Desmond Du

Desmond Du

by duitbetter on 24 May 2019 for Rookie Awards 2019

Desmond Du is a multi-media artist, teacher, and writer that loves the grandeur of life and the perplexing human experience of who we are and where are we going. It is in his quest to communicate a thorough examination of our everyday life, and also the metaphysical underlying realities that exist in our minds and beyo

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Desmond Du It Better is a multi-media artist, teacher, and writer that loves the grandeur of life and the perplexing human experience of who we are and where are we going. It is in his quest to communicate a thorough examination of our everyday life, and also the metaphysical underlying realities that exist in our minds and beyond our corporeal world.

Utilizing a blend of Buddhist and Islamic art ideas, surrealist automatism, and the wild cards he throws into his life decisions, his works relate to feeling rather than seeing. Through a mix of physical and digital processes, Desmond translates his visual language into works such as short films, title sequences, music videos, and various forms of graphic design.

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Nirvana is our manifesto of mindfulness.

We live in this hectic world and we forget the little moments, the purpose of the things we do, and we are so caught up in the process that we forget how to have “fun”. We are caged in this world of expectations and constant “doing”. We think too much and feel too little. More than machinery, we need humanity; more than cleverness, we need kindness and gentleness. And all we want to do is to be free. But that doesn’t waiting for the quarter to end, or a holiday to arrive, it is here at this very moment. We must free ourselves from the mental shackles we put on ourselves. We need to see world with different eye, learn to do small things big and wonderful. We are diving deep into our subconsciousness. It’s about forgetting labels and just be alive. We let free thoughts flow, get out of the bubble/vacuum and observe those thoughts. We begin mindfulness by looking inwards, we close our eyes, we feel our bodies, our presence, and we awaken.


Produced by Desmond Du and Rasita Kartarahardja

Music by Flannel Graph, "Pure Imagination"

Sound Design by Jovanvir Singh

Special thanks to Austin Shaw and Nicole Ching


This spring, film director Natalia Marty reached out to the Desmond Du It Better with an exciting brief. She had an amazing experimental short film about a girl who is addicted to nature but is deathly allergic to it — and wanted to craft a title sequence tailored to her narrative that explored themes of nature, isolation, and liberation.


Undertaking this project requires getting out my comfort zone; that means LEARNING SOMETHING NEW!! I decided to learn Mandelbulb, a 3D fractal software, that allows me create mad-looking fractals using mathematical equations. Below are some work-in-progress renders and the Mandelbulb software in action!



Cowboy Beop is the futuristic misadventures and tragedies of an easygoing bounty hunter and his partners. With Netflix producing a live-action series soon, I thought to myself: “What would the logo animation look like?”. Thus, I was on the quest to realize that vision.


Nostalgic modernist design glitched to another dimension.


CoMotion is a student sponsored and organized event that brings together top industry professionals with Motion Media Design Students at the Savannah College of Art & Design. The event includes the Annual Student Showcase, panel discussions, lectures, and portfolio reviews. The goal of the event is to connect students with potential employers and prepare students for their career by offering diverse insight into the industry. Every Fall, the students of Motion Media department compete against each other to pitch their designs and concept for upcoming CoMotion event and title sequence. The winning design is voted by the students, and the winner will become the creative director of the branding team. This was my attempt at making a title sequence for CoMotion 2019.


With the tenth anniversary of CoMotion, we have certainly come a long way. CoMotion is a rite of passage; a ceremony where you see students of every year unite and move to different stages of their lives: The seniors and grads, polished and professional, graduate and go out into the working world. The Juniors, talented as they are, lands some internships with their skills.The Sophomore, eager to rise up, admire their upperclassmen and yearn to reach their level one day. The Freshmen, still new to tribe and potential artists, slowly learn the ropes of the community and observe everyone around them. No matter whatever levels everyone is, there is harmony within the tribe. The logo that I designed tapped into the iconography and masks from African culture to invoke a sense of mysticism and ritualistic practice.



This film is a cult classic directed by Richard Kelly that follows Donnie Darko, a troubled teenager plagued by visions of a man in a large rabbit suit who manipulates him to commit a series of crimes, after he narrowly escapes a bizarre accident, to save the world. Inspired by the ultra debatable cryptic meaning of the film, I embarked on a journey to redesign the main-on-end title sequence that emulates the film by leaving the audiences more questions than answers from the visuals.


The corruption in time and reality has caused the world to venture into the alternate universe filled with uncanny and inexplicable phenomena. In the eyes of highschooler Donnie Darko, the underlying message of the film questions our mad world of routines, unexamined lives, and ignorance. Using a series of glitching techniques, physical processes, manipulation, and distortion of the formal qualities of pixels, the visuals in this main-on-end title sequence are designed to evoke a haunting sensation of how warped, repetitive and illusionistic our own reality is.


— Corruption & Distorted reality

In the 64 days, 23 hours, 41 minutes and 6 seconds I spent redesigning the title sequence, I experimented with GLITCHES of unimaginable proportion, be through it technique such as databending using Hexfiend and Adobe Audition, datamoshing using Avidemux, and even distorting the formal qualities of the footage with displacement maps in After Effects. Much of the designs were achieved through experimentation. Firstly, I would select the appropriate footage for a credit, and I would twist, alter, transmogrify the visuals into something…interesting. Once I find that ideal abnormal visuals that evokes the concept, I would amplify how much I can push it and control it so that my audience can still identify what is in the scene.


Making weird stuff is fun but the project is still treated as a professional one in which there is a need to adhere to what has been established in the original title sequence.

The project began by analyzing the existing parameters of the existing title sequence in terms of duration and type ratio. From there, there were exploration of different typefaces, leading to the glitchy animation of the letters done in After Effects.

• The current main-on-end sequence spans about 2 mins 7 secs.

• Production crew credits ranged from 58 to 75 for individuals, and up to 90 for multiple listing

• Cast credits are 67 frames per person, and 99 frames for multiple listing

• There is no size change for the type listing the production crew and the cast

• The ratio of the type size between the production role and the corresponding individual is 1:3.133.

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