So when we started Lion Beach we organised two contests in cooperation with Poppunt’s vi.be for musicians: one where participants could win artwork, one where they could win visuals.
We absolutely loved “Lost in Kyoto” so we picked Von Bayern as winners of our visual content. Given the fact that their live show was not yet on point, we created a video for their latest track D.I.S.C.O. instead.
Inspiration and process.
D.I.S.C.O. is heavily influenced by the so called French touch, and the name is a quite straightforward reference to D.A.N.C.E. by Justice. Its pulsating never-ending 4 on 4 beat almost felt mechanical to us, somewhat disconnected and without emotion (in a good sense).
We started experimenting with mechanical looking 3D models to capture the feeling of the song, but ended up with things we found too abstract. Then we thought of dancing robots, but it was hard to achieve something convincing. By then we had combined the mechanical models with earth-like environments.
We tried to create some sense of surrealism by adding weird artifacts or using unusual combinations of elements. We were getting close. When randomly experimenting, we stumbled upon the idea of dancing humanoid creatures. We added them in scene and found it surprisingly fitting. The humanoid figures look like they are made of some weird emissive plasma substance. At first this was a quick workaround to recognise them more easily in the scene, but later on we liked the contrast between our new found protagonists and their surroundings.
Once we had this, we repeated the principle of the dancing humanoid aliens and the earthlike surreal environments several times for different scenes. The final montage wasn’t really thought through, but a very instinctive process.
Our lab post about unreal briefly covers the use of Unreal engine for this project.
So, briefly how we did this:
The scenes were entirely set up with Unreal engine. 3D models were either purchased, CC0 or free to use because of Unreal’s policy. To be fair, there isn’t too much actual animation going on in this project. We used Adobe’s mixamo for the dancing moves of the protagonists, the camera moves really simple and sometimes an object is slightly moving or rotating. All rendering was done with Unreal engine, montage in Adobe Premiere, post effects added in After effects.
We believe the result fits the music well. We see it as a sort of restrained meandering surreal visual experience, that even might be hard to watch with our 5-second attention span nowadays. But we’ve put our hearts in it.
We truly believe that aliens, if they ever found us, wouldn’t really care about our silly seriousness. They would just outclass us with their extraterrestrial dancing.