ashes smoke idea ephemeral life motion design contest 3D animation




The symbiosis between sound and image is an effect desired by most creative people. This synesthesia is like a natural effect for the viewer. This research has long attracted the interest of many researchers and theoreticians like Gioseffo ZARLINO.

He proposes in The harmonized istitutioni that the reaction of the ears to a sound combination is related to the reaction of the eye to a combination of colors.

Most animation contests rely on an imposed soundtrack. It tags the animation by its tempo, its character and its duration. It always proposes a natural association between music and image.

Synesthesia is a graphic solution remarkable for its ease of approach and the wonderful results it provokes. It can be illustrated with precision just as in the approximation.


Submission for the 8th Mattrunks' Contest Living Colors

Soundtrack by Obny

Directed and animated by Thomas CHARIER.

ANIMATION ~ Community ~ Contest ~ MOTION DESIGN ~ 2D ~ 3D

PARIS ~ 2012



Mattrunks is an educational platform offering a wide variety of tutorials on graphic animation. The community can learn by themselves the technical aspects of motion design and then apply the knowledge acquired in fun and creative free competitions.

Living Colors was a sound synchronization contest leaving the choice of form and theme. The goal is to create an animated graphic work while evoking the elements of the music provided.

  • ~ the rhythms became more and more important ~



The purpose of sound synchronization is to fully immerse the viewer in the artist's world. It serves to evoke a movement in relation to a sequence of notes.

The desired effect is to accentuate the tempo, to put forward a chorus, but also to make more present certain notes, not discernible during a fast listening.


Oskar FISCHINGER reveals that the music-film relationship conveys more intense and more sympathetic feelings for the viewer. Already of his time, he testified that the use of musical theories in a visual work, such as rhythmic and synchronization, had become decisive.


« Under the guidance of music, […] the application of acoustical laws to optical expression was possible. As in the dance, new motions and rhythms sprang out of the music – and the rhythms became more and more important. »


There are different types of synchronization for different uses, and so of feelings. The sound synchronization can be a direct synchronization. Every visual is then illustrated by a real sound producing a natural relation between the sound and the image.

It can also be in random synchronization, or said accidental synchronization. The relationship is then uncontrolled, it changes permanently with each new representation of the work.



Sound synchronization is subject to several creation processes. It is set up in most cases, after the piece is created, the visual artist intervenes after the artist-composer.

The creation is then governed by the characteristics of the piece: the tone, the tempo, the scales and the number of beats.

This work did not follow the standards of the creative process. The narration and the sequence of the actions were specified after several listenings of the music while experimenting in movement. The result is purely experimental and leaves a lot of imagination and interpretation.



An idea springs from the first note and then turns into a colorful mix. The liquid fills the thought of an individual.

It makes him come alive, rejuvenates him to finally free his consciousness in a creative artifice.



This experiment is partly an exercise on the alliance of traditional animations and 3D objects.

The mixture of techniques is particularly effective in the creation of morphs, in radical or complex transitions and in the animation of organic elements such as smoke.

Experimentation does not conceive of a linear process. The animation is more instinctive, in layers and successive corrections.

The result is quite fluid even if the transitions are a little rough. Recent technologies of traditional animation in 3D would have facilitated the production and the spontaneity of the work.



The creative competitions have always been for me the most formative experience. The graphic confrontation with the other participants and the results are in themselves a bitter ordeal. It strengthens the soul and technique most generally in failure and approximation. The motivation after more than a dozen participations in contests remains unscathed.

In the effort come the best ideas and the curious spirit of the designer.