A Game of Thrones Intro Inspired Graduation Project

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For our master graduation project we produced a Game Of Thrones Intro inspired video as a tribute to Italy and to all GoT fans.
With the use of computer graphics and 3D modeling softwares, we recreated 6 of the most famous and loved italian cities.

The aim of our thesis is to analyze the impact of new technologies and social media on the diffusion of tv series-related contents produced by fans.

CHIARA SAPIO, MANOJ ROLLO

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INTERVIEW WITH FEDERICO GALVANI – Motion Design, Stop Motion, Visual Art and a lot more…

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ENG (Leggi in Italiano)

INTERVIEW WITH FEDERICO GALVANI – Motion Design, Stop Motion, Visual Art and a lot more!!!

 

Federico Galvani teaches motion design at the University IUAV of Venice and he is a founder of the multidisciplinary laboratory “Happycentro” where he works on art direction, graphic design, visual identity, illustration, modeling in clay and paper, printing, and directed animation. This studio works for famous brands or small startup and uses several methods of communication: Stop Motion Animation, TV / web commercials, Packaging, Visual Art, Typography, Graphic Design and Music Videos.

The main technique that reflects the style and the way of working of “Happycentro” is the stop motion because it is the synthesis of what we have always done, build objects, puppets and backdrops of various materials, combining illustration and graphic design and set up the set and lights for the photo shoots.

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Music Videos – Time Remapping

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by Massimiliano Manzo, Giorgia Salis, Francesco Strada


Time manipulation is a quite popular visual effect due its extreme versatility, in fact time can be stretched, shrieked, fast-forwarded, stopped and more. These time shifts embrace very well with music videos giving the ability to play in opposition or in accordance with the rhythm of the song.

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Music Videos – Split Screen

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by Massimiliano Manzo, Giorgia Salis, Francesco Strada


Split screen is a video technique in which the visible area of the screen is divided in multiple parts each depicting something similar or completely different. Music videos have challenged various directors in interpreting such effect obtaining vary different results.

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Vfx in music videos, Stop Motion

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di Massimiliano Manzo, Giorgia Salis e Francesco Strada


Over the years stop motion has been used quite widely in music videos but, differently from cinema where the medium is mainly adopted to realize particular animation (puppet or clay animation), in music clips, directors have shown a wide spectrum of creative usage of this technique.

The first videos to use stop motion are also two of the most famous early clips: Video Killed the Radio Star by Buggles in 1981 and SledgeHammer by Peter Gabriel in 1986. The latter though, directed by Stephen R. Johson, will always be remembered as one of the most innovative and influential in history, earning nine video music awards and becoming one of the most played videos of all-time on MTV. Stop motion is used both in basic Claymation and also making real life objects, like furniture, move on their own. Aardman Animations (Wallace and Gromit sereis) and the Brothers provided all the effects. The video is highly inspired by the work of the Czech surrealist artist and filmmaker Jan Svankmajer, the great master of stop-motion animation.

This iconic video has been of great influence for the music video directors that were yet to come, like Michel Gondry. It is in fact impossible not to mention Michel if we are to discuss about stop motion in music videos. One of Gondry’s first stop motion animations has been for the French band (he was the drummer) Oui Oui song Ma Maison (1990).  In the early years of 2000’s he continued to express his infinite imagination with two stop motion videos for the White Stripes: Fell in Love With a Girl (2001) and The Hardest Button to Button (2003). The former was first shot with the real actors, consequently the source material was edited via computer through the pixilation effect in order to obtain a Lego-block style image. These stills were printed and used as reference to actually build with real Legos each frame. This is the final outcome:

The Hardest Button to Button is an unconventional stop motion where the White duo moves along the streets and in the subway playing numerous drum kits and using many guitar amplifiers. Explaining it is quite difficult, Jack White himself wasn’t sure about the final outcome and was quite suspicious, Gondry’s words are:

“Jack wanted to do something else, and I generally compromise a bit with artists, but this time I was so sure it would work that I said we have to do it this way, and I didn’t know for a bit if it was going to happen”

“When I heard the song, it was so incredible, I knew I had to do the video”

For the realization they used 32 identical Ludwig drum kits, 32 amplifiers and 16 microphone stands. Each element was laid on set and the duo would move to the adjacent one at every take.

In 2009 Oren Lavie shocked YouTube with an astonishing stop  motion for his song Her Morning Elegance, which will be for long time remembered, holding at the present time almost 27 million views. The video earned a Grammy award nomination for “Best Short From Music Video”. It was made editing together a total of 2096 still images, which are now being sold separately as single-edition photographs. A video illustrating the making of can be found here.

In conclusion it has to be said that many artists are experimenting with this particular technique exploring many different ways to create compelling works, both as a stand alone effect and merging it in “regular” time videos. A mention must be done to the Australian collective Oh Yeah Wow. We managed to contact Darcy Prendergast, director and animation coordinator of the group. You can find here the interview.

vfx in music videos, Interview with Darcy Prendergast (Oh yeah Wow)

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di Massimiliano Manzo, Giorgia Salis e Francesco Strada


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The crew on the set for Gotye’s Easy Way Out

Oh yeah wow is an Australian creative house specialized in animation, visual effects and film.

