Brief

Invent a novel approach to generating billions of permutations for motion design.

Approach

Our own custom software that generates, animates, controls layout, responds to live data, pulls from an open bucket of content materials and understands beautiful design principles.

Impact

A new intelligent software product that generates real-time signage and animated content for retail, civic & corporate spaces with interactive and live data capabilities.

Client

The Mill

Capabilities

Concept / Direction / Creative Coding / Software Development / Design / UI & UX

This all began with a typical client commission. When asked to design and animate a title sequence for the 2018 AICP conference, we were determined to do it differently. This path of thinking led us to a bold ambition. We decided to invent a ‘machine that generates motion design’.

 

The result was a beautiful title sequence and a product that changed the way we think about and make reactive motion design.

 

Don’t render. Compute.

Mill Canvas is our proprietary real-time platform capable of procedurally generating motion graphics based on a series of ‘beauty rules’. The system uses a procedural grid system for pseudo-random graphics generation, dialing in parameters like subdivisions and count for a wide variety of grid layouts. Libraries of generative modules for solid shapes, outlines, blur panels, live camera feeds, live text, and audio-reactive shaders allowed us to procedurally generate signage, interstitials, and title sequences in real-time.

Mill Canvas can never loop. Every time a sequence ‘plays’ the animation, layout and elements are generated to create almost infinite variations on a theme.

A custom GUI was developed in order to define aesthetic parameters within a system full of unpredictability and surprise, allowing us to explore different attributes, such as probability, frequency and color. The resulting product is an answer for digital retail signage, OOH advertising, and modular/high variation motion graphics creation.

 

Imagine

Thousands of physical locations with various digital signage, all served the same products, messaging and visual brand guidelines that never loop, respond to any data stream, listen to customer’s voice and gesture input, and can update behaviors and content in seconds from a single control interface.

Apply this to shops, stadiums, museums, lobbies, theme parks, airports…

Canvas changes the way we think about creating experiences and content. It demonstrates the vast potential of human-machine collaboration, a subject The Mill has been exploring through the use and development of AI, real-time animation, and generative art. Finally, it highlights the beauty of discovery, as no design iteration ever need be the same.

Credits

Emerging Tech
Emerging Tech The Mill
Director William Arnold
Producer La-Râ Hinckeldeyn
Animation Chet Hirsch
Lead Developer Eric Renaud-Houde
Audio Developer Michael Dunkley
Graphics Developers Jimmy Gass, Joji Tsuruga
Audio Composition Antfood