1. "Whale Song" for Modest Mouse

    06:05

    from Bent Image Lab / Added

    412K Plays / / 81 Comments

    In producing this ground breaking music video, the band Modest Mouse got the royal treatment from Bent Image Lab and director Nando Costa. A dark and expressive piece of filmmaking, this 6-minute video includes intense moments of live-action, stop motion, visual effects, and motion graphics techniques, all brought to life within the studio’s walls. Concept: After entering his personal sanctuary, an artist is presented with a hand-crafted drawing tool that assists him in materializing his mental impressions. The machine discharges his thoughts as an endless web of yarn that guides him through his physical thoughts. The story progresses to reveal that he is divided between two worlds, one of dull reality and the second of warped memories. In the process of finding a way out of his consciousness, he is trapped between the two competing spaces, which eventually inflict lethal damage, acting as metaphors to self-destruction. View Production Stills on Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/bentimagelab/sets/72157622256680339/ http://www.flickr.com/photos/bentimagelab/sets/72157619746721753/ This lyrical and moving piece was conceived by Nando Costa working closely with lead singer/guitarist Isaac Brock to polish some of the film's intricacies. Featuring a seamless combination of live-action and stop motion that alternates between stage shots of Modest Mouse and a spiraling dream-like world of ever-shifting landscapes, Whale Song is a stunning representation of the combined capabilities of Nando and Bent. The variety and execution of the VFX portions of the video – from yarn reeling into complex patterns to a guitar that plays with no musician attached – strongly evoke the confused and surreal patterns of one's warped memories. Additional creative touches such as animated and intricate photographic collages and giant CG snails sliding across the band's stage – add variety and depth to the surreal world. One of the challenges in Whale Song was to recreate the contours of an ever changing, disorienting and intriguing series of landscapes. Costa shot the majority of the piece with Bent’s RED cameras. In order to create the feeling that lead singer/guitarist Isaac Brock was being split up between two competing scenarios of pure reality and his imagination, for example, Costa mounted two of the RED cameras side by side on a custom plate, each with identical lenses set at an angle to simulate a stereoscopic effect. In another instance, band members that appeared to be standing on the ground were actually hoisted aloft and secured to a fake ground plane, which meant that the stage floor was perpendicular to the ground. This situation intentionally restrained their flexibility and shifted the gravity, adding oddness to their movements. Costa used a variety of frame rates, ranging from time-lapses at 6 frames per second, to 1000 fps shots from a Phantom camera to give the feeling of variety of speed in the character's memories. Blue screen stages were used extensively to place Isaac against the varying landscapes of mountains, dense forest valleys, and deserts. Bent's CG department was also responsible for creating significant portions of the video's landscapes and scenic elements. During production, Nando and his team relied solely on a very detailed script containing technical and creative notes, live-action and animation guidelines, with specifications for composting and stop motion, which were all previously defined and polished by the director. Credit List: Music: Modest Mouse Animation Studio: Bent Image Lab Director: Nando Costa Executive Producer: Ray Di Carlo Senior Producer: Tsui Ling Toomer Producer: Kara Place Production Coordinator: Ryan Shanholtzer Director of Photography: Bryce Fortner Motion Control Operator: Jim Birkett Gaffer: Adam Burr, Jim Birkett Phantom HD Technician: Benji Brucker Kinetic Sculptor: Ben Hopson Set Designers: Nando Costa, Solomon Burbridge Set & Prop Fabricators: Daniel Miller, Eric Urban, Greg Fosmire, Jamie Hanson, Jen Prokopowicz, Justin Warner, Kimi Kaplowitz, Marty Easterday, Sarah Hoopes, Solomon Burbridge, Art Department Coordinator: Evan Stewart Carpenter: Drew Lytle Graphic Designer: Nando Costa 3D Artists: Eric Durante, Shirak Agresta 2D Animation & Compositing: Brian Kinkley, Brian Merrel, Jay Twenge, McKay Marshall, Nando Costa, Orland Nutt, Randy Wakerlin Stop-Motion Animation: Jen Prokopowicz, Marty Easterday Still Photography: Jared Tarbell, Nando Costa Special Thanks to: Isaac Brock, Darrin Wiener, Linn Olofsdotter Links: Studio website: http://www.bentimagelab.com Band website: http://www.modestmousemusic.com Showcased at Seattle International Film Festival during "Bumbershoot", Premiered on Pitchfork.com, 12th edition of THE NEMO FESTIVAL (France)

