In Tilburg, a small town in the south of The Netherlands, a wonderfull festival is hidden.
Playgrounds Audiovisual Arts Festival is a festival for innovative and creative digital art. During the two-day festival Playgrounds presents an impression of the latest developments in technology as well as creativity. The festival programme offers an inspiring mix of inventive films, documentaries, animation, graphic design, artist talks, character design and performances.
The line up so far doesn’t fail to impress:
Edouard Salier, Mate Steinforth, Alex Trochut, Physalia, Encyclopedia Pictura, Ben & Julia, David Wilson, Neil Huxley, Heyheyhey, Matt Lambert, Studio Takt, PIPS:lab and more to come…
It’s a real by-the-astist-for-the-artist festival. People come, not only to learn and see the talks, but also to have a good time in a creative environment. Drink some beers, relax and talk with the artists. Onesize, Tokyo Plastic, Matt Lambert, Dvein, Post Panic and Pleix are more or less house-guests and if they’re not too busy they will try to come.
The festival will take place on 6 and 7 october in Pop podium 013 in Tilburg. So If you’re in the Netherlands or you would like to go there, be sure to visit!
This wonderful, light and funny piece is made by Gijs van Kooten, Tom Hankins, Roy Nieterau and Guido Puijk. 4 students from the Utrecht School of Arts in the Netherlands.
Although heavily inspired on ‘Meet Buck’, ‘Salesmen Pete’ and the game ‘Team Fortress’ it definitely has it’s own qualities. Nicely animated, fast paced, good textures and made with an eye for details. Produced with Autodesk Maya, Eyeon Fusion, Pixologic ZBrush, Adobe Photoshop and TVPaint.
Gijs van Kooten about the process:
Mac ‘n’ Cheese is the graduation project of Gijs, Roy and Tom. We asked Guido to work with us; despite of him not graduating, we thought he was a good addition to our team. We got 5 months for the project. It was something none of us had done before, that’s why the research and development were a big part of the process. So while researching, we started working on the storyboard.
Tom began modeling the characters, while Gijs and Guido worked on the backgrounds and the props. Roy was our technical director from the start. He started working on a ‘auto rigger’ for the characters. A project he worked on earlier and provided us with all the body rigs. The facial rigs were made later on by Gijs. When the car models where done Roy worked on a script to make them easy to animate and implement in the scene. Meanwhile almost three-quarter of the models where done.
As of this point Tom focussed on testing the shading, rendering and compositing of the characters, background and props. This gave a good idea of the compositing setup and to see where we could improve our process. Roy started with the animation while Gijs and Guido finished the models. After the models were done Roy, Gijs and Guido worked on the animation together. All finished animations went straight into rendering.
Despite of our struggle to find the right people for the audio and the fact that we started searching way to late, we are really happy with the results. Audio design changed until the very last moment.
Naming the animation was tricky. Our working title was Eastwood Junction (name of the village were the short begins), but our teachers convinced us that this was probably not a good idea. We experimented with many names and Mac ‘n’ Cheese sounded best. It’s not based on the characters, but more on the idea of simplicity. Our film is also simple and easily digestible.
To get more insight in the production process there are some WIP images on ZBrush Central
At first glance, a quiet, almost serene black and white video. Nevertheless, it’s packed with visual effects. Each image is carefully and subtly modified and contributes to the incredible atmosphere. With controlled changes in reality that take you into a dreamworld, you not only listen to the Memory Tapes, but you can see them as well.
What makes this video even more special is that it is not made with extensive 3D applications — no Flame, no Nuke, just After Effects. Two-dimensional camera tracking, puppet tool and a lot of layers make this ambitious project come to life.
Director Eric Epstein:
This would have been a good excuse to learn, but it’s hard to abandon one’s strengths. And with the emphasis on footage integration, much of the project was going to live in AE no matter what. I figured if the approach was unusual then at worst the results would come out looking unique. Realistic compositing was not top priority, so long as the motion seemed natural.
The main techniques I employed in this video were things I had played with before and had wanted to push further. That helped zero in on some images I wanted to create, but the feeling of the music was still the driving force behind everything.
The Node is an experimental piece of film and sound design. With a sound-bed by Philip Glass, the audio was re-designed by a handful of the some of the most well know and talented sound designers of late (see below). The piece has a starkness reminiscent of Alex Roman’s The Third & The Seventh which is pushed further than nice images and a clean architectural feel. It possesses a certain ominous silence.
“The Node” should be considered as a virtual installation including a collection of recurrences. Each audial redesign of “The Node” will be made by pure minds. A notification will be made when each version goes online. – Murat Pak
Playgrounds describes itself as a festival for innovative and creative digital art. During the two-day festival in Tilburg, Playgrounds presents an impression of the latest developments in technology as well as creativity. The festival program offers an inspiring mix of inventive films, documentaries, animation, graphic design, artist talks, character design and performances.
I especially liked the Talkshow between Fons Schiedon and David O’Reilly, what was meant to be a talk about inspiration, became a showdown of truly bizarre and sick works from all over the world. Movie clips, snippets of porn and pieces of animation were all wrapped into a humorous, often awkward, dialogue between Fons and David. The Art of ‘Wrongness’!
This years’ titles came out of the sick mind of animator/director/designer Fons Schiedon. With Post Panic on the production it turned out to be on of the most creative festival titles ever made. Wether you like it or not, they are a definitely a fresh, new approach. No slick 3D, no heavy sound design, skilled typography or layers and layers of post. It looks like a surreal movie, a part of a series you’ve missed. Fons cleverly hid the titles in the dialogue of the film.