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GMUNK

GMUNK whose original name is Bradley G Munkowitz is is an American designer, director and photographer. He is a visionary whose imagination and innovation span a wide variety of mediums, establishing himself as one of the world's best graphic design directors.

Personal

GMUNK was born on the 26th of November ,1975 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, to Canadian parents Alan Grosh and Rachel Owa having an elder brother. He spent a good part of his childhood in Minneapolis before moving to California when he was 18 years old.Though he was imaginative as a child, he first studied Oceanography at the University of Arizona. He received the latter part of his education at Humboldt State University in Arcata, where he studied Fine art and Filmmaking for six years while also developing extra dendrites in his brain. He moved to London after graduation to work in the interactive industry. He focused on interfaces, web design, and digital media for about three years after college, doing a lot of Flash work, and it was through his Blog gmunk.com that he gained a reputation for creating interactive environments. He eventually ended up in Los Angeles, where he worked his way into motion graphics and ad directing by working hard and knowing the right people.

Relationship

His fiancée is an Illustrator, a very creative illustrator with a strong work ethic. It's basically the only reason their friendship works and she's just as busy as he is and they collaborate. The duo turns on the music and disappears into their respective studios to dance together, and it's the most amazing thing ever. [3] It's the most amazing thing ever. GMUNK has said that there is no way he will ever be with someone who does not appreciate the amount of effort that must be put in and the commitment to his art, and she understands that they're both chasing their dreams. [2]

Career

In the early 2000s, he began his career in Flash Animation and Design, working with the freaks at Vir2L Studios in Rockville, Maryland and London, England.[8]  Before moving to San Francisco, California, he worked for the motion graphics companies BUCK, Prologue, and Digital Domain in Los Angeles, where he directed the User interface and holograms for films such as Tron:Legacy, Oblivion, and others. GMUNK began his career as a Design Director for Autofuss, a Bot & Dolly sister company specializing in robotics and projection mapping, where he directed the 'Box' short film demonstrating projection mapping's capabilities. GMUNK left Autofuss after it was purchased by Google and went into freelancing. He is currently represented by Tool of North America and has directed short films such as Chamber and automobile advertisements for clients such as Audi.

Some of his favorite projects during his career were certainly the Design Direction for the Holograms and Opening Titles for the Feature Film Tron: Legacy, as well as working as the Design Director on the Projection Mapping film BOX, which blew up the Internets a few years back, as both projects taught him more than any of the others together.[7]

He is now a Director and Designer based in Hackney, London since moving from San Francisco.Over the past few years, GMUNK has mostly directed commercials and music videos; prior to that, he worked in the motion graphics business for the previous 10 years, freelancing and staffing as a Design Director for several of the world's leading motion studios whilst concurrently accumulating a wealth of expertise. [9]

One of the proudest thing I directed were many parts of animation, titles and UI in Tron Legacy.

GMUNK is a visionary who has established himself as one of the world's best graphic design directors, with his talent and ingenuity across a wide variety of mediums.

His signature look is enigmatic, atmospheric, and spiritual, much like the Munky himself, using a combination of psychedelic themes and richly textured palettes. [10]

His culture stems from his ability to understand while still being uncomfortable. He is still looking for innovative ways to adapt his architecture foundation to new mediums and collaborate with new people. He enjoys nothing more than collaborating with the people he cares about to see what their collective strengths can produce.Short films, installations, music videos, Television advertisement, fine art exhibits, title sequences, and other motion design technologies are also examples of the fruits of these labors. [11]

His dissertation also explores concepts of culture, the subconscious, and humanity's relationship with technology.

GMUNK has agents in Europe and North America that demonstrate his work to agencies, brands, and other businesses, which has been very beneficial in getting commercial work started. [12]

Through this direction, the London-based designer hopes to establish a signature style and technique that distinguishes him from the competition, resulting in a distinct identity that elevates his work to the next level, making it something advertisers and agencies can search out as new and current. [13]

As a result of his tactics, he has been able to partner with impressive brands such as Audi and GoPro.[14]

When asked in an interview how he makes such incredible designs with computer graphics, GMUNK had this to say;

There isn’t a path to follow other than just subscribing to an incredibly hard work ethic, and an unwavering thirst for learning, growing and experimenting within your own sensibilities. It’s easy to say don’t follow the money-earning potential and stay true to your own aesthetic, but we all have to pay the bills etc, it’s always a tough balance.

Transition from interactive to motion graphics

The artist claims that the transition was made due to the constraints of the immersive format, such as having to work with very limited file sizes in order for users to use it, and, of course, the slow playback problems that come with attempting to get so much data through.[16]  He decided to concentrate solely on the artistic side of things, knowing that he'd be making something that people might only watch and that would play flawlessly. [15]

He has, however, considered returning to immersive work now that it has evolved into topics like installation art and concert visuals. [18] With holographic simulations, immersive sculpture, data visualization, and the maturation of mobile platforms, the stage is now set to combine motion graphics and a reliable experience of interactive aspects without having to think about the distribution channel. [17]

GMUNK's role in TRON:Legacy

Bradley Munkowitz, best known as GMUNK, was the lead animated graphics designer on Disney's "TRON: Legacy." For director Joseph Kosinski and visual effects supervisor Eric Barba, he recruited and directed a team of GFX all-stars who conceived, planned, and animated nearly 10 minutes of UI sequences and Holograms at Digital Domain.

Prominent graphics task encountered during Tron; Legacy

Rectifier Extraction

The Disc Rectifier extraction scene was one of the most visible graphics tasks. Clu gets his filthy hands on Flynn's disk and takes it into the rectifier to retrieve all of the data in one scene. The aim was to view the data as a messy assemblage at first, then organize it into concentric rings of decoded data later. Since Flynn, the developer of the TRON universe, wanted his disc defrag diagram to look like an otherworldly disc defrag data representation, GMUNK and his team mainly researched disc defragmentation diagrams and tried to modernize the aesthetic. They devised a visual language that was more realistic and incredibly informative. Even though the core framework is told by the disc defrag diagram, dlew flexed his moGraph muscles to the max, working with compositing supervisor Sonja Burchard to bloom the graphics with a beautiful shallow depth of field, making it sound even more extraordinary and realistic.

Opening Title Sequence

The opening title sequence, according to GMUNK, was the most difficult in terms of intensity. TRON's original title sequence is likely also one of his all-time favorite graphic title sequences. The series is an epitome of perfection, with a simplistic yet graphically dense style that is particularly appropriate for the time span. The team's first instinct was to cram as much detail as possible into their section of the OT series, resulting in the most epic city construct ever seen on television.

Karsten Schmidt, a code artist, was brought in to assist with the previs on how the city will be built, with sliders to monitor their actions and how the lines will communicate with the houses. The level of complexity was driven even higher in the animation process, with the streets being filled with fascinating grid-based geometry patterns and the blocks eventually forming from these initial patterns. And for the homes, every single window was drawn as the structures took shape.

The whole thing was animated by hand in Cinema 4D, with each keyframe carefully weighted to follow the VO and punctuate key phrases. The team was all set to put on a spectacular display of attention to detail. However, as the series progressed, it became increasingly simple, resulting in a rather tasteful, almost minimalist aesthetic. Joe is a minimalist at heart!

Interview with GMUNK on TRON: Legacy

Q: Can you talk a little about your background?

I was born and raised in Minneapolis and moved out to California when I was 18. I attended Humboldt State University up in Arcata and I studied Fine Arts and Filmmaking there for 6 years while cultivating some extra dendrites in my brain. Upon graduation I moved to London to work in interactive. I worked on interfaces, web design and interactive media, doing a lot of Flash work for about 3 years after college, and that’s where I got a reputation for building interactive experiences through my site gmunk.com. I finally ended up in LA, and got into motion graphics and commercial directing through working hard and knowing the right people to make it happen.

Q: How did you get involved in “TRON: Legacy?”

I knew [director] Joe Kosinski through a mutual friend from New York, back in 2001, who had worked for him at KD Labs. But I didn’t actually work with him until a few years later when I did an animated UI for a Hummer commercial that he was directing. That was the first time that I really worked with him, and we had a lot of fun together. It was a natural fit, our two minds — mine completely hyperactive and on permanent ffwd, and his wickedly brilliant and under control.For the TRON gig, he hit me up a year before my actual start date, as originally we were talking about me doing the on-set graphics for the shoots.

In the end, that got outsourced to a different company. But a year later he brings me in and shows me a video clip that I’ll never forget. It was called “hologram_REF.mov,” and it was all this previs of the hologram sequences for the movie that we were being asked to do; it was like 8 minutes of content… And I’m all, “we’re gonna need to build a GFX black-ops swat team for this…”

Q: What was the scope of the project?

It started as about 8 minutes of content and our original booking was for three or four months. Eight minutes became 12 minutes, and the GFX team started to inform Digital Domain’s (DD) Houdini team on some sequences as well, like the fireworks and portal climax. And then they ask, “Can you do the graphic portion of the opening titles?” Insane! Of course there was never the word ‘No’ in any of these conversations, so it ended up being a year and a couple months for the entire booking, me going the full duration and a couple team-members on rotation. We were so inspired and so up for anything they threw at us – it was such a great gig.

Q: What was the working process like? How did the designs evolve?

