Scarsについて by Andre

_20180505_SCARS_FIX-01 3

※クリックすると大きくなります。gifは動きだします。

We recently released our first animated music video, made by myself, for our song “Scars” A theatrical mute tale about power, trust, human behaviour and betrayal.

(embeded video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sulWijUgpzE )

What a wild experience it was! Lot of lessons learned throughout the whole thing. I came out smarter and wiser, so I encourage you to jump right ahead and try to make what’s in your heart, to get that idea floating in your head and making it a real thing is an amazing experience!

1)title_scars_1

I’m really happy with how the end result looks, if I say so myself, although there were a lot of things i wanted to improve and change. So, I thought it was interesting to write a sort of “making of”, explaining the whole process of its development from start to finish, and how/why we made it, to finally sharing the lessons I’ve learned.

2)intro_scars

Also, I will explain part of our music writing process too, so maybe music fans will find it interesting too!

Here we go:

 

The Idea

Almost one year ago, TD and I were working extensively on our future releases.

The process went like this:
First we wrote sketches for songs, a lot of them, then we selected the best of them and re-record a more polished version of the selected ones, With this re-recording we are able to test and develop its topic and style.
This is not, of course, the only method we use to make songs but, in this case, our idea was to make a themed album (Which later became a series of singles instead) so we needed songs coming from the same energy and style to work together as a whole.

3)songs

After making the song sketches we started working on possible themes and stories we would love to talk about in the album, and to create a cohesive narrative between them all.

We had very interesting conversations and debates and the topic of “Betrayal” stood out, suggested by TD.We soon wanted to focus on that theme, so we started a brainstorm. All the different versions of betrayal and stories about betrayal we could came up with.

Self betrayal, the prisoners dilemma and, the one concerning this article, the tale of the turtle and the scorpion, among others.

 

The King’s Song

Previously known by the code name “sexy bitch” (so untasteful, I know) later by the code name “The King’s song”, it quickly became our favorite choice for the tale of the turtle and the scorpion (if you want to read how the tale goes you should check the description of the song both in our bandcamp and youtube links)

To summarise, it is a fable about a turtle that ends up trusting the word and logic of a scorpion’s request to cross a river, but in the end gets betrayed by him anyways, not because the scorpion wanted to betray her, but because he wasn’t able to act any other way. In other words, he was influenced by his own scorpion nature.

I wrote the lyrics accordingly and we checked that everything felt right.

We were toying with the idea of making an animated music video for the album, and the king’s song was easily the most interesting and easy to tell story we had this far, so, one night, in TD’s favourite Ikebukuro’s cafe, we transformed the concept into a music video.

The story of a king/governor, who gets a lot of power, and even though he wants to help the city and its people, ends up betraying it time and again, against his own benefit.

We then wrote a simple storyboard for every important scene as a guide, which I scanned and later used on top of the song to check the timing and pacing of the story which was around 4 minutes long without the intro and outro, the standard rock song.

The final result was very cool! It felt fresh, it had surprising twists and an interesting moral at the end, so we were really happy with it.

4) storyboard

 

Design, and art direction

For the art direction TD gave me complete freedom so I started looking for artistic styles and looks that may suit the story.

In that time I had fallen in love with the paper-cut style of animation and I knew I wanted to go for that style so I began with the designs with that in mind.

5) collage_examples

First of, I tried with the main character but I failed horribly.

The story was so good that we needed the best main character design possible, so after three failed attempts I contacted our amazing and talented designer Mr.Hamaji, who made all of our jacket covers so far (You should check them out! LINK ) and asked for help with that.

She loved the idea and aesthetics, and started working right away.
Neither to say the character she designed was amazing!

6) character king

I could now start making all the assets for the video. Environments, secondary characters and everything.

Here are some examples of what I made for later use in animation.

7) characters adn assets

 

Compositing and animation

I started working on the design six month prior to the release, not every day, for sure, but whenever I had free time and enough energy for it since we didn’t have a deadline yet at that point. We decided to publish the Kings Song on 5/5/2018 (the decision was made two months before that date) so time was going by, fast, and the feeling of danger started to appear.

8) enviroments

Once I had enough models and assets to start putting everything together I began working on the puppets, which are like toys I make using the designs of the characters so I can later animate easier with After Effects, the software I used for the video.

