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Animusic - A Computer Animation Video Album (Special Edition)

4.6 out of 5 stars 173 customer reviews

Additional DVD options Edition Discs
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(Apr 27, 2004)
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Special Edition
$19.97 $0.15

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Animusic draws you into its reality like no place you have ever been. You encounter new dimensions of sight and sound as you experience seven unique visual concerts. From the robotic laser-precision of "Future Retro" and rapid-fire ball bearings of "Pipe Dream," to the serene acoustic beauty of "Aqua Harp," each of the seven animated segments is an intricate melding of music and visuals. (DVD is 76 minutes.)

Watching Animusic is like being mesmerized by the world's most elaborate Rube Goldberg devices: You're so astonished by their ingenuity that you can't look away. This "computer animation video album" is the brainchild of Wayne Lytle, a progressive-rock keyboardist and 1988 graduate of Cornell University's Program of Computer Graphics. Modifying techniques originally applied to the visualization of scientific data, Lytle partnered with graphic artist and 3D modeler Dave Crognale to create elaborate virtual stage sets and imaginary musical instruments that are driven via MIDI interface to virtually "play" the music that Lytle has composed for them. "The music drives the instruments," explains Lytle in his engaging DVD commentary, "and not the other way around." Using proprietary software called MIDImotion™, Lytle and Crognale have invented self-playing musical instruments that exist in a magical realm of musical and mathematical precision, perfectly synchronized to the kind of fully-synthesized prog-rock that Lytle obviously enjoys (and if you're a fan of Keith Emerson and Rick Wakeman, you will, too). It's the kind of audiovisual bombast that appeals to some more than others (and there's something oddly impersonal about removing humans from the performance of music), but Animusic is so intricately clever that anyone can be captivated by the meticulous novelty of these beautifully engineered musical marvels.

Take, for example, the most popular track, "Pipe Dream," in which thousands of animated balls take on a life of their own, popping out of an intricate system of pipes and barrels and bouncing, with percussive precision, onto all varieties of strings, drums, xylophones, timbales, cowbells... it's just hypnotically amazing. The same holds true for all of these videos, and while the colorful 3D rendering of Animusic (first released in 2001) is no longer state-of-the-art, the underlying mechanics remain timelessly appealing. For this special edition DVD released in 2004, Lytle opens his toy-box to reveal the creative process of Animusic from conceptual drawings to final 3D rendering. There's also a "solo-cam" function allowing viewers to switch angular focus from one instrument to another, along with animated set-construction demonstrations to show how everything fits together in the realm of Animusic. The 5.1-channel surround mix makes Animusic a perfect demonstration disc for high-end video systems (this is nothing if not a geek's delight), and Lytle's first animation (from 1996) is included along with a sneak-peek at Animusic 2, the follow-up DVD released in 2005. --Jeff Shannon

Special Features

  • Fully animated musical menus
  • "Solo-cam" angles (interactive angle button switches between instruments)
  • Animusic's first animation (1996) plus Animusic-2 "Sneak Peek"
  • Breakaway hit "Pipe Dream" in widescreen
  • Behind-the-scenes footage and director's commentary
  • Over 300 production stills, screen shots, & sketches

Product Details

  • Directors: Wayne Lytle
  • Format: Animated, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Special Edition, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Animusic
  • DVD Release Date: April 27, 2004
  • Run Time: 75 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (173 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0001WNL26
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #23,891 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Animusic - A Computer Animation Video Album (Special Edition)" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I was first made aware of this DVD from a video clip on PBS. It is an excellent program, at least on the same par as the "Mind's Eye" computer animation series, with the usual technical advances in the art since "Mind's Eye" was produced.

The quality is excellent, both visually and aurally. I always thought that computer animation and music could be successfully integrated in some way, and "Animusic" is the successful result. Unlike other computer animation subjects, where the music drives or complements the action, in "Animusic," the music IS the action.

The viewer is transported to a futuristic concert where the musician is a complex, sophisticated computer able to weave many intricate melodies and harmonies at once, playing instruments that are very futuristic -- laser-beam-controlled guitars, a four-handed drum kit, violins that seem to play themselves, string and metal harps played by flying balls, huge clockwork drum kits, high-voltage musical transformers, and other fantasic, out-of-this-world musical instruments of the sort that one might find only in a science fiction novel.

