerve, Michael Fakesch, Hecq, Cypheraudio, Mutant Jukebox, Darren Wiener, among others - well worth researching these artists...

The OFFF festival has spawned an extensive international network of artists, developers, theorists and even more importantly, people who love art in all its multiple expressions: students, fans, professionals and the curious. People who want to show what they do, to discover what others do and, above all to share their knowledge and their desires to inspire and to be inspired.

CREDITS: Directed by Mischa Rozema, Story by Mischa Rozema & Si Scott, Production Company: PostPanic, DoP: Jiri Malek, Mischa Rozema, Music & Sound Design: Hecq, Senior Producer: Annejes van Liempd, Production Designer: Roland Mylanus, Editor: Mischa Rozema, Post-Production: PostPanic

I'm also hoping I can get a copy of Resonance to show you - this is a collaborative film project produced by Simon Jones and SR Partners.  A big number of motion/sound artists have created pieces of 12-20 seconds of cutting edge animation, growing in a dynamic and unique way.  Here's an excerpt by Heerko Groefsema

can't wait to see the whole thing....

Monday, June 13, 2011

Man Vs Machine Toyota iQ sponsorship spots

I just got a nice little update on what Man Vs Machine have been upto.  They have just finished series of ten abstract spots that embrace the unique design of the Toyota iQ - for use in association with sponsored content on channel 4.

 Mike Alderson told me: "Luckily we were given an open brief on this project - the client liked our previous work and was confident they would like what we came up with!  Using the car as a catalyst various forms are given new life as a result of the signature contact moment.
 Here is a compilation of them:

Considering the car does very little in each of these spots, I think they have created a kind of "magic" around it, using some very imaginative textures and sounds.  I only wish driving in the outside world was interesting....Direction & animation:
ManvsMachine Production company:

I also wanted to flag up these fun idents they made for syfy kids - as part of their on-going work with NBC Universal.

I was told: "The logical solution was to create an unlikely family of toy-like characters, each one based on the forms of the Syfy brand. The characters were designed with one eye on versatility for future uses both on and off screen and we're looking forward to taking these little guys on all sort of adventures as the brand rolls out." Watch this space.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Crysis 2 Trailers from Vincent

I recently met with Rheea Aranha  - one half of Vincent in conjunction with John Hill.

They have plenty of previous form by way of supplying motion graphics for movies such as Tombraider, Thunderbirds, Quantum Of Solace and Terminator 3 as well as broadcast TV work for Kemistry, RedBee and the BBC  - and most recently are working on the new Alien film.  From looking at their site what struck me is their varied skill set (eg Live action, VFX, Script writing, Editing, 2D & 3D animation, Game play capture, branding strategy etc)  and how they get to deploy them on their projects.

 Now that computers and consoles have got more juice under the bonnet they can render an impressive amount of polygons in real time (known as your “polygon budget”, for those who don’t know...)  This means that the visual quality is getting up there with Hollywood-budget animations - along with this comes higher quality direction of photography and soundtrack. 

Consequently when a trailer or a sting need to be made to promote the game - these values need to be very high as well.  And while I don’t have comparative figures for a new film release, three million hits on their Crysis 2 trailer in three days seems pretty good to me!

Here is a very excitable trailer for Crysis2 a high end first person shooter that came out recently - with a satisfying "inadvisable to show to children" label...

The game’s producer Crytek was very clear about the graphic style and quality in the trailer being a true simulacrum of what the real game experience would be. (how often have we seen flashy trailers for games that bear no resemblance to the game play...) The teams creating the trailers only normally get the latest version possible of the graphic style to work to, although the trailers mostly come out many months in advance of the finished game.
I look forward to seeing what they come up with next....

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

See No Evil June Event

Thiago & James have got another motion graphics extravaganza for you.  This time the speaker is Chris O’Reilly of Nexus fame.

Nexus has a worldwide reputation for creative storytelling and its roster of directing talent – working with multi-disciplinary skills in animation, live action and interactive media. They have been responsible for a diverse range of award winning work from the Cannes Grand Prix winning Honda commercial, a Grammy nominated music video for Franz Ferdinand and the title sequence for Steven Spielberg’s catch me if you can. Chris produced and co-wrote the Oscar nominated short This Way Up, directed by Smith and Foulkes.

