An Illustration of Digital Dementia

Computers and smartphones make everyday life easier – but it also leads to a reduction in mental arithmetic and memory performance: digital dementia

Computers and new media are responsible for significant changes in human behavior: an entire generation of students is increasingly plagued by shortened attention spans and concentration disorders. An ominous threat, referred to as ‘digital dementia’, is spreading throughout all classes of society.

Media design student Felix used digital dementia as the topic for his bachelor thesis. He created an explanatory film about digital dementia, its causes and what can be done against it. He created the project using Cinema 4D – a program he knows very well from his work on a previous project. The digital dementia project would differ from his previous project in that he would have to complete it independently, without the benefit of having a project partner.

Felix wanted to create a mix of 3D elements and motion graphics, and after he completed a script using the various resources he had researched, he designed visuals that could be realized within the framework of a one-man project. Felix decided to use a low-poly look, which could be quickly modeled and was ideal for use with motion graphics animations.

Felix added life to his elements by using dynamic objects that jiggled when they were enlarged. In addition, a range of various deformers was used to put the animated objects in motion.

What really helped the workflow were the Timeline and the Curve Editor, which made it easy to modify animation curves. “There’s constantly movement in the film. Each shot contains objects that rotate, pop into view, tumble in front of the camera, slide in from the side and so on. Each object has its own movement giving it its unique animation. Coordinating these movements as a whole was one of the major challenges of this project,” remembers Felix.

The next step was to determine which colors and materials should be applied to the objects and backgrounds. Felix worked extensively with the Cel shader, which he placed in the textures’ Luminance channel. “If a material only uses the Luminance channel it appears very flat and lights have a very limited effect on them. Almost no color gradations or shadows are generated. The Cel shader let me win back these color gradations and shadows as well as highlights while being able to maintain the desired illustrated look,” explains Felix. This method made it possible for him to carry the look of the low-poly models over to the textures and set this forth in color and material design.

Rendering was done in several phases because each scene was rendered in and of itself. The TIFF sequences that were output were loaded into After Effects for editing. These sequences had alpha channels, an AO pass and a depth pass for objects that were combined, color corrected, had audio tracks and sound design added, which were all brought together in After Effects to create the final film.

Felix Drösslers Website:

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