David Knight - 24th July 2015

BAFTA-winning animator/director, and leading zoetrope artist Jim Le Fevre has created a giant 3-D stroboscope for producer/multi-instrumentalist SBTRKT, bringing to life SBTRKT’s mysterious creature featured throughout the campaign of the current album.

The SBTRKT-O-SCOPE was created as a physical prequel to the New Dorp video, with the creature in multiple forms emerging from the water, clambering over the Manhattan skyline, and plunging into New York’s city centre. 

8ft tall and 6ft wide, the stroboscope spins at 33.3 rpm and is illuminated by a strobe-rig to create the optical illusion of animation. It is one of only a small handful of 3-Dimensional stroboscopes of its scale in existence, the others owned by animation giants, Pixar (US) and Studio Ghibli (Tokyo). 

The architecture and tiers of the SBTRKT-O-SCOPE were laser-cut to specific dimensions, and the character animated at Nexus’ London studio then 3-D printed frame by frame into physical models.  

It was commissioned by SBTRKT and record label Young Turks, in collaboration with Red Bull, and it will be unveiled at Inner-City Arts’ event Summer on Seventh in Los Angeles on 25th July 2015 and housed at Guerrilla Galleries in Downtown LA’s arts district starting July 28th.

Jim Le Fevre says: "The project was ambitious not only in size, but in that we created a longer movement, showing the SBTRKT character appear, move and disappear, in a smooth series of consecutive loops. The intricate mathematics need to be absolutely precise, across all elements, for this technique to work; from 3-D printing and hand-painting 40 characters, to the code behind the bespoke system for the lighting which involves 20 banks of strobe LEDs run by a magnet sensor that continually assesses the revolutions per minute and adjusts the strobe accordingly, and every single element in between. Only when you have everything in place, and fire up the strobes and motor do you know whether it will work! It’s been great working with Red Bull, without whom the project wouldn’t have been possible.”

• More about the SBTRKT-O-SCOPE here

David Knight - 24th July 2015

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