Category Archives: Digital Tools for Artists

Digital Tools: The Art of the GIF

four_eyes_large When making my GIFs, I drew inspiration from the styles of Paula Scher, Daniel Buren, and Anni Albers. Paula Scher and Daniel Buren often evoke bright color schemes, which was something I wanted to experiment with this semester. Albers created patterns that were very concerned with movement on the page – some of her designs are almost optical illusions – and I wanted to carry that concept over to my GIFs. My first attempt at a GIF as the one below – I call it “The Disappearing Button.” l started by creating the red and black button background, then overlaid a large white button across the top. Because of the way that the background moves and the white spaces connect, the white button on top seems to disappear and reappear – even though only the background is moving. This ended up being one of my simplest GIFs, but one of my favorites, and I thought, most successful. It’s able to create the appearance of more movement than is actually happening within the frames. Compared to the first GIF in this post, it was fairly simple to make – I just kept transforming and wrapping the background by about 25 px every frame. It only took me about an hour to make, but it looks complex. I ended up trying to recreate the success of this GIF for the rest of the GIF assignment, though I don’t know if I succeeded. disappearing_button I continued to play with white space and movement, but also focused on color palettes. I generally have a very dark color palette in my artwork but after seeing Daniel Buren’s experiments with light and color, I decided to experiment as well. I decided to continue playing with empty space and overlaps and made the GIF below, which I call, “Red and Blue All Over,” which is a play on bruising. I wanted to just use red and blue but also attempt to make a third color, purple, out of them. I used the same layer-transform-wrap process as in Disappearing Button, except I had the red and blue circles moving in opposite directions, rather than the same direction. I think it works to some degree, but is not as successful as I would have liked. Ultimately, to get the brighter purple that I wanted, I would have had to devote some time to make sure the thinly striped red and blue circles lined up more perfectly – so that only red and blue, no white, showed. This GIF ended up being a lot more stagnant than I wanted it to be – it’s cool, but because the background isn’t moving, the top layer doesn’t get much of a sense of transformation.  If I had to remake this GIF I would have had the background moving, rather than the individual circle layers. It was a lot more tedious to have both those layers moving in opposing directions, and not enough payoff. red_and_blue_eyes_gif I had a lot of fun playing with movement and colors in these GIFs. If I could go back, I wouldn’t have stuck so rigidly to a primary color palette. It definitely got me out of my comfort zone and into areas that I wanted to explore, but it would have been cool to look at some other bright colors. Buren and Scher both play with bright colors a lot but certainly don’t just stick to primary colors – I think their work might be less successful that way.

Conference Project Post-Mortem: Liquid Light

fullsizeoutput_143e For my conference project, I combined a digital projection of various poems I had written with a liquid light show;  dishes filled with mineral oil, water, and food dye projected on an ELMO overhead projector. IMG_5566 A lot of my poetry aims to simply create another world in which the reader can enter. For my conference project, I aimed to take this experience farther by using the projection to visually create a space. I felt as though I certainly created a space through the projection, but perhaps not my words, as most people didn’t really take much time reading the poetry. IMG_5591 At first, I originally only used two dishes for the oil, water, and dye. However, I decide to try using a third vessel, a large flat-ish plastic box top. I felt as though this made a huge improvement on the quality of the liquid light show, as it allowed me to use more colors without them mixing. If I were to do this again in the future, I would try something other than food coloring, as it didn’t quite have the vibrancy I wanted. I would also invest in clear glass clock faces or something similar as opposed to what I used. It was shockingly difficult to find a clear plastic or glass dish that didn’t have a logo or something on the bottom. Finding materials was probably my biggest frustration. fullsizeoutput_1465 Overall, I was pleased with how this project turned out, as I felt it for the most part accomplished what I wanted it to. I will definitely be using both projection techniques for other projects in the future.

Video Mapping: Projector Night

IMG_5609   While I had done several test runs of my projection prior to projector night, I certainly was surprised about how the show went. The way people interacted with my projection was interesting, when walking in front of it, many people ducked or apologized for temporarily blocking it, which was interesting. I was actually quite pleased with this because I felt as though that meant my projection conveyed authority and commanded attention, it was certainly not an afterthought in people’s minds. IMG_5334 The work on my part was interesting too, the longer I stood there, the more meditative it became for me. My intention to create a separate world in which the viewer could enter and exit as they pleased, and I felt as though I had achieved that, and in turn entered into that world myself. I also very much enjoyed the performance aspect of it, people seemed to be interested in watching me manipulate the projection as much as the projection itself. I felt like a witch performing a mysterious ceremony of some sort. IMG_5612   Overall, aside from getting mineral oil all over my hands, I felt as though projector night was a success.

Conference Project Post-Mortem: Music and Motion

For my conference project, I intended to compose songs in GarageBand and create an animation to go along with them in After Effects. I had genres in mind for songs and I somewhat stuck to them, but varied slightly. I did make an electronic song, but the other song that I intended to be a classic band setup turned into more of a keyboard-oriented 70s disco piece. This is a result of where I happened to be at the time I made the songs: I was listening to other songs from the 70s which influenced my style. I planned on using markers, but I found another system that worked even better: in GarageBand the soundwaves of each instrument are visible in coordination with the time of the piece, which also includes time in the same way as After Effects (24 frames per second). So, I looked for the beats in the soundwaves in GarageBand, found the corresponding time, and animated to the beat. However, I had issues with memory which made playback difficult, especially for the first piece, which made it double-check my work. The first piece, which had more chaotic rhythmic elements, resulted in more abrasive animation at times so I aimed to make my second piece more organic and relaxed.
A screencap from my second video. I used the Kaleidescope and HexTiles effects often as I feel they have a 70s characteristic.

A screencap from my second video. I used the Kaleidescope and HexTiles effects often as I feel they have a 70s characteristic.

I think I succeeded at this. Going from the first project to the second project changed my overall conference because I learned from my first mistakes and tried to refine them for the second piece.
A screencap from my first video. The background shapes and their color schemes were my favorite part of this video.

A screencap from my first video. The background shapes and their color schemes were my favorite part of this video.

