If you’ve been on the internet in the past year or so, you’ve probably run into Andreas Wannerstedt’s animations. From a stream of reposts on huge Instagram pages like ifyouhigh to a series of ads for Google, the 36-year-old Swede’s mesmerizing computer generated artwork has been all over the information superhighway lately. Watch a few of his hypnotic pastel creations, and it’s easy to see why.
These perfectly looping animations are part of Wannerstedt’s ‘Oddly Satisfying’ series, which is currently on its fourth iteration. Released on his Instagram and Vimeo accounts, these millennial-hued Rube Goldberg machines are readymade for virality. After posting just under 200 times to date on Instagram, he’s reached 440K followers and millions upon millions of video views.
Especially with the recent introduction of sound effects by David Camp in ‘Oddly Satisfying Vol. 4,’ watching slime, marbles, and sand interact with pleasantly tactile environments is, indeed, strangely gratifying— as well as infinitely viewable. It also doesn’t hurt that Wannerstedt’s aesthetic is on point, a pleasing mixture of metal, stone, wood, and plastic-y objects that look ripped from a hip design magazine.
Basically, it’s the kind of content you can watch for hours while stoned, but also show your grandparents. Or a design class. Or a baby. Really anyone, to be honest.
Though the art is purely digital, Wannerstedt tells VICE that he often gets his initial ideas from real-world objects, which he then gives “a slightly abstract twist, where things are defying gravity and friction to some degree.”
“Sometimes it’s enough to see a picture of a beautiful interior object, or even just a texture, to inspire me and make me visualise different kind [of] animations that could bring the composition to life,” Wannerstedt told me via email. “As soon as I have an idea, I usually make some rough [sketches] in my sketchbook, before I take it into my 3D software for some quick mockups.”
Wannerstedt says he originally created 2D Flash animations, but started to focus on 3D animations around 2007 when he was introduced to Cinema 4D, a 3D modeling app. In addition, the Stockholm-based artist and art director uses Arnold as render engine, and makes all post production adjustments in Adobe After Effects.
“It all began with a simple animation where different moving objects just avoided each other,” Wannerstedt told us. “I found the animation to be pretty hypnotic and satisfying to look at, so I kept exploring this. [Soon], the animations started to attract a lot of attention on Instagram, and also some forums around the web.”
Instagram has certainly been instrumental to Wannerstedt’s success, and the artist says he sees continuing potential in the platform for artists. “You should never underestimate the power of sharing,” he said. “I used to post bits and pieces from different commercial projects on my Instagram back in the days, but when I started to post nothing but personal artworks, especially made for Instagram, things got pretty crazy real fast.”
You can check out more or Wannerstedt’s work on his website, and his Instagram.
Sign up for our newsletter to get the best of VICE delivered to your inbox daily.
Follow Peter Slattery on Twitter.