It is easy to see how one can be drawn into the different musical settings and be mesmerized by the music and the visual surroundings. In addition, this DVD has various "angles" available on each track that allow the viewer to watch a separate instrument as it is played or sits idle over the course of the selection.

This DVD is a very good starting point for those who have never before experienced computer animation firsthand. The producers have done a splendid job on "Animusic" by making the music literally come alive.

There are seven selections on this DVD:

1. Future Retro

2. Stick Figures

3. Aqua Harp

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This is very different and very cool! Really good, easy listening, slightly technopop music that appears to be played by fantastic music equipment sans human musicians. All seven vignettes are several minutes long and each one is completely unique from the others. There is something continously interesting for the eye. It's like studying an item from the Museum of Unworkable Devices. It's fascinating trying to decipher how it is so perfectly synchronized.
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I work in retail and they have the Animusic DVD on demo and as soon as the customers see or hear the DVD they gravitate towards the musical display. By the way as soon as it was displayed on demo the DVD sales have been amazing. Just goes to show you as soon as someone hears it they have to buy it. I like the whole DVD but my favorites are the 1st and last tracks.
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I've been a collector of Virtual Animated DVDs, 3D IMAX related DVDs, thousands of Computer Screensavers, Game demos, etc for many years now. This is the best Animated Music on DVD I've ever encountered so far. This Title will best suits you if you're a Computer graphic enthusiast,Instrumental or Acoustic music lover, MIDI synthesizer/Organ player or owner. DJs,Musicians,Electronics-Art-related professionals,etc will definitely treasure this DVD. Also ANIMUSIC will benefit owners of HiFidelity Sound System or High-end Video Projectors. IF you share the same interest as me or match any of the above criteria, then this is definitely the perfect DVD you must own in a lifetime! This is 21st century Art! I describe it as the 'Computer Style of future MTV'. The Animations are well engineered & extremely creative. Videos are sharp,colourful & vivid. The music are of high sampling bit rate featuring drum,bass,guitars,synthesizers along with various other instruments. The music sounds like its being dubbed in an SACD quality or being amplified through the 1-Bit Digital Audio Technology. Nevertheless, this isn't just any ordinary DVD-Audio but an intelligently Animated one! Well, we'r not actually looking into its quality of graphics or the kind of musical content it plays but, "HOW AMAZINGLY IT WORKS"? Its combinations of 'VISUAL,SOUND & CREATIVITY'. The fundamental feature is that the Animations actually synchronize with Music being played so precisely. The Acoustic Music are also being distributed all over your 4 speakers,centre & subwoofer evenly. You won't get bored or tired even if u put it on the Loop Function. Not to mention that the 'ANGLE OF VIEW' on various instruments animating can be selected individually. Eventually, u won't leave your remote control alone. It's Special Edition Features 5.Read more ›
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We are a music store. We showed it to a group of 11-15 year old music students thinking we would only show a minute or so of 2 of the songs. They wanted to watch the WHOLE DVD. They loved it! We were recommended this video by a friend who has a home theater and says his 10 year old has brought over every friend in the neighborhood to watch it.
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Having been a huge fan of instrumental music for quite some time, I found myself quite stirred by a short piece of music heard on my local PBS station very recently. Together with the eerily beautiful dream-like synthesized melody, (a tune I later established was called `Harmonic Voltage') I was captivated by the accompanying high tech computer-generated images. The way in which the catchy, electronic music was intricately and perfectly synchronized with the animated musical devices was breathtaking. Overwhelmed by the design of the very imaginative, abstract looking instruments, how they operated, moved with the music, and the intriguing brilliance of it all, I rushed to my computer to learn something of this strange new art form called `Animusic'.

I have viewed the DVD countless times in just a few days since its arrival from I now proudly confess to being a new Animusic addict and convert! I adore how composer/programmer/genius Wayne Lytle marries the rather nostalgic sounding MIDI music to cutting edge animation technology. I say `nostalgic' because many of the tracks on the album remind me completely of my days as a video-gamer back in the early to mid-nineties, when many of the games would be accompanied by music of a very similar sound to Lytle's compositions on this DVD. Indeed many of tunes could have been lifted straight from any number of later Super Nintendo games. I'm heartened that there is still a place for this kind of sound in the 21st Century. Lytle seems to magically breathe a totally new kind of life into it, thanks to the crisp, sharp graphics system that visualizes the music so fittingly.
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