We made a Music Video with Minimal Setup

Abstract lights and colors expressing an Instant

3 min

July 9, 2023

skttrd

With music videos often comes the challenge of having a short turnaround and a small budget.
For passion projects it’s important to stretch your creativity, take some risks and achieve a desired result.

Last year we had such a project with frequent collaborator skttrd for their track ‘Instant’.


The brief was simple and to the point.

We need an abstract music video that takes you into a trance.

Easy, right?

The trick with abstraction is that you need something concrete to abstract.
It should feel as an attempt to inaccurately represent visual reality.

A still from the Instant music video by skttrd made by Blauw Films. We are seeing an abstract reflection of light onto a curved surface.

A still from the Instant music video by skttrd made by Blauw Films. We are seeing an abstract reflection of light onto a curved surface.

A still from the Instant music video by skttrd made by Blauw Films. We are seeing an abstract reflection of light onto a curved surface.
During our brainstorming session we landed on abstract reflections.

We knew that we could use Shallow Depth-of-field to our benefit:

Hiding imperfections and emphasising the abstraction.

A still from the Instant music video by skttrd made by Blauw Films. We are seeing an abstract reflection of light onto a curved surface.

A still from the Instant music video by skttrd made by Blauw Films. We are seeing an abstract reflection of light onto a curved surface.

A still from the Instant music video by skttrd made by Blauw Films. We are seeing an abstract reflection of light onto a curved surface.

A still from the Instant music video by skttrd made by Blauw Films. We are seeing an abstract reflection of light onto a curved surface.

The Story was simple.

We follow a day to night cycle with people living and going to work, to finally going out and partying.

We used footage from Artgrid that we edited to the music.
The story was laid out in the edit. But at this point we weren’t yet sure how it was going to feel in the end.

We played back the footage on an HD TV and reflected it on the surface of a variety of silverware. The silver has beautiful shapes and curves, and their reflectance is so high it functions as a mirror.

A still from the Instant music video by skttrd made by Blauw Films. We are seeing an abstract reflection of light onto a curved surface.

A still from the Instant music video by skttrd made by Blauw Films. We are seeing an abstract reflection of light onto a curved surface.

A still from the Instant music video by skttrd made by Blauw Films. We are seeing an abstract reflection of light onto a curved surface.

A still from the Instant music video by skttrd made by Blauw Films. We are seeing an abstract reflection of light onto a curved surface.
The images we got were the right level of abstract for the project.

And with little to no post-processing, we had a music video!

The final step was adding the title cards.
For this we wanted the look to match that of the filmed footage.

In CG I pressed the typography through a plane with high subdivisions.
The image on the right shows you the XYZ direction in color.

We then applied a silverware shader to the mesh, projected the footage onto it and we got the moving title cards:

A still from the Instant music video by skttrd made by Blauw Films. We are seeing an abstract reflection of light onto a curved surface.

A still from the Instant music video by skttrd made by Blauw Films. We are seeing an abstract reflection of light onto a curved surface.

To learn more about achieving photorealism in CGI give the following article a read on Bokeh.

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