Another quick video, this time playing with displacement on an archival image of Chicago, plucked from the Flickr Creative Commons. The setup for animating the displacement is a bit finickity, but I like the overall ability to dive into a spatialised version of an image.
I recorded the audio pretty quickly too, a five minute recording session and about fifteen minutes to edit. The rendering of these things still takes quite a while, though – this one took 16 hours to render at 4k resolution. I’m sure there are some variables I can edit to make this better, but for now, I set these things up quickly and wait to see what they look like slowly.
This is a set of quick sketches in Blender. I’m intrigued by the ability to project images and film onto surfaces, which is especially interesting if the original movie contains movement.
I started with a video that I took from an L train in Chicago a few years ago. A simple shot, not much happens, but there’s some parallax movement, and a tiny bit of camera shake:
I then projected this onto a surface, so that the video moves at the same speed it was moving in real life. The camera effectively mimics what my real-world camera did. Then I projected the textures of this video onto a load of randomly placed cubes and circles. The camera moves, and the projected video moves, but the objects remain in place; the effect is that there is weird video displacement in unexpected places.
Here are various results:
Note that videos are mostly square for Instagram.
Here’s what the setup looked like behind-the-scenes:
Today’s quick video – a looping clip of driving along a highway in Seoul. My PhD supervisor Stephen Gage calls this type of thing a ‘finger exercise’, I assume because it’s like practicing scales on a piano – it’s one of many playful, small things that helps you work out ideas for larger projects.
I took this video on the way from the airport to my accommodation in Seoul in 2016. I was messing around with a camera I’d loaned (A Canon C100, if I recall). The footage isn’t remarkable, but you do get to see part of the city looming in the distance and the huge river. I just wanted to make it loop, nothing special – just to play with video a little, and make a quick accompanying sound bed.
The longest loop I could make is just short of the original clips’ length, 33 seconds and 9 frames, with the looping part coming from the van that overtakes. The hue of the video shifts throughout, from pinks and reds through to purples and blues and back. It also has a 12-bar sound bed I made quickly:
This is my quick video for the day, shot whilst walking from Rotterdam Centraal station to Delftsepoort (an office building). The subject is fairly mundane, but there are a few layers of square video on top of each other, and another clapping soundtrack made quickly.
I actually made two versions of this video, one with a regular offset:
And one that uses a 2-frame offset per layer to recreate a ‘wavy’ special effect from the 70s. I remember seeing this sort of effect in old music videos as a kid, back when I was glued to music television:
One thing I like about the original video is the way that it’s abstracted a completely mundane journey, yet maintains the rhythm of my walking. The stills of the escalator are perhaps my favourite part:
But then again, the flooring, which seems to be particular to Dutch train stations, also looks more dramatic than usual:
As does the utterly mundane pavement found on all streets near here:
A video of footage I took back in 2011 of late-night journeys in Google Earth. This is my attempt to recapture the strange energy of that time: staying up all night, collaborating on projects, building things, spending all too long in subterranean spaces.
I haven’t spent a day in the studio just doing studio-ish meandering things for ages, despite this being part of “the plan.” Today I was able to head in, finish production on three podcast episodes for my students, and then spend some of the afternoon exploring my video archive, making some sound and images work together. Ironically, I’ve been teaching video production recently and the importance of experimentation, yet hardly manage to do it myself.
I shot this video in Iceland in the early 2010s, which seems like a few lifetimes ago. It was the first week of real snow as autumn turned to winter, and my long-suffering friend and I drove over this particular bridge quite a few times holding various tripods and cameras on the roof of our rented jeep in order to capture the video-game-esque single-point perspective, emphasised by the fog in the distance, and bitmap-style textures of what I presume is normally a riverbed below the bridge.
I’ve been wanting to do something with this video clip for a while. This isn’t the thing, but it’s something – sketch to re-acquaint myself with the faders and dials as I ramp up towards more audio / video / game production for the All the Worlds project, among others.
Of course, anyone who came of age and got into making videos at a similar time in the 2000s will recognise this as the inverse technique from Michel Gondry’s video for Star Guitar by the Chemical Brothers:
The Creators Project DVDs, featuring work by Michel Gondry, Spike Jonze, Jonathan Glazer and Chris Cunningham were cult-like objects whilst I was an undergraduate, and still prove to be strong influences on me today. I obsessively watched and re-watched Gondry’s process for making this video. My favourite bit is with the shoes:
And here is the same Icelandic-shot video as above, with a second layer and infinite loop:
Here’s a video that FutureEverything made explaining a little about the Ant Ballet project, as installed at FutureEverything’s art exhibition earlier this year. It shows the simulation-version of the Ant Ballet machine in the spectacular setting of Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI).
And speaking of MOSI, Here’s Jean Franczyk, its Director, talking through the exhibition, its links with FutureEverything, and some of the artworks on show:
There are more videos from FutureEverything’s exhibition and conference here.
Read a little more about Ant Ballet here.
Thanks to Heechan Park for the huge role he played in the assembly of the machine!
Sad to hear about the passing of Adam Yaunch a couple of days ago. The Beastie Boys are the soundtrack to much of machine-building – here’s a video from the construction of the Ant Ballet machine last year: