After experimenting in After Effects for a while, I chose my audio clip and started to work on my kinetic typography. I decided to use the beginning clip of Bop to the Top from the Disney Channel Original movie High School Musical (2006) as this song is fun and energetic. I decided on a red background with yellow text to resemble the ‘Wildcats’ and their basketball uniform. I wanted the typography to be coherent with the audio and context and therefore chose to use fairly ‘cool’, informal san serif fonts, animating them suitably for it to all fit and flow well. I chose this specific song from HSM as the lyrics provoke a lot of imagery such as “anything it takes to climb the ladder of success.” I thought this will be ideal when coming back to further improve this piece through the addition of graphic images. I could also advance my work by masking the background and placing shadows; creating a stage like scene, thus relating back to the context. I hope to carry on experimenting with After Effects, practicing importing imagery and the different animation techniques. To conduct this I will carry on researching into the software and watching online tutorials on websites such as Lynda.com.
As this is my first time using AfterEffects, as well as practising under supervision in workshops, I have watched online tutorials on how to create kinetic typography in this Adobe software. The tutorial I found to be most helpful was After Effects Tutorial – Basic Typography & Motion Graphics by the YouTube user, thevfxbro (2013). He went through the process of animating the text to fit with the audio, to then making the clip look professional through the addition of masks and shadows. In addition, he talked through AfterEffects shortcuts to help make the process quicker and easier. I hope to use these skills when creating my own motion graphics piece.
Furthermore, for inspiration I’ve looked through the Kinetic Typography vimeo channel, considering the different ways people have animated their typography and the various audio used. I found Robin Celebi’s Cave Johnson Lemon Rant, Kinetic Typography (2012) to be my favourite. His emphasise of certain words through animation helped to convey the emotion from the audio, this being something I hope to achieve in my work.
thevfxbro. (2013). After Effects Tutorial – Basic Typography & Motion Graphics. Youtube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F3h2pbZkMT4
Celebi, R. (2012). Cave Johnson Lemon Rant. Kinetic Typography Vimeo. http://vimeo.com/31960204
Today we had our second AfterEffects workshop. We were shown how to import a video into our composition. Before we started, we had to film a short piece of footage of ourselves in front of a large green piece of card. Once we imported this video into AfterEffects we were shown how to remove the green background and replace it with an image of our choice. I decided on an underwater theme and therefore imported a sea background. I was then taught how to mask the fish to place them in front of the video to get a 3D feel. Once we were happy with this we carried on exploring the different ways to animate our text. To improve this clip further I could try animating the fish to move, creating a more life like scenario.
A link to the video will be up shortly.
This week we have been given our final task. It involves using and developing our knowledge of AfterEffetcs to generate a 20 second clip of kinetic typography, which is used to accompany and enhance a soundtrack featuring voice.
Kinetic typography is an example of Motion Graphics, a concept that has developed into the realm of digital media and draws influence from both animation and graphic design. In order for me to successfully complete this task, I need to use the skills I’ve learnt on previous tasks, as well as researching into online tutorials and existing examples of kinetic typography
The second part of this task was to explore the technique of stop motion. In an online article Dermy O Reilly (2007) discusses how originally stop motion involved animating movement of any “non-drawn” objects such as toys, blocks or any other rigid inanimate object you care to mention, cel animation followed quickly. The Adventures of Mark Twain (1985) directed by Will Vinton was the first stop motion/ clay animated film. Stop motion is seemingly becoming less popular due to the development of 3D animation. However, there is still one popular animation company that produces full-length stop motion films to this day, Aardman; they are known for producing the iconic children’s animation Wallace and Gromit. This successful clay stop motion animation has won Oscars with 4 30-minute films, 11 shorts and a feature length movie. (The Welsh Animator, 2013)
With the theme of ‘cycle’ in mind I decided to recycle everyday objects such as sweets and pencils into short stop motion animations. I feel both animations are effective, however, the concept is fairly basic. They are conceptual and fit well with the task of experimenting the stop motion technique.
To take this further however, I have animated the formation of a card house. I adjusted the images on Photoshop by changing the background and adding a filter to create a much more professional and pleasing animation.
O Reilly, D. 2007. A Brief History of Stop Motion Animation!. Stop Motion Central. http://www.stopmotioncentral.com/articles-5.html
The Welsh Animator. 2013. A Brief History of Animation. http://welshanimator.wordpress.com/a-brief-history-of-animation/
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
This week we are looking at animation. The task consists of two parts. The first being to explore the first principles of motion picture creation and the use of drawing to generate a simple animated sequence. We should generate a 12-frame hand drawn sequence to then digitize it to create a gif. We were able to start drawing our 12 frames in our seminar, as our unit leader brought in a praxinoscope for us to experiment with. The second task requires us to create a short experimental sequence, which explores the technique of ‘stop-motion’ animation and/ or pixilation. Similarly to the previous task our work should meet the theme of ‘cycle’.
For this task I will research into animations history, whilst looking into some of my personal favourite pieces.
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 task we were told to reflect on ‘space and time’ expression within Art History with focus on Cubism. Cubism was created by Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque in Paris between 1907 and 1914. Rewald (2004) states that ‘Cubist painters rejected the inherited concept that art should copy nature, or that they should adopt the traditional techniques of perspective, modelling, and foreshortening. They wanted instead to emphasize the two-dimensionality of the canvas. So they reduced and fractured objects into geometric forms, and then realigned these within a shallow, relieflike space.’ Picasso’s ‘Head of a Woman’ (1960) illustrates this perfectly. This oil on canvas painting presents simultaneous viewpoints in a much more flattened version of his earlier cubism attempts.
This links well with David Hockney and his Photo Collages. In the early 1980s he started to produce ‘joiners’ which involved taking photographs from different perspectives and at various times, this reflecting his interest in Cubism. (Red Ted Art, 2012) One of my personal favourite joiners being ‘My Mother’ (1982).
The theme for this task is ‘cycle’. In my various pieces I aim to explore a different connotation. I’ve decided to create a joiner image using cubist approaches, taking inspiration from both Picasso and Hockney and their effective use of portraits. I hope to explore the emotional cycle by taking close up shots of various facial features to then put them together and create a coherent portrait. Furthermore, I will create a short exposure sequence, which will reflect the theme through physical movement and images that exploit long exposure through light paintings. This being done by cars driving past at night. Furthermore, I aim to do further research on the creation of cinemagraphs by looking at online tutorials, so that I can create my own images based on the ‘cycle’ theme. I hope to take my newly gained photography skills from the last task to further improve them as well as, creating pieces which I am pleased with that reflect the theme well.
Rewald, Sabine. “Cubism”. In Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2000–. http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/hd/cube/hd_cube.htm (October 2004)
“Pablo Picasso: Head of a Woman” (1990.192) In Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2000–. http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/works-of-art/1990.192. (March 2010)