Oops sorry I arted again.

I swear I’m done, beaten, bushed, worn out. Surely 2013 was productive enough to fill my research bingo card for at least a while? Please?

Last gig was to produce an animation to accompany Saturn from Holst’s The Planets. Nine and a half minutes, or 14,500 frames if I rendered every one and I very nearly did. At this moment the orchestra is grinding through the whole show over and over again, sobbing as they cope with the weird timings of the assembled animati of whom I am but one. I’ve never been told who else was working on this project. I hope it wasn’t anyone too good.

About Holst. He was a Theosophist of course. Every artist of the 20th Century seems to be one.

So there’s a bunch of clocks, which decide to assemble themselves into The King of Clocks. (A particle system which tracks a human form, animated by motion capture).

long walk above

He gets the red carpet treatment for a while and is enthroned. But obviously time passes and he gets a little bored of sitting around for ever. (Manually animated this bit).


And so he acts up and there’s a bit of a punch up. (Particle EXPLOSIONS!)

big bang3

Which gets way out of hand.


And everything gets destroyed. Our hero dies, and through heavy application of After Effects, becomes an island covered in plants that took an annoyingly long time to render. (Used Vue3d. Some of this bit took 24 hours per 20 seconds)static_1

Now a giant tree grows out of his navel. Everything so far makes perfect sense but I guess the giant tree is a bit of stretch. So in the tree there are perched… guess what? (To hell with this bit – had to take scenes from Vue and integrate them with Cinema 4D).


And you see this is how clocks get made. Or something. They fly out of tree and then … oh OK, yeah well it’s art. So.

So this gets performed next weekend here.

Then it goes on tour, and is shown on outside screens all around the world. I’ll announce where it goes next on twitter, because obviously it doesn’t need a whole blog for each showing.

So maybe now I get to sit around? Doing nothing? After work? Please?

5 thoughts on “Oops sorry I arted again.

  1. Props to you Tom. I attended the Sunday performance with my friend and occasional collaborator Alan. He’d hitherto resisted my best efforts to inculcate into him an appreciation of all things Ellard but came away saying that he liked your segment best. Mars got my vote but only because it’s my favourite movement; the visual work contained some striking elements but lacked coherence overall. Holst shoots his wad too early with Mars, IMO. It’s like having the dessert before the main course.

    The other clips were a mixed bag. Uranus was quite lovely (ahem!). Jupiter was notable for a photobombing Tardis. Mercury was suitably Mercurial. Neptune self-indulgent and left me cold I’m afraid. As for Venus, well, stilted dialogue remains stilted even when couched in LOLspeak.

    Overall two thumbs up, but enough with the interpretive dance already.

    • Trying to nice here; I spent a month night and day working from a storyboard, timing to the exact moment and hitting all the brief. The rest of them look like they shat it out in an afternoon. There were points in the evening where I couldn’t look at the screen. I’m kind of pissed off.

      • I guess that wasn’t very nice. The last one was OK until my date Pauline Pantsdown told me it was an ad for sanitary napkins.
        If one of my video students had handed in Jupiter, they would not have passed.

  2. A further comment from Alan: “i forgot to mention how delighted i was to see the busy streams of clocks at last find homes amongst the rings of saturn. i thought it was a moment worthy of fantasia (the first one, of course)”

    The jokes about severed heads and freezers practically write themselves, but seriously, I think that’s a lovely compliment.

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