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Take a VR Journey into a Lush Polygonal Dreamscape [Premiere]

Ronen Tanchum's virtual reality music video for Young Yosef's "When We Land" turns the song into an audio-reactive seascape.
Image courtesy of Ronen Tanchum

Virtual reality music videos are fast becoming the new normal and it's easy to see why. They're a great way to provide immersive and immediate audiovisual experiences for viewers, delivered straight to their VR headsets, phones, or desktops. Filmmaker Ronen Tanchum from Phenomena Labs has created one such film for indie musician Young Yosef's mellow single "When We Land," turning the song into an abstract and surreal digital landscape for people to zone out in for a few restful moments.


For the film Tanchum created a low-res yet lush polygonal environment with components that react to the music differently. Everything, from the movement of the camera, to the flock of salmon diving in and out of the water, to the triangulated ebbing waves, to the clouds, rain, stars, and sky react to or reflect the music and instruments used, letting you float about in an audio-reactive world awash in turquoise and magenta tones.

"The kick’s power was calculated as speed and was added to the movement of the stereoscopic cameras on their path, causing a small soft push on the path of the viewer with each kick as the song progresses," explains Tanchum. "Vocals and bass were linked into the brightness of the sun and skydome. The wobbly synthesizer was linked directly into the deformation of the clouds geometry. The lead synthesizer was linked into the turbulent motion of the salmon flock while the snare triggered the times when they jump out of the ocean. The percussions controlled the diffuse of the surface’s shader, and other musical layers control the choppiness of the waves, the light's intensity and the fog density in the scene."

Image courtesy of Ronen Tanchum

To create the landscape, Tanchum 3D-scanned a female figure using a Kinect and turned the data into the single-shot geometric dreamscape in the film. Tanchum's inspiration for his aesthetic comes from natural phenomena, recreating the organic in 3D using procedural methods, coding, and mathematics. For "When We Land," Tanchum generated the color palette of the fim algorithmically, meaning no two triangles are the exact same color in the final scenes.


Image courtesy of Ronen Tanchum

"Virtual reality gave me the power to place the viewer right into a stylized, polygonal yet very organic world, placing the them in the heart of a powerful and rich experience," Tanchum explained to The Creators Project. "Letting the viewer feel immersed in a dream while fully awake with the music and the world of color and shapes reacting to it. VR was the ideal platform to let people feel this for a few minutes, breaking the wall between linear storytelling, becoming instead something more like a place where you can go and visit and most of all experience."

GIF courtesy of Ronen Tanchum

The film is available to view on Oculus Rift, Samsung Gear VR, Google Cardboard, and YouTube 360. Go try it out here.


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