Kingston graphic design graduate Marianne Hanoun has spent the last three years collecting every star from every Disney and Pixar animated feature-length film, to create The Disney Universe, a beautiful 4m long print, also available online to view in all its painstaking detail here (full screen viewing and zooming advised).
We asked Hanoun to tell us more about how this ambitious project was created...
Where did the idea for the project come from?
I actually had the idea in my first year after watching the 'When You Wish Upon A Star' clip from Pinocchio (1940) on YouTube. It struck me just how much emphasis Disney place on stars and wishing on them. I posted it on my then-blog as a 'side-project'. It's funny how such a small thought ended up being something so big. (Literally).
The idea continued to grow and develop throughout my second year. But when it came to my final year at Kingston, I knew it was now or never. On the verge of graduating, I wondered whether I could try and make my childhood dream to work at Disney come true. Ultimately, however, it's really more of a love-letter to a company who has continued to inspire me, and a celebration of their history and legacy.
When did your obsession with Disney begin?
Probably the same time as it did for a lot of people - Disney is one of those things that has been a part of most people's childhoods, whether it's a favourite song, or a character we empathise with.
My Dad would always return home every week or so with a new Disney VHS, magazine, or a read-a-long book that came with a cassette tape. I'd spend hours trying to draw Disney characters from the magazine and the VHS covers and wouldn't settle for anything but perfection. It sparked a continued interest in animation history and Americana generally that I've maintained to this day.
Can you tell me more about the creative process?
The process was always a work in development in itself. I spent much of my summer in my second year in darkness, testing to find a technique that could give me the result I wanted.
It can be split up into three main 'phases': collecting, cutting and blending. I first had to watch all of the films, and collect the stars. Every time a star came into frame I would pause, and save the film still. This ultimately amounted to over 3000 individual images.
I then had to cut the stars out from each still, erasing characters, buildings and so forth. Finally, it came down to merging and blending the images together, done mainly by colour. Some films clicked beautifully into place with others, some were more challenging and needed more editing.
The project had a life of its own from day one. There was no way of knowing what the finished thing would look like - it changed from month to month as more stars were added. The question I got asked the most (apart from 'how are you doing this?') was 'is it finished yet?' and in a way, finishing it was like seeing it for the first time.
How did the work for this project fit around your degree?
Before going into third year I knew it would be a challenge to balance such a huge project whilst putting together a portfolio and writing a dissertation alongside. This was the biggest project I had ever undertaken, and I spent countless weekends inside in pitch-black darkness, and many days in the studio hunched underneath my coat to avoid screen glare. I set myself tasks and challenges on my blog, telling myself I would have X number of films done by the end of each week.
Half-way through the process my laptop couldn't cope with how big the file size was getting, so I had to use my friend Luke's mega-fast laptop to complete the project, which also meant having to work around whenever he was free as well!
What would your dream design or animation commission involve?
Of course I would love to work with Disney on something, I'm not sure what that would be but it would be a wonderful opportunity to work with a brand I know and love so much. I think the piece could work really well as an addition to their Disney Animated app, so it would be great to work with them on developing something. But as long as great ideas are the backbone of whatever I do, I'll be happy.
(Above: work in progress images)
Are you working on anything at the moment?
I have a few things in the pipeline. I've just started working on a project based on American bleachers (the tiered rows of benches on sports fields). Their architectural structure and cultural connotations really intrigue me. I'm also starting to put together a book about McDonald's 'Happy Meal' toys, based on research conducted during my dissertation.
(Above: full print, actual length is 4m)
(Above: installation image)
How has graduate life been so far, and what's next?
Graduate life has been pretty exciting so far! Disney actually got in contact recently and asked if they could hang a copy of the print up in their Studios in Burbank, California, so I'll be heading Stateside soon for that. Receiving that email was probably one of the best moments of my life.
Other than that, I've been freelancing and interning at studios. In September I'll be off to the Royal College of Art, to start the Critical Writing in Art and Design MA. I hope to maintain my design practice alongside my new studies - I have a feeling the two worlds will be colliding more often than not.
