Archive for the 'Animation' Category

Breaking the ice….

Well I have fallen into the trap of waiting too long to update this blog…with each day that passes it becomes more difficult to do until eventually the relatively simple task of writing  a few lines about a few projects morphs itself into a huge task destined for extreme procrastination. So this post is just a general ice breaker to feel like we can chat again … you know… make logging in a little less awkward :)There has been so many cool projects completed over the last year and it feels like so little time to post them on the blog. This has been a year of changes and so I preclude the next flurry of blog postings with a bit of backstory as to why things have been so quiet on our little space on the web. These are not excuses as much as they are happy reasons for inactivity … or something like that

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Aurora Samantha Grace Coppen was born on 27/06/2008 and brought with her the overwhelming joy and  explosive disruption that only a newborn can do. She arrived 2 weeks after her predicted deadline and has been a glorious, hysterical, smiling, screaming little bundle that has kept us on our toes and bouncing on a pilates ball ever since. The past 4 months have been so rewarding and the first few weeks I really battled to tear myself away from her little blue eyes and get on with the work quietly mounting up in the background.We moved - physically and virtually - unfortunately we had to say goodbye to our amazing studio space in Muizenberg as the building was sold from under us. Right across from Muizenberg beach, the studio was a creative and productive place for iaminawe for 2 years and we will miss the surfs, the collaborations, ping pong, bergies and crazy neighbours.

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Virtually we also made some tracks with a long put off server move taking place at the beginning of the year. We moved about 30 sites (and their databases) in total from the fast deteriorating Fasthosts to the awesome HostGator and so far have enjoyed a much better level of service and support. The move was not without its fires but most were put out pretty quickly and our clients are enjoying a much more flexible service.Unfortunately in moving to Linux/Apache/Mysql servers we had to say goodbye to some of our own Asp/Access (read evil microsoft) powered work. Unfortunately that includes the latest Version 4 and previous versions  of our iaminawe flash site as well as our intranet and accounts system. I will restore the flash sites when I have some time and have already sourced far better php based intranet and invoicing systems. Its a pity to have temporarily lost so much of our flash content but the move from asp to php was so long overdue.We found Drupal - yes- after getting a bit Wordpressed out after creating a variety of blogs and wordpress integrated custom systems  - a new content management system came and swept us off our feet. Wordpress definitely still has a time and a place but Drupal has been the focus of the last years web output and has changed the way we think about creating web sites… it is a powerful beast and has put the power of community building at our fingertips.I will go into more detail about each project in seperate posts but here are a few of the sites we have built this year

  • www.animationsa.org - a Drupal powered community site for the Animation Industry in South Africa - recently launched
  • www.theblackheartgang.com - wordpress powered site for this infamous trio - received over 230 gigs of traffic in 3 days…
  • www.mzikishareblock.co.za - wordpress powered quick site for a Hluhluwe based Game Farm - more an internal tool than public site.
  • www.pocko.com - recent updates to this London based Artist Agency/Publishing house , also a wordpress/custom artist management system.
  • neil.iaminawe.com - a wordpress blog site for my brother with his always amusing stories and articles.
  • www.xamtours.co.za - a Drupal powered site for this local Tours & Safaris company.

Then there were some pretty exciting  animations mashing up 7de Laan (local soapie) flavoured TV remixes and footage we shot out in Delft,  for the dark Afrikaans drama Steriel. The show featured an ambitious three projector and live feed stage setup and is currently on Tour in Europe after a successful second run in Cape Town.There were some animated panoramic park scenes and a finale involving portraits in the falling snow that we created for the German Opera, Werther, performed at the Artscape Opera.Then another highlight of the year was the animation we created for “The Greensman” , a compact fast paced piece of theatre being performed every day at the Green Point Stadium as part of the stadium tour. The animation was starkly styled white linework on a black background and the huge screen is pretty impressive in the cavernous theatre built in a piece of the old stadium.Thats some of the highlights of the year so far but we will be posting pictures and videos of some of the above projects and talking about them in a bit more detail when we can spend some time. There have been a few more projects than that, but some are still top secret and others will make their way onto the blog in good time.Watch this space…

MonuMental: Re-riding History animations

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Iaminawe created these two animations for production company Atomik Pictures for an exciting new skateboarding documentary called MonuMental: Re-riding History. The Red Bull initiated documentary follows seven of South Africa’s best young skateboarders as they ollie, kickflip, carve and grind their way through, over and on some of South Africa’s most formidable Apartheid era monuments.

