I’m Back

Hey everyone, I’m back.

I apologise to those who were wanting for more posts and me for not doing so in over six months.

When I started University, I was requested to make a new blog to show my new work.

But resently I have been thinking about how the new blog I made isn’t as good as this one in showing my work the way I want to show it.

So over the next few days I will be posting all of my previous uni work as well as my most recent projects.

Final Major Project: Unnerving Animations

For my Final Major Project on the Art and Design Foundation Course is Unnerving Animations. I came across this subject as I looked back at the animations and films that I enjoyed as a child and notice that not all of them were ‘ sunshine and butterflies’, some had unnerving and scary scenes in them. I decided to focus of the visual potential of mining these images and techniques, which may involve characters, settings and atmosphere. As well as looking into the style and methods that are used in these scenes and investigating what about makes them unnerving. Was it the visual features? Or was it the sound and music?

For my research I looked at a range of animations, film, short animations and artists whos work that an unnerving element to it. This included scenes from Dumbo’s Pink Elephants on Parade and Fantasia’s Night on Bald Mountain and The Socerer’s Apprentice both produced by Disney. The music element, visual and multiplying been key with in these clips. Short animations films such as Fear(s) of the Dark, Brian Andrews’ Hominid, Jan Svankmajer’s Alice a darker stop motion animation based on the book, A Short Vision created by Peter and Joan Folds, Robert Morgan’s The Cat With Hands and Raymond Briggs’ When the Wind Blows. I also looked into Japanese animation (Anime) and the Anime movie Akira, the reason for this is Anime is much more darker to our cartoons mostly because the characters, plot and added elements of politics, religion, humanity ect is so close to the real world and resulting in being much darker. I looked at the artists Fiona Rae and Takashi Murakami who’s work is cute, bright and fun but does have dark element to it such as adding third eyes, sharp teeth and repeating images until it gets too much. I also investigate the relation between sound and animation. From previous projects I have realised that audio helps the animation, for example a scary movie would not have the same effects without the sound and dramatic music. i research the sound and audio methods and tricks that horror and thriller movies take. From sound I looked at Janet Cardiff’s The Forty Part Motet which i saw at The Baltic Centre of Contemporary Art and was blowed away by it, how the sound surround you.

I collected existing animation clip that had unnerving elements to them and analysed them and mimed their style into drawings. I drew some hand drawn images, to help me get back into drawing as the animation that I want to make will be hand drawn.

From this I took a closer look at Disney’s Pink Elephants on Parade and decide to create a short animation based on the elephants heads with them changing expresses and colours as it goes on. I painted them on to acetates with acrylic paint because I wanted to try and recreate that dream-like quality of the animation and so that i could put the acetates onto black paper and take photographs of them. however this was problematic as the glare off of the acetates and the lighting stop me taking decent enough pictures. So in the end I scan them in, and added a black background in by using photoshop.
I aslo decide to create my own pink animals and similar to the elephants have a body part change into an instrument. i created a series of animations and hand drawn stills.

I continued to experiment with different ways of creating animations from ‘melting’ one images to another and repeating it, and Being inspired by Blu and William Kentridge using charcoal and paper, drawing a frame taking a photograph then rubbing it out before drawing the next frame.

I decided to look back at my artists and try and mime Murakami’ style. I took classic Disney characters such as TinkerBell, Winnie the Pooh ann Snow White and re drew them in Murakami style. I also redrew Woody Woodpecker and The Powerpuff Girls and create characters of my own. I really enjoyed this and I wished I could continue to draw and redraw classic characters. This inspired me to do more detailed traditional hand drawn animation using pencil and paper.

For my Final work I planed to create an animation inspired by Dumbo’s Pink Elephants on Parade scene, that it will start off slowly and gently and calm before getting more intense, colourful and hectic as it goes on before slowing down and starting all over again. My animation was made using a combination of my own animations that i made during development and existing footage. Layering them on top of another, multiplying clip, and filters on Final Cut. Using what I found from my images about bright colours, repeating and sound. It is just under 4 minutes long and has a separate sound track.

For the Final Exhibition it will be presented in a dark and dramatic (and specially created) viewing space. This space helps to dramatise the intensity of the animation which deliberately becomes too hard to watch.

NOTE: I WILL POST MY FINAL ANIMATION AT A LATER DATE, DUE TO NOT WANTING TO SHOW IT UNTIL THE SHOW THAT WILL BE NEXT WEEK. AS I WANT IT TO BE A SURPRISE FOR THE AUDIENCE.

Gameplay…

For this project Gameplay, I struggled to find a direction in this project. I wasn’t sure until I discussed it with one of the tutors that I decided to explore the paper game, Exquisite Corpses. I found it interesting how each time you get a different combination of body parts; I found it was like creating a character. I decided to create more exquisites corpses myself. I drew heads on five different pieces of paper then folded them over before mixing them up and asking a friend to pick one and draw the body. I did this finished these are the results:

I realised that creating characters I something all of us have done mostly as children. Playing pretend and becoming a new person. Thought not only children do this, adults do as well, putting on a ’mask’ acting like a different person around someone, online games when people create online Avatars. Actors, as well who play parts within movies.

It form this idea that I decided to explore this be filming four peers and asking them questions about their childhood. What was their favourite game as a child, favourite cartoon, favourite superhero and great fear, and do a pose while answering relating to their answer. I then took stills of the footage and made them draw on them. This was interesting as I got an insight to them as some took their time drawing while others just drew little.

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I made a video exquisite corpse just to see how it would look, it was hard to make but looked good at the end.

I wanted to explore the idea of becoming the characters we see and create so again I took the footage I filmed and created an animation using Photoshop to paint over the clips. I happy how they came out, and I learned a valuable lesson on how much time has to be dedicated to animation.

From this I wanted to try and capture people with out them knowing so that I capture there hidden traits that they show no one. The comment that I received from this footage made me change my idea of my final work. I was told that it looked similar to CCTV footage so i decided to take that route.

I filmed more footage making sure it looked like CCTV footage of the studio space in the National
Glass Centre. Then I took small parts of all the footage and and added fun little short animations with in it. The idea was to have the audience watch this and see these short animations and having to watch the whole animation to have a second look at what they saw.
The original final work was 10 minutes long but I have shortened it so i could up load it as the file was so big.

I am not overall happy with this project as I feel as if i lost my way with it. But I am happy with my final work as it does what I wanted it to do.

The artist and research that i looked at for this project includes Jake and Dino Chapman, Carl Jung and Sigmund Frued ‘s theory on alter egos, Is Tropical The Greeks and the Coca Cola CCTV Advert.

My final work had a chance to be included in the Informer Exhibition that took place outside our studio spaces. The exhibition included a number of students form our Art and Design Foundation Course and their final outcomes for Gameplay.

Art Review: Atlantis by Christine Ödlund

Rebecca Young

28th January 2013

Atlantis by Christine Ödlund

Animate Projects and RSA Arts & Ecology

Atlantis is a hand-drawn animation (Thersa, 2013) which plays on the mythical underwater city of Atlantis. The one minute and fifty four second piece of animation was created by Chistine Ödlund (Animate Projects, 2013) whom is a Swedish artist that works with a range of practices from drawings to sculpture to animate.

It was part of a commission that included a number of short films (Animate Projects Doc, 2013) that were created by seven international artists from the UK, USA, Switzerland, Austria, Sweden and Korea, Christine Ödlund, Jordon Baseman, Phil Coy, Young-Hae Chang Heavy Industries, Elodie Pong, Manu Luksch and Simon Woolham. The films were commissions by Animate Projects and RSA Arts & Ecology to explore ecological themes and the impact on the environment in the twenty first century due to climate change, rising food and oil prices, green issues, political agenda, increase of global conscience and the impact that human have on the earth’s landscape. The series of films (Thersa 2013) were launched at the BFI Southbank in London on the 4th November before touring (Animate Projects Doc, 2013) Cambridge, Dundee, Newcastle, Glasgow and Norwich.

Christine Ödlund’s animation (Animate Projects, 2013) shows that the effects of global warming has cause man to seek refuge under water due to the earth being covered in mould and fungi cause by global warming and extreme weather conditions that force man to take shelter under the sea surface. Ödlund’s silent, ominous and subaqueous world (Moderna Museet, 2013), consists of plant life and submerged architecture. A civilisation that only consists of a few survivors incarcerated in laboratories and bunkers deep beneath the ocean’s surface. The sense of the aftermath of a disaster reminds the audience of the current environmental threats, but also surealise worlds and science fiction.

Ödlund’s film is hand-drawn using pencils and shading and has electronic sound. The animation begins with an image of the surface with mould and fungi covering the ground and a blacken sky. Lightning is shown flashing every few second accompanied by the sound of thunder and wind. A tornedo travel across the screen before the camera pans down revealing more of the fungi. The image then fades to another which shows more of the surface as the camera moves right, revealing tall long fungi, large mushrooms and oddly shaped structures. The screen then fades again presenting a new image of a beach and crumbling cliff face. The sound has also change from roaring of the wind to the crashing of the sea. A wave comes rolling in towards the beach getting larger as it does. The view travels along the cliff face until it reaches an elevator. The elevator then dives down, after the camera view as entered, below the surface blocking out the sound of chaos on the surface. When the elevator doors open the oceans under world is shown. A first all that is seen is coral but as the camera travels forwards the coral parts revealing an underwater city. The city does not become clear until one minute and twenty seven seconds into the film. As this happens a futuristic submarine drifts along towards the left. The sound is of bubbles and a soft motor engine; a contrast to the noise on the earth’s surface.

