Jason Fletcher
Motion Designer
PACK ⬕ Alien Guest
- This pack contains 35 VJ loops (18 GB)

I have an obsession with industrial robotic arms. Their movements are inhumanly fast and their shapes are unlike anything in nature. They are fascinating to watch and I always see it as a visual metaphor for the times we're living in. So naturally, I wanted to strap a subwoofer on it.

I hunted for a robotic arm model and sub model over on CGtrader. Rigging the joints in Maya for the robotic arm was tricky, but luckily I first laid out some locators precisely within the middle of each joint axis and that streamlined the whole process. From there the piston was a surprise challenge but ended up rigging two different constraints to make it function properly and automatically when I moved the rig. I also set up min/max ranges so that I could simply randomize the rotation values to generate keyframes and end up with lots of happy accidents for the animation. I could have manually keyframed the values but I would probably have been too methodical about it and wouldn't have the unpredictable feeling.

Once I had the robotic arm animated then I had the idea of duplicating it and attaching their bases together. It reminds me of a ballerina's movements but in a surreal dreamlike way. After rendering it out I realized that the sub spent a bunch of time in darkness and so I rigged up a spinning light so that the sub is illuminated in an impossible but satisfying way. I don't often get to enable global illumination in Redshift but in this case the render times were decent and it looked amazing with the light bouncing around in a realistic way. The slitscan FX were so ripe for these renders and gives it an hallucinatory vibe. Also the echo FX was wonderful in this context.

I was thinking about what else I could do with the sub and wanted to create a floating platform that was covered in speakers. To pack in the absolute most, I found an old school PA horn and made a series of rings. Lately I've been using Teya Conceptor to model loads of abstract machines for a different VJ pack and so I grabbed one of these models to use as a metal framework to hold the sub. From there I rigged it with wave deformers to bring it to life and animated it.

And of course I had to give Funktion-One some love! I closed my eyes and imagined going on a shopping spree. And that's when I knew that it'd be awesome to actually load up a shopping cart with some huge loudspeakers. All sorts of versions: rolling across the stage, bouncing to the beat, and static in place. Then I knew what was next... A massive terminator arm holding a loudspeaker. And then also making a loudspeaker flying with bird wings. Load up your beamers with funks.

Annd why not make some headphones walking to the beat? And then lace up some shoes onto the headphones? Yeah why not.

Annnd why not have a drone flying with a megaphone? You cannot escape the riddim.

Released April 2024