Steve Malkmus & the Jicks “Dark Wave ”
Dir. Scott Lyon, 2003

This was quite a challenging project, and it remains one of the most complex (and lengthy) pieces of visual effects work I have produced to date.

It was shot on 35mm using a motion control rig, then the graded rushes were 2K'd onto hard disk. Will Sweeney drew the tattoo illustrations. I took his artwork and broke it down in Photoshop into its component pieces, then animated individual tattoos in Aftereffects, making heavy use of expressions to synch them to the audio. The completed tattoo animations were then exported into Combustion where I tracked them onto the 2K footage. A 2K greyscale render of the tracked tattoos (only) was then exported back to After Effects where I assembled the final comp, using complex layering and reactive filters in order to achieve an authentic tattoo look. By working with 2K digital sources on a project that would ultimate be finalised at PAL D1 resolution, it enabled us to make heavy use of tight digital zooms during the sequence without losing clarity. It also meant we could put in some fairly crazy CG camera moves, which well suited the anarchic feel of the track.

The finished video has been well received, subsequently being shown at several high profile media events, including resfest and the edinburgh film festival.