Visual storytelling with STVinMotion

STVinMotion is the globe-trotting company of Steve Kislov and Nadya Abra. They produce footage packs and tutorials while traveling the world. We caught up with Steve to talk about his work, visuals, tutorials and travels.

Steve hosted a workshop on our Youtube channel. The footage used in the workshop can be found here and the masks used can be found here.

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Batman has a great origin story, what’s yours?

I’m originally from Israel. In 2000, after travelling and losing myself at the best psytrance festivals around the world, I returned to Israel to find out that a highschool friend (VJ Masterdamus) was VJing and creating better visual experiences than what I saw at some of the top festivals abroad. I started helping him out, just out of sheer enthusiasm.

When he suddenly relocated to Australia, I had to choose if I wanted to let VJing go or become a VJ. Easy choice! I bought Masterdamus’s computer and he taught me how to create VJ content through video calls. Together, we performed at some of the best psytrance festivals abroad - the circle was completed, VJ STV was born.

The next step in my journey was STVinMotion which I founded together with my partner Nadya Abra. When we decided to leave Israel in favor of a nomadic lifestyle we added the "inMotion" to the name, symbolizing the motion of visuals and the motion of travelling from place to place.

I have retired from actively performing - in favor of focusing my attention on content creation and teaching. You could say that these days we perform vicariously through VJs who use our content.

Vunk Concert, Romania. Live Visual by Bobo Visuals

Can you tell something about your creation process? How does a loop pack come to be?

I get inspired by seeing artworks by others. Browsing Instagram or Pinterest and seeing beautiful art can really light my brain on fire. I’m an avid collector. I arrange what I like into themed boards (say, Jungle or Aztec).

When it’s time to create our next VJ pack we have themes and references already lined up. We search for an overlap between what we want to create and what VJs need. The key is making content that has the strongest impact on the audience.

We take the inspirational material and we start brainstorming about what we can make.
We look at the results as if this was a puzzle - looking for connections. The visuals have to connect conceptually and visually. The clips should tell a story and be pleasing to compose. Next, we create a couple of loops, take them into Resolume and see how they mix. We move elements around to see how they compose and react to effects. We try to have a good blend of Background Clips and Element Clips that can be mixed by the users.

From here on it’s an iterative process. We create more loops and try them in Resolume. This process is repeated until the VJ pack is complete.

From a technical perspective: We use mostly Element 3D inside After Effects. We sometimes use Illustrator for design, Cinema 4D for hard surface modeling and Daz3D for characters - all are imported into Element 3D (as paths, OBJs & OBJ Sequences) and are composed there for the final render.

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Steampunk Show by ULA Projects, Russia

You guys are living nomadically, how does this influence your content?

We travel slow, spending a couple of months in each location so we can soak the place and ambiance.We expose ourselves to the local artwork and customs. It changes our point of view and evokes inspiration. Travelling is an experience that takes us out of our comfort zone, it forces us to adapt ourselves to the environment and be flexible. The challenges we face help us grow and continue changing. When we reach a new place we meet new people and culture, cuisine and music.

For example, the OrnaMental VJ pack was inspired by Indian Mandalas that we saw locals painting with colorful powder in front of their doors. The Cyborgasm VJ pack idea came while practicing Vipassana Meditation in Thailand and realizing that our reactions to the world are kinda automatic - we might already be cyborgs!

We see eastern theme's, steampunk, architecture, symbolism and tribalism in your content. With this you set yourself apart in a VJ-world where abstract visuals are dominant. How did this come to be?

Having themes in our packs is a deliberate choice and its purpose is to create a stronger experience. When a VJ mixes visuals, one after the other, the audience searches for a connection between them, a story and a meaning unfolds. When all the visuals are abstract, there’s no story or connection between the visuals and after some time the viewer might become indifferent to the show.

We want VJs to become an integral part of any event by introducing themes and providing interesting content thus becoming valuable artists rather than those who fill the void on the screens.”

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Steve's Expanse video is showing off some travel-inspired content

You have a great YouTube channel with a wealth of knowledge. Why did you start making tutorials?

I started making VJing tutorials because users of our content were not making the most out of it - not layering and compositing it the way we were envisioning it. I realized that not everyone shares my vision and has the same knowledge.

