Thursday, April 20, 2017

“The Art Behind the Game - The Ubisoft Experience" Exhibition Showcases Ubisoft Singapore's Creative Works


There have been art exhibitions hosted by game publishing company Ubisoft Singapore before, but the latest edition curated and designed by WY-TO, is the best one yet.

"The Art Behind the Game - The Ubisoft Experience" held at the National Design Centre, focuses on the Assassin's Creed franchise, which has sold over 100 million copies worldwide. One of the biggest selling game franchises of all time, Assassin's Creed offers its fans opportunities to take the "leap of faith" and fight for freedom.

The exhibition is held in partnership with DesignSingapore Council, as part of VOILAH! French Festival 2017. This year's VOILAH! festival's theme is about imagination and innovation, and the eye-catching Ubisoft event encapsulates these ideas perfectly.

Red Dot Diva attended a media preview of the exhibition earlier this week, and here are what you can expect at the event.

For starters, one simply cannot miss the biceptous, life-sized Connor Kenway statue standing guard at the entrance of the exhibition. Red Dot Diva is pretty sure he loves the attention so feel free to take many selfies with him.

There are 3 different parts for the exhibition: the history of Ubisoft, a showcase of the other memorable games produced by the company like "Prince of Persia", and finally, a tribute to Assassin's Creed, with displays of various behind the scenes aspects of the franchise.

Ubisoft Singapore has been involved with the franchise since "Assassin's Creed II". As the local team built up its resources and experience in the following years, the company became heavily involved with the "water technology" and ocean-based gameplay of "Assassin's Creed: Black Flag". So, naturally, a large part of the exhibition was related to this game title.

It is best to begin at the far right of the exhibition space where the Environment Design section is found. Here, one can view the research sketches of actual locations by the artists, and then examples of how these visual ideas were depicted in the form of paintings to be used for the game production later on.


The Story Boarding section comes next. There are a series of sketches showing actions and a sequence of events to help pre-visualize ideas for the game's storylines. There will also be a video montage of the story board images side by side with actual gameplay so that visitors can see how ideas have been translated to the final product.


In the Urban Environment Cities and Natural Environments segments, there are actual photos of the team at key locations as well as sketches and concept artwork relating to the architecture and scenes, like coastal beaches.



Gorgeous artwork of landscapes can be found here, as well as sketches by Associate Art Director of Ubisoft, Kobe Sek. According to Head of Communications Sylviane Bahr, Kobe draws many of such quick sketches while he is commuting to and from work on the MRT.



At this juncture, folks can either choose to wander further one to the Naval Design section or turn right again to check out the Fashion / Character Design huddle.

Red Dot Diva has a thing for the Character Design section as there are many portraits of pirates, including one awesome one of Blackbeard. Bad bad pirates are so darn sexy. :D



The Sound Booth that is next to the Fashion/ Character Design area is also very interesting, with lyrics of songs painted all around. Visitors will be able to listen to the many sea shantys featured in the games and watch a video of the foley artists finding ways to create and record sounds that would be used for the game. For instance, splashes during fights held in water, steamboats, anchor chains or whale sounds.

Here's a sneak peek of the fascinating video:

A post shared by Red Dot Diva (@reddotdiva) on


The sound work for Assassin's Creed: Black Flag and Syndicate were done in Singapore, and Ms. Bahr mentioned that oftentimes, staff members were called in to record as part of crowd voices, depending on what kind of accent was needed.


The spacious Naval Design section wraps up the tail end of the Assassin's Creed section, and if you have a thing for ships and vessels, this is the area you should go for.

There is a visual map of different types of ships depicting their scale in relation to each other as well as the size of a human being. The same was done with marine life, like whales and sharks.

Apparently, the first version of the shark looked "too nice" (chibi shark? hahaha) so the artists added more blood and muscle to it. And then, hunky shredded sharky seemed to bulky so they sharpened its fins for speed. Voilah, mega killer shark for the game!


Intricate drawings and plans were also done for the interior of ships! The design were done in Singapore, with the artists working with historians so that the vessels will look as authentic as possible.


Visualizations of sea battles were also painted. These four paintings were done by artists based in Singapore and Montreal, and yet they looked amazingly similar.


In niches here and there around the booths, Assassin's Creed fans have a thrill recognizing original game cases and detailed sculpted figurines like these two:


The exhibition wraps off with a cubicle about the Ubisoft family, and the Singapore teams contributed to the space by adding photos, doodles, humourous notes and several office in-jokes. "We are serious about fun," Sylvaine Bahr chuckled.


Red Dot Diva does not play video games at all, but she still enjoyed the exhibition tremendously because she appreciates the creativity and hard work that goes into productions like these. The flow of the exhibit feels organic and does its job grabbing one's attention visually at every turn.

If you already enjoy Ubisoft's game titles, especially Assassin's Creed, then you should not miss checking out this exhibition! There are many beautiful masterpieces to gawk at and a few interesting multimedia activities to enjoy, so one could geek out for a good hour or so, and it's all FREE!

 


In addition, those who aspire to learn more about game production and sign up for 2 Ubisoft workshops held in May. Click here to sign up!

“The Art Behind the Game - The Ubisoft Experience" Exhibition
Where: National Design Centre, 111 Middle Road
When: 19 April to 25 May, 2017
Time: 9 AM to 9 PM
Cost: FREE



Sunday, April 16, 2017

Get Up Close To "Game of Thrones" Pencil Microsculptures by Salavat Fidai at K+ - 22 April to 4 June 2017

HBO's insanely popular TV series "Game of Thrones" is known for portraying scenes on a grand majestic scale. As Season 7 is set to return to our screens on 17 July 2017, the battle for the Iron Throne is expected to get more intense.

