Sunday, April 17, 2016

Sudbury Graphics Design Firm Sees the Big Picture

          By Chuck Black

If you're a scientist or an engineer with an idea and looking for funding, you might need to talk with Kris Holland. He runs MAFIC Studios, a full featured graphics house focused on the science and engineering profession, where client ideas are taken from a conversation, napkin sketch, or computer data, and turned into images, animations and sometimes, even hardware.

A concept for a thermal space solar power satellite by Keith Henson, Steve Nixon and Kris Holland; animated by Kris Holland/Mafic Studios. To see the complete video, simply click on the graphic above. Screen shot c/o Mafic Studios.

"People will pay a premium for accuracy," he said during a recent interview. "I can create the illustration and produce the video with enough expertise so that my clients don't need to correct my mistakes." 

His work has been on most major TV networks, including CNN, CBC, CTV, TVO, PBS, Discovery, Space, NBC, CBS and SyFy and in numerous publications worldwide such as Popular Science, Popular Photography, and Time Magazine.

He's also done work for and served on the Space Canada board of directors and acted as a regional director of the National Space Society (NSS). Rumour has it that the firm has also done graphics for a variety of Canadian Space Agency (CSA) projects.

Holland characterized himself as a generalist, a person competent in several different fields or activities, but with enough expertise in graphic design to be able to flesh out a scientific concept or an engineering design study.

A 2007 design for a littoral combat ship as outlined  in the February 15, 2008 Popular Science article, "Warships of Tomorrow." Image c/o Mafic Studios.

Holland was born in Sudbury and has spent most of his adult life focused on the technical challenges of computer graphics. "Most of my regular work is in this area. Organizations rarely appreciate how much graphics can help them raise funds. This can be made much easier when the artist supporting their vision has the technical chops to talk with their engineers at their level."

Kris Holland. Photo c/o K. Holland.
But he has also developed substantial expertise with training and safety videos for the mining industry. 

Over the next little while, he's hoping to develop the capacity to build physical models of the projects he's currently imaging.

"I need to do something that doesn't involve just looking at a computer screen. I've also had trouble finding people who can build hardware objects quickly while saving time and budget by doing everything under the same roof," he said.

In a field where technical knowledge too often resides in silos, Holland believes that his broad range of inter-related hobbies and interests allows him to blend arts and sciences with a little technical wizardry in order to properly and scientifically image the ideas of the future. 

Chuck Black.
To learn more about Kris Holland and/ or MAFIC Studios, check out

Chuck Black is the editor of the Commercial Space blog.

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