Robert Seidel’s new work

Robert Seidel is one of my personal favorites in this industry. He utilizes the same tools that we are all accustomed to in order to create something that is singularly his own vision. In an industry that is obsessed with the latest cool thing on ffffound, generally speaking the projects that we see on a day to day basis begin to feel very incestuous.

Someone like Seidel, who stands apart from all that, is very inspiring, reminding us of what we can accomplish on a personal basis with our talent and tools.

Due to the heavy interest in Robert’s process as well as the heated discussion of inspiration in the design community I decided to ask Mr. Seidel a couple questions:


The most fantastic aspect of your work for me is the fluid technique that you use and how it is always very difficult to pic apart exactly how you do it. If it doesn’t intrude on your secret recipe too much, would you mind giving us a little description of the process you used to create a spot like Human Paint?

I’m very interested in the concept of moving paintings, but most of my work is more abstract, really personal and experimental. To draw kind of a line to the commissioned work I tried to find a language and technique to connect more easily to the viewer. So “Human Paint” is based on Motion Capture data of human motions for the “brush strokes”, like “dive painting #1” or the projection on the Phyletic Museum before.

The motion itself is quite mechanical, but otherwise you would blend completely and you wouldn’t recognize it anymore. “Dream Mountains” is related to this concept of overlaying and “transplanting” motion for the painterly washing. It’s all based on a lot of sketch work and technical tests that get fused in 3ds max, After Effects and some special tools. But I’m still looking for hardcore 3d programmers to push this into a more defined direction, but programmers can’t live from air as well.

Due to my write up about how we have a tendency to all look at the same sources in this age of instant web fed inspiration hubs like ffffound and yes, motionographer…there was a bit of a backlashing in the comments section. Rightly so, but through that conversation came the thought of what has inspired and influenced you in your works. So would you mind sharing a few of your sources that have led to your current style and way of working?

A key inspiration to develop such animations was Marcel Duchamp with his “Nude descending a staircase”. This opened my eye that time and space can be combined freely and without any restrictions. And I developed these ideas over several shot films, _grau being the culmination of these ideas.

After university I was a bit lost, _grau took 9 months and then I had to work, translating books on 3d software and writing reviews. This doesn’t make an easy living, but I talked to many motion design houses world-wide and all said “We like your strange stuff, but can’t see a commercial usage”. So all things I do are slowly progressing and following a line. My biggest wish is it to work for months without interruption on a personal project. Hope this happens soon.

To add my comment to the discussion: I’m an artist, not a designer trying or being forced to show as many styles as possible. This is a completely different position and with my little experience in the commercial world, I’m happy that I don’t have to stand such a pressure on a daily basis! Additionally I’m working on my own, which pushes me to find other solutions revolving around my general concepts. But as said before, a hardcore programmer and a generalist animator would make my living a lot easier.

There are a lot of things that inspire me, might it be nature, art, food, travelling, friends like Zeitguised or other people with a totally different background, for example chemistry. This combination leads to my specific style with all its quirks. I’m surely inspired by motion design and I appreciate the things that have been achieved in that field, but it’s quite sad that all this amazing energy disappears after some months of showing it on TV. So I’m torn between several worlds, a naïve wanderer constantly searching…

About the author

Jon Saunders

/ www.jonsaunders.tv
internet surfer/designer extraordinaire

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32 Comments

mh

“In an industry that is completely about borrowing and focusing on the latest cool thing on ffffound”

wait — did you mean to say ffffound or motionographer

Marc B.

I think jsaunders is talking about himself. Nice to see self criticism for a change :D

babby

if you have to shit on everything else in order to say something is good, you’re not really making your case, you’re basically just filling up a text box with cheap sentiment

jazzercise

I have to agree with these guys. Grouping the whole industry as copy cats is sort of low. Jon, I could pull some of your projects and say this one looks like so and so’s work or whatever but I am not going to stoop to that level. I would suggest keeping your negative personal view on the industry to yourself and just post good work with good commentary.

