WoodSwimmer is a new short film by engineer and stop-motion animator Brett Foxwell, who has built armatures for films such as Boxtrolls and Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Created in collaboration with musician and animator bedtimes, the work follows a piece of raw wood through a milling machine, capturing its unique growth rings, knots, and weathered spots through a series of cross-sectional photographic scans. Due the speed at which the images are animated, the log’s grains begin to flow like granules of sand—shifting, mixing, and flowing in a vibrant dance that seems completely removed from its rigid material.
“Fascinated with the shapes and textures found in both newly-cut and long-dead pieces of wood, I envisioned a world composed entirely of these forms,” Foxwell told Colossal. “As I began to engage with the material, I conceived a method using a milling machine and an animation camera setup to scan through a wood sample photographically and capture its entire structure. Although a difficult and tedious technique to refine, it yielded gorgeous imagery at once abstract and very real. Between the twisting growth rings, swirling rays, knot holes, termites and rot, I found there is a lot going on inside of wood.”
Heads up: watching this full-screen in HD with sound makes all the difference. You can see more of Foxwell’s works, like his 19-minute film Fabricated, on his Vimeo.
Toronto-based filmmaker Jonah Haber recently premiered a new experimental short film titled Glow featuring dancer Niamh Wilson shot against a giant glow-in-the-dark backdrop. As Wilson moves through the piece a strobe illuminates her silhouette leaving a trail of shadowy figures against the background. What a fun idea. The film serves as the official video for Yes We Mystic’s track “Working For The Future In The Interlake“. If you liked this also check out Michael Langan and Terah Maher’s art film Choros.
Starting with a recording of raindrops hitting the skylight in his old apartment, this track titled Order from Chaos from London-based artist Max Cooper‘s newest album Emergence is the culmination of three years work merging his interests in science, music and visual arts. French visual effects artist Maxime Causeret was asked to provide the visuals and the result is a mesmerizing blend of biological simulations and music video. Cellular forms appear to collide, merge, and even compete for resources while brain-like structures explode and crash across the screen. Cooper explains a bit of the science behind the art:
Maxime Causeret selected this track to work with, under the brief to map the emergent rhythm to an exploration of emergence in living form. His video shows the raindrops initially, then going into simple cellular forms and then showing the important idea of cooperation between simple cells to form more robust colonies of life. This develops into a visualisation of the idea of endosymbiosis, where simpler smaller organisms can live inside larger cells, each providing a benefit to the other, and eventually forming parts of the same organism as they evolve to be entirely dependent on each other.
Fullscreen, headphones, you know the drill. This is definitely worth getting lost in for a moment. You can listen to Cooper’s full album here.
Artist Carine Khalife (previously) just completed work on this swimmingly beautiful music video for Great Headless Blank, the title track of a new EP from Makeunder. The video was created using a paint-on-glass method where each frame is lit from behind and photographed, a technique popularized by Russian animator Aleksandr Petrov. Khalife occasionally pushes the tactile aesthetic even further by allowing the film to transform into three dimensions using sculpted claymation. You can read more about the film’s premise on the Creator’s Project.
Please take a few moments to immerse yourself in this lovely new music video for folk country trio Jane Bordeaux’s ‘Ma’agalim.’ The animated short transports us inside a device inspired by components from an old penny arcade device that contains a perpetually moving landscape where people go about their daily lives. The attention to detail in color and texture of every frame is breathtaking, but isn’t surprising given director Uri Lotan's previous work at Pixar and Disney. You can see full credits for the film here. (via Vimeo)
This new music video for composer Ralf Hildenbeutel's track Disco was created from over 1,200 individually hand-painted frames. Directed by Boris Seewald, the clip uses an animation technique called rotoscoping to turn the real-life movements of dancers Althea Corlett and Simone Schmidt into a series of drawings and paintings to make each scene. Despite the wild variety of mediums and techniques used in the hundreds of sketches, the frame to frame continuity almost serves to enhance and accentuate the motions of the dancers.
Rotoscoping is a form of animation where live video is translated into hand-drawn animation stills with the help of a projector or transparencies. Some more notable examples from pop culture include several scenes from both of Disney’s Snow White and Peter Pan, or the 1984 music video for Ah Ha’s Take On Me.
Disco was animated by Boris, Mina, and Mihwa Seewald, and filmed by Georg Simbeni. (via Vimeo Staff Picks)