Dec 1, 2015 | By Tess

Since the 1980s with the advent of MTV, music videos have been a part of our lives and have in many ways shaped and influenced our popular culture. With iconic videos such as Michael Jackson’s Thriller, a-ha’s Take on Me, and Beyoncé’s Single Ladies, people everywhere have been touched in some ways by the creative possibilities of the music video as a medium. Not only culturally relevant, however, music videos have often remained at the pinnacle of film and video technologies, showcasing directorial talents and the latest in special effects and styles. Considering this, it is not surprising that 3D scanning technologies have finally been finding their way into music video productions.

still from a-ha's Take On Me music video

Californian songwriter and musical artist Nyles Lannon released a music video for his song 'Another Love' earlier today, which was made using 3D scanning technologies. The song, which itself deals with the anxieties and excitements that surround pregnancy and birth, features in its video sixteen 3D scanned performers who are dancing in a virtual underwater 3D world, as well as 3D scanned sock puppets, a pregnant woman walking, and a man riding a whale.

The video was produced by Michael Langan and Najeeb Tarazi of BOND productions and was premiered earlier today on The Creators Project, an initiative launched in 2009 by Vice and Intel to showcase and provide a platform for emerging and innovative artists who incorporate technology in their work.

The 3D scanning and video effects of Another Love were achieved using three motion sensing Kinects, each of which was combined with a 4K color camera. The motion capturing devices were set up in a way to create a sort of “dance zone” at the center of which the sixteen performers, sock puppets, and a pregnant woman were 3D scanned and brought into the virtual music video world. The overall effect of the music video is rather surreal, with virtual yet still realistic-looking bodies dancing on water, and a lone man surfing on a whale.

“What we’re trying to do with the aesthetic of ‘Another Love’ in invert the uncanny valley – your brain knows you are looking at a pleasant artificial world, but it also senses that the characters you are seeing are actual people,” explains Tarazi in an interview with The Creators Project. “The aesthetic needs grew largely out of where the depth capture was at in terms of its look: video gamey. The tech is still in early days, and so the aesthetic of the characters in the video had to be unabashedly crunchy.”

Langan also explains that him and Tarazi were largely inspired by the aesthetic and styles of video games from the 1990s, such as Sonic the Hedgehog. “You can feel Sonic the Hedgehog in the golden rings of lyrics. The color palette, dolphins, and environments are a nod to Wave Race 64, slowed down to a delicious pace.”

In some ways, N. Lannon’s 'Another Love' music video could even be seen as a digital, 3D scanned homage to a-ha’s famous rotoscoped Take on Me video, though we can only wait to see whether it will reach the iconic status of the latter. Be sure to check out the full video below:

 

 

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