When I released the first OrnaMental VJing tutorial, it became very popular - the enthusiastic feedback from viewers made me realize that people are craving for this kind of knowledge and that it makes a positive impact on their performances and careers. I enjoy sharing what I’ve learned throughout the years and helping other VJs to grow and acquire new skills. Of course, seeing the visulas we created fulfill their purpose is a huge part of it, too.

I created a Facebook group that is dedicated solely to Resolume Tutorials. Everybody is welcome to join it, learn from the tutorials there and contribute by sharing tutorials that you made yourself.

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Awesome Resolume tutorial by STVinMotion

Thank you Steve for the interview. Make sure to check out the STVinMotion website and YouTube channel. They also regularly show their workproces on Instagram and Facebook

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Mad About Madeon

Madeon is a French electronic producer, who uses gadgets and technology like they’re an extension of his very being.

With an on stage setup that baffles even the best in the business, this 22 year old producer has reached where he is because of his focus on the audio-visual aspect of a performance, as a unit.

His stage setup should be trademarked. It’s a diamond with arrow- like shapes on either side.
All made of LED.

Photo Cred: Charles Edouard Dangelser
Photo Cred: Charles Edouard Dangelser

We, here at Resolume, couldn’t pass on the chance of understanding his rig and how he perfectly triggers his visuals to the music, live.

Thanks very much for speaking to us Hugo!

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On Tour with Zedd: Gabe Damast

Working for Resolume, we're lucky enough to see some of the most amazing VJ talent in action. One such person is Gabe Damast, whose live show for Zedd blew me away. Gabe is a true VJ and seldom we see a show this tight and in sync with the music. And most amazing of all, it's pure VJ skill, no SMPTE or other tricks.

Take a look at the video for an idea of how Gabe rocks it, and then read on below for what he has to say about all this.

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Rocking Out and Getting Your Geek On: Negrita!

We spoke with Marino Cecada, an italian visual designer who has been doing some out of the box work for various pop and rock acts. Where most rock shows visually rely on simple live camera registration, Marino uses Arena and some custom FFGL wizardry to take things to the next level.


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Projections as Light: Nonotak

NONOTAK is a collaboration between Noemi Schipfer, illustrator and Takami Nakamoto, musician and architect.

We are interested in the relationship between space, light and sound. We try to express it through installations or audiovisual performances.

Over the past 2 years, we essentially worked on installations such as "ISOTOPES V.02" which was shown at Mapping Festival 2013 in Geneva. Each of our installations tries to create dematerialized spaces that can be controlled.

We wanted our visual compositions to go beyond the 2nd dimension, as if we were playing with an architecture made of light. This is also why most of our work is monochrome, we consider projections as light and not videos.

In order to make it possible we are projecting our visuals on different kind of textiles in order to make them look like holograms.

The technique used is projection mapping, obviously. The project Late Speculation is our first step into more improvisational live performance, where audiovisual elements are no longer looped like installations, but rather created in the moment. Each performance could have its own variations, generating different results, with an element of surprise even for the performers themselves.
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Achieving this with Resolume worked like a charm. Resolume (especially the last one which fixed some speedy midi issues) is a really complete software for this kind of "live" purpose.

Basically we are using Ableton Live for the audio and sending midi to Resolume. The midi sent from Ableton is "written" and the same each time we are playing a song. But with some Max for Live patches and Ableton devices we are able to change midi notes and channels that are sent to Resolume. This is how we simply trigger different decks from a single midi note in order to create controlled variation that we can trigger via midi knobs.

Those "midi triggered" parts are basically After Effects compositions that we load into Resolume. Some parts of the project are made on Quartz Composer, but no panic because Resolume is able to load the patches and even load the sliders created on QC so we can easily map them to midi controllers! This kind of "highly" synced set up needs A LOT of Resolume decks and we were really impressed by the amount the software was able to handle according to our laptop setup.

There is one link that helped us a lot connecting some part of Resolume with Ableton for live purpose : ... me-patches This way I (Takami) am even able to send information to Noemi's Resolume from my Akai mpd32, so visuals can react with the effects I'm playing in Live.

In terms of projection mapping, Resolume does an awesome job by having output transform, warping, multiple layers, screens and slices options included. We are using 2 projectors and sometimes we are projecting the same visual from both of the projectors but they also act separately, one is off while the other one is on and this was easy to achieve within one unique software.
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Performance setups need to be away from lag and bugs, thats why running only Resolume for the visual content was quite reassuring.
Music to our ears! For more info on Nonotak's latest project Late Speculation:

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