UTS Animal Logic Academy Research
The Animal Logic Academy contains an active research unit that examines the intersection of the virtual (or digital) world and the physical world from a number of different angles to extend, augment or subvert existing film and art making practices. Our research team has a diverse background and is exploring technologies such as motion capture, 3D printing, robotics, machine learning, style transfer, virtual and mixed realities to create innovative new ways of experiential storytelling. We are focused on improving existing practices through methods such as integrated archival techniques, virtualised CGI production tools and experimental interaction designs.
Encoded – Physical aerial performance with interactive viz (Stalker Theatre w Andrew Johnston)
Future Events – 3D printing with digital transformation (Louis Pratt)
Jasper – Short film combining miniature sets, digital animation and robotics (RAAF w Simon Rippingale)
Creature Interactions – Immersive 360 installation (Stalker Theatre w Andrew Bluff)
The Hour – Live percussion with interaction 3D projections (Alon Ilsar w Matt Hughes)
“Man, body, music, and light as one… A perfect amalgam between man-machine.” (Alon Ilsar w Matt Hughes)
Meet the team
Director of Research
Andrew Johnston is Associate Professor at the University of Technology Sydney, where he works as the Research Director of the UTS Animal Logic Academy. He also co-directs the Creativity and Cognition Studios, an interdisciplinary research group working at the intersection of performance, art and technology.
Post Doctoral Research Fellow
Andrew is a researcher, XR creative, digital artist, sound designer and software engineer. His research includes real-time augmentation of live performance in 3D, creating immersive VR/AR playspaces, adding olfactory senses to virtual reality and using machine learning for intuitive user interaction.
Matt Hughes is a researcher, audio-visual artist and programmer whose works dive deep into the connection between sight and sound. His research explores the implementation and implications of incorporating augmented reality (AR) into live electronic music performances. His audio-visual work conducted at the UTS Animal Logic Academy has won awards at SIGGRAPH Asia 2019, as well as the Guthman New Musical Instrument competition at Georgia Tech.
Evanthia Samaras is an archivist and digital preservation specialist with experience in government and audiovisual archiving as well as media and theatre production. Evanthia’s research is a collaborative project with the film visual effects (VFX) industry to explore how digital VFX records (including computer generated imagery) can be archived and preserved for future use and study.
Simon is an animation director. His work includes the award winning animated short films A Cautionary Tail and Jasper. Simon’s research explores the boundaries between digital and analogue production styles, exploring the use of robotics, 3D printing and other emerging technologies to combining miniature physical models with digital CGI animation.
Louis Pratt is a multidisciplinary contemporary artist working in sculpture, painting and video. He is best known for his use of new technology in art. His PhD research utilises digital processes and new materials to manipulate three-dimensional forms into strikingly ambiguous 3D-printed sculptural works.
Jamal Knight is researching current machine learning technologies in the area of human pose estimation to facilitate the practice of motion capture in animation. He has a background in the visual effects industry for film and television, having worked on titles including ‘Life of Pi’, ‘Furious 7’ and ‘Suicide Squad’.
Alex is a 3D artist whose practice is focused on interactive media and VFX, with a background in traditional arts and theatre. Her research aims to assist the immersive ability of augmented reality by fusing procedural growth simulations with real-time engines, presented in the context of contemporary art installations.
Masters by Research
Chris is the Creative Lead at the Academy, with over a decade of experience, directing, supervising, leading, writing and working as a digital artist on feature film, short film, TV, games, VR and AR applications. His research. “Interactive storytelling in Mixed Reality” tests how the traditional aesthetics of animation and storytelling are reconsidered, reconstructed, and reimagined in an interactive Mixed Reality narrative experience.
Masters by Research
Daniel is Technical Lead at the Academy, with many years experience in pipeline, lighting and look development. He’s worked at Method Studios, Animal Logic and Dr. D Studios, on a variety of live action and animated films. His research is an investigation of how recent deep style transfer technology can be applied to animation, opening up new possibilities for stylised rendering of narratives.