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January 2016 | FEER McQUEEN blog

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January 2016

Ceci n’est pas un blog post

As an Art student I was never able to portray reality. Maybe because deep down I only wanted to escape it, and facing it, meant facing life, death and lots of unstable moments in between.

I was never able to draw the right shadows and proportions, but that did not stop me from creating my own world of doodles, fantasies and musical intervals (that happened mainly in the shower).

Or maybe I just found it useless to reproduce something that already existed. Hence, allowing the copy to replace the original.

Ceci n’est pas un Art!

For me, Art is enjoying and celebrating our existence. It is the sound of the heart pouring sentiments and every thought in the head on a blank canvas. A sanctuary, where you can escape reality for a moment, and create.

Creation.

Such a heavy word. Such a heavy duty.

With power, comes great responsibility, they say. And creation is by far the mother of all powers. As creators, we are responsible for shaping what the next generations will witness, appreciate and interact with.

And just when we think that we have the tools to be the best creators of our time, I look around, searching for the great artists, for the next Picasso or Van Gogh, and when I find none, I wonder, what has become of Art?

Today we are redefining all the rules. And maybe Art is just another aspect of life that changes and evolves with time.

For some Art is reality, for others Art is science. Some can find Art in the cycle of life, or in how humanity is designed. Art is synchronized deaths and new births. Art is technology. Art is cooking. Art is a million things. But Art is not reproduction!

Rebecca Mourani
Associate Creative Director

A never-ending conversation

Running out of words? Step into my head please, where my mind and I converse on a daily basis and somehow never run out of stuff to tell each other.

The key to success in our relationship is perpetual observation and narration. My mind and I live in a world where everything happening around us takes us further away from reality. And although they say men are from mars and women are from Venus, we really think that inside all that stereotyping the creator might have skipped a specie.

Life is grey. Not black. Nor white. Of which we are still discovering the shades.

Discovery is something!

We discover everyday. We discover how human kind keeps failing us, how harm and destruction are progressing with no ending in sight, or how lonely it can get in this huge universe.

I always wonder if past populations who suffered from intolerable injustice knew that a better day was coming.

Discovery or fear of the future?

We used to be optimistic, my mind and I. Now not so much. No worries, it doesn’t mean we have less to talk about. We enjoy more quiet moments as we teach each other how to embrace the new status quo and learn how to tackle the unknown.

We share our biggest fears and desires, the ones we are afraid to share with anyone else.

We cry when we feel like it, we get lost, we daydream and we have secret crushes!

In sum, the mind is by far the greatest listener and companion; it doesn’t judge or point fingers, it’s happy when you are and not so happy when you are not. Honestly, I would literally lose my mind if I lost my mind!

Rebecca Mourani
Associate Creative Director

How to Choose your 3D Application

In the world of computer graphics, there is no “best” application. The choosing process is influenced by the type of work at hand.

A certain 3D application would be most suitable for a type of work; nonetheless, almost all of today’s software are designed to accomplish most types of tasks, one way or another.

The criteria to think about when choosing your 3D software are:

  • Type of work to be done
  • Interface and ease of use
  • Budget

Some applications are expensive; others are of a lower budget while some are completely free, open source.

One of these free 3D applications Blender, is getting more advanced every year, yet stays for free.

https://www.blender.org

When it comes to paid software, the decision making would happen based on the “type of work” and “Ease of Use”.

Two of the main 3D applications are, sadly, from the same company: Autodesk. It is inconvenient because no matter how much they are interested in pushing those software, the competition inside the mother company is not the same as an external one.

The two main applications from Autodesk are “3Ds Max” and “Maya”.

www.autodesk.com/products/maya

www.autodesk.com/products/3ds-max

Everyone has their own opinion to which one does a better job; nonetheless, 3Ds Max is leaning, with its annual updates, more towards the world of Architectural Visualization, while Maya towards Animated Movies and VFX.

The upside to them being under the same company is that the migration from one to the other is relatively straight forward, and can interact with other software from Autodesk like Mudbox (digital sculpting) and Motionbuilder (3D character animation) which is helping me personally move from 3Ds Max to Maya.

At the end of the day, it really goes down to whichever software you are more drawn to when you weigh those criteria, since the more comfortable you feel with the application, the better the quality of your work will be.

Giuseppe Boschiero
Technical Director & 3D Generalist

How to create engaging and relevant video content

Short online videos are invading all social media channels, proving to be very effective sources of engagement. Video content is indeed a very strong tool of storytelling that has been used by most international brands and presents various benefits:

  • Short Length: Most people who stumble upon them will watch them because they usually don’t exceed 2min.
  • Entertainment: Regardless of their types, whether they are short documentaries or mini-series, videos in their moving and dynamic nature entertain audiences.
  • Credibility Source: Videos give brands more credibility according to recent research and label them as trustworthy.
  • Instant: This type of videos is instant; especially with Smartphones, they can be shot and edited on the spot.
  • Low Cost: As opposed to advertising spots, video content doesn’t have to cost a lot, due to its instant nature and social purpose.

Creating video content for brands is fun, exciting and challenging at the same time. Every brand needs to have its own style of videos that tell the same theme overall in a consistent way. Below are tips to consider when creating video content for any brand:

  1. Have a list of stories: Before starting creating videos, make sure you have a list of stories about the brand to tell your audience.
  2. One main promise: Regardless of the story your video is telling, make sure that it falls under your brand’s promise to make it relevant and unique.
  3. One target audience: Stick to the main audience of the brand, tell them what they want to hear. Put yourself in their shoes and ask yourself: “Would I want to watch this video?”
  4. Tone of voice: Just like it should tell one promise, your video should follow the tone of voice of your brand of course.
  5. Create a structure: If you are creating a series of videos under one continuous format, make sure to have a common structure overall. Thus you will guarantee consistency and people will know that these videos are under the same campaign.
  6. Simplicity: Keep it simple, feasible and understandable.
  7. Keep it short: If you want audiences to actually watch your video and engage with it or share it, don’t let it exceed 1min 30secs. The optimal length is 45secs.
  8. Be original: Although you will be reflecting one promise as explained, you need to stay original and come up with new and creative stories.
  9. Keep it interesting: Use emotions or humor to keep people interested in watching and make them feel personally targeted.
  10. Enjoy it: After all you’re making a movie.

So here you have them, some tips to make engaging and interesting video content. Don’t be afraid to experiment and always keep in mind that you are telling stories to create relationships.

 

Tony Raad
Content Creator and Creative Writer

Why do you see SEO everywhere!

For 3 years now SEO is my partner in crime. Most of the people when asking me “what do you do?” and get to hear “SEO” echo in my answer, they stand still and have a freeze moment; then the famous question suddenly pops: “what does that mean?”

I bet you are wondering what it means too. I will give you the quick short answer stuck in my mind. SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization and it is the process used to increase the amount of visitors to your website organically, by obtaining a high ranking placement in search result pages such as Google and Yahoo that you use every day.

This is the definition in general, but I can talk for hours about its benefits and how to gain traffic without paying a penny; but that would be too much details for you to know.

But Honestly I am starting to notice that SEO is becoming more and more familiar to you people, and everyone is seeing it everywhere because all digital media agencies are starting to discover its importance and benefits and are using it in their projects!

There are a lot of exciting things that I see in SEO. But what I like the most, is how it feeds my curiosity when searching for keywords just to see how the same research on the same topic can differ from a country to another. And most importantly I like to know what people look for when they surf the internet!

You would be absolutely surprised to know for example, that the famous Turkish series “العشق الاسود” have a search volume in Lebanon six times higher than in Turkey (Arabic and Turkish).

Yes, it is enjoyable, but the worst part is waiting for results, since SEO campaigns take at least 4 months to start showing results. So you need to be patient before getting yourself into this new free solution!

Want to know what’s next in Digital Media?

Mia Rouphael
Digital Marketeer