FITC Tokyo 2015 Opens with a Glitch or Two

FITC Tokyo 2015 opened with this complex, dense and hypnotic piece of chaos created by a collaboration of designers, typographers, animators, programmers and musicians spanning three timezones to “contrast the harmonies of traditional Japanese culture against the backdrop and sensory overload of present-day Tokyo.”

Art director/animator/designer Michael Rigley: “FITC founder Shawn Pucknell reached out to Director Ash Thorp in late 2014 to create a set of posters promoting FITC Tokyo 2015. Inspired by the foundation laid in the posters, Collective Podcast co-conspirator Andrew Hawryluk sought to take the project a step further and provide FITC Tokyo its first title sequence.
“Ash’s design and direction provided a unique take on the style of glitch—pushing a harsh color palette, dominant typographic style, simple geometric shapes, dissolve gradients and various isometric elements.

“Master typographer and animator, Nicolas Girard, lead the way on font design. Expanding massively on the initial type direction set forth in the style frames, Nic crafted a custom font and glyph set based on Norm: Replica.

“By taking inspiration from the typographic forms of both Kanji and Norm: Replica he was able to generate a seemingly endless set of shapes for animation that could evolve from simple geometries to legible text without repetition. Armed with this set of glyphs, Nic and keyframe veteran Alasdair Willson animated the entirety of the type in the spot.

“The biggest part of producing the glitch effects was building up a massive library of textures and mattes that could be repurposed throughout the piece. The glitch we were aiming for was an editorial style glitch generated from cutting together a mass of simple graphic shapes and textures that together create more complex compositions.

“In the early stages of the project I was able to create a fairly dense library that we repurposed throughout the piece. I lead the glitch animation effort with support from Andrew and later Chris Bjerre, who came on board to get us across the finish line. We would import Nic and Alasdair’s black and white text animations—cutting up, layering, coloring and stylizing them into nearly frame-by-frame compositions that would shift in tight sync with the audio.

“Our team’s computation artist and Buck’s resident creative technologist, Albert Omoss, generated a variety of glitch effects for the spot. Prototyped in Processing and executed in Houdini with Python, Albert crafted a complex genetic grid system where our source text animations would drive the birth of particles, traversing the grid, spreading their genes, mutating and evolving.”

Client: FITC
Director: Ash Thorp
Producer: Andrew Hawryluk
Art Director: Michael Rigley
Type Designer: Nicolas Girard
Designers: Ash Thorp, Michael Rigley, Nicolas Girard
Type Animators: Nicolas Girard, Alasdair Willson
Animators: Michael Rigley, Chris Bjerre, Andrew Hawryluk
Computational Artist: Albert Omoss
Process Reel Editor: Franck Deron
Composer: Pilotpriest