Concept and Ideation Task 4 – Reflection on Work

While it took me a few hours to animate my kinetic typography, it would have taken longer if I hadn’t had previous experience with After Effects. I had used After Effects before in a workshop at University, and on a college course last year, and the experience proved to be very useful for this assignment. Overall, I would say I’m very proud of the final result that I produced and I learnt new features from this software (e.g. how to move many items in unison).

One of the things I would improve about my kinetic typography would be the timing of some of the animations. Next time I create an animation like this, I would like to get the audio and video synced up as well as possible. I could also use a bigger variety of fonts to make the animation more interesting.

The only major problem I had throughout this assignment was the fact that Adobe After Effects doesn’t work on any of my computers at home. This is why I used the University Library to get all my editing and animating done. While this gave me a limited time to work on my project, it helped me improve my speed and efficiency with using After Effects.

Of all the projects we’ve done so far, I would say that this has been the most fun to do, as we were allowed to choose any audio from any exiting media and animate words to it the way we wanted. This task was creative and it also gave me a chance to improve my software skills.

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Concept and Ideation Task 4 – My Kinetic Typography

I finally completed my kinetic typography animation with Adobe After Effects. The full process of animating it, rendering and exporting it took a total of 4 hours. Since we could choose any audio to go with our animations, I decided to use a clip from one of the Joker’s scenes in the game Batman: Arkham Origins (2013).

The original audio can be found from the following link:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pjQ6EzFfc0w

Concept and Ideation Task 3 – My Animation

After looking at and researching different types of stop-motion animation (e.g. clay-based, paper-based), I decided to use paper in my animation for this assignment. Pictured below is my first solo attempt at a stop-motion animation. It follows the theme of “water cycle“.

Click to see full-size

Click to see full-size

The animation is made up of 25 frames, all of which I took with a digital camera. I wanted everything in the picture to move, so that all the emphasis isn’t one the water. This is why most of the shots are at a slightly different angle. I could have improved the steadiness of the shots and put them together in a less shaky way; this is one of the only major issues that I would improve about my first animation.

In order to animate the water drop in my animation, I looked at short videos online that showed how they are formed. In my animation, each stage of the drop falling into the bowl is made up of individual drawings that I produced.

Concept and Colour drawings:

photo image

Concept and Ideation Task 3 – Animation Research

In order to get a better understanding of how to carry out this task and create a stop-motion animation of my own, I decided to look at other sources, such as online videos and webpages that focused on this type of animation. Although I’m more used to digital animation, I’ve wanted to try animating like this since I saw stop-motion films (e.g. Wallace & Gromit, Chicken Run, etc.) as a child.

The picture below shows an example of a set used by a professional studio to create stop-motion animations.

I found researching this subject particularly useful, as I haven’t done a lot of stop-motion animation up till this point. The final result that I will be animating will follow my chosen theme of the “water cycle”.

The following links were some of the examples I found most useful for my research:

http://www.aardman.com/ – The official website of the famous Aardman Animations LTD. This page gives details on the company and its previous projects.

http://www.awn.com/ – Short for, Animation World Network, AWN reports on animated movies as well as other types of animation. This expansive website also provides other interesting material such as interviews with famous people in the industry, as well as trailers, previews and articles associated with animation.

traceloops.tumblr.com/ – A useful and cleverly presented collection of animations, made from different techniques (e.g. hand-drawing, rotoscoping, etc.)

Temporal Expressions – Slit-scan

During the same week we were given the temporal expressions task, we were also introduced to slit-scan photography.

Slit-scan photography is a photographic technique that creates pictures that are made up of several different slits. This can help change or distort the appearance of the image you want to capture. The pictures below, following the water cycle theme, were taken using the free slit-scan app on my phone.

image image_2 image_3 photo image_1

I found the following link useful in my research into slit-scan photography and its history:

http://filmmakeriq.com/lessons/slit-scan-recreating-the-stargate-sequence-from-stanley-kubricks-2001-using-legos/

Temporal Expressions Task – Exposure Photography

Since we were set our temporal expressions assignment, I have been going out to experiment with time-based photography that makes use of long and short exposure. At first, I was having difficulty taking pictures that made use of different levels of light exposure with my digital camera and its shutter speed. However, through practice, I found out how to change the exposure of the photos I took.

I found out how to do this by pointing my camera and focusing on a light area (e.g. near the sun), then keeping the focus until I pointed the camera at whatever I wanted, and then I captured the photo. This was how I gave my pictures the appearance of short exposure.

I’m still keeping to the theme of water cycle throughout this assignment.

Short Exposure

ex1 ex3 ex2

Motion Blur

ex4 ex14

Long Exposure

I did the opposite for capturing photos exploiting long exposure by pointing my camera and focusing on an area of darkness (e.g. by covering up the shutter), and then taking pictures.

ex5 ex6 ex10

Frozen Motion

ex8 ex9

Overall, I’m glad I’ve had the opportunity to try out exposure photography, as I have never been able to take pictures like these before. Changing the exposure  and angle of each shot I took gave me an insight on how to take photos with a more professional appearance, with the use of exposure and shutter speed.

I was also interested by how changing the exposure of my photos also changed the detail in which the water was captured. As can be seen in the long exposure pictures I took, the waves and ripples are more emphasised and focused than the pictures exploiting short exposure.

Concept and Ideation Task 4 – Kinetic Typography

During the week in which we learned about After Effects, we were given a new assignment that put our skills with this software to the test.

In this assignment, we have all been tasked to produce an animation lasting more than 20 seconds, using our skills that we have gathered from After Effects. In our animated sequences, we need to bring in kinetic typography (moving text) that corresponds with a soundtrack featuring a voice. The soundtrack can be from any media of our choice (e.g. TV, games, radio, etc.) and motion graphics/special effects need to be used for every word that spoken in the soundtrack.

I think that for my sequence, I will be animating something from a film or game, as they are two of my favourite types of digital media. I need to look at more examples of kinetic typography before I animate my chosen soundtrack.

Concept and Ideation Task 3 – Animation

Recently, we’ve been practicing our animation skills ever since our workshops from last week. We’ve been experimenting with frame by frame animation and creating GIFs with the help of Adobe Photoshop. Before the workshops, I had no idea that it was possible to animate with software that is most commonly used for image manipulation. Pictured below is an example of an animation that I produced in Photoshop:

Workshop animation

Click to see in full size

Using our new and improved animation skills, we need to create looping stop-motion animations of over 12 frames for this assignment. The subject of our animations can be anything that follows the theme of “cycle”, as long as it’s taken with a video camera or DSLR.

Additionally, since I have an iPod Touch, I can download Stop motion Animation Maker Pro and create my stop motion animation that way.

I’ve always loved watching and creating animation so I look forward to carrying out this particular assignment.

Temporal Expressions Task – Joiner Image

After looking into the work of David Hockney for inspiration, I have created a joiner image that is heavily based on his artistic style. A joiner image, in this case is a group of collages put together with photographs of one subject (e.g. a scene, object or person) taken from different angles and at different times.

To help me create an image like this, I used image manipulation software such as Photoshop and Fireworks to cut out segments of photos I had taken over the week and put them together into one image.

river joiner image bigger

Since the theme we should use to tie these images together is “cycle”, I decided to expand on this theme and make a joiner image about the water cycle. My joiner image is made out of 44 different segments of three photos I took of the same river, each taken from a different angle.

I found it was difficult at first to make a clear image out of three combined photographs, but once I had an idea on how to present and structure my final product, it got easier as I went along with the editing process. Overall, I’m very pleased about how my first joiner image turned out, and I think I’ve followed Hockney’s style as well as I can.

I now need to take pictures that exploit long and short exposure, in order to fully complete this assignment.

My Finished Alphabet Photography Poster

I spent a lot of time last week taking the last remaining photos of natural imagery that resembled letters of the alphabet.

I felt that the easiest examples to find were H, I and T and the letters that I found most difficult to find were C, G and Q. After getting all 26 pictures, I uploaded them onto my computer in order to edit and arrange them on a poster using Adobe Photoshop.

This is my final result:

smaller alphabet

Overall, I’m very proud of the poster I have created and I feel that this assignment has given a great chance to improve my photography skills. I’ve also improved my ability to spot different types of naturally occurring imagery and identify basic shapes and letters within them.