A Head For Numbers, An Eye For Beauty
Tsukasa Kishimoto (vj nanographica) creates 3D projection installations in clubs and special venues in and around Tokyo, Japan. He uses After Effects for his motion graphics sequences, with mettle’s 3D plug-in FreeForm Pro as one of the tools to achieve his artistic vision. He also makes elaborate handmade 3D kaleidoscopes.
Amazingly, all this work is done on weekends and evenings, as part of a life-long passion for the arts. That’s because during the day he works full-time as a banker for TomatoBanks’s Tokyo office.
Tranceformed, by Tsukasa Kishimoto (vj nanographica), winner of East-West Art Award 2012, Video/Animation Category. Created entirely in Adobe After Effects using mettle’s 3D plug-in FreeForm Pro.
Hello Tsukasa. Tell us about yourself. That’s quite diverse! Banker at TomatoBank and vj nanographica.
My job as a banker takes care of financial considerations, and gives me the freedom to express my lifelong passion for the arts through vj nanographica. I want my art to be my personal vision, not a job that I have to go to. Having a day job at a bank allows me to be selective and choose the creative projects that I truly enjoy working on in my spare time.
How did you get started in music and the arts?
When I was in Visual Arts school, I started a band called Silica. I loved the whole creative process, working not only on the music, but everything visual. I had a specific vision of how I wanted everything to look, from costumes down to the design of all printed material. I like to be involved creatively in the whole picture, as well as all the details.
Tsukasa as lead singer in Silica, and today enjoying the Club scene with a friend in Tokyo
What are your influences?
I was impressed by what I saw around me when I was very young. Especially my visits to our local temple. I admire the ukiyo-e artist Katsushika Hokusai. I enjoy observing things around me, like the seasons in Japan, or the reflections in a mirror. Even fluid movements, like light gradations, water, liquid and glass.
Do you still produce any music?
I had produced music for quite a while using using a variety of AKAI sampler machines and a software called cubase. I don’t do that any more, since I am deaf in my left ear, a casualty of my band days. I still do some work in the music business as a vj, and by producing 3D Projection Mapping for Clubs and various clients.
The Tokyo Club scene and a 3D projection installation
You also create very elaborate 3D kaleidoscopes by hand. They are quite spectacular and beautiful. It must be a true labor of love.
Yes, I enjoy designing and constructing 3D kaleidoscopes. I sometimes use them as part of my projection installations.
What kind of equipment do you work with?
EDIROL P-10 x2
NIGHTSHOT CAMERA x4
PINHALL CAMERA x2
SONY DVD PLAYER&MONITOR x6
VJ SOFT FOR MAPPING RESOLUME ARENA
Installation and detail of a 3D handmade kaleidoscope
Dell Precision T7500 WIN7 64 Xeon X5690 3.46GHZ DUAL HD 10TB M192GB
GeForce GTX 680 4GB
DELL XPS8300 WIN7 64 i7 3.4GHz x2 mouse notebook WIN7 64 i7 3.0GHz x2
How did you get started using After Effects?
I loved the effects I could produce in PhotoShop using Kai’s Power Tools. I wanted to add motion to my images, so I learned After Effects. I saw the mettle products on Flashback Japan, and tried out FreeForm Pro. I liked the way that I could experiment with the plug-in and create 3D images. It’s fun to change the settings and see what happens by chance through experimentation. It has given me a lot of freedom to express myself.
When you first contacted us at mettle, you gave us a link to Tranceformed. The music that you originally produced was more dance-oriented. I imagined a more mystical approach for the sound. Thank-you for letting me create the music that’s used for this sequence.
It’s a very different take than what I originally created. It takes the visuals in a very different direction… I like it.
What kind of equipment do you use for motion graphics?
I configured a Xeon with 192 gigamemory 3.46GHz.
Last question. Which historical figure do you most admire?
Leonardo Da Vinci.
Thanks for the interview! And thank-you for making FreeForm Pro one of the main tools in your motion graphics work.