Author Archives: Allyson Panton

Conference Project Post Mortem: Interference

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“Chromointerference”, as artist Carlos Cruz-Diez dubs it, is when colors are side by side and their unique wavelengths obstruct one another and produce a new color, a color that isn’t actually there but is only a perception of the eye due to wavelength interference and light. Through studying more about Diez and the work of op artist like Victor Vasarely, Bridget Riley, Josef Albers, as well as Anni Albers I became deeply inspired by what different visual perceptions can be created.


Chromatic Induction Dual Frequency Permutation Lithograph by Carlos Cruz-Diez.


Serie Semana – Martes Lithograph by Carlos Cruz-Diez

CD and Dawn

Carlos himself in his “Chromosaturation” light installation at the University of Essex (he’s too cool!)

For my conference project, I created 10 animated gifs that focus on color, line, and viewer perception. I strived to manipulate viewer perception by creating movement/moire effects, as well as, an interference of colors.


This first gif is one that I wanted to be informative, as I am learning about color theory through this project and hope to teach someone else something new as well. The blue lines are above a moving gradient from orange to green. When the gradient passes through the blue lines the wavelength of the blue interferences with the gradient, producing a new gradient from pink to light blue.

Blue + Orange = Pink

Blue + Green = Cyan

I didn’t want the lines to cover the entire canvas so that the viewer could understand what was really happening in this gif.


This gif actually came from work I did in analog form. I had silkscreened a print that had the pink, yellow, and cyan interference and here I greatly expanded upon it and animated it! Though one of my more simpler gifs, I like this one the best. Maybe because I get to see my work translated from analog to digital form, which is cool. But I also like this one because it’s informative if you really study it and produces one of the most successful interferences (of my conference) in my opinion. I also noticed that black works best when creating color interferences. It defines the other colors more and makes them more pronounce.

The next three gifs were created by overlapping different color tiles that I made. Though I only rotated between 4 different colored tiles (red, orange, green, and blue), dependent on which ones were used and the background, an large array of different effects and combinations were created.


This gif was created just by overlapping red and green. Who knew it would produce a yellow color?! It was best executed on a black background. I had made the same gif with a white background but the color interference wasn’t as strong. There are only two layers interfering and just in a horizontal direction but the constant motion makes it feel as if there is more dimension than is actually present. I was pleased that this gif (and the following two) had both interference and a moire effect.


I created this gif by placing a green and blue tile over a gradient of red to orange. This combination produced an entire array of colors that feel very 60’s to me but also remind me of Easter morning. Everything is moving at the same speed, but the way the tiles interact with each other feel as if some parts are moving faster or slower than others. Due to the order I overlaid the tiles, some interferences appear in disappear which is neat.


This one, for me, is somehow offputting and striking at the same time. The colors are horrendous in my opinion, but there’s just so much visually going on! This is the culmination of all four tiles (red, orange, green, and blue) interacting with each other over a black background and moving in both the horizontal and vertical direction.


Here in this gif the two outer boxes reveal what’s interacting in the center. I like this gif particularly because it switches between interferences making you perceive a color and you seeing that actual color. It’s also one of the more dynamic gifs I made that you don’t have to turn away from. To me, it’s quite soothing, though it was the most difficult to make. Each box is a separate gif that I made into that pattern. Some boxes cave in and some boxes push out. There’s variance without it being overbearing.


Here I have rows of arrows crossing over a pattern. The interference here is created not by the colors crossing over another or just existing beside each other, but through the movement of the arrows over the pattern. The colors used were magenta, red-orange, and cyan. The best interference is in the middle where the arrow moves over all three colors. Though I will have to say that to see the best effect one should be standing a bit farther away in order to see the full interference.

That’s the thing though I guess about the entire project. These interferences work best on a smaller scale. All of my gifs are parts of larger scale work I made that I scaled way down and multiplied! The funny part is the best stills of the gifs are my thumbnails. You really experience the full effect.


