Crowdsourced Project Relies On Fans For Rotoscoping A Johnny Cash Video

from the I-redraw-the-line dept

Digital artist Aaron Koblin has a fantastic knack for creating innovative, beautiful, fascinating works that merge the worlds of data and technology with art. Using Amazon’s Mechanical Turk, he created The Sheep Market by commissioning 10,000 online workers each to draw a left-facing sheep. Ten Thousand Cents created a representation of a $100 bill, also drawn by 10,000 turkers. Now, he’s back with a video project, and is creating a crowdsourced music video for Johnny Cash’s song, “Ain’t No Grave.”

The Johnny Cash Project, as it’s named, seeks to have every single frame of the music video redrawn by hand. Contributors can take advantage of the tools on the site, which greatly simplify the process of drawing a frame, though it’s a little daunting for those with short-attention spans or limited graphical abilities. The drawn frames are then compiled into a constantly evolving version of the music video.

For true fans of Johnny Cash, it’s a great opportunity for them to connect further with the late artist. And Koblin has put a lot of thought into making watching the video much more compelling and engaging than typical YouTube fare — viewers can direct the video to use different frames based on a number of dimensions: rating, number of brush strokes, or a number of artistic styles like “realistic” or “dotted.” It makes for a very rich experience; I’ve already watched the video a number of times. As we’ve said many times before, there are many opportunities for artists of all types to connect with their fans in new and interesting ways. In this case, Koblin’s creativity has helped him to tap the imagination of and connect more deeply with his own fans, while also offering something compelling to fans of Johnny Cash’s music, potentially expanding the fan base of both artists.

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Comments on “Crowdsourced Project Relies On Fans For Rotoscoping A Johnny Cash Video”

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11 Comments
Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

Tedious grunt work!!?? Oooh he’s such an evil task master forcing those poor artists to work for days on end in the dark, without heating, or food and water, for no pay!

And such a tyrant to rob those incredible artists of their global celebrity by stealing their fame! He makes Hitler look like Mother Theresa!

Suzanne Lainson (profile) says:

A great participatory art project

The Cash video is a very cool concept.

I think it is an example of where a lot of art is headed.

I don’t think of it so much as CwF example because I don’t know that I would label the artists “fans.” They are “creators.” I think they view themselves as part of the project rather than passive fans.

Here’s a bit more about that idea.

The People Formerly Known as Fans

I didn’t see any attempt to monetize this, which I think is in keeping in the spirit of this. Everyone is contributing rather than having anyone paying.

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