Rock Hard, Abs

There’s a bunch of great work that I want to post, but I’ve only got a couple minutes before I have to head to class. With just two days left in the quarter, things are pretty hectic. Sleep is not a friend to me.

It makes perfect sense, then, that I relate to the cyborgian metamorphoses in 1st Avenue Machine’s lastest effort, a trailer for the Japan MTV Video Music Awards.


1st Avenue Machine has quickly established itself as a serious player in the “shaky camera + CG elements in the city” game. It’s tricky work, because even general viewers are hyper-sensitive to the compositing without even realizing it. The slightest aberration in lighting or shading can be devastatingly distracting.

I think 1st Avenue Machine generally does a great job avoiding such distractions�although I must admit I did find myself at times wondering if maybe this surface was too bright or if that edge was too sharp. Because the spot moves along at such a rapid clip, however, my misguided ponderings were mercifully cut short, and I was able to simply enjoy the show.

I hope you can do the same.

About the author

Justin Cone

Together with Carlos El Asmar, Justin co-founded Motionographer, F5 and The Motion Awards. He currently lives in Austin, Texas with is wife, son and fluffball of a dog. Before taking on Motionographer full-time, Justin worked in various capacities at Psyop, NBC-Universal, Apple, Adobe and SCAD.



There is no way in the world that your average viewer would view that piece and think that some surfaces are too bright. I like this style. Obviously they are going for a realistic look, but you know it isn’t real and therefore it gives them a little bit of room to push the look of the parts a little bit.


I wanna turn into an effin’ ROBOT!


The track is a variation of this song, but the name escapes me. Anyone know what song the track is a remix of?



The track is “FRAU WAV (BRIEF FLING)’ by Clark (formerly chris clark).
Not a remix I think.


Since no one else has done it yet, I’m going to give myself props for the bad ass headline of my post.

Nice one, Justin.


goddddaaaeeemmnn !! i loike !! i loike !! not really ‘something new’ , but this somehow reminds me of Sony PSP, done by The Mill .. sweet !


I like apricots. seriously, I love them.


i love this piece but agree it looks a bit too ‘3d’ but its tracked so damn rad its sorta like who cares…. disco.


“Since no one else has done it yet, I’m going to give myself props for the bad ass headline of my post.”

I haven’t visited for a couple of days… I second that props. Its not a *real* post if the healdine isn’t a pun.


I don’t get the headline. ???


“but its tracked so damn rad its sorta like who cares”

um… you mean minus the last shot where it slips like banana in a cartoon? It’s a nice spot and pretty well executed, but there are a few little things. Nicely done overall though.


That zoom in the last shot does look a bit off to me too. I wonder if they needed to fudge the scaling to fit everything in frame without having to remodel.

For those confused about the headline.
“Rock hard abs” = an abdomen that is rock hard
“Rock hard, abs” = an abdomen that is rocking hard, possibly because it has a speaker in it.


Subtlety is a lost art. :)


it looks a little weird because the tracking is not perfect, and the film has a slight grain, the CG elements don’t, which makes it look out of place. Nonetheless, this is an amazing piece of work!

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