Marc B.

exactly.,, first of all we’re talking about a commercial industry here. secondly you’re spot on about his stuff. He sounds as if he and his employer are some kind of exceptions.. finally i’ve seen exactly this kind of work he just posted years before Seidel did it. If i remember it was some japanese artist or others as well using the ‘studio artist’ software, paint synthesizer. have a look at this example http://www.synthetik.com/Gallery/Gallery-Moving/Movie_Pages/Gallery_MovingA_pages/MoviePageA04.html or other clips in the moving gallery examples http://www.synthetik.com/Gallery/Gallery-Moving/Movie_Pages/Gallery_MovingA_pages/Gallery_MovingA.html

You’ll see it pretty much looks like what Seidel does. In fact Seidel himself might be using this software which could be the reason why it looks almost identical and becomes just a plugin showcase for some software developer.

Therefore Jon Saunders it would be good to get your head outta your ass more often.

ShellyMtz

Check out the human silhouette running and creating the flow of the animation. Very nice choice of music too.

rothermel

Im beginning to think that Marc B. is a viral campaign, to make me keep coming back here to read all the stupid ass shit that he pulls out of his ass.

Simon Robson

Damn, you caught us Rothermel. The game’s up!

Lilian

BUT OF COURSE!!!! what a brilliant idea!!!

Marc B.

What do you expect when a contributor makes such a statement. I’m not the only one saying it.

@Robert (below) No offense man i dig your stuff. i guess i was rather referring to Jon’s stupid blurb. sorry i did a comparison with your stuff.

robs

I’m not actually a fan of commercial work, but somehow I have to live. It’s always a though decision for me to “give away some idea” to an commissioned work instead of using it for my personal experimental works. My plan is it to start the successor of _grau next year to finally do something that is 100% my vision again.

It’s interesting that you are referring to the work of Takagi Masakatsu in comparison to mine. He surely has been an inspiration, but if you look closely you will see that my self-developed painterly technique is based on the distortion of the 3d space and not a purely 2d system. The traces in “human paint” are based on people running and diving, the title of “dream mountains” is also a reference to the origin.

So maybe you should differentiate a bit more, it’s like saying every painter looks like Monet or Richter and uses the same visual vocabulary to express the same ideas…

Robert

RossPhillips

All this talk of incest and idea grabbing and I still really want to know EXACTLEY how he made these things. They’re beautiful. Can’t stop watching Dream Mountains.

jsaunders

i’m glad I could get marc B or brett M or whatever your name is all riled up for this one. Keep the attacks coming! I never said that I am above looking on ffffound, in fact I AM lumping myself in with the rest.

I should have been more clear in my post, but for ME, a person who works in the commercial environment on a daily basis, seeing something different is refreshing. Sorry Marc, next time I’ll email you first to make sure my post gets your seal of approval. I just hope you can take time out of your busy schedule (you still at school or have you made it to a low level production house yet?) to check.

Marc B.

just got outta school and can’t find a job. plenty oF time to comment on your blurbs. But i’m not gonna do it anymore.

Take a look above it’s not just me criticizing your writing style.

mate

Feel free to send me a link to your portfolio and I see what I can do.

billboard_bob

Haha, brilliant!

jazzercise

Even lower Jon. I started coming to this site a couple of months ago to look at great work and insightful commentary to motion graphics industry. For the most part that is what I get. But we can’t all work at great studios like you. And your tone about Marc B. either being a student or working at a low level production house sounds a little all too high and mighty. Weren’t you a student at one point in time? Have you ever worked at a low level production house? Get off your high horse man. And I agree, Robert’s work is beautiful. I am not on either side. I believe that everyone on this site needs to stop pointing fingers and just appreciate that there is an industry where people get paid a lot of money to make quasi art like this. Nobody is truly original any more and the sooner everyone comes to accept that, the better the world will be.

Lilian

See jon’s comment below. Jazzercise, just FYI, “Marc B” is a ghostly ghastly entity that has been terrorising not only the authors of this blog, but a few companies that he knows to be associated with some of us, slinging nasty comments in a way that really is quite inappropriate. He also sometimes calls himself ‘Brett M”…as Jon already said. While some of what he’s said contains a speck or a grain of truth (occasionally), and he’s entitled to his personal opinion, in general his negative actions have far outweighed whatever ‘value/worth’ his opinions actually carry.

leahzero

Marc B may be a troll, but this kind of assininely snarky post is just as useless and unprofessional.

jsaunders

your comments are welcome jazz, this more has to do with a LONG history of Marc B/Brett (same guy) coming to the site and taking advantage of the commentary system to bash individuals with barely any useful insight. Since you are new you haven’t been privy to the fantastic Marc comments like the rest of us, he’s turned into that kid in the classroom that the teacher tells the rest of the students not to encourage. We all look at the comments to see what douchebaggery he has unleashed for the pure entertainment of it, but in the end he is some kid crying out to get some attention and he lowers the integrity of the comments section. So I dont mean to insult you or to say that students opinions aren’t worthwhile because that is NOT what I intend. Instead, what I meant for was to remind Marc that he can talk a big game and insult everyone he wants, but in the end he is just that sad kid who is crying out for attention most likely due to the fact that he cant hack it.

Greg

yo Marc B. ::: stop being so negative! Didnt your mama teach you that if you dont have anything nice to say.. then dont say anything ;)

Seriously though dudes, 20 some odd comments and close to nothing about his work?!? Lets not ruin this whole posting with shit talk..

I really liked Roberts piece.. Killer job dude.
Keep up the freshness!

boca

Freeeesh indeed! Keep em’ coming, Robert! :-)

martz

@jssaunders

“low level production house” ?

@the work

it was fairly unique, not amazing – but when you see too much “inspiration” on the internet nothing looks amazing.

nbody

first, applause to jsaunders for mentioning the idea/technique borrowing that is an unfortunate mainstay in our industry. it’s a lot easier to become blind, deaf and numbed to it than to stay consciously aware of it, let alone discuss it. the impressive quality of his work seems to be a testament to that kind of thinking.

mark b is an obvious noob-boob if he can’t see the chasm of difference in quality from this stuff and those software showcase examples.

and to seidel, the ultimate compliment: that five project is exactly the kind of thing i would show to someone when they laboriously proclaim that “everything’s been done”. (though that phrase is often just an excuse for someone to descend to blatant idea/technique borrowing)

FrostyDaSnowman

The whole premise of this site in general (trying to validate “moshun graficks” as something worthy of serious critical discourse) is sort of masturbatory.

So are we saying that copying someones work for a buck is “bad”?
Something to be “frowned upon”? Well then what is this site other than a self-prmotional vehicle and resource for the biters and the word-wankers?

justin

Thanks so much for your eloquent bashing of a site that you have wasted your time visiting.

So, which does that make you: A “biter” or a “word-wanker”?

funkyflakes

I think he’s just another voyeur who likes to watch hot young designer boys stroke each other’s egos.

tomorrowisclosed

does anyone fancy a pint?

von pixel

Amazing work!

While I’ve been coming to this site for longer than I can remember I’ve only recently started checking the comments. Thought at first Marc B or whatever there had a point but he sure knows how to sabotage himself. I think what he wanted to say and what came out of his keyboard were completely different. Though now that I know he is a troll he lost all his cred for that one.

A pretty great and amazing artist once told me “Good artists copy, great artists steal”. That statement has resonated through my head for years ever since I heard it and seems to be some good food for thought in this thread (as long as you think about it in the literal sense and get all meta and deep with it).

Either way Roberts work there is amazing and I came into this comment thread to maybe get some insight on how he did it.

mate

Hey Pixel,

maybe a late reply here but your comment is too funny.

So you can’t remember later then April 2006 but you know Picasso? Seems like a contradiction considering he died in 1973. :)

Motionographer’s Birth –
http://www.justincone.com/tween/index.php?p=497

“Good artists copy, great artists steal” – http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Pablo_Picasso

garin2

thanks for the interview.

love your work.

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