Netherlands-based Studio Smack was commissioned by the Museum de Beyerd in Breda to create “Kapitaal,” an interesting look at the ubiquity of signs (I mean that in a semiotic sense) in urban landscapes.


At first, I mistook this for an attempt to filter only ad-related signs, but then I realized Studio Smack were including all signs, from ATM messages to the LED display of a digital alarm clock. It’s a clever way of looking at our world, and it’s remarkable how well you can reconstruct an environment using just these visuals clues. Watching the video on mute doesn’t diminish your ability (much) to accurately identify the spaces used in the video, which is a testament to how ingrained particular forms of signs have become in our perceptions of place.

I’m not really sure how Studio Smack pulled off this piece, but I have a feeling it involved a ton of work. I’m fairly certain it’s almost entirely 3D with some rotoscoped people here and there. I’m sure they had tons of reference video, from which they may have borrowed some tracking data. At any rate, it’s a very nice piece, and will work within the museum context for which it was created.

Thanks, Seth!

About the author

Justin Cone

/ justincone.com
Together with Carlos El Asmar, Justin co-founded Motionographer, F5 and The Motion Awards. He currently lives in Austin, Texas with is wife, son and fluffball of a dog. Before taking on Motionographer full-time, Justin worked in various capacities at Psyop, NBC-Universal, Apple, Adobe and SCAD.



That was clever.


Wow, what an engaging piece. I think your right Justin, at first I thought it was some kind of pre-shot roto technique as well, but no… everything is so clear and in focus. I bet that the entire piece was shot, edited, then scene by scene boujou tracked and entierly re-created in 3D with pieces and parts composited in.
What a cool look.


ey, I think that is made with after effetcts and some 3d pieces, even the walking people.


probably the most amazing thing about watching that video was that someone in my office was making something in the toaster oven and it smelled EXACTLY like the ambience one would associate with street vendores while the subject was walking around.. i’d love to see a feature length with that treatment..


i dunno – the dissolves are a bit of a killjoy for me. transitions are so underated.

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