Nicky Likes September 2018

Feature image for Nicky Likes September 2018 blog article.

Hello fellow creatives! I’m back again with my 2nd issue of  “Nicky Likes”, a blog series that explores and shares the art and technology references that have influenced me at work.

This month has been a super busy month for me, not only working on design and animation like manic, there have also been a lot of briefs and pitches that I have been working on with a heavily story-oriented and character narrative approach.

So here comes the references I’ve liked this month!

From me…

Age of Sail – Kevin Dart

First of all, I need to dedicate this first reference to my all-time hero Kevin Dart and his team at Chromosphere. Dart has been inspiring me to become an animator since Yuki 7, and I still admire everything they do at Chromosphere, from A Year of Sun with Mr. Persol to Form in Nature (which is my all time favourite) to the virtual reality experience COLOSSE. Now, they have just released the new trailer for a Google Spotlight VR project called Age of Sail directed by John Kahrs (the brains behind the Disney short Paperman). I just can’t wait!!

Oat the Goat – Assembly

During ideation this week I have been exploring how to make an audience experience the narrative as they go through paths and make choices. The user experience of making choices that change the ending can be found in so many games like The Last of Us, Walking Dead and Until Dawn. One of our projects, Beyond the Stars is also an example of how we can let the audience explore their own journey within a universe that we create, and educate them based on their own unique results. In thinking about that, I came across the site Oat the Goat by Assembly. What interests me is that this animated storybook is purely made in WebGL and launched as a bullying prevention initiative by New Zealand’s Ministry of Education. Not only is it a great, educational story, visually it is also beautiful for anyone to enjoy.

Screenshot from Assembly's "Oat the Goat".

Screen of the Future – Universal Everything

We have been working on so many projects, from the interactive sculpture Revive the Reef at Vivid, projection mapping like in Underground Cities, and even cooking up more interactive AI in the office. Ultimately, when we come up with an idea, we always aim for 500%. In a way we also try to think about the impossible, about “what if…” in story and narrative, and then try to find a way to make it work so people can understand and enjoy our work. One of the pieces that I’ve found fascinating and been very inspired by lately is the experimental 3D render series Screen of the Future from Universal Everything.

From the team…

Going Home – 302ChanWoo

As you can see on the main page of our website, we have been experimenting with WebGL and trying to explore how this experience can translate meaningful story through digital content. Our bossman Chris is one of those story maniacs that always shares influences about good uses of storytelling. One of my favourite from what he’s been sharing this month is Going Home. Personally, I like it because the story has the common theme of homesickness but portrays it in an abstract way (translation options are available and recommended).

Screenshots of "Going Home".

The Game That Never Was // Trailer – Giant Ant

To carry on with this theme of visually beautiful animated stories/games, our in house visual guru Inge shared this amazing video, The Game That Never Was // Trailer by Giant Ant. Sadly, they mentioned that this game was ultimately shelved. Thanks to them that the trailer still lives on though, because this is beautiful and needs to be seen!

Folio – Bo En

To switch things up, Inge also showed us this quirky folio-ish page from music composer Bo En. As weird and quirky as it is, we love it here at S1T2.

Bo En Portfolio Website

From you…

What references are inspiring you? Share them with the team and I by tagging @S1T2 on Facebook or Twitter! You can also subscribe below to get my monthly inspiration round-ups direct to your inbox.

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