David Cronenberg's 1981 film Scanners is about to be released on Blu-ray and DVD as part of the Criterion Collection, the packaging for which features a series of explosive character portraits by Canadian artist Connor Willumsen...
Those of you of a nervous disposition, or indeed a mild headache, should probably look away now, as Willumsen's artwork for the new Criterion edition of Cronenberg's sci-fi horror classic doesn't hold back. As DVD covers go, it's been a while since we've seen such a perfect match-up of film and artwork.
Shown above is the DVD cover, while below is the slipcase cover and DVD back.
In his portraits of several of the characters from the film, which follows a small group of telekinetically advanced people known as 'scanners', Willumsen manages to illustrate the moment just before the worst happens. Visceral stuff for a visceral film.
Below are the images created for the accompanying booklet – a special mention goes to the wonderful piece made up of twenty fractured images: a whole film sequence distilled into a single illustration.
The original trailer for Scanners can be viewed here.
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The Barbican's new Digital Revolution exhibition opens today, tracing the history of digital technology, with a nostalgic trip through the early years of videogames, synth music and computing, through to a look at contemporary interactive arts, film VFX, creative coding and even wearable tech.
This new show is a genre-bending playground of digital creativity; a sensory-overloading amusement arcade of sound and vision that looks back to the 1970s and right through into the future.
Packed with infomation, including extensive interpretive texts, but widely interactive overall, it's an accessible exhibition for all levels of digital love, from tech-heads, to retro gamers, to MTV kids to anyone who enjoys a gallery show that you can touch. Here's some of our highlights...
To begin, they have presented a tech-y archive of delights. Early computers including the Commodore PET, and the Apple II (both 1977), sit with games and other familiar favorites like Pong (1972, above right), Speak & Spell (1978, above, top left), and Nintendo's Game & Watch series (1980, above, bottom left), many of which invite interaction from visitors.
Other hardware highlights from this section - Digital Archaeology - include Photoshop and Wacom tablet predecessor, the Quantel Paintbox (1981, above left), used for title sequences, weather maps and Dire Straits' Money for Nothing video; and the Fairlight CMI (1979, above right), the first synthesizer that could sample sounds, which due to its small memory meant short repetitive samples were common - sounds which came to define much of the music of the era.
Through to the We Create section - exploring the shift from content consumers to content producers - work includes Pinokio (2012, above) by Adam Ben-Dror and Shanshan Zhou, a robotic lamp reacting to his environment (with the most obvious reference point being Pixar's Luxo Jr), and online collectively-created, ever-changing music video The Johnny Cash Project, by Chris Milk and Aaron Koblin (2010).
Creative Spaces looks at how conventional notions of time, space and narrative can be re-imagined using digital tools. This section begins with a look at the world of visual effects in film, including with the Paris street fold-over sequence from Christopher Nolan's Inception (2010, VFX supervisor Paul Frankin, Double Negative) projecting in multiple layers controlled through leap motion by visitors, and Alfonso Cuaron's Gravity (2013, VFX supervisor Tim Webber, Framestore) in a sequence of screens (above) showing the effects process from pre-visualisation animation, to in-studio live filming, to CGI, to the final results.
Outside of Hollywood, other work in this section includes digital storytelling projects from artist's such as James Bridle, with Dronestagram (2012-ongoing, above), in which he uses publically available imaging and information tools available online, including The Bureau of Investigative Journalism and Google Earth Satellite View, to post images of the locations of American combat drones, surveying and attacking areas of Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia
Sound & Vision explores how imaging technologies have changed the way we experience music. Here you'll find a 6ft tall 3D animated head of will.i.am, created using projection mapping that follows you around the room, alongside three robot instruments performing his newly commissioned song 'Dreamin' About the Future', in collaborative project created with Yuri Suzuki called Pyramidi (2014, above). Plus a selection of interactive and computer generated music videos, including Radiohead's House of Cards (2008), Bjork's Biophila app (2011), and Arcade Fire's The Wilderness Downtown (2010).
