Directing Duo 'Us' Connect the 3D Dots in Foals 'My Number' Music Video
If you look back fondly on those days of seeing an image reveal itself point by point as you worked your way through a dot-to-dot puzzle, then the new video for Foals’ My Number from Christopher Barrett and Luke Taylor, better known as the pronoun ‘Us,’ is going to fill you full of sequential number hunting nostalgia.
Inspired by the My Number track title, but wary that the dot-to-dot effect wouldn’t be achievable through standard animation means with the resources they had for the video, Us consulted visual effects outfit Electric Theatre Collective who suggested the alternative route of motion capture as a much more viable option, as the data could later be mapped to 3D using a mixture of Houdini, Maya and Nuke. With that in mind the duo recalled spending an open day at Andy Serkis’ The Imaginarium Studios and concluded that it was the perfect place to capture the band’s performance. Then the hard work began:
Once we had all the data from the band we then had to re-create the band members and their instruments in 3D to apply the MoCap data to it, we then converted this into dot-to-dot. The process was massively time-consuming with gargantuan renders, but the guys at ETC really pulled out all the stops. On the other hand creating the city, landscape and universes elements compared to the band was not so complex as we just build them in-house which gave us complete control and manipulation.
It’s always encouraging to see filmmakers take leaps in new visual directions and demonstrate that everything hasn’t necessarily been done already. And while Us did shoot their motion capture footage at a specialist studio, recent projects such as the RGBDToolkit and video art piece Unnamed Soundsculpture make me think that imagination, rather than budget, will be the only real barrier standing in the way of those who want to push things even further.
Let us know in the comments what you think of the visual style used in the video.