Project Description

3D Audio Visualisation: “Of Rivers and Lakes”

Automated 3D Audio Visualisation with Spheres

This is an automated 3D audio visualisation, in which physically simulated spheres react to the sound of music. It was specifically designed for my original song “Of Rivers and Lakes”, the background music of my kayak tour video series.

In this project, I was interested in the challenges of visual and technical design implied by a visualisation of an existing song.

Blue spheres in 3D audio visualisation
Blue and green spheres in 3D audio visualisation
Green spheres in 3D audio visualisation

Creating a 3D Audio Visualisation


My previous work Words in Motion: Rhythm already included audio-driven animation. But for this project, I intended to make a pure audio visualisation. The goal here was to design an automated physical simulation reacting to my original song “Of Rivers and Lakes”, in the style of the music. This idea implied not only visual design, but also some technical challenges. One of them was to split up the audio spectrum, which could then drive an animation.


As the song was created as background music for my kayak tour video series, it resembles the nature we saw during the tour. This also set a rough goal for the visual style of this 3D audio visualisation. The technical aspect of the concept was to use spheres in a physical simulation, guided by force fields. Aside from the color of the spheres, the size had to be audio-driven, as well. This way, the physics could react to the music.


An obvious choice for the song was the blue and green color scheme. After all, it is about the nature around the rivers and lakes we saw. The green tones resemble the flora, while blue represents the water of the rivers and lakes. Without breaking with the calmness of the music, the animation had to be as dynamic as possible. This was a challenging thing to balance out, even though the color scheme helped maintaining the calm mood over the dynamic motion.