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Check Out Nexus & Red Bull's Incredible 3-D 'Stroboscope' for SBTRKT

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Jim Le Fevre creates a visual treat to be unveiled at Inner-City Arts’ event Summer on Seventh in Los Angeles

Check Out Nexus & Red Bull's Incredible 3-D 'Stroboscope' for SBTRKT

Nexus director Jim Le Fevre has been commissioned by producer/multi-instrumentalist SBTRKT and record label Young Turks, in collaboration with Red Bull, to create a giant 3-D stroboscope. It will be unveiled at Inner-City Arts’ event Summer on Seventh in Los Angeles on 25th July 2015 and housed at Guerrilla Galleries in Downtown LA’s arts district starting July 28th. The SBTRKT-O-SCOPE is one of only a small handful of 3-Dimensional stroboscopes of its scale in existence, the others owned by animation giants, Pixar (US) and Studio Ghibli (Tokyo). 

Created by BAFTA winning animator/director, and leading zoetrope artist Jim Le Fevre, the 8ft tall and 6ft wide, stroboscope spins at 33.3rpm and is illuminated by a strobe-rig to create the optical illusion of animation. The architecture and tiers were laser-cut to specific dimensions, and the character animated at Nexus’ London studio then 3-D printed frame by frame into physical models. 

Extending the visual identity of SBTRKT, the installation was created as a physical prequel to the New Dorp video, and represents the birth of SBTRKT’s now trademark creature. The installation brings to life SBTRKT’s mysterious creature in multiple forms emerging from the water, clambering over the Manhattan skyline, and plunging into New York’s city centre.

Nexus director, Jim Le Fevre, says, “ The project was ambitious not only in size, but in that we created a longer movement, showing the SBTRKT character appear, move and disappear, in a smooth series of consecutive loops. The intricate mathematics need to be absolutely precise, across all elements, for this technique to work; from 3-D printing and hand-painting 40 characters, to the code behind the bespoke system for the lighting which involves 20 banks of strobe LEDs run by a magnet sensor that continually assesses the revolutions per minute and adjusts the strobe accordingly, and every single element in between. Only when you have everything in place, and fire up the strobes and motor do you know whether it will work! It’s been great working with Red Bull, without whom the project wouldn’t have been possible.”

SBTRKT explains, “My music has always been about blending live instrumentation within digital worlds. Wonder Where We Land was very much born in this way rather than a mathematical programmed record. From the very beginning of SBTRKT and the visual concepts and collaborations with A HIDDEN PLACE that accompany each album, we have always tried to create translations of digital ideas into physical. Whether that was the lenticular cover for Hold On or a self-animating sleeve (Transitions). The album imagery and creature that AHP created was only possible through digital production but I like that the imagery can live beyond a computer screen without it being just a hologram, back to being mechanical and analogue. The models come to life in front of you which makes it quite hypnotic!”

Bob Smiland, Inner-City Arts’ President & CEO, says “There could not be a more perfect setting to showcase the SBTRKT-O-SCOPE than Inner-City Arts, where our entire focus is on unlocking creativity and innovation.”

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Production Company

Director: Jim Le Fevre

Executive Producer: Beccy McCray

Producer: Blyth Read

Production Company: Nexus Interactive Arts

Post Production / VFX

3D Lead Artist: Mark Davies


Editor: Dave Slade


Animation Company: Will Lorton

Modelling: Pete Addington, Gary Fouchy, Blue-Zoo

Models: Gee Staughton, Gordon Allen and Alban Allen

Genres: Animation

Categories: Music video, Short films

Nexus Studios, Thu, 23 Jul 2015 08:47:23 GMT