The video for The Octopus Project's "An Evening with Rthrtha" is the second collaboration between Phillip Niemeyer of the Brooklyn design studio Double Triple and filmmaker Ryan Junell, following their hand-animated stop-motion video for Spoon's "You Got Yr Cherry Bomb." For "Rthrtha," Niemeyer & Junell used a similar stop-motion animation approach to depict a magical night with the extra-dimensional spirit agents of Rthrtha. Brilliant colors and graphic images move in breakneck stop-motion, illustrating a mind-blowing evening with an ancient psychedelic pink bat, who takes the viewer on a transcendent journey from the hazy Austin twilight into a sub-atomic singularity with the cosmos.
Niemeyer described the project as a sort of DIY cell animation. The two employed a variety of animation techniques, often discovering what they could do only as it was done. They photocopied images onto office quality transparencies, layering them with a light table and a set of overhead projectors. They silkscreened color fields, adding ink with each print to create motion-gradations. They animated the light fluctuations of the double fluorescent tubes that hang above their main work table. With the assistance of Double Triple partner Dana McClure, they animated blown ink and paint seen through a macro lens. "We used over 5,000 still pictures, often layered over each other at variable rates of speed," said Niemeyer. "Our frame rates are so quick I'm not sure it still counts as stop motion."
"An Evening with Rthrtha" was The Octopus Project's second video from the album "Hello, Avalanche," released in 2007 on Peek-A-Boo Records. The "Rthrtha" video appears on the "Golden Beds" enhanced CD EP released in 2009 on Peek-A-Boo Records.
More details on the animation process: