“Anthem” by Matulick and Mueller

  • ©Kylie Matulick and Todd Mueller  PSYOP Inc.


SIGGRAPH Video Review:








Company / Institution / Agency:

  • PSYOP Inc.


    Anthems are a powerful and insidious propagandistic format. They exist because they work. There is something about the structure and format of anthems that makes people believe. It makes people stand up and put their hands to their hearts. It makes us susceptible. It incubates allegiances, even inspires tears.

    Psyop was inspired to turn this format on its head, to have fun with it and make an anthem for consumerism, a piece about buying and believing. The piece looks, sounds, and moves with all of the innocence and friendliness of a Saturday morning children’s cartoon but with sardonic, politically aware content, as if Noam Chomsky were to write a commercial for a sugary breakfast cereal.

    Visually, we wanted to create a look that was as soft and playful as possible and so saccharin it would distract you from the disturbing lyrics and message.

    The process began with the lyrics and the music. Then we created storyboards and style frames that were recreated in 3D. Characters were modeled and rigged, the lighting and shading was designed, then the mad dash to finish the animation.


    HARDWARE: PC 2.4 GHz CPU, 1 GB RAM. Rendering farm: 8 CPUs.


    SOFTWARE DEVELOPER: Modeling and animation: XSI 3.5. Rendering: XSI 3.5,
    Mental Ray Compositing: After Effects. Additional software:
    Photoshop, Illustrator. OS: Windows 2000, IRIX 6.5.

Additional Contributors:

    Producers: Daniel Rosenbloom, Joe Hobaica
    Designers: Kylie Matulick, Todd Mueller, Marie Hyon, Justin Fines, Haejin Cho, Pal Moore, Daniel Piwowarczyk
    Executive Producer: Justin Booth-Clibborn
    Technical Directors: Todd Akita, Marko Vukovic
    Modeling and Animation: Alvin Bae, Christian Bach, Gerald Ding, Kevin Estey, Domel Libid, John Wade Payne
    3D Modeling: Tom Cushwa, Todd Akita, Alvin Bae
    Particle Effects: Eric Lampi
    Compositors: Todd Akita, Marko Vukorie, Aska Otake
    Lyrics: Steve Raymond
    Synths and Drum Programming: Jed Boyar
    Live Drums and Guitars: Joel Hamilton
    Brooklyn Bass and Additional Music Production: Tony Maimone
    Piano: Reverend Vince Anderson
    Vocals: Dave Driver
    Kid Voices: Thomas Ashton, Thomas Hourigan, Henry Rosenbloom, Molly Rosenbloom
    Special Thanks: Cat Oberg

Additional Information:

    Modeling: polygons. Rendering techniques used most: ambient occlusion, final gathering, non-photorealistic rendering. Average CPU time for rendering per frame: 20 minutes. Total production time: four weeks. Production highlight: used global-illumination techniques in a stylized effect.

Animation / Video Overview: