Music vid: "Second Song" by TV on the Radio
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UeL3XIWBvdc

(the effects I'm wondering about start at 1:33)

I'm guessing a light table under glass tray filled with some paint emulsion, (I've been experimenting with our pyrex casserole dishes & different paint mixes - wife isn't too keen on this ).
What I can't figure is the "burst" and walking effects of the shapes in the "paint."
Maybe something heavy and thin enough that could be constructed into a miniature "dam" and then taken out to create the burst?

I'm most interested in trying this effect as a background with 2D paper animation happening on a glass panel in the foreground - BUT - unsure how to get this to work with strong back AND front lighting.

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Wow, another really cool Mikey Please video! I knew it was his as soon as I saw the pure white foam - everything! 

That effect kind of reminds me of the effets they used to project behind rock bands in clubs in the 60's. I forget what song it was, but I remember seeing an old Black Sabbath concert clip with that stuff projected up behind them. 

The used to use a thin film of different colored oils and maybe water between two sheets of glass laid on a projector (lke the kind they used to have in schools - transparency projector). For something like that effect (in the video you just posted) I'd play around with a thin sheet of plastic laid in the bottom of the Pyrex dish and placing transprent forms on top of it while filming from underneath. Not sure how to make the forms move - maybe replacement pieces or hinged acrylic pieces? 

** Edit

Ah, try looking up Oil Wheel - that's what those things were called. Just ran across an eHow article that mentioned using two clear clock faces (glass or plastic shallow dishes essentially) with a thin film of mineral oil and various transparent candy tints pressed between them. The heat of the light makes it move around and you get different effects by spinning, pressing etc. and adding more drops of tinted oil or water. 

Thats a great film.  I really like his stuff to.  The paints are probably "marbling inks", but no idea what makes the shapes. 

It might help to look back over some of his old films and try and figure out how he progressed to that point.  He did one called "glens gloves" which is a very different technique, a kind of shadow play with drawing going on at the same time.  Then he did this, which is similar

http://vimeo.com/14428569

to which he says -

"An old test development on the Glens Glove's technique. Whereas GG was filmed on a little chair with the seat ripped out and a fish tank duck-taped to the top, here I build a chromed up, reverse light box with articulated lighting bulbs and internal rosewood camera tripod un'shit."

then on to the technique your trying to acheive

http://vimeo.com/13677684

"It was basically one long reverse shot filming through the underside of a fish tank. I had lots of compartments of the tank containing the different shots that i would then introduce section by section. thats not a very good explanation. I usually just say its stopmotion frozen jelly and people buy it."

Its good that he doesn't explain it fully, he's earnt his knowledge with innovation and experimention - and I'm sure you will too.  Even if you don't get the exact result you want you might hit upon something equally cool. Good luck

you can achieve a similar burst of color effect using milk, food coloring and dish soap.   heres a link to a youtube video on it....   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hPFwDaR1g70&feature=colike  

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Puppet Putty is formulated by clay animator Don Carlson. Properties include colors that do not bleed on your hands, a matte finish, cleans up with water, is very light weight, firm, non-greasy and has a silky texture.

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