Watch As This Mesmerizing Digital Portrait Paints Itself

Media design studio Universal Everything’s fascination with motion and evolving form can be seen in everything from its hypnotizing personification of avant-garde architecture to an animated logo for Google’s ebook imprint. Frame, a company that specializes in displaying digital art, commissioned Universal Everything to design a piece of digital art as an exclusive for customers who purchase the Depict Frame.

Taking cues from the rich dark tones of Rembrandt, Universal Everything created a work in which bursts of digital brushstrokes constantly emerge and dissolve, settling at times into a portrait of a bust. Working with 3-D animation software, the team started by designing the brushstrokes, testing out different weights and thicknesses–one early rendering had a thick, gloopy, oil paint feel–before settling on a thin, scratchy paint stroke that resembled graphite on paper. Using a 3-D scan of a head as a model, the designers animated the piece in such a way that swarms of paint filled in the outline of a head briefly before disseminating and creating new forms.

Take a look: