Gorillaz reveals new 3D look with hallucinatory music video by Nexus

Opening on a hospital in LA, the new music video sees Murdoc, Noodle, Russel and 2D all return to the screen, with lead vocalist 2D brought into the waiting room only to be questioned by the police. We’re not left much time for answers, though, as Thundercat’s cameo quickly kicks off with the singer morphing between the states of inanimate live-action toy and psychedelic VFX vision. Cracker Island continues on in this trippy fashion, culminating in an appearance from Murdoc kitted out in occult robes. This theme surrounds the wider release of the album, echoed in some cryptic online easter egg from Gorillaz.
Gorillaz have utilised 3D since Hewlett first introduced the four-piece as CG characters with Stylo in 2010. This is not a straightforward evolution, however; the creator has returned to 2D regularly since then, adapting to the needs of each project.
On production, Nexus Studios fuses live-action with animation and, while not a new approach for the band – in fact, you could argue it’s one of their underlying visual concepts – it’s arguably the smoothest we’ve seen the execution. This new era of animation is coined by Nexus in a release as “super stylised 3D”, particularly utilising “clever lighting techniques” to pull together textures.
Cracker Island is the latest chapter in the Gorillaz saga. Directed by Nexus Studios’ Fx Goby and Gorillaz co-creator Jamie Hewlett, the music video – also starring Thundercat – signals a new animation direction. But after two decades building a virtual universe that seems to shift eternally between 2D and 3D animation, what does innovation look like for Gorillaz in 2022?

Posted by Contributor