Experimentation and play: Matthew Hopkins and FutureDeluxeWhen you experiment, magic can happen. That’s what 3D Design and Animation student Matthew Hopkins learned during his first encounter with XLabs, Billy Blue’s experimental creative technology research hub. In fact, his first foray into experimentation was such a success, Matthew scored a six-month internship with one of the world’s leading creative studios – and global recognition along the way.
Billy Blue’s Design and Creative Technology faculty developed XLabs alongside industry leaders so that students had a dedicated research hub where they could experiment with tools, pursue ideas, and explore creative possibilities.
For XLabs’ very first project, students collaborated with FutureDeluxe, an award-winning studio based in London, LA and Sydney, known for groundbreaking work. Under their guidance, students worked on experimental 3D animation projects using Houdini and Cinema4D.
One of those students was Matthew. Like FutureDeluxe, he is a natural experimenter whose work pushes the envelope. It was only fitting that, after graduating, Matthew was awarded Billy Blue’s very first internship with FutureDeluxe.
Matthew’s adventure began with Billy Blue’s one-year Diploma of Digital Media Design (now the Diploma of 3D Design and Animation). So passionate about this career path, Matthew went on to complete the Bachelor of 3D Design and Animation.
It was during his final year that Matthew was introduced to the XLabs project. His experimental work was such a success, he submitted his creations to The Rookies, the largest international competition for undergraduate animators. With more than 4100 entries from 568 universities across 98 countries, competition was fierce. Matthew was awarded Finalist, 2021 Rookie of the Year Motion Graphics for his XLabs Motion Idents, and took out the judges’ Draft Select Pick.
The brief that changed Matthew’s future
The XLabs brief called for students to explore the connection between humans and the natural world, making novel associations with disparate things and experimenting with exchanging properties and functions, finding a way to visually express and balance these two themes. Each month, FutureDeluxe offered feedback via Zoom, sharing insights that impacted the evolution of each student’s work.
In creating his seven motion idents, Matthew teamed up with Hugo Presser, who was responsible for sound design across Hospital Room and Petrie Dish, and Liam Key, who looked after the remaining five. Liam’s contribution was the result of another experimental XLab project, dedicated to deep synchresis theory with motion and video.
The results speak for themselves. Check out Matthew’s awe-inspiring work:
Leaves Brown Water
Watch out for our next edition of XLabs News. In the meantime, start your own adventure into 3D Design and Animation.