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Media Molecule crafts music video for Noah Cyrus’ song July entirely in Dreams

Hello, I’m Kareem Ettouney, Art Director and Co-Founder of Media Molecule. We’re thrilled to have just released a music video with Sony Music Artist Noah Cyrus, a collaboration made possible with Dreams, and wanted to show you a behind-the-scenes look at how it was made.  

We have been working with Sony for a long time to find the right opportunity to collaborate on making a music video in Dreams, showcasing the potential of the project for this wonderful art form. 

Our outreach team spent ages listening to loads of songs from potential collaborators, searching for the right match and finally found the opportunity to work as part of a One Sony collaboration group to make a music video for Noah Cyrus’ beautiful song “July.” 

We wanted to fully embrace the One Sony vision where Sony games, Sony music, Sony technology and Sony organisations all jammed together to deliver this video.

Our first plan was to mix live footage of Noah with graphics made in Dreams, but this part of the project got shelved when the COVID-19 lockdowns happened, and we pivoted to a new idea and delivered a truly virtual collaboration.

The Song 

We loved listening to Noah Cyrus’ July song — it felt so timeless, the melody was effortless. 

What was clear by the end of the song is that this wasn’t a story of liberation or enlightenment, it’s about exploring internal conflict, and we loved how brave it is to explore these emotions without promising a fluffy conclusion. So, we decided to take the audience on a visual journey that mimics the experience we had with the music.

The Concept

The concept was pretty fleshed out in our collective minds from the start… these first ideas came out as a natural response to “July” and as we developed the video and got Noah’s ideas and input more details presented themselves and formed the final result. We imagined Noah as a marble statue sculpted in wonderful detail laying on a plinth in a lonely cold gallery space. From there, organic elements like mountains and forests would flow from her, as visual emotions, and over the course of the video we would gradually pull away from her until she disappeared in a colourful cosmos of gaseous clouds. 

As we developed the pitch document we used Dreams to create storyboards, mood boards, concept art and animatics. The idea was refined through this process and elements such as the tear idea emerged, acting as a spark for the emotive visuals flowing from Noah’s sculpture.  Through a single tear she sparks a visual orchestra of life…

Noah and the Sculpture

We knew from the start that capturing Noah’s likeness and mood in the song was key. As we were not going to animate the sculpture, it was essential that it was full of life even without movement.  

It was a challenging task, even though I have been using Dream tools since our very first prototypes many years ago, capturing human likeness and personality is one of the hardest goals in art, regardless of the medium!

But Dreams’ unique sculpture tools allow for the artist to lose themselves in the form without spending too much of their time battling with complex, convoluted UI concepts. I sculpted Noah’s hair using one of my favorite features in sculpt mode, surface snap, while smearing with the curve tool. It’s pretty therapeutic. 

Noah’s reference photos for this piece also inspired new elements – the butterfly we open on comes from her tattoos and we use it to draw the viewer’s eye into the scene.  

Ultimately, this statue of Noah has become one of my favourite creations in Dreams. 

The Emotive Landscapes 

The emotive landscapes growing around Noah’s sculpture were inspired by waterfalls, salt mountains in Iceland and paradolia (likeness of something hidden somewhere unexpected). When we learned Noah had written the song in Bali, it felt natural to design our landscapes around Indonesia’s ‘Ring of Fire’ mountains that dominate here in the background.

We played with scale, keeping everything small in comparison to Noah, so she gradually becomes this epic looming figure within the evolving landscape. Dotted around the scene are these ‘pareidolia’ and imagined them as different captures of Noah at points throughout the relationship in the song. I was very keen on integrating them in the landscapes to relate it all back visually to Noah throughout the piece. In this one, as a small touch, I tried to recreate Noah’s crown in the photo reference provided by her using pine trees to emphasise the scale. We lit these elements in a warm colour scheme, so that’d they’d stand out from the more naturally lit landscapes, and have their own visual identity.  

Towards the end of the piece, we use fire, encroaching and drawing into Noah to visualise her internal conflict. This isn’t over, the beauty and wonder that has grown around her is still full of sadness and turmoil.

We pull out of the gallery as the fire and smoke take over.

‘You remind me every day I’m not enough but I still stay’

The box drifts off to become a star surrounded by billions of others.

We imagine each of those stars a box of Noah’s emotions, an experience packaged up and drifting in the emptiness of space, always in us, not always wanting to be found.

There’s a vastness and loneliness that plays nicely with the beauty of the imagery that leaves the song lingering in our minds long after the film has faded to black… and we realise that all these stars are other emotions of Noah’s, the stars then fade one by one to nothingness…  this final act of the video was fleshed out in later stages based on Noah’s input and her feeling it needs to relate to the “end of everything” theme in her work.     

Dreams Collaborative Tools

We used a lot of Dreams’ in-game collaboration features to help us all work on this project remotely. After all, this project was a true collaboration across disciplines and even countries, with Noah in the US and one of our freelance artists, a talented member of the Dreams community, Martin Nebelong in Denmark. The Mm team, Anthony, Pablo, Suzy and myself, are all based in the UK. 

One of the great aspects of the Dreams tools is that one can go in and create the 3d assets faster than making a concept digitally. This speed of 3d creation allows Anthony, our video director, to explore cinematography ideas and gives Pablo, our animator, the material to explore the animation of the elements simultaneously and early in the development process so that concept, previsualisation and final development methods to all blend together. 

The “collaborators” feature allows you to assemble a team of Dreams users to work together privately on content and publish work only for them to see and work on.  

We organised all our work using another of our in-game features called “collections.” They were a great way of putting all the work involved in this video into one place. 

We hope you enjoy the video and reading about how it was created. And as always, look forward to seeing what you create in Dreams.

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Media Molecule crafts music video for Noah Cyrus’ song July entirely in Dreams

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Beautiful, Non-Repeatable, and Chosen by God

Near completion of the motion picture As Good as it Gets, Jack Nicholson’’ s obsessive-compulsive character, Melvin Udall, provides a fantastic compliment to his potential sweetheart, waitress Carol: ““ I may be the only individual on the face of the earth that understands you’’ re the best lady in the world … I believe the majority of people miss out on that about you. And I see them questioning how they can see you bring their food and clear their tables and never ever get that they simply fulfilled the best female alive!””

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For all his defects, Melvin saw something distinct and unique in Carol. Mankind, nevertheless, is fallen, and our view of each other distorted. In our society we have actually experienced current demonstrations over bigotry consisting of homicidal riots and robbery. Angry groups have actually taken down statues. Cops have actually been demonized. Numerous have actually been looking at others with hate in their hearts.

In the 19th chapter of the Gospel of Matthew, some pharisees asked Jesus if he believed it legal for a male to divorce his other half, and if so why did Moses enable it. Jesus responded, ““ Because of the firmness of your hearts, Moses permitted you to divorce your better halves, however from the starting it was not so” ”( Mt 19:8). In his critical work the ““ Theology of the Body ”( TOB), Pope John Paul II invested a lot of time checking out that last declaration of Jesus: ““ from the starting it was not”so.”

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We understand from start of the Bible, that “ the guy and his other half were both naked, yet they felt” no embarassment ”( Gn 2:25). What was it about “ the starting” ” that triggered them to have no embarassment about their bodies, and be absolutely comfy with their nakedness? JPII called this ““ initial nakedness ”. Adam and Eve remained in that state since they had not yet crossed the limit of sin.

John Paul II dove deep into ““ the starting ” in his catechesis on the Theology of the Body. How did males and female take a look at each other prior to they brought sin into the world by disobeying God? Today, due to the fact that our very first moms and dads sinned versus God, we have actually acquired their fallen nature in the type of initial sin. ““ Revelation offers us the certainty of faith that the entire of human history is marked by the initial fault easily dedicated by our very first moms and dads” ”( CCC 390). Eve took a few of the prohibited fruit and consumed it ““ and likewise offered some to her other half, who was with her, and he consumed it. The eyes of both of them were opened, and they understood that they were naked; so they stitched fig leaves together and made loin cloths for themselves” ”( Gen 2:6 -7). What altered that their eyes were opened so that they understood they were naked and felt embarrassed and needed to dress themselves?

We are unable to see others as Adam and Eve saw each other prior to their fall from grace, in their initial nakedness. In the start there were virginal forests, uncontaminated and beautiful oceans teaming with life, air that was immaculately pure, and a lady and a guy who saw each other as God produced them. The sins of pride, desire, and greed were yet unidentified. They saw each other as lovely, special, non-repeatable productions, and they enjoyed with an agape love – – the overall, self-giving love of God. Adam and Eve were naked, and were uncomfortable or not embarrassed. They were naked without pity, and they liked each other for who they were. They enjoyed each other and they enjoyed God, as Jesus would command: ”” You will enjoy your next-door neighbor as yourself ”( Mt 22:39).

