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

Posted by MarkyMark on Monday May 4, 2020 at 14:11 Tags: interview * STVinMotion
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