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Written and Directed by Amanda Evans, the documentary has some beautiful 16mm footage of the skaters as they travel around South Africa from monument to monument meeting with controversial figures and severe but skateable architecture from South Africas dark past. For these young skaters, it is a chance to learn about their history as much as it is a chance to skate where no skater has gone before.

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HIV Vaccine Animation

iaminawe recently completed work for Pandamonium Productions creating a four and a half minute animation to be used in the testing of a new potential HIV Vaccine at various centres around South Africa.

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This was undoubtedly one of the most challenging briefs we have come across so far and included creating an animated sequence that in very simple terms explains how the very complex virus works. It was important to explain what the virus did and the possible benefits of a vaccine yet also had to be very clear that this was undergoing trials and was in no way a miracle cure (yet).

The client requested a very simple and informative animation style and every storyboard and script change had to be approved by an ethics committee based in the USA. Needless to say this stretched the whole process out over about 6 months of “hurry up and wait” but was an important step in making sure that the script and visuals were understandable and that the message was clear.

To contextualise what you are seeing, the animation posted here was edited into a 20 minute live action video that comprehensively covered what being a part of the trials would mean. Unfortunately this does not have the final soundtrack and effects applied but you get the idea.

Angella designed the people and scenarios in Illustrator and I animated and edited them in After Effects and Final Cut Pro.

Did I mention that the animation had to be created in 5 languages !!
Seriously… English, Zulu, Sotho, Xhosa and Tswana…. it was a mission but we made it in the end…whew..

Ghoema Animation

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Iaminawe created 2 minutes of animation for the new David Kramer & Taliep Pieterson production “Ghoema” that features a San rock painting of a dutch galleon slowly become a real one that sails through the symbols of slavery history.

David Kramer has once again joined forces with long-time musical partner Taliep Petersen to create an exciting new musical revue called GHOEMA that celebrates and explores our musical heritage. Delving deep into early South African history at the Cape, the revue explores the roots of slave music as far back as 1650 - 1795, the heyday of the mighty Dutch East India Company which had an enormous influence on the lives of all people under its rule. The slaves that the Company brought to the Cape from countries as far as Indonesia, India, Madagascar, and Java had an enormous impact on the settlement here. They influenced a cross-pollination of lifestyles, music, language and culture between themselves, the indigenous people, the Dutch and other European settlers.

The fusion of all these influences into something that is uniquely South African, is the inspiration behind GHOEMA. ( A ghoema is a drum made from a small wine vat, with a skin stretched tightly over one end. It was created by the slaves and is still used today.)

For an interesting interview with David about the production have a read at theatre.com. For a local review of its run at Cape Town’s Baxter theatre Tonight newspaper review should do it and catch up with how it went at its recent opening on London’s West End.

Tempo Watches Commercials

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Get the Flash Player to see the wordTube Media Player.

Iaminawe created these 20 second and 10 second commercials for Atomic Visual FX. The ads are flighted just before the news and so the watch counting down had to have several versions of it created to fit each different time slot. These were created entirely in Photoshop and After Effects.

Very Late Show Animations

Iaminawe created some giant screen motion graphics to accompany the infamous Corne and Twakkie as the hosts of the 2006 Smirnoff International Comedy Festival “Very Late Show”. It was hysterical and the animations added an awesome element of interaction to the guys crazy antics.

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