In the Theology of the Body, John Paul II taught that initial nakedness is not something that happened by mishap. Comprehending it is crucial to comprehending who God produced us to be ““ in the start ” and to understanding how we ought to make every effort to take a look at our fellow humans on the planet today. According to world renown TOB scholar Christopher West, the idea of initial nakedness ““ suggests an overall defenselessness prior to the other, a lack of barriers, since of an overall rely on their shared exchange” ”( TOB 1 Course). In the start, when males and female took a look at each other, they actually saw each other. They experienced extensive intimacy. In the start, people did not simply take a look at each other, they saw and understood each other totally.

Our very first forefathers were the initial people developed by God. JPII called those who followed, ““ historic male ”. There is a limit in between historic male and initial male that can not be crossed. We can not see each other today as they saw each other in the start. We can not enjoy as they liked. We view each other today through the tinted ““ lenses ” of our fallen nature. It’’ s as if we take a look at others through sunglasses that can ’ t be entirely eliminated which are misshaped by the fall of mankind that was initial sin. In this state, what can be done?

We can aim, in our fallenness, to see beyond our fallen natures through which we see those around us. We can aim to begin to see and deal with others in a different way; to begin to take a look at other people as unrepeatable and special and as remarkable productions picked by God’’ s everlasting love; to look for the face of Jesus Christ in each and every individual. God sees every one of his developed children and children and even understands ““ the hairs of your head” ”( Lk 12:7 ). We should strain and extend ourselves to do the very same. It is hard.

It can begin merely, though. A smile at a barista in the early morning, ““ excellent early morning ” passing somebody on a treking path, ““ peace be with you ” to the one who cuts me off on the highway, avoiding chatter. We will never ever see others completely or enjoy completely as God does, however we can do much better valuing others more, liking more, and flexible rapidly. That suggests that we need to enjoy all of our sis and bros, not just those we concur with or who speak or look like us. As Jesus stated,

““ You have actually heard that it was stated, ‘‘ You will enjoy your next-door neighbor and dislike your opponent’’, however I state to you, like your opponents, and wish those who maltreat you” ” (Mt 5:43 -44).

Seven years ago I ended up being dedicated to a day-to-day prayer life, and let Jesus into my heart for the very first time. That altered my life. I started to see individuals in a different way. As Jesus began to change me, I sought his face in others. That procedure was challenging and did not occur over night. Ultimately my relationships began to enhance as did most encounters I had with others every day. I had actually been a big-headed, arrogant, and unapproachable individual. After I began to see and deal with others in a different way, I ended up being a much better manager and slowly ended up being a servant leader; I fixed up with my sis and discovered that she had actually likewise discovered the Lord; my other half and I began to discover peace and a more caring, mindful method to be in our marital relationship. I still have miles to go on that journey, however aiming to see and deal with others in a different way is a game-changer in life.

Perceiving others in a different way, and eventually enjoying them more deeply, is an essential to beginning a paradigm shift in our world. We look, however we do not see. Every day we come across other humans – – the peak of production in our large universe – – and the response is frequently: so what? We need to begin to see all of our siblings and sis in this world as non-repeatable and lovely, and distinctively endowed by our developer with unique and fantastic presents.

Photo by David Rodrigo on Unsplash

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IELTS Writing Actual Test in March, 2016 – Band 9.0 Model Discursive Essay

IELTS Writing Task 2 Topic:

Some people believe that anyone can create art such as painting, poetry, music and so on. Others think that a person should have special abilities to create art. Discuss both views and give your opinion.

Band 9.o Model Essay:

Art is a diverse range of creative activities that express the creator’s imaginations. Naturally one can assume, to create art all you need is a good imagination. However, some others believe that you need to learn special skills to become an artist. This essay shall discuss both the views in detail.

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Any person with a creative vision and ingenuity can create art forms such as writing poetry, painting, or composing a song or two. Drawing up a mental picture of your feelings and expressing them effectively on paper will make you an artist. For example some people are sometimes driven by longing or grief for someone, which makes them spill their feelings out in a song or a painting. This is why people feel that creating art is not that hard and can be attempted easily.

On the contrary, there are people who firmly opine that without learning how to express creatively, imagination alone cannot help one become an artist. It requires years of training for people to become great artists. To become a musician for instance, one needs to learn all the fundamentals of rhythms and melodies; to play a guitar one needs to learn all the right chords. It doesn’t help if your imagination is vivid; you need to know the correct technique of expressing the same to distinguish your creation from the ordinary mediocrities.

To conclude, I’d like to say that as easy as it sounds, creating art is definitely not a piece of cake. Sure, one might be innate in some art forms, but enhancing that skill is very important to create masterpieces.

(266 words, written by Devanshi Shah) 

Also check :

IELTS Writing tips
IELTS Writing recent actual test

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