Tuesday, July 17, 2018
  • Friday, Dec. 16, 2016
VFX/Animation News & Developments For December 2016
A youAR Pokemon Go demo at the Vancouver, BC airport.
Bent unveils youAR; Andreas Hykade receives Golden Dinosaur; Aardman Nathan Love "Auditions" For Crayola

AR breakthrough at Bent Image Lab

Emerging from stealth mode after three years, Bent Image Lab’s youAR platform shows the promise to pave new ground in Augmented Reality real-time multiplayer interaction and environmental logic systems. Now, for the first time, the demo is available to be viewed online
Bent’s secret Dragon tech demo has been hidden away since August of 2014. Subsequent Bent demos include a multiplayer Pokémon Go parody demonstrated live in parks, airports, hotel rooms, a Korean fish market and at Samsung’s SAIT lab in Suwon South Korea.
“When we first dreamed up youAR in 2013, we were looking to make Augmented Reality content that was magical and inspiring,” said Bent CEO Ray Di Carlo. “Other AR apps and platforms being made at the time were neither.”
Over the last two years, Di Carlo traveled to New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and Asia to privately demonstrate that 3D animated characters could move freely around while interacting with real objects in any environment in real time.
CTO Carlo Calica, describes the excitement, “Agency meetings would start with a few people and balloon up to twenty or more before we would be asked to return and present the demo for the top brass.”
“It got kind of crazy- we soon had people flying in, under NDAs, to visit our studio in Portland, Oregon, just to see our demonstrations.” recalled Di Carlo.
Di Carlo recently shared the youAR Augmented Reality Development research that many major advertising agencies and Bent AR confidants have been tracking since 2013 at the Spark Animation 2016: Business Symposium as a Disruptive Technology panelist.  The demonstration videos show how Bent’s youAR platform provides real time game states and animations that can be customized and transferred to any physical environment.

Next week youAR will release an outdoor AR gaming tech demo as the platform looks to lead the charge with companies who are building AR hardware like Google, Apple, Samsung, Microsoft and Amazon, Magic Leap, Sony and Meta.  

The demo will inform as to how Social/Gaming Software companies like Facebook, Snapchat, Valve, Niantic, Unity and Unreal may approach putting practical usable shared rendered AR content in the real world.

Golden Dinosaur Bestowed Upon Andreas Hykade

Professor Andreas Hykade, director of the Animationsinstitut at Filmakademie Baden-Wuerttemberg, independent filmmaker and FMX Conference Chair, received the Golden Dinosaur at the 23rd Etiuda & Anima Festival held last month in Krakow, Poland. The Golden Dinosaur recognizes “outstanding artists turned pedagogues” for their achievements in filmmaking and teaching. 

The festival’s artistic director Boguslaw Zmudzinski said, “He (Andreas Hykade) easily merges the two areas (filmmaking and teaching), having the ability to use his own artistic experiences in education and drawing inspiration for his creations from the process of teaching others. Prof. Hykade is a leading figure in German animation film education.”

2016 marks the 14th time that the prestigious prize was given. Among the distinguished recipients were German director Werner Herzog, the Estonian animation director Priit Pärn and the British experimental animator Paul Bush. The very first Golden Dinosaur (2003) went to Jerzy Kucia, the multi-award winning Polish animation legend who has defined Polish animation since the 1970s.

Hykade is currently working on his next film Altoetting while teaching animation at Filmakademie.

Aardman Nathan Love Colors Characters For Crayola

Animation studio Aardman Nathan Love has teamed up with agency mcgarrybowen to introduce an endearing cast of colorful characters from the Crayola family that were evolved and reimagined to come to life in a new holiday effort for the brand that’s aptly titled “Audition.”

The campaign marks the launch of the Crayola brand’s first-ever national broadcast push featuring four distinct, animated versions of its vivid, lovable mascots--Denny, Scarlet, Gus and Rod--which were previously featured primarily in packaging and in-store displays. In “Audition” the Crayola characters try out for a plum role as a brand spokesperson while highlighting two all-new Crayola products, the Air Marker Sprayer and the Emoji Maker. “One of the challenges was introducing so much in a short 30 seconds,” said Anca Risca, creative director at Aardman Nathan Love. “Not only is it a lot of characters to introduce separately, but the Air Marker Sprayer and the Emoji Maker take time to show in use. The ‘Audition’ idea became the perfect format for this because we can cut from one vignette to the next mid-action.”

Risca noted that the collaboration with mcgarrybowen was so fruitful that it yielded not only the :30 spot but also a fun series of “outtakes,” several short internal videos, and a host of print and digital material.