Visualising Music – Research

I did some research into abstract and experimental animation in order to develop an early idea about visualising music across a city landscape. I imagined that the music could be a mixture of animated abstract shapes/graphics and possibly something more creature/humanoid looking in order to make it relatable.

In Oskar Fischinger’s An Optical Poem I love the simple changes of graphic shape and how their movement on screen reflects the mood and shift in tempo of the music.

John Whitney created some similarly mesmerizing effects with arrangement of coloured shapes. Catalogue (1961):

Walt Disney’s The Old Mill (1937) also came to mind as inspiration (one of my favourite Disney shorts). I love how the pacing becomes faster as the musicality of the animals intensifies into the sounds of the storm.

I came across this video and thought it was useful to see how the graphics were composited into live action footage.

Breakdown – Motion Graphics & Compositing Reel (2013)

I liked how textural and distorted some of the graphics were in this following reel and I also thought the editing might be useful to look at:


Beeple’s (Mike Winkleman’s) work would also have been a good source of inspiration to develop this idea.

For example, his combination of projected light shapes onto moving shapes below is quite inspiring in this video:

Throwing fluid dynamics into the mix has potential too:

In the end we thought that this concept might be too complex to understand within a 15-30 second time frame.

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