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Designing in the fourth dimension.
Author - Mitul Rajani

We create distinctive brands for our clients. Using the 3D modelling software, Cinema 4D, we turn brand traits into unique graphic devices. It regularly brings forward important questions; what is the fourth dimension? And more importantly, how do we harness its potential across brand, film, and animation?

To answer these questions, one would have to try and explain what the fourth dimension is, so let’s give it a go… We live in a three-dimensional world. Every day, we capture length, width, and height. These dimensions allow us to describe objects and navigate through physical space. The fourth dimension introduces the measure of time and, just like the third dimension adds depth to a two-dimensional world, it adds temporality to our three-dimensional world.

Within the fourth dimension, events occur, parameters change, objects transform following an action or a sequence – a before and an after. We don’t physically see it like we do with length, width, and height, but it is an integral part of our existence and experience.

Brand creation in the fourth dimension

We’ve gotten that out of the way – time to talk about its applications in a film or an animation. An object or device can be visualised in a 3D space; can be animated and seen moving, changing, or morphing over several seconds, minutes, hours to tell a story and deliver a narrative. The final output would still, in this case, be classed as a 3D animation rather than a 4D one. The viewer experiences the animation in a linear sequence… from start to finish. However, we, as creators, can single out this object and move forwards and backwards in time (within the software – still working on time travel technology) to reshape, redesign and recreate as needed, thus creating in the fourth dimension.

Taking our new brand as an example. The idea started within our Associate Design Director Tolley’s mind at a point in time, from nothing to something (the first dimension). We took that idea and represented it on a 2D plane (a notepad) after a brainstorming session. It turned into a series of sketches, notes, concept tests, design developments and finally a visually striking and compelling story.

This story led us to scan our Chief Executive Office, Ruxandra, brain whilst tasked with problem solving exercises. We took the outputs, a series of brain heat maps in 2D, and transformed them into 3D representations. Those were then manipulated – adding light, texture – and animated to create unique and evolving devices that are now part of our brand identity. This final stage happens within the fourth dimension. The thread through which the story sits – the journey from an idea to a realisation represented as a three-dimensional form.

Creative process in the fourth dimension

The fourth dimension is not tangible, we cannot ‘see’ it so how could we design in it? I believe our thoughts are housed there. Another way to look at it is inwards: into the vast space in our minds where ideas form, where concepts emerge, where creativity flourishes, where connections are made. All the big ideas that make the world go round, create change, power progress come from someone’s mind.

Whilst, the human brain is truly an amazing cognitive engine that can (seemingly) create ideas out of thin air, there needs to be some kind of input (experience) to create an output (idea). From an artistic standpoint, inputs are generated by our day-to-day life, people we meet, places we see, experiences we have. From a design perspective, these are shaped by research, problem-solving and analytical assessment of the output’s intent. The fourth dimension allows us to create a symbiotic bond between both inspiration and information. We thrive on the challenge to translate the resources presented to us into a creative form and apply our collective skillset to bring unique brands and content into existence.

This is how we approach creativity for our clients and for ourselves. This process is part of our thinking and is deeply rooted in our ethos. Like the spark of a match, the click of your fingers, the blink of an eye, an idea can be born instantaneously; but building a bridge that connects a story from start to finish, cementing a strong foundation driven by insight and allowing the narrative to filter through the traffic is our clever

The term ‘thinking outside of the box’ is old news, we think and create in the fourth dimension. 

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