March 31, 2017

Exploring the Stylish Visuals of Kendrick Lamar's 'Humble' Music Video

The visual effects in rapper/songwriter Kendrick Lamar's new music video are hot enough to ignite your brain.

Just in case you haven't noticed, the internet has been buzzing for the last 24 hours about Kendrick Lamar's new music video for his single "Humble," and rightfully so. The visual effects in this video directed by Dave Meyers are subtly amazing. Heads on fire, a 360-degree glitchy Last Supper, and what we can only describe as a cross-frame switcheroo effect really have us wondering how it was all done.

Here to offer a few possibilities is editor Justin Odisho— but before we get to that, let's take a look at Kendrick Lamar's music video.

Here is Odisho's take on how a few different visual effects could have been pulled off.

What we love about this breakdown is that even if the techniques mentioned aren't exactly how the original was done, it doesn't matter. Odisho basically tells you several ways to pull off some awesome visual effects—ones that usually leave a lot of filmmakers scratching their heads. 

This is true especially for the "Last Supper" shot. The great thing about this technique is that it's really not that complicated. All you really have to do is capture the scene using a three or four-camera rig, and then get creative in editing. You could even get a little crazier and try your hand at building a 360-degree rig to do a "bullet-time" shot.

Sure, it's time-consuming and requires some attention to detail (especially in post), but it's a relatively simple effect to create. It might end up costing you some major funds to buy up or rent all of the cameras that you'll need, but if you've got the budget, you could do it without needing a whole lot expertise. (GoPros work really well for this.)

At any rate, now we're all a little bit smarter about creating cool visual/camera effects like the ones in Lamar's new video.     

Your Comment

11 Comments

But how did they actually do the "crazy slider" effect??

April 1, 2017 at 2:46PM, Edited April 1, 2:46PM

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Looks like a moco robot to me. Something like the Bolt: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HRvnYmxcMOY

April 1, 2017 at 5:37PM

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Gleb Volkov
Director of Photography
479

Thanks for the link Gleb! Watched it 5 times in a row!!

April 2, 2017 at 12:34AM

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Edwin Pieroelie
Managing Director
147

That was actually the only shot I was wondering about. I figured it was that device they use to shoot slow motion spills for commercials. No idea what it's called.

April 2, 2017 at 5:03PM

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Don Way
Writer/Director of Photography
1171

I can't tell you the manufacturer of the arm, but I can tell you the company that specializes in 'spills, drops, and general slow motion goodness' is a German company called The Marmalade

May 27, 2017 at 8:03PM, Edited May 27, 8:03PM

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Alex Fagard
Filmmaker, Editor, Motion Graphics, Dabbles in VFX
154

I think one of the cooler shots that he missed talking about was at one minute in with all the bald dudes, is that all the people around him are clones of the same people when they look up to do filler vocals. Likely how they did the glitchy 4 camera quick cuts, they filmed the same person with 4 different angles, to then clone and preposition that guy in multiple locations in that group. A cool way to do crowd extensions in the future with proper camera perspective when they are so close to camera.

April 3, 2017 at 10:03AM

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Dan Hoene
234

Popular rap just keeps getting worse. Decent rappers used to have something to say besides this adhd whatever comes to mind rants backed by a bunch of bling. Waste of filmmaker time making this soulless trash look edgy.

April 3, 2017 at 10:03AM

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Jake
590

That's pretty harsh. This guy is actually one the most "conscious" rappers out right now. You'd have to break down the lyrical content and have similar cultural experiences to understand what he's talking about. Much of the song is a double entendre. A lack of understanding and blanket statements like the one you made are ignorant, lazy, dismissive and the perfect metaphor for what's going on in the U.S. right now. You just don't get it. That's all. It's not for you anyway.

April 3, 2017 at 12:17PM, Edited April 3, 12:18PM

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LOL Clapback of the Month! I hope this isn't the Jake from statefarm ha ha haaa! Kendrick is one of the smartest persons ever to pick up a microphone and rap, Kendrick's lyrical content is studied by professors and students alike in quite a few universities including ivy league universities. But As Kenai Said... This ain't for you... go listen to death metal.

April 3, 2017 at 2:31PM

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Wentworth Kelly
DP/Colorist/Drone Op
3117

I think this song is for Jake, but he didn't listen properly:

"Hol' up, bitch sit down
Hol' up lil' bitch, hol' up lil' bitch be humble
Hol' up, bitch sit down
Sit down, hol' up, lil' bitch
Be humble bitch. "

Now do you understand, Jake? The song is about you.

April 4, 2017 at 12:14PM, Edited April 4, 12:16PM

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Scott Youngblood
Sr. Multimedia Developer
175

Excellent...
Really fascinated by those creativity.
Thank you.

April 5, 2017 at 10:37AM

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Sameir Ali
Director of Photography
1030