Who said study couldn’t be fun? If you’re interested in Digital Media or Art+Design, here is a couple of videos that will engage, inspire and genrally “wooh” you into thinking there is actually some badass uses for your skills.
Number 5 Kud Cudi: “Day n’ Nite”
Day N’ Nite makes me think Kid Kudi lives in some shroomed up super-mario verion of that AH HA video from the 80’s, it’s kind of disturbing. Its that kind of new age video that causes a million hipsters to simultaneously drop stirrers in their Starbucks. The animation here is all a hand drawn by French graphic designer/art director “So Me” (No idea why he has a Japanese porn name but we’ll just go with it). AND MY GOD, is it no glorious? The pacing is perfect, the merge between actor and animation is not just passable, it’s fluid. This proves you don’t have to be Van Gogh to fill a couple of adjustment layers in After Effects with some quirky pen-drawn goodness and make art. Just don’t do shrooms kids, because making videos is fun, but being trapped inside that video would be an absolute pants-filler.
Number 4 Coldplay: “Hurts Like Heaven”
A comic book style video that grabs attention through its mix of 2D and 3D animation. This is a feat the animators have achieved in such unison that the depth changes are virtually transparent. Boomtastic! 3D Lighting and slick 2-Node cameras bring the fictional cityscape to life while retaining that classic cell-shaded comic book spirit. Telling a complex love story using only the power of your key-frames is no small task, no less with weird blue alien characters. Seriously man, what are those things? Extras from Avatar?
Number 3 Professor Green Feat. Ed Drewett – “I Need You Tonight”
I’m going to call this song a guilty pleasure. The green screen work is pretty basic, but if you’re looking for inspiration, there is no shame in aiming mid-range, right? Possibly the best thing about this video is that you could quite easily pull off almost every shot in here with practically no budget and only a sliver of the time some of these other videos would take to emulate. I also like the post-production work done on the time-lapse shots and the cool little lens flares, sometimes that’s all a video needs to get swag all up in that heezy.
Number 2 Bad Meets Evil: “Fast Lane” (ft. Eminem, Royce Da 5’9)
The director here has pulled an absolute humdinger example of bare-bones 2.5D animation (I’m pretty sure they didn’t even touch the ray-tracing checkbox). The realistic way in which Em and Royce interact with the objects makes me feel warm and fuzzy… which is weird because I think I’m suppose to feel rappy and angry. While it’s not the prettiest video on this list, the sheer bulk of ideas realised here is impressive, and it certainly supports the weight of its own ambition. Quick mention also to the plain warehouse setting being an AWESOME IDEA, not once did I get that “oh hell they’re using green screen so hard right now” feeling. Very cool hippedy hoppidy video.
Number 1 Swedish House Mafia: “Greyhound”
I imagine the conversation going down between the Chef Advertiser of Smirnoff and his Boss, both drunk on a balcony at his Tuscan villa. I can picture how they talked into the wee hours of the morning about how to make kids buy their cheap vodka made from 10 Stroke Oil and yams. I can smell the sweet smoke of a poorly lit cigar rolling into the summer air, thickening the atmosphere to critical mass before… “Boss! Iv’e got it!” that is when they hired the Swedish House Mafia build and race robot dogs for them, selling tickets to the event at a premium and...[interruption as consultant walks into the room] Oh… Oh my. OK, Iv’e just been told that the events in this video aren’t real and no real robot dogs exist. Wow. In that case, this is some bomb-diggedy animation. Shit… I really wanted to start a robot puppy racing league. What? Come on, there’s money in that idea and you know it.
Anywhoooo, is this video slightly cheapened by the fact that Smirnoff clearly bankrolled it as an advertising venture? Only if you hate money, expensive animation and undeniable quality. This is an Autodesk Maya job, and truly serves as a benchmark for budding animators out there, I mean really, the 3D robot dogs are close to feature film quality. While Autodesk Maya costs an arm and a leg… and the holy grail… and your first-born son (OK, we get it, its expensive software) Students doing animation courses will no doubt have access to a copy on Univesity or Unitec computers and can start the long road to becoming this good.
So there we are folks, get inspired and have a go!
And be sure to check out my other NZ student top lists below: