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Legends arrives in France

By animation

From September 20 to 23, 2023, the 38th APLF conference opens at the Saint-Michel l’Observatoire, France, and “Legends of the Northern Sky” is an official selection for the Fulldome festival.

Legends of the Northern Sky is an immersive 360 animation and video production for presentation in domed theatres worldwide. Written and directed by Perry Shulak, and developed by Critical Fusion in collaboration with the Telus World of Science Edmonton, the show has been running daily within their 240 seat theatre at 8K resolution since it was completed in 2019.

This year, the show was updated and converted to French language with voice over recorded in Montreal by Samuel Tremblay (Samien). ”Legends of the Northern Sky” has also been translated to Mandarin Language for distribution into China.

get Spaced

By Uncategorized

It’s a long process from idea to realization, but it begins with baby steps. A story with an outcome, characters that play and essential role, and a lot of pieces that go together to form the entire puzzle. SPACED is a new production developed by Perry Shulak, with an extended plan to cross over from an immersive dome 3D animated experience to a digital broadcast series.

SPACED adds adventure to science, and rockets off to destinations around the galaxy. Dealing with an incoming unknown threat, it’s up to the members of Intergalactic Salvage Command to science real-world space faring solutions.

Delivering animation and motion graphics in Dubai

By Uncategorized
animation and motion graphics

International exposure for First Nations creatives provides a view of tradition and story to Dubai from the prairies of Canada. Working along side other local First Nations artists, Critical Fusion provided the vision, motion graphics and animation that became the backdrop for live performances at the Dubai Expo. This was an opportunity to present the creative of four local First Nation artist, John Cardinal (jcat), Lana Whiskeyjack, Dawn Marie Marchand and Pachakuteq Bravo Espinoza on the world stage. The production was managed by Dreamspeakers Festival Society from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.

Wilderology – Black Footed Ferret

By animation, Education

Dr. Samantha Panther Observes: In a relatively short span of time, cumulative events have unfolded that led to the complete decimation of the Black Footed Ferret. This calamity would spread across North America, leading to the species being claimed as extinct. Not only reckless framing practices led to the species demise, disease plagues crossed over on ships in 1900 that quickly spread across the continent. This black death still remains a current threat to the recovery of the species.

Being primarily dependant on prairie dogs, the black footed ferret had their primary food source tilled under and poisoned over the past 100 years. Only 5% of North American prairie dog populations survive today. Prairie dogs are a keystone species essential not only to other animal species such as the Ferruginous hawk and the swift fox, active borrowing helps to aerate and fertilize soil promoting plant growth and diversity.

In 1981, a small population of 129 ferrets were discovered in Wyoming, and efforts have be made to reintroduce the species in regions they previously inhabited. As of this year, 2021, current number of black footed ferrets in the wild are estimated at 300. Conservation efforts are ongoing, with 200 ferrets reintroduced into the wild each year.

It is only through species diversity and climate management will ecosystems around the world thrive and return habitats to their natural order. Through educating children with real facts on the potential harm that humans pose on the natural world, we can hope to create a future planet that is livable for all animal species and humans.

#conservation #graphicdesign #explainervideo #illustration #diversity

Wilderology – Okarito Kiwi

By animation

Journey across the world with Dr. Edmun G. Witz, as he seeks out rare and unusual species with his team of biology science experts in Wilderology.

Off to New Zealand, Dr. Witz searches out and documents facts on the Okarito Kiwi. With only 400 in number, these flightless birds mate up for life. Their habitat is exclusive to a small region on the west coast of New Zealand. Their main food source is earthworms, beetle larvae, and other crawly bugs that live on the forest floor.

The Okarito Kiwi is an endangered species, and their numbers are threatened by loss of habitat and unnaturally introduced predators such as stoats, possums, cats and dogs.

Wilderology is another inspirational and educational program developed by Critical Fusion, and conceived by Perry Shulak. We look forward to building on this brand, which will include books, other educational resources, and a preschools TV series.

If you think climate change is scary, species deprivation is at its worst within the entire human era. Loss of diversification in animals world-wide has been classified as the next mass-extinction event, and all of it was perpetrated by human kind. Since the entry of people into North America about 12,000 years ago, all large fauna such as the woolly mammoth, cave bear, giant armadillos, North American camels, and many other animals went extinct. It’s time that we teach our children to show much greater respect for all the other animals that share the land, because their survival is critical to the continued existence of humanity.

Animation – from idea to realization

By animation

All animated projects begin as an idea wrapped around a broader outcome that extends beyond just the written word and images. It’s about looking at the current world we inhabit, and formulating trends that lead to realities that mirror human perspectives. “SPACED” explores a future what if, and congeals  it into a fantastical world populated by personalities that drive the story. Even though this story involves a stylized fictional character, his experiences are very human and very real. They take us on a journey that is consumable, and since it’s animated, we can believe that the life they live and the decisions they make have consequences… in their world anyways.

AMPIA Awards for Screenwriting and Animation

By Uncategorized

Alberta Media Production Awards for Screenwriting and Animation

The list of nominees for the AMPIA awards were released last week, and Critical Fusion grabbed two.

