Painterly Particular

I stumbled on this "painterly" effect while working on making fractal field visualizations with Trapcode Particular. I was using a quite large and dense Grid emitter, and tracing the particles' motion in the field by emitting aux particles:

I wanted to see how it would look with some colours and changed the Grid emitter into a Layer Grid emitter and placed a photo as source texture for the emitter. Here are two before/after for the effect:

There are no post effects added here, the pattern that reminds of a canvas is actually from the grid emitter. At first the particles are unaffected by the field, due to Turbulence>Fade In Time, and as time progresses they get more and more affected, leaving the aux trail all the way back to the original grid.

Here's what the build-up sequence looks like:

Download the After Effects project file and try it with your own images! Painterly.aep

By further boosting contrast (Brightness & Contrast effect) and adding Sharpen and Color Emboss the image looks even more like an oil painting on canvas:

NEW! Project file with emboss: painterly_emboss.aep (CS6)



Facing a tight three-week production deadline for the project, machenschaft decided to ditch the 3D apps and use GPU-based Trapcode Mir in AE to create their awesome graphics.

I asked Damir Zrno why they used Mir for this project, how it was used and what he thought of it. "First of all I was curious about Mir and wanted to give it a try. The short timeframe was the reason why 3D was not an option. I totally enjoyed the speed of Mir. There were mostly two kinds of Mir combined with a light setup; one was using an amplitude map (Fractal Noise) and the other without the map. After a couple of trial-and-error runs we had what we wanted. Pulling on some values changed every shot pretty fast into a new sculptures. 3000x800 vertices were used. Every extension was done with Mir, besides the packshot. Production was three weeks not including shooting in India."



Here are some pictures of tests I've done recently with Trapcode Mir. I'm using the two bend's found under Geometry and combining with the two other bend's found under Fractal and the Repeater using a rainbow coloured texture. Pretty spaced-out patterns! They remind me of images that pop up during meditation. You can get the AEP and play around with it (AE CS 5.5): Hopefields.aep



Trying something new - a PUBLIC beta! That means anyone can participate. Well, you need to own Mir 1.0 or be stuck in demo mode with the red X.

Check it out in the brand new BETA section to the right in the top menu above!


David Bowie / LOVE IS LOST / Hello Steve Reich Mix

An amazing track, an amazing video!

James Murphy's (formerly LCD Soundsystem) fantastic remix of David Bowie's LOVE IS LOST gets a super-edgy, glitchy, introspective, just beautiful video directed by Barnaby Roper. The remix works partly as an homage to Steve Reich's "Clapping Music" and the video starts out with visuals of hands clapping laid out in different symmetric compositions. Both music and video can be observed in its move from analog to digital.

Harry Martis ("denial of service") did some loveley CGI work, partly using Trapcode plug-ins in After Effects. Martis notes:

"Sound Keys handled all of the audio reaction throughout the particle and sound-reactive bits. Totally invaluable tool! I also used Form for some of the particle work on the second section (utilising the .obj import capability) and MIR (with the DoF trick) for the obvious fractal landscape traveling. Particular is used throughout most pieces for ambient particle effects & atmospherics." 

Martis notes on the project:

"I was recently given the opportunity to work on a 'taboo' project of sorts. so... here's goes.. lots & lots of intense sound-reactive particle work and utter worship of the glitch. be it displacement. as well as, old-fashioned hand-made data-moshing. my sincere thanks to all these wonderful people stateside! this has been the smoothest collaboration i have ever had so far."

At a certain point in the track Murphy ingeniously brings in some sounds from Ashes to Ashes and Roper responds by bringing in the iconic image of Bowie into the glitchy beautiful mess. 

As a long-time Bowie fan it's an honor to be able to feature this work of art in the Trapcode Gallery. It's an honor that my software was used in its production. I think both the music and video are amazing. It is an homage to the past whilst pointing to the future, a move to understand the present. It is a complete work in my opinion. Kudos to all involved!

Full Credits 

Label: ISO / RCA Records
Production Company: Black Dog Films
Director: Barnaby Roper
Executive Producer: Coleen Haynes
DP: Santiago Gonzalez
Assistant Camera: Tim Romero
DIT: Dai Yoshida and Nick McCann
Lighting Assistant: Christian Larsen
Producer: Richard Hutchins
Production Manager: Doug McCafferty
Director Rep @ Cadence NY: Neil Cooper

Editorial: Modern Post NYC
Editor: Matt Nee
Producer: Seema Naik

Post Production: Industrial Color
Animators: Joe White, Boris Coyere
3D Scanning: Direct Dimensions
CGI Artists: Geoffrey Pons, Harry Martis
CGI Artists: Stephen Hallquist and Sam Blalark
Producer: James Demetri

Models: Dorothea Barth-Jorgensen @ Elite NYC, Reid Prebenda @ Wilhelmina Men
Hair/Make-up: Valery Gherman @ Art Department