Every Music Video Should Feature A Light Painting Machine

The producer Sam Shepherd, aka Floating Points, recently released the video for his single “Silhouettes“. The video follows stream of light travel across landscape and sky, morphing into wire-y shapes like a light painting. Unlike most light paintings, however, these were made with a special light-painting machine built for the video.

The video was by Pablo Barquín, Junior Martínez, Nathan Grimes, and Anna Diaz Ortuño of Hamill Industries, who designed and built the machine from scratch. The team explains how they made it on its site:

The luminous abstract forms are produced by a light-painting machine that, frame by frame, draws in a real environment the 3D animated figures. All are in-camera effects made by a custom built 3 axis machine capable of reproducing, in light, any form designed in 3D animation software. Whilst drawing the forms frame by frame, the machine is also programmable to control all other aspects of capturing the image, camera shutter release, lights and any other external events such as fog machines and motion control systems.

By contrast, typical light paintings are made by one person waving a light source in front of a camera that has been set with a long exposure and a high ISO. The painter must dress in dark colors and keep in constant motion so that when the image is developed, the motion of the light blurs together. We’ve seen this method being used before in calligraphy light paintings, Janne Parviainen’s wrecked car light paintings and the luminous works of Pablo Picasso, who dabbled in light paintings in the late 1940s.

The video is merely an excerpt from an epic eleven-minute album track “Silhouettes (I, II, & III).” On its site, the team at Hamill writes that they will be releasing more about the making of later on.

[via Creative Review]