Recently we've been across the entire UK documenting varying sites from the air for an upcoming tourism project. We've seen the good and the bad with the weather and with a further 6 months of the project left we're sure to see it change again, probably not for the best. Due to the extreme locations we've employed three different SUAV's to help get the best from each situation, these have been The DJI Matrice 600 Pro, DJI Inspire and the very handy DJI Mavic Pro.
Sparkle is 12 years old this year... finally almost a teenager!! We've had a great ride and have worked with and continue to work with many great people. Heres the next 12!! Across the year we've set a studio wide project to produce idents based on the no.12, using all our favourite mediums and variety and animation,styles and collaborations. As we're only 12.. we'll be going for shandy's this Friday if you care to join us. As part of our turning of age.. we'll soon be opening a new arm to the business, www.peopleandpixels.uk, more new to come over the following weeks.
I thought we'd keep you posted about our New Years Resolutions. We've stuck to quite a few..
We've now fully got rid of Photoshop and opted for Affinity Photo. Why? Photoshop just wasn't speeding up our workflow and when your paying for 6 seats.. it all adds up. Affinity Photo gives us the same coverage as photoshop and much much more, repetitive tasks are taking seconds.. instead of 20 minutes, cutting out is a dream!! AP is also a reasonable one of pricing system, it opens and saves PSD's... so our overall workflow hasn't changed a great deal.
As mentioned in January we've continued to invest in hardware to make sure we're always running at the peak of our game. We've recently invested over £15k on in house render solutions which come online this week as well as further investment into 6k+ cameras and hardware. Further Lab demo's to come!
We're also pleased to say Natron is now fully integrated into our workflow, its still developing and we look forward to seeing what its capable of.
We've been working on a new collaboration with Simon Pyke of http://www.freefarm.co.uk for his new music video 'Let Be' (available on iTunes) We worked with Simon late in 2016 to produce 30 Seconds of Sound visualised, the new music video see's a move towards our new collaborative production arm of Sparkle 'People & Pixels' which will launch in 2017, offering varying directors, producers, sound designers and motion designers for high end film production.
When we first heard 'Let Be' it instantly sounded like a journey, Simon was keen to keep the same look and feel as his first video (Closer) so we decided to continue the journey from the first video, this time it being a POV video, who that person is will be revealed at the end of the video. The video is heavy on CG, as the POV looks around the new world, looking to discover where they are.. and who's controlling everything. We've put together a pre-production trailer before the CG reveals the world the person is looking around. Its been a very exciting project so far utilising new tech to capture the shots we needed for the video. 'Let be' will be released towards the end of March 2017.
Previosly we worked with Simon on Edition 4 of 30 Seconds of Sound Visualised.
We hope everyone's had a great start to 2017, we've come up with a few resolutions we're determined to continue with throughout the year.
- Collaborate More. We Collaborate a lot, we'll be making more of an effort this year as things are always stronger together. A conversation costs nothing, come have a chat, we've over 20 years of production experience both animated and filmed... we may have an idea or two up our sleeves thats suits your clients.
- Build more physical objects from 3D data. We'll be doing a lot of 3D printing in 2017 and combining it with animation & Film.. we need to more of this!
- Film More/Film Different - Use the full extent of our 4k+ Filming Kit.. Back to basics, film animation, film miniatures! 2017 will be keeping it simple yet high impact visuals, from the air, from the ground, from wires and across time. More news to follow of the acquisition of new high end filming equipment.
- Move away from all Adobe Products. We felt for a long time we're being expensive beta testers, our After Effects crash logs could stretch to the moon and back. After Effects is currently being supported by its long time users like ourselves who are writing the code to fix problems adobe are having. The majority of support and development being upheld by the wonderful people at www.aescripts.com, just make it open source.. they'll fix it, come on your world zero is still in the left hand corner! Its an exciting time for software, Affinity Photo & Pixelmator replacing Photoshop.. We've now included Fusion in our workflow and during this year we'll be looking at adopting Natron. We're also looking at MoHo Pro as a first step to replace After Effects.
- Invest. We constantly invest into our production kit, this year will be no different acquiring more technology and production kit enabling us to producer even high standard filmed projects. This year we'll be looking to go beyond 4k on the ground and aerial.
- Experiment more!.. What the point of all the wonderful production kit of you don't push it! We'll be implementing specific days across the months just for experimenting in hardware and software, we've already started the Lab section where we aim to post all the success and failure that comes with experiments!
We've just started to add a Lab section to our site, it'l be the new home to post work in progress and any experiments we have in film, animation, CG. It'll be a Lab in the true send of the word, mistakes and success will be posted if its interesting enough.
Recently we've won a few new clients which has helped us push the boundaries of our productions. Since September we've been working with Internet provider Metronet, helping to produce promotional material showing how they're 10gb wireless internet moves across the northwest. Metronet have recently invested £40m into providing a high speed wireless broadband across the northwest of England. Our job has been co-ordinaiting filming across rooftops from Liverpool to Manchester, prepped and ready for further animation. This Exciting project will be complete in the next few weeks with case studios available to view on our site.
We've also won Iris as a new client, Iris produce online accounts software packages for leading business across the UK & Europe. We'll be working with them across 2017 developing their explainer videos in a new fun and exciting style. We'll be posting some WIP on our new Lab section soon.
We've been a little quiet of late, mainly down to moving studios and winning a few new clients. Our new space is based in Liverpool's central CBD, with in house filming space of 1,200sq ft.+. The move was instigated by new larger projects needing to be housed in the city centre, with room to produce larger scale filmed projects. 2 months later we're almost settled in, finishing touches just being applied to the works space.