Here is how a puppet looks like

9) king_rig_puppet_3

Every character with more than one scene has a puppet.

Then I have to add depth to the environments and rooms so they look like 3D.
For that I use a camera inside after effects and arrange all the layers into “z” space, which means, closer or far away in depth from the camera.
Little tip: The character are always in the same level, “z” level cero, so I don’t lose track of their position relative to other layers when animating the camera.

10)room_gifs

Now, starting from the beginning, I follow the storyboard with made in that cafe and animate the sequences one by one.

 

Finishing touches and song title

Time was running out. Still so much work was needed and there was only two weeks left.

I had to create the intro and outro to fill up the extra added time of the song, featuring the paper theater which was not included in the storyboards but were a nice addition to the concept, I believe.

For the hands (the ones “building” the scenes and clapping at the end) I used my own hands, of course!

I also played with the idea of adding the lyrics as subtitles in the same style as the title Scars. All subtitles were ready! But in the end it was very distracting for the narrative, so ultimately I decided to let it go and run without the lyrics subtitles

11) subtitles_preview

We made it on time! The video was mixed with the last mix and master of the song one hour before the expiration of the release date. Uploaded everything and the rest is history.

 

The Lesson

Watching the video again now I think of so many thing I would have change in the process and in the final product, but the development time had already stretched so much that it was going to be forever if I wanted to get everything just perfect.

There is a popular saying which goes like this “Art is never finished, only abandoned” and I think that is spot on.

The deadline is the key in every creative project.

The importance of a deadline can’t be understated. A deadline adds a sense of urgency that motivates you to get your hands dirty and do the works, but also help you settle with a final state of an otherwise infinite amount of possibilities and changes and improvements.

To be honest, I had always been aware of the importance of a deadline but I never had a more concrete proof of that until this project was finished.

It’s always good to start working sooner and having better tools ready before the time is running out, but that’s precisely what makes a deadline so important as well. When you know the time is running out all your choices get focused and that’s the only way of making something big (at least big for your resources and skills) and wring it to a final state.

It was surely an experience I hope to repeat in the near future. I also love working with more people so I hope next project I’ll have more helping hands throughout the endeavour.

12) end

Thank You for reading and hope you enjoyed the video and the song as much as us enjoyed making them.

See you around!

André

新曲 「scars」が公開になりました。サソリと亀の話。

 

こんばんは、TDです。5月5日に新曲が公開になりました。
ご覧になっていただけましたでしょうか?
話の内容はわかりましたか?

 

今回は全アニメーションMVになっていて亀と蠍の話からきているのでちょっとバッドエンドになってます。亀とサソリの話はあまり馴染みがないと思うのでちょっと説明しようと思います。童話ですがこんな感じでございます。

 

ある日、1匹のサソリが川の土手で立ち往生していました。
それを見た亀が尋ねました。
「どうしたんだい?」
サソリは言いました。
「向こう岸に渡りたいんだけど泳げないんだ。そうだ、僕を君の背中に乗せて向こう岸まで乗せてってくれないかな?」
亀は答えました。
「嫌だよ、そんなことしたら君は僕のことを刺すだろ?」
すかさずサソリは言います。
「刺すわけないだろ?刺したら僕も川で溺れて死んじゃうじゃないか」
亀は確かにそうだね!じゃあ乗りなよ!と納得しサソリを背中に乗せて川を渡り始めます。
しかし川の途中でサソリは我慢ができなくなりいきなり亀に毒針を刺します。
そして亀もサソリも川に沈んで死んでしまいます。

 

というようななんとも切ない話です。

 

要するにわかっていてもやってしまう。やりたくなくてもやってしまう悲しい性の話です。
人間は理性がありサソリとは違いますが、我々人間もわかっていてもやってしまう事って多いと思います。例えば嫉妬とか、つい嘘をついてしまうとか。
でもそういうことをやってるとバッドエンドになってしまうよという話です。

 

ビデオの中ではある権力という力を手に入れた男が勘違いによって街を滅ぼします。それはサビでも「I care too much」と歌ってますが「他の人がこう言ってるんじゃないか?やってるんじゃないか?」という事を気にしすぎてしまったためです。 これはもちろん僕もあります。というか人間にデフォルトで備わってるシステムですな。
かといって他人の目なんか気にしないと思っていても認められたいという気持ちもどこかにあって、そんな矛盾の中で葛藤している人間の一人です。

