Digi-Cut Animation, Psychedelics, and Hot Chip’s Alexis Taylor

For Shit Robot's "End of Trail" music video, Kevin McGloughlin shows off his gorgeous new digital effect.
March 22, 2016, 12:15pm
All images courtesy the artist

In the world of claymation, there's a technique known as the strata-cut, where a “loaf” of clay is continuously cut to reveal layers upon layers of interior images. A frame of film is shot for each cut, creating a psychedelic blend of stop-motion animation. Perhaps the most famous practitioner of this style is perhaps David Daniels, whose work appeared on Pee Wee’s Playhouse and Alex Winter’s The Idiot Box.

Inspired by strata-cut, video artist Kevin McGloughlin, creator of the bokeh-heavy 3D visuals for Sunken Foal’s “Never Knew,” ft. Si Schroeder produced a new technique he calls “digi-cut.” McGloughlin puts the technique to trippy use in his music video for Shit Robot’s track “End of Trail,” which features vocals from Hot Chip’s Alexis Taylor. The artist takes video footage of Taylor singing and applies the digi-cut effect that he put together in Adobe After Effects and Premiere. The result is an ever-evolving series of cyberdelic visuals.

McGloughlin tells The Creators Project that the digi-cut effect is created by stacking a ton of layers of photographs and videos on top of each other, then extracting data from each layer at progressively higher values from the back to the front of the layer stack. This essentially creates what is effectively a digital strata-cut technique.

“The idea [behind the video] is simple really,” McGloughlin tells The Creators Project. “Through a kind of journey or 'trip' I wanted to represent a depth and complexity behind the eyes, a manifestation of growth and decay through an evolution of abstract thought.”

“The song itself is so wonderfully abstract both lyrically and melodically that we felt an abstract approach for the visual would be fitting,” he adds. “Marcus Lambkin (Shit Robot) is very experimental with his music videos and was happy to give the green light for this rather unusual route.” Check out "End of Trail" below:

End of the Trail - Shit Robot Ft.Alexis Taylor from Kevin McGloughlin on Vimeo.

"End of Trail" is off Shit Robot's forthcoming What Follows LP, out May 6th on DFA Records.

Click here to see more of Kevin McGloughlin’s work.

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