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    • Thom Yorke, "Harrowdown Hill"

      04:52

      from Bent Image Lab / Added

      175K Plays / / 58 Comments

      DIRECTOR Chel White STUDIO Bent Image Lab - bentimagelab.com MUSIC BY Thom Yorke Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke describes this song as his most political work. "Harrowdown Hill," is part of Yorke's solo album, "The Eraser," which released in August 2006. After seeing the short films of Chel White, Yorke sought him out to direct his next music video. White, who is co-founder of Bent Image Lab in Portland, OR, chose to incorporate an innovative technique that he and the rest of the Bent artists had been researching previous to this project. Dubbed Smallgantics, the technique takes footage of large objects (rivers, factories, city skylines) and makes them appear as though they are actually miniatures. In "Harrowdown Hill," Chel used aerial footage to be miniaturized using Smallgantics. Smallgantics, inspired by tilt-shift photography, took the principles inherent with using tilt-shift lenses (lenses that sit at an angle in comparison to the film plane, creating a sloped focal plane which can at times simulate short depth of field and can distort the apparent size of subjects), and pushed them to a new level. Instead of the apparent blurriness of the subject matter being dependent on its vertical alignment in the picture, Bent broke the image up into its apparent planes of depth. So, just like in actual shallow depth of field, it is the subject's proximity to the lens that determines its sharpness. The process involves splitting the footage up into several vertical planes that move back over the perceived z-axis, or into the image along its perceived depth. These planes are then affected with varying degrees of blur to simulate a shallow depth of field. If done right, the amount of blur increases smoothly as it moves along the planes of the image. Next, these levels of blur are animated to simulate a change in focus or to compensate for the forward movement of the camera. Chel White's video for Thom Yorke's, "Harrowdown Hill," won Best Music Video at South by Southwest (SXSW) 2007, ResFest 10, and The Worldwide Short Film Festival. It was nominated for Best Music Video and Best Special Effects at MVPA and FutureShorts. "The winner of this year's South by Southwest (SXSW) music video award is described as 'a quietly intense call to consciousness in an age of disinformation, preemptive war and unprecedented governmental secrecy.' Thom Yorke's 'Harrowdown Hill,' directed by Chel White, offers a visually compelling bird's eye view of some of the biggest challenges facing our society today, including global warming and petroleum consumption." -MusicVideoWire.com LINKS: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smallgantics http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chel_White

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      • "Whale Song" for Modest Mouse

        06:05

        from Nando Costa / Added

        *** This video was initially posted by the production company at http://vimeo.com/6929537 *** My complete portfolio at http://www.nandocosta.com - I directed, designed and also animated and worked on the compositing of this music video for Portland-based band Modest Mouse. Below is the press release from Bent where the video was produced. Behind the Scenes: http://www.vimeo.com/15442231 View Production Stills on Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/bentimagelab/sets/72157622256680339/ http://www.flickr.com/photos/bentimagelab/sets/72157619746721753/ - The indie rock band Modest Mouse is getting the royal treatment from Bent Image Lab’s new director/partner Nando Costa. Just completed, the band’s new music video is a dark and expressive piece of film-making. Heavily rooted in live-action, the impressive six-minute video includes intense moments of stop motion, visual effects, and motion graphics techniques, all brought to life within the studio’s walls. The visuals follow an artist who enters his personal sanctuary where he is presented with a hand-crafted drawing tool that assists him in materializing his mental impressions. Through drawing circular patterns, the machine discharges an endless web of yarn that guides him through his visual representations of his memories. The story progresses to reveal that he is divided between two worlds, one of dull reality and the second of warped memories. In the process of finding a way out of his consciousness, he is trapped between the two competing spaces, which eventually inflict lethal damage, acting as metaphors to self-destruction. This lyrical and moving piece was conceived by Nando Costa working closely with lead singer/guitarist Isaac Brock to polish some of the film's intricacies. Featuring a seamless combination of live-action and stop motion that alternates between stage shots of Modest Mouse and a spiraling dream-like world of ever-shifting landscapes, Whale Song is a stunning representation of the combined capabilities of Nando and Bent. The variety and execution of the VFX portions of the video – from yarn reeling into complex patterns to a guitar that plays with no musician attached – strongly evoke the confused and surreal patterns of one's warped memories. Additional creative touches such as animated and intricate photographic collages and giant CG snails sliding across the band's stage – add variety and depth to the surreal world. “This new video is the perfect showcase for the benefits of the collaboration between myself and Bent,” noted Costa. “I typically wouldn't have created a film with this much live-action or stop motion, and Bent also wouldn't normally approach a project with such a strong motion graphics influence, which is what I have long specialized in. With such well integrated in-house teams, I can’t imagine that there’s a project out there that we couldn’t pull off.” One of the challenges in Whale Song was to recreate the contours of an ever changing, disorienting and intriguing series of landscapes. Costa shot the majority of the piece with Bent’s RED One cameras, which came in handy for their 4K capabilities when adding camera movement in post. In order to create the feeling that lead singer/guitarist Isaac Brock was being split up between two competing scenarios of pure reality and his imagination, for example, Costa mounted two of the RED cameras side by side on a custom plate, each with identical lenses set at an angle to simulate a stereoscopic effect. In another instance, band members that appeared to be standing on the ground were actually hoisted aloft and secured to a fake ground plane, which meant that the stage floor was perpendicular to the ground. This situation intentionally restrained their flexibility and shifted the gravity, adding oddness to their movements. Costa used a variety of frame rates, ranging from time-lapses at 6 frames per second, to 1000 fps shots from a Phantom camera to give the feeling of variety of speed in the character's memories. Blue screen stages were used extensively to place Isaac against