Jason Fletcher
Motion Designer
PACK ⬕ Machine Hallucinations
- This pack contains 86 VJ loops (28 GB)

When a robot falls asleep and dreams, what does it see? I think it would dream of growing into different modular shapes. So I set out to explore this concept.

I went the rabbit hole and spent so much time collecting, curating, and formatting images from various Gundam Wing websites. The "Dream" videos were generated from a StyleGAN2 model that was trained using 1465 images of black and white blueprint drawings. The "Solid" videos were generated from a StyleGAN2 model that was trained using 3067 images of full color drawings. It was quite dull work and yet the results are exactly what I was hoping for. To keep these videos focused on the abstract robot geometry, I was careful to only show a human silhouette at rare moments.

The "CPU" videos were generated from a StyleGAN2 model that I found online, originally created by Mayur Mistry. It was actually trained using images of floor plans and yet I thought it looked more like a CPU chip that was evolving.

After generating videos out of StyleGAN2, I was concerned of how I was going to deal with the perfect white background since that much brightness tends to ruin the overall vibe. So after some failed experiments with color keying, I finally realized that a basic technique would do the trick. I simply inverted the colors and then rotated the hue to match the colors of the original.

Compositing the "Dream" videos was a unique challenge since they are just black and white. Yet after some experiments I realized there was actually a tiny bit of color in there, either from the machine learning or added compression noise, or perhaps a combo of both. So I cranked the color saturation to 100 and loved the results when glow was applied liberally. I'm such a sucker for how much glow can make things come alive.

The "CutoutDream" videos were some of my favorite experiments since I used one video as a luma matte to cutout a different video and then add heavy glow to make it sing. The "GlowGlitch" videos were the result of playing around and applying Pixel Sorter after Deep Glow and then tweaking the settings in various ways. When in doubt, add glow! I can't stop myself and I have no shame.

Compositing the "Solid" videos was tricky since I had trouble keying out specific colors to apply glow onto. So I experimented with instead using the threshold effect as a way to generate a luma matte for where glow would be applied, which is what the "GlowSolo" videos showcase. In the future I want to return and do some displacement maps in Maya with these videos.

Released March 2022