Gesture control and camera technologies are explored in the State of Play section, which calls for visitors to use their whole body in Chris Milk's The Treachery of Sanctuary (2012, above and lead image), a monumental installation with interactive shadow play controlled by participants limbs, which become birds in flight and reactive wings. Using built in computerised tracking, plumes of smoke rise out of viewers' eyes in Rafael Loranzo-Hemmer's The Year's Midnight (2011), and Daniel Rozin's real-time sketchy Mirror No. 10 (2009, below) shows how many artists are harnessing technology to involve the viewer in the work itself.
There's further fun to be found in the DevArt section, with artwork made through code, commissioned in collaboration with Google. Wishing Wall (2014, above) from Varvara Guljajeva and Mar Canet, turns spoken wishes into cocoons of words which transform into unique butterflies. And Zach Lieberman's Play The World (2014) creates a global soundscape of live radio stations through using code to match them to musical notes, played through the corresponding keys of a piano, which due to the changing nature of live radio, creates a new piece of music every time.
And what might the future look like? The Our Digital Futures section presents some intriguing experimental work, including Not Impossible Foundation's BrainWriter (2014, above right), which tracks the eye movements and brain activity allowing them to communicate, originally designed for paralyzed graffiti artist TemptOne, but is exhibited here in game form for visitors to try out.
And the wearble animated iMiniskirt (2013, above left) from CuteCircuit (whose clients include Katie Perry and Nicole Scherzinger), who also recently launched the Hug Shirt, allowing people to send (vibrating) hugs to other wearers through sensors that feel strength of touch, temperature and heart rate, (transmitted from your shirt to your phone to their phone to their shirt).
The exhibition continues around the Barbican, with other installations including the Indie Games Space; Minimaforms' Petting Zoo of interactive robotic snakes (2012, above); and Assemblance from Umbrellium (Usman Haque and Nitipak 'Dot' Samsen, 2014, below) in the Pit, an atmospheric 3D interactive laser room, with secret elements unlocked by particular movements from visitors.
Digital technology, as with the exhibition itself, is all about inquisitiveness, and although there is a vast amount to take in at the exhibition, it begins to reflect just a taste of the endless realm of possibility for the future of creative activity.
Read more about this exhibition in next month's Creative Review, a VFX special issue.
Digital Revolution runs at the Barbican in London until 14 September. An catalogue for the show is available from the exhibtion shop (published by Praline, £24.99).
Don't forget the July 2014 issue of CR - the trends special - is also available on the iPad, where you'll find all the print mag content and monograph alongside additional videos and exclusive images. Plus, there's a lot more to be found in Hi Res, our showcase gallery section, and CRTV, with video profiles of creative people and other moving image work from around the world....
This month we analyse the latest trends in visual communication, including photography, type, illustration, commercials, music, tech, web-design, colour and logo design.
In the Features section Diane Smyth of BJP looks at current trends in photography, from acid-bright still lifes to shooting the new feminism. While Antonia Wilson asks why California's Salton Sea is such a fascinating location for photogrphers.
Eliza Wiiliams talks to the experts about the latest trends in music for ads, including the Guilty Pleasure and Going Epic, and Paul Domenet of Johnny Fearless bemoans the blandness of 'mood reel' ads. While Bill Gardner of Logo Lounge presents his annual Trends Report.
Gareth Hague of Alias to picks out type trends, while Rachael Steven asks why IK Blue has become so popular in graphic design. Gavin Lucas talks zigzags, postmodern references and other current illustration trends.
B-Reel London's Liam Viney talks us through the potential of emerging tech trends such as Oculus Rift, while Rachael Steven asks why so many retailers' websites look so similar. And Mark Sinclair investigates the world of the trend forecaster.
Plus Sarah Snaith meets designer Wolfgang Weingart at a new Zurich show, Eliza Williams reports from the Photo España, and Nick Asbury looks at the copywriting craft of the late, great David Abbott. And not fogetting the results of the Bridgeman Studio Award, and regular columns from Michael Evamy, Daniel Benneworth-Gray and Paul Belford.
