John Lewis - The Bear and Hare - 2013 Seasonal CGI Amazing coloured pencil drawings Tokyo City Symphony Luis Nieves - Baywood Red Light

31 July 2013

"Amasia - Origins" the forming of a new continent

Hello readers,

Today I bring you the short film Amasia: Origins that I stumbled upon whilst browsing 3dtotal. Created by students graduated from ArtFX, this film is a depiction of an event that could potentially happen in earth's future. For me the story makes more sense when you know a little more about the idea behind it and where the title comes from. So what is Amasia?

Image courtesy of google images
As you all know the earth is split up into several different continents, these being Europe, North America, Asia etc. But this was not always so. The tectonic plates that shift and move carrying the bits of crust we know as continents were once all connected, creating supercontinents, this meant most of the main landmasses were combined into one huge landmass. Throughout earth's history it is believed that this has happened on numerous occasions, all separated by hundreds of millions of years. The oldest known of these was Nuna, formed around 1.8 billion years ago, which is believed to of lasted around 100 million years before before it began to break apart to start another cycle of continents. Rodinia and Pangaea have since formed and broken apart resulting in the continents we have today.

Amasia is the predicted supercontinent that experts believe will be formed in the next few hundred million years as Asia smashes into the Americas after the Artic ocean and Caribbean sea have disappeared. This prediction has been made based on current landmass movements.

With this knowledge of what Amasia is the video should now make a lot more sense. The film is beautiful as it is tragic and paints a very bleak outlook for earth's inhabitants if this global shift where to occur. From what I can fathom, the planet is hit by a large solar flare, demonstrated by the satellite being destroyed at the start. Also the large amounts of Aurora Borealis (Northern lights) can be seen spread across the planet, these are normally only located at either of earth's polar regions. This is the part that I don't understand, as a solar flare wouldn't have any effect on the tectonic plates as far as I'm aware. This doesn't necessarily matter as the visual effects of this sequence are at a truly high level and really add to the drama. 

The rest of the film plays out as the planets water drying up resulting in a huge exodus of people leaving the cities looking for a safe refuge but finding none. The population is shown dying off wrapped in scraps of clothing they could find to protect themselves from a planet getting ever colder gripped in a new ice age (that's the bleak part). 

The final act of the film beautifully depicts the planet going through numerous cycles as the ice begins to melt ending with a very strong scene of a human hand creating what seems to be a cave painting. This starting another cycle of human civilization on the new supercontinent Amasia.    

The film combines computer generated animation and live action footage which really works well and these students should be very proud of what they have achieved. The message and the story of this short film are completely subjective and open to your own interpretation. We at SoVibrant would really like to hear how you interpreted this story.

Thanks for reading and enjoy the film.

Ryan Blackburn - Media Productions


23 July 2013

Artist of the Week : Jan Urschel

Good morning readers and welcome to another instalment of SoVibrant's Artist of the Week.
This week we bring you an incredible digital artist from Ubisoft's Singapore studio, Jan Urschel.

Jan, a Japanese Studies graduate at Osaka University also studied at the world renowned FZD (Feng Zhu School of Design) before getting his big break as a concept artist at Lucas Films Singapore working on such titles as StarWars:1313 and StarWars First Assault for XBox 360. 

After making a name for himself in the film and game industries, Jan soon moved in to freelance under the title of Hendrix Design, working with clients such as Digital Frontier Inc, WestStudio and ImagineFX.

These days Jan resides at UbiSoft Singapore as concept designer. After being there for only four months Jan has already made a big impact working on the latest instalment of the Assassins Creed franchise, Black Flag.

To view more of Jan's work visit his website HERE

Construction Site
Star Wars 1313 Marketing concept 1
Under the wing
Petrol Station
No place for heroes 2

Sovibrant / Media Productions

17 July 2013

Short films by Nicolas Deveaux

Hello readers,

Have you ever wanted to see an elephant skydive? How about giraffe's partaking in some Olympic style high diving? If you answered yes to both these questions then your in luck, but who wouldn't want to see those things? Well thanks to french visual artist Nicolas Deveaux and Cube Creative this vision has now come to light in a collection of short films.

