Animusic

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Animusic
FormerlyVisual Music
TypeLLC
IndustryAnimation
Founded1990
FounderWayne Lytle
Headquarters
Previously in Ithaca, New York (Sold to RP Solutions, Inc.) LLC currently registered in Cortland, NY.
,
Key people
Wayne Lytle, David Crognale
ProductsAnimusic 1 VHS, DVD, CD - 2001

Animusic 2 DVD, CD - 2005

Animusic HD Blu-ray - 2010
Websitehttp://www.animusic.com

Animusic, LLC is a dormant animation company specializing in the 3D visualization of MIDI-based music. Founded by Wayne Lytle, it is currently a registered limited liability company in New York, and had offices in Texas and California during its active stages. The initial name of the company was Visual Music, but was changed to Animusic in 1995.

The company is known for its Animusic compilations of computer-generated animations, based on MIDI events processed to simultaneously drive the music and on-screen action, leading to and corresponding to every sound. The animated short "Pipe Dream," showed at SIGGRAPH's Electronic Theater in 2001, details the use of this specific sequencing.[2]

Unlike many other music visualizations, Animusic uses MIDI information to drive the animation, while other software programs, such as Blender, animate figures or characters to the music. Any animated models in Animusic are created first, and are then programmed to follow what the music, or MIDI information, instructs them to do. 'Solo cams' featured on the Animusic DVD shows how each instrument plays through a piece of music from beginning to end.

Many of the instruments appear to be robotic or play themselves using seemingly curious methods to produce and visualize the original compositions. The animations typically feature dramatically-lit rooms or landscapes in rustic and/or futuristic locales.

The music in Animusic is principally pop-rock based, consisting of straightforward sequences of triggered samples and digital patches mostly played "dry" (with few effects). There are no lyrics or voices, save for the occasional chorus synthesizer. According to the director's comments on Animusic 2, most instrument sounds are generated with software synthesizers on a music workstation (see Software Programs for more info). Many sounds resemble stock patches available on digital keyboards, subjected to some manipulation, such as pitch or playback speed, to enhance the appeal of their timbre.

Compilations[edit]

As of November 2021, 3 video albums have been released, one album short of the company's aspirations.

  • Animusic: A Computer Animation Video Album (VHS/DVD (2001), CD (2002), Special Edition DVD (2004))
  • Animusic 2: A New Computer Animation Video Album (DVD (2005), CD (2006))
  • Animusic HD: Stunning Computer-Animated Music (Blu-Ray (2010))

All Animusic DVDs are set to Region 0, meaning they are playable in all DVD players worldwide.[3]

Animusic was released in 2001 on VHS, and later DVD, with a special edition DVD being released later, in 2004. This special edition included extra material, such as Animusic's first animation, "Beyond the Walls".[4] A second album, Animusic 2, was released in the United States in 2005. Later, in 2008, this volume was released in Japan through a distribution deal with Japanese company Jorudan, Co. Ltd.[5] In a company newsletter, it was announced that the Animusic company would also be producing a high-definition version of Animusic 2 on Blu-ray, to be released sometime before their third major album, Animusic 3.[6] This HD compilation was eventually released in November 2010, featuring all of the animations featured in Animusic 2, as well as the animation "Pipe Dream" from Animusic encoded at a high bitrate.[7] In a later newsletter, the working titles of three animations in Animusic 3, “Sonic Warfare”, “Paddle Ball” and “Super Pipe Dream”, were revealed.[8] In 2012, a Kickstarter campaign for Animusic 3 was successfully funded. "The Sound of Twelve," a music-only album made using similar harmonics as Animusic, was released in March 2015. Animusic 3 was never finished or released (see Animusic 3 for more info).

Publicity[edit]

Animusic has been promoted at SIGGRAPH since 1990, and has been promoted on Public Broadcasting Service and other television networks such as CNN.[9] Wayne Lytle and his works have also been featured on Fox News and over 30 other local stations in January 2007.[10] Animusic's "Pipe Dream" was released as a real-time demo for ATI's Radeon 9700 series graphics cards.[11] Animusic also rendered "Resonant Chamber" and "Starship Groove" in HD resolution for Apple's QuickTime HD Gallery.[12] A popular tourist destination located in Fredericksburg, Texas, the Rockbox Theater, has often played the Animusic DVDs either before shows or during an intermission.[13]

There was an internet rumor that suggested that the "Pipe Dream" video was actually a machine created at the University of Iowa from farm machinery parts. Although this has been proven false,[14] the rumor is still considered "pretty amusing" to the Animusic staff.[15] Intel later commissioned a version of the machine to be built which was demonstrated at IDF 2011.[16]

Software programs[edit]

According to the company's FAQ, animation is created procedurally with their own proprietary MIDImotion engine.[17] Discreet 3D Studio Max was used for modeling, lighting, cameras, and rendering. Maps were painted with Corel Painter, Deep Paint 3D, and Photoshop. They have also created their own software called ANIMUSIC|studio that is based on scene-graph technology.[18] According to an August 2015 newsletter, Animusic was using Unreal Engine 4 for the production of Animusic 3.[19]

Animusic 3[edit]

Animusic, in its former state with multiple employees, was working on the third volume of the Animusic series for over 10 years. It was initially intended to be released sometime in 2010, featuring animations such as "Sonic Warfare", "Paddle Ball", and "Super Pipe Dream".[20] However, this release date passed with no definitive word regarding the volume's progress. A year later in November 2010, Animusic attributed this delay to a complete restructuring of their modeling and rendering software, ultimately yielding the creation of the Animusic|Studio software program.[21]

On August 6, 2012, the company began a Kickstarter campaign aimed at raising $200,000 USD to fund the completion of the Animusic 3 DVD and/or Blu-ray.[22] This campaign was featured on several websites such as Animation World Network.[23] A rough mix from the newly revealed music album The Sound of 12, titled "Glarpedge," was released online on August 28, 2012.[24] This album has been described by the company as "the soul of Animusic 3."[25] On August 31, 2012, two more mixes were released: "Emoticondria"[26] and "EchoKrunch."[27] The Kickstarter page was later updated to confirm that a Blu-ray edition of Animusic 3 would be released shortly following the DVD's completion.[28]

On September 5, 2012, the Kickstarter campaign ended successfully, with a final backing amount of $223,123, surpassing the objective and presumably financing Animusic 3's "final production stages".[29] Animusic posted expected shipping dates of October 2013 for the DVD, and February 2014 for the Blu-ray disc.[30] However, both dates passed without either product being released.

On a Kickstarter update in August 2015,[31] Wayne Lytle announced some other factors that have delayed the project, including Dave Crognale's departure from the project and new residence in California, personal struggles, physical stress and injury (including but not limited to Bell's Palsy), and the distribution of supplemental prizes for backers. Lytle had noted in this particular update that his financial situation was so unfortunate to the point where him, his mother and father, and his wife were unable to pay for shipping postage for the remainder of DVD/Blu-ray inventory, which can still be purchased via Amazon.com[32] However, Lytle insisted on his determination to finish the project, expressing his excitement about the abilities of the newly-implemented Unreal Engine 4 and his gratitude for those who have invested in him. Lytle stated that he had withheld from posting an update until he had a completion date, but did not give one in the update.

"With that said, I do want to again thank all of you for being with us along this much-longer-than-anticipated journey. I do not take your support lightly! I wish the production had progressed way more quickly, yet here we are. Disappointing people is not something I enjoy! At all. I truly believe that God created me and put me here on earth to bring joy to people...through music in general, Animusic most specifically. That’s my mission, and that’s what I will do."

— Wayne

Since the 2015 Kickstarter update, no further updates have been posted. Many Kickstarter backers have expressed their frustration with the company and the continuous lack of communication about the project, inferring that it is/was suffering from a small number of personnel in its production team, along with other issues including, but not limited to, lawsuit threats and legal probes.[33] It has been essentially theorised by Kickstarter backers, Animusic fanatics (via Reddit, YouTube, and Kickstarter backer forums) and general fans that the company, and its constituents, had failed due to an unnecessary, costly, and impulsive redesign of the software program, or programs, used to create MIDI input music animations (i.e. Animusic|Studio). Other users have expressed the lack of business leadership in the financial sector amongst Animusic LLC administration.

In August 2017, the Animusic headquarters was sold to RP Solutions, Inc.[34] The Lytle residence was sold to a separate buyer. This information was yielded using New York State property searching tools, including but not limited to arcGIS, and was not directly obtained via an update from Wayne Lytle or his counterparts.

In August 2019, the Animusic website at ANIMUSIC was taken down briefly and replaced by a generic template with a small explanation that the site is undergoing a redesign.[35] A quote from the new site states that "The ANIMUSIC website is being rebuilt from scratch, using Squarespace. Our previous website was ancient, dating back to the early days of ANIMUSIC.." [36]As of August 9, 2019, the new website contains a collection of screenshots from Animusic 2, along with one picture from Animusic 1 and three work in progress images that appear to be from Animusic 3. The website's "About" page references the site being "A Fresh Start" for Animusic. As of November 2021, the registrar of the website is Network Solutions, LLC whilst the expiry date of https://www.animusic.comis listed as June 27th, 2028. Renewal plans have not been released, and are not expected, due to aforementioned probability. [37]

According to the New York State Division of Corporations, State Records, and UCC, Animusic is still an active domestic limited liability company and is registered to an address in Cortland, NY. [38]

