TRACTOR from tsaworks_martin Böttger on Vimeo.

Composer/electronic musician Bruno Dias sends us his latest collaboration, with visualist Martin Bottger. It was a distance collaboration – so just the kind of thing you could be working on with musicians and visualists you know. Bruno writes:

We never had the opportunity to meet face-to-face and this work was carried along the last couples months with Martin working on the visual side in Maya and then After Effects in Berlin and me developing the sound narrative that would then drive the visuals one here in London. I worked on sound using as main tools Ableton Live and its sampler, NI Reaktor, NI Absynth and Logic/Pro Tools for post-production.

This is just the sort of thing you could do pre-rendered in this way, then adapt for real-time use, just as musicians routinely do a “studio” version and then rework it for live.(You might even export OBJ models from Maya and pull them into an environment like Processing, Jitter, or vvvv, if you have the savvy – or use a VJ app to remix, if that’s more your speed.) So, Martin and Bruno, you can take that as a subtle hint for your next step, coming from a real-time evangelist.

I love the description of the, um, fourth-dimensional tractor (maybe it’s my childhood in Louisville, Kentucky spent visiting the huge annual farm equipment show – seriously):

The Tractor name comes from the usually used term for agricultural machines. The visual object on the screen is representative of the axis of a tractor engine. The center of the engine axis. The audiovisual narrative in place characterizes the behavior cycle of Tractor which can be metaphorically compared to the behavior of a Wasp, thus assuming it’s organic and non-linear changes in speed, rotation and movement. This non-linear behavior is shown by the visual deformations that Tractor assumes along the 3:30 minutes. The sound is being used to drive the narrative. It’s not only representative of what is visually happening in scene but also suggestive of what is happening inside Tractor, in areas that are not visually "open" to the viewer such as the central cylinder of the object (or the Wasps heart). I t progresses from an atmospheric sound scape that sets the "mood" in first part of the visual piece to a second moment where the extreme sync takes place representing what is visually going on. The extreme contrast between different shapes and forms reveals what Tractor is in it’s essence: a spatial and temporal distortion machine.

More on the artists:

Martin (currently studing Visual Communication at kunsthochschule kassel)

(currently working at AKQA (London) as a designer (graphic & sound).

  • um, is your name Alexander Rutterford?

    Check out Gantz Graf….

    oh actually, I'm assuming you already have.

    come on please, this is weak.

  • Snerg

    This is pretty nice, but does seem to be a recreation of Gantz Graf indeed!

    I would love to see some original work, you seem to have the skills!

  • I failed to come up with the proper retort. Grantz Graf had a farm. Or something. But yeah, obviously some potential here, so I hope this pair will extend some of these ideas to develop their own style. That's often how it goes — you start by copying something else, and then you push it in a new direction. That's a long-standing tradition.

    In addition to bringing up some of the leading visuals out there, I hope we'll feature some of the stuff that's at an earlier, germinal stage, so that the community that reads this site can offer constructive (ahem) criticism.

  • yes, I suppose I wrote before I thought.(I do apologise) I was just surprised at the uncanny similarity. Some very nice animation going on there, and I would be very interested in seeing how they progress 'their' style as you mention Peter. Funnily enough (shooting myself in the foot here), I got slated for an animation we did for Various productions as being a ripp off of the very same Gantz Graf video/combined with that weird computer game where you roll about picking up objects. I suppose it's too easy to put down creation when you've seen something in a similar veign. I always wonder what will happen when folks start 'sampling' others motion work. It's a pet hate of mine when I see visualists/club nights playing back DVD's of best of onedotzero etc. Let's see what happens.
    Oh here's our 'apparently' gantz graf rip off.

  • oh, just in case anyone was curious, I used Ableton Live to decipher the audio track into animation frames, and we hand animated the objects in Maya, compositing in after effects with audio driven particle effects.

  • massta

    Yeah, it's basically another Grantz Graf, but Grantz Graf was a breakthrough animation for me and I wish more people put out movies like this every day. Render, shadows, aspect ratio and choice of colors with added wireframe make this piece great. I'd like to see a tutorial in Maya on how it's created.

  • Alex is definitely one of our many inspiration sources. Awesome visual narratives! But I guess that stands for many of us that visit this blog everyday. We see so many wonderful work and it's normal that somehow it influences your style and the way we push ourselves. Alex's work is unique and we never started this as a means of replicating someone or anything. It is visually similar but still, this is a sound driven narrative – that's the core of our work – and it's completely different evocation cos the sound is different. It would be lovely to do an entire "album" around Tractor concept – there is so much to play with, visually and graphically – but this means time and unfortunately we're not getting paid for this. If this or any other of our work inspires people in creating similar or different work, then go for it ….we're more than happy to see that happening. I hope this can give Alex's a smile by seeing someone portraying their own vision with s similar visual concept. Also, was my first time doing a long distance collaboration and I'm truly happy to attest that distance doesn't matter anymore. Everything started with leaving a comment on Martin's youtube channel ( – hope this can encourage people out there in establishing networks with others and keep promoting and pushing the audiovisual boundaries. It's just self-expression and that's the beauty of this project…

    Please, do have a look at what Martin did for a Tractor 1st presentation 3 weeks ago in Germany and some of his other artwork here:

    here :

    Truly inspiring in my opinion, he deserves anything but negative feedback!

    A big thanks to everyone for the feedback and support.

  • Pingback: Create Digital Motion » More Generative 3D Forms, Coded and Physical, from Martin Böttger()

  • noel

    Is there anybody or anything who doesn´t suffer from surrounding inspirations nowadays???
    Hope u people can show me!
    Keep up the good work…

  • Jez

    This is gorgeous, but I would be horrified and suicidal to learn that this could be rendered in real time at anything close to 60 fps, or even 30.

    How large are the full-resolution frames, and what kind of time did it take to render? The real question: Technologically, how close are we to seeing this quality of content generated live?

  • @Jez: I've seen projects like this done in real-time. I think the main thing is being flexible on how things are rendered. But you might be surprised at what can be controlled in real-time.