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KAYUPUTIH

KAYUPUTIH
Digital animation
2 min. 24 sec.
Silent
720p/25
2008, revised 2011
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KAYUPUTIH is a silent abstract animation that continues the research begun with WONOKROMO.

I created KAYUPUTIH in 2007 and 2008. At first I made several animated sequences. After several months I selected four of them and created three sections and a coda by mixing the four sequences in several ways.

All images depict various types of visual noise that sometimes hint biological organisms.

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WONOKROMO

WONOKROMO
Digital animation
5 min. 50 sec.
Silent
Black & White, 768×576, 25 fps, 8 bit, Photo JPEG compression
2003-04
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WONOKROMO is an abstract animation, a research about visual noise in two sections.

I created the first section by animating synthetic hairs, changing different parameters such as their thickness, curliness, stiffness, gravity, and others. I chose the best sequences and combined them all, resulting in more animations. Then I chose again the best animations, and put them together over time.

The second part was more complex to create. Fig. 1 shows a table of possible noises, the ones I actually used are marked in red.

table
Fig. 1
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I first mapped the noises on a flat synthetic surface, and thus created several sequences in which different parameters were changed each time. This way I got 66 different sequences.

I then combined them all and chose the best ones, resulting in a first level of 116 new sequences. This process was particularly long, as for each sequence all the others were tried. Each combination was also done using different transfer modes: darken, multiply, linear burn, color burn, add, lighten, screen, linear dodge, color dodge, overlay, soft light, hard light, vivid light, pin light, difference, exclusion.

Afterwards, I chose the most interesting 60 results, and combined them together, always with different transfer modes. This process gave me a second level of 230 new sequences.

At that point it was difficult for me to navigate among the animations I last created. Therefore, I decided to classify them and to create a database containing different parameters about each sequence. That helped me to choose the most suitable animations in order to create the final sequence. The parameters in the database were the movie itself, its title, category, quality, duration, speed, density, global luminosity and maximum luminosity.

database, form view

Fig. 2 The database, form view
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the database, table view

Fig. 3 The database, table view
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The last two parameters, global and maximum luminosity, were obtained by analysing the first frame of each sequence. Other parameters resulted from image analysis, such as average intensity, average contrast, third moment, smoothness, uniformity and entropy. Although interesting, these last six parameters were not actually taken into account. The ones that were indeed used were category, quality, density and global luminosity.

I finally composed 36 animations, creating the second section.

Once the complete animation was done, I analysed its global luminosity, and decided to cut some parts to improve the overall fluidity.

global luminosity of the second section, before final cuts
Fig. 4 Global luminosity of the second section, before final cuts

global luminosity of the second section, after final cuts
Fig. 5 Global luminosity of the second section, after final cuts

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Samson Revisited

Samson Revisited
Digital animation
8 min. 30 sec.
Stereo, 44 KHz, 16 bit
NTSC, Region 0, 4:3
2003
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Samson Revisited is an animation that has been commissioned to me by New York based composer Dinu Ghezzo. The piece has been shown at Merkin Concert Hall, New York, in November 2003. The animation was projected on a big screen.

In the words of Dinu Ghezzo, the piece “is an extension of the music written for John Milton’s play Samson Agonistes, as a commission from Nancy Bogen’s theater group. It is written with an eye to the stylistic features of the music of Milton’s time intertwined with today’s electronic arsenal. It represents my vision of a combined world of late renaissance and early baroque music that is projected through the mind and ear of a Twentieth or Twenty-first century composer.”

The method I used to create the animation was that of a visualization of audio events, made with accuracy but at the same time with some degree of freedom.

The synchronicity with the audio events was sometimes exasperated, but sounds were visualized only following personal intuition.

A fundamental feaure was that not all sounds were visualized, and this was to preserve a perceptual balance. In other words, some audio events were ignored, just to not overwhelm the audience with visual events. In that case, the audience would have been captured by the visual elements more than by the music.

This approach also made it easier to create an audiovisual counterpoint. Which could explain why there is some visual silence, occasionaly. Also, in the live performance at Merkin Hall, there were a few live players performing. The visual silence I created was then used to emphasize the live parts.

I made three main kinds of visualizations, corresponding to the different sections of the piece. At the beginning of the piece I used some sinuous shapes, that slowly evolve. The whole feeling was in fact soft.

Some masks, depicting Samson, Dalila, and the choir, were originally given to me by Ghezzo. The masks were then processed in different ways and used in the second section.

In the mid part of the piece there is a lot of noise. I then used different kinds of visual noise to create the feeling the music was giving to me. Underneath there are the masks, but in this case they just give color to the noise. At the end of the fifth minute I broke completely with the music, and the visual part becomes independent.

In the last section, which is similar to the first section, I used the same kind of images used at the beginning, with less movement and with some variations in hue.
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motion picture VI
Digital animation
Variable length loop
Silent
Color, 1024 x 576, 1 fps, 24 bit, Photo JPEG compression
2003
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This work is a further version of the motion picture project.
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motion picture V
Digital animation
Variable length loop
Silent
Color, 1024 x 576, 1 fps, 24 bit, Photo JPEG compression
2003
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This animation continues the series begun with motion picture, motion picture II, motion picture III, and motion picture IV. motion picture V is an animation that evolves extremely slowly, imperceptibly, and gives the impression of being without any motion.

HD 720p/60 and HD 1080p/30 versions have been created as well.
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motion picture IV
Digital animation
Variable length loop
Silent
Color, 1024 x 576, 1 fps, 24 bit, Photo JPEG compression
2003
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motion picture IV is an animation that takes advantage of its low contrast to further improve the perception of slow motion.
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motion picture III
Digital animation
Variable length loop
Silent
Color, 1024 x 576, 1 fps, 24 bit, Photo JPEG compression
2003
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This animation is a further step in the research begun with motion picture and motion picture II.
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motion picture II
Digital animation
Variable length loop
Silent
Color, 960 x 576, 10 fps, 24 bit, Photo JPEG compression
2001
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This animation is a further step in the research begun with motion picture. motion picture II is an animation that evolves very slowly.
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motion picture
Digital animation
3 min. 20 sec. loop
Silent
Color, 848 x 480, 15 fps, 24 bit, Sorenson Video compression
2000
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This animation is a sort of painting in motion. The goal was in fact to create a dynamic painting in constant change, an idea which can now be rendered with flat screens. In fact, motion picture was conceived to be viewed on a 16:9 plasma display.
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variazioni
Digital animation
3 min. 18 sec.
Stereo, 44 KHz, 16 bit, QDesign Music 2 compression
Color, 640 x 360, 15 fps, 24 bit, Sorenson Video compression
2000
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variazioni features three-dimensional objects and stereo sounds set in relation to each other.

The sounds were conceived first, digitizing several already existing sounds and subsequently manipulating them. Hundreds of sounds resulted from this process. I imagined what their visualization could be and then selected them and finally mixed them.

Once the soundtrack was completed, the 3D objects representing the sounds were created, often but not always following the correspondences established in the thesis Perceptual correspondences of abstract animation and synthetic sound: time, space, intensity and timbre/visual appearance. In order to achieve a better attention balance for the audience, not all musical events were translated into visual events, as this would have resulted in the predominance of visual elements over musical ones.

Moreover, the temporal coincidence was not always necessarily respected: sometimes audiovisual events, even if otherwise correspondent, happen at different moments. In other instances, a higher level of cognitive mapping was used. For example, in the central part of variazioni sounds are more repetitive, and the visualization of this section was conceived in such a way to better render that hypnotic quality, overcoming other rules.

Finally, in some cases the same sound was visualized in different ways. Therefore, even though some general rules were applied, exceptions were allowed whenever it was deemed appropriate.
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shape=sound

shape = sound
Digital animation
3 min. 28 sec. in loop
Stereo, 44 KHz, 16 bit, QDesign Music 2 compression
Color, XGA, 10 fps, 16 bit, Video compression
1999
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This animation is an experiment aiming to test the audio capabilities of MetaSynth, a piece of software that creates sounds by interpreting an image. Pixels which appear high in the image generate high frequencies, and vice versa. Brighter pixels produce louder sounds.

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blu e luci

blu e luci
Digital animation
20 sec. in loop
Silent
Color, 320 x 240, 12 fps, 24 bit, Sorenson Video compression
1994
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blu e luci is the orthogonal top view of a simple plan, whose surface is very reflective and is modulated by waves that change over time.
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FLUIDI

FLUIDI
Digital animation
1 min. 50 sec.
Silent
Black & White, 512 x 342, 30 fps, 1 bit, Animation compression
1992
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This black and white abstract animation is made up of a series of synthetic sequences created with the 2D animation custom software ab stra, based on shapes that change over time and space.