While my time management could have been better, I am surprised how well my projects turned out for being done at late hours. I believe my second piece does look good because the effects range from simple to complex but all still enjoyable to watch, while my first piece could use more refinement because some animations felt too rushed and some parts too static. In the end, my inspiration for the first video was late 1980s aesthetics and the second video was early 1970s aesthetics. I am satisfied with the work I have created and feel it reflects my artistic development over the semester accurately.

Conference Project Post-Mortem: Glitch

Glitchy Galaxy Flower - Copy doodle 11 PixelStaticStream   My conference project was making glitch art.  I took patterns that I made in GIMP, then I put them into Java with the software, Processing.  The first three images are the patterns that I made.  The last pattern was already glitched inside of photoshop, then it was put into processing.  The last three images are frames from the coded program.  The code turned out just the way I wanted it to.  Granted, I only have so much control over what the final product looks like because the code is semi-generative.  But, I am completely happy with how my programs turned out!  The colors all look great, and I like the way they change. The thing I am not happy with in my project is how the frames saved.  There is a lot of black that gets added into the images, which muddies the image and hides a lot of the detail.  I am not exactly sure why it happens, but it makes the project look less like how I want it too. A lot changed from when I started to what I ended up with.  I experimented a lot with different ways the glitch could be created and how it affected the image.  I made many small changes that either changed a lot in the way the code works or changed only a slight amount.  I took the three versions that I liked the most out of everything and then made more changes to those.  I added some coded patterns, which helped the code become less stagnant and change the color.  The patterns I created were easy to come up with; they took a little bit of maneuvering to get right, but they weren’t too difficult to incorporate.  The last glitch that I made (the last image) took a little more work to get the additional patterns included.  I struggled getting colors that I liked to match the glitch.  I wanted similar colors, but they either didn’t look quite right, or they didn’t stand out enough.  In the same glitch, I originally had a different base pattern that got glitched, but I ended changing it to the final version because I thought it looked better and I liked the colors better. I like how my work turned out overall.  I think it suits my style as an artist, and I think that if I were to do the same project over again, I would end up with a similar project.

Conference Project Proposal: Liquid Light Show

liquid light show

Glenn Mckay stands in front of his liquid light show “Glenn Mckay’s Headlights”

lucifer rising gif

Still from Kenneth Anger’s film “Lucifer Rising”

For my conference work, I am incorporating kinetic text with a 1960s-inspired liquid light show. Numerous musical acts, in the 60s and today performed with liquid light shows, such as 13th Floor Elevators, Jefferson Airplane, and Jimi Hendrix. Filmmaker Kenneth anger, while he didn’t necessarily utilize the exact liquid light technique, had an aesthetic sensibility in his films that i wish to evoke here. The liquid light show itself will be made by putting two-three dishes filled with water, mineral oil, and food coloring on the surface of an ELMO overhead projector. This will create a psychedelic, swirling projection of colors that I can manipulate in real time as I digitally project my kinetic text.
liquid light show projector

Bill Hamm’s Light Show in Avalon Ballroom SF

  In the combination of the liquid light show and my poetry-based kinetic text, I hope to create an atmosphere, or even a separate world that the viewer can enter by looking at the projection, or even stepping in front of it.

Conference Project: Olivetti Inspired

Screen Shot 2017-05-08 at 11.17.36 PM My slow-going conference project came together with a rather quick and late-arriving jolt of inspiration. While working on a separate project based on mid-20th Century Italian design, it occurred to me that the streamlined simplicity of a modern Italian aesthetic could be serviceable (and feasible) to my conference project. I began referencing old Olivetti typewriter ads which had long captured my attention. Playful and colorful and yet almost bitingly muted and subdued, I felt that these ads could form aesthetic guidelines that would at once allow for the necessary looseness and experimentation of an AfterEffects Animation project, while establishing firm chromatic, textural, and shape-based motifs. Out of this line of thinking I created three animations: two strictly shape motions and the last a kinetic text accompanying an Italian language song by Brazilian electronic artist Emmanuelle. The latter plays most interpretively with the Olivetti inspiration but maintains a cohesive color scheme while juxtaposing fluid and dynamic motions against industrial-feeling rigidity. The first animation largely came together as it went, while I imposed upon the second a measured and languid decorative function. Screen Shot 2017-05-08 at 11.18.35 PM Screen Shot 2017-05-08 at 11.18.10 PM Many Olivetti ads interprete simple, rectangular shapes in dynamic and vibrantly colored ways. For this first animation, I decided to limit myself (at least initially) to rectangles and squares of a simple color palette. Experimenting with duplicated layers and overlay effects, I managed to create shapes whose colors changed or inverted as I made them interact. The effect initially produced by this was, to my mind, one of negative film moving across a page of color swatches. From here I used repeaters to create a sort of hall-of-mirrors which continually reshaped itself and morphed into something new, including a gradient-filled spiral reminiscent of art-deco and futurist themes. Screen Shot 2017-05-08 at 11.17.23 PM For my second animation I once again limited myself to simple shapes, but this time actually went in and isolated my color palette from a specific ad. I utilized many of the same effects (such as variations of overlay settings), while moving the shapes over one another. Later I employed a distortion effect (featured in the top image) which gives the impression of the shapes being slowly melted down. Above those shapes I placed a wall of circular shapes with oscillating opacity, which to me recall the glistening effect of sequins or a beaded curtain. I was very pleased with the elegance of this animation, and regard at as my first in which I felt I was able to execute a vision, rather than having the work define itself as I went along. Screen Shot 2017-05-08 at 11.15.08 PM Screen Shot 2017-05-08 at 11.16.22 PM Screen Shot 2017-05-08 at 11.14.44 PM I have to say that I was most pleased with the final animation, which was sequenced with an audio track. While it still has some choppy bits in it, I think that I succeeded in evoking a particular mood and managed to rein in the dynamism of the text-effects (I feel that failure to do so often renders the fact of its being produced in AfterEffects too obvious). I once again used my “sequined,” circular repeater pattern, gradually overlaying it with a transparent, distorted layer which gives an effect of a mesh fabric floating in water. The color scheme is decidedly aquatic— a no brainer, considering the song’s chorus features the lyric “è tutto blu (it’s all blue)” I intended to create a dark, trippy atmosphere which crescendoed, culminating ultimately in the arrival of the chorus. At that point I made use of the strobe effect and a duplicate overlay to create an impactful lyric text repetition. I especially enjoyed syncing the piece to audio, as I felt that the rhythm and melody gave me a direction and structure for the motions. This allowed me to create an animation which felt less scattered and haphazard and instead proceeded with a degree of logic. Throughout the development in this project there were certainly issues of time management, lack of inspiration, lack of control, and insecurity. I at first felt that my skills in AfterEffects were too remedial to follow any concept or narrative. The tool at times has seemed insurmountable; the more complex a piece becomes, the harder it is to stay in control. At times I would find myself making adjustments at the end of the piece that would completely change the beginning of it, but lost among layers upon layers of adjustments the problem would become difficult to diagnose. As I continued it felt like a game of Jenga— wondering which small modification would cause the piece to topple. I am, however, proud of the progress I’ve made with the tool in a short span of time. I still find the process to be maddeningly time consuming, but I at least now feel confident in my ability to make something that’s visually beautiful and enticing. There is a lot of tension in conceptualizing work for this program: to what extent do we hold to our ideas and visions, and to what extent do we release it to a fundamentally experimental process? I don’t have an answer, but what I do believe is that we must both grapple with this tool and release ourselves to the creative possibilities of frustration.

