Darkstar's Gold

music video

Commissioned by Hyperdub Records, we directed/animated/programmed the music video for Darkstar's first single off their new album, North. Titled 'Gold' the video is an artistic representation of the concept of memetic contagion i.e. an idea as something that you can catch, that finds a host in the mind of a person.

3D Light Structuring

To create the 3D point clouds of Darkstar's heads, we used Kyle Mcdonald's open source structured light scanner. By projecting three phases of a cosine pattern across the faces of Darkstar we produced accurate 3D models of each member. With a bit of coding trickery, we then brought this data into After Effects to animate the individual points. Download the 3D Structured Light Scanner here.

Gold Code

Instead of relying on the usual package of particle software, we wrote our own. Written in C++ with openFrameworks, the aim was to give the 'gold contagion' a unique look and one that wasn't out there in the usual After Effects/Cinema4D arsenal. Relying on lots of open source software ourselves, we figured it was only fair to release the code so other people could play around with it. Check out the processing app here.

Visible Human Project

So how to show the insides of Darkstar? The thought of building a 3D model of the brain occurred to us but we wanted it to look as realistic as possible. To do this we decided to source images directly from The National Library of Medicine in Maryland. A program they run, The Visible Human Project aims "to create a digital image dataset of complete human male and female cadavers in MRI, CT and anatomical modes." Using the anatomical and MRI data sets we constructed traversal animations as biological stand-ins for Darkstar.


Directed: sembler
Animation: sembler
Programming: sembler
Director of Photography: Mark Adcock
Made with After Effects, Cinema4D and openFrameworks

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