Strange Jealousy

Music Video
Running time
: 4’40″
Music Crøm-lus (Poppy Edwards)
Producer: John Tonks

The visuals of the video are generated algorithmically and feature visually complex patterns that emerge through the simulation of a self organizing behavioral system. Such patterns appear in nature and the brain is tuned to categorize them as organic, which also carries an inherited feeling of unease. This is used in the video as a vehicle to reflect on the emotions of the song. Taking the lead from the lyrics, the patterns evolve and shift between ambiguous shapes to the recognizable form of the two faces, an elegant interplay between synthesis, metamorphosis and decomposition of organic patterns and the human figure.

The video was shot and edited as normal and then used to drive the behavior of a multi agent based system, obeying a set of simple rules and forces. The most characteristic behavior is the slime mold (Physarum Polycephalum) which creates a distinct network of interconnected branches. Over the years slime mold has fascinated many scientists and artists. Even though Physarum Polycephalum is a single cell organism, it exhibits a remarkable sensory-motor behavior and has the ability to create complex networks while searching for nutrients. Despite the lack of a central nervous system, it is able to effectively locate, migrate towards sources of food and over time optimize its complex network of interconnected branches, to effectively transport the nutrients over its constantly changing body.

The system was implemented in Touch Designer, with the core logic coded in GLSL with compute shaders and can also be performed in real time. Off-line motion vectors were extracted from the video using Furnace in Nuke.





Jeff Jones (2011) Influences on the formation and evolution of Physarum polycephalum inspired emergent transport networks

Guodong Rong & Tiow-Seng Tan (2006) School of Computing, National University of Singapore
Jump Flooding in GPU with Applications to Voronoi Diagram and Distance Transform

Thomas Diewald

David Reeves

Touch Designer

Optical flow in Nuke