Conference Project Post-Mortem: Bueno, Claro Que Si

Screenshot_01_molina My conference project is a reflection on my heritage as a Cuban-American. Bueno and Claro Que Si are two phrases that come up quite often when in conversation with Cubans. The project is comprised of three separate videos. The first video is more of a reflection of who I am and why I look the way I look. The second video is a reflection on working at a sneaker store where most of the customers only speak spanish and I can only communicate in Spanglish. In the third video I used footage of my grandmother describing parties in Cuba, translated it (for the most part), and used kinetic text to type it in english. Each video uses rotoscoping to include short animations relevant to the kinetic text. This was my mission when going into my conference project- to use kinetic text and short animation together. The short animations and text were all drawn out in advance in order to set up my animations with kinetic text first, make the small animations second. I tried using different effects, using shape motions to interweave text and animation, and using different colors. screenshot_02_molina In the first animation I wanted to use the colors of the cuban flag, which also happen to be the colors of the American flag. On of the longest rotoscoping animations I made can be previewed above. I simply took a video of myself holding an expresso cup and holding it up to my mouth as if I were drinking from it. I then took that footage, created different frames from it, and drew over the video to create a short and sweet animation. I started with hair, then body, the expresso cup, then the coloring on the cup. Although I do like the first video I am more proud of the second half than the first. screenshot_03_molina The second animation is a reflection of my time working at a sneaker store and working with customers who only speak and understand Spanish. I wanted to convey my frustration with customers, and the situation. In this projection I wanted to use a different color scheme than most of my projects in general and get away from using grey or white. I decided to use blue because it is a color involved with the company I work at. The video was planned with kinetic text and where I would insert short videos. I also played around with drawing simple circles and making them into borders. During my conference project work I also discovered the beautiful revelation that I could make my own images and videos into tiles using effects. I love the dangling feet with shoes in this animation and the idea is reprised again with a border of legs. screenshot_04 I had a hard time in the third animation because I am very bad at drawing faces, so I will often revise it over and over only to make the faces look even messier. I threw out another rotoscope section in the animation because I did not think it was well enough done. At the end of the video my grandmother plays the piano and I rotoscoped a piece. For this piece, I went in and erased the face, and although there is no face detail now I am still very much overall happy with how it came out. I used a photo my grandma has of Cuba hanging up in her kitchen throughout. This piece was definitely much more for me and my family than anything else. I have always been interested in the parties in Cuba, and the balls my grandmother would attend. The video footage was something I have had for quite some time, and used to help me write a screenplay I had been writing. I always intended to use the footage in this sort of manner and I am glad I finally was able to. I am very happy with how it came out. Over all, my project was very time consuming but worth it and something I am definitely proud of. I do wish the three videos looked a little more similar only to make it more clear that the video are indeed part of the same project and series. There is a part in the second video where the kinetic text goes incredibly faster then I wanted it to, but I think it works only to express how frustrating it is to work in retail and have several people speaking to you at once. I left it alone, only for this reason and hope it is conveyed in this manner. The first video too, I wish I had done something slightly different with the beginning. Working on the project I learned I work very slowly. I make mistakes, and immediately go back to perfect them. I had to learn to let go and not make every singly frame perfect. It was also a part of the look that I was going for. An artist I looked at was Julia Pott, a lot of her work looks a little messy but there is a sweet charm to it that I really like. I tried to copy this charm and I hope I got a least a little bit of it. I am very happy with how my project turned out!    