Best Screenwriter (Drama under 30 minutes)

Perry Shulak
Legends of the Northern Sky
Critical Fusion

Best Animator / Motion Graphic Artist

Perry Shulak, Marina Hellervik, Ryan Iddiols & Jordan Birch
Legends of the Northern Sky
Critical Fusion


Machine Learning

By animation, Education

Machine Learning to Animation

Machine learning is an evolving technology that is finding its way into all facets of business and society. Even though it is largely buried in technology and devices, it’s opening up efficiencies and discoveries that are leading the way in how most “humans” in modern society go about their daily lives. Most of the effort undertaken by machine learning artificially intelligent models happens in the digital realm outside the observation of the most technically literate. Born in a lab like a biotic microorganism, it is designed to learn and grow. All a.i. systems assembled today have limits; simple they are, directed to perform predictable tasks, but this is only the beginning.

The past while I have scaled the realm of machine learning, wrapping my ideals around the what if and what for of the technology as it’s potential extends to something else. Artificial Intelligence and machine learning is not a current creation; it’s been in development for twenty years. Only now has it grown to be adaptable and useful thanks to the massive quantity of data that is available and the tools to process it. As I continue down the path to build a story, I expect that there will be many more revelations to be had and revealed. The project Intelligent Machine, will be an immersive dome animation production that will explore a biotic data model and it’s journey to becoming sentient. As the writer and creator of the “GERI” model, working with the Alberta Machine Learning Institute, its’ my imperative to craft a life worth living as “GERI” charts a path through the history of the technology leading up to an uncertain outcome.

Envisioning a history of Tyrannosaurus rex

By animation, Communications, Education

Digging Up Dinosaurs

Over the past while, I have been creating a vision of the past and the events that had transpired from 250 million years ago up to 66 million years ago. The focus is on Tyrannosaurids, a species that has evolved and taken on many forms leading up to the largest and meanest family member, the Tyrannosaurus rex. There were many variations of the species beginning with a small sprout of a chicken sized animal. It eventually became a massive beast with jaws ringed with crushing teeth that was design to consume all other living dinosaurs.

Every year, new fossils are discovered that expand what we know of the various dinosaurs that roamed across North America. These fossils take time to recover, relieve them of sediment, and analyze the bones to determine how they fit into the history of all things dinosaur.

Above is a shot of Scott Persons, known Paleontologist who sunk his teeth into the profession at the University of Alberta. We did full 360 test video at Dinosaur Provincial Park, where we discovered a hadrosaur bone that was munched on by T-Rex himself. Alberta is known as dinosaur country, and we have an extensive reserve of fossils, making it rich territory to study long gone species of the Cretaceous era.

The final production will be an immersive 360 dome production, immersing audiences into the chaotic world of battling dinosaurs.

Tackling the Changing Face of Technology

By Communications, Education, Marketing

As society progresses forward into using a diversity of dense communication options, it increasingly finds itself flooded with far more information then it has ever had to process previously. Not only do businesses have to contend with the expanded costs of being everywhere all the time, they have to decide which delivery method serves them best. The landscape for traditional media such as print and television are no longer the pillars of information dissemination they once were. They are being outpaced by more immediate mechanisms such as the internet and mobile devices. As fashionable as these current mediums may appear, they are not without their warts. They are the unfiltered battleground of misinformation where validity will always be in question.

To find the solution for determining where to allocate your communication efforts,  you have to know your business, know your audience, and know the limitations/success rate of your intended target technology. As much as mobile devices and social media are an option, they may not be the right one for your market. Assessing the congestion and direction of any one platform is about being informed of possible barriers that may minimize information that getting across to your intended target. The following are a few perspectives to keep in mind when evaluating where to go.

Clarity and Strength

Like a savvy speaker entertaining an anxious audience, the strength and clarity of your delivery will also have an impact on your level of success.  If your words wind strong then you will hit your target, but if you stray, then your message can lead to misinformation or misinterpretation.

 Appropriateness of Approach

Your approach in the delivery of your content can either enhance the experience or muddle the message. For example, game-ification is an ongoing trend related to interactivity. Before committing to something substantial, an assessment has to be made  to determine if it is appropriate. Jumping in and punching out a game could impact the intended message, thus having unforeseen consequences. Often the delivery of games becomes more about the tactical struggle rather than gaining clarity, or educating outcomes. It may be best to do a video or print resource.

 Know when to sell, know when to inform

There is sensationalism and there is common sense. The traditional tract with advertising is to hit your audience on the head with some extreme example of the best case or worst case scenario. Often this relies on targeting emotional triggers that elicit a response. Usually it comes down to the three basic foibles with society which are sex, greed and fear. In a saturated market, those tactics are everywhere, so the next best thing is to be authentic and tell your story outright. Focus on the benefit and importance of the message you are trying to get across, and weave an evocative story that reverberates with your audience. Tell it like it is.

 Make Best use of Available funds

It’s easy to get caught up in robust ideas that at first make sense, but then discovering that the sexy solution has a hefty price tag attached to it. An example of this is the prevalent video host. Having a talking head rattle out information does bring personification to the delivery, we are all attached to friendly faces. But often when delivering content in video, it’s not about the host. It’s about the details, and the message. If there is a substantial amount of visual content and points that need addressing, motion graphics with voice over may be the better solution. It’s far more cost effective than dropping in a host that may be more of a distraction.

The method for delivering content has never been as diverse as it is now, and it has created unique challenges that can be overcome with an informed understanding of various media opportunities. A little digging and forethought goes a long ways in getting your message out there.