In Hi Res you'll find Tour de France t-shirt project Yorkshire in Yellow (below right); East London Swimmers from photographer Madeleine Waller (above left); work from Dean Chalkley's new photo show Return of the Rudeboy; graphic art celebrating Brazilian football culture from Kemistry Gallery (below left); Europe's largest skatepark Port Land captured by photographer Éric Antoine; and Julia Calverley's beautiful camera photo landscape shots from his new book #IPHONEONLY (above right).
CRTV includes a profile of poster designer James Victore from Like Knows Like (below right); Alasdair + Jock's new animation Day of the Seafarer; Shit Showreels Say animation from Peter Quinn looking at showreel clichés; a preview of new book on 3D printing by designers Claire Warnier and Dries Verbruggen; the making of mixed media animation Caveirao by Guilherme Marcondes; Fredrik Kasperi's conceptual short VFX film Take on an Idea; and a documentary about Salvation Mountain folk artist Leonard Knight (below left).
We've all been there – trawling through YouTube late at night, randomly scanning snatches of videos from the bands we once loved performing on half-remembered TV shows. Scott King and collaborators are attempting to recreate that experience next month in Berlin in The Festival of Stuff, including songs, videos and 30 Ian Curtises all dancing at once
The idea, King says, "is me saying that this 'stuff' - some of the pop and rock debris that floats around YouTube - is Art, is much better than what 'they' call Art. So it's really just a celebration of that."
The evening will include King's pick of his YouTube favourites, including this Russell Harty interview with David Bowie from 1975, and this Dr Feelgood clip featuring the wonderful Wilko Johnson, a recent guest star, bizarrely, in Game of Thrones
As an attempt to fully "re-create the late night YouTube experience" the evening will include various live performance from King and collaborators. "I often drift off on tangents, trawling my own youth," King says of his post-pub YouTube habits. "I often start to have lots of 'art' ideas regarding pop music, so The Festival of Stuff is also about bringing these ideas to life in front of an audience. Live the footage will be interspersed with 5 live performances - all of which I've had a hand in - all of which stem from 'late night you tubing'."
Adventures in Dementia, a 15 minute 'rock opera' that King has written with Luke Haines, one of which tells the fictionalised story of Skrewdriver's lead singer crashing his car into the back of Mark E Smith's caravan – with actors playing both parts.
A pop video by Jeremy Deller in which footage of bats has been edited to fit Killed By Death by Motorhead.
A troupe of transvestite men performing in a Legs and Co style to the Earl Brutus song Eas'.
And, which sounds something of a highlght, An Ian Curtis Dance Contest. "Which will be the finale and in which we are expecting 30 Ian Curtis dancers to dance all at the same time," King promises.
The whole thing lasts 80 minutes and is on for two nights, the 10 and 11 July, at Haus der Berliner Festspiele in Berlin
Those of you who are in Berlin at that time can buy tickets here
Currently making the rounds online is this super cool new video for the track Kodama by 20syl. Shot from above, it features the musician's disembodied hands playing instruments, drawing a picture and even making a cup of tea. We talked to Mathieu Renoult (aka Mathieu Le Dude), who directed the video alongside 20syl, about how it was made...
"The video was made in a garage, just like George Lucas would have wanted us to do," says Renoult. "It's a 100% home made video. Everything has been done by me and 20syl. He first came to me with an idea, and we discussed it together to bring magic and poetry to something that could have been very 'technic' – 20syl and I really wanted to have the perfect mix between the 'technic' and the 'story'.
"We tried to find as many instruments and cool items as we could to tell our story, bring some colours, shapes and a graphic touch. It had to be a rollercoaster between reality and magic."
