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Odesza ft Ólafur Arnalds 'Light Of Day' by Balázs Simon

David Knight - 25th July 2022

Following his previous work for BRONSON, Bastille and the BBC's coverage of last year's Winter Olympics, Balázs Simon now pushes the boundaries in animation further with his remarkable work for US electronica duo Odesza.

The video for Light Of Day - a track with plaintive vocals by Ólafur Arnalds - introduces us to a hunched figure, emerging from a cave: he is a very old man, robed in furs, who surveys the remote, hostile, freezing mountainous world around him. On a distant peak a golden light is visible. And the old man begins to set off, on the impossible journey to reach that light. - an unfeasible task, due to the hostility of the terrain. 

This magical tale, a life-affirming parable of the benefit of fortitude and on the cyclical nature of Life itself, is given great depth by its hugely impressive and innovative execution. It takes the form of an animated painting, where the 2D nature of the image is continually developing, and the old man's progress is expressed through the application of painterly digital brushstrokes. This is an aesthetic style that really works as the underlying movement of the figure is essentially realistic.

I wanted to harness the immersive qualities of 3D animation, but also make it more painterly.

Simon achieved this very distinctive and poignant visual piece through a combination of live action, motion capture, 2D and 3D animation. To create an immersive world, the environments were crafted in 3D with painterly 2D brushstrokes applied. The character’s movement was recorded via motion capture and real life elements were shot to complement the 3D environment, heightening the sense of realism. 

"I was fascinated by the idea of this very old character who gets rejuvenated in a sense during his struggle to experience something magical," says Balazs Simon.  

"This film is about focussing on the values of life, and not giving in to the pressures we face each day. I wanted to harness the immersive qualities of 3D animation, but also make it more painterly than usual. The result is a mixture of hand-painted backgrounds, in-camera effects, motion capture - and tens of thousands of algorithmic brush strokes in each frame!" 

Like the old man's journey to the top of the mountain, it is a brilliant achievement - and rather magical too.

David Knight - 25th July 2022


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Balázs Simon
Máté Barbalics
Production Company
Executive Producer
Josef Byrne
Production Manager
Alex Halley


Director of Photography
Max Halstead


Production designer
Beattie Hartley
Art Director
Brin Frost


Lead Dancer
Bea Egyed


Animation Director
Balázs Simon
György Fábos
Barcsay Marcell
Dániel Szabó
Animation Company
Sunnyside Animation
Animation Producer
Dániel Szabó, Stop Motion Producer


Szilard Totszegi


András Piroska
Post production company
Post Producer
Róbert Erdélyi
Head Of CGI
Áron Hargitay, CGI Supervisor

David Knight - 25th July 2022

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