Feelin' Groovy

Magnetic: 3D Printed Animated Bust in Dan Sultan Music Video

Dan Sultan

Musician Dan Sultan’s video for his song ‘Magnetic’ features a animated 3D printed bust of himself “singing” the title track.

For the video to promote his new song “Magnetic”, Australian singer/songwriter Dan Sultan had a broad set of requirements.

Firstly, it needed to be colorful, bold, and include animation. Secondly, the singer wanted to be featured somehow, but couldn’t commit to filming in person due to his busy schedule.

That left director Jonathan Chong with a lot of creative freedom.“The solution I came up with was to make a 3D scan of his head,”he told Dezeen. “And then 3D print a bust of Dan that could be animated using stop-motion.”

In effect, Chong created a bust of Sultan which could be manipulated to appear like it was “singing”, using stop-motion animation.

The result is certainly impressive, and even features a pair of robotic 3D printing arms. Check out Sultan as a talking sculpture in the video below:

The Making of Dan Sultan’s Magnetic Video

Over 60 individial 3D printed pieces and 2700 photos were used to create the video. The process involved firstly scanning Sultan’s head and shoulders with a 3D scanner.

The next step was using data from the scan to model and print the musician’s bust. To animate it’s features Chong used replaceable eye and mouth pieces, along with a head which moves.

Depending on what Sultan is singing, the bust transforms from a brightly colored print to a piece of art on fire, and more.

Chong explained: “There were two sides to clip, a darkness and a lightness which also reflect the themes in the song dealing with excess and then trying to lift yourself out of those vices that pull you in and sometimes drag you down.”

To represent this darkness, a spiky ripple bursts across Sultan’s bust. Projection mapped bright colors would then reflect the opposite theme. 

“An interesting fact is that I used my seven-year-old son and his friend for the hair and ear pull shot,” said Chong. “As their hands and arms were the right scale for the small bust of Dan.”

dan sultan magnetic