October 3, 2014

Art and math — when those two words are together, it’s usually in an either/or scenario, but one local festival is hoping to break that trend by bringing the two together.

The Art & Algorithms Festival will take place in Downtown Titusville, focusing on digital art as an artistic medium.

The festival will span 10 days from Oct. 3 to Oct. 12, and is located roughly 40 miles east of UCF.

On the first day, the festival opens at 5 p.m., with the last day of the festival opening at noon.

Through the College of Arts and Humanities, as well as the School of Visual Arts and Design, UCF will be bringing film, animation and game design to the Space Coast.

“It’s just a group of people within our college that are committed to community partnerships and committed to participating at all educational levels, and that’s what UCF is all about— the No. 1 partnership institution,” said Lynn Hepner, associate dean of academic programs for the College of Arts and Humanities.

But past Knights as well as present ones will be showcasing their talents at the festival.

The signature event of the festival, a massive 3-D projection on the side of the Titusville Playhouse, is created, produced and performed by UCF alumni through the Ninjaneer Studios, a high-end animation studio based out of Winter Springs.

This year’s projection, which will be 88 feet wide and 35 feet tall, will incorporate dancers to add an extra touch to the 3-D projection.

“It hasn’t been as prevalent here as it has been overseas. It’s a new way to present visual content,” said Ninjaneer Studios director Joe Rosa, explaining what a 3-D projection is. “You can use a facade to open up [spaces] in front of people’s eyes.”

Rosa and his business partners, Chris Brown and Heather Knott, are all 2011 UCF grads with degrees in character animation and visual language.

They make a new design for this massive projection every year.

The creation process starts off with creative meetings, and from there, storyboards are laid out. They then get approval from their commissioners and begin the modeling and asset phase of their design.

After again getting approval, they move onto the texturing and effects phase, timing it with their music simultaneously.

When all of this is done, the projection is rendered, but this step, Rosa said, takes the most time.

While this massive projection may be the signature event, other, smaller events throughout the 10-day festival showcase the visual and artistic talents of UCF students among nationally renowned artists.

In the film realm, the film festival curator Clifton Stewart will showcase student films from the United States, including from UCF, in comparison with films from the United Kingdom.

Films also continue into the International Film Festival.

Over the 10-day festival, there will be eight different film blocks, with 60 films from 26 countries around the globe.

And for patrons looking to get more immersed in the art, two UCF groups from the Florida Interactive Entertainment Academy will be showcasing their video games — Super Kawaii Turtle Fighter and Rundead — in five-minute presentations.

While the student-showcase events benefit UCF students, they also have beneficial potential for future digital artists.

“[We’re] just trying to find ways to exhibit student work, but [also to] engage our students here in Brevard County in knowing the programs and opportunities that are offered at UCF in the area, and [also to] enhance the overall festival,” said Marcia Gaedcke, president of the Titusville Area Chamber of Commerce.

But the festival has importance outside of the UCF and educational realms.

In the post-shuttle retirement age, this festival, benchmarked around other similar festivals internationally, is an attempt to revitalize and reconnect the community in absence of the space program, Gaedcke said.

“We have a very rich performing-arts community in our region, but nobody was really owning digital art as a festival idea. Because we’re the closest city to Kennedy Space Center, and we do have the largest concentration of engineers per capita anywhere in the nation. This resonates with the community and who we are,” Gaedcke said.

View the original article from the Central Florida Future.