The status of Wayne Lytle is publicly unknown, however the Cortland, NY property that the limited liability company is registered under is for sale as of November, 2021.[39]

Although the release of Animusic 3 has been continually postponed, others have created and released tribute animations and fan-made versions of the Animusic concept through YouTube.[40] Over time, hundreds of these homemade animations have been produced and shared. The bulk of these have been created since shortly after the release of Animusic 2.Coordinates: 42°30′56″N 76°31′10″W / 42.515528°N 76.519561°W / 42.515528; -76.519561

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Animusic | Company | Contact Info". Retrieved 2012-08-10.
  2. ^ "The SIGGRAPH 2001 Computer Animation Festival: A Digital Odyssey". Animation World Network. Retrieved Aug 14, 2019.
  3. ^ "Animusic | Support | 6". Retrieved 2012-08-09.
  4. ^ "Animusic Special Edition Details". Retrieved 2012-08-09.
  5. ^ "Animusic 2 in Japan". Retrieved 2012-08-09.
  6. ^ "Animusic 2 in HD". Retrieved 2008-12-28.
  7. ^ "Animusic HD Details". Retrieved 2012-08-09.
  8. ^ "November 2007 Newsletter". Retrieved 2012-08-09.
  9. ^ "Animusic | Reviews | Media". Retrieved 2012-08-10.
  10. ^ "Wayne Lytle TV interviews". Archived from the original on 15 October 2007. Retrieved 2007-10-11.
  11. ^ "Pipe Dream video used as a Radeon demo". Archived from the original on 12 October 2007. Retrieved 2007-10-11.
  12. ^ "Animusic featured in Apple's Quicktime's HD gallery". Archived from the original on 2007-08-23. Retrieved 2007-10-11.
  13. ^ "Animusic | News | Rockbox Theater". Retrieved 2012-09-07.
  14. ^ "'Farm Machine Music' on Snopes". Retrieved 2007-10-11.
  15. ^ "Animusic | News | Hoax Email". Archived from the original on 2012-08-18. Retrieved 2012-08-09.
  16. ^ "Intel Pipe Dream Demo (IDF 2011)". Archived from the original on 2012-12-06. Retrieved 2012-08-09.
  17. ^ "Animusic | Support | 10". Retrieved 2012-08-09.
  18. ^ "Animusic | Company | Software". Animusic. Retrieved 2012-08-09.
  19. ^ "Update 24: Alive · ANIMUSIC 3 (DVD / Blu-ray)". Kickstarter. Retrieved 2015-09-29.
  20. ^ "September 2009 Newsletter". Retrieved 2009-10-20.
  21. ^ "Animusic Blu-ray!". Retrieved 2012-09-08.
  22. ^ "ANIMUSIC 3 (DVD/Blu-ray) by ANIMUSIC". Retrieved 2012-09-02.
  23. ^ "ANIMUSIC 3 Starts Production". Retrieved 2012-09-02.
  24. ^ "So12 Glarpedge by ANIMUSIC". Retrieved 2012-08-29.
  25. ^ "ANIMUSIC's sounds on SoundCloud". Retrieved 2012-09-04.
  26. ^ "So12 Emoticondria by ANIMUSIC". Retrieved 2012-08-31.
  27. ^ "So12 EchoKrunch by ANIMUSIC". Retrieved 2012-08-31.
  28. ^ "ANIMUSIC 3 (DVD/Blu-ray) by ANIMUSIC ≫ Updates". Retrieved 2012-09-02.
  29. ^ "Animusic | Previews | Animusic 3". Retrieved 2012-09-08.
  30. ^ "Update 11: The Latest on the Lateness · ANIMUSIC 3 (DVD / Blu-ray)". Kickstarter. Retrieved Aug 14, 2019.
  31. ^ "Update 24: Alive · ANIMUSIC 3 (DVD / Blu-ray)". Kickstarter. Retrieved Aug 14, 2019.
  32. ^ "Wayne Lytle (Director) Amazon Shop".{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  33. ^ "Comments » ANIMUSIC 3 (DVD / Blu-ray) — Kickstarter". www.kickstarter.com. Retrieved 2017-02-05.
  34. ^ "Contact Us". rpsolutions.com. Retrieved 2018-01-12.
  35. ^ What???, archived from the original on 2019-08-04, retrieved 2019-08-05
  36. ^ "ANIMUSIC". ANIMUSIC. Retrieved 2020-04-29.
  37. ^ "Whois Animusic.com".{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  38. ^ "Informational Message". appext20.dos.ny.gov. Retrieved 2021-02-10.
  39. ^ Inc, Zillow. "317 Nye Rd, Cortland, NY 13045 | MLS #405217". Zillow. Retrieved 2021-11-26.
  40. ^ "Animusic: Original Masterpieces and Fanmade Greats - YouTube". YouTube. Retrieved Aug 14, 2019.

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