Sounds like a good reason as any to attend to me!
When – Tues June 7st
Time – Doors Open 7.00pm  Talk Starts 7.30pm
Where – The City Arts & Music Project 70-74 City Road EC1Y 2BJ
Price – Free
*Prizes from Stash & Computer Arts

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Eurovision identity 2011 - by Turquoise

After successfully pitching against several high-end German agencies Turquoise Branding were chosen to create the visual identity for the Eurovision Song Contest 2011 in November last year.  Gregory Millar, creative director on this job, told me that from initial briefing to Linda Garcia-Bowles, (Head of Motion Branding at Turquoise) to winning the pitch it took only 10 days!  Pretty speedy by anyone's standards.

This year the Grand Final took place in the city of Düsseldorf, Germany, between 10-14 May. It was the culmination of months of competition throughout Europe to qualify and it was broadcast live to over 43 countries with an estimated reach of 125 million people.

Apart from creating a look and feel that they liked, Gregory thought that a key reason that the German clients NDR and Brainpool chose Turquoise's creative to win the job was because they could create a complete identity across all media platforms and not just a title sequence.

Gregory was also keen to stress that everyone at Turquoise had worked their socks off in the preparation of this project and that it was truly a great team effort.  He told me "the identity is based on the line ‘Feel your heart beat!’, and has been designed to migrate seamlessly across visual mediums as both an energetic and uplifting static identity, as well as a dynamic animation in all on-screen graphics.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Pryce Duncalf - Megamax idents

Redbee recently approached Pryce Duncalf, a freelance motion graphics director, to work on Megamax, a new Hungarian children’s channel owned by Chello Central Europe and is targeted at boys aged 8 to 12.  They wanted to create four idents (DJ, Race, Yoyo and Gamer), involving two robotic characters called ‘I-ron’ and ‘Spark-e’ to represent the channel.

The timeframe was tight, so this job required frequent communication from all people involved.  Simon Graham and Claire Powell were the Red Bee designers working on the concept. Simon had already created a mockup of the characters in 3D which helped get the project off to a good start.  As he worked on developing the characters, Chello were very prompt in replying with positive feedback. 
Megamax DJ

Pryce told me it was especially satisfying for him as he had done much more in the way of motion design and less in the way of character design before - so this was a good addition to his skillset
Megamax ident - The Race

He also explained: We decided that the best way to approach the animation was to split the workload down the middle, so Simon and I would animate two idents each.  Once I had finished modelling and rigging the characters, I passed them over to Simon to start animation while I finished modelling jetbikes, doors, corridors, etc.  Simons Dj and Gamer idents were quickly signed off along with my Yoyo ident, leaving me with the laborious task of rendering and comping the race ident, a gruelling process, but definitely worth the effort.  Despite that it  was a surprisingly smooth process, leaving Red Bee and myself stunned by the enthusiastic response of the client.  We are all looking forward to creating more of these idents in the future."

Design director - Claire Powell, Designer/animator -  Simon Graham, Character development / Modelling / Animation - Pryce Duncalf, Production manager - Jennifer Wettone, Account manager - Ursula Capell-Helm

Intriguingly his next project is a short film about Ninjas & aliens - so, I look forward to that as I havn't seen that combination of genres before...

Monday, May 16, 2011

Dentsu Studio and Canon’s PIXMA ad

Sorry If you noticed a slow service recently - the Blogger platform which I publish my blog on was down for several days - very frustrating...still I have something very beautiful to look at to make up...

As I have a background in sound it’s not that surprising that I really love the idea of creating something visual as a direct result of speaker vibrations.  I have seen experiments before where someone has put powder on a membrane over a speaker and filmed the patterns made - but this piece of creative takes it to another level. 

Canon Pixma Sound Sculptures from Dentsu London on Vimeo.

Canon Pixma: Bringing colour to life from Dentsu London on Vimeo.

The creative studio dentsu, teamed up with bio chemist and photographer Linden Gledhill to create this series of paint sculptures for the launch of Canon’s PIXMA range of colour printers.

The colour sculptures were created by stretching a latex membrane over a speaker, which caused drops of paint to erupt for a fraction of a second when a single sharp note was played. Experimenting with different instruments, frequencies and volumes affected the formations in different ways, which we captured in stills and film shot at thousands of frames per second.

