- Michael Pettyt
Our top trends for 2022
Updated: Apr 14, 2022
2022 is already proving to a be a big year for technology and no more so than within the worlds of motion design, visual effects and colour grading. In this blog, we share the most exciting tech trends for 2022 and how we will be harnessing them over the course of the year and beyond.
If you’re a tech geek like us, then this blog will be right up your alley.
NFT’s, Digital Art and the Metaverse
Over the past 12 months, non-fungible tokens (NFT’s) have exploded with the rise of Beeple and his $69 million auction windfall at Christies for his piece, “Everydays: The First 5000 Days”. NFT’s can be anything from drawings to music but, as illustrated above, a lot of the excitement is around using the tech to sell digital art.
But duplicating an image is easy. What makes an NFT so special?
Non-fungible means that it’s unique and cannot be replicated or replaced with something else. For example, Bitcoin is fungible – you trade one for another bitcoin, you’ll have exactly the same thing. A one-of-a-kind trading card, however, is non-fungible. If you traded it for a different card, you’d have something completely different.
The trend looks to go from strength to strength in 2022 with the process of creating, minting and collecting NFTs becoming easier and crucially more eco-friendly.
This is because many blockchain currencies which are used to purchase NFT’s such as Bitcoin are damaging for the environment. For instance, a single Bitcoin transaction has a carbon footprint equivalent to 2,413,459 VISA transactions and could power an average household for 78.58 days.
There are however new, more eco-friendly cryptocurrency options emerging which seek to offset the energy used to ‘mine’ for them.
In 2022, we will be challenging our team to create a piece of digital art that we can post on OpenSea, a peer-to-peer marketplace for NFTs and try to sell it on the BlockChain!
Plus, keep an eye out for an upcoming blog showcasing our journey into the world of NFT’s and the Metaverse.
We also feel that the metaverse will continue its rapid growth. It’s a fully immersive “VR/AR space” where people can interact with digital versions of themselves and others as well as move from one virtual world to another. Escapism on a whole new - and dare we say unsettling - level.
Metaverse users can also game on platforms such as Roblox and Decentraland where they can purchase items such as NFTs. They could even purchase a piece of land as one user did recently - he now owns a plot next to Snoop Dogg’s NFT house!
We would love to work with clients who are either exploring or want to explore the possibilities of the metaverse to see how we can help them create content that excites, engages and amazes their audience in these new VR and AR spaces.
Real-time photo realistic 3D – Unreal Engine
Have you seen the latest Matrix Awakens Demo? Then you’ll have witnessed Unreal Engine in all its full glory.
Originally designed and still primarily used as a game engine, people are becoming more aware and in awe of its power to create real time cinematic visuals to rival high end feature film CGI which often take hours if not days to render.
Further demonstrated in Disney hits like the Mandalorian, Unreal Engine showcases how virtual sets can be created using the software. Plus, it can be used to
fully light scenes and actors in real time using large LCD screens that wrap around the performance.
We’ve yet to test this brilliant piece of technology out fully, but 2022 will be the year we dive in. Keep a close eye on our blog for a deep dive into our time with Unreal Engine.
Over the past year, we’ve slowly returned to our studio and discovered we need to adapt our space to make it more conducive for focused work. So we’ve permanently adopted a hybrid working environment. By doing this, we hope to maintain the collaborative benefits of being present in a shared space.
Adopting a hybrid working environment also ensures our employees continue to enjoy the work-life balance and stay healthy.
What’s more, we’ve introduced a range of tools and technology such as Slack, Frame.io and ClickUp that allow remote team members to seamlessly collaborate with each other and clients. Remote working has never been so easy.
With better remote working capabilities, over the next twelve months we’ll be reaching out to more freelancers and studios to collaborate on exciting new projects.
Keep a look out for upcoming blogs and case studies to see how our hybrid working is going in 2022 and beyond.
The rise of competitors to Adobe After Effects
After Effects (AE) has been our choice for motion graphics, animation and visual effects work for many years now. This is down to its affordability, flexibility, breadth of features and strong integration with the rest of the Adobe Creative Cloud suite.
However, in recent years the emergence of a number of competitors could mean AE's crown is at risk of being toppled. They each offer different benefits and approaches over AE, whether it's greater performance, accessibility, integration, affordability or toolset.
Cavalry is a 2D animation package created by Scene Group which brings the power and flexibility of modern procedural 3D tools to the world of 2D motion graphics. Cavalry is built from the ground up to be fully procedural meaning you have the ability to make changes and tweaks anywhere in the process and see them ripple through your project and animation seamlessly. This, on top of its incredible real-time performance, makes Cavalry an innovative and exciting option for motion graphics projects.
Flow is a Mac-only animation tool that integrates with Sketch and Figma seamlessly. It also allows for code export of animations for integration into websites and apps. Flow makes animation easy by removing the steep learning curve often associated with motion graphics software and the tight integration with industry standard design tools makes it an attractive alternative to AE going forward despite it's platform restrictions.
Not to be confused with the hit video game, Fable is a web-based alternative to After Effects. It allows for text, shape, path and particle animation. Plus, it has a suite of effects, behaviours and filters that are all exportable to a variety of formats (including broadcast quality ProRes). When it comes to editing, storing and reviewing, Fable can save you from jumping across multiple tools when you’re hard at work.
Fusion has been utilised for high end visual effects for many years. But with its recent integration with DaVinci Resolve, it's become a much more affordable and popular option for visual effects artists at all budget levels - it’s powerful and feature-rich with the ability to complete many of the complex visual effects tasks we often use After Effects for but in a much more intuitive nodal approach that has become the industry standard thanks to tools such as Nuke.
We’ve dabbled in using it on projects in the past, but moving into 2022, we are going to dive deeper into each of these packages and share our findings with you on our blog page.
AI, Machine Learning and Neural Network powered tools
Powerful AI, Machine Learning and Neural Network powered tools are revolutionising the future of post production, allowing for tasks that would take hours or even days to complete previously to be done with a click of a button.
Examples of these tools can be found popping up in many of the creative apps we use, including:
content-aware fill for video in Adobe After Effects
smart scene detection and facial recognition in DaVinci Resolve
automated subtitles in Adobe Premiere powered by Adobe Sensei
We’re looking forward to seeing more proliferation of these tools in 2022 and exploring the ways we can leverage them to add value to our client’s projects.