On the third week of the Summer of Opportunity Program at RCTV, Instructor Arzouma Kompaoré invited Meghdad Asadi Lari to come and talk to the interns. Meghdad is an animation, motion graphics and computer science professional who hails from Shiraz, Iran.
In Iran, Meghdad completed a degree in electrical engineering, but developed a love of animation and graphic design. He then applied to RIT, where he completed an MFA in 3D Computer Animation in the School of Film and Animation, and where he is now an adjunct professor.
Meghdad spoke about the importance of coding and animation as a tool to involve the audience in interactive media.
“Flash is a great tool for animation, because you can do a great variety of things with it.”
He showed a simple animation he had done in which, when the viewer clicked on two different buttons, a cartoon character would either walk or jump.
Meghdad shared how he had surprised his professors at Shiraz University by using flash instead of powerpoint on his Master’s thesis. Instead of showing the graphics side-by-side, as would be done in a Powerpoint, a comparison was made by using the scrubbing slider to compare one graphic over the top of the other graphic. He pointed out that in flash, you can alter such aspects as color, size and brightness, making it versatile for many uses.
Another application that he is enthusiastic about is pubcoder, a digital publishing tool that allows the designer to make an interactive book. Over the course of one month, he learned the software and worked with an author to create an interactive storybook that caught the attention of Pubcoder designers.
He also knew of an interesting application for the students studying TV production and film. Interlude allows digital filmmakers to create interactive work with behind-the-scenes materials, multiple story lines and interactive endings.
Meghdad, who has now been nominated for a Student Academy Award twice, and who has won many other honors, then showed the first piece he created that was nominated for an award. In Beyond the Spheres, he used the Saturn and Jupiter “space voices” recorded by Cassini and Voyager, and employed mathematical equations to control the movements, velocity, turbulence size and displace, time factor, size, color and speed of those particles based on the audio. That work is included below.
The second piece, which was recently nominated for a Student Academy Award is Simorgh, his 3D animated graduate thesis film. The work is based on The Conference of the Birds, a 4500 line Persian poem by Farid ud-Din Attar. Choreographed to the music of Iranian performer and composer Saba Alizadeh, the piece uses Persian music, calligraphic art and ornament designs to tell the traditional Persian story of life that deals with the fragility of self worth and the concept of rebirth. The trailer for this piece is also included.
RCTV thanks Meghdad for sharing his experience, his amazing work, and his expertise with our Summer of Opportunity Students!