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Soft

8th – May – 2019

Soft – an audiovisual translation of the “sense of feeling things”, I surely felt something. Snow must be coming (in the Southern Hemisphere at least). This short film from Christian Haller and Kris Lüdi left me a dribbling mess. Superb footage, edit and soundtrack, with a peppering of design sensibility, makes for easy viewing indeed. Run to the hills!

Similar impressive type snow related bits of inspiration can be found on Christian’s website.

Elementor!

12th – Apr – 2019

Elementor. Sounds like someone you might meet in a Conan the Barbarian film, or even one of He-man’s mates. But no, Elementor is a game changing new page builder for WordPress. I have been using it for nearly a year now, with much enthusiasm and renewed vigour. I am now building all new projects with the Elementor page builder for WordPress. The Pro version of the WordPress plugin allows me to build complete new websites with new found creative freedom, and in less time. The vast array of widgets also allows for the addition and implementation of required website functionality with a minimum of fuss. Sure experience helps. Additional tools also make preparation for mobile devices even simpler than ever.

An extremely well thought out and executed tool, with a fast growing community of users. The number of updates and improvements that have been introduced in just the past 12 months, coupled with the excellent support, has only confirmed to me that I’ve made a wise move. Feedback from clients has also been great, with the ability to update websites now more of a visual experience that in the past.

Basically, Elementor is allowing me to focus and spend more time on design and the user experience, than with my head in code. Has me feeling flexible, nimble and ready for an exciting challenge.

Existing client in need of a refresh? Have a bold new idea? Feel free to get in touch about your next project.

You can read more about Elementor here.

Refik Anadol

27th – Mar – 2019

I was fortunate enough to hear the Refik Anadol: In the Mind’s Eye – talk at Melbourne’s NGV as part of Melbourne Design Week at the NGV last week, part of the Telstra Creativity and Innovation Series. What an inspirational man. Full of energy an enthusiasm, keen to share his story and vision with the world. Refik came across as a loveable little nerdy kid, a kid who gets to play with oodles of data and expensive projectors and then displays said data in ways that are truly jaw dropping.

There is unthinkable amounts of data being generated every day. What to do with the data? Are there new ways to display the data which might provide us with new insights into our lives and the way we live? Enable us to see a bigger picture? Discovering new ways to gather, display, project and hopefully interpret data are just one of the studios aims. Integration of projected data and architecture in the public space was also discussed, along with astounding demonstrations in AI and machine learning. One of the demonstrations showed experiments in searching for data via data tunnels (see below), driven by a handheld device. Groundbreaking ways of searching vast amounts of data is forecast. A “search” will clearly one day, be far more advanced than entering a text string into google. You can see plenty of amazing work at www.refikanadol.com. Mind blown.

Waves

17th – Feb – 2019

More minimal, geometry, animated goodness, this time from Irish based filmaker and artist Kevin McGloughlin. Official music video to the great blippy and bouncy Max Cooper track, Waves. When animation and sound match up just right it really adds to the package. You can see much more of Kevin’s vast talent over at his website.

Even More Covers

19th – Jan – 2019

A follow up to his brilliant Covers and More Covers, the third part of this excellent trilogy, Even More Covers can be seen below. An ace project by gun German animator Henning M. Lederer. Geometry, op art, colour, minimalism, simplicity and joy all spring to mind. Such a simple concept, vintage book covers brought to life. Watched it twice. Nice sound too.

Left Foot Right Foot

18th – Dec – 2018

As a website developer I view many websites (when I find the extra time). What makes for an engaging experience is dependant on many factors, but first and foremost it all comes down to great content. You can throw all the budget and special effects at a movie, but if the script ain’t right, chances are you’ll wander off. Same with websites. Great design and user experience only compliment worthy content.

