August 2016 - Go2 Productions

Façade Fest: Studio Sessions with Chris Shier

The unique aspect of Chris Shier’s artwork is that all of his graphics are generated in real time. Usually, when it comes to animation or graphics, these are pre-rendered in advance and then projected onto the building. Chris’ artwork is based around an HTML 5 canvas, which is web-based media. Our challenge was to figure out a solution that would help integrate his graphics generated from the web, and streamline them through the media server being used for the Façade presentation. Go2’s interactive designer had to figure out a proper frame rate and resolution to produce a consistent feed through to the media server.

Our team worked alongside Chris to ensure that once the textures were accurately piping through from the web into the media server system, that the resolution and the speed were acceptable by the artist. Our developer looked at different applications to find the one that would give the most consistency for this live feed and finally settled on the app, CamTwist.

We got Chris’ thoughts about his upcoming project for Façade.

Your existing body of work focuses on the very contemporary mediums of GIFs and interactive animation. What do you want our readers to know about these art forms in general, and your work with them specifically?
Chris: What I enjoy most about working on the web, and especially with interactive animation, is returning to the feeling of freedom that once existed online. You could create a place entirely as you saw fit – as ugly or beautiful or useful or useless as you’d like. We’ve traded that control for convenience with a side of corporate surveillance. Making interactive animation for me has been about carving back something for myself and hopefully being able to provide tools for users to feel free to play and create. And, since the source code for all the works is easily viewable and editable using tools already built into standard web browsers, anyone can iterate, modify, or remix as much as they’d like.

The GIF seems to be undergoing a redefinition by the main social media channels. Rather than the traditional (now possibly archaic) low colour-depth short animation loops, it is more often used to describe muted video files of indeterminate length. It’s a shame because the original GIF file format provides exact pixel and time precision over how an animation is rendered, while video compression discards as much detail as possible in pursuit of small file sizes resulting in muddy messes. So, what was originally an ideal tool for screen based animation has been drowned out by goofy reaction faces and pratfalls. It is probably too late, but the format deserves eulogizing.

What inspires you?
Chris: Learning new tools and techniques motivates me most consistently. Beyond that, watching planes at night through venetian blinds. Really, though, it’s the work of artists like Andrew Benson, Sara Ludy, Adam Ferris, Sabrina Ratté, Andrej Ujhazy, Ezra Miller, Vince McKelvie, Ricardo Cabello, Jules Welter, Tangible Interaction, Altered Qualia, and so on. For this project specifically, I have fond childhood memories of visiting Science World and the exhibit where a flash of light leaves a frozen shadow.

How does working in projection mapping fit into, and contrast with, the work you’ve done in coding and animation before?
Chris: I’ve been wanting to work with projection mapping for quite some time now. Façade provides an excellent chance to investigate the interaction between the user and the work beyond a web browser interface. Creating work for the web has been an asset, though, in that pieces must be adaptable to a wide variety of dimensions, hardware, and interaction modes (mouse, touchpad, touchscreen, webcam, head tracking, etc).

Describe your project for Façade. How did you come up with the idea, and what kind of effect are you hoping to have on the viewer?
Chris: It is a code-based work with an interactive and a non-interactive element. On the arch and columns a vibrant petri dish based on cellular automata simulated life will ooze and grow, while in the wings and recessed face of the VAG, live video of Robson Street and the audience will be churned through digital feedback effects and projected. I’m looking forward to people shadow-playing as they realize it’s their own forms and movements being represented on the VAG façade.

Were there any challenges in this process?
Chris: Integrating live web-based works into the projection mapping pipeline, especially when running two in parallel and using webcam input, was the main challenge. Much thanks to Patrick at Go2 for his hard work in that area. It has also been an interesting process adapting effects originally developed for the one-on-one experience of a webcam and laptop to the scale of half a city block.

What have you learned about your art through this process?
Chris: It has opened my eyes to some of the possibilities and opportunities available when interactive works are moved from the online space into the public urban space. I’d like to explore those ideas further.

