Movement can also be heard. Without the sound design and emotional capacity of music, the power of audio-visual pieces is reduced.

Okay, we have a confession to make. One of the things that we are most passionate about (and sometimes unaware of) is the selection of music for our 3D motion videos and sound design.

In these two examples that we give you, before looking in depth at the content of this post, you can see that the editing, the dynamics of each shot and the overall atmosphere of the pieces are clearly marked by the music.

Each animation asks for its own soundtrack, you just have to listen to it.

KUTUKO REEL 2020 from Kutuko on Vimeo.

Visual is wonderful – Kutuko from Kutuko on Vimeo.

Music and movement: an immersive experience.

But let’s get caught up in the music and get down to business… The narrative of any audiovisual piece is built through two main “tracks”: the moving image track, where we can perceive the action of the piece and the music track ( along with the sound effects)

Without a doubt, image is the most powerful communication tool we have at our disposal. To the extent that it provides us with visual and sometimes textual information, usually very precise, about the action and events that take place in the narrative.

But there is a second track, which is especially well used in film genres such as horror and action: music. This is a substantial element of audiovisual language that “puts the spectator in the situation”, making the narrative impact and work just as we have imagined it in our animation or storybook.

A very practical and simple way to identify the power of music in the audiovisual world is to stop the image of one of the most famous scenes in the history of cinema so that we can really perceive to what extent music can become much more than 50% of the narrative.

If you are one of those people to whom the sound design especially draws your attention, we also share with you here an exciting interview with Ben Burt, creator of the sounds of the Star Wars saga, where the good Ben tells us how one of the most famous audios in the history of popular culture was created: the one about the lightsabers.

As an anecdote, in Jaime Altozano’s plan we add that the lightsabers of the Jedis sound in major tonality, while those of dark side have that low, melancholic and enigmatic load typical of the minor tonality.

Music and motion graphics: much more than the sum of the parts

To get a little closer to our 3D motion terrain, you can see in this mythical piece by Nike, not only how the music, but the sound design, are a substantial element of the piece, which can make the difference between a good motion graphics video and a piece that wins awards at festivals.

The music sets the pace for the pieces

That’s right and that’s why, since our first projects, music has been a fundamental element in the editing of the 3D motion and 2D videos we make at Kutuko.

The key is to choose a musical theme that captures the audience and creates an atmosphere similar to the narrative we want to develop. In fact, the selection of the music is a creative process in itself that contains the 4 major stages of any creative work: preparation, incubation, lighting and verification.

The definition of the music and the atmosphere must be set in motion at the beginning of the creative process of the piece as a whole with previous research, soaking in musical references and analyzing, from a sound design point of view, all the possibilities.

After the incubation and immersion in the process, the lighting phase will arrive (that eureka that all creative people have experienced at some time), which is accompanied by a high for having reached something that is both cool and convincing. And to finish the process we will verify that, with the animatic or story board created for the video, the music builds and not the opposite.

From that moment on, we will be able to mount the plans of the piece on the chosen music library or, better yet, we will be able to adapt a music composed ad hoc to the pre-established visual narrative.

Working with professional musicians.

Our recommendation is that whenever you can afford it, work with music composed ad hoc for your pieces, with the help of professional musicians.

One of the projects in which we at Kutuko had the opportunity to do this was for the bumpers we created in 2019 for the Néboa series by Rtve. On that occasion we added Fylabit, specialists in sound identity, to the project, and they had the collaboration of some of the best instrumentalists in our country, something that was noticed in the atmosphere of mystery with Galician airs that the whole project breathes.

The music connects directly with our emotions

Epic atmosphere, calm, tension… are sensations that music can make us live sometimes with much more impact than the images themselves. Not in vain, the soundtrack of our visual culture is impregnated with powerful cuts: the main theme of Star Wars, the international advertising jingles, the mythical sounds of the Mario Bros video game that are already part of popular culture.

That’s why you shouldn’t let your work as motion designers be limited to the visual part. Because if you have sensitivity and know the basics of music and sound design, your pieces will be much more “round” and spectacular. Don’t forget: Music and motion graphics go hand in hand.

The sound is wonderful too. We’ll read about it in the next post!

Header image of Joshua Fuller in Unsplash