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.
(guest post by J-P Crowe, DD35)
We were finally going to meet DDB! And I had many burning questions deep in my soul. Did you make the interactive Christmas tree for Canadian Tire? What are the salmon facts? And what the heck is going on with Translink?
But there were serious questions as well. One of my close family friends has done public relations for oil companies and tobacco companies, trying to defend people with a bad rap. How do you do that? What is it like in this day and age, when your corner candy shop selling fair trade Camino chocolates has become the neighbourhood McDonalds selling McWraps, and every guy has got to survive?
When we sat down, they were eager to elaborate on the Our Food, Your Questions campaign they did for McDonald’s where they promise to answer any question you have about their food. We also learned about their work for BC Hydro encouraging the public to curb their energy consumption in order to meet the needs of a growing population.
Their physical space is incredibly impressive. With few separating walls, it’s mostly an expanse of desks and computer screens with people dressed in chic business casual clothes. Surrounding this space are windows from ceiling to floor gazing upon the surrounding grey apartment buildings in every direction. Maybe it’s the futurist in me that can’t help but think about each mind behind each window in each of those buildings that designers try to understand and reach. As we headed back down the graffiti stairwell I was reminded that this digital agency is business on the outside and human on the inside.
Congratulations to Ignacio Flórez for winning a Salazar Award last night in the Video & Motion category for his project, Foxy Matter, a title sequence for a fictional animated movie. He was presented with a cash prize and an award certificate. Ignacio follows in the footsteps of a long list of VFS Digital Design graduates who have won this award. The Salazar Awards are presented by the British Columbia Mainland Chapter of The Society of Graphic Designers of Canada (GDC/BC) and founding sponsor Metropolitan Fine Printers to promote the work of students from design programs in BC. Hanna Cortés was named a finalist and honourable mentions were also given to Adriana Ogarrio and Jay Lee for their motion design projects.
Congratulations to everyone!
The evening also included a panel discussion, moderated by Johnathon Vaughn Strebly, President of GDC/BC, between Roy White (Subplot Design), Nancy Wu (Nancy Wu Design) and Katie Maasik (Lululemon) addressing topics related to agency, freelance and in-house design career opportunities.