[Commission] Hard Times (NOW LIVE!)
So it seems that Ryan (of the band Guster) saw my Ruby Falls video and loved it, and Guster commissioned me to make a sort of last-minute music video for their new song Hard Times in under 3 weeks. And I did! They even let me release it on my channel, which is very cool.

Needless to say, this is a very different song from Ruby Falls! (which was released over a decade ago so I guess it's not too surprising) What struck me most about the song was the lyrics - the rest of the music seemed like mostly a backdrop for the singing and the words. So since they gave me a pretty decent amount of money and a significant amount of free creative license, I decided to make a proper animated lyric video in Line Rider. To do this I hired a professional animator (Clair Chin) to create the animations outside of Line Rider, hired David Lu (AKA Conundrumer) to program some tools for manipulating large selections, panning the camera, animating layers of lines, and importing and exporting SVG files in and out of Line Rider, and hired Seth Chapman (AKA OTDE) to help me with font selection. I am nothing if not ambitious when it comes to Line Rider projects!

It was... an intense project, with a lot of moving parts. We were on a very tight timeline, there were three people heavily involved in different aspects of the video, a huge amount of it had to be overhauled halfway through, and there were constantly multiple things being worked on by different people at the same time. My initial estimate of how much time I would spend on it ballooned to nearly double and it essentially wound up as a full time job for me for the entire commission period. But in my view it was 100% worth it, because I am incredibly proud of the final product. It's also an enormous number of "Firsts":

  • First ever official music video commissioned by the band and created in Line Rider
  • First ever proper lyric video created in Line Rider
  • First ever Line Rider collaboration involving an animator working entirely outside of Line Rider
  • First significant Line Rider track with any remotely political content
  • First actual animated lines in a Line Rider track (not counting anything created in post-production, or going fast enough that lines appear to animate on screen)
  • Second ever camera panning (it was created for this track upon my request, but Seth used it for the release of their track Shortcuts while this track was still in production)

I think it turned out remarkably well considering how fast we made it, and how much it felt like we were stretching and pushing the possibilities for what it could be, on multiple levels. Hope you like it! Let me know what you think!

Of course, I won't be charging any of you for this release, because I'm already getting paid by Guster's record label. As always, I love being able to get paid to create art in Line Rider, but I would prefer to do it through Patreon instead of through commissions. So thanks to all of you for doing a little bit to nudge me in that direction.

Long Live Line Rider,
- Ben / Rabid