Conference Project Post-Mortem: Found Poetry

Screenshot 2017-05-05 at 7.45.50 AM My conference project is titled ‘Found Poetry’. It is an exploration of words found in the real world that form unexpected poetry, or that can be rearranged to make poetry. The two videos that I made were a song mashup and an animated refrigerator covered with word magnets, but the concept of found poetry could extend to interesting bumper stickers, street signs and license plates, graffiti, emails, notes – essentially any words that are found in the world and have a poetic aspect. When I originally started thinking about my conference work, my idea was to create an intricate animated wallpaper as either a video in After Effects or a series of GIFs. I liked the idea of taking a mundane surface found in houses and making it into a living background, so I envisioned a detailed wallpaper pattern with birds and flowers such as those designed by William Morris, in which the different parts of the pattern moved and appeared to come alive. After struggling to draw a decorative pattern that I was satisfied with, I switched my focus to kinetic text, which I found very rewarding. I learned that I work best in After Effects when I can take a long period of time (at least 6-8 hours) and focus on completing a section of video, because it takes a while to get into the flow of the work, and also because troubleshooting/learning new techniques can take a while. I also found that new ideas came to me in the process. Screenshot 2017-05-05 at 7.42.26 AM My conference video “Fridge Poetry” draws on my ideas about taking an everyday object and creating an animation that makes it appear alive or enchanted. The poems in this video are ones found on my real refrigerator at home, made from set of word magnets by my roommates and I. I picked some of my favorites and made word tiles for each one, as well as individual tiles for the consonants that occupied their own tiles. I then took a photo of my refrigerator and Photoshopped the background so that it created a blank slate to begin animating the poems. I tried to use varying speeds for each tile I animated to give the appearance that an invisible presence was thinking of what to write and then moving the tiles across the refrigerator. Overall, I think this tactic was successful, but I find the video more visually satisfying at the moments in which multiple tiles are moving at the same time. If I did this project over, I think that I would add a few more poems, make the tiles smaller, and make the pace at which the poems form slightly faster by increasing the number of times that multiple tiles move simultaneously. I found that the best way to create a random rhythm in the movement of the word tiles was to animate them without checking the time signature and avoid making changes at exact intervals.   There are two other elements to the video: GIFs and a list of imaginary chores. The imaginary chores ranged from ‘drain the swimming pool’ to ‘filter the potion’. I added this list at the end of the animation and made it appear to float down from above the fridge and then stick. It was fun to come up with the ‘chores,’ and I think it adds to the fantastical element of the video. chores I made GIFs of a flower, a hopping spotted green frog and a crescent moon in Photoshop, which I inserted into the video like living fridge magnets that move around the screen. This was the most difficult part of the project, because when I tried to add the GIFs to the animation their previously transparent backgrounds became white. I also needed to figure out how to loop the GIFs for the length of the video so that they would play continuously. After an absurd amount of googling (some forums claimed that trying to work with GIFs in After Effects was simply a bad idea) and about four or five hours of trial and error, I eventually figured out how to remove the white background and loop the GIFs, so that I could animate them. I’m happy I stuck with it, because I like the simplistic but satisfying effect of the repetitive motion of a GIF interacting with the environment of the video. frog     flower My other conference video is titled “My Never Sunshine,” and it is a kinetic text video inspired by and set to a mash-up of the songs “You Are My Sunshine” and “Ain’t No Sunshine When She’s Gone”. “You Are My Sunshine” was one of my favorite songs as a kid, because I had a wind-up teddy bear that played the melody. One day while thinking about ideas for kinetic text, I got both songs stuck in my head. I looked on YouTube and found a live recording of a mash-up that I liked: You are My Sunshine/Ain’t No Sunshine (Mash-Up) by Justin Sinclair & Jamey Geston. It became the basis for a lyric video of sorts, with the lyrics scrambled to create cognitive dissonance between the audio and the visual. Screenshot 2017-05-05 at 7.47.06 AMI liked the idea of these two songs together, both more or less sad love songs (depending on how they are played), both focusing on the idea of the presence or lack of sunshine. Instead of a visual focusing on the sun, what came to mind was a background of intricate clouds. Clouds are still sky-themed and denote the absence of sunshine, although my clouds are quite cheerful in appearance. I made a background image several times larger than the size of the video composition and then animated it to give the appearance of a camera panning across the sky. The clouds are a pattern with similar form and scale, but some variation in color and texture. The sound of the song is quite melancholy, but the bright blue of the sky and the simple visuals (a rainbow, sunbursts, flying bird silhouettes) create a cheerful and calming effect. Most of the visuals are individual GIFs which I then imported into After Effects and animated. I think this worked particularly well for the flying birds. sun 2birdsOne of the most difficult parts of creating this video was drawing the rainbow, birds and sun in Photoshop. I originally wanted more true-to-life representations, but I was faced with a lack of technical skill. I ended up returning to the simple lines that I used to draw with as a kid, and I actually ended up enjoying the final effect, which I think is imperfect but visually satisfying. Screenshot 2017-05-05 at 7.43.26 AM I like the layers of contrast in the piece, both between the song and the mismatched lyrics and between the melancholy tone of the words and music with the bright, happy visuals. I think this contrast adds interest and complexity to what would have otherwise been a fairly simple piece. It’s confusing, but in a good way.     

Conference Project Post Mortem: Interference

Screen Shot 2017-05-05 at 10.56.47 PM “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. carlos-cruz-diez-chromatic-induction-dual-frequency-permutation-5-800x800

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. interference_101 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. interfering_quad 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. rasta_quilt 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. easter_morning 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. pop 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. hue 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. sw 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. quad_5 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. prism 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. rgb_moire 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.

