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9th January 2017
The inherent beauty of natural laws
Title of film: Max Cooper, Order from Chaos
Director: Maxime Causeret
Benoit Berthe talks with motion graphics artist Maxime Causeret about his mesmerizing animation for Max Cooper’s track Order from Chaos. It is one of a series of filmic works for Cooper’s latest album Emergence which the musician describes as “the story of natural laws and processes, their inherent beauty, and their action to yield the universe, us and the world we live in”.

What was the origin of your animation for Max Cooper’s track Order from Chaos and how did you get approached to direct it?

Max Cooper contacted me directly by mail as he was looking for multiple visual artists to create a music video for different tracks on his album, Emergence. He asked each artist to choose one track and create whatever they wanted to. (Watch the others clip on

Please tell us about your creative process for the video?

Max wrote a very brief text to let us know his own feelings on each track but we were free to make our own creation. I first made a lot of small experiments with dynamic systems around my main idea of living micro-organisms. It was difficult putting everything together and there was a lot of experimenting with editing. I also asked for opinions, ideas and tests of a few friends, especially Leslie Murard. Then I went ahead with the real shots from my experiments.

What tools and materials do you use to create your distinctive visual style?

I work with Houdini, a software which gives you a lot of freedom. You can easily customise tools or build your own tools. It’s famous for VFX work but it’s also a reasonably priced modeling and animation tool for freelance work. I always start with a few sketches on paper for ideas. I also search for references of drawings, photos and paintings. In Houdini I try to setup something fast to cook or at least to preview in order to animate the shots in fresh conditions.

What were the major challenges on this production and how long was the production?

The major challenge was putting everything together. That’s nothing very difficult but it’s never easy getting something which “works” so it needed time to adjust things. The production took four months this summer but not full time as I was working on a few other projects too.

Can you tell us a bit more about yourself, your background, and your career?

I started making 3D animation at high school with friends and we made a few short films for fun. 

I hesitated between artistic and technical studies. I chose to study art for one year, then I did my masters on a formation called “art and technologies” at University Paris 8. I worked in FX for a year then I decided to continue at my university for a PhD where I started teaching Houdini. Now I’m mixing artistic projects, technical projects in FX, motion graphics, teaching, personal projects and recently also directing.

What other projects do you have coming up?

I’ve started another clip I need to finish, very different, more realistic, a personal project.

Maybe I will direct my first commercial with another young director and I’m also involved in researching an abstract character for a stop-motion movie.


Maxime Causeret