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Musicians Sad Night Dynamite Take You on a Dreamlike Journey from Life to the Precipice of Death and Back

18/07/2022
Production Company
London, UK
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Blink's Lucas Hrubizna directs five video shorts using cutting-edge volcap technology

Blink’s director and VFX genius Lucas Hrubizna has created a bespoke series of five video shorts for band Sad Night Dynamite, using cutting-edge volcap technology that has never been used before in this way.

The visualisers were made for Sad Night Dynamite’s second studio album ‘Volume ii’ released back in April of this year. SND consists of two guys; archie and josh whose music lies somewhere in between hip hop, dub, Heaven and Hell.

Director Lucas Hrubizna, comments: “SND had imagined a series of pieces taking place within some sort of purgatory - an abstract in-between place where time has dissolved. having experienced a near-death event, they had seen the visuals of this project somehow reflecting the dreamlike journey from life to the precipice of death and back. I started to think of the ascending levels of Dantés Purgatorio, and loosely re-imagined them as bleak, liminal spaces from the modern world, wherein reality has exploded into harsh, digital fragments. each piece is meant to be a mini fever dream that perfectly loops, reflecting the endless sense of time and space in purgatory while also functioning on social media platforms where looped video playback is standard.”

Executive producer Laura Northover, says: “Lucas brings a completely fresh directing take with his skills as a VFX artist, his style is incredibly painterly and instinctive, so with this project he really had fun exploring what can be done with volumetric capture which is still a relatively new technology. There were various challenges throughout as the studio technicians told us we were using software in a way that hadn’t been done before, creating a whole host of hurdles to navigate. It’s the result of months of work and the outcome is a dark and stunning journey through purgatory. The CGI is so realistic that numerous people have asked us ‘where was this filmed’, but it was built entirely from scratch from the depths of Lucas’s mind!”

Lucas remotely directed base performances on green screen, and then essentially built everything to surround the performances in CGI from his home studio in Toronto. In addition to shooting 2D plates on green screen, the team were given amazing access to the volumetric capture facilities at dimension studios in London. SND climbed into a giant cage rigged with a huge amount of individual cameras that captured their performance from several angles. these images were then fed into dimension’s processing software that essentially triangulates positional data and spits out a fully-animated 3D model of the performance. These models can then be integrated into CGI environments or 2D footage, allowing for huge flexibility in building worlds and camera trickery.

Volcap is still in its infancy, so the process creates a lot of very digital feeling artefacts like jagged edges and holes in the models which most artists try to fix and hide in more photorealistic applications. However, Lucas loved the raw, harsh digitalness that they had without being refined. the environments are built up of various roughly-captured 3D scans, models and low-res iPhone footage, all thrown together to create scenes with a harsh, fragmented feeling. Lucas wanted the whole thing to feel like a stew of digital detritus, artefacts and all.

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