404 Identity

For the latest edition of the 404 Electronic Arts Festival happening in Taipei, we were handed a single phrase to start with, "Error is creation."  We decided to create a genesis of cumulative information that formed into an electric world.  Using glitches, random particle systems and generative constructs the film opens on tethered points and develops into the formation of a tower within a city.

A primary inspiration for us was the Walrus navigation system developed by the Cooperative Association for Internet Data Analysis (CAIDA).  The Walrus system develops three dimensional models based on internet traffic.  Visually these models are intriguing with their clustered densities taking on organic properties and shapes.  We hadn't seen one of these models animate before and hence our imagining became the open sequence for the 404 Identity. 


From there we took the idea of points and lines and expanded these into planes and volumes, a model of Earth forms and cities begin to populate the spherical surface.  Once we land on Earth we discover Taipei through a beacon of light, an iconic building. 

While Taipei's Tower 101 came to mind, the building itself we found quite ugly.  So we imagined a Tower 404 constructed from a loose aggregate of planes approximating the formation of a volume. 

While searching for architectural reference we found the unbuilt San Jose Tower designed by Moho Architects.  This building was perfect so we used it as a datum for the tower in our film. 

 The 404 Identity titles were featured in Stash 76.



Produced by Nice Shoes

Client: 404 Festival

Creative Director: Brian Bowman
Producer: Jen Cadic
Art Director: Joe Lawrence
3D Animation: Andy Mai, James Collins
2D Animation: Kit Lam
Sound Design: Brian Bowman
(Audio Samples: NASA, HECQ, Freesound.org)