'Moving in a different direction...'

Campane che svanisco - Animation by 12foot6, Music by Aaron Holloway-Nahum
Interview with animator,

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Could you tell us a bit about 12foot6 and the type of projects you usually work on?

12Foot6 is an animation studio based in central London and we produce mainly 2D and stop motion animation for TV and web. We have a number of amazing artists within the company and have a very strong illustration background. Fu's (animator who worked on the collaboration) role within the company is a little different as he is from a mainly digital background and concentrates on compositing work together as well as a little motion graphics and occasional 3D work.

Has your working method been different with this project?
For this project Fu worked differently to how he usually approaches projects.  Once he got the idea, he started with a very loose sequence of events and then got straight on with animating along to the track. Usually he'd storyboard and plan to a precise level before animating but due to tightness of time he felt it would be better to just crack on! On the technical side he used a series of generative effects in new ways to create the landscapes and backgrounds totally digitally and very quickly. The main thing that differs here is that he was animating a character which took him out of his safety zone having to call on the rest of 12Foot6 for advice. Fu says, "It was an educating and enlightening experience which I will take a lot away from for future work".

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What inspiration did you take from Aaron's music?
Fu continues, "I took a massive amount of inspiration from Aaron's music. When I first heard about the project I was keen to get involved as I like experimenting with audio reactive animation. This involves some light scripting which translates the various frequencies of a piece of music into a set of key-frames which can then be used to drive a range of animation properties. This technique however is better suited to a more full on kind of track with a diverse array of frequencies and a lot of rhythm. When we received Aaron's track we realised that audio reaction was probably not the best direction to take as, though the track is beautiful, it is very minimal and sparse not leaving much in the way of bopping frequencies to carry the animation away.

After some experimentation I felt anything audio reactive would not do the track justice and I spent a lot of time listening and re-listening to the track, allowing it to guide me. After a lot of listens I felt I couldn't escape a narrative. The track is overall somber with occasional rises. In my head I kept seeing a character searching for something and thinking they'ed found it but actually not. In the end I pulled out an old experimental 3D rigg of a chinchilla which I'd based on my own pet chinchilla (Bramwell) and used him as the protagonist of the story. Aaron's music inspired me to go in a totally different direction to what I'd ever normally think of doing".