Conference Project Post-Mortem: The GIFer at the Gates of Dawn

My conference project, The GIFer at the Gates of Dawn, started out as an assignment to make six gifs with at least fifteen frames each and take inspiration from psychedelic and counterculture art from the 1960s. When the project was finished, I ended up drifting off from the original theme, creating nine pop art-esque, campy, colorful works. For the most part, I’m glad at how the images turned out. Most of my works dealt with the theme of iconography, something that has fascinated me for a long time in art (and something very prevalent in pop art). I tried experimenting with the different ways there are to revere a certain figure through their face and/or body. self portraitMy first idea was to make something with my own face. I took a couple of selfies, chose the best one, and used it as a reference for a painting on GIMP. This was very strange for me to make, as my self confidence isn’t the best and I wasn’t very used to displaying myself so boldly. I do, however, love the idea of taking some seemingly perfect picture of someone and obscuring it a bit – whether it’s drawing a mustache on the George Washington of a dollar bill, doodling a crude interpretation of genitals on some celebrity’s face, or making your own eye fall out of its socket. The GIF is 45 frames, so the falling of the eyes is very smooth. I also appreciate the pacing – a fast version of this would make you have to watch it a couple of times to see what’s going on. This project is also, in a way, a journey of me understanding colors. I love the relationships between the bold primary colors (and the purple) here. They jump out at you, but they’re extremely relaxing and just fit. I feel as if my other GIFs get better with color overtime. columns Like I said in my crit, I’m not the biggest fan of this. I feel like not much is going on and that it doesn’t fit everything else I do like the shifts in color, however. Even if it’s a bit boring, it’s very fascinating to watch. I feel like I could have made some sort of never-ending loop with this as well (shifts from warm to cool and back to warm). This had potential, but might have been better saved for another project. (This has nothing to do with iconography either.) collage The sort of iconography here is a bit different. It’s the kind you see in advertising – bold colors, bold shapes, and clear messages. I wanted to do a collage to represent several different ideas cluttered together, giving you the “everything on TV is the same” sort of message. I’m quite proud of this one, though I wonder what it would have been like if I stuck to one theme. This GIF was also inspired by the art of Slab City, an outsider colony in southern California, and most notably the incredible sculpture at its entrance, Salvation Mountain, created by the artist Leonard Knight: 800px-Salvation_Mountain_001 I admire how Salvation Mountain is also a conglomeration of several different colors and patterns that form one message. Even though my GIF is more representational in its subject matter, I took inspiration from the strong presentation of the Mountain’s message. I’m a big fan of how every smaller GIF, despite having a different color palette, eventually came together. The smaller ones on the top right don’t fit in as well to me, but everything comes together when you look at it for long enough. I’m also a big fan of the looping – this is the only GIF of mine that loops (almost) perfectly. devil For this next GIF, I used a famous scene from the movie Ugetsu as a reference. Ugetus-Monogatari-2 Ugetsu is a fairly famous, Criterion Collection-tier movie. Even if one has not actually watched it, they would probably recognize this scene. They may have a small idea of what it is, but they don’t actually know. This GIF was inspired by this ambiguity and vague familiarity about pop culture that most seem to have. I’m a fairly sheltered person – I’ve never read Harry Potter, don’t know anything about the Kardashians, and spent most of my childhood collecting boxes rather than watching TV (my family didn’t even have cable until I was a sophomore in high school – how horrible!) Most of my friends, for some reason, haven’t been able to take it, so I’ve received a lot of “How can you not know about x?!” In that way, this was a theme that’s been pretty prevalent throughout my life. It was also inspired by the short film Kachi Kachi Yama by Tadanori Yokoo, which parodied cheesy and exploitationist western films by using several (then-) popular actors to tell the story of a Japanese folktale in the most campy manner possible. AcjYN The content of the GIF has nothing to do with the movie itself – like in Kachi Kachi Yama, it’s just an abstraction that tells a different story. This is my personal favorite GIF of the bunch. The smoothness of the animation, the bold, flashing colors, the abstraction of a normal-looking scene, and the ways the palettes work together make this extremely satisfying for me. I also like how the face is half abstracted and half realistic, but enough to make the drawing look convincing and resemble the actors. This was another way that Kachi Kachi Yama inspired me – it’s not the most flattering Brigette Bardot, but it’s her! saint It’s been a lifelong dream of mine to do a rotoscope animation, and it’s finally been done! I took fifteen or sixteen pictures of myself on my phone, transferred them over to my laptop, and drew over them to put them all together. The motion I tried to create was a that of a savior or healer reaching out to the viewer to lift them up or to save them. This goes hand to hand with the Christian religious art in the back. I’m not Christian and know next to nothing about Christianity, but there was always this concept of “saving” and “revering” that I associated with it (in the sense of Jesus and the many saints that are worth worshipping in their case). The motion and the changing background go hand in hand in this way. All in all, it’s about the huge effect of religion and religious iconography, even to those outside of its influence. My favorite thing about this GIF is the collages in the background. I enjoy how all this art is muted down from its original glory and repeated to fit a common theme. I explore repetition and iconography more in the next GIF. I wish that I could’ve worked on the animation itself a bit more – it’s uneven and choppy. humansThis one is a bit more straightforward in theme. The obstruction of celebrity’s faces, turning what most people know and love into something of a monstrosity. The celebrities are, in order of appearance: British-American drag queen Charlie Hides, Singaporean-Malaysian singer and actress Saloma (Salmah Ismail), American musician Lana Del Rey (Elizabeth Grant), and Indian actress Asha Parekh. I felt like, to make the piece more effective, I should paint celebrities that I personally admire. The collaging of the celebrity’s faces also plays into the aspect of popularity and obstruction – faces of famous people are similarly plastered all over media such as television and the Internet. When the colors become darker, it’s similar to a horde of demons or something equally horrific. It scared me the first time I played back the GIF. I also love the use of color to create a very different image than what one might expect from a picture of a bunch of celebrities. the h on the hollywood sign Projector Night gave me the idea of turning a structure into something its not. The idea to do this to the H of the Hollywood sign came from a song I love, Lust for Life by Lana Del Rey (“We climbed up the H / of the Hollywood sign…”) The images – Pills, lips, the Union Jack, and Amanda Lepore are all connected by color (red/blue/yellow/green) and by the fact that they’re representative of some popular cultural ideal. They’re icons on an icon – a true statement of the effect of iconography and how some unrelated things can look so related. lips There’s not much to say about this one. I originally created this pattern for the GIF above it, but loved how the colors popped and made it change color. This feels like the most psychedelic of the GIFs, which is a strange and ironic tie in to the original theme of this project. All in all, I feel like this project was a success. I portrayed what I wanted to portray, learned more about the medium of the GIF, learned about coordinating colors, and learned a little bit about myself along the way. I didn’t stick to my original idea, but life can take you in several different directions that you may not expect. I feel like I could have made less flashing/changing color GIFs, but other than that, I’m pretty proud with how they all turned out. All that work on GIMP was ultimately worth it.      