This gif kind of happened by accident and through the most trial and errors of any of the gifs I’ve made. I think I have 5 other versions of this gif. I liked this one best due to this particular moire effect. It reminds me of a kaleidoscope! It’s a combination of pieces of a gif I made that had a black tile over a pattern of blue, hot pink, green and black lines.


When studying more about color theory and interferences I looked into the color additive model. When red, green, and blue (RGB) light intersect one another they produce white (the combination of all colors). I was then super determined to see if I could produce a white pattern and gif just by using RGB. I was sadly, but also thankfully mistaken. The geometric shape I made at the center of the gif consists of several layers of an RGB gif I made. I thought if I could get the lines minuscule enough it would produce the effect I wanted. Instead of white, it produced a rainbow spectrum (which in turn actually makes sense)! I juxtaposed the shape in front of a rotating background of black and white lines. Since the shape is in the foreground and the background is rotating so fast, the lines almost look like they’re producing their own moire effect even though they’re not interacting with any overlapping lines themselves or scaling in size. I expanded more on RGB with this next and final gif. I think it shows both the RGB pattern but also the rainbow interference that is produced due to the moire effect in this gif.


This project was both wonderful and hard. It pushed me way out of my comfort zone. I was forced to use color! I don’t like to think I’m an artist or designer who is afraid of color, but there does seem to be a general black and white theme in my work across all forms. This project allowed me to learn about art history, color theory and produce an array of colors in my work, all things I never really did before. It was rewarding to be inspired by analog forms of art, especially as someone who prints and illustrates, and have that translate and breathe new life into my digital work.

Video Mapping: Projector Night



Projector night came and went so fast! It was both nerve-wrecking and wonderful. It was great to show my family and friends some of the things I’ve been working on in Digital Tools for Artists. It was also a great culmination of my After Effects work and video mapping. I spent a lot of the night talking to my family and friends and mapping. I think that was supposed to be part of the objective; I still feel like I wish I could have spent more time experiencing what my peers had created! I heard theres was amazing work all around!


When I started video mapping in class I took my favorite video and was trying to transform it. On its own it has a nice visual effect, but I wanted it to do more. By chance I was playing around with the layers and placed the map into a cube. I was very pleased with the results. It gave my visual effects a three-dimensional quality. During the rehearsals, I then made multiple cubes of my video by constructing multiple layers and that really elevated my map! I was excited every time I did it. Though my map consisted of multiple layers, the whole map put together felt as one. The arrows of one of my video just melted into the other.


It was a lot more nerve-wracking to map in front of an audience. My main focus was to map out different geometric shapes that would add a new dimension to videos that I already felt created optical illusions. My main focus was to map in geometric shapes. I noticed that they added a new effect to my videos. At the beginning of the night I started with a pyramid map and then switched to a single cube as the night went on. About an hour in I decided it was time to create a multi-cubed map. My family had actually showed up for the night and were kind of standing over me. They were asking a lot of questions and they made me a bit nervous. But some of my friends told me they liked seeing me map which made me feel a little better, but mapping in front of an audience was okay I guess. To be honest, I might have preferred to have the maps set up and then just switch between them (super Type A), but I guess the night was all about the process, and that’s alright with me (Type C). What made me nervous was that sometimes the layers can be finicky. For example, I’ll shape a layer into a diamond but sometimes the layer will invert and the video plays outside of the map and I can’t find the “drawcorners” and try to change it back. So then, I’ll have to delete the layer, but for whatever reason it’ll delete the layer that I made before the one I was working on, and that fact was what made me nervous! But in the end, it all worked out!


I thought my multi-cube map was successful with one of my videos, and because of that I decided later on in the night that I would see how it would look with another video of mine. It was very “trippy”, possibly seizure-inducing…!! Overall, it was very cool. The first video felt like the map was moving like a wave, or at times, like waves crashing into each other in the most seamless of ways. The map with the new video felt like it was spazzing out and then moving across the wall! It was both alarming and visually-pleasing, which made me feel like I effectively executed what I wanted. I wanted the viewer to feel a sense of shock but also mesmerization.



