Personal/Freelance Project 3D Motion
False memories is about the internal surveillance of ourselves, how we see, monitor and judge our psyche - from conscious to subconscious.
This project was for the launch of False Memories, an EP by First Crimes (Ben Cross). Ben, being a graphic designer, worked with me on the identity, concept and overall release package.
Initially the idea of the project stemmed from a 3D web experience that First Crimes created. Starting with the screens and outside ocean scene, the visual and conceptual idea was developed around this.
The False Memories video was developed in tandem with the music. Both myself and the producer, First Crimes, had a visual and aural vision in which we combined to create a singular output. After 1 year of development, iterations upon iterations, scrapped ideas and a couple of complete direction changes, we’ve produced something we couldn’t be prouder of.
Experience the 3D website here.
Full Clay / Lighting Rig
To create the dynamic and dramatic feel to the lighting in the video I needed to time the lighting to the music. However doing this straight away in Cinema 4D was near impossible with the amount of shots and tools available.
Instead, I opted to implement a workflow in which I could transfer the lighting timings created in After Effects over to Cinema 4D. To do this I constructed a lighting rig over the top of the clay render. I used expression controls linked to visual cues so I could get a feel for the lighting before it was in the final shots.
After creating this clay / lighting rig mock-up, I (painstakingly) transferred the lighting keyframes over to Cinema 4D shot by shot. It was a long process, but I think the outcome was worth it.
Bodies - Explorations
To create the texture for the bodies, I needed to produce a procedural material that could be wrapped around non human or morphed body shapes. A standard UV unwrapped texture would not have worked here.
This was the first time I had developed a skin texture material; I experimented with numerous layered imperfections, such as veins, moles and dirt to achieve a natural but unhealthy complexion.
I experimented with merging bodies so that they were nearly unidentifiable, I wanted to see how far this could be pushed until it would not look human. The goal here was to illicit an uncanny valley reaction from the viewer where the objects would straddle line between human and purely structures of skin and flesh.
Tree - Explorations
I wanted the tree to appear as if it was trapping the bodies, like an infection taking over a system. I needed a method for the tree to interact and wrap around the bodies dynamically.
I settled on using traced particles driven by Cinema 4D fields. Although very processor intensive, it allowed for the twisted, organic and dark looking shapes I was going for.
Building - Explorations
I wanted the building to be a monolithic structure, it needed to have a sense of scale so that the music as well as the central element would feel powerful and foreboding.
Taking inspiration from the brutalist structures that house many of Berlin's clubs, we wanted to communicate this stark, spacious and dark feeling.
As well as inspiring the structure, the lighting is heavily influenced from a club environment. I also looked at churches and cathedrals to understand how lighting can be used to create a holy and divine feeling.
Camera - Explorations
The camera needed to feel as if it was part of the tree structure, or rather from the same visual system. I wanted it to appear as an overseer, something that watches and something to be scared of.
I started by thinking how I could combine the bodies and the tree for its visuals, as if it were an amalgamation of the two. However this started to feel a little cartoon-like and on the nose, I eventually opted for an alien tech appearance that utilised organic shapes fused with machine components.
It also needed to look natural in the way it moved; it would be weaving in and out of the central structure so its physiology needed to look as if it was capable of doing so. This proved to be the most challenging aspect of this part of the project; however with the final result.
The camera needed to look natural in the way it moved; it would be weaving in and out of the central structure so its physiology needed to look as if it was capable of doing so. This proved to be the most challenging aspect of this part of the project. After a few workarounds and hacking together a combination of sweeps and shader effectors in Cinema 4D I got the result I was looking for.
Throughout the project, we collected extensive visual research that shaped the direction we would take. Bodies, User Interfaces, cathedrals, music videos, chiaroscuro, its all is here.