In the expansive realm of entertainment, a cohort of individuals wields an extraordinary talent for breathing life into creativity. The artistic mastery of some artists can be channeled into the creation of architectural wonders, while the creative ability of others can be applied to the creation of heartfelt animations. Amongst these gifted creators is Andre Zakhya, a masterful 3D artist and animator who seamlessly combines these disciplines to create visually stunning and captivating experiences. With his strong foundation in architecture and unwavering passion for storytelling, Andre emerges as a trailblazer, bringing a new perspective to the industry. Collaborating with renowned entities such as HBO, Blackpink, Nicki Minaj, Lil Nas X, Riot Games, and Apple TV, Andre has showcased his extraordinary talents and expanded the boundaries of artistic expression. By working alongside these esteemed collaborators, he has further cemented his status as an influential figure in the realm of entertainment.
Intrigued by the awe-inspiring structures that grace Beirut’s urban landscape, Andre embarked on a journey towards a vocation in architecture. Enthralled by the harmonious blend of artistry and technicality, he sought to craft spaces that stirred deep emotions within individuals. Yet, Andre’s thirst for enhanced creative expression remained unquenched. While conventional architecture offered a firm groundwork, he yearned to delve into various realms of ingenuity by adopting a multidisciplinary outlook. It was this unrelenting curiosity that eventually led him to the crossroads of architecture and animation, revealing to him a realm of boundless artistic possibilities.
While many animators focus solely on technical aspects, Andre deeply understands storytelling and narrative. The combination of his architectural background with his studies in arts, history, cinema, and music provides him with a comprehensive understanding of the field of art. The variety and breadth of his influences and experiences have allowed him to develop an artistic vision that transcends traditional boundaries, allowing him to create visually stunning and compellingly narrative animations.
Andre’s prowess in architecture profoundly impacts his work within the realm of animation, particularly in the music industry. Although unconventional, his experience in architecture provides him with invaluable skills and perspectives that greatly enhance the visual components of music videos, concert visuals, and other creative endeavors. For example, architectural concepts like spatial relationships, proportions, and scale play an essential role in the design of Andre’s captivating and harmonious animations.
Using color palettes, lighting techniques, and other design techniques, he can evoke emotions seamlessly in a space, creating a range of moods and atmospheres. The exceptional proficiency of his visualization skills plays an indispensable role in transmuting abstract concepts and ideas into palpable designs, marking a vital milestone during the pivotal stages of storyboarding and pre-visualization. Rooted in a profound comprehension of aesthetics, Andre’s discerning eye for visual harmony and composition elevates his animations’ overall caliber and resonance, enriching their quality and impact to unparalleled heights.
A major driving force behind Andre’s accomplishments has been his remarkable integration of architectural and animation expertise. Among his distinguished achievements is his collaboration with globally recognized artists as a member of Strangeloop Studios. A pivotal moment came to fruition when he contributed to Blackpink’s historic headlining performance at Coachella in 2023. Andre, utilizing the powerful capabilities of Unreal Engine, transformed two-dimensional reference images into awe-inspiring three-dimensional environments flawlessly synchronized with the music, heightening the audience’s visual experience.
Andre’s architectural and animation skills showcased their remarkable versatility in the music video for “Every Time” by Seven Lions, serving as a testament to his creative prowess. This remarkable opportunity stemmed from a previous collaboration with director Gina Crow on an art project back in 2021. Recognizing Andre’s exceptional talent in breathing life into static two-dimensional reference images, Gina eagerly sought his involvement as a director. Leveraging his ingenuity in Extended Reality (XR) technology, Andre seamlessly integrated a three-dimensional model into the music video, harnessing the power of Unreal Engine. His unparalleled expertise in these domains proved instrumental in the project’s triumph, expanding his expertise in Virtual Production workflows and embarking on a profound exploration of the boundless possibilities offered by emerging technologies.
In each of these remarkable projects and many more, Andre’s visionary amalgamation of architecture and animation offers a distinctive perspective and creative vision. Through his unparalleled proficiency in three-dimensional modeling, Unreal Engine proficiency, and ability to create audio-reactive visuals, he can create immersive environments that enhance storytelling while intensifying the emotional resonance of the accompanying music.
As technology advances and real-time rendering capabilities improve, the boundaries between architecture and animation are increasingly blurred. A growing number of architects use animation techniques to showcase their design work, while animators integrate architectural principles into their visual storytelling. The convergence of these two disciplines offers exciting opportunities for creative professionals like Andre, who adeptly navigate both realms, creating truly unique and immersive experiences.
Reflecting on his lessons along the way, Andre emphasizes the importance of having a sense of passion. “Passion drives one to go all the way, breaking away from traditional ways, even with a background in conventional methods,” he says. In the coming years, Andre anticipates further expansion for himself and his company. Eventually, he hopes to establish his studio or firm, delving deeper into the entertainment industry. Through his unrivaled blend of architecture and animation, he is committed to bringing his creative vision to life on the grandest of screens, creating immersive and transformative experiences for audiences worldwide. As he continually pushes the boundaries of artistic possibility, he intends to continue ‘building’ worlds for music videos, movies, TV shows and games for entertainment giants in the space.
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