It was a really nice organic creative process working with such high-level creatives as Joe and visual effects supervisor Eric Barba. We definitely came away from it feeling like no idea was compromised too much. In the commercial world, you’ll throw up all sorts of ideas during the pitch — but often ad agencies have a very set vision of what they or the client wants, so they won’t let you flex those ideas and explore as much during the initial phases. Whereas with Joe, he supported every idea we threw at him, and wanted us to develop them further. He pushed our creative in the right direction.

Early on we would get a bit more time with Joe. He would come and sit down at our computers and we would show him stuff, talk, and sketch in our sketchbooks with him. Joe was very accessible during that process and it really helped bring the graphics ‘to their maximum potential.’ Towards the end of the gig, when he was getting a lot busier with the sound design and finishing the movie, we would post dailies and look at it together with Joe and all the creative leads from DD. So of course, then everyone started to chime in. We called it “the firing squad” — it wasn’t as awesome.

Q: <strong>Can you talk about some of the different interfaces in the film</strong>

This sequence was definitely the most conceptually challenging for us and the one I’m most proud of. It started with a very loose brief from Joe — he wanted the representation of Quorra’s DNA to be “beautiful, like a flower” and something that has ‘never been seen before.’ We were told Flynn was to identify the ‘damaged code’ in her DNA and then extract it, healing her data with a blow, allowing her arm to grow back… Because she’s an ISO — she’s one of a kind — we wanted to take her DNA and make it super-unique, resembling something from nature, yet still remaining very graphic and obviously holographic. We asked ourselves, “What would the DNA of an otherworldly being look like?” And “how the hell does Flynn traverse the layers of her data foundation to access it?”

For design references we looked at a lot of Ernst Haeckel, the German Biologist who rendered these really amazing organisms that were like graphic prismic coral, for lack of a better explanation. He was one of our primary inspirations because we wanted all of our designs to look and behave like they could be living organisms, like flowers, while retaining some graphic structural rules. We also researched infinite fractals, hexagonal mesh cages and studied data visualizations of voronoi noise algorithms and isometric surfaces. In the end, all of this research informed the designs used for the container that held her DNA.

We presented to Joe a bunch of different design examples and a sequence. The presentation was like a little science presentation. I’ll never forget that night, late after dailies, and all the DD producers were anxious to see what the hell they’d been paying so much for, haha… Thankfully, after asking me what I’d been smoking, Joe ate it up and it was blue-light forward.

The sequence started with opening up the data through navigating a hexagonal outer mesh, or the ‘HexSphere’ as we coined it… We wanted to align with the hexagon metaphor used throughout the film, so the initial layer needed to have the most commonality with its surrounding world. Once Flynn breaks through the outer layers of the HexSphere, he reaches the IsoSurface — which we called the ‘Contour Heart.’ It was a Nimoy creation, with our direction, and quite amazing. Too bad it’s only on screen for like 5 seconds. The IsoSurface holds Quorra’s DNA, so to break through the IsoSurface, Flynn uses a Voronoi noise algorithm, wading through a web-like interface to break open the DNA.

Then the DNA forms (with some amazing sound design — thank you Joe and Co.), Flynn ultimately finds the damaged code, and, as he releases it into the wind, it flutters away. (Joe insisted that the damaged code have wings that fluttered like a butterfly — TRON world has it all, man.)

Looking back on the sequence, I mean, the design could have been the most complicated thing you’d ever seen. It could have been hundreds of layers all at the same time pushing through — like “Iron Man 2” craziness. But instead we chose to make it more slow moving and elegant, with each element carrying a heavy and substantial feeling. Every single detail that we put into it had a purpose — just say no to greeble. (Although, I still think the IM2 motion graphics are the sickest ever done to date.)

Q: Were there any design references from the original “TRON” that you brought into Legacy?

A few, sure. In the original film, at the end when they defeat Master Control and the world comes alive with light — they show the mountains and the lines with light points on them cleansing the world and making all those beautiful geometric patterns and shapes. It’s like a Syd Mead moment. We referenced that over and over because, aesthetically, we thought they were the nicest lookn’ frames from the original. There was some nice animation they did with the Disc game courts – how they animated on and off – that we referenced for the Disc Game scoreboard and in our concept art for the Portal Climax… We referenced the graphics on the wall in Zark’s main ship for its amazing design and density. And we used the supplied Encom font for a lot of our interfaces… But for the majority of our sequences, we stayed away from the original in our design references — just so the graphics in this film could be their own thing.

Q: How did you approach designing interfaces in the TRON world, a world that’s inside the computer? What does it even mean to have an interface inside a digital world? Do these interfaces need to hold-up in the real world?

