« Amy Project 1 Final Writeup | Main | how to pdf's - exporting animation and Media Mill »

Emmanuel Project 1

Media Mill Video

This project was a great learning experience as far as developing a concept for a short animation, and learning how to deal with and resolve the issues that arose during the shooting of the animation.
Off the bat I realized that I would have problems with my original project proposal when I could not find black chalk at three different art supply stores. This prompted me to buy children's sidewalk chalk, which is low quality and difficult to make smooth marks with, which I realized once I began to try my first animation sequence. I still wanted to use the method of animating on a cement wall, but I realized with the amount of chalk it took per frame and the poor quality of the image I was going to have to rethink its use for the entire project. I resolved this issue by using a short, relatively easy animation at the beginning of my movie, which is an interaction between a snake and a spider. The snake eats the spider, and with a bang a bucket of water is splashed on the image that serves as the transition to my next medium.
The initial sequence between the snake and the spider inspired me to approach the theme of ‚ÄúPredator & Prey,‚Ä? which ended up becoming the title to my movie. I wanted to show a variety of 'predators' and their 'prey,' but have these be unconventional predator/prey stories. Instead of the cat and the mouse, we have the snake and the spider, etc.
The second scene then was to portray the screw and the screwdriver. I decided to switch to a more traditional medium for animation, which was a pencil drawing. This was the fastest and easiest scene to animate, which involved drawing and redrawing on a single piece of paper, and erasing the previous drawings. I found the effect rather pleasing, as it gave a sense of the time passing, or a sort of 'motion blur' effect. The screw morphed into a 'Frankenstein's Monster' stick figure, which was the transition to the last prey, the marionette-man.
The last scene was animated using three dimensional objects and moving them one part at a time through space. It was the scene that took the longest to shoot, because I wanted to have a much faster frame rate throughout the scene, to give the 'real world' scene the closest frame rate to real time.
Once I assembled the frames and durations I scored the movie, which was a first for me. I enjoyed the challenge of matching rhythms and different notes to emphasize various parts of the imagery. I used the same three instruments throughout (drums, bass guitar and violin) to tie together the three scenes. However, the score really emphasizes the differences in animation throughout the movie, as some images are tied closely to the rhythms of the soundtrack, while others flow more organically.
After scoring I tweaked some of the visual time line, and added black ‚Äúblinking,‚Ä? which I feel gives the viewer a sense of watching the material through someone else's eyes, which tied together the feeling of my presence in a lot of the shots, which include my shadows, arms, reflections, etc.
In the end I really enjoyed my project, and while the aesthetic is not necessarily that of a polished professional, I feel it reflects the learning process that occurred in working this project out.