What is your approach to start/think of/brainstorm a demo?

category: general [glöplog]
I start of listening to the music that has been provided a lot, and make first notes on the timing. If the drums kick of at :23 I write it down, and make a bit of a timeline - when the "greater" things are happening in the tune.
So, I do have the tune ready - and work from there, using it's flow to make a music video actually.

What's your approach? (inb4 drugs)
added on the 2013-03-05 22:34:37 by mog mog
time is to brainstorm a demo
added on the 2013-03-05 22:50:01 by Sir Sir
Let me add a bit, so I don't come of as being the sponge were you guys are the buckets.
I usually sketch effects in jsfiddle while having boring telephone conferences at work, or when I just get an idea from some print ad that I want to work of from. I collect a bunch of those, and have them handy when I think $party deserves to see a demo from $group and try to squeeze them to the feeling I got from listening to the music. Therefore my approach is to use the tools (or sketches) I have (able to do) and work from there.

How do you start if you don't have music to begin with?
added on the 2013-03-05 22:56:53 by mog mog
last minute panic
added on the 2013-03-05 23:10:06 by yzi yzi
there's always stupid music running in my head. that's no problem. yeh graphics missing. not a problem either. sometimes i just "brainstorm" (actually they just pop up) a ton of nice demo graphics when i'm about to sleep. it's just that i'm too tired and half asleep to get up again and sit there try program them in the dark of the night. the pictures are still there under my eyelids, soi can do it whenever i feel like it. barely times to feel like it tho. *shrugs*
added on the 2013-03-05 23:29:22 by yumeji yumeji
Absinth or moonshine
added on the 2013-03-05 23:43:03 by nosfe nosfe
yzi: That's when I use the sketches, deadline approaches - got a bunch of stuff around. HAND. ME. THE. GLUE!

yumeji cool point, have the same with dreams though not able to reproduce with code, or just can't remember. Maybe pen and paper next to the bed, and a more: "fuck it, let's do this" approach?

nosfe you're destroying my view I have of you, I thought you sit there in the dark watching TV static for half an hour, jump up and yell: "THIS IS IT!".

Kidding, noise rocks :)
added on the 2013-03-05 23:56:52 by mog mog
In the last years, for the more serious projects, it were more or less topics that I'm interested in in real life. In case of the recent Easter party releases this explored the rather esoteric range. Before that my Graffiti background contributed a lot to design and content. For this years project it was an entirely "short circuit" lightbulb-went-on idea that involved watching a legendary slapstick motion picture that some folks projected with their beamer at a party last year (dunno if it was Revision or Evoke).

In other cases still it might be just one hinch that can set the whole layout. For example in the little intro submission to TRSAC 2011 "sero" the hinch was: "damn, I have to recycle shit" ... "well, let's make this the motto for the whole thing, let Dirtie and my GDR background in a bit and be done with it".

I think, drawing at least crude storyboards for the major key-scenes is an essential thing for a production with a coherent flow. And you better start early with such things ;)

How do you start if you don't have music to begin with?

Difficult. You better have an inkling of how the mood of the soundtrack should be. I usually find some "real life" examples to lean on and show 'em to Novel with the note: "I'd like this in ...oh maximum 32k P61 converted :D". For "Kheper" I approached Novel and said: "I'd like to have a show-off tune like in Stargazer with a looping endpiece like in .the.product".
He cursed, kicked and screamed ( because he rather likes the laid back chippy style ) but he pulled it off :)
added on the 2013-03-06 00:00:53 by d0DgE d0DgE
In the last years, for the more serious projects, it were more or less topics that I'm interested in in real life.
Can relate here, I sometimes accidentally come across some esoteric as well, and get this warm fuzzy feeling of trying to use it - and, you know, just go and make a demo about it.

Graffiti background is nice as well, for when you see something that just might have to move a bit and explore the stuff around it - or if you start with a palette and try to squeeze content into it. As cans were expensive, and fuck it let's do a pink frog - it's a bit of a challenge.
Also it's one starting point if you know what colours mean, that blue is rather calm - and mostly liked, red is more "up-tempo" and alarming - also adds to the limitation. Though I think for the usual coder colours human this is something you read up after the second demo, and explore from there.

He cursed, kicked and screamed
That's the approach as well, I try to gather a bit of material, like images and some vimeo videos, if I already have a bit of a hunch what I actually want it to look like and especially feel like. Which ends up in bouncing, that makes both of us get even more ideas - and sometimes the end result has nothing to do with what we started from :)
added on the 2013-03-06 00:39:54 by mog mog
BB Image
added on the 2013-03-06 00:57:14 by D4XX D4XX
32k p61 converted!! That's like an ocean of audio data!
added on the 2013-03-06 01:04:54 by djh0ffman djh0ffman
h0ffmann.. please contact me at skype (daxxrbs) :)
added on the 2013-03-06 01:09:29 by D4XX D4XX
daXX: haha, ace pic <3
added on the 2013-03-06 01:19:11 by mog mog
@h0ffman: believe me, mate, I had to deal with Protracker modules scratching the 40k boundary that after converting barely shrunk below said 32k. Guess I had that comming because I once said " the tune is half the production" ... didn't expect it to be taken THAT literally ;)
But heck, this year it's demo time, hence less constraint but waaaay more work.
added on the 2013-03-06 10:32:12 by d0DgE d0DgE
Drugs and self-torture with a ritualistic denouncement of demoscene cliches which are then returned to when original ideas prove to be derivative. Then elves come out at night and suddenly you have something that is semi-passable
added on the 2013-03-06 10:36:30 by visy visy
This time I started with a poem.
added on the 2013-03-06 12:08:51 by Preacher Preacher
I tend to come up with intros via daydreams. Often at the worst possible times I have ideas for effects, ideas and stuff like that.

noise's corpse was devised from me daydreaming about recursive gfx. True story.
added on the 2013-03-06 12:45:26 by mudlord mudlord
It is by will alone I set my mind in motion.
added on the 2013-03-06 13:05:55 by ham ham
@d0Dge: if it happens again, give me a shout. There is always room for sample optimisation and its the kinda thing best left up to a tracker than a coder ;)
added on the 2013-03-06 13:11:33 by djh0ffman djh0ffman
Having the music in advance is IMO not ideal. It's better if the demo and the music is made in parallel, trying to capture the same idea.
added on the 2013-03-06 13:18:03 by kusma kusma
I watch a lot of demos, VFX-videos and clips from iconic movies when I try to come up with a concept. The tricky part is getting started; once the ball starts rolling, it cannot be stopped :P
added on the 2013-03-06 13:19:50 by kusma kusma
Make music.
Wait for a coder to ask me for music.
added on the 2013-03-06 13:28:08 by phobium phobium
i go and feed some ducks. while the ducks munch away the bread and contently quack, i dream away into what i like to call 'my little inner demoscene world' and while i stare at the ducks and the water, reality slowly fades away and demo-like visuals appear... my imaginary me floats thru abstract worlds, with beautiful colors, beautiful shapes and in the distance i hear the sweet sounds of brostep... while experiencing all this i try to remember everything as accurate as possible for later demo making sessions. this visionary moment usually abruptly ends when an angry duck quacks at me for more bread.
I look at "fr-041: debris" and realize how lame of a coder I am and I shut down the computer...
added on the 2013-03-06 14:39:01 by LovCAPONE LovCAPONE
I look at "fr-041: debris" and realize how lame of a coder I am and I shut down the computer...

I definitely support the idea of turning off your computer, but with this kind of attitude you should give up pretty much everything. I bet there's a guy somewhere who breathes better than you...
added on the 2013-03-06 15:11:30 by Preacher Preacher