What was it like working with Go2 to complete your vision?
Chris: It has been an extremely positive experience working with Go2. I knew going into the project that there would be technical hurdles to overcome and Go2 have been enthusiastic and adaptable partners in realizing the work.

How did you come to collaborate with the Burrard Arts Foundation?
Chris: Jeff Hamada of Booooooom was kind enough to put my name forward into the nomination process. I should also thank him for pushing me to incorporate interactivity into the Façade festival format.

Chris’ project will be displayed Saturday, September 3rd from 8pm to 12am on the Robson Street side of the Vancouver Art Gallery. Follow the Façade Fest online with #facadefest.

Text by Go2 Productions, Genevieve Michaels and Chris Shier

FAÇADE Fest: Studio Sessions with Renée Van Halm

Renée’s work is impressively varied, using painting, sculpture, and architecture as vehicles to create art that blends mediums to discuss artistic and cultural history. During her sessions with Go2, our team made sure the paintings and collages Renee picked had the right colors/saturation, orientation, and placement to work flawlessly with the Vancouver Art Gallery building. We also developed a simple transition between her artworks to create a bit of movement on the building.

We spoke with Renée about her inspiration and her work for the Façade Fest.

What would you like our readers to know about your existing body of work that might help them contextualize your upcoming project for Façade?
Renée: My work has always had a synthetic quality. By that, I mean synthesizing elements from different orders of things – architecture as sculpture or backgrounds with fields of colour. In this way, each aspect of the combination places its partner into question or informs it to come up with a different meaning. The viewer flips back and forth between one way of knowing and another. The Façade project is drawn from research into symmetry, different from my paintings but related in how the source materials have been processed – through collaging. The Façade project allows me to work with combinations of very intense colour not feasible when working with pigments.

What inspires you?
Renée: Pictures and what they mean.

How does working in projection mapping fit into, and contrast with, the work you’ve done before?
Renée: It is lucky that for the last year I have been working on a public art piece that has evolved into a large painted window. This has lead me to work with light and transparency, which has more in common with projected light than paintings on canvas do. Also, the scale and the artwork’s relationship to actual architecture is similar. As a result, the switch to projected light was quite seamless. Even the images I have used for Façade evolved from the research I have been doing over the past year.

What has the process been like? What have you learnt about your art through this process?
Renée: The timeline for production was short and the learning curve was steep. As an artist, I work with static images and don’t usually consider sequencing or transitions in my work so considering how one image moves into another was something that I had to learn.

Describe your project for Façade. How did you come up with the idea, and what kind of effect are you hoping to have on the viewer?
Renée: My project for Façade consists of a number of diverse images taken from magazines. They are mostly unrecognizable backgrounds and architectural elements but also images of nature that in new combinations take on different identities. The big coloured shapes often refer to redefined figures or subjects without actual identities.
I don’t usually work with symmetrical compositions, but I have wanted to work with these butterfly compositions for some time and given the symmetry of the VAG it seemed like a perfect fit. Symmetry inevitably reads in an anthropomorphic or zoomorphic way and, is therefore, comfortable for audiences to relate to.

What was it like working with Go2 to complete your vision?
Renée: Go2 productions have been not only very helpful but also inspiring. They made the process as straightforward as possible. With the exception of a couple of face-to-face meetings, a lot of the interaction took place electronically with helpful feedback and suggestions.

What do you think about the coupling of art and technology?
Renée: This has been a great opportunity to marry the two. The best part of this project is that it brings art out of the studio and the gallery and allows a large audience engage with it.

How did you come to collaborate with the Burrard Arts Foundation?
Renée: I was invited to participate. Thanks for asking!

Renée’s project will be displayed Friday, September 2nd from 8pm to 12am on the Robson Street side of the Vancouver Art Gallery. Follow the fest online with #facadefest.

Text by Go2 Productions,  Genevieve Michaels and Renée Van Halm

What’s On: Event Roundup

The best tech, marketing, and design events in October and November 2016. Get your tickets, quick.

Mobiconf 2016, October 6-7, Krakow, Poland. Mobiconf is where mobile developers, project managers, UI/UX designers and speakers converge to learn everything about mobile technology.

Inc 5000, October 18-20, New York, NY
The annual gathering of the top entrepreneurs from America’s fastest growing companies.

IMEX America, October 18-20, Las Vegas, Nevada
If you influence or manage international or domestic meetings and events, then IMEX America is where you belong this October.

Push.Conference 2016, October 20-21, Munich, Germany
Push.Conference is where designers and developers of outstanding digital experiences can meet, learn and get inspired.

RevolveConf, October 26-28, Charleston, SC
This conference brings together a diverse group of practitioners who will help you shift your focus from idea generation to idea execution.

Incite Marketing Summit, October 27-28, New York, NY
Marketing leaders from over 60 innovative brands map out the future of marketing in NYC.

Adobe MAX, October 31-Nov 4, San Diego, California
If you’re keen on updating your technical skills, Adobe’s annual creativity conference is the best place to start.

Inbound 2016, November 8-11, Boston, Massachusetts
Inbound’s purpose is to provide the inspiration, education, and connections you need to transform your business.

Event Tech, November 14-16, Las Vegas, Nevada
The latest technologies, the newest trends, the best practices, the biggest case studies – and you.

Gilbane Digital Content Conference, November 29-30, Boston, Massachusetts
This conference brings together content strategists, marketers, technologists, IT and business executives to learn how to improve content creation and delivery.

 

 

FAÇADE Fest: Studio Sessions with Artist Rebecca Chaperon

Rebecca is an artist whose paintings act as a means of storytelling. For her sessions with Go2, Rebecca tested her paintings on our 3D model to determine which pieces of artwork she wanted to incorporate into her presentation and which ones would require tweaking. We’ve made it possible for Rebecca to ‘live tweak’ the color saturation of each painting on the evening of the projection through the media server, to ensure each painting will be visible properly on the Gallery facade.  Additionally, our team will be creating simplistic transitions between each painting, as well as small object animation as a layer on some of the artwork pieces, which will bring some movement to the canvas.

We spoke to Rebecca about the festival and her artistic process.

What would you like our readers to know about your existing body of work that might help them contextualize your upcoming project for Façade?
Rebecca: Many of the projected works depict my internal psychic space as though it were a landscape full of waves of energy, creativity, and wonder. There is a continual theme of existentialism within my work and lately I have been examining the process of visual perception: optical input and cognitive understanding. The projected images are existing artworks that I have altered digitally to enhance them for the medium of projection and to create animated elements ie. making my paintings move! Most of the images are from either my Eccentric Garden Series or Imprint Series. And some of the originals are on display in the Art Rental & Sales showroom at the Vancouver Art Gallery until Sept 23.

What inspires you?
Rebecca: I’m inspired by ideas of surrealism, storytelling and the genre of science fiction. I’m fascinated by the process of how we perceive the world around us. Our landscapes provide a rich code of visual information that we reinterpret to create images in our mind of what these places “look like”.

How does working in projection mapping fit into, and contrast with, the work you’ve done  before?
Rebecca: I haven’t worked in coding and animation before. My skills are very limited in this area… we could say non-existent! But I have worked with other creatives who have those skills sets and helped me to adapt my ideas to those frameworks. The best example is from my Great Black Fire exhibit in 2011 – with the assistance of an expert, we created a way in which people could tweet their text into the paintings. It was fun to see people’s humor come through in their engagement.

Describe your project for Façade. How did you come up with the idea, and what kind of effect are you hoping to have on the viewer?
Rebecca: I will be showing approximately 10 different images with different elements animated. At the time of this interview we are still finalizing the details and working out the animations and the transitions but I can say that I hope to really envelop the viewer in the worlds that I have created. I love surrealism and projecting my already surreal paintings onto the art gallery will be even more surreal.

Were there any challenges in this process?
Rebecca: Technically speaking, I’ve been rusty with Photoshop as I usually only use it to adjust my images so that they are more accurate.. so it was interesting to refresh old skills and get used to that process. Other challenges came in the form of the medium itself, understanding that white and black aren’t going to project very well which lead to me making some adjustments to my images.

What have you learned about your art through this process?
Rebecca: I think I’d like to work digitally with my paintings in the future. I was surprised by how much I like the combination of using paint and importing it into digital programs. It’s fun to manipulate the images in photoshop and I haven’t done that since I was at art school. I look forward to seeing the effect of these manipulated elements of the images projected at such a large scale.

What was it like working with Go2 to complete your vision?
Rebecca: It was great to see the test projections and learn about the specific parameters that are involved with projections (I had no idea!). The test projections were good for me to see because we had a physical example to use and Go2 could explain very clearly the elements that I needed to consider before creating my final images for projection. It’s been a great experience so far.

How did you come to collaborate with the Burrard Arts Foundation?
Rebecca: I’ve known about BAF from perhaps the beginning via my friend, artist Joseph Staples, who did an initial residency. I know many people who have been involved with BAF in some form or another.  It’s wonderful to see the impact that you are having on Vancouver’s art community. I’m pleased to participate in Façade!

Rebecca’s project will be displayed Thursday, September 1st from 8pm to 12am on the Robson Street side of the Vancouver Art Gallery. Follow the Façade Fest online with #facadefest. Full schedule here.

Text by Go2 Productions, Genevieve Michaels and Rebecca Chaperon

 

FAÇADE Fest: Studio Sessions with Barry Doupe

As mentioned in the previous post, Go2 is the official technical partner of the FAÇADE Festival and provided mentorship to the five participating artists, guiding them through the process of projection mapping.

The next artist to visit us in the studio was Barry Doupé, a Vancouver-based artist primarily working with computer animation. For his presentation, Barry chose to display a pre-rendered animation. Using our four-foot 3D printed model of the Vancouver Art Gallery, Barry was able to test his animations to determine if the sizing and speed of his objects would work well for the live presentation.

We got Barry’s thoughts on the FAÇADE Fest and how he prepared for it.

Prior to this project, you worked extensively in video and computer animation. What would you want our readers to know about your existing body of work?
Barry: That I’m currently working on a new feature-length animation that’s about half way done. I’m also working on a series of digital paintings and writing scripts for a series of live action monologues. You can watch clips of my previous work at barrydoupe.ca.

What inspires you?
Barry: A lot of things. It could be a situation, a memory, language or an image. Right now I’m being inspired by weird compositions.

Describe your project for FAÇADE. How did you come up with the idea and choose what art to project? What kind of effect are you hoping to have on the viewer?
Barry: I made a virtual pixel board using 3D animation software, 3D studio Max, and then designed an algorithm where I can control and animate the colour palette of each pixel. I wanted to do something that complimented the structure of the building and that also had a colourful summer energy.

Were there any challenges? What was the hardest part of the process?
Barry: The biggest challenge was coordinating colour combinations that I thought worked well together, making smooth transitions, and not having the video be too repetitive.

How does working in projection mapping fit into, and contrast with, the work you’ve done in video and animation before?
Barry: It’s a new process for me. I started out by looking at other examples online. There are a lot of showy things, like having the façade crumble or dragons flying out of windows, that kind of thing. Those examples are a lot of fun but I wanted to do something more simple and formal. I’m currently working on a feature-length animation and it requires me to focus a lot on narrative and think about how all the scenes work together. For this piece, it was refreshing to take a break from those narrative concerns. The nature of projection mapping lends itself to more optical explorations of colour and surface and texture.

What have you learned about your art through this process?
Barry: That working on a project that has some pre-set elements can be really creatively exciting. This project is specifically going to be projected onto the front surface of the Vancouver Art Gallery. I often pass by the site and stand and look at the different angles of the surface and think about them.

What was it like working with Go2 productions to complete your vision?
Barry: They provided some technical assistance and made a mock-up that helped me envision how the final piece will look when projected.

What are your thoughts on the coupling of art and technology?
Barry: For me, it’s a sense of collaboration that I get from the tools in the technology. There’s a back and forth between the tools and the ideas that they give me and the creative possibilities that I come up with based on their parameters.

How did you come to collaborate with the Burrard Arts Foundation?
Barry: My name was put forward by an outside committee, and then they contacted me and asked if I was interested in participating.

Barry’s project will be displayed Wednesday, August 31st from 8pm to 12am on the Robson Street side of the Vancouver Art Gallery. Follow the Façade Fest online with #facadefest. Full schedule here.

Text by Go2 Productions, Genevieve Michaels and Barry Doupé. 

FAÇADE Fest: Studio Sessions with Eric Metcalfe

As the official technical partner of the FAÇADE Festival, Go2 Productions provided two hands-on mentorship sessions to each of the five artists taking part in the festival, guiding them through the process of projection mapping. We also set up an additional introductory session with the artists so they could view examples of how creative can be altered or skewed once it is projected onto the surface. Go2 then provided the FAÇADE Fest with a four-foot model that could be used to test all of the artists’ creative works to give them a realistic idea of how each piece would work on the surface.

Eric Metcalfe’s art practice has crossed and merged disciplines from painting, drawing, sculpture and printmaking to performance and film. Eric worked closely with Go2’s Art Director over two sessions, ensuring that his unique, elaborate paintings would be seamlessly projected onto the Vancouver Art Gallery. This involved strategic placement, and 3D wrapping of the creative.

Go2 worked closely with Eric to develop a series of 3D transitions that would create an illusion between each individual painting. The aim was to keep Eric’s creative vision intact and create a unique visual transition that would not only manipulate the building but would seamlessly guide the audience through the presentation.

We got Eric’s thoughts on the FAÇADE Fest and the process of getting his artwork ready.

FAÇADE Fest: Studio Sessions with Eric Metcalfe

1. Previously, you’ve worked in drawing, painting and performance art. What would you want our readers to know about your existing body of work?
Eric: I would have to say that my work has always been influenced by media such as comic books as a child, movies such as westerns, war and film noir, literature, classical music and jazz. Over the years I have been involved in several concept projects and collaborations. In 1973 I also collaborated with Kate Craig on Leopard Realty, which was an outdoor mural painted on the façade of the Vancouver Art Gallery (at its former location).

2. Describe your project for Façade. How did you come up with the idea?
Eric: I was really excited when the Burrard Arts Foundation approached me about the project. My initial idea was to portray works from my Stellar gouache series and eventually the work evolved to include the Leopard Realty piece as well – a homage to the 1973 mural.

3. How does working in video and projection mapping fit into, and contrast with, the content and mediums you’ve worked in before?
Eric: It opens up a whole new area to explore, a new technology that could be used in the toolkit for future use.

4. What have you learnt about your art through this process?
Eric: I can see now after my experience during the creative process with Go2 Productions that projection mapping offers a lot of potential to the realm of visual arts as well as being a new branch to explore.

5. What was it like working with the Go2 team?
Eric: I really like working with Go2 productions. They appreciated my creative practice and allowed for a carte-blanche approach.

6. What do you think of the integration of technology and artistic expression?
Eric: First of all, I’m an artist who chooses and works with the correct medium and the right tool for each project, keeping in mind how and where it will be viewed. In regards to the work I have created for Façade Festival 2016, using projection mapping to portray the work is the right method. It’s an exceptional opportunity – so different and exciting to do something outside of the traditional realm.

7. How did you come to collaborate with the Burrard Arts Foundation?
Eric: I was commissioned in 2014 to work with the Burrard Arts Foundation to work on a large indoor mural titled, Stellar. The mural is currently located within the interior lobby of the Burrard Building in downtown Vancouver 1030 West Georgia Street.

Eric’s project will be displayed Tuesday, August 30th from 8pm to 12am on the Robson Street side of the Vancouver Art Gallery. Follow the Façade Fest online with #facadefest. Full schedule here.

Text by Go2 Productions, Genevieve Michaels and Eric Metcalfe. 

FAÇADE Festival – A Larger-than-life Interactive Art Fest

Come August 30th and downtown Vancouver will be awash with a multitude of colours and lights as FAÇADE Festival takes over the city for 5 days. A huge showcase of art, creativity, and technical innovation, Facade Fest will feature the works of 5 local artists projected onto the Vancouver Art Gallery building, as well as a projection mapping spectacle by the Go2 team.