Image courtesy of Google Images

Image courtesy of Google Images
Cube Creative is a production company based in Paris that specialize in 2D/3D animation and digital special effects. Cube Creative also spend time with young filmmakers from the top animation schools to help them develop and create their first short film and video clips.

Nicolas Deveaux started at Cube Creative in 2003 where he created his first short film 7Tonnes2 : The everyday story of an elephant trampolining. From this point on his work has gone on to achieve numerous award nominations and also wins. Nicolas is known within the industry for his talent to re-create animals in 3D and has worked on a selection of ads as well as documentary footage. Nicolas does use a lot of elephants within his work, this is apparent when watching his showreel.

Image courtesy of Google Images
The quality of work that has been produced by Cube Creative and Nicolas is of a very high standard, the lighting looks really natural which gives a great sense of realism. The animals are rigged really well, allowing for high quality motion with the body and facial animation.

Image courtesy of Google Images

Image courtesy of Google Images
For me the creativity behind these animations is what really impresses, because why wouldn't a giraffe enjoy high diving?

These videos made us guys on the SoVibrant media team laugh and are well worth a watch.

Videos courtesy of cube-creative.fr


Ryan Blackburn - Media Productions


16 July 2013

Bruce Lee - Johnnie Walker outrage

Hello readers,

I happened across a piece of CGI (Computer Generated Imagery) recently which has sparked controversy around the world, not for its visual elements but for the inappropriate use of the well known actor/martial artist Bruce Lee.

Image courtesy of Google Images

Johnnie Walker have released a marketing advert in China which depicts Bruce Lee as the face of their own-brand Whiskey. In China this has caused an uproar as not only was Bruce Lee teetotal but he also had previous family issues related to alcohol which was a big reason that he chose not to drink. As well as this Bruce Lee is one of China's most respected idols, he was a world-renounced spokesperson for Chinese martial arts in many forms. This is why there have been many complaints and negative criticism of Johnnie Walker whiskey, which I am sure they were not expecting.

Image courtesy of Google Images

My personal opinion of this ad is pretty much the same as all of those people who are outraged by it. Having practised martial arts for many years, Bruce Lee was one of my main inspirations and was pivotal on my path to learning what being a martial-artist was about. I own many books based on his philosophies and teachings and think that him being used in this way was completely inappropriate.

Image courtesy of Google Images

Although I do think this ad is in bad taste, it is good to see Bruce Lee recreated in good quality CGI for once. There have been numerous attempts at created virtual Bruce Lees and this is definitely one of the better ones. The expression and emotion the artists have managed to capture in his face is awe inspiring. In my professional opinion the only area that lets this animation down is the shading, Bruce's skin and hair at times don't quite live up to the quality of the rest of the animation. A higher level of SSS (Subsurface Scattering) would have really lifted the 'feel' of his skin and really added a lot to the realism. As it stands, Bruce can look a little bit like shiny plastic at times.

All in all, this animation is a good technical achievement but the moral implications and appropriateness do have to be questioned. I would love to know what you all have to say on this subject.

Happy reading.

Media productions

5 July 2013

Alberto trujillo - A visual for his son's birthday

Hello readers,

I have often spoken about the motivations behind producing a piece of digital art and posed the question of what drives you at the very start of a project. Working for a company that prides itself on the strength of narrative within its designs, understanding the importance of conceptual thinking is one of the areas I have really been pushing myself to develop.  I have really learned that it is essential to always try to have this deeper meaning behind my creations in order to drive my concepts to become truly original.

Today I bring you a piece of artwork I found on 3dtotal by a digital artist Alberto Trujillo. This visual was created for his son's birthday. His son was too young to appreciate the effort, complexity and energy that went into creating this piece at the time but hopes that it will be appreciated one day! 

The motivation that Albert Trujillo used to fuel this piece came from dreams of waking up in his bedroom as a child and seeing that it had miraculously come to life. I feel he has really captured this child-like wonder and emotion in the image he has produced.  The assets that have been modeled were selected specifically to capture and portray the excitement and wonder of a child's imagination. 

