Clouds (Digital Silk)

The official music video for Will Connolly. Clouds (Digital Silk) is a slice-of-life duet seen through the eyes of two struggling artists.

How to Sprint while Animating

The timeline for Clouds was incredibly short - I had 2 weeks of time allotted for animating and editing the entire 5 minute video. Even with my friend Connor Halleck inbetweening and coloring, this was a massive undertaking. To simplify and accelerate the process, the characters and backgrounds were left stupidly simple, and my initial pass of the animation was done mostly on 8s (3 drawings per second). With Connor's inbetween drawings, that left the majority of the video at 6 drawings per second. The psychedelic sequence at the end was an exception, first animated on 4s and inbetweened to 2s, and the initial pass was completed in one (exhausting) night.


Today's Starving Artists

Per Will Connolly's request, the video for Clouds was meant to portray "the struggle" of young, emerging creative types in the present day. Following the days of two individuals, a pianist and a writer, the video is a compilation of the failures, the side-jobs, and self-doubting that essentially come with the territory of one trying to make it big in New York. When these two individuals, isolated in their own struggles, have a chance encounter, it is one of those rare sublime moments that reminds one why they began making art in the first place.


Inspiration and Design

While the main characters were essentially unchanged napkin doodles from my initial meeting on the project, it feels easy to say they were at least in part inspired by the work of Don Hertzfeldt, who I have admired for finding a way to tell complex and interesting ideas through simple forms. The general look of the video was also largely inspired by John and Faith Hubley, who also found great success in graphic, limited-yet-stylish animation. Their technique of time-saving background pans was also adopted for the interlude sequence.