Oooh really good question… You know, I gotta be honest, we never had a briefing where the rules of the world were defined.. Nobody ever told us exactly what can and can’t go down in TRONland, so we just made up our own rules regarding holographic design and interfaces, which were: they are very hi-res projections that can be controlled, interacted with, spun, flicked, plucked etc; they give off a lot of pure light and come from a natural technological foundation; and Flynn, since he was the creator, could call up these interfaces wherever and whenever, on surfaces, in the air, on peoples discs, etc.

During the Solar Sailer sequence, we got to really push the design language because he doesn’t really need to use an interface, he created everything… He knows exactly where he needs to go, so the interface is basically around his hand as it moves and he directs the interface with simple gestural commands — everything directly at his fingertips. He can move and touch and tap anything in space and an interface immediately comes to him. We did that for the elevator, too: when he stops the elevator and he throws his hand at the screen, we just put an interface in his hand…

Of course there were a lot of tasks that were by-the-book graphic design, for tablets, projection screens, glass panels etc… The aesthetic we used for those interfaces was a very clean, grid-based UI — like all the other stuff you see out there.

Q: Anything you’d like to re-do, or do differently?

There were a couple tasks that I didn’t feel we nailed… Definitely, the scoreboard, the first graphic task we had. I felt we could have made it more natural and ethereal, like our later designs. The final result was just too much simple graphic design and not much else, although we did put a lot of time and effort making sure it was functional and that it properly simulated the bracket behaviors of match play…

But overall, I would love to keep working on the scoreboard.For the opening titles, I wanted to pump more detail into our graphic portion. I think it came out too simple for what it could have been. We had a really sick design for the linework that got pushed in a different direction. Conceptually, it was a better direction, but the design suffered… I mean, we’ve received a lot of positive feedback on our part of the sequence, but we definitely would’ve pushed it further if we got another shot at it …

Q: Any interesting Easter eggs in the graphics?

Yes indeed. We put a bunch of our personal icons in the UI’s, and our names all over the boardroom scene, on the projection, the light table, and when Marv shuts down, which won the award for outstanding achievement… Mr. dlew, our lead animator, got his name in a frame that’s legitimately visible and beyond, os12dlew forever and ever…

Q: Thank you for your time to do this interview.

My pleasure David, hopefully I made some sense of it all. TRON: Legacy was an amazing experience and we’re excited to share our design process with the community…

Tron Legacy; Challenges encountered

GMUNK discussed during an interview session about some challenges faced by himself and the team during the making of this project.Beginning with the challenges of bringing a group of motion graphics professionals into DD's high-end visual effects pipeline. Bringing depth of field (DOF) and motion blur into our renders was a major challenge. Since some of their scenes were filmed with wide apertures, all had an unrealistic DOF, making it difficult for us to get everything looking right, particularly getting approval from the vfx supervisor, "master blaster" Eric Barba. The team had to move from Cinema 4D to V-Ray as their renderer, as well as port all of our openFrameworks software to Houdini. Later, they had to call in their own Houdini master to build and make the DNA from Quorra in order to avoid sabotage.

Another issue arose as a result of the team's lack of knowledge of sound design or music, which prevented them from animating something to a certain rhythm or audio hit. He has been recording and animating to pre-design tracks for over a decade as an audio engineer, but not having the audio guidance from the start proved difficult. To make up for it, they added a slew of animation prompts, hoping they'd nail the sound design later. And seeing the sound design they came up with for some of the feedback sequences was such a delight that it totally altered the direction of some of their work.

Since they did the hand shooting before they got engaged, choreographing the actor's hand performances as they communicate with the visuals was a major challenge for them. GMUNK believes that when shooting the hands, particularly Flynn's during the Solar Sailor sequence and the EC Elevator clip, the visuals should have been taken into account a little bit more. Since a lot of their scenes were filmed with wide apertures, the emphasis wasn't really on the graphics at important plot points on some of their shots. Furthermore, character eye lines varied from shot to shot, and hand movements were often sloppy, which they had to adapt to the graphics animation.

Tron Legacy; Tools Utilized

GMUNK and his team used the Adobe Design tools, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, AfterEffects, etc. They also used Cinema 4D, a 3D software geared toward the motion graphics industry and featuring the mad MoGraph plugin suite. They used it a lot, and dlew was in charge of rendering a bunch of main graphics in c4d V-Ray for proper DOF and motion blur. Maya was also used for some pipeline upgrades, and Houdini was used for the DNA and as a host for Nimoy's openFrameworks programs, which were ported over to Houdini by "The King," effects animator Andy King. Bringing their things deep into the special effects pipeline was certainly the way to go.

During the light cycle series, the fireworks were performed in this manner. The architecture and behaviors of the fireworks, as well as the shape and all other attributes, were first created in an openFrameworks app with Nimoy. GMUNK built slider presets with the main interface settings, which were then ported to Houdini, which run them exactly the same until the software was ported over, and they refined the app with Joe's input. Since the team was able to precisely recreate the drawings, they made them out of Houdini using the DD pipeline and sent them to comp.

