FA Digital Productions rebrand as Nymbl

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After 3 awesome years as FA Digital Productions, we are excited to announce our rebrand and new name - Nymbl.

Our focus was always on helping brands achieve their marketing goals through creating exceptional and mesmerising video content. As we expand in size and continue investing in technical expertise and gadgets, Nymbl’s new identity reflects a clear vision and purpose to support creative and future growth.

Logotype Primary ReversedSq

Nymbl represents the fast moving, quick thinking, and more importantly adventurous and playful ethos of the company. Keeping at the fore of the latest in technology is at the heart of what we do. This commitment has enabled us to explore and incorporate awe-inspiring animation techniques into a range of outputs. In addition to animation we offer content and environment production for storytelling in virtual reality (immersive and interactive), motion capture, 3D photoscanning and much, much more.

 

Dan Barker, Founder and TD says “We’ve seen the video marketing landscape change over the last 3 years and felt this was the right time to reflect these changes in our new brand Nymbl.”

“Producing great quality work that hits our clients’ objectives is at the heart of what we do. Through our R&D process we want to pass on our expertise to give businesses the choice when deciding what type of video will support their campaigns and events best.”

Wishing you a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

 

Christmas Curiosity from Nymbl on Vimeo.

For more on the creative process, check out BigFan’s portfolio.

AN INTRODUCTION TO.. MOTION CAPTURE

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Motion Capture (mocap) has been around for a while now. The goal of mocap is to collect motion data of certain points of interest on the subject. Data collected can then be used to drive motion or calculate specific parameters of motion ie. speed, distance (who can forget Benedict Cumberbatch as Smaug?). As tech becomes smarter data captured significantly improves over time.

Application

Motion capture's application is (and has always been) varied, ranging from biodynamics to driving CGI characters to mimic the motion captured. As humans, we can recognise a person by their movement: from their swagger to the way their head bobs, comparable to the innate way we recognise minute details in a face. Mocap has formed a bridge to capture an emotional human connection through movement in computer graphics.

Exploring and implementing these wonderful technologies enables us to continue pushing our boundaries as both a studio and the artists within, finding exciting new techniques to integrate into our workflow. Being at the fore of innovations in technology certainly contributes to challenging budgets, allowing us to explore and suggest different ways to approach a brief.

MoCap at FA

Emerging technologies enabled us to develop and offer this toolset within our productions in-house. Our play room 'Suite FA' gives us and our clients the capability of implementing organic motion to a whole host of animated projects; 2d, 3d and interactive alike. Suite FA takes advantage of a markerless system allowing our actors, (or clients, should they wish to take part!) perform in the attire they entered the building in. Markerless systems work by utilizing a multi camera tracking setup and intelligent software which calculates the subjects' movements quickly and accurately. It's a system which allows us to cost effectively use motion capture more quickly directly into our pipeline and your projects. (And there aren't many things more satisfying than seeing yourself charge around as the Incredible Hulk or a mass of energised liquid!)

We've spent the last 12 months researching and developing (R&D) the use of motion capture in videos. We've also explored some awesome procedural animation tools and techniques in creating the animated characters. Watch our Suite FA video here.

The future

We want to broaden the application of using human motions and emotions behind just that of character animation. We have already integrated this facility into some projects with great success, eg. Dycem's marketing video on contamination control where we captured walk cycles through the cameras. Having this tool readily available allows for more choice creatively, saves time when budgets don’t stretch to a fully animated character and provides clients the option of a range of tools. We’ll continue demonstrating how powerful this tool can be in opening up new and interesting approaches to video production.

For more information on motion capture and whether this could benefit your video This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.!

SuiteFABlog

The Power of 3D for Brands & Identities

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The logo or identity is the cornerstone for registering the presence of a brand in our daily lives. We relate to the carefully crafted combinations of shapes, colours, typography and space to trigger emotion, thought and a reaction. Often this reaction can be subliminal; to act on and pursue the desire to use, wear, or be associated with that 'brand'.

Identities do not have to be traditionally static or flat. It is possible, and even beneficial, to invoke an additional level of emergence, by exploring the contours and colour pallet at an even deeper level. Utilising the power of 3d animation as a tool to enhance the creativity of the carefully balanced harmony of a brand and its depiction can offer an enriching level of experience to the viewer.

There are many recognisable brands today that intentionally shape their identity through a 3d image/concept, such as the BT sphere, or the MSN butterfly. Designed with perspective in mind, the possibility to move around these shapes in 3d space allows great creativity when motion is produced. Less common, yet still highly recognisable, are shaded rendered logos such as the Wikipedia puzzle sphere, or the Sony Ericsson orb. These may be rarer styles traditionally, yet they hold as much gravitas as identifiable yet commonplace 2d imagery, and will of course move beautifully with the added layer of shading and reflectivity. With moving content and video on the rise, a brand in motion can hold as much relevance as the static identity itself.

