Superheroes by Design: Soundtrack-driven Content for Students’ Creation of Motion Graphics used in Live Orchestra Performance 


The focus of this study is on the collaboration between multi-disciplines; music, design, time-based media and orchestra performance. This is a case study involving a series of motion graphics created by design students for the Superman comics-inspired “Metropolis Symphony” composed by Michael Daugherty (1988-93) and performed by the Thailand Philharmonic Orchestra on June 17-18, 2022. In studio class teaching and learning experiences, the soundtrack of the Superman film series is not only used as a tool to make the music movements relatable and interesting for students and the audience, but also to drive the content of the storytelling and create links between the story and the design elements in the executions. This study covers ten weeks of studio class sessions beginning with the investigation through research of the symphony's five-movements; “Lex,” “Krypton,” “MXYZPTLK,” “Oh, Lois!,” and “Red Cape Tango”. In the project, forty-five students were separated into five groups, each group responsible for each movement. Linking soundtrack and visual elements from comics, students then generated storyboard sketches using their own interpretations of visual elements. Meetings involved a series of site visits to the concert hall for the planning of projection mapping. Rehearsals with the orchestra led to the refinement of the final clips and the testing of the clips displayed in the actual environment. As a result, the use of soundtrack-driven content supports students’ creation process. The collaboration effort creates a positive working environment in academia and encourages knowledge exchange among various disciplines in young design students.

Author Information
Dynaya Bhutipunthu, Mahidol University International College, Thailand
Dale Konstanz, Mahidol University International College, Thailand

Paper Information
Conference: ACE2022
Stream: Learning Experiences

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Posted by James Alexander Gordon