The models in this scene were created using various different software, with the majority of  them being created using Zbrush. This included the trees, characters and a lot of the scene assets. The final composition was compiled in Nuke.

Albert Trujillo really managed to make this scene feel magical. Particularly through the use of lighting and depth. The artist creates an empathy within the image by showing the child being surrounded by his favorite toys which are presented as his friends. I think most of us would be able to relate to this, as we all found friendship in our favorite toys growing up.

Visuals like this reveal more and more details the longer you look at them, highlighting the thought and craft that went into developing them. This is a signature of lot of Alberto Trujillo's work.

The most impressive part of this scene has to be the incredibly detailed model of the child, especially the expression that has been captured on his face. Personally I think this feeling of enchantment epitomises what this visual is all about, and demonstrates the refined talent Trujillo has.

I look forward to hearing your thoughts on this image.

Ryan Blackburn - Media Productions

2 July 2013

Through the eyes of Iron Man 3

Hi everyone,

Today I just wanted to post something I read on CGSociety.org about how the heads-up displays (HUDS) were created for Iron Man 3.

Image courtesy of Google Images

Please find a link to the article below where it goes into detail on how these effects were created. The main hurdle which they managed to overcome was the combination of the different software which was used. 

Image courtesy of CGSociety.org

In this instance the artists used Cinema4D as well as Adobe After Effects. Technically getting these two great pieces of software to line up and work together isn't an easy task. Not only did the studio have to create and render out all of the 3D elements for the scenes, they also had to match them up against what the After Effects teams were creating using the live action video footage. It is this seamless integration which helps to really bring the HUDS alive in the movie. 

Image courtesy of CGSociety.org

Please see the link below for the detailed breakdown and related links to the studios that were involved.

Click here for the Iron Man 3 HUDS feature

Happy reading

Head of Media productions

1 July 2013

Welcome to Year 5!

Hello readers,

Well, what a ride! We are delighted to be entering Year 5 of our amazing SoVibrant journey. An incredible milestone we are so proud to have achieved.

Our fourth year has been our best ever year, growing fast with new faces joining the team in our Interiors, Media, Brand and Experience and Strategy teams. I am delighted to welcome two  of our most recent signings Mark Kitching (Strategy Assistant), Stephen Murray (Senior Interior Designer) to the team. I am positive they will be real assets to our exceptionally talented staff.

Mark Kitching

Stephen Murray

In the last 12 months we have won some of the biggest projects in our history and are starting the year in an extremely strong position with plenty of exciting new projects on the boards. We have really begun to solidify our position as innovators within the education sector, our profile in the retail sector is going from strength to strength and we are continuing to deliver amazing results that exceed our clients expectations across many of out other sectors.

We have just returned from our annual trip away. This year we enjoyed a relaxing weekend in two beautiful farmhouses near Hepworth, giving our team a well deserved chance to get some R&R and blow off some steam. From swimming and hiking, to relaxing in the hot tub and sauna, it was a great time and is an important part of our team culture.

Year 5 looks like being an exceptional year again with many exciting plans ahead that we look forward to sharing with you over the coming months. Watch this space!

We have completed  some fantastic projects in the last 12 months including a completely new look for Yorkshire Building Societies branches, Phase 2 of the refurbishment of Royal Mail's incredible project at Mount Pleasant, Farringdon and City of York Council's new HQ at the converted and refurbished original York train station. We have created many new identities across a wide range of sectors, delivered a whole wealth of brand experiences and graphic installations for some of the UK's leading brands and have pushed our CGI and media capabilities to a whole new level.

Some of our most recent work can be found below. This is just the tip of the iceberg!

We look forward to sharing more of our projects, opinions, thoughts and ideas with you throughout the coming 12 months and thank you all for your support during the last 12 months. It has been an amazing journey so far but the best is most definitely yet to come.

Adam Atkinson
Managing Director - SoVibrant