Take a Beautiful Trip Through a 2.5D City in the Animated Short 'Mirage'

MirageAll too often the films that make the biggest splashes are those that race from one showy kinetic scene to the next, barely allowing a pause for breath before the final credits roll. So every once in a while its refreshing to find a film that takes a gentle stroll as its tempo, as Frederic Kokott's short animation Mirage does as it portrays a city in picture and sound. Ease into it after the jump:

Despite what you may initially presume, Mirage was created without the use of any 3D based software, instead After Effects and Illustrator were combined over the course of a 10 week production process to craft and animate the abstract shapes in 2.5D space which form the neighboring city and natural landscapes. You can get a feel how they were used in this pair of making-of videos:

While the meticulous care that went into the visual aspects of the film is obvious, the project's genesis actually stemmed from Kokott's role as a musician as opposed to that of a filmmaker, with the visuals inspired by his 11 track album of the same name. Here he shares how he went about creating the beats:

And of course, what animation would be complete without a foley soundtrack made in part with a lampshade?

What do you think of Kokott's work? Was the languid style a nice change of pace or too slow to hold your attention?

Link: Frederic Kokott -- Vimeo

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Your Comment


The short film was impressive on an artistic and creative note.

What's even better though is that you included all the behind the scenes videos of him making every asset of the film. This is a great example of the "one man band" that has been happening outside of Hollywood. It's becoming increasingly important to have multiple areas of talent.

Thank you for pointing this out.

May 29, 2013 at 3:46PM, Edited September 4, 8:21AM


Glad you enjoyed the post.

It's both scary (how lazy do I feel after seeing the bts) and inspiring to see someone tackle all aspects of a project like this. Collaborations often lead to great work as minds meet, but there's something to be said for fearlessly diving into a project knowing that you're not going to be slowed down or diverted by anyone else.

Hats off to Frederic!

May 29, 2013 at 4:10PM, Edited September 4, 8:21AM


Collaboration is the way to go in my mind, but I agree that there is something about controlling the entire product yourself. Having total control over the output is probably the biggest reason people make these types of short films by themselves.

May 29, 2013 at 5:50PM, Edited September 4, 8:21AM


What a beautiful piece in both its creativity and simplicity. It really is more "art" than video to me, the kind of thing I would expect to see in someplace like the Wexner Center for Modern Art or another modern art museum. It has an abstract quality to it much like a Monet with harder edges to the images but still very much from the mind of the artist and not a video created with a real life scene in mind. Amazing how AE artists are using and pushing the software to its creative limits. Outstanding work!

May 30, 2013 at 1:53PM, Edited September 4, 8:21AM


About a third into this I thought that this piece would be a mere shadow of itself without the music and sound design. As much as I loved the visuals (something to be said about the gorgeous simplicity of a few animated polygons draped in muted hues), the music that accompanied this piece was outstanding and lent much of the atmosphere of the overall work. Outstanding indeed!

Thanks for sharing - I'll watch the BTS this arvo.

May 31, 2013 at 6:17PM, Edited September 4, 8:21AM