 

内容はそんな感じ。

で、話は変わりますがMVの中にシークレットで我々が入ってます。よかったら是非探してみておくんなまし。

アニメーションはアンドレが担当していたので大変そうでした。
アタクシは横からチャチャを入れただけ。
ほんとは歌詞もめり込ませるはずだったんだけどストーリーがわからなくなるとのことでなくなっちゃったのです。あったらもう少し分かりやすかったかもしれないけど。

歌詞はこっちでどうぞ。

https://the810x.bandcamp.com/track/scars

ジャケットデザインは同じくhamajiさん。

 

そんな感じで是非、爆音でご覧ください。

 

Scars

 

次は7月7日!七夕。次の曲もかっこいいんだな〜これが。

 

曲名は「matter」!!

オードリーヘプバーンが息子に読み聞かせたという詩 “Time tested beauty tips”

March 16-17, 1988, Ethiopia --- Soon after becoming a UNICEF ambassador, Audrey Hepburn went on a mission to Ethiopia, where years of drought and civil strife had caused terrible famine. --- Image by ゥ Derek Hudson/Sygma/Corbis

 

For attractive lips, speak words of kindness.
For lovely eyes, seek out the good in people.
For a slim figure, share your food with the hungry.
For beautiful hair, let a child run his fingers through it once a day.
For poise, walk with the knowledge you’ll never walk alone …
People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived,
reclaimed and redeemed and redeemed …
Never throw out anybody.
Remember, if you ever need a helping hand,
you’ll find one at the end of your arm.
As you grow older you will discover that you have two hands.
One for helping yourself, the other for helping others.
Sam Levinson
魅力的な唇のためには、優しい言葉を紡ぐこと。
愛らしい瞳のためには、人の美質を見い出すこと。
スリムな体ためには、飢えた人々と食べ物を分かち合うこと。
豊かな髪のためには、一日に一度、子どもの指で髪をといてもらうこと。
美しい身のこなしのためには、
決してひとりで歩むことはないのだと知ること。
物は壊れたら復元できないけれど、
人は転んでも起き上がり、
失敗してもやり直し、
挫折しても再起し、
誤ちをおかしたら正し、
何度でも再出発することができます。
決して誰のことも見捨ててはいけません。
人生に迷い、助けが必要なとき、
いつもあなたの手の少し先に
救いの手がさしのべられていることを
覚えていてください。
年を重ねると、
人は自分にふたつの手があることに気づきます。
ひとつは自分自身を助けるため、
そして、もうひとつは他者を助けるため。

サム・レヴェンソンの詩集

オードリーヘプバーンが子供に読み聴かせた詩だそうな。

ローマの休日を見て完璧にファンになってしまった13日の金曜日。
やはり何か内面からくるものを感じざるをえない。美しい。

 

おまけ

ローマの休日ではないがBreakfast at Tiffany’s(ティファニーで朝食を)のMoon Riverは最高で映画の冒頭でも使われているのだが、これぞまさにイントロ落とし。

それが言いたかっただけ。笑

 

それではよい1日を。

Eclipseのアコースティックバージョンで歌ってくれる女性ボーカル募集

 

今アコースティックバージョンの音源を作っているのですが、こちらのEclipseという曲は男女の話で掛け合いがあるので女性アーティストにも歌ってもらいたいと思い、手伝ってくれる方を募集することになりました。

作った音源はYou Tubeにアップするのと鳩折り紙から無料でダウンロードできるようにしたいと思っております。よかったら是非ご連絡ください。

 

よろしくお願いします。

2015-2016

あけましておめでとうございます。

早いですの〜、、昨年はほんとにありがとございました。

思い返せば2015年の1/1なんかはThe Coreのリリースとリリックビデオを発表したけどもアンドレメキシコ行っちゃってどうすんべ、、って感じでしたが地下室TIMES(名前英語になったのかな?)に紹介してもらったり月1回ゾロ目リリースも科学力を駆使し1年間無事継続することができました。

ありがとうございます。

12402091_1173688995993843_6878090959309045302_o

今年はもっともっと色んな人に聴いてもらえたらとアンドレも無事帰ってきたので今年の事色々話し合っております。

そして今年はBLOGを書く!笑

 

みなさまにとって最高の年になりますように。