Thursday, August 9, 2012

Technology and Art in Perfect Balance

I'm currently in LA for Siggraph 2012, which is the leading conference for computer graphics - but the community here includes artists, animators, modelers, movie studios, games studios, camera and display technologies.  It's always a treat.  While, there were definitely many interesting projects from the technical program (too many to enumerate here, like this, this, thisthis, this and many more).

One piece that I really enjoyed seeing is a new animated short from Disney called "Paperman".  It is planned to be shown at the beginning of Wreck-It-Ralph, so you'll get a chance to see it as well.

The reason I enjoyed it so much because it is a prefect balance of technology and art fusing hand drawn animation, CG graphics, and a great story.  I watched some of the production talk about how it was created.  The most enjoyable part of the talk was hearing about the interaction between the 2D hand drawing artists and the CG team - in particular how much they mutually respected each other and how humbled they were by what each side brought to the table.  Often projects are too heavily weighted toward one side: either too focused on raw technology without a soul or too focused on the artistic concept without interesting execution.  When you get a chance to witness the balance of both, the results are remarkable.  "Paperman" is such an example.

I have a tremendous respect for the creative people I have encountered in my life, and make a conscious effort to expose myself to environments with people of vastly different skills and interests.  I often run ideas that are extremely technical in nature past people who know nothing about technology, because I have often been surprised by the answer.  At the very least, I get a little bit of practice trying to covey a complicated concept to someone who may have no domain knowledge and how it might affect ideas they care about - a very underrated skill, and not something taught in school.

So, whether you consider yourself an engineer or an artist, I encourage you to make a friend on the other side of campus.  Your perspective on the world, the ideas you'll have, and the work you do will be better for it.


Dj said...

Well said, the collaboration brings the best in urself.

MYK said...

Agreed! We all see the world differently and sometimes so much as one comment from another person can help you see things in a new light!