“Dirty Rom Dance” Video by Plasticflesh

A couple months back, I offered praise for Nullsleep’s music video “Dirty Rom Dance” directed by Plasticflesh (aka Stieg Retlin). Pleased to report that it’s now online. Retlin applies the visual tropes of 8-bit style graphics and glitch textures towards the creation of an energetic, propulsive piece of animation storytelling. It’s refreshing to see an honest expression in digital animation that isn’t rooted in traditional animation conventions.


  • http://www.arielvillaverde.com Sketchees

    Haha.. great post! The music and visuals match exactly. A joy to watch.

    I agree with Amid, it’s refreshing to see a post on here that doesn’t revolve around traditional animation(*or US television series, or Disney, or Pixar, or CN, or UPA.. ect)

    Keep ‘em coming! :)

  • Joel Brinkerhoff

    Strange, this may be done digitally but I see it has more traditionally hand drawn animation in it than straight use of symbols.

    What are the conventions you refer to, squash & stretch, over-lapping and secondary action, etc.? I see all of that in there too.

    Are you trying to polarize animators against certain techniques and styles? Digital animation is a misnomer and can and will emulate any style from cut-out paper, to lush classic 40′s.

    Like art in general animation is subjective.

  • Iritscen

    That must have been a lot of work. Nice to see that they didn’t rely simply on pushing symbols around and filtering them in crazy ways, but drew plenty of “cels” instead.

  • http://plasticflesh.com stieg

    thanks for the good words!

  • http://chrisoharaportfolio.blogspot.com/ Cagefighter

    But is this video not trying to simulate real digital glitches and techniques by artificially creating them? This video still feels like 2D trying to be 3D, how is that different to 3D trying to be 2D?

  • amid

    Joel: Your comment is exactly my point. Most digital animation emulates styles that already exist whether cut-out or traditional. This video is something that I’ve never seen replicated with another technique. The staccato cutting, style of movement, and art direction constitute an original form of expression (though it may employ existing animation principles) that reflect the tool with which it was made.

  • http://www.discardla.blogspot.com Swinton Scott

    Didn’t anyone ever do films like this back in the 90s with D-Paint on the Amiga? But those kinds of experiments went away as the computers got more powerfull and the software got more sophisticated. This is really good looking short, like it a lot!

  • http://plasticflesh.com stieg

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fh5U2RW58p4

    this trailer for video drome uses some great 90s computer animation stuff!

  • CHRISTY

    WOW! that was amazing!

  • http://www.blackdotstudios.com Ian Jones-Quartey

    Stieg’s work is fucking amazing. There’s more than just “style” going on here… it feels like there’s genuine affection for 8-bit glitchiness and the context it provides the music and story. Very inspiring!

  • http://www.nelsart.com Nelson Diaz

    This piece is amazing. I remember Steig’s other films from SVA and even then he was pushing beyond what was considered “normal” cartoon animation. I agree with Ian…this makes me want to get going!

  • http://philrynda.blogspot.com Uncle Phil Rynda

    Awesome Stieg!!

  • http://joelbrinkerhoff.blogspot.com/ Joel Brinkerhoff

    Thanks for the clarification. I do agree with you.

  • http://robcatview.blogspot.com robcat2075

    So… it’s not rooted in traditional animation principles… except when it is. It is because it isn’t and it isn’t because it is. I got it now.

    (This original style of cutting and movement seems to have been borrowed by editors of The Beatles movie “Help” and numerous song sequences from “The Monkees”)

  • http://www.theAMIGOunit.com Bohn

    i think ill go play some nintendo now
    saw some influences from HACKERS and the 2003 nightclub inferno
    beautiful

  • aaron

    All your 8 bit animation are belong to us.

  • faustino

    God, how I long for the age of graphic irony to end. This stuff is plainly godawful, bad graphics, bad music, bad animation, and you guys can’t help falling for it because a) the piece is simply not ashamed of itself and b) you rarely see something this bold (=f**ing ugly).

  • http://segaltoons.com Steve Segal

    Swinton Scott: Didn’t anyone ever do films like this back in the 90s with D-Paint on the Amiga?

    Yes, I glad you remember the Amiga. I made a film, Dance of the Stumblers, back in the 80′s that used D-Paint a little but mostly Aegis Animator. I tried to make it use the artifacts that came naturally with those primitive computers (320 x 240, half a meg of ram and no hard drive). I used very simple shapes and no backgrounds, and it was animated to sync to music. It was in the Theatrical package called The Computer Animation Show and on the DVD Classics of Computer Animation.

  • http://www.realmofquickpaw.com QuickPaw

    I’m a child of the 80′s…so this works for me. I’m actually a fan of YMCK (a 8-bit chiptune group) so the music doesn’t bother me one bit.

    What I’m really curious about is how generations before and after the 80′s see this piece. People in those different age groups might not relate to it the same as me. The graphics and sound brings back memories from my old NES days. Sure it’s ugly, but I take it for what it is. I did the same for the new Transformers. I don’t compare it to anything else and try to understand it on its own merits.

    What made old school graphics great was that you had to use your imagination more. If you were a kid playing The Legend of Zelda or Dragon Warrior, you would turn it into a epic far beyond it’s face value.

  • Julian Carter

    @ QuickPaw

    I’m not sure the graphics can be quite described as ‘ugly’. Yes, they are pixelated and glitchy, but there’s a beauty there – in their contrasts and restraint from visual norm.

    As for relating to it, I’m not an 80s kid (well, I was born in 89 but of course did not experience the decade), but I grew up with my older brothers’ funky Commodore 64 (something the visuals seem more representative of rather than the NES). I think pre-80s or post-80s people will appreciate it too, though.