The campaign ran across Europe.  They also made a series of stills to live as a series on Flickr and short films (or long photos) for Vimeo, Flickr and YouTube. You can see more here

Since launch in September 2010, the online assets have earned 2.5 million media impressions and the films have been played 1.2 million times on Vimeo and YouTube.
Within the first month, Pixma trade sales were 35% above target, and market share has risen by 20% - I like the kind of stats that show how creativity has improved business for a brand.  I would love to see someone do something like this for TV branding.....

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Producers series 01 - Shananne Lane 4Creative

Any more wedding cake anyone...?  Right, after all these mega bank holidays it's back to business - In an effort to bring both sides of the story to my readers I will be interviewing, what I consider to be, interesting producers from the world of motion graphics in the next few months. I am starting with Shananne Lane from 4Creative.

Her first job was managing talent for 4idents 12 years ago. Back then it was a very small department and made mostly promos. Slowly the marketing department grew & finally became known as "creative services". In its modern incarnation 4creative deals with branding for all five of its channels, sponsorship, external work, 4OD and all sorts of other web-related projects.

I asked her what her highlights as a producer have been during her long association with the company. She said shooting promos for Desperate Housewives and Lost when they first came out. Lost was shot on location in Hawaii - (I’m sure there are not many promo/graphics producers can say that they have done that from the broadcast industry!) Although as you can imagine, from a producers POV there were many frustrations to be overcome. She said she has also worked with three Oscar wining DOP’s. I have included this 60 promo for the first series of Desperate Housewives - and I still think it is hilarious in a creepy sort of corpse- in-the-cellar kind of way - and immaculately done...

She also told me that the core team have all been at 4creative for 10 years or more - which says a lot about the their success as a creative force in the industry. Here's to the next 10 years!

For each producer I will ask them their Top 5 Producer’s Tips.  Here are Shananne's...

  1. don’t rip off your crew
  2. don’t always go for the cheapest deal -  know when to cut corners and when to pay
  3. build relationships which will build trust - you can't do this by being rude to people...
  4. preparation is crucial - don’t pretend to know something when you don’t
  5. always be the last person to leave a set - especially after the director and the DOP

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Beakus - because they are great at animation...

Recently my attention was drawn by Matthias Hoegg’s BAFTA nominated film – Thursday, which has already has been screened widely across Europe, Asia and the Americas.  So I decided to go to the Beakus  animation studio in sunny Wapping to see what was going on.

I was met by Matthias and owner of Beakus, Steve Smith.   Although it is a relatively young company - Steve learned his chops at Trunk before he set up on his own.

They showed me their latest commissions for CBeebies - 4 x 60 second spring-themed animations. I advise caution when you are watching them - I have included one here,  - as they are all super cute and you will want to watch them all a few times! (you can watch the other three on their Vimeo channel)

I think on of the reasons they have proved so popular is that thet audio consists of children speaking, unscripted, (Creature Comfort’s style) and Matthias has animated some beautiful interpretations of their imagination. He also confided in me that he had been influenced by legendary Russian animator Yuriy Norshteyn - amazing guy, a must for animation fans.Each one took 3-4 weeks to make.

This one is Ollie and his pet rabbits....

I have also included Matthias’ BAFTA nominated short called “Thursday” - there has already been loads written about this film, so I won’t repeat it all here - Just to say that it takes it’s influenced from very structured patterns - quilts, American style city blocks and those patterns you get on the seats in London Underground trains - which I really like. you can find out more by reading this detailed post from Motionographer here  and Matthias' own site here

 What's next for these guys? What sounds like a very interesting project - working on a seven minute section of a feature length animated biography of Monty Python's Graham Chapman - a total of 20 animators, no less.

My advice is to check out Beakus and their other directors as they seem to be on their game right now...
Leo Bridle, Matthias Hoegg, Leigh Hodgkinson, Bluna, Steve Smith and Sarah Orenstein.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Promax Europe - Berlin 2011 Ident winners

I would, or course, be mad to try and report on ALL the winners at PROMAX Europe, which happened in Berlin last week - as there are so many categories now (some would say too many..). Instead I thought I would show the Gold winners of the "On air ident" categories as well as a personal favourite of mine. You can see all the winners here

Velvet Design in Germany won Gold for re-branding Greece's Mega TV channel in the "Best On-air Branding Design" category.

