My fascination with video began in college, where my personal style led me to abstract, weird, 3D-animated projects that were more computer-oriented than live action. I started out doing drawings with paper and pencil, publishing what I call “Everdays” to my site. I wanted to learn about digital photography, and somewhere along the way, I taught myself how to use CINEMA 4D.
I started creating 3D animations and releasing them as VJ clips on the web, which anyone could download and use for any project. Artists like Flying Lotus, deadmau5 and Tiësto discovered my work and asked me to make customized VJ clips.
That’s when I started creating branded graphics for electronic artists.
The Tools Beeple Utilizes To Create Awesome Videos
Color grading is perfect for emphasizing a graphic rather than overwhelm it. Red Giant’s Magic Bullet Looks color grading tool allows me to give footage that final touch it needs to be truly great. For EDM artist Flying Lotus’s song “Kill Your Co-Workers,” color was important to sharpen the project’s visuals, giving it an enchanting effect.
When I need to fly through an environment, I draw out the basic geometry in CINEMA 4D, then take it into After Effects, using Red Giant’s Trapcode Particular to perfect the look of the particles. Because Particles can be tweaked and re-rendered in After Effects super fast, I don’t have to spend hours rendering video and can still get an essential look.
I also really love the challenge of creating a unique look and feel for concerts that will sync up and make a high impact in a live setting. Many times, I have to work with interesting aspect ratios or different requirements depending on how the stage will be set up, so each project is a different experience.
This past year, I had the chance to work on Zedd’s upcoming fall tour promoting his newest album. I even got to hear his brand new music before anyone else, which allowed me to conceive the perfect graphics to parallel the beats.
When you’ve got clients to answer to and work to deliver, there’s no substitute for simple yet powerful and intuitive tools to help get the job done. Knowing exactly which tool I can turn to to get a certain look or create a certain effect is the difference between getting my work on the big screen at concerts and having it relegated straight to YouTube. It’s invaluable.
Beeple is Mike Winkelmann, a graphic designer from Appleton, Wisconsin. His short films have screened at onedotzero, Prix Ars Electronica, the Sydney Biennale, Ann Arbor Film Festival and many others. He has also released a series of Creative Commons live visuals that have been used by electronic acts such as deadmau5, Taio Cruz, Tiësto, Amon Tobin, Wolfgang Gartner, Flying Lotus and many others. He currently releases work on Flying Lotus’ Brainfeeder imprint.