Motion designer Stefan Draht (www.stefandraht.com) recently created a music video for Sunjacket (sunjacket.net). The More Lifelike video was largely built in Adobe After Effects by using layers of treated footage, graphic elements and virtual cameras.
The video begins with simple square pixels appearing on the screen. As it evolves, the designs become more elaborate in both density and complexity.
“This piece is a poetic look at life and nature seen through the eyes of a machine,” Draht explains. “It plays with the balance between fidelity and abstractness — detail and grandness. There’s a meditative and reflective quality to More Lifelike that seems to resonate with a more tonal and subdued visual representation. Ultimately, I wanted to capture a sense of the ebb and flow that the song has, as well as the underlying yearning in the voices. The machine longs to experience something more lifelike in the end.”
Sunjacket says the song is “about ritualistic binging and purging, about the almost spiritual longing instilled in us from birth to seek satisfaction in the lives we don’t yet have. Stefan’s video, which shares a conceptual kinship with the Powers of Ten video from the late ‘70s, complements the song by highlighting the relationality among all things while also placing those individual things’ insignificance into perspective.”
The video’s individual shots, Draht explains, “were assembled in a single master comp within After Effects, rather than being exported out to a separate editing environment. The reason for this was really the simplicity and flexibility afforded by being able to see how cuts were flowing and then diving right into a shot to make a change rather than round-tripping back to an editing tool.”
Some of the pixel effects applied to footage were created by running the raw footage through a custom bit of software written in Java and using the Processing graphics framework. Blackmagic Design’s DaVinci Resolve was used for the final color grade.