I think it is very playful & imaginative and has lots of ways to evolve in the future.
credits: client: mega channel, greece; agency:; director: matthias zentner; creative director: martin kett and matthias zentner; art directors/design: iris engler and stefanie reinhart; illustration and animation: gregoire barfety, janett bergner, iris engler, nils engler, katharina lebsak, marko pfann, stefanie reinhart and monika rohner; dop:torsten lippstock.; producers: gustaf richter and stefan mueller;

meanwhile ViaSat creative in London won Gold for "Best on-air ident (in house) for their Explorer channel

(sorry I couldn't get the credits for this - but I couldn't find them on either Vimeo or their YouTube channel - if anybody wants to send them along to me I will post them up)

  As for my two favourites - one I have featured on the blog recently (T4 Robots by Double G Studios) and this one -  a Gold winner in the Best Public Service Announcement category - something called “Hunting moon”, made for the Malaria No More charity.

Richard Sutton at RedBee told me a bit more about this interesting promotional idea. Although the budget was tight lots of people got involved in this project for creative resons and they ended up making a trailer for a fictional movie.

As we all know the trailer has all the best bits in and sets up the question - “what will happen in the end...?”  Well, in this case nothing, as there is no movie, but the moody graphic style and the good looking actors certainly make you pay attention - enough to make you visit the website

Once you are there of course, you find out that they are a charity helping to fight malaria.  Personally I thought this was a great way to involve young people in a fairly dry subject - certainly something that dosn’t come up in conversation much in our temperate climate.

Director - Robbie Samuels, Creative Director - charlie mawer, Logo & graphic design - Richard Sutton, Producer - Anne-Marie Small

Happy Easter everyone!

Monday, April 18, 2011

AOL branding - Universal Everything

Hi there - I know this work is a bit old now - but I didn't get to post it when it first came out, and I think it's visually very striking.  Anyway, it's my blog isn't it?!I'm a big fan of Matt Pyke's Universal Everything - he/they do some very arresting work.

A second series of reveal films created for AOL and launched at the New Museum, NYC. Used for web video, mobile, digital campaigns and outdoor LED displays.  I think they are all quite poetic - helped by his brother Simon on audio.   I would love to know what the branding brief was on these - it seems very "beautiful" - but I'm not sure what it's trying to say about AOL?  All of these spots seem to imply AOL is a 'happening" brand - but I havn't noticed anything else to back this up...

Commissioned - Wolff Olins NYC
Creative Direction - Matt Pyke at Universal Everything
Animation - Chris Perry at Universal Everything and Michael Merron at Analog studio

Commissioned by Wolff Olins NYC
Creative Direction - Matt Pyke/Universal Everything
Generative Animation -

Commissioned by Wolff Olins NYC
Creative Direction - Matt Pyke at Universal Everything
Animation - Realise

Commissioned by Wolff Olins NYC
Creative Direction - Matt Pyke at Universal Everything
Animation - Zeitguised

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Motionographer F5 creativity get together in New York

I know it's a bit of a way to go for the average Brit - but the annual F5 creativity festival is the place to be next week.  It's sort of how I would like PROMAX to be - a bit more zany and more concerned with creativity in all it's forms, not just TV.  They have a great mission statement: F5 is founded on the belief that true change occurs when you look outside your world and explore new horizons. The festival fosters creative collisions—unexpected insights from sources you didn’t see coming. The goal is nothing less than to change the way you think about your work and your life. I couldn't agree more!

Happy F5 April 15 - 16 2011 by Hi-Sim from F5 on Vimeo.

There's a great set of speakers - worth clicking the links even if you're not going:

Mark Romanek : visionary film director behind “Never Let Me Go” and “One-Hour Photo” – as well as countless iconic music videos and commercials

Neil Huxley: accomplished creative director of Mothership and Digital Domain, creator of UI for Avatar, and AD on titles for Watchmen

Tanya Morgan: hip hop duo behind one of the genre’s most acclaimed and celebrated albums of the last two years

Adam Bly: founder, CEO and editor-in-chief of Seed Media Group and with tomorrow on his mind

PressPausePlay: David Dworsky and Victor Köhler’s exciting new documentary on cultural creativity and the digital revolution
  • Kid Koala: DJ and turntablist extraordinaire
  • Scott Belsky: cutting-edge business leader of Behance
  • Wayne White: legendary art director of Pee Wee’s Playhouse and banjo star
  • Adam Sadowsky (Syyn Labs): president of the engineering whiz-kid collective behind the massive Rube Goldberg machine in OK Go’s “This Too Shall Pass” music video
  • Nathan Love: top-notch animation studio and masters of character animation
  • Buck: trailblazing creative shop with pop illustration powers
  • Radical Friend: acclaimed experimental//experiential directing duo
  • Onesize: creative studio powerhouse
  • Eclectic Method: audiovisual remix masters with culture on their minds
  • Heather Knight : innovator of robotic entertainment
  • Jacob Escobedo: celebrated network exec-cum-designer behind [adult swim], Cartoon Network, and a whole slew of musical projects
  • Tool of North America: leading the new wave of interactive storytelling
Closing the show on Friday night, PressPausePlay will introduce something new to the festival’s history: a screening of a yet-to-be-released film and discussion with the filmmakers.  And a thoughtful opportunity to reassess the positives and negatives behind technological innovation.
  • Re:Play Festival: An international showcase of cutting-edge film, animation and design commissioned by Motionographer
They are also promising an amazing after-party. Sounds like a great reason to visit New York to me. I cannot go myself - but if anybody out there is going, then I would relly love to talk to you so I can do a post about it...

April 15th-16th - check out their site for more details here

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Dan Capstick - Freelance motion graphics

I first heard of Dan when he was at English & Pockett some years ago.  We recently caught up so he could tell me about some of his recent projects.  He started off as a D&AD "new blood" in 1999 and went to work at Static 2358 and since then has freelanced at places like Kemistry, Turquoise, ISO, Man V's Machine & Tilt.

More recently he was tasked with working on the BBC Knowledge rebrand.  Knowledge is one of the BBC's global channels which repackages the best of their factual shows.

BBC KNOWLEDGE OSP from Daniel Capstick on Vimeo.
The channel positioning was 'liberating knowledge' - hence the varied executions of light and particles emitting from the orange orb.  It was Dan's task to put the OSP attributes together eg menus, logo stings etc
credits: Design/direction:Dan Capstick, additional animation:David Todman, Cr Dir BBC Worldwide, Gary Sinclair, production house:TILT

Many people know that Turquoise provide a lot of branding and graphics for Saudi Arabia's STV.  Dan was given the brief to come up with a new look for their economy program.  The only constraints were that he had to use a black background and use the bright neon colours.  (note: most of the shows on their channel use this house style, which I think gives a very modern aesthetic to what used to be a very traditional channel - you can see some other examples I posted previously here
STV Economy channel ident from Daniel Capstick on Vimeo.
He told me that the look of this sequence is: "Loosely based around global stock markets - each bar in the graph represents a commodity & how it goes up & down.  Again all of the STV output does not allow representations of people, so they always have to have a very graphic solution.  It was particularly satisfying to manage the design, compositing and render all by myself and be very self contained." All I can say is that I wish UK economics programs looked so cool - it reminded me more of the sort of graphics you get inside night clubs rather than TV branding - maybe STV will start a late night ravers channel..? (maybe not).
credits: direction, composition/animation: Dan Capstick, production house: Turquoise
You can see Dan's latest work here

Friday, March 25, 2011

Double G Studios - T4 & Discovery idents

Double G first came to my attention with their work on the  Canal+ sports channel last year with some beautiful blurry sports people that looked a bit like a Francis Bacon painting.

Recently they have done some very fun T4 Robot idents for Channel 4’s teen strand and some very clean and cool logo animation for Discovery - so I thought it was time to pay a visit...

It turns out Grant Gilbert - the namesake of the two G’s - started out on the Big Breakfast doing fast and furious disposable graphics on things like Fax & phone boards (Fax? - what’s that...?)  He then went on to work at Channel 4’s creative dept and now has his own studio...