the varying landscapes of mountains, dense forest valleys, and deserts. Bent's CG department was also responsible for creating significant portions of the video's landscapes and scenic elements. During production, Nando and his team relied solely on a very detailed script containing technical and creative notes, live-action and animation guidelines, with specifications for composting and stop motion, which were all previously defined and polished by the director. “From what I’ve learned, producing a project at Bent is a wonderfully self-contained experience,” noted Costa. “From building intricate props to figuring out complex CG shots, Bent has specialists in all fields. I’ll walk over to the stage for live-action, then back to compositing, load the footage and work from there. It makes the whole process immeasurably easier, and creatively freeing.” “Seeing this video makes me feel good about what we’ve done here at Bent”, stated Bent EP Ray Di Carlo”. We set out to establish a creative clubhouse atmosphere where talented people like Nando could come to work. I’ve always admired directors who can hold a project’s final vision in their minds eye and are able to let the talents around them do their respective jobs for a projects whose creative whole becomes more than the sum of it’s parts, and that defines Nando. Seeing Nando come in, suddenly doing things that he wasn’t used to doing, and still delivering at a high creative and technical level, means that David, Chel and I were able to create a place where everyone learns others’ disciplines. That’s rare. It’s what we set out to do – what we originally wanted -- but when you see it work, it’s amazing.” Concept: After entering his personal sanctuary, an artist is presented with a hand-crafted drawing tool that assists him in materializing his mental impressions. The machine discharges his thoughts as an endless web of yarn that guides him through his physical thoughts. The story progresses to reveal that he is divided between two worlds, one of dull reality and the second of warped memories. In the process of finding a way out of his consciousness, he is trapped between the two competing spaces, which eventually inflict lethal damage, acting as metaphors to self-destruction. Credit List: Music: Modest Mouse Animation Studio: Bent Image Lab Director: Nando Costa Executive Producer: Ray Di Carlo Senior Producer: Tsui Ling Toomer Producer: Kara Place Production Coordinator: Ryan Shanholtzer Director of Photography: Bryce Fortner Motion Control Operator: Jim Birkett Gaffer: Adam Burr, Jim Birkett Phantom HD Technician: Benji Brucker Production Assistants: Andrew Ellmaker, Charlie James, Esa Di Carlo, Morgan Hobart, Samuel Moyle Kinetic Sculptor: Ben Hopson Set Designers: Nando Costa, Solomon Burbridge Set & Prop Fabricators: Daniel Miller, Eric Urban, Greg Fosmire, Jamie Hanson, Jen Prokopowicz, Justin Warner, Kimi Kaplowitz, Marty Easterday, Sarah Hoopes, Solomon Burbridge, Art Department Coordinator: Evan Stewart Art Department Intern: Jessie Weitzel Carpenter: Drew Lytle Graphic Designer: Nando Costa 3D Lead: Fred Ruff 3D Artists: Eric Durante, Shirak Agresta 2D Animation & Compositing: Brian Kinkley, Brian Merrel, Jay Twenge, McKay Marshall, Nando Costa, Orland Nutt, Randy Wakerlin Rotoscoping: Ben Blankenship, Randy Wakerlin Compositing Intern: Dustin Dybevik Stop-Motion Animation: Jen Prokopowicz, Marty Easterday Still Photography: Jared Tarbell, Nando Costa Processing: Barbarian Group Behind The Scenes Photographer: Ben Blankenship Special Thanks to: Isaac Brock, Darrin Wiener, Linn Olofsdotter Links: Band's Website: http://www.modestmousemusic.com Band's Blog: http://www.modestmouse.com Band's MySpace Page: http://www.myspace.com/modestmouse Animation Studio: http://www.bentimagelab.com Record Label: http://www.epicrecords.com Contact Info: Animation Studio: (503) 228-6206 EP: rayd@bentimagelab.com Director: nandoc@bentimagelab.com Press: - Showcased at Seattle International Film Festival during "Bumbershoot" - Premiered on Pitchfork.com - Featured in Stash 61 - Selected for the 12th edition of THE NEMO FESTIVAL (France)

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        • "The Right Blend" for Scott Naturals

          00:30

          from Nando Costa / Added

          Scott Naturals was a rare chance for myself and the team at Bent to explore the commercial and artistic possibilities of Strata Cut animation technique with a series of stenciled out paper sheets, which were lined up in deep continuing space. This Strata Stencil idea was first explored by animator Javen Ivey in his 2006 thesis project ‘My Paper Mind’ at Pratt, partly inspired by Bent partner David Daniels’ original plasticine technique. After graduate school, Javen later came to intern at the Bent. Aaron Noffsinger from the Tris3ct agency in Chicago was also very familiar with David’s Strata Cut, and thought it would be a great artistic starting point for Scott's first broadcast spot, and a great exploration into the animation realm. I was brought into the project as a director to design and conceptualize with David using “Paper Mind’ as an influence, but not an ultimate destination. Together, we created a more complex and highly produced space. Executing it all in CG as opposed to by hand, was an absolute production necessity due to timing and content changes up to the very end of the short deadline. We explored both negative and positive spaces in the stencil effect, and also introduced a very unique “Rolodex effect“ that was made out of animated cut-out layers overlapping each other over an long camera shot. The clean factor of CG forced us to find ways to add irregularities to the paper, as well as and color and exposure shifts to bring back more of the ‘folk’ accessibility and ‘hand made charm’ to the audience. Creating some of the silhouetted stenciled shapes in CG also allowed us to do some interesting slight perspective changes. It’s brief and underplayed, but helps the subliminal flow and clarity of each scene. We used a physical (practically shot) paper towel roll at the end from which pull out with the assistance of a motion controlled camera. This assured the realism we were looking for in the end product tableau, while continuing the flow and drama of a continuous camera move coming out from the CG world. In its essence the project was highly technical and demanded constant collaboration between our compositing and CG teams, but it allowed us enough creative space to experiment and innovate in many ways. Client: Kimberly-Clark Worldwide PRODUCTION COMPANY Director: Nando Costa Executive Producer: Ray Di Carlo Senior Producer: Tsui Ling Toomer Producer: Mark Axton Coordinator: Chris Barber Storyboard Artist: Dan Schaefer Principal Animators: Eric Scheur, John Lally Additional Animators: Aja Bogdanoff Stopmo Director of Photography: Dan Ackerman Stopmo Animator: Eric Urban Art Department Coordinator: Evan Stewart CG Crew: TD – Fred Ruff. Modeling/Lighting/Rendering TD – Stef Kofman, Galen Beals, Shirak Agresta, Josh Cox, Eric Durante Graphics Artists (2D): Dave Manuel, Traci Cook, Ken Nguyen AGENCY Advertising Agency/city/state: Tris3ct Creative director: Aaron Noffsinger Producer: Michael Antonucci POST Editorial Company: BENT Editorial Supervisor: Jeff Dawson Editor: Jeff Dawson Assistant Editor: Ben Blankenship Visual Effects/Compositing Supervisor: Randy Wakerlin Composite Artists (After Effects): Orland Nutt, Sean Saul Colorist: Downstream Digital, Portland, OR – Jim Barrett Sound Design: Deaf Dog Music Music: John Ovnik

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          • THE MACHINE

            05:13

            from Bent Image Lab / Added

            59.8K Plays / / 52 Comments

            DIRECTOR Rob Shaw ANIMATION STUDIO Bent Image Lab "The Machine" is an animated fable following the path of an innocently forged mechanical creature. As his independence and knowledge of the world grows on his journey, as does his desire to conquer all that we encounters, from the pastures of a farmer to the realm of man's entire world. The story is in itself a mechanized apparition, the characters and scenery exisiting inside of an early 20th century nickel arcade and being driven forward by the gears of this machine. The main character, the innocently created, human like mechanism whose power knows no bounds, thinks of himself as invincible, that no man or spirit could ever overpower him. Yet, the irony is that he himself is only a small part of a greater device, and in this case, a mechanized stage for passers by to waste a nickel in. This film was shot over many hours at Bent Image Lab over the course of several months in 2008-2009. Animated using stop-motion puppets and sets, then composited together in After Effects, the film has a mixed media presence to it that is accentuated by the machine's own collage like form. CREDITS: Film by Rob Shaw Narrator Andrea Schuch Voice recorded by Angela Poschet Animators Rob Shaw Sarah Hulin Sound Design Brian Kinkley Music Sirrobrob Color Correction Orland Nutt Additional effects Fred Ruff

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            • Coca Cola "The Spirit of the Euro"

              00:33

              from Carlos Lascano / Added

              56.7K Plays / / 65 Comments

              Animated Spot for Coca Cola, for the Euro Cup 2012. Directed by Carlos Lascano. Check the Making of at: http://www.carloslascano.com/carloslascano/coke_making.html Music by: Gogol Bordello Director & Production Designer: Carlos Lascano Agency: SANTO / Creative: Pablo Minces Production Company: Bent Image Lab / Executive Producer: Ray Di Carlo / Producer: Marissa Weisman / Line Producers: Paula Lema, Louise Barlow, Kevin Sullivan CG Art Director: Javier Leon Technical Director: Joshua Cox / Lead Animator: Eric Scheur / Creative Partner: David Daniels Full credit list: http://www.carloslascano.com/carloslascano/coke_credits.html

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              • They Might Be Giants, "I'm Impressed"

                02:39

                from Bent Image Lab / Added

                40.8K Plays / / 23 Comments

                DIRECTOR Rob Shaw ANIMATION STUDIO Bent Image Lab www.bentimagelab.com MUSIC BY They Might Be Giants For this music video, Rob Shaw took his robot minions quite seriously. In an early section of the video you'll notice soldier robots popping out of paper sheets and folding themselves into three dimensional shapes. This was actually how each robot was made. Rob Shaw created a design with which he could print out paper cut outs of each robot, which would then be folded into the characters. Known for his character animation, Shaw used an all paper set and cast of characters in a combination of techniques to create this robot-ruled Rome. You'll notice that many shots were created using 2D techniques, while others utilized 3D paper puppets. Rob Shaw's music video for the They Might Be Giants song, "I'm Impressed" won a gold plaque at the Chicago International Film Festival.

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                • Samurai Jack Origami (Cartoon Network Promo)

                  00:15

                  from Bent Image Lab / Added

                  39.5K Plays / / 31 Comments

                  DIRECTOR Chel White STUDIO Bent Image Lab www.bentimagelab.com CLIENT Cartoon Network Animated using Chel White's signature cutout style, this spot shows us Jack and Aku, the shape shifting master of darkness, locked in eternal battle, but as construction paper. The process of morphing paper puppets is always a challenging one, but this spots displays a seamless transformation as Aku comes out of the mountain.

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                  • Journey Through A Melting Brain (The Stratacut of David Daniels)

                    04:45

                    from Bent Image Lab / Added

                    38.5K Plays / / 15 Comments

                    DIRECTOR David Daniels MOVIE TYPE Montage STUDIO Bent Image Lab Strata-cut animation, also spelled stratcut or straticut, is a form of clay animation, itself one of many forms of stop motion animation. Strata-cut animation is most commonly a form of clay animation in which a long bread-like "loaf" of clay, internally packed with varying imagery, is sliced into thin sheets, with the animation camera taking a frame of the end of the loaf for each cut, eventually revealing the movement of the internal images within. Wax may be used instead of clay for the loaf, but this can be more difficult to use because it is less malleable. Pioneered in both clay and blocks of wax by German animator Oskar Fischinger during the 1920s and 30s, the technique was revived and highly refined in the mid-90s by California-Oregon animator and Bent Image Lab co-founder, David Daniels. A past associate of Will Vinton, Daniels dropped his strata-bomb on the world with the release of his thesis film from Cal Arts, entitled "Buzzbox." After the firestorm of "Buzzbox," Daniels found himself implementing the technique of stratacut for commercial uses. He found work with Pee Wee's Playhouse, Sesame Street, Peter Gabriel's music video for "Big Time," The Jackson Five, and the infamous scene from the tv series "Gary n Mike" in which one of the boys drops acid on accident, sending his conscious mind into a psychedelic stratacut whirlpool. Stratacut is created only through an in depth understanding of space-time, because in stratacut, you build your imagery not just in X, Y, and Z space, but also considering time as a dimension, and the most important one. Students who have undertaken the challenge of creating stratacut animation will tell you, it is not for those unwilling to bend their perception of animation, and time in the process.

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                    • Flying Lotus, "Infinitum"

                      02:46

                      from Bent Image Lab / Added

                      25.9K Plays / / 15 Comments

                      DIRECTOR Daniel Garcia STUDIO Bent Image Lab - bentimagelab.com MUSIC BY Flying Lotus In this music video for Flying Lotus, a young archer tests her skill by shooting an arrow at the moon. To her dismay, the moon falls from its perch and into a turbulent sea. He swims the long distance to the beach where he can confront his attacker.

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