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  • Future of Storytelling | What We Learn from Retelling Our Favorite Stories
    diaristic narrative in which nothing happens There are a lot of ways you could tackle that one but we decided to create a world unto itself a world with its own rules and creatures And every film does that to some extent but for us stop motion offered the types of tools it made the most sense for our story to traffic in Plus the slow tedium of stop motion really matched up well conceptually with the wet gray drag of Bartleby s pasty office life KD Many consider Bartleby The Scrivener to be one of the greatest short stories of all time so you ve certainly given yourselves a tall order What drew you specifically to Bartleby What makes a good story in your eyes and why not tell your own LN KK What drew us to it is that it s unresolved It s open No one agrees about it and it s this kind of perfect thing we can speculate about And because it s such a well strung classic story it holds up well to the scrutiny the repeated dunking It s like a glazing process We also loved it so much we somehow weren t intimidated if that makes sense and having met as artists with drab day gigs the tedium and the preferring not to really hit home Going back to the stop motion question the story also dictated the medium to a certain extent In Melville s story character development isn t the main event By not adding real humans to the mix we hoped to stretch but not break Melville s spell KD Who are the contemporary business owners the narrator Nippers Turkeys and Ginger Nuts of this adapted story Have they changed at all Are there new characters LN KK The clerks and lawyers In our version Nippers Turkey and Ginger Nut Sticky Bun in our telling are versions of disaffected office workers Their MOs names and genders have changed in some cases but that s about it there aren t any meaningful new characters Sticky Bun Turkey and Nippers KD What does a typical day of shooting look like LN KK We start every morning with a new shot one that will often take the entire day First up we re configure the sets taking out walls and moving things around for every single shot prep all the puppets and props and then lock them in place Next we find the frame by moving the camera around the set until we ve either lined up with what we ve storyboarded or found something new that works even better Once the frame is set Zach our cinematographer will start setting up and tweaking the lighting which really elevates the sets into cinematic magic With everything in place and signed off on we discuss the puppets performance with Josh our lead animator And after all this we re finally ready to shoot Josh then spends the next many hours moving things millimeter by millimeter and taking still photographs Each second of animation is actually a string of twenty four photographs Zach Poots Director of Photography Also we listen to a lot of Star Trek podcasts KD Is stop motion a particularly painful slow process Josh Mahan Lead Animator Set Art Director No everyone should get into it It s glorious LN KK Most people would say yes JM Is it slow Yes Painful I don t think so but then again I might be crazy Once you are in the groove of it time sort of slows down When you re working on something that s really engrossing you lose track of time Which is definitely a plus given the amount of time it takes It s definitely an acquired taste like black licorice or nattō probably more like nattō Check out this time lapse of the stop motion process Each eight second shot takes approximately a day to shoot KD Beyond making incremental changes to each sculpture how do you shoot each shot Do you find that set design influences the cinematography when using sculpture ZP Yes absolutely and vice versa We can manipulate the sets to create a look we re trying to achieve for a specific shot LN KK Exactly So it s usually a back and forth between the two KD And as a follow up where do you put the camera what shots do you aim to get and how do you make the space feel real LN KK We created our sets in such a way that we can put the camera almost anywhere allowing us the freedom to creatively frame each shot and cut between multiple angles this helps to achieve a more cinematic feel We also use motorized motion control gear which allows for really smooth camera motion something difficult to achieve in a lot of stop motion ZP It s also important to embrace happy accidents with lighting It can make the space feel naturalistic when there are little edges of light things you couldn t tweak or control in real life Often you have to cheat the frame in order to get the shot you like and still not break the illusion It s also important to approach lighting like normal live action just with smaller lights and flags or you risk making the world feel too staged One of my main goals was to shape the walls with light and shadow to add texture since we re stuck in a cramped office against flat walls for much of the film KD The clay has this really cool dirty dingy effect and the color palette is particularly gloomy What was the inspiration behind the sculpture style and set design how did you develop this aesthetic LN KK We wanted our dingy muted world to reflect the monotony of plugging away in a typical office but in a way that you can digest immediately And while our lighting is naturalistic the goal was

