Light Motif, by Frederic Bonpapa, is conceived as a synaesthetic experience based on a visual transposition of Music for 18 Musicians – Section II, by the American composer Steve Reich. The ambition of the film is to cinematically capture the extraordinary life force that animates this essential work of contemporary music by offering a truly hypnotic experience where music can be “seen”.
The inspiration for the project stems from the relationship between music and the visual arts, illustrated by artists such as Wassily Kandinsky, Oskar Fischinger, Norman McLaren or John Whitney. These works try to establish precise connections between sounds, shapes, colors and movements, to visually translate the concepts of rhythm, melody, harmony, pitch, timbre and intensity. Light Motif proposes applying the construction principles of Steve Reich’s compositions to visual language.
Rigorously architected, his compositions are based on the repetition of short melodic patterns subjected to the gradual processes of dephasing, lengthening pattern, rhythmic saturation and tonal changes. The result of these subtle variations in the repetitions is a sound texture in constant transformation. The listener passes progressively from a polyphonic perception to a global perception, from the perception of a discontinuous sound phenomenon to a continuous one. In Light Motif it is this perceptual phenomenon that is transcribed into images.
Procedural generation techniques are used to transpose the motifs and compositional processes into a semi-abstract visual form made of colored lights and geometric shapes.
Light Motif explores the possibilities of synergy between music and image through a subjective experience that can speak directly to the subconscious of the viewer.
“Technically, the most challenging part of this project was the creation of a believable CG monkey. It’s fully animated by keyframe animation. I developed many tools in Softimage: muscle system, skin deformers, collision deformers, combination shape tools based on the FACS ( Facial Action Coding System ), hair grooming tools.
“I also developed many tools to procedurally generate abstract animations: ballistic projection system, advanced voxeliser. Mental Ray was used for the rendering and Nuke for the compositing.” Frederic Bonpapa
Prix Ars Electronica 2014, Honorary Mention.
Official Selection at Siggraph Asia 2014, Anima Mundi, Encounters, Giffoni Experience, OIAF / LAIKA’s salon des refusés, Animatou, Message to Man, Multivision, Tous Courts / Motion +, Giraf, Future Shorts, ArtFutura 2014.
Producer / Director / Editor / CG Supervisor: Frédéric Bonpapa
Music: Steve Reich – Music for 18 Musicians, Section II. Performed by Steve Reich and Musicians. Used by permission of Boosey & Hawkes UK Ltd.
Character Modeler: Eric Prebende
Character TD: Frédéric Bonpapa
Character Animators: Barthélémy Boirot, Frédéric Bonpapa, Mathilde Fabry, Romain Pamart
FX Animators: Olivier Barré, Frédéric Bonpapa, Jon Uriarte.
Shading / Lighting TD: Frédéric Bonpapa
Compositors: Frédéric Bonpapa, Jon Uriarte
© 2014 Frédéric Bonpapa
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