Unusually the idea for the  T4 idents came from a stag-do at Bestival -   Tom Robinson, lead designer on the project, said that him and his mates were dressed like robots and found that loads of people wanted to take photos with them.  So, when the brief came in from C4 to find a way of connecting with teenagers - he had the idea of recreating them onscreen.

He explained to me that the most important thing was that these were not hi-tech robots, but recognisable as people inside various cardboard boxes & tubes - something that everyone could join in with.  Obviously with a bit of clever digital jiggery pokery they get to do some cool stuff too.

What’s even more amazing is that all 20 of these 7” clips were created in only one month from start to finish, and that they had only one day to shoot the live action.  All the 3D was done in house, and I think that you don’t have to be an expert in production schedules to figure that they were going at it hammer and tongs to get it all done.

The personality of each robot was enhanced through costume design, choreography and their relationship with the new 3d logos. Here's a mash up from the 20

and here is an individual one let you see what they are like on TV...

I think they hit the right spot - a good balance of an engaging idea, that could be realised relatively cheaply.  Apparently they have had over a million views of these on Vimeo since they posted them in February...
credits: Creative Director: Grant Gilbert, Director: Tom Robinson, Art Director: Nigel Howlett, DOP: Luke Scott, producer Gwilym Gwillim, offline Xavier Perkins, 3D: Double G Studios, Stephen Ross/Tom Robinson /Winston Henry

Even more recently Double G were hired by Discovery to make seven x 3” break bumpers - the idea was to unify the OSP with the idents.

Part of the Discovery brief was that “the content is the brand” - so they worked out a way to change the content within the logo.  This meant they could give them a kit of parts that they could update over time.  As they are only 3 secs long, it’s good to have this compilation.  Personally I welcome this evolution of their logo, in a really modern satisfying way.

credits: all 3D & post: Double G studios, animator Stephen Ross

Monday, March 21, 2011

See No evil - 2nd Anniversary special

That's right folks Thiago & James' fanatastic motion designer get together called See No Evil has reached it's second birthday.  Never shy of a bit of talking up their events, the press release says "We had to re-define the word “special” just so it was epic enough for us to use in the headline “See No Evil Anniversary Special”. With a headline like that how could you refuse...?

This month they have pleasure in presenting an evening with two industry heavy weights - Adrian Johnson & Steve Scott.  You can check out Adrian's super colourful, highly graphic, designs here.
Also here is a link to Steve's quirky & original animation - should be a very interesting couple of talks.

As it is a special night there is an after party with music from both Memotone & Kirmann as well as the Hear No Evil DJ’s - until 1am.

They also have a special guest in the form of Bare Bones’ Matt Lambert who will be giving them a special preview of what to expect at the next coming up Bare Bones Show. - an online/live event that curates unconventional artists from around the world.

Ever want to show some of your work at a SNE show? Well here’s your chance. They want to screen your short / experimental films, to find out more here - Deadline Tue 22nd March.  See No Evil will be raising money to Japan with our raffle. More info here.

all in all, you can't ask for more than that can you...?

When – Thurs March 31st
Time – Doors Open 7.00pm  Talk Starts 7.30pm
Where – The City Arts & Music Project, 70-74 City Road, London, EC1Y 2BJ

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The Darkroom - extraordinary live motion graphic events

The Darkroom is a motion graphics company with many amazing performances to their name.  Unlike most motionographers who appear on this blog, they get to show their creations in front of large live audiences.  They specialise in putting on amazing shows during live events.

They started off in Auckland New Zealand and then moved to London in 2009.  This proved to be a smart move as they are obviously talented enough to get bigger & better jobs.  They ran two offices - Auckland London for a while, but now they are London based full-time.  The team is comprised of Bruce Ferguson, Emma Wolf, Nick Meikle & Shaun Madgwick

What I think is exciting about their type of projects is that not only do they get to come up with creative graphic design for clients, but they then have a whole bunch of options of how to show it.  According to the venue (& budget) it maybe in 360 surround, or projected on a dome or in this example onto a car.

Most recently they worked with London agency Flourish and created a projection-mapped-reveal for the new Bentley Continental GT.  What you are seeing here is the actual car with all the lights mapped on to it - not some CGi construct.

A little bit older, but still amazing is their 360 degree wall of fashion visuals and motion graphics for the Australian release of Grazia fashion magazine. Synchronized sound and live visual mixing on the night by the Dub Module.  This is definitely one party I would have liked to have been invited to...

