AS­SEM­BLY

New Zealand Marketing - - 20 Hot List 2018 -

As­sem­bly has be­come one of the world’s best an­i­ma­tion and pro­duc­tion houses. Its skills ex­tend from beau­ti­ful an­i­ma­tion work, amaz­ing vis­ual ef­fects and stun­ning dig­i­tal and VR ex­pe­ri­ences, like a se­ries of games to pro­mote the film Kubo and the Two Strings, and en­gag­ing web­sites for global brands like Ver­i­zon and PWC. Part­ners Jonny Ko­foed, Da­mon Dun­can and Matt von Trott re­flect on the year that’s been and what lies ahead.

How does As­sem­bly de­fine its work?

Craft, with a heavy fo­cus on de­sign. On a prac­ti­cal level, any­thing that goes on a screen. We have such a broad range of work from cre­at­ing new tech­nolo­gies to tra­di­tional com­mer­cial projects and we are very proud of be­ing able to de­liver to any brief, but it does make our busi­ness a lit­tle hard to de­fine!

What have been your big­gest learn­ings or chal­lenges over the past year?

Balanc­ing the peaks and troughs of busi­ness in gen­eral. Hav­ing enough per­ma­nent staff to be able to tackle large projects, but keep­ing enough work­flow to sur­vive the quiet times. To com­bat this, we’ve had to find and use spe­cial­ist free­lancers, es­pe­cially in the area of vis­ual ef­fects.

What’s the best new tech­nol­ogy you guys are us­ing?

We re­cently in­stalled a So­das­tream ma­chine which we are al­ready see­ing some in­stant results with, and Da­mon has started us­ing one of those stand up desk things. Aside from that, our 3D dome scan­ner (that we built in-house) has be­come in­valu­able on some projects. It has a com­puter-con­trolled robot arm, and uses pho­togram­me­try to dig­i­tally repli­cate 3D as­sets. In par­tic­u­lar, as­sets that are tra­di­tion­ally dif­fi­cult to model by hand. Us­ing gam­ing en­gines like Un­real and Unity have also been an ex­cit­ing de­vel­op­ment. We have cre­ated a range of projects from VR to in­ter­ac­tive games. It has also be­come a valu­able tool for pre-vis and client view­ings on chal­leng­ing projects like Vec­tor Bridge Lights - where we recre­ated the Auck­land Har­bour bridge in 3D and pre­sented WIPS in VR. This meant the client could watch the an­i­ma­tion from a va­ri­ety of key view­ing an­gles be­fore the live event. On a smug level, our fa­cil­ity is now so­lar pow­ered. A good chunk of our im­age pro­cess­ing is pow­ered off grid!!

What tech­nol­ogy is over-hyped?

VR is still ex­cit­ing to us but is yet to reach the gen­eral con­sumer, so it's hard to jus­tify for most brands right now. Wouldn’t nec­es­sar­ily say it's over-hyped as it's still an im­pres­sive tech­nol­ogy ex­pe­ri­ence, it just needs more up­take and ap­pli­ca­tions.

Resn Rush Dig­i­tal Glad­eye Wrestler Con­i­cal Stu­dios Trans­late Dig­i­tal Nom­i­nees:

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