It would have been nice to be in two places at once though. I liked my location because even if you were on the lower level or outside, my map could be seen and you didn’t have to be in my direct space upstairs to experience it. During the rehearsal I was playing around with different walls to map. In the entryway of Heimbold is a wall of wooden panels. I had taken my multi-cubed map over there to see how it would look. That was particularly striking because the dark space in between the panels created another layered effect over my map which was a surprisingly effective physical layer that added dimension to it.



In retrospect I am very pleased with how the whole night went on. If I could do it again I would start out with the multi-cubed map and only change the video once instead of making 2 additional maps like I did. I guess it was cool to see how I created it and see the map take form and unfold! BUT I would have really loved to see my peers work more. I also might have set up the space so I could change location half way through the night to the entryway. The two hours flew by and the night was amazing, but so short! Overall, I’m very happy with my night and happy I got to experience it with loved ones :)



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I got meme’d (by Danielle Levy)!

Conference Project Proposal: Interference


Outside of Carlos Cruz-Diez’s Chroma Installation at the SCAD Museum

I will be making 10 animated gifs that will be focusing on color, line, and viewer perception. I want to manipulate viewer perception by creating movement/moire effects and producing an interference of colors.


Serigraph from Carlos Cruz-Diez’s Chromointerference Exhibit

During a trip to Savannah, GA I went to the Savannah College of Art and Design Museum (SCAD Museum). It was there I saw an exhibition of Carlos Cruz-Diez’s work and learned about what he calls, “chromointerference”. He places colors side by side and their unique wavelengths add up to a new color, a color that isn’t actually there but only a perception of the eye due to interference and light. I’ve always been fascinated by optical illusions and graphic art. Most of my work is in neutrals, or black and white. I was very inspired by the use of color in Cruz-Diez’s work and want to implement more color into my work as well. Carlos Cruz-Diez worked as a graphic designer and taught graphic design for many years and was inspired by other op artists and studied the work of Georges Seurat and Josef Albers. Josef Alber’s wife Anni Albers was a great textile artist and printmaker and produced patterns with optical illusion effects, like in her Second Movement II.


Anni Albers – Second Movement II


Victor Vasarely has also been an inspiration for me during the course. I’m especially fond of his Delocta serigraph.


Victor Vasarely – Delocta serigraph


Graphically moire effects speak to me because they produce a sense of movement and sensation that isn’t actually present. As your eye moves across Second Movement II some tiles seem to recede and others move to the forefront. Also, there is a wave sensation that makes me quite uneasy, which to me, tells me her effect works! I too want to create a sense of uneasiness and motion like Anni Albers and Carlos Cruz-Diez. For me, I will be working more with lines though as opposed to primarily geometric shapes.

My previous work and practice with chromointerference have informed me that the movement produced by moire helps to enhance the interference. With gifs, at least the ones I create, the movement is very fast paced. It’s very easy to perceive things being there when they aren’t actually. It’s only until you really take your time and study something that the truth reveals itself. By interchanging lines of orange and cobalt blue,  if small enough or far away enough in distance, the eye will perceive the color as pink. By interchanging lines of green and cobalt blue, under the same terms, the eye will perceive the color as turquoise or a light blue. I want to further explore this interaction in my conference work and also try and produce new interferences.


Serigraph from Carlos Cruz-Diez Chromointerference Exhibit

My previous work in creating rhythms in tile and patternmaking has been “regular”. I hope that working to produce a moire effect will take me out of the regular rhythm. With this project there is so much that can be done outside of the geometric scope that I’m used to so I will try to also broaden my choice of rhythms.