    Original URL path: http://futureofstorytelling.org/what-we-learn-from-retelling-our-favorite-stories/ (2016-04-29)
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  • Future of Storytelling | Soundscape for Gear VR
    down a bit the controls relegated to the Gear VR s touchpad While Soundscape probably won t be used for professional production any time soon it s a fun environment to play around in either solo or with other players online Players can take control of up to three different instruments The first of these is the tone matrix Using the tone matrix you can add notes to the timeline From there you can change waveforms or add effects such as delay reverb and cutoff to alter the sound of the notes The notes available are based on the pentatonic scale so they usually sound reasonably good regardless of what you do Next up is the drum machine which includes effects emulating three essential parts of any drum kit the snare the bass drum and the hi hat which can be played opened or closed In addition there are four electronic beats adding more percussive options to the mix Finally there is the tone RPG a tool that can be used to create synthesized sounds and to adjust waveforms to customize them Again you can adjust effects like reverb delay and cutoff with the option to even add a custom

    Original URL path: http://futureofstorytelling.org/soundscape-for-gear-vr/ (2016-04-29)
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  • Future of Storytelling | Google Expeditions
    past though with the introduction of Google Expeditions Using the Google Expeditions app and a simple Google Cardboard viewer teachers and students can take virtual trips to more than one hundred places including landmarks like Chichen Itza the Great Wall of China Buckingham Palace and even Mars Suddenly places that had once been inaccessible to most students are within arm s reach Over half a million students from the US Canada and Sweden have participated in the Expeditions Pioneer Program since it launched last September Google even created a special fleet of branded cars that have been delivering all the necessary equipment phones routers and Cardboard viewers to selected schools But the experience will soon become more easily accessible Last week Google announced the release of its beta app for Android which allows schools and teachers to download the experiences on their own However before you head to Google Play excited to explore the Great Barrier Reef beware that for now Google requires you to sign up and will notify you once you are approved to download the app Expeditions has already attracted an array of high profile partners from PBS and the Wildlife Conservation Society to British documentarian David Attenborough But the virtual trips are not limited to topics related to history or geography As part of its collaboration with the Starship Foundation which provides young women of color from low income families with resources to finish college Google has prepared a series of day in the life tours in which you will be able to follow various professionals like a veterinarian and a computer scientist through a typical work day It s a fun way to let young people explore potential future career options Michelle Obama and her Reach Higher initiative also joined the Expedition project to prepare

    Original URL path: http://futureofstorytelling.org/google-expeditions/ (2016-04-29)
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  • Future of Storytelling | Education Roundup
    world Directed by their teacher students can tour places like Machu Picchu the Great Barrier Reef and even Mars by donning a Google Cardboard headset The program travels to schools in several countries and provides all equipment needed to run the experience smartphones a tablet for the teacher to direct the tour a router that allows Expeditions to run without an Internet connection and Google Cardboard viewers or Mattel View Masters that turn phones into virtual reality headsets Google s goal is to reach as many students as possible with the hope that by immersing them in new experiences they might learn something Another initiative by Google the Google Cultural Institute invites viewers to explore art exhibits historical moments and world heritage sites in a series of online galleries Google has collected hundreds of images from museums and archives around the world and it showcases them alongside interactive tours of some of the locations The resulting experience is an online archive of human culture from Mont Blanc to international street art Google isn t the only company making culture accessible online The Lost Palace Project injects new life into Whitehall Palace the main residence of the English monarchs in London from 1530 until 1698 Last fall Historic Royal Palaces the charity that oversees the upkeep of several palaces in England held a competition challenging digital creatives to propose new ways to tell the story of Whitehall Palace Proposals included a collaborative storytelling game a series of theatrical reenactments and an object that mimics the pulse of King Charles I s heart guests carry it as they wander through the Palace and they feel it stop in the execution chamber Designers Chomko Rosier and theater makers Uninvited Guests were chosen to collaborate on a new experience based on these prototypes to

