The collaborative project started as an idea for father, a music composition and sound design studio (comprised of Feddie Webb and Joe Farley) to collaborate with Studio Private and create a series of short soundscapes which would then be interpreted and visualised by Studio Private to further drive our creative approach and technical skill in movement, CGI and delicate fine tuned nuances in interpretation.
Father was born out of the belief that sound and image should elevate and contextualise one another to amplify emotion and engagement. For Studio Private the uniqueness of the project would be that sound is often designed to fit visual, turning this idea on it’s head would lead to a unique and original visual/sound combination that reflected these same qualities… forming strong synergies of picture and sound was something that we and Father had in common.
On hearing the sound design, the first stage was to decide on an overall theme that would link all the pieces together. For a while we had been toying with the idea of exploring something organic in nature, and seeing how this could be digitised and transformed into something abstract. From out point of view this was a natural fit for the otherworldly - micro organism - delicate electronica we felt from what Father had worked up.
Previously we’d done some experiments with 3D scanning software for another client, and saw this as great opportunity to take this much further.
Choosing the concept of organic-digital and particularly the use of flowers as our still life base gave us beauty to reflect and a purist approach that even further suited the bill.
To create the flowers we tried a number of approaches. The first method was using photogrammetry, which is a way of generating a 3D mesh from a large array of photographs. Despite our best efforts, the intricate layered nature of flowers was too much for the software to compute and it didn’t give us the results we were looking for. After a number of trials, in the end the majority of assets in these videos were digitally sculpted by hand which ultimately gave us a greater control over what we could do with them and an added crafted feel we were looking for.
FILM 01: Inspired by wildlife documentaries, time lapse photography and the fascinating and often short lived lives of insects, the idea for film 01 was to look at the simultaneous growth and decay of two elements. In trying to interpret the music, we represented the undulating slow sounds with the twisting movement of the flowers and the twitchy erratic parts that complement it with the butterflies, as they glitch and become engulfed in the living sculpture.
FILM 02: Listening to the audio from Father, we decided on a direction that mixed the melancholic elements with the abstract digital sounds. With this in mind we were inspired by classic dutch still life paintings but subverted it so the subject became smeared and distorted over time. The film alternates between simple scenes of lilies and roses as digital paint, glowing light and smeared colours gradually overtake the image.
FILM 03: We wanted to explore machine elements alongside mathematics in nature, such as in romanesco or the intricate structures of viruses under a microscope. To complement the structured patterns and layering of the music we play with the idea of symmetry, kaleidoscopes, and continuous change where the forms quickly morph and warp directly to the beats of the track. The look is sharp and metallic and the animation is linear which highlights the mechanisms and repeating processes.
FILM 04: To visualise the music in film 04 we wanted to create something abstract yet ethereal. Maintaining the concept of the flower, we looked at smoke and ink in water as inspiration and decided to create colourful wispy patterns that would complement the delicate and ghostly soundscape. As the film progresses these would begin to solidify and ultimately form the shape of the flower.
FILM 05: When we first heard to fifth audio segment, we felt there was something beautiful yet very alien about it. It evoked the feelings of hearing communication in the natural world, like a strange sonar, but also something incredibly graceful. After experimenting with a few different ideas, we decided to mix the flowers with bioluminescence and the fascinating world of nature in the deep oceans. The pulsing lights would suggest the communication, the unusual patterns and materials bring the otherworldliness and the slow wavelike motions bring the grace and delicacy that is suggested in the audio.