Friday, May 4, 2012

Visit to Rhythm & Hues Studio, Cyberjaya.

We went to visit R&H studio on Thursday to learn about animation. Honestly, it was really an eye opener to me. I have to admit I have never heard about the company. And I never thought such company exist in Malaysia. Right smack in our own backyard. 
This is the info about the company from the wikipedia;
Rhythm & Hues Studios is a visual effects studio serving the major film studios. It is known for its computer-generated 3D character animation. Recognized as one of the top facilities of its kind in the world, Rhythm & Hues has contributed to more than 150 feature films. The studio received the Academy Award® in 1995 for Babe, (Achievement in Visual Effects) and in 2008 for The Golden Compass. It was also nominated in the same category in 2005 for its work on The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. In addition to films, Rhythm & Hues is also engaged in the production of commercial advertising, cinematics for game design and special venue/theme park attractions.

Pretty impressive huh??!! 

As we went on with the itinerary, I get more and more impressed. With the super energetic and super passionate staffs of R&H. I was surprised that there were quite a number of staffs participating in our session. And they were really great with the kids and it made the whole learning process so fun. 

They started with a brief presentation about the company and their portfolios. Narnia, Alvin & The Chipmunks, X-Men, just to name a few.
Their pipeline. Currently in production.
Then we learned few basic stuffs about animation.

Shahrir & Poh Hui explaining to the kids the process of animation. Lots n lots of hard work. One of the staffs shared with us how her colleague spent 7 weeks on a scene for X-Men 1 and once completed, the whole scene was worth 5 seconds on the screen. There are lots of fine details that goes into the process. 
After the briefing, kids got the chance to do clay mation.

Info on clay mation from wikipedia
Stop motion (also known as stop frame) is an animation technique to make a physically manipulated object appear to move on its own. The object is moved in small increments between individually photographed frames, creating the illusion of movement when the series of frames is played as a continuous sequence. Dolls with movable joints or clay figures are often used in stop motion for their ease of repositioning. Stop motion animation using clay is called clay animation or "clay mation".

Brainstorming the story line. Facilitated by the staffs.
I was really impressed with how the staffs handled the kids. Some kids were shy. Some were overwhelmed. Some were so excited roaring to start. Somehow, the staffs managed to get them to work together and completed the task on time.
Next was production time. Draw. Colour. Sculpt the clay. Cut out the costumes. etc etc etc.
Fun fun fun.

Shooting time. Lots and lots of pictures. Frame by frame.
While waiting for the post production process to be completed, the 2 staffs taught the kids how to dance like Michael Jackson. To the tune of Alvin & Chipmunk.
 Some kids were very sporting and hit the dance floor instantly.
 Some were more reserved and chose not to dance. We'll just sit back and watch.
 Either they were shy or they don't like dancing. Emily definitely think playing with clay is more fun.
Refreshment in between sessions. Foods and ample supply of coffee, Milo & water in the pantry.
Studio tour. Kids were briefed on the different department in the studio. 
The courtyard. For company's staff meeting.
Their working hours is quite flexible. The dress code is casual. The interior decorations & ambience is really nice. It does feel like home. Looks like a very nice place to work huh?? ;-)
I also found out there are a few homeschoolers working there. Wooooooottttt!!! ;-) After the studio tour, we adjourned to the screening room to view the final production. 

Clay mation done by Emily's group. The story of 2 princesses. Snow White & Princess Leia. A bit choppy, but I think they did a really great job. Kudos kids!!

Group picture. Kiddos, parents, and staffs of R&H.
We really enjoyed the trip. I learned loads from the staffs. I am particularly interested to find out more information on helping Luqman pursuing his interest in animation & game design. Now I know we have the expertise right in our own backyard. Who says education need to be expensive?? ;-)

Thank u Sarini & the gang for a very informative & enjoyable trip.

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