Photos from the video shoot
The video was shot over four days and every set of hands in the film, bar one, belongs to 20syl. "We had to make a lot of takes and make sure all of them were perfect and that the light and the camera would not move," continues Renoult. "Just like it would be for a stop motion film, for example. We had to climb on a ladder to change the batteries, and be very careful not to move the camera. Basically if the camera had moved by a centimetre, everything would have been ruined. So we had to find a way to make it steady for four days and nights – I can't tell you how, we had to build our own system, so it's a secret."
The video was a totally collaborative work. "We did everything together," says Renoult. "I would work more on the editing while 20syl would work on the After Effects stuff. That way we kept shaping our story and our video at every step of the making. But that's what's great about it – we talked so much together about whether or not we should do this or that action, we had a lot of great stuff to edit. Even some scenes that are not in the final cut. We would start every sentence with, 'if we really want it to be great, we should...', and we'd do that."
Our third round-up of the best new work uploaded to CR's Feed section includes an in-house studio identity rebrand for Southpaw; a delighfully noirish animation for the Provincetown Film Festival; and a Godzilla print which tries to show the big guy's sensitive side...
The Feed section of the CR site features work by studios, agencies and individuals from around the world – but it's easy to miss those projects, so we're going to be posting regular updates on the best of the work submitted to Feed right here.
And first up, a Godzilla poster by Andy Fielding (above). "It's not all smashing buildings and stomping on pylons for Godzilla, he has a softer side too, sometimes he even smiles," Fielding writes. Ahh.
On to identity work, and here's a really nice example of an in-house studio rebrand by Southpaw (formerly Nexus/H). Creative Director: Glenn Smith and Craig Roderick; Art Director: Kamran Akram; Copywriter: Glenn Smith; Illustrator: Kamran Akram; Photographer: Kamran Akram.
The great thing is that the identity is everywhere around the studio, too – from the lobby (above) to posters and mugs (below). And did you see those USBs?
Photographer Marcel Christ has been working with chemicals for several years. He's also just worked on a film of some paint clouds and powder explosions, soundtracked to Flying Lotus. We have it below.
Written and directed by Alex Boatman, The Oystercatcher Catcher, "was inspired by the film noir theme of this year’s festival, and 'Pecker', the official PFF mascot," they tell us. "The animated story reveals Pecker is no ordinary fedora-wearing private-eye. He is actually a thief." (Full credits on the Feed post here.)
We also liked this packaging design by Everyone Associates for Puma's new Tricks Collection of boots. Puma, say the studio, "set out to make a statement on pitch by being the first brand to have their players wearing mismatched boots.
"To launch the Puma World Cup 2014 Tricks Collection, we were asked to create limited edition presentation cases for each of their star players. The Tricks collection will be worn by Puma players at the World Cup in Brazil including Mario Balotelli, Cesc Fàbregas, Sergio Agüero, Marco Reus and Yaya Touré. To reflect the unique appearance of the boots and the energy of Brazil, we created a vibrant hinged box that splits open vertically to present the Pink and Blue boots"
Two recent covers for RICS' magazine Modus were also uploaded by its art director, Christie Ferdinando. The May issue was themed around play and Ferdinando commissioned pixel artist Totto Renna to produce a fictional city scape that referenced computer gameplay. The June issue of Modus magazine for RICS was themed around power – Ray Oranges was commissioned to produce a beautifully abstract city scape with a powerful reference to balance.
Finally, these charming ads for IKEA from TBWA Istanbul illustrate the playful possibilities in furniture. Creative Director: Volkan Karakaşoğlu; Art Director: Sungu Hacışabanoğlu; Copywriter: Kerem Tüte.
If you want to get your work seen by the CR team, just upload it to our Feed section. It costs nothing. Just go here to register. We will be posting regular updates of our favourite work submitted here.