Video Mapping: Projector Night

IMG_20170420_201551330 My experience of projector night was very positive. I enjoyed getting to display my work as well as see the work of my classmates projected all over the walls and ceilings of Heimbold. I especially liked seeing how much variety there was in the different work that people had created, despite it all originating from the same software. I enjoyed how our projections temporarily transformed the building. At first, having never been to a projection show before, I had a hard time envisioning what it would entail. Walking around Heimbold and seeing the different spaces available for projection, as well as seeing what my classmates tried during rehearsals, helped me to get a clearer understanding. To plan for projector night, I first thought about which of my videos would make the most sense displayed in 3D space. I chose one conference video, “My Never Sunshine,” which has a consistent theme of a blue sky with clouds, a rainbow and birds. I decided to project it onto an uneven surface of a ceiling in Heimbold so that the pipes on the ceiling would create interesting angles and shapes when combined with the projected image. This video also has song lyrics in the form of kinetic text. If I repeated this projection now I would get a speaker to play the song audio as well. IMG_20170420_202552312 The second video that I chose to project is a shape motion video with morphing outlines on a background that changes color. IMG_20170417_194444729_HDR The third video I worked with was one I called “Geometric Outer Space,” which involves shapes and lines with repeaters moving across a background of tiny points that appear like stars in space. Although the star background unfortunately did not show up in the projection, I thought that the lines with repeaters looked interesting on the ceiling. IMG_20170413_201125617 I think that my geometric shapes video was probably subconsciously influenced by Yayoi Kusama’s infinity rooms, especially those that are reminiscent of outer space, such as Aftermath of the Obliteration of Eternity, and her infinity nets, which inspired the star-like points in the background of my piece. kusama_33 kusama_21 The main problem I had while preparing for projector night was that I had technical issues, first setting up the Video Projection Tool software and then getting the computer I was using to communicate properly with a projector. After figuring out these issues with the help of a classmate and our professor, the rest of our rehearsal time went much more smoothly. I played around with different shapes for my projection, and tried matching the keystones to various angles in the architecture of the building. I also tried out mapping on various surfaces, including through a doorway onto a ceiling inside the room, on a flat wall and on a ceiling. In the end, I decided to map onto a ceiling with spillover onto the walls on either side, because I thought it was an interesting use of space and worked particularly well with my sky-themed video, creating a kind of immersive experience for someone underneath it and looking up. IMG_20170420_203617458 Prior to our rehearsals, I thought that video mapping for an audience would be more of a stressful experience than it turned out to be. By the time projector night rolled around, I felt fairly confident in my ability to set up my projector and my VPT map, and overall the experience was quite fun. It was gratifying to be able to show my friends some of my work displayed in an interesting way, as well as to see everyone else’s projections. I expect my maps to be experienced as fun, cheery and lighthearted, due to the use of bright colors and nature themes. I think that the kinetic text in one video also added an element of intrigue, since people would have to stop under the projection and concentrate to read the words. IMG_20170420_202648520 I was surprised by how much projection can change the appearance of a video, making simpler images look more complex as they interact with the building, toning down brighter colors, and hiding small details. If I understood these effects when I first started making videos, I would have included more saturated colors and made my shapes take up more of the space in my videos. For the geometric shapes video in particular, I would have made the lines longer and narrower, and made them move across the screen more quickly. I would have increased the size of the stars in the background so that they would have been visible. Overall, I was pleased with how my work looked, and how it worked in the space I chose.

Video Mapping: Projector Night

IMG_0968 IMG_1022 IMG_0957 IMG_0966 IMG_0963   I thought that projector night was really fun.  I had a blast putting up my work onto the walls and having people see it.  My friends came to look at the work, which made the experience even better.  It’s a wonderful experience to have your friends see work that you have worked on for a while.  I thought that the night went well and everyone’s work looked great.  I liked seeing what everyone put on the walls, and how they decided to map them onto the walls. What I did to plan for projector night was fairly simple.  I decided to use half of the classroom to project, and I liked the segmented walls.  The segments in the walls made a nice guideline to place my videos in.  I treated each segment or two as a video and combined multiple videos together.  While preparing for projector night, my projection got larger and larger.  Originally it took up half of the height of the wall, but when projector night came about, the projection reached the entire length of the wall.  I think that almost everything that happened during projector night happened as expected.  One thing that did not go as planned was a change in my map; some segments got distorted and deleted, and then the others got messed up, so I had to start the maps over. I think that my maps should be seen as cheerful and fun.  I use a lot of bright colors and fast movements to create a more playful vibe.  I think that my maps looked as they should have, and I am happy with how they looked.  I mapped them how I wanted to.  However, if I were to map the same work again, I might map the videos half on the wall and half on the floor.  I think that that would look pretty cool.

Video Mapping: Projector Night

map_01_molina Preparing for projector night was exciting and fun (only the slightest bit nerve wracking)! VPT is a great tool that allows for so many more options that I would have thought in projection. Quickly I loved the idea that one could import multiple videos and combine them in different arrangements in order to make something different. At the beginning of using VPT I enjoyed using the live camera combined with pre-made videos. The idea that a person could walk into a projection and see themselves is simple but could be a powerful tool. I played around with the camera feature in class and ended up with a still image of my eyes overlooking the classroom from above. Only slightly disturbing but it allowed me to play around with other tools VPT offers like blur edge , masking, and blend modes. map_03_molina The idea I went into projection night with was: display a central video then surround that video with others and utilize blend mode and blue edges to make the videos appear as seamless as possible. The videos around my central video were the same composition but without the kinetic text. The only thing I didn’t catch was that there were a few seconds at one point in which main color in the central video changes to an orangey color but the surrounding videos stayed blue. This made for a little odd appearance but not a totally mismatched one. Something I wish I had thought about before going into Projection night was that my use of blurred edges would perhaps eat up some of the text in the central video. Simply, if I centered the text a little more in After Effects the blurred edges would have appeared a little bit cleaner. map_02_molina Overall I was very happy with the end product of my projection and happy with my planning. My video viewed to loop seamlessly- another aspect I enjoyed. It is difficult to be completely satisfied with any of my projects. I always go back and think, oh well if i did this… or did that.., but over all I got more done with the time I had than I thought I would. unnamed-1 Projector Night itself was not absent of pressure. The idea that I could not create the projection in VPT before hand did scare me. I prepared myself earlier and allowed myself more time before class to play with my projection in VPT and get it to look how I would have wanted but it is always different once the projector is on. I closed out and started over at one point because I became frustrated with what I had done. I wanted to create something that was interesting to look at more than anything. I hope all the people who experienced my projection felt the least bit interested in all the colors, shapes, and different moving parts of it. It helped to step away from my projection for a while and experience the projections of my  talented classmates. It was a fun and inspiring night. unnamed-2unnamed Projecting was a much more of a fun experience that I would have thought. I would have liked to play around a little bit more with masking and with creating shapes out of my animations as well. If I am able to project again in the future I would most certainly like to work a little bit more with the architecture of a building and space. I also enjoyed the concept that the viewer can become much more of a participant in the projection through the use of the live camera option on VPT. It is in this similar sense that the kinetic text is quite demanding. It tells you what to do, and I wanted to give limited space when reading it. It is simple, odd, and I hope these things were the littlest bit conveyed to all who viewed the projection.