However, to promote the upcoming new season, HBO Asia is offering fans a chance to view Westeros in a whole different level - a very tiny level to be exact. The company has specially commissioned Russian artist/ sculptor Salavat Fidai to carve a series of microsculptures on the tips of graphic pencil leads!

16 of these astoundingly intricate carvings will be on display at K+ Curatorial Space this coming weekend till 4 June, and it is free to attend! The sculptures include iconic images like the White Walker, Hand of the King, various different house sigils, Drogon, Three-Eyed Raven, the Oathkeeper and more!


Sunday, April 9, 2017

Glitzy 3-Day Celebration for Star Wars May the 4th 2017 at Gardens by the Bay



Local Star Wars fans would have already been aware or signed up for the first Star Wars Run held on May 6th organized by sports event management company, Esprimo.

In addition to the themed run, the company has also collaborated with the Singapore Tourist Promotion Board to make this year's May The 4th celebration into a three-day festival at Gardens by the Bay's Supertree Grove.

The galactic shindig kicks off on Thursday May 4th with appearances of Chewbacca and Kylo-Ren, a SaberTrees Light-up of the supertrees as well as the specially choreographed Garden Rhapsody Star Wars Edition light show set to the movie franchise's iconic soundtrack.

A replica of the two-legged All-Terrain Scout Transport (AT-ST) will also be standing guard at the Supertree Grove. This should be a great photo opportunity for any Star Wars fans, especially if you are dressed for the occasion!

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Be One of the Fast and Furious 8 Crew at Cathay Cineleisure!

It's time to gear up and rev those engines of sweet powerful rides as the latest movie of the Fast and Furious franchise skids into town on April 13.

Directed by F. Gary Gray (Straight Outta Compton), "Fast and Furious 8" (also called The Fate of the Furious in the U.S. market) brings familiar faces like Dom Toretto (Vin Diesel), Letty (Michelle Rodriguez), Roman (Tyrese Gibsons), Frank Petty (Kurt Russell), Luke Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) and Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham) back together again. There are also newcomers Scott Eastwood, who plays an agent and Dame Helen Mirren, who appears as Deckard and Owen Shaw's mother.

Just as things are beginning to feel normal, Dom is lured back into crime by a charismatic villainess called Cipher (Charlize Theron), who by the way, is able to control a mass of cars and machines at one time. So Cool!!! The frenetic chase takes the team from Cuba to the busy streets of New York City to the icy plains of the arctic. Will the Furious crew's "family-first" mantra be able to survive Dom's betrayal?

Now, from 31 March to 23 April 2017, you can get your very own taste of being in Dom's kickass, stunt-driving crew! Here's how:

Monday, March 20, 2017

Diva's Recap of "Ghost in the Shell" 14-Minute Preview (Spoilers!)

At a small "Ghost In The Shell" fan event last Friday, 17 March 2017, Red Dot Diva had the chance to watch a 14-minute sneak peek of the live action movie in 3D.

Despite the furore over the casting of Scarlett Johansson as Major (which is based on Motoko Kusanagi in the manga by Masamune Shirow) and "whitewashing" of the popular franchise, the film looks visually stunning. It took just a few minutes for Red Dot Diva to feel immersed in the near-future cybernetic world, and she wished it was a full movie screening instead. 

"Ghost In The Shell" is a story about a cybernetic anti-terrorist field commander Major, who is determined on going after a hacker called The Puppet Master. There may be a larger purpose to The Puppet Master's plans to take control of Hanka Corporation's artificial intelligence programs, and Major begins to uncover her past and question about her own existence.

For the live action movie, instead of The Puppet Master, the main enemy is cyborg ghost-hacker named Kuze (Michael Pitts). Or rather, Kuze will a mix of the two anime characters in the upcoming film directed by Rupert Sanders.

( WARNING : SPOILERS AHEAD )

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Game of Thrones Season 7 Arrives on HBO Asia 17 July 2017, 9 AM

Winter is Coming. And so is War!

After that shocking "Game of Thrones" S6 season finale where a whole bunch of people went Kaboom!, the cruel and scheming Cersei ended up being crowned as Queen of the Seven Kingdoms. From then on, things are just going to get more intense.

The convergence of the different houses in Season 7 will unfold in just seven episodes as the different players focus on King's Landing. This is ominously depicted in the first official teaser made entirely of sigils belonging to the main Houses at play - the Lannisters, the Targaryens, the Starks, the Baratheons and the Tyrells, plus one more powerful game changer - the White Walkers.

Will the Great Wall hold? Or will it all come tumbling down?




Thursday, March 9, 2017

Kinokuniya Singapore's Main Store at Ngee Ann City Has A New Front!



YAYY!

After a few months of renovation works, Kinokuniya's flagship store at Ngee Ann City opened its new frontage yesterday.

The book store - which has a large and loyal following - acquired the tenancy of the adjacent space which was previously occupied by a restaurant. Kinokuniya Main Store now takes up about 38,000 square feet of retail space, expanding its Level 4 space for more books, more collectibles and more goodies!

About 20 eager fans waited at the main entrance yesterday morning for the shutters to scroll up. Red Dot Diva was there as well to be one of the few to experience the spanking new area. Her verdict? It certainly made the store looked more spacious, fresher and was easy on the eye.

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