Donald Glover’s “This Is America” is one of 2018’s most iconic songs — from its striking imagery, to its choppy dance sequence.

Animator Wahyu Ichwandardi, also known as Pinot, has been documenting his attempt to capture Childish Gambino’s “This Is America” choreography since the beginning of June. Using ancient software, he created a dance sequence straight out of 1985. 

Using MacPaint, Ichwandardi designed sequence that most resemble a retro video game. 

Ichwandardi painstakingly animated each individual frame, perfectly capturing even the most minute movements. 

“Every single pixel matters,” he tweeted. 

This timelapse shows just how much work goes into each version of Glover. 

By June 23, he had drawn 189 frames — roughly 20 seconds of the music video. 

To add to the retro authenticity, Ichwandardi animated the sequence using a Macintosh 128K and Macintosh SE. 

He also studied Sherrie Silver, who choreographed the dance and posted a tutorial. 

Ichwandardi faced a particularly difficult challenge: He needed to “create the motions based on the suggestion.” In one part, where Glover’s bottom half is out of frame, Ichwandardi had to figure out where Glover’s feet “land, spin & stop.” 

At its current stage, the animation clocks in a 375 frames of Glover’s pixelated dancing. It’s impressive. 

 

In a side by side with the original video, you can see how the Ichwandardi’s version is nearly identical, down to Glover’s facial expressions. 

Ichwandardi is an experienced animator though he’s been experimenting with retro computer animation since May. He’s called the project “like a history lesson” for his kids. 

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