The new music video from Slow Down, Molasses adds a new dimension to the form
3D movies have been around for a while, but relatively untouched is the realm of 3D music videos.
This isn’t to say that they haven’t been done (see “Wanderlust” by Björk), but certainly they haven’t seen the kind of hype (or renaissance) that feature-length films have. Stepping into the relatively empty pool of 3D music videos is Saskatoon band Slow Down, Molasses who, with the help of artist Andrei Feheregyhazi, has created such a video for the band’s song “Bodies”
Band member Tyson McShane said he had “no idea that this technology existed” and he simply wanted to collaborate with Feheregyhazi on a music video.
“[Feheregyhazi] brought the idea of doing a video and I got very excited. He started describing some stuff he wanted to do and it was even after we started working on concepts he was like, ‘Oh yeah, I’m going to do this as a 3D thing’ … It was a complete surprise to me that you could post 3D stuff on YouTube and watch it from home.”
While there are many different ways to create 3D images on a screen, Feheregyhazi chose to use the stereoscopic method because “it was the most conducive” for “the tools I had available.” It does require glasses to see the 3D, unlike Blue Roses’ video for “Doubtful Comforts,” which uses “wiggle stereoscopy”.
The issue with “wiggle stereoscopy” (switching back and forth quickly between the two cameras) is that it works great for still images, but doesn’t really for videos and really just makes you feel like your eyes are twitching.
“Wiggle stereoscopy” could technically be seen by a larger audience, as it doesn’t require glasses, but the traditional stereoscopic 3D imaging is still advantageous as it’s one of the most widely used.
“Right now it’s the most broadly accepted version of 3D,” Feheregyhazi said.
The biggest issue with stereoscopic 3D is the time it takes to render the images, which is why the 2D video for “Bodies” came out so much earlier than the 3D one.
“One of the biggest detriments is time … it takes about a week and a half to render the 2D version, but to render 3D I have to render two cameras,” Feheregyhazi said. “Render time is doubled as you work with this type of 3D. It was about four weeks of rendering to get the 3D version out.”
Despite having to learn some new techniques, Feheregyhazi said 3D film was simply “the next step” in his artistic endeavours and that it wasn’t anymore difficult than learning other techniques he’s learned.
“It wasn’t any more difficult for me than previous videos. I had about the same amount that I had to figure out. It wasn’t too incredibly difficult,” Feheregyhazi said. “The biggest challenge was time and the capability of computers.”
Even though both Slow Down, Molasses, and Andrei Feheregyhazi stand by the decision to create a 3D music video, the actual practicality of 3D music videos is called into question.
“It is a lot more work,” Feheregyhazi said. “I don’t know that the actual promotion you can get from it necessarily outweighs the cost of 3D.”
McShane also agrees that “it can definitely not be the most practical” way as the band “had to put together a ‘how-to’” guide on the YouTube page.
However, McShane sees the actual practicality of 3D music videos as “not necessarily a big problem” and views them as a niche market. Moreover, he believes that these niches are “where things get really interesting … I follow very obscure, niche parts of the music world … If you’re excited about something, like Andrei [Feheregyhazi] is about 3D, or I am about obscure, British post-rock music, go for it.”
Notwithstanding the debate, Feheregyhazi predicts “there will be more” people doing 3D music videos in the future, but he doesn’t believe that “there will be a saturated market.”
Furthermore, Feheregyhazi thinks that not all musical artists would benefit from going down the path of 3D music videos, due to the way that the human eye adjusts to 3D images.
“The one thing about 3D that you have to take into account is the way you edit a video. Most music videos and the way which they’re edited can’t translate into 3D because it takes the viewer about three seconds to adjust to a new 3D scene,” Feheregyhazi said.
Thus, musical styles that lead naturally into music videos that involve cutting and editing shots shorter than three seconds – the music video standard – aren’t ideal.
“A lot of music videos will have cuts every second or half-second. Even if you’re cutting just at that three second mark, the eyes are just getting adjusted to the new 3D scene and most music videos are much faster-paced,” Feheregyhazi said. “I don’t ever imagine that you’d see dance or pop music videos in 3D,.”
The dreamy and atmospheric tones do work well with the longer-cut video and both parties seem to be happy with the end result.
“There are layers to [the video]; the video is constructed in a way that benefits from 3D. It’s a worthwhile thing,” McShane said.
“As with anything, there are things I’d like to improve about it, but I’ll fix that in future iterations. I’m pretty happy with the result,” Feheregyhazi added.