Archival Bird Recordings Inform Abstract 3D Animations

Archival Bird Recordings Inform Abstract 3D Animations

Artist Andy Thomas creates visualizations inspired by the mouths of aves

Leah Gonzalez
  • 19 august 2014

Australian mixed-media artist Andy Thomas uses bird sound recordings to create digital sound sculptures or 3D animations that appear as abstract shapes that move and respond to the sounds of the birds.

The artist’s latest digital art consists of bird sound animations that were created using bird sound recordings from the archives of the Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision, as well as the artist’s own sound recordings. The project was commissioned by the Europeana Creative and was funded by the EU.


Thomas’s digital sound sculptures, or audio life forms as they are described, are created using various software tools including 3ds Max, After Effects, Vray, and emPolygonizer.

For his latest project, the artist drew inspiration from life forms such as insects, orchids, and birds to create the animations. He posted a couple of his sketches for the animations and a few screenshots of the animation process on his website.


Andy Thomas completed a graphic design course at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia. He is known for experimenting with visualizations that integrate nature and technology. He takes photographs of things in nature and then digitally combines them with forms created using various 3D modeling software. His recent work has to do with audio life forms, created using sounds from nature and digital audio software and 3D software.

The audio life forms in the video below were created with bird sound recordings of a nightingale, recorded in Egmond, the Netherlands by Luc de Bruijn in 2007, and the sound recordings of a canary in cage, recorded in Hilversum by Sound and Vision in 1986.

Below is one of the artist’s test of a sound sculpture. The 3D animation below was created using bird sound recordings of a whip bird, which the artist recorded himself at Olinda in Victoria Australia in 2013.

Andy Thomas

Source: Colossal


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