Video Mapping: Projector Night

SAB_Projector_Night_01 In my experience, I enjoyed projector night. Preparing for the art show surprisingly wasn’t too stressful for me, though to be fair I did plan ahead for what refreshments I would bring as well as what I would use to decorate my installation. Projector night was not only a welcome break from conference work, but was also presented as an informal, casual event so I felt comfortable being a playful goober with my peers and classmates.
Processed with VSCO with a9 preset

Photo of Sabrina Holloway taken by Yuci

As for how I planned for the night, rehearsals as well as the content of my work played a  major part. Rehearsals gave me sufficient time to experiment with where to project my content in the building, as well as a chance to explore what my classmates were experimenting with in terms of location as well. With enough time to plan for the spot and to adapt my piece for that chosen spot, I felt prepared for the art show. In terms of the decoration aspect of my installation, I brainstormed what would match with my piece. Given that my piece was kinetic text with a strong narrative following royalty, I thought of a simplistic and inexpensive way to convey that. I changed the table that held the projector from a tool into a prop. So I covered the plastic table with red fabric I luckily had (beginner seamstress and fabrics galore) to cover the surface as well as cover the front of the table to hide the cords connected to the projector as well as my backpack. Also, I used scrap paper and hot glue to craft paper roses with text written on them and scattered the roses atop the table and pinned a handful around my projection to visually tie the installation together. SAB_Projector_Night_05 When the audience saw the text aspect of my piece, some of them read it aloud. I was flattered but at the same time embarrassed to hear my work be voiced by someone. I wasn’t sure how the audience would connect with my piece, though I’m glad humor was one of the results. The audience members were curious about the paper roses, especially when I mentioned that I hand-made them. SAB_Projector_Night_03 SAB_Projector_Night_02 Overall, I think my work came across pretty well, though next time I would project on a surface that is easier for legibility of the text, as well as lessen the amount of shape motion on the screen to allow for more room to see the kinetic text itself.

Video Mapping: Projector Night

Projector night was an extremely nerve-wracking experience for me. This wasn’t my first time presenting my art in an exhibition, but becoming involved in the use of VPT made it seem like a new experience altogether. There was so much to take care of; from setting up my projector correctly, to making sure my map was interesting and aesthetically pleasing, to making sure my laptop didn’t fall off of the table. Ultimately, though, I believe that it was a good experience, not only to become acquainted with video mapping, but to become more acquainted with presenting my art in an exhibition in general. Due to the several mishaps I had with acquiring the proper equipment to project, I had to miss all three of the projector night rehearsals. I did, however, practice mapping on my laptop. I also intended to overlap stock footage with my After Effects creations, but didn’t know that I wasn’t allowed to use them until Angela told me later on the night of the exhibition. In all honesty, without the stock footage, I didn’t really know what to do with my maps. I mostly just stuck to two predetermined maps I had for the whole night while shifting colors. projectornight6   I really enjoyed shifting the colors of the different videos I screened and explored the different effects of combining colors. I usually went by a pattern of analogous colors, as they are, to me, more calming to look at, but used complimentary colors as well. Along with the colors, I liked overlapping different videos or different parts of the same videos over each other. It made for a surreal, almost “trippy” experience. I wanted my maps to seem as if they came from out of this world, and to also bring a sense of inner calm to the viewer. (The window on the bottom corner didn’t bother me that much.) projectornight4 Since I was in a very versatile spot of the building, I also explored with mapping in the space around me. I enjoyed seeing how different one thing can look on several different “screens”. projectornight3 projectornight5 projectornight1 My inspiration came mostly from music. I wanted to recreate the calm and the awareness of my surroundings that I feel while listening to ambient music such as that by artists Casino Versus Japan and Tim Hecker. I was also inspired by 1960s psychedelic visuals…
"For My Right Damaged Eye",  Toshio Matsumoto (1968)

“For My Right Damaged Eye”, Toshio Matsumoto (1968)

…and the surrealist 1998 video game LSD Dream Emulator. maxresdefault Even if my maps weren’t the most dynamic, I think that my goal to create surrealist, colorful, and calming visuals was a success, especially with the help of maneuvering my projector into several different places.
My mom and my friend.

My mom, my dad (not pictured), and my friend came to visit me that night and give me much-needed support.


Video Mapping: Projector Night

  IMG_9478 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! IMG_9441 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. map_1 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! IMG_9422 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. map_2 map_2b 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. tri_warp_projection_reverse_allyson_panton   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 :) IMG_9444   IMG_6220 2   I got meme’d (by Danielle Levy)!

Projector Night

Projector night, even for all its preparation, was something I didn’t expect.
My prop.

My prop.

At each rehearsal, I tried out a different spot in my area — the corner, in between the railings, the two walls created from the division of the archway — and on the last rehearsal finally settled on the spot above the doorway. I felt it created the best illusion out of all the projection spots: it became a colorful pyramid or architectural decor instead of just lights on a wall. Mapping for an audience felt much more stressful (I wanted everything to go smoothly initially, but felt even more pressure to do so with people), but also enjoyable. I was excited to show off my work to my friends and peers.
Experimentation with shapes.

Experimentation with shapes.