Maybe it was the time of year (a week before end of year break), but the Left Right Walk website really struck me for a number of reasons. Great minimal design, super easy to navigate on all devices. Great photography (occasionally cheeky) throughout by the many contributors (most of whom are writers, travellers, photographers). And really honest, often humorous writing. Calling the travel tips section “Macgyvers” made me do a real LOL. Those touches can really make a difference on the level of engagement. But the overall feel was that this website is doing a great job of what it has set out to do, provide a platform for travellers to share their stories. Quality content presented in a very pleasing wrapper. Ticked the boxes for me, but I suppose they are presenting travel options which is always very appealing. An hour passed before I knew it.

Bit like a low budget indie movie that leaves you completely satisfied. 5 stars Margaret.

See – www.leftrightwalks.com

6 Glaciers, Alberta, Canada

Akchour Cascade, Talassemtane National Park, Morocco

Bryce Canyon, Utah, USA

Montserrat, Catalonia, Spain

Brekky burger

Kristoffer Axén

11th – Nov – 2018

Sometimes photography really strikes you. A couple of stunning images from Kristoffer Axén recently had that very pleasant effect on me. Moody, dreamy and with a feeling of being fresh and new. You can see more at his website.

Arena

26th – Oct – 2018

Arena is a short film created using images sourced from Google Earth by Páraic McGloughlin. So much data in the form of aerial photography. What to do with all this data? Make it dance. Great sound and edit. I’m guessing a few hours are involved here, time well spent, leaves you wanting more.

Flag Stories

24th – Sep – 2018

Ferdio infographic agency in Copenhagen have undertaken this very interesting and somewhat curious little project. Flag Stories is a collection of infographics that have come together as a result of careful examination of the many flags of the world. Colours, proportions, shapes, symbols etc. Data collected and brilliantly displayed in a series of snapshots. Still can’t quite make the connection as to why this really pointless data is so interesting! Great project. You can view the complete project here.

Wayne Sorce

14th – Aug – 2018

From Joseph Bellows Gallery in California, Urban Color by Wayne Sorce. An amazing collection of photos from the late 70’s and early 80’s in both Chicago and New York City. Never ceases to amaze me how much detail (film vs digital) is held in these older images. Whilst technology and resolution have come a long long way, there is definitely warmth and honesty in these colourful shots. Super. You can see more image here.

Arielle Bobb-Willis

30th – Jul – 2018

New hero alert. Arielle Bobb-Willis’s photography really grabbed my attention. Her images are tainted with a little fashion, a lot of fun, plenty of colour and just a hint of oddness. Their composition my suggest heavy art direction and uber high fashion, but they also confidently carry a very human, casual, street feel. Salute!

Thought Diary

29th – Jun – 2018

Brooklyn-based musician, comedian and director Daniel Koren makes quirky little videos with a quick pace and sharp edit. On second watch maybe it was just the mood I was in, but I laughed out loud on multiple occasions. Refreshing. Tasty.

Chiara Zonca

25th – May – 2018

Chiara Zonca is a London based photographer whose stunning photography fills me with the urge to travel. Love a good road trip. I recently had a painful car servicing experience. In a nutshell I was provided with a courtesy car for over 3 weeks, this car was much bigger and newer than my own car (yeah, I know boo hoo), it was indeed a very pleasant vehicle, this has not helped reduce the urge. These images find me searching for maps.

Moon Tour

30th – Apr – 2018

The moon in more detail than you’ve ever seen. Still blows my small mind!

Hair Yeah!

28th – Mar – 2018

Nigerian photographer J.D. Okhai Ojeikere documented local hairstyles throughout the 60’s and 70’s. This pricked my interest more so than you might expect for I am bald. I generally find hairstyles fascinating, and my own lack of options a tad dissapointing. But I do like to rock a wig at a party. These stunning images show true craftsmanship. Fine art indeed. More information here.

Auto Nom

24th – Feb – 2018

Like a child frolicking in a field, so so good. Cars do seem to have personality, but not this much! Foam studio executes this project with sweet perfection. The first of a series of character animation narratives based on the personality of Autonomous Rolf. Bet you can’t watch it just once. You can read more about the project, complete with arousing copy at foam.studio.

The Happy Film

19th – Jan – 2018

In late 2011 I contributed via Kickstarter to “The Happy Film”. A project undertaken by design guru Stefan Sagmeister. The promised USB arrived in the mail yesterday. Sure it was a long wait, but I’m fairly sure Stefan is a very busy man, and there were many issues along the way, not least the sad passing of the film’s initial director Hillman Curtis in 2012.

The premise of the film was to explore whether meditation, therapy or drugs would bring the most happiness. Of course there is no final answer, but the journey that Mr. Sagmeister puts himself through is definitely eye opening. Visually stunning the use of mise en scène is set to a maximum, but there is also an element of squirm about watching such an accomplished man wrestle with mostly himself in pursuit of the smile.

Honest and very pleasing to the eye, the film will most likely not make you any happier, but it’s insightful and a great watch. Preview below.

Use this link to view the full film.

James Whitaker

17th – Dec – 2017

As much as I love city life, I do often fantasize about living in a remote location in a incredible building. James Whitaker’s starburst of shipping containers in Joshua Tree National Park stirs up such thoughts. A truly space age looking pad complete with views in every direction. You can see and read more at this link.

showreel

23rd – Nov – 2017

pixelshifter does animation too! Finally got around to putting an animation showreel together. A selection of various recent projects put together to the joyful bouncy sounds of Barry Gray (theme from UFO). Bring some funky motion to your next project / announcement / invite / project or whatever.

Zero Latency

5th – Oct – 2017

Being born in 1970 makes me 11 years old during 1981, one of the many golden years of video gaming. Donkey Kong, Galaga, Frogger and Defender were all released that year. Needless to say my interest in video games has always been healthy. I have also had a strong interest in VR and all it’s been promising since watching movies such as The Lawnmower Man – 1992 (yeah fairly daggy, but sells the concept early on), Strange Days – 1995 (excellent), Existenz -1999 (just good) and of course the Matrix Trilogy – 1999 – 2003 (without peer).

Well it seems that finally the gap between what was being promised and what is now available has been somewhat reduced. I visited Zero Latency in North Melbourne last week. At an empty warehouse in North Melbourne with 3 great friends I had my socks blown off playing virtual reality games. At 47 years old. It made me feel like a kid. You probably only get that sensation during your first experience, but it was real and mighty. Like seeing the Speeder Bike Chase in Return of the Jedi – 1983, on the big screen at 13, it blew me away. You only get that overwhelmed feeling a handful of times in your life.

Yes I was completely aware that I was in a very safe environment with a flat surface beneath me, but I still found myself approaching frightening drops with trembling fear. At one point a simple walk on what was a very non flat surface in the game had me stumbling like a drunk, completely lost in my safe surrounds. I leant over to pat a nonexistent frog, and also found myself arching my back to take in the whales swimming overhead! The amount of disc space and processing power strapped to our backs must have been huge, but went mainly unnoticed such has been the dramatic improvements in hardware. And in short time no doubt both the 3D modelling and texture mapping will improve again and again. When the day comes that the experience is photo real, just wow!

The first of the two games was called Engineerium and rather pleasantly involved no guns or killing. As a team of 6 characters, our aim was to reach certain specific locations to unlock the next platform to advance through the puzzle. I could really feel a sense of potential for this sort of game for teaching / encouraging people to work together in a simulated environment to get a task completed. Or just for the pure sense of wonder. You really feel the potential of the VR technology.

The second (which seems to be typical of the VR experience), was a classic first person shoot-em up. Whilst we were adult enough to not choose the Zombie Survival option, we did play Singularity – the secret military space station option that plays out in a very similar way – you shoot a heap of stuff. Yes the environment is amazing, especially when you find yourself entering large open spaces from much smaller tunnels and lifts, and there truly is a sense of comradery in working together to shoot all the stuff (mainly robots that don’t bleed, it really is well worth trying). But you can’t help but feel that the whole potential of the technology is being lost in emulating the experience of killing? Or I am just turning into a big ol hippie.

Highly recommended. visit www.zerolatencyvr.com

Still from Engineerium

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