Musical Burst: Animated Video for ‘Tharsis Sleeps’ by Throne Is Completely Embroidered on Fabric

Have you ever seen a music video where every frame was embroidered? If not (and I’m guessing you haven’t), now’s the time.

In what’s probably a first, UK band Throne has animated a music video that relies entirely on embroidery. The song is named “Tharsis Sleeps.”

Animator and lead singer of the band Nicos Livesey, along with co-director Tom Bunker, created and directed the music video. They spent almost a year making the film, using three industrial embroidery machines for more than 3,000 embroidered frames. Livesey and Bunker, along with a team of animators and interns, spent six to seven months of that year producing the frames full-time.

In an interview with the blog Motionographer, Livesey explains the meticulous process. Using the computer program Flash, the film was animated frame by frame. The frames were exported in sequence to the embroidery machines to convert into stitch format. The images the machines stitched were then checked and perfected by interns. Once the stitches were finalized, images of them were captured on camera and edited for the final film.

Livesey talks about the difficulty of the technique and procedure:

There was a huge amount of trial and error. Many things where going wrong from things going missing in the digitizing process. To the wrong colours being read by the embroidery machines and each frame coming out different sizes. Problem with tension of material, the list goes on and each process can effect the process further down the line and dealing with the sheer number of frames we were, things can get confusing.

Livesey says he got his inspiration from heavy metal band patches and denim “Battle” jackets. He also used Kickstarter to crowd fund the labor-intensive project and to make his embroidered music video vision become reality.
tharsis sleeps process 1

tharsis sleeps process 2

tharsis sleeps process 3

tharsis sleeps process 4

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