    Original URL path: http://futureofstorytelling.org/education-roundup/ (2016-04-29)
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  • Future of Storytelling | Toybox
    of VR can often be overlooked its potential as a social platform VR can allow people to interact as if they are in the same room together even if they are continents apart An Oculus demo called Toybox which was on display at CES 2016 explores VR s social side After donning Oculus Rift headsets two players are transported to a virtual room filled with toys blocks rockets toy cars orbs floating in space As participants play with the various features they can also engage with each other One user describes shooting her partner with a ray gun and shrinking him to the size of a toy Another describes playing hot potato with a lit Roman candle I can t remember a moment where I wasn t laughing smiling or profusely and profanely expressing my happiness she says Toybox started off as a way to test Oculus s touch controllers which allow users to hold and touch virtual objects The creators also used the demo to experiment with ways people can interact with each other in virtual space As one of the first social VR experiences WIRED has called Toybox the best Oculus experience yet All the excitement around Toybox

    Original URL path: http://futureofstorytelling.org/toybox/ (2016-04-29)
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  • Future of Storytelling | HoloLens comes to NYC
    tried and failed to achieve with the Kinect 1 0 and 2 It appears the third time is the charm The second demo which was geared more toward business and educational use allowed me plenty of time to cool off I started off in a showroom with an expensive watch projected on the pedestal in front of me As a narrator praised the craftsmanship and qualities of the watch the assembly unraveled into an exploded view diagram and I was encouraged to walk around and view the centerpiece from every angle Looking at specific components triggered captions to appear on screen that explained the components significance to the overall piece A couple of other graphics caught my eye during the demonstration a regional company s breakdown of profits by city for example Using Bing HoloLens turned a tabletop into a terrain map Then segments of a bar chart representing each city s numbers hovered vertically over them on the map in a way that would never be possible in the 2D space There were some excellent visualizations of data using this added third plane But by far the coolest part of this demo was going into edit mode when it was revealed that all these presentations could be created in HoloLens through its PowerPoint like editor This is where the gestures I learned earlier were put to use the air tap is the equivalent of the click but HoloLens also relies on gaze and speech for navigation as well Using a combination of these you can enter in notes and fire up a teleprompter If your client is also wearing a HoloLens you can see what they re focusing on in real time or build up heat maps that show trends over time The demos I participated in were impressive

    Original URL path: http://futureofstorytelling.org/hololens-comes-to-nyc/ (2016-04-29)
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  • Future of Storytelling | Scott Trowbridge: Unexpected Magic
    worlds He s tasked with creating new kinds of experiences that people can physically walk through and share journeys that feel impossible but are magically real Lately that s led him and his teams to break apart what narratives are so that the audience can direct the story itself coming together both virtually and in reality to discover what people can create as a community It s impossible to predict what emerges and that s what makes it so powerful Trowbridge will be sharing some of what he s discovered in the process at this year s FoST Scott Trowbridge s bio Scott Trowbridge leads a portfolio of teams and initiatives at The Walt Disney Company He heads a first of its kind franchise based studio that oversees the global strategic and creative development of the Star Wars franchise in Disney s Parks Resorts around the world In addition Scott also acts as the overall portfolio creative executive for the Disneyland Resort Applying his talent for the integration of creative product with technological innovation Scott previously led Walt Disney Imagineering Research Development in finding opportunities to combine various media and technologies to tell new stories and create innovative entertainment experiences

    Original URL path: http://futureofstorytelling.org/video/scott-trowbridge-unexpected-magic/ (2016-04-29)
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  • Future of Storytelling | Saschka Unseld: Uncovering the Grammar of VR
    of every story Saschka Unseld head of Oculus Story Studio wants to keep you there experiencing virtual worlds directly with characters who interact with you in real time You read a book and you watch a film but in virtual reality you experience a story It s told through your senses and Unseld and his team are now discovering what that means how characters should react to you how to make your experience interactive and responsive It s a learning curve that s just beginning built on a heritage of storytelling but breaking down the fourth wall in a new way Unseld will be sharing some of what his studio is learning at this year s FoST Saschka Unseld s bio Saschka Unseld is a German born director and writer who cofounded the Academy Award nominated animation studio Soi where he directed and produced numerous award winning shorts and commercials before joining Pixar Animation Studios in 2008 During his six years at Pixar he worked on Toy Story 3 Cars 2 and Brave and wrote and directed the short film The Blue Umbrella In 2014 Saschka became Creative Director at Passion Pictures for Commercials and cofounded Oculus Story Studio where

    Original URL path: http://futureofstorytelling.org/video/saschka-unseld-uncovering-the-grammar-of-vr/ (2016-04-29)
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