De profundis by Kolor


I asked the makers of de profundis, the winning demo at Dialogos 2001, a couple of questions about their production and philosophy.

How would you describe your demo? What's so special about it?

Shiva: One shouldn't describe the demo. One should watch it.

Noize: Regarding the matter what's special, I'd say: it makes sense, its contents aren't based on predefined patterns (at least they aren't common for demos), its data is elaborate, and it's authentic in this respect: it doesn't pretend to be cool because it contains a lot of moving polygons.

How did you get the idea de profundis is based on? Who developed the concept? How was it changed in the course of time?

Shiva: We started out with the Manson Video for Cryptochild. Back then, the concept was to make something with a lot of noise and distortion. However, this failed for several reasons: technical ones (high-quality readbacks are still slow, even using 3d accelerators), temporal ones (the sync tool wasn't finished in time) and artistic ones (Noize's scenes were too good to be used as backgrounds for distortion). It was just a few days before Dialogos when we decided not to use too rough distortion filters and undersampling. The concept of the ravens, harvesters and telegraph cables comes from Noize. He also found the poem by Trakl that perfectly suited the scenes.

Noize: Well, Shiva has explained this well. It was already 2 years ago when I wanted to include nature in a demo, but it would only make sense if it was in 3D. What I also find remarkable is how the mood in the real world has adapted to my designs in the period in which the demo was created.

How long did the work on the demo take? Who participated in it? What software did you use?

Shiva: The people listed in the credits were involved. It is hard to say how long the work took. Noize modeled for a few weeks. My part was just to recycle the engine of le petit prince and speed it up. This took me merely two days, as my code experiments actually didn't find their way into the demo.

Noize: Well, I certainly modeled long enough. Surely about 5 weeks. Almost every day. A couple of hours per day. I had semester holidays. Regarding software: We don't answer such questions in principle.

What were the reactions like?

Shiva: The same as always on Kolor stuff: People either love or hate it. However, I'm disappointed at the stupid comment "boring". One shouldn't mistake subtile for boring. Moreover, there were a lot of comparisons with Kasparov. I consider them rather out of place, as the two demos are completely different. These comments just show some sceners' misunderstanding of 3D demos and a silly attitude of rejection which refuses to accept 3D demos as a form of expression. Nowadays pure tech demos are boring as nobody is really able to use the CPU/GPU to its limits. Therefore demos have to offer more artistic aspects and more content. Someone who lumps all 3D demos together and calls them boring (as they don't offer anything new from a technical aspect) misses quite a lot of things. Furthermore, I hope that sceners aren't kids with ADS who get bored unless an explosion is shown once every few seconds.

Noize: Well, the people who know more about us and our lives are more able to rate it. The others don't. See: Someone who attended a catholic kindergarten from age 2 to 7 and was told that everything would have to stay like it was, someone who, at the age of 16, thought he'd have to make a career which had actually been chosen by his parents, someone who then starts studying business management, such a person cannot help but think: "There's never been anything like this; this is new, this is wrong; that's just positive playing around with technology and there's no profit to make with it."

Do you have a philosophy? What are your aims?

Shiva: No. Moreover, we have no aims, either.

Noize: There's nothing special to it. Everything's Darwin. In this respect I'm just like all the others.

What are the members of Kolor doing in their real lives?

Shiva: By profession: coding a game engine. In private life: nothing.

Noize: Well, we don't have a life in this sense. I study, but this is rather due to a coincidence. Furthermore, I jog, go for a walk and from time to time I play squash. Apart from that, I regard cinema, music and all of this as pretty boring as... well. Exploitation. And in general I regard everyone but myself as boring.

Shiva, Noize & Adok