There is no better way to describe who they really are than quoting the artists themselves:

“In a landscape inhabited by sharks creating heartless, derivative content, Oh Yeah Wow sails the boat of freedom on the waves of integrity aided by the delicious North winds of determination. Collectively we pursue magic, excellence, innovation and the occasional intake of vitamin D.”

 Stop motion is just one of the technique adopted by this young collective for advertising and music videos. Even if nowadays it is an overused effect, Oh yeah wow is always able to transform and translate this particular style in different creative ways.

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm2675736/

Darcy Prendergast IMDb YouTube

We asked some questions about their artworks to the director  and animation coordinator Darcy Prendergast. Who has also been involved in feature films like the acclaimed animation Mary and Max.

We particularly focused our interview on the stop motion use and design for some music video clips like Gotye’s “Easy way out” (2011) and The Paper Kites “Young” (2013).

Q: What is usually the creative process you follow as a team when you realise music videos in stop motion? Which is your main source of inspiration and    how do you translate the music into images?

DP: For music videos, the medium we predominantly work in- it’s generally a matter of finding a 3 act structure that works in alignment with the tone of the song. Or, in direct contrast. I see and approach music videos as miniature feature films, attempting to take the viewer on a little journey- with surprises along the way to ensure they don’t click off. The creative process usually involves me playing the song on loop for days on end- much to the displeasure of my studio pals.

Q: Do you have some advices to give to young peeps who approach the stop motion animation medium? Which are the most common mistakes to avoid?

DP: There are many pitfalls to be aware of, it’s a tricky medium to start out in- but practice is key. The more you do, the more you are aware of. In my experience: Build everything solid, lock and glue every set piece down, and build yourself a really sturdy, good quality armature. Stop motion is all about laying the groundwork early on…

Q: Which are the fundamental roles that have to be present within a crew in order to achieve the best results?

DP: Our crew is a strange one- we work in a very unorthodox manner, wearing many hats. I’ve in the past, shot some of our stuff- Seamus has been the motion control master- Josh has been our VFX guru, Sam has always been our lead stop mo animator. It changes depending on the project, but I think the one fundamental thing you need is grit. It’s by no means an easy industry- and ensuring you’re always producing cutting edge work- thats completed to the best of your ability is paramount.

The making of Easy Way Out

Q: Stop motion animations are becoming wide spread across the web, but among them some emerge because they have something special. What is this “something” that makes the video not ordinary?

DP: I think, for me personally, it’s the heart and soul that goes in. You can tell when someone has slaved. You feel it on a subconscious level- and you respect that and feel more inclined to share it. So often in this day and age, people take the easy road- and because of this- we’re completely floored when things of beauty and determination cross our path.

Q: When making music videos, timing rhythm is very important. For example in The Paper Kites’ Young music video how did you approach to this problem?

DP: It’s always been more a blessing for me. Half the battle is simply tying in with beats- once you’ve done that, the music video, even if you’re cutting the most random disparate footage- seems bound in one way or another. For Paper Kites, I chose to block out sections with little highlights, but ultimately its about finding a balance between song and visual. they both have to work symbiotically.

Q: Of the videos you realised to which one are you more attached and why?

DP: I love Paper Kites- I’ll always be proud of that outcome- but more recently, Hudson and Troop, in which I played a chain smoking Monster who uses sign language to communicate the lyrics of the song. It’s especially special to me, as I had to learn all the hand signs- and I had Seamus (my Oh Yeah Wow co pilot in my ear telling me I couldn’t do it. He should know by now this only strengthens my resolve…

The Special Effects in the Product Design

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Our Ecodesign group decide to choose the product design theme and the steps to achieve a good result with product presentation and promotion.

link to the video:

DEVELOPMENT

The first video is a visualization that helps to know about what product design is and what are the phases to get from an idea to a concept and to a product. We have identified two fundamental components about product design that are the project and the promotion. First we focused on the project and about metaproject and project phases of design process, then we analyzed the second part about promotion of a product and in particular about strategic marketing, communication and sale. After that we finally could be able to visualize the practical tools that designers have to compare with (softwares and enables special). This list of softwares is only about “2D” because the other themes (3D and compositing) will be analyzed on the next two videos.

TECHNICAL DEVELOPMENT

We analyzed the theme with the motion graphics. All texts were made in After Effects and all the icons were made in Adobe Illustrator with separate layers so we could be able to animate every single layer.There were used a lot of AE effects like Trapcode particular, stroke and masks animations, explosions, interactiong objects, loop expressions and bouncing effects. We created in after effects some pre-composition layers that we mixed together with other layers in the final composion. Then we put the audio directly on AE and we exported that to mount the final shots in Adobe Premiere to fade the audio track at the end of the video.