Dystopian Dubstep “Dysco” by Simon Russell
Inspired by George Orwell’s 1984, the Snowden leaks and the Arab Spring, London animation director Simon Russell unleashes “Dysco,” his CG experiment created “with a tight link between the audio and visual elements – the intention was to evoke an experience similar to synesthesia, where sound, vision, color and light cross over and spill into other senses.”
“Many of my early tests were automated animation driven by the audio. In the end the majority of the animation was done manually but there are still some automated sections. This was because I was doing such small sections of animation there was no real need automate it, it in fact was harder to create generative systems than it was to just key it by hand. I think audio driven animation is an interesting area and something I’ll continue to explore, it’d be particularly good for making semi-automated music videos or even in live performances.
“The environments are based on photographs I took around London. I used Cinema 4D’s Projection Man tool to project it onto geometry and then I began populating it with futuristic buildings, barbed wire and drones. Before building anything in 3D I generally researched in online and sketched it out by hand.
“Most of the animation and particle work was created in Cinema 4D. I used After Effects to composite and add in extra effects and Premier to arrange and edit everything. I found the integration between After Effects and Premier CC surprisingly good.
“I used Thinking Particles and Xpresso a lot for the early automation tests but soon I was mainly keyframing the animation and X-Particles became my new particle plug-in of choice. It’s a powerful tool and a lot of fun, if you’re into that type of thing.”