IMG_20170420_201628026 My work blended in the surroundings but the movement still catches your eye, so I wanted to do just that: take a familiar spot and have the viewer look at it more closely and with a different perspective. I was familiar with the software before projector night, but actually projecting it gave me a different perspective on how to frame my art and place it in reality. What worked was my mesh — I was able to place it in the exact same shape and location from rehearsal to the real thing. What did not work as well was my projector. I happened to grab a brand new projector on rehearsal night compared to the semi-new brand I had used for rehearsal. It was not bright enough, unfortunately, and I had to perform a swap which ate into some of my presentation time. Though the area was required to always be lit and my projection was slightly washed out most of the time, the new projector made it even worse. What surprised me was how my projector was not in the way too much. People walking on the stairwell and in front of the door managed to mostly not block the projection. Though I had many animations I liked, some of my least favorites were actually the ones that projected the best because of the bright colors. I also decided to use my patterns I had made and mix my videos with it because I included the patterns on my posters and felt it was false advertising if i didn’t include my patterns. I also brought my Kermit doll as a prop to put on top of my projector to distract viewers from looking straight into the light. Also frogs were heavily featured on my posters and I felt that a frog needed to be included in some step of my presentation. In the future I would like to include more work with live cameras and graphics combined.
Yes, this is the same audience member.

Yes, this is the same audience member.

Conference Project Proposal: Animate with Simple Elements

image4 (1)image5 (1)   I am taking Art and Perception class with Elizabeth.  From that class, I have learned artists such as Paul Klee and Wassily Kandinsky who were interested in flat paintings that are composed from simple elements.  I am inspired by how simple shapes can create complex and beautiful compositions. My another intention is to practice my skill of using after effect by animating paintings or a composition.  The process of giving a work the motion also challenge on my creativity.   Also, I want to animate something base on my previous work of abstract and simple shapes, inspired by Paul Klee and Wassily Kandinsky.  I believe that abstract shapes are much more compelling, natural, and sophisticated.  If time allows, I am also going to rework with my animation with interesting colors. For me, sometimes a better animation archives without too much design and plan at first.  I don’t want to set my mind on what exact design I will create.  I want to explore as much different effects as I want for my animation, just to experience different effects. The above pictures I took from my sketchbook was also my expression of lines and shapes in a repetitive pattern.  They are also going to be a source of my animation design.   1) first project: animating Kandinsky’s Blue: blue-1922.jpg!PinterestLarge Wassily Kandinsky, Blue, 1922 I am starting with expressing my imagination on different part of the drawing: the bull’s-eye like group of circles, the upheaving waves, the ladder-like line group etc.

Conference Project Proposal: Found Poetry

My conference project will consist of two videos which utilize kinetic text and animation. The central theme is found poetry, or words found in the world and transformed into something poetic. They also utilize animation of shapes and figures to add to their visual interest.

Still from ‘Fridge Poetry.’

The first video is titled ‘Fridge Poetry,’ and its inspiration is exactly that. I own a set of small fridge magnets, each with a single word printed on it, and my fridge is covered in odd poetic sentences created by my roommates and I. It always amazes me how limited words can combine to convey a new meaning. The video is intended to be a visual representation of a fantastical fridge, with the magnetic poetry as kinetic text being the focal point. I made around 80 individual word tiles, and I animated each one to appear as if someone was dragging it from its place lined up on the bottom of the fridge to form new poems. The pace of motion is varied, which I hope conveys the sense of an invisible someone thinking about what they want to write. To reenforce the fantastical element of a fridge that almost appears alive or slightly magical, I added a list of imaginary chores.

Imaginary chores.

I may also add ‘living’ magnets, such as a flower magnet that unfurls its petals or a frog that hops around. I’m still thinking through this idea. This video focuses more heavily on the words than the second one, and its background is a static image of a refrigerator (my refrigerator in fact, photoshopped to remove the real, boring chore list and to create a blank slate for the animated poems to form).  
sky video projection

‘My Never Sunshine’ projected onto a ceiling.

My second video, titled ‘My Never Sunshine,’ is a mashup of the songs “You Are My Sunshine” by Charles Mitchell and “Ain’t No Sunshine” by Bill Withers. I had this idea because one day I got both songs stuck in my head, and thought that a combination of the two would work well. Since I’m not a musician, I looked on YouTube and found that in fact two artists, Justin Sinclair and Jamey Geston, had recorded a live performance of a mashup of the two songs. (Watch it here.) The concept of the video is to juxtapose the lyrics in the form of kinetic text with the recorded song. I scrambled the lyrics of “You Are My Sunshine,” jumbling the words within the song to create a new poem of sorts, and interposed it with the lyrics of “Ain’t No Sunshine,” keeping each song separate. My hope is that this will create an interesting cognitive dissonance for the viewer as they are reading one thing and hearing another, with both the visual and auditory elements strongly resembling the original song but not matching it. I also used different font colors to emphasize the difference between the songs. My rationale behind using black for “Ain’t No Sunshine” and yellow for “You Are My Sunshine” was to denote the absence or presence of sunlight. Here is a brief excerpt to give an example: Ain’t no sunshine when she’s gone You are my grey, my only dear It’s not warm when she’s away You make me mistaken when skies are sunshine Ain’t no sunshine when she’s gone The idea of a lack of sunshine led me to a background of clouds, which the camera appears to pan over as the video progresses. I wanted to create the appearance of drifting slowly through a skyscape. The background utilizes pattern, with the clouds forming a somewhat repetitive pattern, and some of the individual clouds themselves being made up of patterns. At strong beats in the song, I will add new visuals, such as a rain cloud, a rainbow, a sunburst or a bird flying. Despite the melancholy tone of the song and the lyrics, the overall effect is somewhat cheerful due to the use of bright colors and crisp, clean lines.

Still from ‘My Never Sunshine.’

My motivation behind this conference project was to combine kinetic text with pattern, since they are the two parts of our course that spoke to me the most. Found poetry works well for me because I love words but struggle to create completely original creative content (I am more comfortable with writing essays than poems). I like that found poetry takes something already in the world and transforms it into something new and different but somewhat reminiscent of the original. I have also always enjoyed small pieces of found poetry in the real world, such as clever license plates, song mashups, bumper stickers, street signs and bathroom stall graffiti poetry. They have a surprising and whimsical effect that I hope to emulate with these videos.