Night Fishing with Cormorants

Night Fishing with Cormorants
Betsy Kopmar
4'21'' · cgi · drawing · colour
2009 | Berkeley·CA, USA
Punto y Raya Festival 2011


An abstract meditation, inspired in part by the 17th Century Japanese screen painting by Kano Tanyu "Night Fishing with Cormorants" and by the very stark and beautiful novel of Akira Yoshimura, "Shipwrecks". I am not telling a naturalistic story in this piece, but rather I have tried to make a work that will hold in equal reverence the spirit of the bird, the fish, and the fisherman.

As for the technique, I wanted something very simple with the feeling of compressed energy that can be found in some classical ink drawings; so I intentionally limited myself in Cinema 4D to five simple 3D cubes, and created the entire animation with this restricted palette of shapes. I choreographed many small interactions between these basic shapes, always looking for a balance of stillness, space, movement, coming together, exploding together. Then I moved these 3D renders into the VJ application, Modul8, where I could explore further association of time, sequencing, and effects.

I composed the final mix using this real-time VJ software and a midi controller. Audio was added after the final visual mix was completed.

This beautiful and expressive music by Andreas Ecker reinforces and amplifies the mood and development of the graphics.

Betsy Kopmar
Betsy Kopmar

1944 | Stillwater·MN, USA

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Betsy Kopmar is a painter and filmmaker whose work is a fusion of interests in painting, dance, and music. She works with 3D software as a starting point for the animation, then uses VJ software to create a real-time mix that is recorded to a movie.

In addition to her work as a visual artist, she teaches Motion Graphics at the college level.

Lives in USA.   +info