The popularity of the electronic music has grown exponentially. More and more electronic music festivals and nightclubs need customized VJ loops to match the style of the event. Thus, in an increasingly competitive industry, DJs and VJs have to differentiate themselves from their competitors and avoid monotony by creating new and creative concepts.
Creativity is about creating new things from what already exists by joining two or more pieces of information. Creative people such as multimedia artists and animators have many ways to find this information:
Ways to Find Inspiration for your VJ Visuals
Books: reading is very important in order to organize your ideas and create your concept for VJ visuals. Science fiction, art encyclopedias and design books are good sources of inspiration for electronic music VJ loops. If you don't know what to read, a discovery engine like StumbleUpon can help.
Music: it's essential to understand the rhythm, melody, bass lines, synths and mood of the sub-genre you’re working with. This way, there will be consistency between visuals and music, and it won’t seem like you are using some generic VJ footage. You can hear different genres of electronic music on DI.fm.
Colors: color influences our mind and is directly related to our collective imagination. We associate the color red with passion and action, the color blue with harmony. You get new results by mixing two or more colors together (color palette):
Some colors options for your VJ loops and visuals:
- Blue + Black: high tech
- Red + Pink + Violet + Black: seduction
- Red + Yellow + Orange: energy
- Yellow + Green + Magenta + Cyan + Black: acid
You can find and create plenty of color palettes on Kuler or COLOURlovers.
Images: photos and images are the best source of inspiration. Make your ideas flow by creating a simple moodboard with tools such as Pinterest or Evernote. Don’t keep everything you find and avoid cheesy things. Keep it simple; consider that you have to create many visuals in a short time. The best photos are those related to the information from the previous steps.
Work of others: watching VJ loops showreels on Vimeo or Youtube is another way to get inspired. You can discover new techniques, generate new ideas and learn how to be more creative by watching the work of others:
Creating the Concept for your Visuals
To create your concept you have to join all the pieces of information you got. Here is an example:
Topic: science fiction, androids, minimalism
Music: Electro House
Colors: acid color palette
This is the final result of this tutorial. The moodboard includes an acid color palette (very popular in Electro House), androids, an Electro House album cover, a minimalist sculpture and a metro tunnel. How you mix these elements depend on your own creativity. In our case, we took a female head 3D model and changed it to look like an android. Then, we included some background elements such as spikes and a wireframe tunnel. Finally, some reflective materials were added based on the color palette. If you like the result, you can animate, render and go ahead with the next one.
Software You May Need
In order to create your animations, you will need a 3D software like Cinema 4D or Blender (Free), a motion graphics app like After Effects, a raster graphics editor like Photoshop or GIMP (Free) and a vector graphics editor like Illustrator or Inkscape (Free).
Unleash your creativity with extra plugins and software such as: Plexus, RealFlow, TurbulenceFD and Trapcode Suite (Particular, Starglow, Lux, Form and more). You can find more useful plugins directly on http://c4dtools.net (some free) and http://aescripts.com (some free).
Remember always that to generate ideas you only need your mind, brainstorming and a means to communicate your thoughts (words, drawings, writings, etc.) Then, you can download the software or hire someone else to materialize your ideas.