FLUIDI has been awarded at the First International QuickTime Festival in San Francisco.
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ISOLE

ISOLE
Digital animation
2 min. 5 sec.
Silent
Color, VGA, 15 fps, 8 bit, Animation compression
1990
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This abstract animation is made up by a series of synthetic sequences, obtained with the use of moving masks that reveal the textures beneath. A custom software was written in order to obtain the masks’ shapes and control them, and to allow the editing of the sequences.

An interactive version of this animation enables the user to control the animated sequences with the computer keyboard: each sequence corresponds to a key. The results are therefore different each time, and one can create an interactive animation in real time, playing it with the keyboard: the parallel with the musical approach is obvious. It is also possible to save the animation and play it again.

Some of the sequences were conceived by Dagmar Trinks.
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Dynamics

Dynamics
Digital animation
3 min.
Quadraphonic, 44.1 KHz, 16 bit
NTSC
1988
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This work was part of my 1988 MIT M.S. thesis Perceptual correspondences of abstract animation and synthetic sound.

Dynamics uses four types of audiovisual correspondences: spatial coincidence, temporal coincidence, volume/brightness, timbre/shape-color.

The original version was projected on a 4 x 3 m. screen, with speakers located at each corner of the screen in order to provide spatialized sound along both horizontal and vertical axes. This was possible by synchronizing two stereo digital players with a videotape player.
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ritratto

ISOMORFISMI SUONO LUCE - RITRATTO
Digital animation
2 min. 49 sec.
Stereo
Color
1986
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ISOMORFISMI SUONO LUCE is a series of works presented at the Venice Biennale. In this animation real world images, digitized with a camera, are processed and edited along with abstract synthetic sequences. The music is made up of synthetic and recorded sounds.

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studio 3

ISOMORFISMI SUONO LUCE - STUDIO 3
Digital animation
1 min.
Mono
Color
1986
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In this animation the whole screen is colored. As in STUDIO 1 and studio 2, pitches are mapped onto hues, and brightness onto loudness.

The music of STUDIO 3 is a random sequence of sounds.

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studio 2

ISOMORFISMI SUONO LUCE - STUDIO 2
Digital animation
42 sec.
Mono
Color
1986
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In this animation, which follows STUDIO 1, each colored rectangle corresponds to a note of the musical scale, and is shown only when its note is played, creating a sort of colored keyboard. This is a variation over the theories of the Italian painter Luigi Veronesi. Two musical voices are heard only, while the third voice is just visualized. Rectangles’ hues are set by sound pitches, while brightness represents loudness.

The music of STUDIO 2 is again The Musical Offering by J. S. Bach, as in STUDIO 1.

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studio 1

ISOMORFISMI SUONO LUCE - STUDIO 1
Digital animation
1 min. 48 sec.
Mono
Color
1986
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In this animation each colored rectangle corresponds to a note, following the theories of the Italian painter Luigi Veronesi.

Every horizontal stripe of the animation represents a musical voice. Rectangles’ width is set by notes’ length, while sound pitches control rectangles’ hues, and brightness is related to loudness. Rectangles appear on the right side of the screen in synch with the tones.

The music of STUDIO 1 is The Musical Offering by J. S. Bach, a piece that wasn’t meant to be played on a specific instrument.
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orbital city

Città orbitale
Digital animation
6 min. 23 sec.
Stereo
Color, 256 x 192
1985

Musical timbres: Riccardo Sinigaglia
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Città orbitale is made up of eight sections, lasting 55, 34, 89, 55, 34, 55, 21 and 34 seconds respectively. All these figures belong to Fibonacci’s progression.

In addition, the visual events in Città orbitale — such as the appearance of a point, a line, or a shape — always take place in points that belong to the golden rectangles inscribed within the golden rectangle defined by the screen.

This work is about a journey towards a hypothetical hologram in deep space. The essential figurative style borders with the abstract.

Città orbitale has been created with a Yamaha MSX computer. This machine was chosen because of its audiovisual capabilities.
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voyager

Voyager
Digital animation
4 min. 41 sec.
Stereo
Color, 280 x 192
1982-84

Coauthor music Riccardo Sinigaglia.

Coauthor software Michele Böhm.
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Voyager was my first digital work, and derived from my previous videotape Viaggio, which lasted about 20 minutes and was made up of many still images that faded one each other. The music was created with analog electronic instruments.

Voyager is a narration with images of the path followed from primitive cultures to sidereal spaces.

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Pinocchietto

Pinocchietto
Painted film
6 min. 58 sec..
Stereo
8 mm.
1977

Pinocchietto was my very first abstract animation. The music was made with analog electronic instruments.

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