Flat artwork that is transformed into an immersive 3d experience can often challenge the precise nature of the original creation. Working alongside Global Navigations Solutions, we married advanced techniques to bring the pseudo 3d flat identity into a truly 3d world, allowing the viewer to experience the brand at an even deeper level. Driving multiple dots with particles and fluid systems allowed us to create the tranquil feeling of a large vessel navigating the open sea - all in total respect of the balance of the brand identity.

In addition to a logo revel, we produced a selection of looping sequences for global events promoting the brand on large displays and presentations.

Brand You Awards Winners...

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Yesterday evening saw the second annual Bristol Media Brand You Awards. Bordeaux Quay was brimming with over 200 industry faces gathered to celebrate the creative work being produced by Bristol's brightest talents. 

Our junior animator Luka was nominated in the Animation & VFX category, and while Luka remained modest, great work does not go unnoticed! We are thrilled to announce Luka received the 'Highly Commended' award, acknowledging his incredible work on a personal project completed earlier this year. 

Massive thanks to Bristol Media and all those involved for hosting such a fantastic ceremony, and of course a huge congratulations to all of the nominees and winners!

Jon Craig Photography ©

Jon Craig Photography ©

Sofilia: Conversational Software

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Who didn't dream of owning 'KITT' from Knight Rider as a kid? Or want 'Johnny 5' as their best friend after watching Short Circuit? These childish dreams may become a reality sooner than you think, thanks to our recent project 'Sofilia'.

Clearly, there are a number of skeptics who believe that artificial intelligence is a dangerous concept, most of whom seem to work as screenwriters in the film industry! Many films or television series' share the notion that if computers or robots were able to think for themselves, they would suddenly feel the need to uprise and revolt against the human race! If you have watched I Robot, Terminator, Star-Trek or Doctor Who to name but a few, you may have had the fear put in you already.

Despite personal beliefs and fictional storylines, it seems inevitable that recent advances in technology will lead to huge developments in artificial intelligence software over the next few years. One particular channel of interest is that of conversational software. Siri from Apple is a great example of showing the potential a digital personal assistant has. The only aspect missing from these existing technologies is the ability to learn from their surroundings.

There are a number of Iron Man fans who have dedicated their software development skills to creating a working model of J.A.R.V.I.S. (the computer system which Tony Stark interacts with).

One of these programming geniuses is Dave Grundgeiger, a software architect who has the necessary experience and knowledge to make a huge leap forward in the world of artificial intelligence. His vision is Sofilia, a conversational program which creates a real world model from the information received, allowing for mentally and emotionally satisfying conversations. The platform is far superior to any existing chatbot, and will provide limitless learning capabilities. Once developed, Sofilia-based technology can be utilised as a mobile app, providing a conversational digital personal assistant so far beyond anything ever seen before. Sofilia will be able to send and receive texts, call friends, find locations, get directions, play music, get the weather and update your social media. It also has the potential to drive facial animation and could feature in video games through character interactions. This revolutionary development in artificial intelligence software could change the way we interact with technology on a daily basis.

FADP were lucky enough to work with Dave to help develop his Sofilia project, creating the branding and producing his Kickstarter campaign video. We could not help but want to be part of something so exciting and potentially ground-breaking, hence, we are backing his crowd-funded campaign in hope that we may utilise the power of Sofilia in our own working and home environments.

If you share our passion and excitement in this project and would like to discover more about Sofilia, check out the full Kickstarter page here, or to keep up to date with future developments follow Dave on Twitter or Facebook

Brand You Awards 2014

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Bristol Media and Cloud9 have announced the nominations for the second Brand You awards, which celebrates the outstanding contribution that individuals make to campaigns, projects and productions. We are delighted to announce our very own Junior Animator Luka Bajt is up for nomination in the Animation & VFX category!

Luka has been recognised for his technical merits shown within this personal project. He spent over a month to complete all the challenges involved, which included 3d tracking, modelling, texturing, lighting, animation, particle dynamics, compositing and grading. Shot by a lake in Denmark just after sunrise, Luka captured the beautiful scenery and imagined the castle concept on reflection. With a fusion of advanced techniques and various high-end software packages, Luka demonstrated his skill and precision as an artist.

We're quite familiar with the initiative here at FADP, with Techincal Director Dan Barker having won the same award last year for his innovative work on Adhesive Live, which features a dancing 3d character created from musical instruments - as seen below.

The Awards ceremony takes place at Bordeaux Quay on Tuesday 16th September - who knows if we can make it 2 wins out of 2...

 

World Hepatitis Day

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World Hepatitis Day is an annual event on the 28th July that provides international focus for patient groups and people living with viral hepatitis. It is an opportunity to raise awareness and influence real change in disease prevention and access to testing and treatment.

