Listening to the soothing pitter-patter of rain is one of life’s great simple pleasures.
There’s something peaceful about a cloudy sky unleashing buckets of moisture onto the ground at high speeds. It’s difficult to think about each individual drop of rain in a massive storm, but a new piece by Japanese digital artist Yugo Nakamura — who has consistently been at the forefront of his field — looks at that relationship and turns it on its head.
Nakamura’s Amaoto no Yurai (The Origin of The Sound of Rain) is a unique sort of digital downpour, created completely from scratch. He painstakingly recorded a series of individual water droplets splashing onto various objects — rocks, leaves, fingers, a snail — and then stitched them together.
He layered the droplet tracks one on top of the other, slowly building up until they were replicated over 10 million times.
As the layers grow, picking out each individual sound becomes more difficult, and the overarching storm becomes the only audible sound.
Using just a camera, a few drops of water and some editing software, Nakamura created a completely believable rendition of one of the most complex of natural phenomena.
Amaoto no Yurai was produced as part of a TV program called TECHNE, which focuses of the techniques video artists use to make movie magic.
Nakamura caps the demonstration by editing the droplets into a charming, reasonably danceable song, further illustrating the power an editor has over the footage he is given.
If he applied that skill to a trumpet and some drums, he might be able to add a viral pop hit to his resume.