Further Research: Ruffmercy + more

I researched all this a few weeks ago but haven’t had a chance to upload it.


I wanted to do a bit more research into this guy as I felt he was the most relative to my work. I found out online that his real name is Russ Mercy, so that’s where the name originates. Like I touched on a bit last time he is in fact a huge fan of Basquiat and it is stated in several interviews. It’s interesting to think about Basquiat’s work in an animated format, it pushes whats already great into something extra and it’s weird I’d never thought about it like that before until watching Ruffmercy’s work. It’s reminiscent, a bit, of the way the makers of Montage of Heck animated Kurt Cobain’s drawings. I’d never have thought about that, or what that’d be like until I saw it.

Here’s a couple of examples of that, as a tangent. Looking over them again is really interesting, it gives me a bit of hope as I can sometimes imagine what my drawings will look like as animations but sometimes I wonder why I’m drawing some of these things when I can’t see how they move. I wouldn’t have thought about how Kurt’s drawings could move either! It also shows multiple methods/simple ways to animate such as repetition of words/images or within an animatic.

Anyway, A lot of Ruffmercy’s work is animation on top of film, which also has a really interesting look to it as well.

Colours, Layers, Textures, Use of Overlays – very similar to my own work! Also gives me a bit of hope for my work as well.

I particularly wanted to point out this video for Sunns’ song: Watch You, Watch Me. There’s multiple things and techniques we can take from this video. Again, repetition is a part of the animation process here. Again, we also have multiple colours and layers creating the movement which seems to be Ruffmercy’s staple. This is a good example of how use of photographs can create animation too, as they peel away and fragment the overall image.

Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris: 

Not a lot comes of these two, but as they create music videos for one of my favourite bands I felt like it was worth a look at some of their other work. It’s completley obvious now I know who else they’ve worked for, clients/works include Korn’s ‘Freak on a Leash’ and RHCP’s ‘Californiacation’, ‘Otherside’ and ‘Road Trippin”. I guess I just feel a bit nostalgic, which is dumb as was born the latter half of the 90’s but I re-lived it I guess as I grew up and became interested in 90’s bands from my mid teens. The pair also directed the film ‘Little Miss Sunshine’.

Freak on a Leash has a bit more narrative, is a bit Scooby Doo-esque and doesn’t really compare to the animation style of ‘Tonight Tonight’. ‘Tonight Tonight’ is a lot more interesting to me personally because of the more puppeteer style of animation which has worked well for me before.

Mrzyk and Morieau: 

After watching their video for Sebastian Teller, I decided to take a look into more of Mrzyk and Morieau’s work. The pair are a female and male duo, from France. They create surrealist illustrations and animations inspired by innuendo and their favourite part of the body is the butt! (As if that wasn’t obvious). I quite like the idea of innuendo or metaphor and using it within this project. Its a way of expressing sexuality in a funny way or potentially offensive way depending on the context. I also really love the way they use shape to create other imagery inside of other imagery. Here’s a few of their illustrations and other works:

I particularly like the video above, although the animation is a bit more intricate in comparison to what I’m looking for, because of the textured backgrounds and the animations over the top. Its a simple way of creating backgrounds with depth, which is something I’m worried about for my video. I don’t want my girls to be dancing in a blank abyss! Interestingly the pair also added some of their illustrations to the graffiti/posters in the back!

Alasdair and Jock: 

Finally, I had a look into Alasdair and Jock’s work as well. Again, I’m in love with the “puppeteer” method of animation – it’s complicated when thinking of all the layers but the pay off is really cool! Their work as been endorsed by Kanye, and was one of the first things to be projected onto Buckingham Palace! Some other parts of their works also use objects and surreal stop motion, I guess what I mean by “puppeteer” comes under that umbrella. I like using the idea of digital puppets to illustrate my story, It also relates to what I’ve been drawing in my large sketchbook. I was thinking about ballerinas and how they look like they’re being controlled by puppet masters with large hands. Its just an interesting visual concept I could work with.

I quite like the use of black/negative space in this video. Its darkness amps up it’s bizarre imagery. In the band we work with a lot of neon so working with black backgrounds would give a big visual impact.

08/02/12 – Animation Research: Experimental

As an extra note: I need to consider what I still image can tell us too, in comparison to the other animations surrounding it as well as its paired audio.

Experimental Animations and Trailers:

What I like about Unhappy Happy is the way it reminds me of Picasso, particularly with it’s colour scheme. It flows really nicely too. All of the videos I’ve looked at do really well at matching with their audio. There’s no particular theme or narrative in this animation, it purely matches the sounds.

The Sleepwalker really matches a culture, which I guess can be considered an an artistic aesthetic of sorts for this particular video. The visuals and audios match again perfectly, not just in movement but also in aesthetic. I like the mouth and when it moves along with the audio!

This one doesn’t do a lot, I just like it for the use of colour schemes and simple shapes. The way its all layered makes it look more intense then it is broken down into just drawings.

This isn’t large on the animation scale but I like how the photos create a transitional method in order to create progress. When the rips pause they also have a couple of image jumps which suggest movement of the person in the photograph. I also like when the screen splits into multiple images, showing more about a particular character (the motor cyclist, shot of him smoking, small section features his tattoo etc). I’m a bit stumped on how this could be created, but I’m sure I can figure out a method once I get some images started.

Although the slightly poo-y colour scheme, this starts quite basic and is quite basic in terms of methods. I think it’s a good example of how separate images can combine to become one entity, and how the same images can be re-use but with a different scale, in a different place. I appreciate that it’s all done with paint too.