Tron Legacy; The Team

The team was no doubt a composition of intellectual experts all proficient in their various disciplines. A team of not more than five and also less than seven on the rotation scale.The team is led by GMUNK, who served as Joe / DD's point man as well as the team's Creative Director. For the most part, Jake Sargeant was another lead artist and GMUNK's right-hand man, as they collaborated closely together to determine the production and animation directions for individual scenes. David Lewandowski, or "dlew," was the lead animator on the bulk of the scenes and stayed in the trenches until the very end. Others included Adam Swaab, a wicked-awesome Houdini artist; Joseph Chan, a designer/animator and a supportive hand; and the core mojo, Josh Nimoy, a brilliant code-artist who designed all manner of little graphic apps to use at both the conceptual and development stages. Of course, since there was so much to plan and produce, many members of the team served in various roles. For example, the Solar Sailor series will see all of them credited as designers.

Top Gun Maverick (May 2022)

When Joseph Kosinski calls, the response is always a resounding "f*ck yes." The uber-legendary filmmaker first contacted Munkowitz in 2018 and asked for his presence to reunite the band and go on yet another visual adventure for one of his amazing feature films. This time, the task was to conceptualize and design each and every user interface for his upcoming blockbuster movie Top Gun Maverick.
The objective was to create stunning military-style UI/UX for a range of apps while simultaneously clearly conveying an educational visual tale of the perilous flight path that Maverick and his team of pilots had to follow to achieve the mission at the film's conclusion.
Toros "Stallion" Kose and Nicolas "Penetrator" Lopardo, two of Munky's most devotedly trusted UI Designers, jumped in with their US Navy Dog Tags and sweaty torsos and retooled their customary high-detail science-fiction bezerker style through the lens of a more gritty, functionality-focused military style for the package of work.

Other Works

Audi A3 Sportback September 2014 ––
BOX September 2013

Audi A3 Sportback (September 2014)

Audi approached Autofuss to create a spot that symbolized the unity of art and engineering reflected in their cars, inspired by the innovative application of architecture and technology shown in BOX. Autofuss used their specialized 3D projection mapping skills to turn a pair of robotically powered canvasses into giant lenses that would augment Audi's new Audi A3 sport back.

Autofuss highlighted a particular feature collection available in the new Sportback by rotating the mechanized vehicle between these two lenses, and took the task a step further by producing the results basically and capturing the entire spot in-camera.

Munko was involved as Creative Director for the entire spot, commanding the extremely talented design team of Jason English Kerr, Michael Rigley, Ryan Chen, and Christoffer Bjerre, each of whom was in charge of a separate part of the spot. Munkowitz was also instrumental in developing the Augmentation Lenses idea and directing the month-long pitch that resulted in the job being awarded.

It was a major endeavor, requiring the collaboration of a large number of creative individuals to create an incredibly intricate dance of architecture and technology, which is at the heart of both the Autofuss and Audi brands.

OBLIVION GFX (April 2013 )

Munkowitz was welcomed back to the GFX party by the mighty Joseph Kosinski, this time for his spring hit feature film JOE-BLIVION. Munko recruited and led another super team of GFX mercenaries and plunged into the lovely confines of Crater Lake Productions to produce the aforementioned load of OBLIVION material for the script.
wiki
The Graphic Language briefing emphasized simplicity and minimalism, with a vivid, seamless color scheme that would work well on both a dark and bright background. The role was to represent the TET Mainframe computer's modernized sensibilities and assist the characters with key components of their duties on Earth, such as checking all Vitals on the ground with Vika's Light Table or assorted diagnostics in the air with Jack's Bubbleship. For good measure, the team also developed and animated all of the HUD UI for the film's numerous robots and weapons, creating a cohesive visual language that made all of the interfaces with a loving cohesion seldom seen in these massive-budget Science fiction productions.

Vika's Light Table, which helped her to direct Jack Harper through his tasks as a Drone repairman in the field of duty, was one of the most commonly seen Graphic elements. Since the table was designed practically, the majority of the graphics were shot in-camera, giving the concept a lovely optical brush (thx Joe & Claudio). There were four screens on the table: Vika used a main map to keep track of the Bubbleship, Drone, and Scav's positions, as well as a Drone Display to keep track of their vitals and fuel levels.

Finally, a Forecast Screen displayed the Tet's online status as well as crucial vitals of the ever-changing weather systems. A Hydro Rig monitor displayed the selection progress for the massive resource gatherers across the ocean.

A couple of extra tasks required the team to create another Map Diagnostic screen on a milky-white breakfast table top, as well as a few main separate windows that analyzed Rogue Signal feeds that were important plot points in the film's arc. [29]

BOX (September 2013 )

Munkowitz was charged with Design Directing a completely original piece called BOX while working with the insanely mad geniuses at Bot & Dolly in beautiful San Francisco. The piece was intended to be a technology demonstration, but Munkowitz and his team soon recognized its artistic potential and turned it into a Design and Performance piece. [30]

Thanks to the very rare mix of talent and gear behind the doors of the B&D factory, the resulting short film is a one-of-a-kind visual and technical accomplishment, and it has gained unexpected accolades and recognition online and on the festival circuit – all thanks to the intense amount of love and enthusiasm put into the movie.

Adidas Climachill featuring Gareth Bale (March 2015)

Munkowitz was given the chance to direct a short film for Adidas Amsterdam showcasing their most sophisticated cooling gear, the Cilmachill collection. They also offered the chance to pair the shirt's innovations with Real Madrid C.F. footballer Gareth Bale, one of the world's best athletes.

The resulting video, which was created by Munko's UK reps Ground Control, saw the crew travel to Madrid to concept and shoot Gareth Bale in the lab, as well as to the desert for background plates. The film was completed at Glassworks in London.

Two swarms descend on Bale and shape main portions of the Climachill shirt around his neck, according to the account. As a result of this operation, he cools down significantly as his success improves, revealing the benefits of the apparel's technology. With epic wide-angle opening scenes, cinematic reveals of the swarm in front of the sweltering sun, and captivating macro detail sequences of the aluminum discs and titanium weave developing along the layers of his clothing, the film offers a rich variety of shots.

The palette would be very warm at first, with the scorching sun playing an important role in the studio shoot's storyline and lighting design.

Audi A5 – Pure Imagination (January 2017)

Via his lovely reps at Nexus Studios, BBH London got Mr. Munkowitz on board to direct an extra-saucy Audi A5 Global Campaign. The advert, which was created with The Mill London over the course of a six-month manufacturing period, recreates the illusion of a "super-computer" and attempts to address the question, "What if artificial intelligence could dream?"

Beginning at what seems to be the machine's heart, the film takes audiences on a surreal trip through a landscape of data cloth, anamorphic light circles, graceful action, and an alternate universe, with segments of constant and fast-moving shots to maintain a sense of suspense and tension in the dreamscape.

The team had to use a production direction that put the audience into the mind of the most sophisticated intellect on Earth to get the most out of the plot and really catch both the feeling and visual wonder. The path through the dream world had to have true soul and a building sense of humanity, as the organic aspects of human existence had to take form inside the dream, to sell the AI appearance not only as a setting, but as a character.

Another major difficulty was designing a fantasy world that would appeal to a wide, commercial audience, so the aesthetic palette had to be approachable but also being abstract and moody enough to satisfy the artistic directors. As a result, the team went forward with the design ethos of Light as Data, with its vibrance and luminance serving as an aspect that would create an illuminated world that didn't feel too intimidating or gloomy, despite the fact that the data-driven environments would be made up of so many light elements.

Technique-wise, they effectively converted the anamorphic lensing aesthetic into a vivid CG universe, distorting the bokeh fields with the data arrays appearing in an incredibly shallow Depth of Field, emphasizing the dream-like qualities of out of focus illumination. Since the story was about an Artificial Intelligence making their own fantasy universe, the team needed to believably fabricate this illuminated Lidar World.

This resulted in ultra-dense point clouds creating all of the objects in the scenes, allowing them to smoothly migrate from each thought, and then rendering the illuminated assets with intense lensing loaded with anamorphic techniques including Dolly Zooms, Spherical Wrap Distortions, and Rack Focusing with wide-open apertures to create the Illuminated Data Scapes.

The Munky King (August 2017)

Munkowitz and Munkys have always been a thing; the two have shared a passion – bordering on obsession – for over 20 years. So when Munko fell in love with an animatronic Monkey Suit from renowned studio Animated Extras while residing in London in 2017, he realized it was time for the world to see a character who had long resided in his mind: The Munky King. Munkowitz had envisioned the King as the hero of a series of short films and music videos, but they were all too expensive to produce.

Munko recognized that having an idea remain unexplored would erode one's soul, so he embarked on a self-funded proof of concept – akin to an Art Project – to explore concepts of enigma, wonder, discovery, primitive desire, symbiosis, and metamorphosis. Munkowitz attempted to express the emotion of storytelling through a collection of still photographs using bold, evocative colors, sensual textures, and the use of light and volumetric atmosphere to sculpt space and construct a beautifully captured landscape of folkloric mystique. He assembled his city's best collaborators and procured the notorious animatronic Monkey Suit.

