VJing Archetypes #

I’ve really enjoyed madeon’s simple visuals on his livestreams and I think there’s something to the idea that there’s a few visual archetypes you can aim for to try make really compelling visuals that support a musical act.

It’s tempting to line up the visuals with the music, but without preplanning, it’ll be pretty hard to do visuals that are rhythmic that are more complicated. the exception to this is if switching between various visuals is finger-drummed? this also adds a fun live element to it.

Here are some archetypes I’ve repeatedly seen across live performances and music videos.

Soft, Slow, Gentle #

Usually for slow, quiet, emotional parts of a show. maybe there’s just pads, or maybe there’s a single part.

Common versions of this might inlcude some landscape footage from a static camera, a out-of-focus shot, something zoomed in really closely. there’s two important details, which is that the camera isn’t moving much, if at all, and the subject matter isn’t moving much. if it is moving, it’s moving very slowly. It could also be a image or an icon

Bright, Bold, Tense #

This is often used to sillhouette the performer in the visuals. the music is usually a sustained swell with few rhythmic components and highlights high tension and high intensity.

While a solid white background is often used for this, a background that also frames the musician is also positive. Madeon in particular has a vertical rectangle reaching up so that it’s like he’s lit from the sky. this is cool and I think there’s a lot of other framming tools that can be used.

i think it’s nice for this kind of visual to have some kind of light, high frequency change that communicates a feeling of tension throughout this.

Rhythmic, Driving #

Helps accentuate a particular beat. Great for dancy or rhythmic sections

The easy way to do this is just add cuts in sync with the beat. It’s nicer and smoother to have action within the video, but that’s a lot harder. This does well with more abrupt action or action that’s clearly culminating in a point. ideally the action would hit a peak at a beat, or be reacting from a beat.

Continuous Movement #

Helps with an atmospheric vibe that’s more present than during a quiet section.

This can be done by continuous movement in one direction, particles being blow in a particular direction by the wind, fabric, etc.

Moving Forward #

I’m a little curious to think about how this framework would affect some of the formats I’ve already been thinking of

Kaleidoscopic #

I’m immediately seeing a downside here because, while it satisfies the last two scenarios in a good way, it’s totally bad for the first two. Even if I did have it change vibes from song to song, it’s really not capable of providing a dynamically different vibe.

Found Footage #

This is an idea, where I just have relatively simple video clips that I cut between. With some simple VFX, combined with the natural action in these clips, I think it would be fun to flip between these different sections in a rhythmic way, have specific clips for vibing one way or another, like immensity or relaxed. This attitude also really lines up with how I want to take my art in general, so that it’s more personal

Sketch Collage #

With this kind of framework, it also makes sense to do a bunch of tiny simple sketches and just switch between them dynamically. If i was really into generative art, I think this would have been really appealing