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Author Topic: Truely amazing piece of animation art  (Read 6316 times)

40hz

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Truely amazing piece of animation art
« on: June 29, 2009, 10:28:30 PM »
Incredible art sometimes shows up in the most unlikely places. But how often would you expect to find it in a hotel? And more to the point, how often would you expect to find it in a hotel elevator?

The latest collaboration between visual artist Marco Brambilla, and a production company that goes by the name of Crush, has produced a work that is impressive from both a technical and an artistic perspective. The title of the piece is Civilization. Civilization is a video mural now on permanent display at the Standard Hotel in New York.

Quote
Civilization depicts a journey from hell to heaven interpreted through modern film language using computer-enhanced found footage.

This epic video mural contains over 300 individual channels of looped video blended into a multi-layered seamless tableau of interconnecting images that illustrate a contemporary, satirical take on the concepts of Heaven and Hell.

http://marcobrambill...om/civilization.html


civilization.jpg


As a purely visual work of art, Civilization is stunning in and of itself. But what really sets it apart is the way it has been installed, as opposed to displayed. This video mural is synchronized with the speed of the elevator to give the viewer a totally unique experience while viewing this work.

Quote
Notes from Crush Senior Artist Sean Cochrane

We at Crush already had a previous relationship with Marco as we helped him create a piece of video art shot in a train station in Berlin and we had done post on a few commercial he’s directed.

We love working with Marco as he is very creative and he likes to work very fast. When new ideas are unearthed during the creative process, you have to be ready to go with him and explore those ideas or you simply don’t keep up with him. When he asked us to work with him on Civilization, a vision he had of taking hundreds of stock footage, movie footage and original clips and combining them to create a moving landscape depicting the ascension from hell to heaven, we knew that it was going to be huge challenge but one we were very excited about.

Marco is very gutsy and bold but also has great respect for collaboration and discovery of ideas that blossom during the process. The project had two huge challenges. Firstly we needed to figure out how to create content that could move with the elevator where it would ultimately be viewed. The idea was this, when you go up in the elevator the content goes down and when you go down it goes up. Not unlike a ride film this project was designed to be synced to the moving environment of the hotel elevators in New York. We wanted to synchronize the footage to the movement of the elevator as best as we could.

The second challenge was creative. What are we seeing through this ‘elevator window’? We only really knew at the beginning that the canvas or environment would be very tall and skinny due to the physics of elevator travel and we wanted to go from a hellish landscape to a heavenly one.

We began with exploring the idea of using a game engine to house the project. Seemed easy, map footage onto planes in space, attach a PC to the elevator and we can move up and down in the game environment all day. Unfortunately, once we started to collage the clips together in the Flame we knew the game engine idea wouldn’t fly. We approximated that we would have 250 looped HD clips in the environment and our Flame could barely handle it (in the end it was closer to 500 looping clips). We compromised by locking ourselves into the idea that we would create a huge vertical canvas that we would scan up and down on once the elevator was in motion. The final piece was approximately 1920 x 7500 pixels.

http://motionographe...mbilla-civilization/

Small-sized versions of this work can be found on various websites. But to get the full effect, make it a point to view the larger, hi-rez version (along with production notes) at this link:

http://motionographe...mbilla-civilization/

I'd suggest you download this version and run it full screen. After you've watched it, run it a few more times and see how many static and moving images within the piece you can identify. (I particularly enjoyed spotting the flame-whip wielding Balrog from Lord of the Rings.) The more you watch it the more you can appreciate just how much imagination and effort went into creating this piece.

 8)

Note: If you're even slightly interested in motion graphics, take a little time to browse around the rest of the Motionographer (rhymes with "oceanographer") website at:  www.motiongrapher.com



J-Mac

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Re: Truely amazing piece of animation art
« Reply #1 on: June 29, 2009, 10:55:28 PM »
Now that is impressive!

Thanks 40hz.

Jim

Innuendo

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Re: Truely amazing piece of animation art
« Reply #2 on: June 30, 2009, 11:03:55 AM »
Weird...I saw the pic and at first it looked like a screen cap of Mordor from a Lord Of The Rings movie. :)

40hz

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Re: Truely amazing piece of animation art
« Reply #3 on: June 30, 2009, 11:38:22 AM »
Weird...I saw the pic and at first it looked like a screen cap of Mordor from a Lord Of The Rings movie. :)

It gets better.  :)

Be sure to visit the link to see it in motion.

There's all kinds of things going on: Arnie Schwartzenegger flexing, Princess Leia reclining, the Ghostbusters' Stay-Puff Marshmallow Man marching, Hitler dancing in the Broadway musical The Producers, Jessica Alba's dance clip from Sin City...

It's definitely one of the best video montage works I've ever seen. For me, it falls more in the "Wow" rather than the "Gee Whiz!" category because the technology is so well integrated that it doesn't draw attention to itself. It's only later on, when you think about what was involved in producing this piece, that you begin to appreciate the degree of artistry involved. :Thmbsup:

« Last Edit: June 30, 2009, 11:45:30 AM by 40hz »

Innuendo

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Re: Truely amazing piece of animation art
« Reply #4 on: June 30, 2009, 03:33:25 PM »
Impressive, to be sure, but I wonder how long it will last before the MPAA shuts it down for copyright infringement.....or did they secure the rights to use every single one of those elements?
« Last Edit: June 30, 2009, 03:35:57 PM by Innuendo »

Eóin

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Re: Truely amazing piece of animation art
« Reply #5 on: June 30, 2009, 09:15:23 PM »
It is good, very good. The name is terribly misleading though, it's has nothing to do with civilization at all really. It is exactly what it describes itself as - "Civilization depicts a journey from hell to heaven interpreted through modern film language using computer-enhanced found footage.".

Just me being picky I suppose but I watched it first have only read the name and thought this makes no sense. Once I read the hell to heaven bit then it all clicked.

Impressive, to be sure, but I wonder how long it will last before the MPAA shuts it down for copyright infringement.....or did they secure the rights to use every single one of those elements?

Fair use?

40hz

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Re: Truely amazing piece of animation art
« Reply #6 on: June 30, 2009, 09:33:45 PM »
I wonder how long it will last before the MPAA shuts it down for copyright infringement...


I'd guess right after one of the following conditions gets met :  :P

  • it gets written up in the New York Times or The Wall Street Journal  -or-
  • another six weeks goes by



Fair use?


Yeah...it's good to have a dream...   ;D

« Last Edit: July 01, 2009, 06:18:02 AM by 40hz »

tinjaw

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Re: Truely amazing piece of animation art
« Reply #7 on: July 01, 2009, 06:31:50 AM »
Dancing women seems to have a monopoly. They exist from Hell to Heaven.


That is such a relief. I'm glad to know that no matter where I end up, there will always be dancing women.  : 8)

f0dder

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Re: Truely amazing piece of animation art
« Reply #8 on: July 01, 2009, 07:19:00 AM »
Somebody post a direct-download URL for the lazy of us? pretty please? :)
- carpe noctem

Innuendo

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Re: Truely amazing piece of animation art
« Reply #9 on: July 01, 2009, 09:53:00 AM »
Quote from: tinjaw
That is such a relief. I'm glad to know that no matter where I end up, there will always be dancing women.  : 8)

Don't be so relieved, tinjaw. Obviously, you missed the fine print. In Heaven, the dancing women will all look like Scarlett Johansson. In That Other Place, they'll all look like Rosie O'Donnell.

So don't give up on your good behavior just yet. ;)

40hz

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Re: Truely amazing piece of animation art
« Reply #10 on: July 01, 2009, 10:37:52 AM »
Somebody post a direct-download URL for the lazy of us? pretty please? :)

There isn't a link specifically set up to do a download.

But here's the direct URL for the video:

http://motionographe...vilization_final.mov

I used the DownThemAll extension in Firefox to grab it. But in Firefox, you can also go to the Tools menu, open up PageInfo; then look under the Media tab to find civilization_final.mov; and do a SaveAs from there.

(This also works for snarfing copies of all those pictures on Flickr they don't want you snarfing. :))

 8)

Don't be so relieved, tinjaw. Obviously, you missed the fine print. In Heaven, the dancing women will all look like Scarlett Johansson. In That Other Place, they'll all look like Rosie O'Donnell.

So don't give up on your good behavior just yet. ;)

Wow. Now there's an image for you!

Talk about a big incentive to be good!  :)

And talk about an even bigger disincentive to be bad!!! :(

(There are some people* you just don't wanna see dancing!  :o)

*With all due respect to Ms. O'Donnell, who I'm sure is a very nice person; and who likely also has her admirers. De gustibus not est disputadum, and all that... Now if she could just get off the 'holier than thou' kick she always seems to be on, and lighten up!


« Last Edit: July 01, 2009, 11:02:10 AM by 40hz »

f0dder

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Re: Truely amazing piece of animation art
« Reply #11 on: July 01, 2009, 07:21:00 PM »
40hz: thanks for the link, and the tips - a bit embarassing that I have DownloadThemAll installed but didn't think of using it :-[

Video looks pretty awesome, would be great having the executable version so you could run it as a screensaver or whatever :)
- carpe noctem

40hz

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Re: Truely amazing piece of animation art
« Reply #12 on: July 02, 2009, 12:10:45 AM »
would be great having the executable version so you could run it as a screensaver or whatever

Yeah, I though so too. I suppose we could either wait for one, or do our own.

Most apps that will covert a MOV directly into an SCR are on the pricey side. However, there is a fairly decent freebie called Instant Storm that will convert SWFs into screensavers. So all I should need to do is convert the MOV to SWF and then run it though Instant Storm.

(Probably also need to edit to the MOV to make it loop smoothly since it looks like there's some frame overlap at the very end.)

Hmmm... :)

« Last Edit: July 02, 2009, 12:14:44 AM by 40hz »

f0dder

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Re: Truely amazing piece of animation art
« Reply #13 on: July 02, 2009, 12:42:55 AM »
I guess converting the .mov with a wrapper program would work, since it does seem to loop - it'd still be cooler to have the "real" program though (higher video quality, also iirc the site mentions that the installation can change pace depending on how the elevator moves?)
- carpe noctem

Innuendo

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Re: Truely amazing piece of animation art
« Reply #14 on: July 02, 2009, 10:41:08 AM »
Quote from: 40hz
I used the DownThemAll extension in Firefox to grab it. But in Firefox, you can also go to the Tools menu, open up PageInfo; then look under the Media tab to find civilization_final.mov; and do a SaveAs from there.

And the FlashGot extension allows you to grab it with the download manager of your choice.

40hz

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Re: Truely amazing piece of animation art
« Reply #15 on: July 02, 2009, 10:55:44 AM »
I guess converting the .mov with a wrapper program would work, since it does seem to loop - it'd still be cooler to have the "real" program though (higher video quality, also iirc the site mentions that the installation can change pace depending on how the elevator moves?)

The pacing part might be tricky to implement on a screensaver. Tough to test too since we don't have an elevator in our house. Might not be a bad idea to get one however. Otherwise, I imagine I'd get pretty tired walking my machine up and down two flights of stairs until I got that part coded right. ;)

« Last Edit: July 02, 2009, 11:00:50 AM by 40hz »