Culture

Interactive CGI and Audio Create an Abstract Virtual Realm

Sights and sounds combine to form an abstract space in London CGI artist Dave Webster’s ongoing ‘Broken Angels’ series.
27 September 2016, 1:50pm
Screencaps via the author

Audio-reactive animation and computer graphics have a certain unexpected beauty about them. In an ongoing episodic piece, tentatively titled Broken Angels, London-based VFX and CGI artist Dave Webster plays with that very same unknown. The second episode in the series finds Webster exploring a “madlib” or exquisite corpse approach to linking the visuals. That is, the last frames of Episode 1 serve as the opening frames of Episode 2, and so on, as Webster builds the Broken Angels world.

“Although the whole thing has been sketched out, the details of each episode will dealt with episode-by-episode,” Webster notes. “I wanted to have a different theme and style to each episode, whilst maintaining a continuous (albeit loose and abstract) narrative.”

As Webster explains, he used Houdini to create 3D visuals and Nuke for 2D work, with some extra visuals created in Adobe After Effects. Overall, he used a lot of pyro and particle effects in the frames of Episode 2. For the sound, Webster used Ableton, along with a couple of hardware synths.

The results are, as Webster insists, not purely abstract. The audio-reactive visuals seem to occupy some sort of space. An alien world perhaps, but one with no logic or point, just a range of a/v happenings.

Broken Angel Episode 2 - Audio Generated VFX from Dave Webster on Vimeo.

Click here to see more of Dave Webster’s work.

Related:

How Do You Make a Film Experience More Than VR? Use a 360° Dome

Watch a CGI ‘War of the Worlds’ Unfold in Siberia

How 'Game of Thrones' VFX Artists Pulled Off the Most Explosive Season Yet