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This Music Video Is a "Smart Drug" Trip Gone Horribly Wrong

Filmmaker denial.of.service goes full-on cyberpunk dystopia in Rawtekk’s “Here’s To Them” video.
Images courtesy the artist

Smoke a bit too much dope, and you can experience depersonalization. But what about when you take nootropics, the so-called “smart drugs?” In the video for Rawtekk’s “Here’s To Them,” filmmaker denial.of.service attempts to find out. Working with iPhone footage and Microsoft Kinect 3D scans, denial.of.service not only explores “hardcore nootropic”-triggered depersonalization, but also dystopia, observation, and reaction.


The results of denial.of-service’s scripting in Processing 3.x are incredibly mind-bending. It’s by turns dark, geometric, molten, and in a perpetual mode of shape-shifting. “Both the sonics [and] keyword/general concepts list I'd requested from the band led into this rather bleak cybernetic mashup of broken 3D scans CG and heavy stylization via code,” denial.of.service tells The Creators Project.

“Christine Westphal's (the voice of Rawtekk) processed footage came from a rough and quick mobile phone recording sent in by the band,” adds denial.of.service. “The rest was either fast 3D scans carried out with my cheap-arse sub-€79 Kinect v1 (point clouds captured via Brekel's code) and some crude 3DS Max close-up humanoid renders.”

Denial.of.service explains that within Processing, toxi libraries—open-source libraries for computational design tasks like generative visuals—were used. Specifically, RGB-plotted, sound-reactive centroids (the intersection points of a triangle’s three medians) define and drive the various geometric shapes seen in the video. Denial.of.service also used Lloyd's relaxation algorithms to get a smooth transition between the geometries.

To create the forest scene, denial.of.service made computer graphic liquids in Trapcode’s Form. The 3D point cloud animations were extracted from the 3D tracking software PFtrack in many successive layers of increasing depth, which gives the video its sense of dimensionality and volume.


“The whole piece took less than 10 days from conception to completion,” denial.of.service says. “This includes the coding enhancements upon scripts I'd devised a couple of months earlier for my Unknown Archetype heavily-triangulated piece.”

Combined with Rawtekk’s music, the video experience is a harrowing one. If nootropics has this sort of dystopian effect, then maybe humanity should keep to its organic mind-altering substances.

RAWTEKK Here'sToThem (official video) from denial of service on Vimeo.

Click here to see more of denial.of.service’s work.


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