Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Western Sunrise by Art Decade

A quick look at how new technology such as that available on the iPad is having an impact on the world of animation and filmmaking. This foundations for this music video for the band Art Decade was made entirely on an iPad 2 using the app Procreate.

Director Whitney Alexander talks about the benefits of an iPad over many traditional means for storyboard artists: as it takes away the need for sketching, scanning, etc. all of the design work is immediately input into a digital medium which allows it to quickly be exported as different file types and shared with others over the internet. He also says that for indie companies where budgets may not allow for the continuous purchasing of supplies, technology such as the iPad instead offers a more versatile and portable way of working for all manner of artists, designers, animators and filmmakers.

For me, this begins to raise some questions about an issue in the art and design industry: what is the future of traditional mediums? It seems that many concept artists are favouring the use of an iPad over a sketchbook and pencil for sketching "on the go"; on many of the artist's blogs I follow, colour and landscape studies are done using this tablet because of it's convenience. Many unique textures and effects can be created with paint, pastel, etc. which, although can be mimicked digitally to look almost identical (like the impressionist effect created in this video), still won't hold that special, organic quality and I find it sad to see that this method of working seems to be fading. Of course, from a practical perspective, it's clear to see that creating a video such as this with paints would be much more time-consuming, expensive and difficult to manage, so it is expected that many companies working to deadlines may largely be favouring the all-digital approach. But, there does seem to be a considerable number staying loyal to traditional materials, at least for the initial design processes to help work through ideas, as they value the unique effect that it brings; will it ever truly be replaced by digital media?

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