Jonathan Chong animates 3D-printed head for Dan Sultan's music video

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Jonathan Chong animates 3D-printed head for Dan Sultan's music video

Director Jonathan Chong used a combination of projection mapping, 3D printing, stop-motion and animation to create the video for Dan Sultan's Magnetic track.

Sultan briefed Chong to create a video that would be animated, bold and colourful.

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His only request was that he featured in the video, but due to other commitments, he couldn't be around for Chong to animate him in person.

"The solution I came up with was to make a 3D scan of his head and then 3D print a bust of Dan that could be animated using stop-motion," Chong told Dezeen.

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The first step in the process was to create a 3D scan of the musician's head and face.

This was done by taking a series of photos of Dan at various angles that were then stitched together to create a 3D model.

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The model then had to be cleaned up and made ready for 3D printing. The model featured a movable head and replaceable mouth and eye pieces to allow the team to animate a full range of facial expressions.

Overall, more than 60 individual 3D-printed pieces were used to create the animation.

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Throughout the video, the main bust and head transforms into a "living work of art", and changes depending on the parts of the song.

"There were two sides to clip, a darkness and a lightness which also reflect the themes in the song dealing with excess and then trying to lift yourself out of those vices that pull you in and sometimes drag you down," he said.

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One of the main visual motifs in the track is a spiky ferrofluid-like texture, which ripples across the face.

The ferrofluid is intended to represent things in life that are hard to resist, while the colourful, projection-mapped graphics reflect trying to be a better person.

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"An interesting fact is that I used my seven-year-old son and his friend for the hair and ear pull shot as their hands and arms were the right scale for the small bust of Dan," said Chong.

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