(guest post by Sean Wright, DD35)
This past Wednesday (June 1st), the 35th Digital Design class had the distinct pleasure of visiting the work space of The Sequence Group, a premier design, visual effects and animation team that happens to be located here in Vancouver.
Guided as always by the vigilant Danny Chan
and stoic Grigor Cheitanov
, we paired off using the buddy system and departed the halls of higher learning at 420 Homer St. for a brief trek through historic Gastown. You can tell that Sequence have their fingers on the pulse of the city by their choice of location: Railtown
. East of Main St. and north of Alexander St., this former industrial area is Vancouver’s next hot target for gentrification and redevelopment, and this studio has literally settled in at the ground floor.The Sequence Group got their start 10 years ago as a private venture by founder Ian Kirby
: designing websites, DVD interfaces, motion comics and animated gifs for whomever needed the business. Since then, it has grown to a 15-person team (exact numbers vary by project, swelling to up to 50 strong for large jobs such as last year’s Halo: The Fall of Reach) that is proud to include two VFS DD grads.Upon our arrival the studio was operating under at least one non-disclosure agreement involving projects for the upcoming E3 Convention (video game Christmas) taking place in Los Angeles later this month, so our tour was swift and to the point. We were introduced to the team in their converted industrial space complete with three storey ceilings and rolling windowed doors facing onto a waterfront courtyard, but then quickly whisked away to the cinema room for a thorough demonstration of the team’s completed projects guided by Executive Producer Dan Sioui
. Thank you, Sequence Group, for having us!
The Adobe Design Achievement Awards celebrate student work in disciplines of interactive experience, motion/video, and traditional media from the world’s top institutions of higher education. Prizes for this competition include Adobe software, mentorship from creative professionals, trophies, and a trip to San Diego for the winners. Semifinalists for 2016 have been announced recently, and a number of Digital Design projects have been selected. They will receive an official digital certificate from Adobe, as well as an online badge for LinkedIn and Facebook issued by Credly and authorized by Adobe.
Congratulations to the following alumni:
A team of Karam Mahmood, Adriana Ogarrio, Maggie Wang, David Rivera, and Jay Lee
Finalists will be named on July 18th, and the winners will be announced in September.
In the early weeks of each new term, the students in Digital Design are encouraged to submit images from work that they did in the previous term. They are welcome to submit anything from character or logo designs, interface mockups, to even screen captures from their motion design work. The work is then posted online so that all of the Digital Design students can vote on the work, resulting in a “Of The Students, By The Students” selection of winners, who then see their work framed and mounted On The Wall around the campus.
On May 25th, Noora Abu Eitah, Executive Producer at Secret Location, flew in from Toronto to discuss “Building Digital Experiences” at a DD Talks event. Noora is an award-winning producer who oversees the overall management of operations and production at Secret Location. She has managed the production of several transmedia projects for broadcasters and entertainment producers and works with the rest of Secret Location’s leadership team on new business and original projects, with a focus on successful execution and deployment. Her presentation started out with describing the studio’s creative process and project team structure of 7-people pods. Secret Location employs an agile project management style which is also taught at the Digital Design program. They have daily standing-only scrum meetings to maintain communication between team members in a short and timely fashion. Secret Location makes use of greyboards to provide clients a visually more descriptive layout and look of a project compared to standard wireframes. This is part of a unique process that involves using grey boxes and shapes as an intermediate design step before creating final designs.
Secret Location is known for its work on emerging platforms such as virtual reality (VR) having won a Creative Arts Emmy Award for Outstanding Creative Achievement in Interactive Media category for User Experience and Visual Design in 2015 for The Sleepy Hollow: VR Experience. Noora presented an overview of the process and challenges they faced in creating VR projects. She discussed the different types of available VR hardware and their latest mobile VR game, Blasters of the Universe. Noora ended her presentation by answering questions such as how motion designers play a role in prototyping projects and the importance of understanding compression and file formats for VR deployment.
(guest post by Dylan Endicott, DD35)
The Digital Design 35th class at VFS was given the opportunity to get an inside look at everything Giant Ant. When Louise Lee, the heart that pumps blood through the DD program, told our class that we would get to visit Giant Ant, there was an eruption of enthusiastic proportions. There is a reputation that Giant Ant holds as one of top-notch studios in the motion graphics industry.
Our impression of them only improved after our visit. Seeing and learning a bit about their process really solidified for us the fact the money doesn’t drive this studio — It’s passion. Collectively, the class now knows that big things truly do come in small packages. What Jay and Leah have built in such a competitive industry is not only impressive but incredibly inspiring. Jay led the class on an adventure through Giant Ant’s files and process, which, to some, may not sound like fun, but our class could have stayed all day.