ONFB XP is an exciting new incubator at the National Film Board designed for animators to test out new ideas and find technology solutions for animation problems. As Michael Fukushima, former Executive Producer of the Animation Studio, described it: “It’s a technology playground for animation ideas.”
We’re pleased to present the participants who joined ONFB XP this year:
Mohit is a Montreal-based filmmaker, animator and co-founder of the animation collective Astroplastique. She applies a vast array of techniques to her creations, ranging from drawings and constructed sets to found objects and photography. Mohit intends to use her time to experiment with combining environments using Unreal engine, live-action footage and 2D animation. It’s her goal to develop a workflow and a hand-drawn look for an animated narrative short.
SERGUEI MOKHOV, JONATHAN LLEWELLYN AND KYLE ROSS
Mokhov obtained his Ph.D. from Concordia University in Montreal, where he currently teaches CG and animation to undergraduates. He also leads the OpenISS project with Llewellyn and Ross, both master’s students at the university.
They are eager to experiment with real-time motion capture for face and skeleton tracking, scene reconstruction, people re-identification, activity recognition and other associated HCI elements. His goal is to optimize the animation of characters and collaborative animation using tools familiar to NFB animators, such as Blender, Unreal, Maya, Unity and others.
“We’d like to answer questions like: How easy is it to use or useful to integrate real-time motion data into animators’ work?” – Serguei Mokhov
A designer and director for television and web, Roy is also an independent animation filmmaker. He’s spent the past 20 years making hybrid films that combine analogue techniques with digital processing. He’s looking forward to exploring the creative potential of limitations and glitches in 3D scanning and introducing a moving-performance aspect during the scan process.
Barlow-Krelina, art and technology director at E.D. Films, is an alumnus of the NFB’s Hothouse program and has since worked on numerous projects as an animator and art director. He intends to use his time in the incubator to prototype stages, test hypotheses and explore creation techniques for an interactive VR narrative game he’s working on entitled The Garden, in which the player and their environment affect each other.
D’Oliveira, the founder of La Hacienda Creative, is a multi-award-winning composer and audio creative director based in Montreal. Lately, his focus has been on creating the next generation of virtual musical instruments that allow for more intuitive expression and creation. He plans to use his time in the lab to further this exploration by tapping into the knowledge and inspiration of experts in both computer graphics and animation.
“We are exploring and pushing the boundaries of what is possible with virtual musical instruments by developing more intuitive ways to interface and express musical sound.” – Brian d’Oliveira
For this year’s edition, we were fortunate to have several great mentors to advise and support the participants in their experiments. The mentors included a super team from CDRIN: Pierre-Olivier Roy (Business Analyst / Programmer, R&D), Antoine Fortin (Programmer, R&D), Julien Coll (Research and Innovation Consultant / 3D Technical Artist) and Olivier Leclerc (Programmer, R&D). Mentors from the NFB: Eloi Champagne (Technical Director, English Animation Studio), Geoff Mitchell (NFB Mixer and Sound Recordist), Frank Nadeau (Engineer, R&D) and Frédéric Sauvé (Engineer, R&D). And some participants could also count on the help and feedback from Brandon Blommaert (Animator and Designer), Diego Ivan Quiroz Orozco (Ph.D. Sound Recording), Daniel Gies (Art Director and Animator) and Luke Ruminski (Creative Technologist). Thanks to all of you for your dedication and input!
The NFB Animation Studio is proud to support this type of creative research. We are excited to see how these innovations might influence future projects and further advance the craft.
Join us on YouTube on July 8th at 8 PM ET as we present this year’s cohorts and their work from this experimental lab! The Animation Studio Technical Director Eloi Champagne will be on live chat to answer your questions! See you there!