INDUSTRY IQ DD35 STUDIO TOUR: Giant Ant

(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.

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Salazar Awards 2016

Congratulations to Ignacio Florez 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 Cortes 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.

Animated Typeface – League Spartan

It’s that time again where students in Term 3 at VFS Digital Design get to work on the Animated Typeface project. Recap: It is a collaborative class initiative where each student makes a second long animated sequence for 3 – 4 glyphs. This time League Spartan was used and this typeface was created by Tyler Finck, Micah Rich, and Caroline Hadilaksono.

These sequences needed to be 25 frames long using three or fewer of the chosen colours. It has been amazing to see the incredible work.

To view the full project, please check out:

dd.ourvfs.com/animatedtype

Here is what some students have to share about their experience:

Lawrence Teng

Lawrence Animated Type Screenshot

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INDUSTRY IQ STUDIO TOUR: Giant Ant

(guest post by Kelly Kurtz, DD34)

Our second studio visit that was part of our Industry IQ course in the Digital Design program at VFS started with the most interesting question — How would you accidentally create an inspiring, industry standard raising, and successful company? Say what?! We, the DD class of 34, listened intently as Jay Grandin, Giant Ant Partner & Creative Director, described the story of how the studio was born.

Some 10+ years ago after graduating from an industrial design program, Jay Grandin and Leah Nelson (Wife, Giant Ant Partner and Creative Director) took out a camera on the weekends and created a video for fun. At that time, YouTube was just beginning to become popular. They posted it and it went unexpectedly viral. Companies started contacting them to make videos for them; they had so much interest that they both decided to quit their jobs for a year and try it full time. “We didn’t make any money in the first few years. It wasn’t until about 5 or 6 years in I was finally making $30,000/year, which by today’s standards (especially in Vancouver) is below the poverty line.”

The company continued to grow and they developed a sense of what type of work they wanted to put out there, and what type of work they didn’t want to take on despite the appealing money that could have come in, inspired us with their ethical choices. Many of us hope our work will be used for the greater cause, and we want to work on meaningful projects. Visiting Giant Ant showed us that companies with high standards exist and that in the end you choose what work you take on and choose what type of work you want to produce. Hearing their philosophy was empowering for us as students who are starting to develop our own sense of ethics and direction.

We had an opportunity to ask many questions that gave us insight into their company culture, what they are looking for in potential employees/talent, tips on getting into the industry. He let us in on their company rules, which are simple and to the point, which guide how they interact with each other to achieve the high quality of work they produce. Another real highlight was to see inside their workflow of award-winning motion pieces like Stickboy that was created to be shown at the Vancouver Opera in 2014. Seeing what it takes behind the scenes was inspiring and daunting at the same time, and left us wanting to see more and more!

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