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Case Study: A Light painted music video

Case Study: A Light painted music video


Samuli Kemppi: Pouring Over – A Light painted music video


Light Painted music video – Case Study

Pouring Over is an ambitious, over six minutes long light painted music video for the Finnish techno producer Samuli Kemppi. The video is directed and edited by Helsinki-based artist VJ Indigo, who is a very familiar name in Helsinki’s techno scene. The light paintings on the video are done by Janne Parviainen and Hannu Huhtamo.

Samuli Kemppi is a Helsinki-based producer, dj, radio host, promoter and a label owner. Kemppi’s musical style draws from the deeper frequencies of deep house and techno.


Abandoned gas station provided a twisted, Twin Peaks style atmosphere for the music video.


The Process

For the Light Painting Blog’s Case Study, we interviewed the video’s director, VJ Indigo:

Where did you get the idea for the music video?

-The idea stood just in front of us as we first saw the abandoned gas station. The atmosphere was so Twin Peaks-like, that it inspired me to capture some David Lynch vibe into the video.

Why did you choose to use light painting for the video?

-I have previously used light painting as method to get layers for vj visuals. I try to make many different single images of the same view, so they can be combined as video. Also making collaboration with Janne and Hannu and trying to channel their light paintings in a video format had been a vision for a long time.


Hannu Huhtamo drawing his trademark light flowers.


How much work was to edit the light painting images to the rhythm of the track?

-Most of the work was writing the script and trying to think which images and image sequences would fit with the sounds and the parts of the track. When the script was ready, the whole editing took just a few hours.

Before making the material for the video, we had a nice evening with a few beers. We listened the track many times so in the end of that evening we had some kind of a plan and a loose script.

Do you use a certain method or software for the editing?

-I usually load all the good single images into Photoshop as layers, and try to make it all work together. It’s good to darken some images so all the layers added together will not be a full white blast on the screen.

When the set is ready, I use Resolume Arena to use the images in a vj set. You can make the different layers react to different tones of sound and with just a few audio reactive layers, you get an illusion of a stop motion or a time lapse video, though the layers are just still photographs.


‘Ulrike’, a mannequin torso is one of Indigo’s favourite models. “It’s nice to give some kind of a face for the expressionless techno djs.”


You also work as a VJ, how much that affects your work in music videos?

-The music videos I have made, are 99% recorded live with vj software and usually compiled of the material I use with my vj sets. So the answer is: very much.

Of course, I really have to think differently when making a music video. When making visuals to techno raves, I may have the same minimalistic footage blinking on the screen for hours, and that might not be interesting enough for a music video. But after all, the more minimalistic music video I manage to make, the more satisfied I am.

What do you think are the interesting parts in using light painting in visuals and in music videos?

-The endless possibilities and the fact that the only limit is the imagination.


In the music video below VJ Indigo has created an eerie, dystopian atmosphere by using still photographs of the car illuminated from different angles and combining them into a stop motion like audioreactive movement.


About The Author

Janne Parviainen

Janne Parviainen is a light artist from Helsinki. His work has been featured in various magazines, books and art blogs such as The National Geographic, The Guardian, Daily Mail, Wired, Juxtapoz, Spiegel Online, Metro Newspaper. Janne has worked with well-known brands such as Adobe Systems Inc., Olight and Nippon Television producing high-level artistic material for commercial use. His work has been on display globally on exhibitions, light art festivals and museums. In his light art Janne Parviainen studies the possibilities of spaces and dimensions by creating topographic maps with light and by incorporating illuminated forced perspective drawings with light painting.

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