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This Tycho music video was made with a Kinect and a modified RED Epic

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Over the years, Scott Hansen has oscillated between his design work (under the moniker ISO50) and budding music career (performing as Tycho). But as any aspiring digital renaissance man would, he's been looking to expand beyond those disciplines, and he told us in our interview with him in February that he already had the next step in mind:

The big thing on the horizon for me is video. I feel like it's the closest thing to a perfect mix between music and design, because it has the motion and it has the dynamics of music, while at the same time having the aesthetic components of design. It's a nice mix.

In May, Hansen released the music video for "See," which blended foggy laser-made imagery with moody performance shots and a dreamy narrative. This week, an alternate version was released with all of the narrative shots removed, and director Bradley "GMUNK" Munkowitz (who was also the design director for Oblivion) shared some details with the Creators Project on how much technical work went into achieving the look of the performance side of the video.

The original music video for "See" from May

The seed of the idea came from the way that Microsoft's Kinect does its work in infrared. After thinking about working with infrared, Munkowitz said the team realized that "the IR emitter in the Microsoft Kinect projected a starfield-like dot pattern not unlike what a 3D render of point cloud data looks like." Capturing what the Kinect was emitting in infrared was not easy, though. The performance takes had to be shot entirely in the dark to be able to capture the IR dot field on camera, and that in turn required modifying the the RED Epic camera they were shooting with. Munkowitz and director of photography Joe Picard removed a filter in the camera which blocks the non-visible light (for the purpose of producing a more accurate visible-light color spectrum), and that modification enabled them to film the beams of infrared light being emitted from the Kinect.

The result was a starry pattern overlaid on the band that, when cut together with the lasers and other kaleidoscopic effects, produce a beautiful set of visuals that accompany the song. It's evidence that Hansen has already found a way to create the kinds of visuals he wanted to take aim at earlier this year when he told us "the imagery just becomes so much more powerful when it's moving along with music. That's something that I've always wanted to spend more time with, but I just haven't had the time."