The monochrome images make the audience investigate the footage more closely as to distinguish the details of the elements and objects within the animation. The lack of colour could link to the misery and hopelessness of the situation as well as help towards that post – apocalypse feel that the film portrays; a sense (Moderna Museet, 2013) of the aftermath of a disaster that reminds and cautions what could very well happen if the current environmental threats go unchanged.

This piece has presented that an animation does not have to be overly complicated or overly ‘flashy’ to be successful or as creative. That it can be dome using the most basic of equipment, materials and effects and the result will be just as good, perhaps even better judging on the thought process and ideas behind it. Atlantis portrays a complex issue of climate change and the possible future it might bring in a way that doesn’t over whelm the audience. The simplicity of the animation and the sound complement one another effectively giving a sense that it is a recorded video.

References:
Animate Projects (2013). Atlantis. [Online]. Available from: http://www.animateprojects.org/films/by_date/films_2008/atlantis [26th January 2013]

Animate Projects (2013). Christine Ödlund. [Online]. Available from: http://www.animateprojects.org/films/by_artist/o/christine_a_dlund [26th January 2013]

Animate Projects (2013). Animate Projects and RSA Arts & Ecology presents Stop. Watch.. [Online]. Available from: http://www.animateprojects.org/docs/1274973294222_stop_watch_pr_tst123_0.pdf [28th January 2013]

Thersa (2013). Stop & Watch as Climate Change Comes to the BFI. [Online]. Available from: http://www.thersa.org/__data/assets/pdf_file/0005/136085/StopWatch-press-notice.pdf [28 th January 2013]

Moderna Museet (2013). Mini Cinema – Films from the Collection. [Online]. Available from: http://www.modernamuseet.se/en/Stockholm/Newslist/Mini-cinema—films-from-the-collection1/ [28th January 2013]

Bibliography:

http://www.animateprojects.org/films/by_date/films_2008/atlantis

http://www.animateprojects.org/films/by_artist/o/christine_a_dlund

http://www.animateprojects.org/docs/1274973294222_stop_watch_pr_tst123_0.pdf

http://www.thersa.org/__data/assets/pdf_file/0005/136085/StopWatch-press-notice.pdf

http://www.modernamuseet.se/en/Stockholm/Newslist/Mini-cinema—films-from-the-collection1/

Bauhaus…

The title of your next project Bauhaus was given the week after your study trip to Berlin.
I was inspired by the a Wassily Kandinsky questionnaire online that ask you to match the colours blue, red and yellow to the shapes, a triangle, a circle and a square and to see if what you chose matched Kandinsky’s colour theory. His answers were yellow for the triangle because it is a sharp colour, blue circle because it is a spiritual colour and shape, and a red square because both are earthbound.

My answers were different as well as my thoughts behind them. I chose red for the triangle because red remind me of fore and the triangle is the Alchemy symbol of fire, yellow for the circle because it is a happy and cheerful colour with no shape edges, and blue for the square because it was the only colour left.
I experimented using the idea that people may associated the colours with different shapes so I swapped them around and experimented with layout and negative space.

Inspired by Paul Bush’s Furniture Poetry I decided to further this idea and make a fun animation based on these three shapes and colours. I wanted to explore with stop motion animation and wanted to see how far I could take it.

I made several trials each using the same methods of animation and shapes but the shapes were doing different things in each animation. I also explored with layering the clips on top of one another, inverting the colours and experimenting with sound. I Used story boards to help me plan my animation and keep it on track.

I really enjoyed this project, my simple idea of shapes and colours relationship with them. This allowed my to further the research into looking at how colour relates to sound and how colours and shapes can create different sounds. My final work was created similar to my trials however the content of the animation id different and as well as the sound and filters I added.

This project allowed me to explore more with stop motion animation and to have fun with it.

My inspiration for this project includes my study trip to Bauhaus in Berlin, Paul Bush, Wassily Kandinsky colour theory on how colour relates to sound, Len Lye, Norman McLaren, and Daphne Orams Oramics.

Digital Skills

Here are some images that I created while experimenting and learning how to use various programs and tools.


Created using photoshop and using a tablet (first time using one). It was hard at first but after a while I got use to it.


Created using the program Illustrator, using the select tool copying different size squares of a photograph and rearranging them on a blank page.


Created using Illustrator, using only the shape tool to create an image, inspired by my Bauhaus project.