- Member: Niotex
- Studio: Niotex Productions
- Title: Eidolon
- Premiered: 2011-01-28
- BT Communicate
- BT Paris
Edgar Allan Poe’s “Dreamland” is a fascinating poem. It truly is one of the most intriguing poems I have come across. The imagery that came to mind when reading it has never left my mind to this day. When I decided to do a short atmospheric video in 2007, the vivid image of Dreamland and the Eidolon named Night came to mind almost instantly. However, merely portraying the events in Dreamland alone wouldn’t suffice for me and so I thought back to some of the other literature I’ve come across; Alice in Wonderland came to mind rather quickly. The story of her tumbling down the rabbit hole and all the symbolism that came with it intrigued me. The idea of a character similar to Alice not lost in Wonderland, but instead Dreamland was born.
This video started as a small project that I had planned over the course of a weekend. Nothing too big, just something short and simple, as a quote from my org journal clearly shows:
“Guess what 2007-08-12 00:28:28 I'm editing a video again.. Should be done within a few day's max this time around. Comments so far have been good so far so look forward to it I guess. Codename: Project Eidolon”
However, as the pieces of the frame fell into place I realized that this concept deserved more then just a few edits. I didn’t want to merely borrow scenes or characters. I wanted to make Katherine and Night as much their own characters as they could be. So altering the looks of the proxy characters I was using became crucial. With some visual tweaks the main character in Animatrix “Beyond” made a perfect Katherine. A few of the key tweaks I made to her were removing the star shaped tattoo on her face, changing her eye color from green to blue and bringing her hair out a lot more. Vincent from Ergo Proxy made for a perfect Night for despite the fact that he is human, there is that hint of mythos around him that makes the viewer feel humble. The cape was something very important because to gave that much more awe to the mysterious character and to the being that is Night.
The video is purposely opened without an introduction and deliberately off-syncing the first of two consecutive hits to symbolize Katherine’s disorientation and confusion about the situation. Making internal and motion sync was meant to leave the viewer just as in awe as she was and it also helped to keep things mysterious rather then how a “normal” amv would sync. Switching back and forth from first person to third person was a way to establish her reaction, but also giving context to what the viewer just saw prior (helping them understand). Katherine’s journey is as much her own as it is the viewers as there are certain things that are left completely to the viewers interpretation. The butterfly in the open field can symbolize a lot of things, and it will symbolize different things for the viewer. In my opinion, fully establishing what that meant for me and/or Katherine would just take away from the viewing experience. The ending is the same in that sense as I want the viewer to make up their own mind to what happened to Katherine and what Night may or may not have done. Leaving that open was important to keep the viewer guessing, as if they themselves had also wandered into the Dreamland.
The credits are a beast of their own. With the video being inspired by literature I wanted to give back to the literature that I took all this from. I wished to do something fascinating with words that would change ones perception if only a little. Amidst the chaos itself, I came up with a way of creating order in the form of credits. Only with the right perspective would one see the order they were looking for. Symbolizing that one shouldn’t limit them selves to one perception of the world. As a nod to Edgar Allen Poe’s Dreamland I added the following passage:
By a route obscure and lonely,
Haunted by ill angels only,
Where an Eidolon, named NIGHT,
On a black throne reigns upright,
I have wandered home but newly
From this ultimate dim Thule.
I purposely did not want to draw attention to these lines as leaving them so obscure would make it more meaningful. Almost as if one were to find this passage among the pandemonium, that while reading it they would slowly have walked down the lonely and eerie route that leads to the Dreamland.
Ultimately, Eidolon hasn’t lived up to my own personal vision that I’ve had for it, which has made me very passive aggressive towards it over the years. I honestly believe that I’ll revisit the story I have created at a later point in my life. Not as an AMV or remix project, but as a fully established piece of my own. Despite my indifferent feelings for the project at the time of this writing, I do feel that it has been a learning experience; even though it has been the bane of my existence in the community for a while. I don’t regret the long and frustrating route I’ve taken to get to this point.
I could write pages about the technical in’s and out’s. Why certain technical aspects are so important and how they manipulate the viewer into focusing or ignoring certain things. Instead I’ve made a making of/breakdown video which can be found here:
If people have any questions about Eidolon then I'd recommend posting those in the announcement topic on the forum or send me a PM. Interesting and/or insightful questions will be posted here for other people to read as well.
Now all that remains is trivia's.
Most layers in pre-comp = 917 layers
Highest pre-comp resolution = 9500x4500
Total compositions = 90 Comps
Deepest nest = 13
Audio cuts = 6
Sound effects = 27
Final Compile = 24 layers
Total mask count = 739
Total depth maps = 13
Total adjustment layers used = 64
I got the initial idea for the credits during the all girls amv panel at Acen 2008. During the remainder of my trip to Chicago, I overheated PeroPero's laptop 6 times to get an initial [broken] draft out.
The faces came about after I had a mistake and parented a set of color correcting masks wrong. This gave the hilarious impression of the Eidolon blushing with red cheeks. A few weeks after this had happened I ran a panel at Anime Central in Chicago along with Zephyrstar and Monty Oum. Zephyrstar and I decided it would be neat to hook up the laptop I was working on to the unused HDTV in front of the panel table so people could see me messing around in AE, while the rest of the panel went on the big screen. During this time, I thought it would be funny to take the parented blush and expand upon it a little. Thus Konata face was born in front of the attendees eyes. The additional faces came to be after my girlfriend expressed her hate towards all things Lucky Star. To humor her I decided to whip up some additional faces, which later turned into the spin off that you know now.
I made a bet with Koopiskeva when he was driving me to the airport that I’d finish Eidolon before he would finish Twilight. (I lost)
I've traveled over 66000 miles by plane since I've started this video. That's definitely over 9000! And almost 3 times around the worlds equator.
I actually roto’d rain to create a realistic depth map.