Critique 5 Final Project

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Project Focus / Title: My digital focus project was story telling. The title of my piece is The Stars in the Sky

Media: For this project I used mostly Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop to create my images. For the voice telling the story I used Garage Band. For my final piece I used an old cigar box, acrylic paint, cover paper for printing, ribbon, found objects and rubber cement. This was definitely a mixed media piece.

Size + Format: Each page in my book is trimmed to 10X6 inches. The cigar box that the pages are inside are 11.5 X8 inches. There are 18 pages to my story inside the box and a cd that has the story read on it by my roommate who is an early childhood teacher. This CD can be accompanied with this story or read without.

What conceptual ideas or thematic subjects did you investigate with
this project: For this project I wanted to explore different ways to do story telling. My project began with the inspiration of a story my mom used to read to me titled The Stars in the Sky. I first started working with this story as an animation but then realized I wanted to try out a childrens book because I had never done that before. I used my own personal style to create images for this story that could tell the story without words. I learned that the images need to be understandable and lead well to the next page just like a story would if it was being told.

Describe your work process on these finished pieces : My original plan with my childrens book was to get it professional binded so it looked just like a real book but then I discovered that it could not get done in enough time before it was due. SO I thought of other ways that storys could be told and found an old cigar box at an antique store that inspired me to have the story unfold like an occoridan out of the box once it is opened. This story is about a little girls dream and I wanted to capture that theme by having the box hold this story as a memory. The story is full of imagination and I wanted to continue this with my final piece by having bright colors and glitter on the box that holds the story. I also wanted to have the option of words with my story so I included a CD with the story being told. I really enjoy the overall theme of my project but if I had more time and money I would have liked to play more with the execution of the project and tried a few other techniques. I had a couple problems with the cutting of my project and paint reacting to glue.

Evaluate the success of the final craft of your finished project:
I think that my project was very successful in telling a story. I think that the interactive piece of the project bring the surprise and the option to listen to a CD with the story being told allows a large audience to enjoy the story, at all ages.

Describe how you would ideally present or share this work with a
public audience: I think that this final piece is a story as a work of art. This could be displayed in a gallery that featured art for children or it could be used as promotion for the author's book at a book store. It reminds me of some of the displays Barnes and Nobles has of featured authors and books.

Describe how you would expand on this creative work if you were to
continue developing it: If I was going to continue this work which I hope to do, I would like to go back and try the animation of this story. I want to try even more ways to tell a story and this could include animation, an e-book for an iPad or iTouch, or experimenting with self binding my own book.

Critique 4

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I have been reworking the layout and words and images for my book this week. Here is some of what I have done so far. Here is a recording I have done that tells the story for the reader with a chime when the page should be turned which will be attached as a disk to the inside cover of the book once it is finished and binded.


Critique 3

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I've made some changes to my project idea since last week. As I've been working on sketching out each scene of my story and then creating the same image in illustrator, I've realized that I am really interested in the detail, textures and colors of each scene. I don't think I have enough time to finish the animation and complete the backgrounds how I want them to look. The detail of the images are more important to me right now so I have changed my idea to a children's book. I got this idea from my roommate who is studying elementary education and is in a children's literature class right now. By making a book instead I will have more time to make sure the images convey the correct meaning with the words and have the detail work that I want. In order to make this project still "animated" in a sense... I have two ideas. I am going to have a CD attached to the inside cover of my book that can be played with the book. This will have a woman reading each page out loud and when the page should be turned there will be a chime. This will make it relatable to children. Also I was thinking of making a small flap on each page or every other page that can be folded up to show an image like a frog under a rock or a fox behind a tree. This can make it interactive and have a similar "animated" affect. Since I changed my idea I have some inspirations and past work to show. Here are two children books that have the same style I want to achieve with my book.



Here is a similar project that I did in Digital Studio I a couple years ago. It was a group project where one of my group members illustrations and story was chosen for us to make into a book. We filled it in with water color together and I decided to take the Snow White theme of the book and make the book in the shape of a mirror.



For today's critique I have decided what text to keep in the story and how the text will all be divided onto the pages. I have six pages digital rough drafts done. I have the rest of the images sketched out digitally but not colored in yet... that is what I will be doing the rest of today and tomorrow. For critique next week I will have all of the pages done with a strong rough draft so that next week I can do the close detail work and start figuring out how I want to do the binding. I have the pages of my book layed out in a few different ways so that there is movement in the girl traveling along. I have some pages where the two left and right pages are one image, I some where there are two separate images on the left and right pages and others where it is just text in the middle with no image or a very small one in the corner. Here is some of what I have done right now. I have the rest of my digital outline files on my flashdrive but I left that at home so I will add those later tonight when I get home.


Here is a link to different ways I can go about binding my book. I want to have a strong enough paper so I can do the flap tabs if I choose to do that.

Here is some research I did on children's book with my roommates textbook on children's literature.


I will post the rest of my background images once I fill them in with color... probably tonight or sometime tomorrow.

Critique 2

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I still have a lot to get done before I can start the animation process of this project. I have completed five of the 10 background images in digital outlines and I have almost finished coloring in scene 2. I have decided on the color scheme I want to use, consisting of Pink, green, blue, and neutral colors with their varying tints and shades. I have decided to keep the little girl character in a white nightgown since she begins the story in bed in the middle of the night. The white color is the same as the moon and the stars of each scene so that the viewer can see where she is headed. For the weekend I will finish all of the background scenes in color so that I am ready to start the animation process of this project. I will need to make a more detailed storyboard of how the animation will work before I get started. I also need to decide on a song for the animation too. I have been looking but haven't really found anything that works for it yet. I came across a Charter Communications commercial that uses animation in a similar way that I want to work with. I liked how they went from scene to scene as well as the various colors and textures they used to create it.





Critique 1


For the first critique I wanted to show the different experimenting I have been doing with textures and techniques. I have taken my sketched storyboard and began making them into digital files using Illustrator. I will keep each of the scenes as one layer, except for any of the pieces that I plan on animating, those will have their own layer so that they can be animated later on in After Effects. I attached scene 1 (the little girls room) as it looks digitally and I have started to fill some of the pieces with textures. I couldn't remember how to fill a shape in with a pattern that I had made so I looked online and found out it is very easy. I scan in the texture that I want to use, place it into an illustrator file and drag the image to the swatches, where it automatically makes my image a new swatch. Then I click on the part of the scene that I want to have that texture and then click on that same swatch, this fills the shape in for me. This is going to make it much easier for me to achieve the style I want. My plan this weekend is to gather all of the textures I want to use for this project and decide on an overall color scheme for the animation as well as specifically what color the character will be in order to have her stand out amongst the backgrounds. I was thinking I would maybe do textured objects and characters, but leave the backgrounds solid colors similar to Liam Smith's style that I showed as inspiration last week. I also want to get two more scenes digitally made this weekend and decide on the music for the animation. My goal is to be animating by week 3 of this project.

How to create patterns in Illustrator

Experimenting with digital files and filling in textures:



Liam Smith inspiration for colors and textures:



VIZ Lab Collaborative Project

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We finally finished our collaborative project yesterday. My group was in charge of putting together an installation that covered the windows outside of the VIZ lab. We used my mock up design as the basis of our design, but ended up making a few changes along the way. Because of the costs of printing several images in color, we decided to change my original idea of all color images, to mostly black and white with a few colored squares. Another change that we made to my original design was the size of the squares. It was more economical to print in smaller scale so the sizes we used were 10x10 8x8 and 3x3. This made creating a grid out of all of the pieces a little bit more difficult, so we had to rearrange some of the images to fit accordingly. Overall, I am very pleased with our final product. It brings attention to the windows, but also provides some privacy for the students and staff working inside the lab. As spring evolves, so could our design by adding more colored squares and replacing the winter remixes with spring remixes.

Final Product:


Digital Focus Plan

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For my digital focus this semester I want to work with mixed media and animation. l am going to use these mediums to tell the story, The Stars in the Sky, originally an English fairy tale written by Joseph Jacobs. I am using an adapted version by Carolyn Sherwin Bailey, Kate Douglas Wiggin, and Nora Archibald Smith.

The story is about a little girl who dreams of touching the stars in the sky. After she can't control the urge any longer, she gets up in the middle of the night and travels along in search of the stars. She encounters a mill wheel, a brook, some fairies (fireflies), Four Feet (a horse), No Feet (a fish), and the Stairs without Steps (a rainbow) who all help her find the stars. The little girl eventually finds the stars, but then wakes up in her bed with the sun shinning on her wondering if she had really touched the stars or if it was only a dream, but then she opens her hand to find star dust, and believes it may have been true.

The story plays off of a child's imagination and how they interpret reality, like when she asks the mill wheel where to find the stars and the mill wheel responds with, "Ah, yes, groaned the old mill wheel. Every night they shine in my face from the surface of this pond until I cannot sleep. Jump in, my lass, and you will find them." In reality the stars just reflecting into the pond, they cannot be caught this way, and a mill wheel doesn't actually talk.

