“Mercurius” by De Montfort University

  • ©Bret Battey


SIGGRAPH Video Review:






Company / Institution / Agency:

  • De Montfort University


    In “Mercurius”, an abstract video-music composition, one sound-synthesis process, and nearly 12,000 individual points are continually transformed and warped, restrained, and released, without cuts, to form sonic and visual curtains and vortexes evoking both unity and destruction. Amsterdam Film eXperience awarded “Mercurius” its Breaking Out of the Frame Special Jury Prize in 2007, and it has received first prizes from the Punta y Raya Festival of Madrid and Abstracta Cinema of Rome and the Best Visual Music award from the Red Stick Festival, Baton Rouge.

    The custom Motion plugin developed to render the “Mercurius” visuals explores the limits of what can be achieved through animation of massed, discrete points. It builds upon the techniques used in the author’s Autarkeia Aggregatum (SIGGRAPH 2006 Art Gallery) by adding three-dimensional rotational manipulations of the point-drawing patterns and flattening the results back into two dimensions (without z-axis scaling). The result is a highly flexible algorithm providing intuitive control over complexly coherent textural and gestural flows. The animation for “Mercurius” proceeds without cuts from beginning to end through manipulation of these parameters.

    The work is also notable for the carefully composed audio track, which is similarly composed as a single, continually transforming custom synthesis process. The two media knit tightly together into a single, powerful audio-visual statement.


    Custom FxPlug for Apple Motion 2, Custom Supercollider MAX/MSP code

Additional Contributors:

    Director: Bret Battey

    Music and Images: Bret Battey

Animation / Video Overview: