Whilst still focusing on the animation task I wanted to look further into the different techniques and formats. Our lecturer introduced us to Mclaren and his short film ‘Blinkity Blank’, which he created by directly engraving onto the black film leader. To which he then built a soundtrack of improvisational jazz. Mclaren managed to construct a minimal narrative within an ostensibly abstract work; it follows two birds that are seen to fight but eventually come together to produce an egg. (Rist, 2001) I used this to inspire me to create a short sequence following a firework night. Using Photshop and the various paintbrushes available I created a simple firework display on a black background, similar to McLarens work. However, to further improve this piece, I could add a suitable soundtrack and a more complex narrative. Possibly involving conflict between ‘characters’, like ‘Blinkity Blank’, speeding up the soundtrack to resemble the emotion in the narrative.
Furthermore, I have also looked into Josef Albers and his colour theory. I was particularly interested in our perception of colours and how colours that are the same, can look different when placed in front of a lighter and darker version of a similar colour. (Price, 2013) I wanted to experiment with Albers theory and therefore created a short sequence that displays this approach.
Rist, P. (Ed.). 2001. Guide to the Cinema(s) of Canada. Greenwood Publishing Group. Pg.18
Price, J. 2013. In Josef Albers App, Colors Interact. MuseumZero. http://museumzero.blogspot.co.uk/2013/09/in-josef-albers-app-colors-interact.html
The first entirely animated film was J. Stuart Blackton’s ‘Humorous phases of funny faces’ in 1906, where the drawings were done on a chalkboard and wiped off. However, animation was born way before this; some argue as early as Paleolithic cave paintings as there is evidence of portraying figures in motion.
However in the early 1800s the invention of the magic lantern gave drawings the illusion of motion. In 1824 Peter Mark Roget discovered the principle of ‘The persistence of vision’, something that led the invention of various other optical devices such as the Thaumatrope and Phenakistoscope. (Screen, 2006) However, there was something missing… sound. The first animation to have synchronized sound was actually not until 1928, with Walt Disney’s Steamboat Willie. Disney was then the first to create a sound and colour animated feature film with their classic Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs in 1937. Animation is widely known to be for kids, however, the creation of The Simpsons in 1989 unleashed the era of adult animation, with popular shows such as, South park (1997), and Beavis and Butt-head (1993).
There are many animation techniques and formats, which have evolved from the early flick book and drawing on paper methods. However, drawing will always remain an important skill. In our seminar we had the chance to hand draw 12 frames to then use a Praxinoscope to see whether it worked; it was a chance to experiment. Here I decided to draw a bouncing ball, focusing on one of the 12 principles of Animation: Squash and Stretch.
I then decided to draw it up onto Photoshop using my Wacom tablet to create a digitized animation. I wanted to carry on experimenting with motion picture so I decided to create a short sequence of 20 hand drawn frames based on the movement of shapes. Matthias Brown, TraceLoops on Tumblr, influenced me, as his work is abstract and experimental. Something I hope to carry out in my future pieces.
Screen, A. 2006. A Brief History of Animation. ARTD 2022/3022 Two-Dimensional Digital Animation. Pg.2
Brown. M. 2014. TraceLoops. Rotoscoping. http://traceloops.tumblr.com
For the second task I have created a joiner image, a sequence, which exploits long exposure, and images that exploit short exposure. All are based on the theme ‘cycle’ and have been influenced by the research on Art History I conducted before hand.
I am particularly proud with my joiner image as I feel it positively resembles Picassos and Hockneys work. I chose to base it on the emotional cycle as it gave me the freedom to explore close ups of various facial features and gestures. I decided to use Photoshop to collect all of the photo images to then piece them together to create a coherent portrait. Once it was assembled I tried adjusting the images to emphasise the theme. I decided to make the image black and white as the colours have connotations of pessimism and sorrow. However, to link back to the theme ‘cycle’, adjusting the hair colour to bright pink hues helps lift emotion, almost creating a binary opposition between happy and sad. By capturing multiple viewpoints I feel I have successfully created a cubist impression through flattening an object into 2-D.
Furthermore, for my second piece, I used a DSLR to change the exposure time and create a light painting. I decided to take the images of cars and their lights driving past in the dark. As this is a fairly everyday, normal task, i.e. driving to and back from work, I thoughtit fit perfectly with the theme of a ‘life cycle’. For this reason I chose to submit two light paintings, to reinforce this everyday task attitude, one being of the cars front lights and the other of the taillights.
Similarly, with my third piece, I used a DSLR to change to a short exposure time in order to create a sequence of frozen motion. For this I came up with an idea of physical rotation, something I felt the lexis ’cycle’ connoted. I therefore asked my model to spin around so that I could capture the dress and hair movement. I think this shoot went fairly well, however, exaggerated movement may have created a better effect. Possibly a looser/ lighter dress should have been used. The use of a low angle shot however, helps to emphasise the movement of the hair and dress to create a tense and energetic image.
Finally, I researched into the creation of cinemagraphs through online tutorials as I had an idea of creating an image of someone blowing bubbles. The application of the rule of thirds would have meant following the bubbles until they were off screen. However, when I came to record the short video I did not use a tripod, this was a big mistake; the video was shaky and when I came to masking the bubbles the background around them moved as well. I aim to redo this clip very soon. I have learnt a lot from doing these tasks and I hope to use and further these skills in my next task.
In this weeks workshop we started to look into motion picture creation in Photoshop. As this was an introduction we were given the necessary images to create this running man gif. The following seminar however, helped us draw each picture in a sequence, to which we then checked our work using a Praxinoscope. We were told to convert each layer into a frame slightly nudging the following image in order to create the illusion of the man walking. Here we could play around with delay time until we were happy with a smooth motion. To save as a gif I then clicked ‘save for web’. This workshop was very helpful as it targeted this week’s task of creating a gif. I hope to practice further by drawing and finding walk cycles online to improve this skill.