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How Mill+ developed the first ever real-time title sequence
The Brief
Develop a title sequence for the 2018 AICP Awards (encompassing the Show and the Next Awards) that embodies innovation.
The Process
Utilizing technologies that have never before been combined, Mill+’s team of creative technologists and designers developed a piece of custom software that had the power to generate animated content live.
The Outcome
During the 2018 AICP Show and Next Awards, Mill+’s software generated a live title sequence that produced unique visuals and audio upon every iteration. The sequence incorporated camera feeds from around the MoMa, enabling guests to see themselves reflected in the animated design, thus demonstrating the real-time nature of the production. No part of the title sequence was pre-recorded.

When creating this year’s AICP Title Sequence, the Mill+ team wanted to push the boundaries of title sequence design and do something that had never been done before. With an open brief, this was the perfect opportunity for The Mill’s creative and technical minds to join forces and develop something truly groundbreaking.

The project started with a simple question: How can we create a title sequence that is unique each time it's played? To achieve this, the team built a custom piece of real-time software capable of procedurally generating motion graphics. 

LAYING THE FOUNDATION
The first step was designing a procedural grid system. Knowing that the majority of the content would be pseudo-random, this grid system provided a reliable backbone for an otherwise unpredictable piece. The team was able to dial in parameters for things like subdivisions and count, which resulted in a wide variety of grid layouts.
Aicp System 01
POPULATING THE GRID
After designing the grid system the team created a library of generative modules. These modules included solid shapes, outlines, blur panels, live camera feeds, live text, and audio-reactive shaders.
Aicp Grid 01 (1)Aicp Modules 01
Once the grid system and modules were defined, the team used the software to procedurally generate a wide variety of content, including dozens of interstitials. Each composition was truly a surprise.
Aicp Grid 02
CONTROLLING THE CHAOS
A custom GUI (Graphical User Interface) gave the team ultimate control over a wide range of decisions. While the goal was to create a system full of unpredictability and surprise, they still wanted to define certain aesthetic parameters. This GUI allowed them to explore different attributes, such as probability, frequency, and color.
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The overall visual aesthetic was inspired by the principles of traditional graphic design: grid-based proportions and compositional balance. The custom software was then used to create live content for Base Camp, the AICP Show and the Next Awards. Each iteration was unique both in visuals and sound and will never be repeated again.  
Aicp Design Exploration 01
The use of this technology demonstrates the vast potential of human-machine collaboration, a subject that The Mill has been exploring through the use and development of AI, real-time animation, and generative art. Additionally, it highlights the beauty of discovery, as no one iteration of the audiovisual narrative will ever be the same.

Behind the Scenes: 2018 AICP Title Sequence