The full story line can be accessed via this link; https://gmunk.com/The-Munky-King

GMUNK joins JOJX for Spots, Branded Content, Music Videos

In February 2019, GMUNK joined up with JOJX's roster for exclusive live-action exposure of advertisements, branded entertainment, and music videos in the United States.Tool of North America has previously done GMUNK's live-action work, and the company continues to represent him for immersive content. [28]

Installations, print exhibits, animations, music videos, advertisements, and diverse aspects of award-winning graphic design are all examples of GMUNK's imagination and ingenuity. GMUNK's art often focuses around topics of metaphysics and the identity of human relationship to technology, fusing science-fiction themes, psychedelic palettes, and realistic in-camera effects. [4]

GMUNK has been characterized as a "real modern day maker" by Jackson Morton, EP and co-founder of JOJX. [5]

His ability to switch between mediums and modes of speech is exceptional. He moves freely between video, architecture, installation, illumination, and action, bringing these mediums together in new ways. We founded this organization because we wanted to be able to help a filmmaker who pushes limits and tests norms.”

The music video for CamelPhat's "Breathe," which GMUNK created with JOJX, is his most recent effort. Depression, loneliness, emergence, self, and eventual development are all concepts explored in the film. Infiniti's installation at the 2018 Concours d'Elegance, which used cutting-edge projection mapping to celebrate Infiniti's Japanese heritage; Dolby Asteria, a site-specific 3-act mobile AR experience for iOS devices synchronized with a 12-minute film that plays on a loop on a 64-foot LED wrap-around gallery wall; and the immersive robotic and light project Collectibles from the GMUNK brand. [27]

Telestron, an interactive robotic and light projection theatre; and Infiniti, an immersive project-mapped concept experience. Projects for Audi, Samsung, and Target are among GMUNK's other brand partnerships. GMUNK, who is ecstatic to be a part of JOJX, said

“My ethos has always been to push the creative boundaries of branded content and storytelling, and utilizing my diverse background in image-making to produce results people talk about and remember — it’s always been my goal to produce fresh and iconic work that resonates and leaves an impression.”

Prediction on the Future of Digital Art

GMUNK thinks that in the nearest future virtual reality, augmented reality, Mixed Realities and AI are going to play a really big role in the creative lives, talking of it as something that can’t just be avoided because the art world hasn’t been able to explore these pillars of artwork that have come to stay. [6]

Also, everything will keep improving, resolutions will keep going up, Hard Drives getting faster ,Computers and RAM improving etc, everything will just be better as the art world evolves. [26]

I can’t wait for the day VR is out of the headsets and in projections all around us — volumetric — immersive — real deal shit. Also excited for Unreal and Unity to continue to improve and real-time rendering engines getting to the point where they look as good as pre-rendered. If the world doesn’t flood and burn up, it’s a very exciting time to be a creative.

Exhibitions

OPEN EARTH FOUNDATION –– Featured Artist: Carbon Drop – 2021

ABV GALLERY –– Featured Artist: Chain Reaction – 2021

NIFTY GATEWAY –– Featured Artist: Floating Alone – 2021

NIFTY GATEWAY –– Featured Artist: Symbiocene Mythologica – 2021

RISE EXHIBITION –– Featured Artist: Sydney, Australia – 2020

ADM2019 –– Featured Artist: Hangzhou, China – 2019

TELESTRON x ROW DTLA –– Featured Artist: Los Angeles, California – 2019

DOLBY ASTERIA –– Featured Artist: Dolby HQ, San Francisco – 2018

GMUNK | MISCELLANY –– Featured Artist: LCAD, Laguna Beach – 2018

TELESTRON x DAY FOR NIGHT –– Featured Artist: Houston, Texas – 2017

MUSE Artist Empowered Philanthropy –– Featured Artist: San Francisco – 2016

ENLIGHTENED WORLD –– BOX Showcase: Mapping Festival of Girona, Spain – 2015

FROM PAPER to PIXELS –– Featured Artist: Boston, Massachusetts – 2013

PAUSE MELBOURNE –– Featured Artist: Melbourne, Australia – 2011

PIXELGALLERY BOBO EXHIBIT –– Featured Artist: Toronto, Ontario – 2010

WEBVISIONS –– Showcased Artist: Portland, Oregon – 2007

ONLINE FLASH FILM FESTIVAL –– Featured Artist: Barcelona, Spain – 2006

GOTO+PLAY FESTIVAL –– Featured Artist: Portland, Oregon – 2006

ZOOROOM / IAMSTATIC –– Featured Artist/Showcased Work: Toronto, Ontario – 2005

HARVARD SQUARE –– LumenEclipse Exhibition: Showcased Artist: Cambridge – 2005

LOGIN INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL –– Showcased Artist: Logrono City, Spain – 2005

