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Resfest ‘bydesign:’ what’s after Aftereffects?

Resfest is an international touring showcase of the leading developments in video and motion graphics.

Aftereffects, a motion graphics program, tended to factor heavily into most videos in the experimental section of Resfest, called ‘bydesign.’ The program seemed to encourage a certain wandering through three dimensions – a continuous sensation of temporary and slippery orientation.

Dmos.tv explains that pieces created with aftereffects are based on an interface where you type in a number or use a slider to manipulate parameters on a screen. The videos are based on visual source material and then manipulated through the interface as seen here in a screen shot from afx 6.5:
after effects interface

At its best, the scanning and zooming you can achieve through aftereffects elicits the sensation of infinite subject and object connectivity. And it leads to an uncanny freedom in the process of story creation. The narrative is released from its physical bounds. The frame of the video could go anywhere. Done well, it feels like an enlightening journey. At its most exhausting, there’s little to anchor expectation, except for surprise and aesthetic adventure.

I tend to be partial to creativity that is either ethereal or strongly conceptual. Three selections from Resfest stood out:

Bendito Machine: relevant, insightful, humorous, peculiar animation technique (not aftereffects)
TOOLS: FLASH, FINAL CUT PRO

‘a story of two rival villages on either side of a hill. At the top of the hill is a god-like machine that gives profitable gifts to both villages. Soon, one greedy village hatches a plan to crush the other and take all the wealth for themselves. But how long will their prosperity last?’

Bloomy Girls: delicate, subtle, fluid, captivating

TOOLS: SONY TRV-950 MINIDV, AFTER EFFECTS, FINAL CUT PRO, LOGIC, MAC G5

Takagi Masakatsu’s latest video painting suggests oils mixing on a palette all by themselves, with only the occasional faint hint of female faces emerging from behind rich, undulating waves of color and texture that carry the mysterious beauty of the surface of a lake.

Borderline: composite global urban environments, suggestive of an interconnected physical and informational landscape, ultimate parkours terrain

TOOLS: CANON XM1 MINIDV, PREMIERE, AFTER EFFECTS, PENTIUM 3 PC

Using all manner of inversions and refractions, director Alex Chandon serves up a surreal portrait of a London deserted by the laws of gravity to create an impossible science-fiction cityscape of the imagination.

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