Nº 265

Music Visualisation

Linking a song with appropriate visuals is more relevant than ever in today’s music industry. Nonetheless, the era of video clips on music television channels is a thing of the past. Musicians are increasingly using video platforms on the Internet instead to share their latest clips with a broad audience. A series of programmes to create films has also made the medium of music videos one of an experimental area for designers – also concerning their 3D aesthetics.

Change My Head




The co-operation between the US-american band Autolux and the experimental film-maker Thomas McMahan from Los Angeles stretches back to the animation video “The Science of Imaginary Solutions” released in 2010. This time McMahan visualised the feeling of falling, inspired by the sonorous buzzing sound of the track, “Change My Head”. The film-maker had already experimented in advance with motion capture data and had chanced upon malfunctions that evoked unexpectedly wonderful results. As part of the video production, Cinema 4D was primarily used to create the setting, and Adobe Premiere for editing. McMahan processed the resulting sequences with the analogue video synthesiser Fun 21 made by Tachyons Plus, and finalised the clip using Adobe After Effects.

Autolux - Change My Head - Official Video from Thomas McMahan on Vimeo.

To Have You Back





The three-part dramatic composition of the song “To Have You Back” by artist Tourist inspired Jason Drew and Davy Evans, art directors from Brighton, to visualise the video clip. The music video tells the story of a disintegrating and then rekindled relationship. A series of clips initially shows white still-life images of everyday life and, as the track continues, these are overlaid first with a black and then coloured liquid, finally ending in an explosion of neon colours. The visuals are based on computer-generated animations and macrophotographs. The three-week production phase for the video included analogue work with acrylic paint, software-generated visual 3D effects, and compositing in Cinema 4D. Edits were made with Final Cut Pro.


La Vie est Belle




The music video “La Vie est Belle” by Petite Noir came about in collaboration with Urban Outfitters, who engaged the film-maker Alan Del Rio Ortiz to develop a visual concept. Due to a lack of time, the film recordings of Petite Noir’s South African musician Yannick Ilunga had to be filmed quickly within a day. The slow tempo of the song and the reduced movements of the artist during the shoot were crucial for Ortiz to create the atmosphere of the video. Ortiz, who had barely worked with visual effects up until this time, developed a loose narrative about unconsciously disappearing in a virtual world. For the filming, he used the green-screen technology and an Alexa mini camera with Ronin (a retaining device to stabilise the camera) for the fluid movements. Various patterns, marbling textures and specific textiles were added digitally during the month-long post-production work.

Petite Noir - "La Vie Est Belle / Life is Beautiful" feat. Baloji from Matthew Greiner on Vimeo.





Sebastian Huber, Robert Pohle, and Johannes Timpernagel from the Berlin-based studio Schnelle Bunte Bilder applied themselves to generative aesthetics to create Sissi Rada’s “Sunday” music video, and developed a visual language that derived from their previous project “Momentum”. Over five days, they shot various “Sunday episodes” – such as riding a bike or playing table tennis – and used Microsoft Kinect as a cinematic tool, a hardware component for controlling the video game console Xbox 360. The resulting digital 3D film recordings were spliced together and trimmed using a VVVV (a software initiated already in 1998 by MESO) programmed tool. Programming the particle engine allowed each scene to be rendered as fluid particles with modifiable parameters. The entire production, using supplementary software such as Cinema 4D and Adobe After Effects, and a typography programme by Christoph Knoth, took six months to complete.



Find out more about the background of another clip, “Dagner” by the music band Dan Freeman and the Serious and the Stuttgart-based designer Michael Fragstein, at form.de/dossiers

SISSI RADA - SUNDAY from schnellebuntebilder on Vimeo.


Nº 272

form Design Magazine

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Museum für Konkrete Kunst, Ingolstadt

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form Edition #4

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