I want to take this imaginative imagery and create a short animation telling this story. I want to use mixed media, like textured paper, or found objects and scan them into my computer to digitally create the different pieces of the story. I attached a few images of the visual style I want to achieve, as well as a link to the full story.

The Stars in the Sky

Artists who have inspired me for this project...

Martin Haake- He is an illustrator and often works in a collage style. I like his work because of the different textures and colors that came from combining different elements. Here is an example of his work.


Liam Smith- Also known as Mr. Brightside. He is an illustrator, loves creating characters and experimenting with textures. This is really similar to the visual style I want to have in my project. Here are a few examples of his work.


Eugene Yoon- He is an 11th grader who created this mixed media project titled, ''Circus.'' I found this piece published in the Washington Post. I liked it because it is an interesting way to tell a story. There are many different things happening with it that I enjoyed, especially the pop up effect. I am going for an animated narrative but I still felt inspired by the different textures he used. Here is a link to it:


Freek Van Haagen- He is an illustrator and animator. I liked this piece of his called "Broken" because he told a story with just music and minimal animation, it was done mostly with camera angles. Here is a link to his video:


Diane Jackson- The Snowman is a children's book by English author Raymond Briggs, published in 1978. In 1982, this book was turned into a 26-minute animated movie by Dianne Jackson. This is a movie I used to watch when I was younger. It is done with only animation and music. The music is done by Howard Blake. Here is a link to the video:

"The Snowman"
(Start at 1:52)

My Past Work...
I have chosen two pieces of my work that are similar to what I want to do for my digital focus project. I created a digital narrative for my Graphic Design II class last semester where I had to tell a story using image and text from the book, Einstein's Dreams. I chose an image from that narrative that shows how I used different elements to create texture. I scanned in found materials and used that combined with my digital work to create one piece. The other piece of work I chose is a commercial I made in my Motion Graphics class for Fed Ex. I used illustrator and animation to create this project. Here are links to these projects:


Fed Ex Commerical

Thumbnail image for vnarrative_Page_01.jpg

Work In Progress...

I have taken the story and divided it into multiple scenes. I have also divided the story into eleven different settings that I will be creating as the backgrounds of my animation. Parts of these backgrounds will also animate. Here is a link to it:


I have also drawn out a storyboard of each setting with a small description of what will be going on in the scene. Here is a link to it:


Materials and Techniques I will use...
For this project I am going to create the outline of the images digitally using illustrator but use different objects as texture to fill them in. Here are two examples of these materials:

IMG.jpg Thumbnail image for IMG_0001.jpg

CopyWRONG Final Work

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Here is an 11x17 pdf of the final work I created for the CopyWRONG project. I have included the original museum image, four of my remixes, and my favorite remix with a description of my design process.


Here is a link to my 11x17 pdf


Museum Remix

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These are my museum remixes of David Erickson's oil painting, "Morning of Life". I tried a variety of ways to manipulate them in order to determine what is violating copy right laws and what isn't. I realized that most of my images would not be questioned as violating copy right laws because the subject has been removed or the texture has been changed. Where the subject is still obvious, is where this violation occurs, like in my second remix where I changed the color image to black and white.


Here is a link to all of my remixes:

Image from Tweed Collection

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For the next assignment I am choosing to work with...

Image name: Morning of Life
Artist name: David Axel Ericson

Info: "The grand theme of life's journey as seen through the eyes of innocent youth is the subject of this painting, which features the artist's son (David Barnard Ericson, Jr.) at three years old, dramatically poised between the Lake Superior shore and a vast expanse of open water."

Why I like this image: I like this image because it is very beautiful and I love the curiosity in the child's face. I think the soft painting technique captures the emotion of the scene well. The color combination, light shades of blue and grey show to me that the curiosity in the child's face isn't scared but calming.


About Me

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My name is Heidi! I am a senior at the University of Minnesota Duluth studying graphic design and business.

Winter Remix Project Images

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For the first project in Digital Studio II we built a bank of winter images. We created winter remixes using everyones different photos. I made 10 remixes as well as a mock up of a winter remix installation piece that could be installed in the Viz Lab.


Here is a link to a photo gallery:

Here is my idea for an installation...
Originally we started this project out as multiple compositions made out of a 12x12 square set up in a grid. I wanted to continue this theme of a grid in my installation piece only at a larger scale.


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