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Timothy LaPointe's Psychedelic Cascade Of Color [Q&A]

About a week ago, Timothy LaPointe uploaded his wonderfully playful animation Cascade, which demonstrated a technique and style of animating that we had never seen before. His approach is much more painting oriented and clearly shows his skills in multiple areas of the arts: painting, animating, and music. So naturally, we caught up with him to find out more.

The Creators Project: Can you tell us a bit about yourself? What do you do? Where are you from?
Timothy LaPointe: I grew up on Long Island—tall trees, lots of hills, engine drones echoing across the water. I studied painting at Maryland Institute College of Art, graduating in 2007. When I first began painting, I wanted to work on images that I had never seen before. To accomplish this, I began working with pours of fluid, paint, and water. After each pour, I would than gaze at the results until the next move became clear to me.

Transfer Point, (2009) (Acryllic on panel)

I would continue this process until I found my painting (and myself) in a position it could not have gotten to otherwise. When I first started teaching myself 3D, I found myself immediately drawn to smoke and particle simulators. It was the closest thing to poured paint.

Phantasm, (2011)

What is Cascade about? What was the idea/inspiration behind it?
Cascade was inspired by my painting Glibbering Plume. I was interested in the way the spectacle of magic, by which I mean the objective visual event, the puff of smoke, the explosion, the shimmering light, the surreal, and abstract imagery operates within a story. Often times it will result in a change in the power dynamic of a narrative or a change in the rules of a game. What happens when you isolate and explore that visual event itself?

Glibbering Plume, (2011) (Acryllic on Panel)

Cascade, (2012) Screenshot

What was your creative process like when putting this together?
My ideas appear in my head when I am not trying to think about anything. If I am playing music or walking alone with a clear mind, ideas and images will come to me. In that way, my creative process is very much an active passive approach. For me, it is about being clear-headed and engaged. At that point the piece makes itself. While working in 3D, many of my ideas came from tangents. I would be working towards a specific goal: I would mess up and get an interesting result. I would then play around with that mistake to see what made it interesting and try to augment that.

Is the music all original?
I wrote the music and developed the animation at the same time, one giving way to the other. I am excited by the possibilities that 3D animation opens up, there is certainly more to come.