David Knight - 2nd July 2010

Nir Ben Jacob, who directed the beautiful animation for The Walkmen's On The Water last year, has now created a wonderful video for Toronto band Great Lake Swimmers that was inspired by the discovery of some remarkable craftwork: the fifty year old wood-chip plate compositions by his own grandfather.

Nir has woven a story from the original plates in 3D with tremendous skill and this is a very worthy tribute to his grandfather's beautiful creations.

Nir Ben Jacob on making the video for Great Lake Swimmers' River's Edge

"About a year ago I stumbled on these old wood-chip plate compositions my late grandfather made," says Nir. "They're a beautiful example of early Israeli-Yemenite art. As soon as I saw them I knew I had to animate them.

"My grandfather made the plates in Israel around 1960, and he passed away in 1965. There are eight detailed compositions depicting early rural and agricultural life in Israel. After admiring and studying the craftsmanship, I started to weave the story together. It was all there in the plates, it was just a matter of organizing them. I tried to stay true to his vision by not adding too many extra elements to each plate.

"As far as animating, the first step was to photograph the plates and bring them into the computer. Then, separating the elements into layers and arranging them in 3D space to recreate the world depicted in the plates. I also used the camera projection mapping technique, in which you project an image (in my case the ground layer) onto 3D geometry, to help create the scenes."

Credits

DirectorNir Ben Jacob

David Knight - 2nd July 2010

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