Romantic Justice Pierre Vanni 2008

If the beginning of last year held promise for new tactile technologies and the development of interactive applications. (Most of which have found home on that fruit labeled phone). This year has the potential to return to the basics albeit with some added sheen. I was pleasantly surprised to come across Amid Amidi’s latest blog post, Animation Trends: 3-D Papercraft/Cut-out Animation in which he states an explosion in this more hands on animation technique. The post immediately brought to mind 1st Ave. Machine’s latest commercial, ‘Unboxed’ recently commented over at Motionographer. The ‘trend’ is indeed a return to some of the more traditional approaches in animation which is a pleasant surprise for those who hailed a 100% digital future and perhaps a relief too for the budding student who just can’t get their neuron’s connected with ray tracing. But where does this sudden interest in a new approach stem from?

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There were pointers to this happening as early as 2007. Producers and creatives were already talking about picking up the pencil again and getting fingers stuck to paper. One interesting example of this was the new section added to last years onedotzero festival called top draw: A fine selection of films that “serve as a direct counterpoint to the more technologically driven moving image and visual code generators.”

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© Studio Hort

Even amongst the most dedicated digital creators, there has been a growing interest in the design ‘object’ and the more tactile qualities of the final creation. Generative artist, Marius Watz recently stated that his “biggest ambition right now is to escape the screen and take my work into physical space.” (Varoom Issue 08 November 2008).

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Frozen 087 Marius Watz: Sound memory (Oslo Rain Manifesto)

What is essential and what I found particularly interesting from a motion design perspective, is that a lot of what bubbles up to the surface as ‘trends’ of the moment in motion, often has its genesis in design and graphic design well before we pause to comment. 2007/8 has already seen quite a shift towards more ‘physical space’ works, especially with typography and this seems to have trickled into the motion arena as a ‘new’ approach and one that has been given an added layer of computer wizardry with some outstanding results – Johny Kelly’s supreme Seed and Julian Vallée’s brilliant Globo Logos

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