My first plan of action is to work on the colors and their interferences. I will use at least three colors in each gif and each gif will have different predominant colors. The world is my oyster here, so to speak, so in Photoshop I will be experimenting with different interferences. Only until I come up with enough different ones I will start designing my gifs. I like to sketch first before going right to creating in the software. So I will come up with different effects I want. Perhaps one will be more wave-like, another jump out at you, one appear to get smaller etc. By studying the work of op artist like Victor Vasarely, Bridget Riley, Josef Albers, as well as Anni Albers, and Carlos Cruz-Diez most prominently, I hope to not only be inspired by what different visual perceptions can be created but also create my own.


Closeup of the outside of Carlos Cruz-Diez’s Chroma Installation at the SCAD Museum

I think my work as a whole will be very striking. I understand that Op Art is not everyone’s cup of tea, but I hope that by using more color in my work it will resonate more with a wider audience. I personally think that the use of moire effects, as well as, chromointerfernce will create a double visual effect that will be a little more different than what most people might see or think of as Op Art. This conference work will make me a better graphic designer, not only due to the graphic quality of the work but also due to the use of color that I’m not accustomed to and the emphasis of trying to work a little bit more abstractly. I think at least the chromointerference will encourage curiosity. That’s exactly what I like to do. I like to make work that makes the viewer ask “how?” as well as question the the work and themselves. I’m not afraid or upset when someone might say, “What exactly is going on here?!”.


Serigraphs from Carlos Cruz-Diez Chromointerference Exhibit

Digital Tools: The Art of the GIF

Digital Tools: The Art of the GIF



I can’t say that I was inspired by one artist per-say, but more so a specific style. I’m very fond of geometry and optical illusions and I was inspired by “Op Art”.  Most famously, artists Bridget Riley and Victor Vasarely created optical illusions with their paintings. Some Op Art relies on the difference of foreground and background to create a seemingly 3D image on a 2D surface. Figure-ground perception allows us to distinguish a figure from the background.  Based on which one you focus on you’ll perceive the same image differently. By using red against a black and white backdrop, the red is perceived more likely as the figure creating one optical illusion. The pattern that I made to use as part of this gif had an interesting effect that made the middle diamond look like it was a circle every now and then. I wanted to create another optical illusion going forward. The rapidness of the gif makes the stills come alive in a way that suggests expansion. It looks as if it’s growing; which is something I hadn’t anticipated. I’m a big fan of gifs in general. I like to look at one for a long time and watch it over and over again. That’s not really something you can do with the particular gif and some of my other work. It almost instantly causes eye strain or gives you a headache. I guess that comes with the type of gif I made. Perhaps moving forward I can try to make more eye-pleasing work.


The created shapes in this gif have a game-like quality to them, both in movement and their physical shape. I’m by no means a gamer but I appreciated the vintage game-like quality of it, so I went further with that. At first it seems as if the shapes are all revolving together. The longer and closer you look you realize that’s not the case. Some are moving in opposite directions and even at different speeds. If you stare at a certain section for too long, the arrows sometimes look as if they’ve changed directions and that’s not the case at all! The gif comes from several tiles I made and replicated. I like how you can’t see the tiles, and the gif looks like one big animated one. It would be interesting to see this completed in another color. I could see the shapes starting out in one color, then after a few revolutions, one seemingly random shape would change color, then after a few more revolutions, another shape would change color and so on and so forth. There’s also a game-like quality in that too I suppose.





This gif is representative of my “crazier” gifs. I can’t stare at it for too long. At the beginning when everything is small it feels like things are morphing. It has a certain biological, cellular quality to it, as if the shapes are going through mitosis and evolving. Then all of a sudden things go berserk with the rapidly-paced, larger images. The morphing was something that I was striving for, so I’m pleased about that, but I wanted it to be a more organic growth. The final gif grows but  happens all of a sudden. To be honest that’s okay too though. It catches you off-guard and changes the rhythm. The interesting part is that the time between each frame is actually the exact same between all of them. Perhaps the smaller frames have more variation causing more of a flow.