Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Claymation in Rhythm & Hues - 5 Nov 2012

We're privileged to visit Rhythm & Hues Malaysia, the multiple academy award-winning film production studio specialising in visual effects and computer animation for feature films and tv commercials. Maybe not many of us are familiar with the company name, but mention Narnia, Alvin & the Chipmunks, Golden Compass, X-Men, Yogi Bear, Mr Popper's Penguins etc etc and the coming movie, Life of Pi then it'll ring a bell. This company has been singled out as a leader by virtually all the major competitions that recognise excellence in computer graphics.

Chic office to inspire - with a soothing, spa-like setting and a tatami-style centre courtyard

Couldn't work on an empty stomach? Thanks to the generosity of the company, we've a great light refreshment and fellowship in the cosy kitchen. And more Q&A with a passionate Pn Sarini from the company.

All ears to an introduction of what the company is doing, what CGI (computer generated imagery) is all about, the makings of some feature films and what is "Claymation".

Claymation is a form of stop-motion animation; ie still pictures of slight movements of clay characters, assembled and played in rapid succession to create motion.

Kids were divided into 4 groups with a good mix of young and older ones - brainstorming to create their own Clay-mation Projects. The company even assigned one staff to each group to guide and assist the kids.

Xian Wei's group did a theme on Angry Birds' games. The younger ones happily coloured all the backdrops. Their props have problems standing upright on the chair, in the end, they gotta put their props on the floor for shooting.

To run a one-minute video, they have to take at least 120 pictures!! Imagine one whole movie!!! Watch the Angry Birds' Claymation video above. Don't miss the score. The video was more shaky than the rest cos the camera has to be held by hand from top for the shooting.

"The Avengers" from Xian Jin's & Brandon's group. They've the longest video amongst the rest, ie 18 secs and the most props. We would sure appreciate the making of a movie more after this experience.....

"The Avengers" - Bravo!!

Another Claymation on Spongebobs & friends. 

An educational tour of the office - Matchmoving for camera tracking (to match real life and CGI integration) and background preparation are common entry level jobs for new recruits. The animation department requires more skilled staff. Other departments include compositor, CG modelling and other technical ones. Most notably was a dedicated department to apprentice training, mostly college-leavers. Also the 'fun room' for the staff to unwind playing with a variety of musical instruments and even karaoke.

What did the children take back from this visit? More than the clay props, they gained greater appreciation and understanding for teamwork, focused effort and accomplishment!!

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