FAÇADE Festival is organized by the Burrard Arts Foundation and Go2 Productions is proud to be this year’s official technical partner. The event aims at making art accessible for all by taking it off gallery walls and screens and putting it in front of hundreds of new viewers in a dynamic, interactive format. FAÇADE Festival will feature newly commissioned works by artists Eric Metcalfe, Barry Doupé, Rebecca Chaperon, Renée Van Halm, and Chris Shier in the format of grand-scale projections that are free for the public to enjoy.

Each artist visited us in our studio for two hands-on mentoring sessions and were shown how projection mapping would be used in conjunction with their art. The artists also got to see what their final presentations would look like on our four-foot model of the Art Gallery building.

Go2’s finale presentation will take place on September 5th at 8pm and 10.30pm. Titled Divine Composition, it will feature gorgeous imagery woven with cutting-edge digital technology. The presentation was inspired by the Golden Ratio – a mathematical sequence that occurs in nature and has been used to inspire architecture, music, art and design for centuries.

Go2 will be using exquisite time-lapse flower footage by famed cinematographer, Louie Schwartzberg, integrated and augmented with colourful animations. Louie is an award-winning cinematographer, director, and producer whose recent theatrical releases include the 3D IMAX film Mysteries of the Unseen World with National Geographic, narrated by Forest Whitaker. Louie’s three TED talks have gone viral with almost 50 million combined views. “Having my visuals displayed through projection mapping at events like Façade Festival allows me to share my work with audiences in a new, dramatic way. What better way is there to experience the wonders of nature than outdoors?”, Louie enthused.

The background score for the piece will be produced by renowned composer Alain Mayrand who also took his inspiration from the Golden Ratio. Alain, who was thrilled to have his music performed in his hometown, wanted his composition to physically echo the numbers in the Golden Ratio, not just abstractly represent them. FAÇADE Festival lights up the Vancouver Art Gallery on August 30th – you won’t want to miss this unforgettable multi-sensory experience.

Stay tuned for artist interviews and a behind-the-scenes peek at the mentoring sessions.

FAÇADE Festival
August 30 – Sept 5
Vancouver Art Gallery (Robson Street side)
8pm-12am

Schedule
August 30th – Eric Metcalfe
August 31st – Barry Doupé
September 1st – Rebecca Chaperon
September 2nd – Renée Van Halm
September 3rd – Chris Shier
September 4th – Encore of all artists’ works
September 5th – Projection mapping grand finale by Go2 Productions followed by an encore of all artists’ works

We’re Hiring!

Exciting large-scale projects, talented folk, and a cool Railtown office… come join us!

2D/3D Animator – Based in Vancouver, BC

We are seeking experienced digital designers who are proficient in After Effects and Cinema 4D to be a part of our team. You will be required to work on a variety of large-scale projection mapping, interactive and video projects for clients in Canada and the US. Reports to the Associate Creative Director and Art Director and works closely with the Production Manager. Please provide examples of 3D animation and motion graphics in your showreel. This is a great opportunity to work on some very cool big-brand projects.

Skills Required
Mograph2, Dynamics, Lighting and Texturing
Excellent knowledge of design fundamentals
Solid knowledge of motion graphics and VFX workflow
Excellent sense of timing and musicality
VRay knowledge is a very good advantage

Software Knowledge Required
Excellent knowledge of Cinema 4D and associated plugins
Excellent knowledge of After Effects and it’s various plugins for motion graphics
Compositing skills are advantageous
Photoshop and Illustrator skills are essential
Audio Engineering skills an asset

Individual Characteristics
High level of creativity and passion for the industry
Ability to think on feet and problem solve
Proactive, personable and able to get on with many different personality types
Must have a proven track record and at least 3 years experience in a similar role
Must have an excellent understanding of the video and animation production process
Must speak fluent English

Email us at info@go2productions.com with your resume and an active link to your demo reel.