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Raging Against Toxic Masculinity in Brye’s ‘LEMONS’ Lyric Video

Artist Justin Moon used Blender, FLIP fluids plugin, and After Effects to produce the sterile imagery that’s gradually corrupted by seething anger in his CG music video for Universal Music Group’s °1824 division.

AWN is pleased to share LEMONS, the fourth in a series of innovative, animated music videos produced through Universal Music Group’s °1824 division, showcasing the work of talented young artists that helped the company’s record labels create engaging shorts, using all manner of digital tools, during the pandemic.

Prior to the pandemic, many °1824 team members were more focused on videography than animation and motion graphics. However, with time on their hands during quarantine, they’ve taught themselves new skillsets to pivot into new areas of digital creativity. Fueled by instructional YouTube videos of Adobe After Effects, and tips from colleagues with animation experience, the team evolved to produce captivating music video content that you’ll see in this series.

Our latest short, Brye’s LEMONS lyric video, is animated in 3DCG by artist Justin Moon.

Take a look at his work:

Moon started the project by trying his best to faithfully match the aesthetic of references sent by the artist, Brye. “Then, I started wondering what more I could to complement the themes of the song,” he explains. “The track’s lyrics are a scathing attack on toxic masculinity, but the production and vocals themselves are restrained and almost cold. That contrast gave me the image of a repressed anger seething underneath a pristine, unassuming surface, which led to the idea of having the otherwise sterile images of the video be gradually corrupted by a thick oil of some sort as the rage and toxicity boils over.”

To produce the animation, Moon “built out the environments in Blender, then through a lot of trial and error, achieved the oil effect with fluid simulations via Ryan Guy’s FLIP fluids plugin.” He continues, “The burning house was also done with FLIP fluids. I then composited, graded, added lyrics and a film filter in After Effects. I had played around with Blender and 3D modeling before, but this project was the first one I seriously used Blender for, so it was a bit of a trial by fire. I learned a lot of things on the fly and I’m happy with how it turned out.”

“Brye is a very talented artist, who had a fantastic vision and aesthetic for the song,” Moon shares. “I'm happy I was able to realize these elements through animation, and I'm grateful to have had the opportunity to work on this project.”

Built and run by Goodwin, the SVP of the Marketing, Content, and Experiences team, °1824 is powered by young artists and serves as UMG’s internal creative solutions team; 85 reps in 50 markets provide services including content creation, live events, experiential activations, college media outreach, A&R scouting, tour marketing, digital marketing, and campus and lifestyle visibility. This team has become UMG’s talent incubator for the music industry, placing more than 80 reps into full time positions (and 50 at UMG alone) since 2015. 

All °1824 content creators are paid employees and members of the UMG team. They don’t outsource, and all their assets are created by teams of compensated employees. All content is produced for their labels/artists for °1824; individual creators are credited for their role in the content creation.

Dan Sarto's picture

Dan Sarto is Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of Animation World Network.