A round-up of our favourite projects uploaded to CR's Feed section in the past week, including illustrations from Janne Iivonen, a clever calendar for Land Rover, an identity fit for heroes, titles for a TV series produced by 50 Cent bizarre woollen wrestlers and Philipp Zurmöhle's rather nice Von & Zu Buch identity
Von & Zu Buch is a bookshop in Mannheim specialising in beautifully crafted titles. A particular feature of the shop is a 'gallery wall' displaying covers, something that designer Philipp Zurmöhle references in his identity for the brand (more here)
We love this series of illustrations by Brighton-based illustrator Janne Iivonen (who reviewed the Brighton degree show for us, here) for Wolf magazine, commissioned by Kasino Creative Studio. More here
Invictus Games is an international sporting event held in London for wounded, injured and sick servicemen and women. Lambie-Nairn designed the identity for it, suggesting "the higher purpose of the games as a platform for personal achievement". More here
Illustrator Emily Golden, from Bristol, was commissioned by Fresh Arts, the ongoing arts programme at North Bristol NHS Trust, and Willis Newson to help transform the new children’s minor injuries unit at Southmead Hospital. MOre here
This wall-sized digital artwork created from thousands of tiny screens and lenses forms the centrepiece of a major new biomedical research centre just opened in New York. Created by Squint/Opera. More here
And finally, yes it's another World Cup project, this time by Dave Sedgwick (Studio DBD) and Hey for TwentyTwentyTwo, a gallery/bar space in Manchester. Created to promote the fact that all the WC games will be shown live at the venue and that there will be a special Hey exhibition at the same time, the book, titled 'Gol!' features illustrations of individual players from all 32 different teams involved. More here
If you want to get your owrk seen by the CR team, just upload it to our Feed section. It costs nothing. Just go here to register. We will be posting regular updates of our favourite work submitted here.
For our Talent Spotters series of guest reviews of this year's degree shows, David Moody of Thirty9 Design takes in UWE Bristol and Bath Spa
The University of West England campus (UWE) at Bristol, not only has one of the UK's largest print centres but also has, in my opinion, one of the best annual Degree shows.
As well as Graphics, Photography, Textiles and Fine Art, personally I love seeing the exhibition of Illustration, which never fails to amaze and inspire. Some of the standout pieces this year were Jess Large and The Inconvenient Truth. Jess has a very approachable and commercial style to her illustrations, using a consistent palette enforces her individual approach.
Gabriela Romagna describes herself as an Illustrator with a curious mind with a passion for animals, nature and architecture. Her work has a three dimensional effect with amazing results. Some are quite literally a "pop up" whilst others have a dioramic effectiveness to them.
Justukas Pond is another illustrator with a great commercial style and a bright future. With a background in Interior Design and Sculpture, he has acquired a real feel for form and function which has translated into his work.
Animation has always been strong at UWE, Bristol and this year was no exception. Whilst digital has in recent years, taken over from a lot of the more traditional approaches, I still appreciate and favour the stop motion technique, especially when the models are made of paper and are exquisitely made. Sophie Marsh has established an interest in a more documentary feel to her work and her studies of the human form is evident in her creations. Go here to watch her film, Strudel
The Bath Spa University campus on Sion Hill is in a marvellous location right near the centre of Bath and also next to the fabulous Royal Victoria Park. There are some great exhibits from Graphics, Photography and fine Art but I always visit Bath Spa for the always impressive Textile Design exhibition. The standard of work is breathtakingly beautiful and inspirational that you always come away feeling uplifted and full of admiration.
There are always so many that could be featured but for me the ones that stood out this year were firstly, Stephanie Ellen whose range of knitted accessories stood out with great commercial awareness and a considered approach to the textural composition.
Albert Harvey uses time honoured traditions of printmaking onto fabrics using linocut plates with great effect. This approach has been a successful technique for years because it gives you a lot more freedom of expression and a satisfying feeling of accomplishment.
Mary Goodman is a textile and knit designer who believes in making quality products that are made to last, repair and keep. Her display of foot stools come seats, were beautifully made and as invited, very comfortable! From a commercial viewpoint, they are perfectly suited to any home, great sculptural pieces to look at, perfectly useable and above all, great fun...
If you'd like to volunteer to be one of CR's Talent Spotters at this year's degree shows, please sign up here