This isn’t really what I was aiming to have my animation look like, it reminds me of how kinetic typography moves in lyric videos. However, I do like how when we focus on the drawings, the photos underneath appear and give the images more depth.

I found this on YouTube, it’s an experimental reel by Jamie T. I love this purely because it gives me so many ideas! It allows me to think of so many different materials that I could use within my video too. Do we think that I can possibly do a  walk sequence? I might make that another goal!


08/02/18 – Animation Research: Music Videos

This section is separated into animated music videos and just short experimental animations or trailers for experimental films.

Music Videos:

I found a list of the 25 best animated music videos to get me started, here:


This first video was created by Becky and Joe (The incredible team behind Dont Hug Me Im Scared!) for the band Tame Empala. A lot of Becky/Joe’s work is 3D and puppet based. However this video seems to look like stop motion Playdoh or something similar. I really like how the textures move within the shapes to create simple animation. There’s little to no narrative but it still matches the music really well. I believe, knowing their previous works that this is probably a mixture of stop motion and digital editing.

This video for French band Ghost are Dancing by Maxime Causeret and Gilles Deshaund, messes with my eyes a little bit. According to the blog I found it on it was animated using a digital render of their singer, filmed from two different cameras, making it all trippy. Although I’m not a fan of the way it moves as much, the opening 20 seconds is worth mentioning as I like how the lines create the shape of a human, and are appearing and reappearing to almost create a boil effect and as if it’s being drawn over and over again. I also think when the images are still, they look really beautiful.

I’m a huge fan of The Smashing Pumpkins and I couldn’t figure out why Tonight Tonight was animated. It’s primarily film, but the zoomed out surrealist shots of the spaceship and the earth are. It’s moving cut outs I suppose, and just the cut out as it is not manipulating it. I’d like to look into the artist who created this though, Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris, as the art style for Meloncollie and The Infinite Sadness is probably one of my favourite album covers/aesthetic of all time. The animation I did for The Beaney in my first year was heavily influenced by this!

Out of all the videos I’ve seen, this one by far is the most useful. Its quite boring for me, because its just the image of this girls arse continuously but as she moves the scenery adapts around her. The opening seconds just have the black shape which you can obviously understand is a butt too, it’s something I could do and easily warp using After Effects to make it match to my theme. Its also interesting to understand how a shape can easily represent something? I think I’d use the whole same thing idea for a small amount of my video though as It’s boring for me to watch excessively so I can’t imagine how bored I’ll be to animate.

This video for House Shoes by Ruffmercy is probably the most accurate I’ve found (So far) to what my animation style is like. It’s clear it’s done digitally, again like above there’s always one central image which is a head that changes. I think I find this one more interesting because of the colours, along with the addition of more things and textures to this piece in comparison. Easy layers, easy to figure out how it’s made.

Final music video so far is Horrors for Silvery, by Alasdair and Jock. At this point I’m a bit freaked out as nearly every video I’ve seen has a collective of people who made it and I’m only one person. I’ll put that aside, but I also feel like this one is a representation of my animation style too. I really love using puppets in After Effects, and this really plays to an aesthetic which I think is really important when working with a band.

08/02/18 – Beginning Of The End

So now that our dissertations are handed in, it’s time to start our final project. I can’t believe this is it, I’m gutted I’m leaving uni soon. I’ve had such a great time here!

For my major project, the last task I’ve assigned myself is to animate/film/create a music video for the band. I’ve selected my favourite track off of our EP – ‘Dirty Money’ – as the song I’m going to bring to life!

I felt like now was really the time to push the boat out, I have little time left of all my student privileges too so I want to make use of  having Adobe products. Creating music videos is something I want to incorporate into my professional practise once I leave, and I felt like now was the time to test it. I’ve set myself some personal goals for this project within my sketchbook, such as possibly incorporating film and hand drawn animation to my final piece.

‘Dirty Money’ is a song about a stripper, who knows she belongs in the world she’s put herself into. Out of all four of the tracks off ‘Holistic’ I felt like from the offset that DM was the most rich visually already because of this theme. My plan is to have an underlying influence from the sex industry and how sex workers are affected by their craft. Sounds silly but I’m also really interested the current story line in Coronation Street, where Bethany Platt has now become a lap dancer as a coping mechanism in order to recover from her ordeal in a sex ring. I like that she feels powerful doing that job, she owns it and although things are a lot more horrific in real life – girls are being forced into these situations and worse – sex work is a real thing in also not horrific cases too. I don’t really want this to be a project about sexism (There’s enough about), but it’s an interesting point that I’m hoping will influence my imagery, and give me a deeper understanding.

 Craig gets into a row with Bethany Platt, and his colleague turns up and reports her

We’ve just come back from Barcelona too, over the course of the trip I subconsciously managed to collect booklets, zines and memorabilia based on the themes of the occult and  religion. I’d like to incorporate these themes as well as I feel like the female sexuality is a strong thing, it’s demonic and sultry and I think all of these themes will match in some warped way in my head. Also, it creates a bit of diversity for me image making wise.

(not my artwork! found on tumblr @badasserywomen, it’s as a reference)

Now I’m researching, my next post will be all about some animations I’ve been looking at to inspire me so far. A lot of my research might be on here, purely because it’s digital and easier to link. I also have a list of documentaries on Netflix to watch and scribble from so I’m really excited to doing that too!