These are only a couple of examples, but I urge you to go and look at the others on their site.

The other nice thing is that they can enjoy immediate feedback from the audience as they are taken on this audio visual journey.  Although these events look amazing second hand via these video clips, I cannot wait to be invited to a live event to see something in the flesh - ready when you are, guys.....

Monday, March 7, 2011

The Future of TV branding Pt2

Since Part one of my future of branding post a few people have mentioned similar threads being discussed on the RedBee blog, as well as a very interesting Media Guardian debate on the broader topic of “The Future of TV” - which is well worth a listen.  So, this whole “future of channels/TV/media” seems to be part of some sort of zeitgeist....

Just to be clear, I am more interested to work out how branding agencies will survive in the future.  I think we can take it as read that new technologies will give us the power to do more and more sophisticated executions in-house.  With that, prices and budgets will continue to diminish - again that has already been happening for some time.

Instead I am wondering what kind of services will be offered by motion graphics and branding companies?  After talking to Georgia Cooke and Paul Wilkinson at Nuw, I felt pretty sure that content marketing consultancy was the way forward.  They both worked at MTV for many years - making strategy on how to market new content to viewers who only tuned in for an average of 3 mins at a time.  In that environment, promoting the channel was a luxury - content is king.

Although this graphic on the left comes form a presentation about Facebook commerce taking over from standard e-commerce, I think there are many parallels.  At the top you can see branding which kicks off Traffic generation and engagement.  As the YouTube generation come through - they will be watching the content with the cleverest marketing regardless of which “curator” (read "TV channel") put it there.  That’s why HBO is doing so well - they have focussed on quality content,  which is passed around the world with much more alacrity than Dale Winton’s Supermarket Sweep....(for example)

Where does this leave the humble branding company?  Well in my opinion they need to work out what they are branding - as the need (and budgets!) for on-air channel identity, diminishes, the work will switch to branding and promoting specific shows.  This could mean deciding the look, tone & logo of a show as well as devising marketing strategies for it that will play out on the many media channels available to it (including Toylets..but that’s another post).

If the show is marketed well, the viewing public will get to hear of it and then download/stream/watch it on satellite or whatever. As the viewing experience changes then this might lead to complimentary experience around the show - eg you watch a music video and then you can press a button and buy the song straight away, or have links to the artists website.  If the show tanks, it will be the fault of the branding agency and their marketing strategy.....

As for curation - that will be taken care of by recommendation services - similar to the recommended products you get when you buy something on Amazon - “those that watched Celebrity Desert Island Kitchens also watched...” or simply bloggers who spend all day reviewing content and sifting the best stuff (like the TV reviewers who work for newspapers & magazines already)

It’s all possible, what nobody has said is how far away it all is - I think that there will be at least another 5 years of “normal” telly watching in millions of homes and that Aunty Mavis and Uncle Derrick may never get an HD TV set, let alone connect it to their laptop in their lifetimes.  So, probably no need to panic, but better to evolve now than be one of the branding dinosaurs in a few years...
Does this sound like the future?  Let me know your thoughts.....

many thanks to people at Nuw,  4Creative, Wonder, The Council, Turquoise and Red Bee for help with this article.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

UK Motion graphics Census

In 2009 Bran Dougherty-Johnson and Jake Sargeant joined forces with Motionographer to do the first Motion Graphic Design Census.

This year See No Evil joined forces with Bran Dougherty-Johnson to get the first UK Motion Graphic Design Census.

For all the UK based only, here is the UK Motion Graphic Design Census.
Althought it asks about earnings - It's totally anonymous. Please, help us to spread this link and get a better view of our industry in UK. 

I had a look at a previous census (mainly US) - and there are some fascinating stats in there, such as average earnings of different levels of designer/creative director etc.  As well as average ages and hourly rates. So definitely worth it to see how you compare to everyone else in the industry.

If you go here you can take the survey - it only takes a minute

Monday, February 21, 2011

Toylets - a new kind of joystick game

This article about "Toylets" tickled me recently, so I had to share it with you.  SEGA - everybody's favourite games console designers of yesteryear - has just released their latest hardware/software combo.  It comes with a pressure sensor that attaches to a urinal, which allows you to control activity on a screen above, according to how you direct your pee. (insert joystick joke here).

To give you an idea of what you can achieve with this concept there are four games on release. First up there's "Mannekin Pis", which simply measures how hard you can pee. Next "Graffiti Eraser", which lets you remove paint by pointing a hose in different directions. Thirdly "The North Wind and Her", where you play as the wind trying to blow a girl's skirt up, and the harder you pee, the harder the wind blows.

 Finally, the bizarre "Milk from Nose" is a multiplayer game where you compete against the person who last used the urinal. The strength of your pee is compared, and translated into milk spraying out of your nose. If your stream is stronger, your milk-stream knocks your opponent out of the ring. If you do particularly well on any of the games, you can download and save your information to a USB stick.  I wish I was making this up! - as usual real-life is so much wierder. Now boys will be going to the toilet in pairs and coming back with huge grins on their faces...

It sounds a bit like somebody at SEGA called a meeting to try and come up with something game changing like the iPad - and four bottles of whiskey later, they'd thought up Toylets instead.  Still it's another motion-graphics challenge to think up a game or an ad for this application.  If any reader of my blog gets asked to design something for the "Toylet", please please let me know and we'll do a feature.

Nobody's taking the piss out of SEGA now.....

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Dexter Promo by Creative Nuts

I must confess that I am a complete sucker for anything involving ink in water - on it's most basic level you just get a nice bowl of water and slowly drop ink in to create these amazingly complex cloud-scapes.  The guys have Creative Nuts have taken this to a very high level with a promo they did for the American show called Dexter on the SOny AXN channel in Germany.

As you may or may not know Dexter is a psychopathic killer with a very outwardly normal appearance.  The brief called for something that would show his dark & twisted character, but would also be suitable for daytime airplay.  The idea of drawing on the Rorschach tests gives it a certain ambiguity - which, if you know the show, also suits Dexter's character.

Although influenced by the Gnarls Barkley "Crazy" vid - I think this is a lot finer in it's visual aesthetic - less obviously CGi - and let's face it it looks like it's got the Donnie Darko rabbit in it - so it get's my vote! Something about the German VO that makes it a bit more scary too....

I was surprised when I found out it was mostly real ink and water - as I assumed there would be a plug-in for that sort of thing by now.  They also filmed themselves with various knives and their faces - and then did many many layers. However it was done - I think it looks ace.

director: Chloe brooks, producer: Nathan leigh-horrocks, animatior - David Blair

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

See No Evil - with Foreign Office Design

Thiago & James are hosting the first  See no Evil event of the year tonight - Tues 1st Feb - pinch, punch, first day of the month and all that sort of thing.

Foreign Office (posted on this blog before - here) Founded way back in ’97 they’ve worked on everything from commercials for BBC, ITV, Channel 4, digital work for Apple, Coca-Cola, Sony Playstation, right up to their recent work on blockbusters such as The Queen, Children of Men and even the most recent Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1.
With such depth of knowledge to dip into they’ll be something to make everyone excited...

Hear No Evil will be providing the after party along side the amazing Oli D.A.B! Dance the night away.

As usual the shows are free entry and we have lots of lovely prizes courtesy of the lovely folk at Stash Magazine

See No Evil – Foreign Office Design
When – Tues February 1st
Time – Doors Open 7.00pm  Talk Starts 7.30pm
Where – The City Arts & Music Project 70-74 City Road EC1Y 2BJ

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Terminator promo for Canal+ by Steve Hore

I thought this was a fun concept, executed by freelancer Steve Hore whilst at BDA.  The results were achieved by shooting a scale model bought from a comic store, enhanced with dramatic lighting and some digital spit and polish.

It was for a  teaser campaign for a Terminator movie marathon, and helped deliver Canal+'s biggest movie audience for 2010. It explores the sinister concept of Cyberdyne - (Terminator's manufacturers in the film) actually marketing your own execution to you through a series of slick commercials designed to make their products look desirable.

I also found out in the course of doing this post that there is a guy who blogs on French channel branding, and has a blog at :  He has a post for this Terminator spot as well here - so brush up your French and take a look at what our Gallic cousins are upto - now everybody after me “le fromage de ma tante et dans le chien de ma soeur....”