November 26, 2007

Stop motion reflection

When I started off on the project I knew that it would take a lot of work to make stop motion but I didn't think that it would take as much time as it did. I found it to be a very time consuming and at times tedious process to go through to make a video but in the end when you get to see the fruits of your labors it does make it worth it. There was a real sense of fullfillment when you watch your inanimate objects brought to life on a video. Overall I had a lot of fun with this project though there were times when things got really annoying like when things would fall over or not be able to move in the ways that were invisioned when planning. Also batteries dying in the camera can be really annoying. Well I am glad that this was out third project since it was a new experience that I enjoyed on the whole and I plan to continue doing stop motion videos on my own for the fun of it.

Quarter War

For the stop motion project I wanted to use Legos and to give them a life of their own. One thing I wanted to show in this stop motion project were three different realities. The human world, the 2D world of drawings, and a 3D world of Legos. I wanted to show that although the three realities are not the same, they co-exist together. I tried to make these connections by have different realities come together at different points. I also added a portal because I wanted to make a connection between the 2D and the 3D world, and to see what happens when a 2 dimensional drawing become a 3 dimensional object like a Lego.

Some problems that I had while doing this project was lighting and focusing the camera. The Legos and the white board both had shiny surfaces and I could light them directly without getting a glare, and I took some time before I could figure out the best way of lighting everything. It also took a long time the properly focus the objects because Legos are just so small and the close-ups requires a different focus from the far shots. Another big problem I was a trying to crease music to go with the video. I have no musical talent and I was really hard for me to make music. I also a lot of scenes and I didn’t know how to make different songs match the scenes and still make it flow nicely, so I decided on just one song.

I wanted to use the advantage of stop motion to make the Legos seem alive and to be able to move on their own, but at the same time I wanted this project look to look like a film. To make is seem more like a movie I did a lot of panning shots, different camera angles, and zoom in and out. I think overall the storyline was pretty clear, and I’m so what satisfied with the finish project. There are some things I would like to see improved but I’m sick of Legos I don’t want to continue.



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November 24, 2007

Final Project 3

I was really not impressed with myself after finishing this project. I did not complete my initial idea. This was because I was unable to get a few of the supplies that I need and also, my boss was pretty upset with me when she saw what I was doing with her product. I came to the conclusion that I had no other option but to use whatever I had at home because it was the last day I had the video camera. I came to realize that stop motion is really a challenge if you're not pretty familiar with photography in general.

I personally had trouble with focusing, as you can see. I was using a Panasonic video camera that I checked out from the art department. I think I would have had a much greater advantage had I had my own digital camera available. Lighting was also a problem for me. I had (what I thought to be) very bright lights surrounding the sink I was doing the dishes in. On the camera however, it looked too dark so I brought in another, smaller, light to brighten the area beneath the cupboards. Seeing it on the computer however, makes me think that it probably would have been okay had I not used that extra light.

Overall, I could have definitely done a better job. Lack of time and ideas really got to me. I would really like to do a better quality stop motion video.

November 21, 2007

Paper Trail

The reward of having a finished project is definitely nice when considering all of the effort put into this project. This stop motion video was incredibly difficult to make and very time-consuming. Originally the idea sounds good on paper, no pun intended, but the actual shooting is a long, drawn-out process. There were times when I'd be out in the cold for hours at a time and not a ton of pictures to show for it. Also the wind plays a huge factor. There were a few times when I had to chase down my piece of paper. A lot of duct tape was used to make sure each scene was secure. That being said, however, overall I am extremely pleased with the finished product. There are obvious flaws in the video that any beginner would encounter but I feel that the quality of the video outweighs some of the excess. The way that it comes full circle after traveling to various places makes the two-minute stop motion complete. In conclusion, another stop motion would be something that I'd be interested in trying again because of the experience I had with the first stop motion project.

An Evening with John and Jane

For my project, I wanted to show life, energy, and emotion through the use of color. I started with a completely white set, and used spray paint to add color to the setting. Through the use of color and music, I wanted to add various moods, energies, emotions, and life to an otherwise dull setting. The characters in the animation could be a married couple or are in some sort of a relationship, and the video shows what could be a typical evening in their lives.

7 Ate 9: A Musical Number

When I first started coming up with my ideas for a stop motion movie, I wanted to do something that was creative, unique, weird, and funny, and after a long time of brainstorming, I came up with a strange idea based on the old children's joke, "Why is 6 afraid of 7? Because 7 ate 9." I then came up with the story of a land of magic numbers where the number 7 hunts down the number 9, and eats him. The number 6 becomes afraid, and he calls me to come kill the number 7. I decided I would tell the story in the form of a musical-esque song that I would write and record. I first wanted to use cardboard cutouts for the numbers, but then decided it would be easier with using a white board and markers. I recorded the song, filmed the animation, and then filmed my part in the movie. I moved in slow increments and inserted the shots into the movie in order to create stop motion for my parts, as well. I then filmed me singing the song in the same way. I put the telling of the joke at the beginning of the movie, so that people would understand the concept, and then ended it with credits and the bizarre song "Revolution 9" by The Beatles, which I thought was a fitting and weird ending to the already strange movie. In the end, I like the way the movie came together, and I feel it is something that is pretty different. It was a fun and enjoyable process, overall.

November 20, 2007

in search of...

For our third project, the stop motion video, I found it difficult to settle on a subject and story and ended up changing my ideas multiple times before settling on what became my final product. The idea for the story behind my piece sort of evolved as I began shooting frames so ultimately in the end I wound up scrapping a few hundred frames of material that didn't fit in with the story.

The idea for my video ended up coming from the work of Joseph Campbell. Campbell has written several books on the significance of mythology and stories in the way people live their lives today. The various motifs of the hero in stories throughout space and time tend to have commonalities and these bits of information "have to do with the themes that have supported human life, built civilizations, and informed religions over the millennia." I find his work and ideas fascinating and decided to do my piece based on one of the motifs of the hero which he outlines in his book "The Hero with a Thousand Faces," where the hero goes through some kind of transformation, overcomes an obstacle, and ultimately finds enlightenment.

The process of making the stop-motion piece was a huge battle for me, and despite being satisfied with my results, something I will probably not attempt to tackle again any time soon. After taking a few hundred pictures and thinking I had made some substantial progress only to discover I had shot about 11 seconds of actual moving footage, I realized I had my work cut out for me. I think a project like this would be easier maybe if there were 2 or 3 people working on it at once. With the addition of some music I created and a few video filters I am happy with the outcome of my piece, but relieved that it is done.

Stop Motion Painting

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Stick Man

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On a Run

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November 19, 2007

Stop Motion Proposal

It took me a while to figure out what I wanted to do for this project. I started to think about "my art space", the little corner of a room where I make art. This desk i have is always cluttered with various unfinished projects and doodles, this can make things a little unorganized for the creation process. What if these items came alive? how would they interact with one another? How would the usefulness of an item project its personality? what kind of art would these tools make? As an artist I create every day, I try to bring to life these images that are in my head and pt them down on some medium. I'm going to tackle the notion of the "creation" becoming the "creator", and what questions arise as a result of expression and meaning as an artist becomes antiquated in this process.