GREENSPACE –– Featured Artist/Showcased Work: Valencia, Spain October – 2005

GOTO+PLAY FILM FESTIVAL –– Featured Artist: Portland, Oregon – 2005

MAXALOT GALLERY Viewmaster –– Showcased Artist: Barcelona, Spain – 2005

GOTO+PLAY FILM FESTIVAL –– Showcased Artist: Portland, Oregon – 2004

SOULPOLICE FILM FESTIVAL –– Showcased Artist: Oslo, Norway – 2003

ONEDOTZERO –– Featured Artist/Video Showcase: London, United Kingdom – 2003

ESC EXHIBIT –– PixelGallery Exhibition: Featured Artist: Toronto, Ontario – 2003

MADMIXER –– New Media Collective: Featured Artist: Los Angeles, California – 2002

NOT YET REALIZED –– New Media Art Exhibit: Featured Artist: Los Angeles – 2002

WEBCUTS –– Internet Film Festival: FINN movie Jury Selection: Berlin, Germany – 2002

PORTLAND FLASH FILM FESTIVAL –– Featured Artist: FINN movie: Portland, Oregon – 2002

SEATTLE INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL –– Exploding Cinema Feature: Seattle – 2002

OFFF BARCELONA –– Featured Video Installation: OFFFtheWall: Barcellona, Spain – 2002

AIGA CONFERENCE –– Featured Artist: Broadcast Design: New York – 2002

WEBCUTS –– Internet Film Festival: AREOCOAGULUM Jury Selection: Berlin – 2001

VECTORAMA Conference –– Featured Designer: Paris, France – 2001 [21]

NEWMEDIA INVISION AWARDS –– Best of Web: Gold Winner 1999: San Francisco – 1999 [20]

Photography

GMUNK has also established his name in the world of photography as his infrared photography has been seen in galleries in the United States, Russia, and on the internet. [19]

Public Speaking

He has also been involved with quite a number of speaking engagements,where he has spoken at design conferences including OFFF, FITC, OFFSET, Graphika Manila, and others. Some of which are outlined below;

  • PAUSE FEST –– Featured Speaker: Online Stream – 2021
  • GRAPHIKA MANILA –– Featured Speaker: Online Stream – 2021
  • UPLEVEL DIGITAL SUMMIT –– Featured Speaker: Online Stream – 2020
  • MOTION NORTH 37 x GMUNK & Beeple –– Online Stream – 2020
  • DIGITAL DESIGN DAYS –– Featured Speaker: Online Stream – 2020
  • ADOBE MAX –– Featured Speaker: San Francisco, California – 2019
  • ADM 2019 –– Featured Speaker: Hangzhou, China – 2019
  • NXNB –– Featured Speaker: San Francisco, California – 2019
  • FITC TORONTO –– Featured Speaker: Toronto, Ontario – 2019
  • OFFF BARCELONA –– Featured Speaker: Barcelona, Spain – 2019
  • PopUp F5 –– Featured Speaker: New York, New York – 2018
  • 4GN –– Featured Speaker: Bogota, Columbia – 2017
  • OFFF CDMX –– Featured Speaker: Mexico City, Mexico – 2017
  • OFFF BARCELONA –– Featured Speaker: Barcelona, Spain – 2017
  • TOCAME –– Featured Speaker: Munich, Germany – 2017
  • GRAY AREA FESTIVAL –– Featured Speaker: San Francisco, California – 2015
  • F5 –– Featured Speaker: New York, New York – 2015
  • FITC TORONTO –– Featured Speaker: Toronto, Ontario – 2015
  • LCAD –– Featured Speaker: Laguna Beach, California – 2015
  • FIDCR –– Featured Speaker: San Jose, Costa Rica – 2015
  • FITC TOKYO –– Featured Speaker: Tokyo, Japan – 2015 [25]

Judging

His expertise and years of experience have also fetched him panel positions on several occasions ;

  1. THE MOTION AWARDS –– Finalist Judge: Motionographer – 2020
  2. THE MOTION AWARDS –– Finalist Judge: Motionographer – 2017
  3. HOWWW CASE STUDIES –– Honorary Judge: The Craft Behind the Art – 2015
  4. ADOBE DESIGN ACHIEVEMENT AWARDS –– Honorary Judge: 2015 ADAA – 2015
  5. 99FRAMES –– Honorary Judge: 2015 99Frames Competition – 2015
  6. MAY 1ST REBOOT –– Honorary Judge: Top Reboot Competition – 2008
  7. STIFF BRANDING DESIGN COMPETITION –– Participating Judge – 2003 [24]

Trivia

GMUNK works out at the gym every morning ( Rowing Machine and Boxing ) to get a good blast of energy for the day.[22]  His work hours are normally pretty strange, as he describes them, as he begins around Noon or 1pm and finishes late late late into the evening, which fits his artistic flow a little more. He prefers it when it's dim and peaceful. [23]

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