N.A.S.A: Tom Waits and Kool Keith “Spacious Thoughts”

BoingBoing Video brings the N.A.S.A. goods again, this time featuring Tom Waits and Cool Keith, with visuals by Montreal-based Fluorescent Hill (previously featured on Motionographer for their 2008 New Pornographers promo). SCAD professor Jacques Khouri also lent a hand modeling and rigging the 3D star of the project.

Read the interview on BoingBoing.


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.



Thanks for posting Justin. For those of you who want to check out a cleaner looking copy, here she be: https://www

Justin Cone

Ah, thanks for that Vimeo link! I’ve updated the post accordingly.

As an editorial aside to all who may be reading this: Please. No more YouTube. Buck up and buy yourself a Vimeo Plus account so you can do your projects justice.

Xeni Jardin

Justin, I was just chatting with the Fluorescent Hill folks over email about the YouTube versus Vimeo thing, and thought I’d pop in to share the same technical observations here —

On a purely technical note, the Vimeo embed you swapped out to is in fact *lower-rez* than the YouTube version you originally embedded from Boing Boing Video.

YouTube just last week began supporting higher-res formats for HD, so we uploaded “Spacious Thoughts” to YouTube at 1920×1080 (1080p). This is new for YouTube.

So, the embed you originally blogged here at Motionographer — the one I provided, YouTube — allowed the user to view at HD and full-screen in true 1080p at 1920 pixels wide if the user so chooses.

The notion that YouTube is inherently inferior to Vimeo from a resolution and video quality standpoint is no longer accurate. The user can select “HD,” in the YT player bar, then “fullscreen,” and get true 1080p, very crisp, and full screen.

I haven’t checked to see if Vimeo supports the same. And you may have other reasons for preferring them as a provider. But I just wanted to make the technical point that YouTube does not necessarily mean shitty/highly compressed quality video anymore, particularly after they began allowing those higher quality HD upload formats last week.


first of all, what a pile of visual AWESOMENESS!! second…TOM WAITS & KOOL KEITH!! marks could not come higher than those given on this project!


You guys totally killed it on this. huge props from Pluto.

Xeni Jardin

Hi Justin,

Ah, that’s too bad. There was no need to embed from someone else’s vimeo account. We *do* use a paid, high-quality hosting provider in addition to YouTube (which doesn’t look shabby with HD selected, AFAIAC). We actually publish each Boing Boing Video (including this one — the NASA folks kindly granted us an exclusive on the debut) on several hosting platforms, as you can see in the blog post.




YouTube’s great because it’s free, and we don’t get dinged on hosting costs if a video goes viral, as did this one. But as you can see in the original blog post, we also published on Dotsub and on Episodic, our paid hosting provider.

Boing Boing Video’s Episodic embed is available to you any time you’d like to embed something here on Motionographer, if you don’t like YouTube. Feel free to ping me personally if you see something in Boing Boing Video that you want to embed here, but have any technical or quality issues.


Xeni Jardin

Oh dear, well color me an idiot. The commenter and the vimeo account in question belonged to none other than the co-director of the video at Fluorescent Hill, Mark Lomond. Sorry! As you were.

Mark, again, stonkingly awesome work.


Interesting work. I like visual style of this one, but I’m not a big fan of animation, IMO it’s very basic to say the less. Plus there are not as much changes going on with picture to keep viewer happy during whole shot.
Very good work anyway, I wish you could put a bit more into it.



..that was BOSS!

as well as looking fantastic, great pacing and spot on character animation there’s so many other nice touches going on too to keep the spot entertaining throughout ….tom waits character fits the bill surely.


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