Initial idea

My initial idea was inspired by early jazz music and New York city. I plan to create more abstract scenery such as high rise buildings, with lots of moving textures.

Below is a painting by Jeremy Sutton and is the main inspiration for my initial idea.


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Below are initial digital painting, using old edited paintings as texture.

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Below are the old paintings that I used as background textures with I edited/overlayed.


Feedback from Idea

Feedback from my initial idea was to create a completely abstract animation, using traditional media such as paint.


Updated Idea

A abstract video combining traditional and digital media to a piece of music inspired by 1920’s Jazz.  The film will break down music into the different instruments and show them through different technique, style or media. Below is the planning through mood-boards of each instrument.




The background is going to be piano as it is the main instrument through the piece of music. I plan to use a pallet knife using the colour pallet from Jeremy Sutton’s painting “Art of Jazz.”  I’m not yet sure if it will merge from frame to frame or be straight ahead animation.




I like the idea that the trumpet is a line but very unpredictable and follows the music. The media I plan to experiment with is pen, charcoal and digital painting.


Drums (symbols)


I like the idea of using ink and maybe water colour for the symbols and will be staggered to mimic the movement of a symbol being hit. The media I plan on using is charcoal, paint, ink or paper cut-out.




The bass will have a stagger like a string being plucked, similarly to the animation for the cymbals. I plan for the lines to be messy or blurry, and made from charcoal, ink or digital.

Above is some tests I did for colour and texture that I used as the background of my animatic. I used acrylic paint with a pallet knife and large flat brush to create texture. The animatic contains a lot of repeated movement which will be altered in the production of the music video. I plan to experiment with other mediums such as charcoal, oil paint and ink.



Material Test

From my tests I have come to realise I need to keep the easel upright to prevent a tilt in the painted piano background.  I need to add more frames for the piano background and make more interesting shapes and textures. This is because the paint is flat. I might try ink as the wash exposes the layer below. I also need to use a stand as this test is blurry.

The feedback I received was to consider rhythm, tone, and the beat of each instrument. I plan to experiment with other media such as canvas, watercolour, gouache with glycerine on acetate/glass, or hard wood/cardboard with emulsion paint. The video is a bit flat so I might create a 3D plane on After Effects to add depth. I also need to use size to imply distance. All my other production tests are in my making of video below.


Production Sheet




Film Update 001

I used 4mm plywood instead of cardboard as the base, which I coated in emulsion paint. This was to prevent rippling, which happened in my media tests above. I animated ten charcoal guitar strings to make sure I had a variety. I worked out that I only needed to repeat each string one and a half times. I also combined multiple layers of painting animation instead of just making one 30 second long animation.


Film Update 002

I researched 1950’s gangster films to see the fonts they used, so that I could give a more 50’s feel to the video. The text is shaky and blurs in and out of focus to create an old 35mm film effect.

The main feedback I got for this video, was that as a music video it was too empty. So I changed it to a title sequence. Originally, I chose “Goodfella’s,” then I decided to use “The Big Combo,” as Goodfella’s is very colourful, which contrasts the video. “The Big Combo,” is a Film Noir black and white film. This suits my work as, not only is it black and white, but has extreme contrast (like the German Expressionist lighting).  The type is very shaky which I have to fix and I am not too sure about the movement on the circles in the middle of the shot.


Film Update 003

The writing in the video is too shaky and needs to be held so the audience can read it.  The placement of paint splodges are more interesting than my previous version, but the splodges after the title need to be behind a credit as they’re not interesting or symbolic enough on their own. The title needs to spin for longer, have motion blur and shake like the other credits, as there is a cut in the continuity. I feel as if the introduction to the song is too fast, and boring at the beginning as it is silent. I might consider a longer intro.


Final Film



Making of Music Video