Every year World Hepatitis Day gets bigger and better. With the help of social video specialists Red Pill, their yearly campaigns draw attention to this terrible virus in an innovative fashion.

Last year we had the pleasure of collaborating with Red Pill in producing the 'Three Unwise Monkeys' video for World Hepatitis Day 2013. The video reached over 1 million views from around the world, aided by comedian Stephen Fry's support for the charitable cause. The results and feedback were very encouraging, and we were thrilled it helped to build awareness of viral hepatitis.

To find out more on how we overcame the technical challenges faced, read our case study

2014's campaign 'Think Again', uses a catchy informative song featuring hand puppeteer Lejo, and Red Pill have once again achieved remarkable results. We highly recommend you check out this song, but more importantly, listen to the underlying message.

Day or Doom

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We were recently involved on a very exciting project with the London based games company, Inkfish Studios. Introducing 'Day or Doom', a conceptual strategy-based video boardgame, and the brainchild of a good friend of ours - Mario Kolovos. With the project management of industry heavyweight Randy Beverly, and hardware knowledge of David Gatti, Day or Doom is looking to innovatively take the gaming industry by storm. 

Mario required a slick game concept video, and we were more than happy to oblige. Our colleagues Sam Morgan Moore & Paul Box just down the road at FrameDogs kindly allowed us to use their studio. The shoot integrated green screening (chroma keying) the actors with tracking markers, to allow us the flexibility to immerce them in our virtual setting. We helped conceptualise some of the gaming environments seen on tablet screens, and brought the whole process to life as a stand alone motion graphics segment. The project involved much collaboration using a combination of 3d, sound design and motion graphics of film and VFX to convey this ambitious and exciting venture still in the early stages of development. 

Check out the finished concept video below!

Day or Doom requires support and funding to become a reality, so check out their Kickstarter campaign here.

We wish all the best to Mario, Randy and David in bringing this exciting concept to life!

MCAC Hot-Air Balloon Testicles!

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With the Bristol Balloon Fiesta kicking off tomorrow, we were reminded of an interesting request we received from Team Rubber just over a year ago...

The Male Cancer Awareness Campaign required a giant set of CG hot-air balloon testicles! Their 'SkyBalls' project, fronted by Irish Comedian Chris O'Dowd, was looking to raise funds through the online crowdfunding website indiegogo.com, with the aim of eventually physically constructing the enormous flying scrotum! 

Take a look at our short video showcasing the floating testicles in action! 

Unfortunately the project didn't really 'get off the ground' the first time around, which is disappointing as it would have been entertaining seeing the testicles effortlessly drifting in the Bristol sky! However, MCAC plan to relaunch the campaign on the 25th August. It's all for a great cause in challenging the taboos & embarrassment surrounding testicular cancer and we're fully behind the campaign.

New Faces, Exciting Times!

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It has been a fantastic evolving year at FADP since our move to the vibrant Park Street strip, and we are delighted to welcome 2 talented new members of staff to the team. Our recent expansion over two floors allows us to utilise a new technology and integrate an exciting Motion Capture Suite - watch this space! In order to facilitate the influx of interest from within the industry and prospective clients, we are really pleased and excited to have Mika Peck and Luka Bajt on board.

As a marketing undergrad from UWE, Mika brings a fresh-thinking approach and aims to increase awareness of FADP through his role as Digital Marketing Executive. His previous work experience reflects skills acquired in sales and customer-facing roles, however he is now keen to develop and apply his business and marketing skills in a real life organisation - and what better situation than at a young and aspirational company such as FADP! On a personal level, Mika is not unfamiliar with the creative industry, having been involved in campaigns and projects assisting freelance creatives. We're certain the combination of his practical skills and interests will prove a success here at FADP. 

Here is a link to a short video Mika provided creative contribution towards within the pre-production phase of the project, and also stars in! We love the contrasts and strong depth of field used here:

Our second new team member Luka graduated UWE with a distinction as a Master of Arts in Animation. He went on to complete a VFX course at the Animation Workshop in Denmark, developing his skills in creating photorealistic computer graphics and the seamless integration into live action footage. Luka has won multiple honors & awards for his short films, and also holds a passion for photography and video editing. Luka will contribute an expert touch and beautifully executed craftsmanship to our 3d productions. 

Here is a link to a short documentary Luka filmed, which won the 'Winner of the Best of South West Short' award at Encounters Film Festival 2013. We love the animation and timelapses here, and the way in which the story has been conveyed so effectively:

It's also worth checking out Luka's personal website, where he showcases some fantastic computer graphics and stop motion animation showreels! http://lukabajt.com/

These are exciting and fun times in the evolution of FADP. In the meantime, click on the widgets at the bottom of the page for links to our social media accounts where we aim to keep you updated on future developments - namely the operation of the Motion Capture Suite, where we welcome you to have a go - who doesn't want to be the Incredible Hulk?!