Berlin-based 3D animator Stacie Ant takes a minimalist approach to capture the Swedish alt-pop star as an avatar in a state of unbalance and overwhelming emotion.
Swedish alt-pop star GRANT has dropped a new music video, Vertigo, animated by Russian-Canadian, Berlin-based 3D animator Stacie Ant. “Vertigo” is from GRANT's EP of the same name released last month via Sony Sweden - made in Stockholm, Oslo and London with songwriter/producers like Phil Cook (Birdy and Ellie Goulding), Martin Sjølie (Sigrid, Aurora) and Casso (Ritual, Phoebe Ryan, Clara Mae).
The short reflects the physical state of vertigo - dizziness, disorientation, and instability. Ant, who met GRANT on Instagram, tends to focus on female leads, digital influence, and the experimental with her work, which has been showcased at several exhibitions across New York, Paris, Rome, Toronto and Berlin. Reflecting on the music video, which sees a futuristic avatar of GRANT convulse to the euphoric art-pop slow-jam, Ant notes, “I really enjoyed working with a minimal setting where all of the focus is on one protagonist. I think that, cinematically speaking, the video really captured a state of unbalance and overwhelming emotion through the lens of an uncanny 3D world.”
According to the director, “The animation is based on a previous photoshoot that Caroline [GRANT] did in person. We wanted to recreate the essence of the photos and bring them to a new light in 3D. The animation, Vertigo, is purely character based - I wanted to really capture Caroline's unique features and striking gaze. Because the landscape is quite minimal, I really wanted to create an ASMR-like experience through visual cues from the avatar- focusing on all of the small details in her outfit, her eyes and hands moving slowly in a haunting yet dreamy manner. This is how I imagine her to move in the photos. Inspired by the music, I added fades and camera pans to heighten a sense of vertigo in an enclosed space.”
“I was quite uncertain that I’d be able to make any videos at all this year for obvious reasons, so I thought I’d look into 3D, which I’d already been obsessed with for a while,” GRANT shares. “I found Stacie on Instagram and fell in love with her out of this world aesthetic and humor. It seemed to suit the whole concept really, but especially Vertigo. The animation is a heightened but still quite clueless version of me captured in this isolated space, perfectly conveying the physical state of vertigo in a way that only 3D could. The result is like an eerie dream and borderline ASMR.”
Ant used a number of digital tools to produce the animated short, including Zbrush to emphasize GRANT’s unique facial features, adding, “The clothing and simulation is done with Marvelous Designer. I used 3ds Max for animation once everything was in place.”
"We wanted to communicate the feeling [of dizziness and vertigo] through pose and facial expression - for me it was quite theatrical,” she continues. “I really enjoyed working with a minimal setting where all of the focus is on one protagonist. I think that, cinematically speaking, the video really captured a state of unbalance and overwhelming emotion through the lens of an uncanny 3D world."
The EP is GRANT's first body of work since 2018's debut album In Bloom, which received millions of plays on DSPs and led to her Swedish Grammy nomination for Newcomer of the Year, as well as support slots with electro-pop star Tove Styrke on tour.
Dan Sarto is Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of Animation World Network.