December 14, 2008

Jordain Project Three write up

Arts 1601
Jordain Chinander

Final Project write-up

I signed up for this class because I wanted to learn how to create a cartoon animation and I knew that at least one of our projects was an animation project. I learned a lot from my first project and that project gave my enough confidence to try to make a fully cartoon animated project. Having had some experience from my first project that I decided to make my final project a cartoon project inspired by early Disney cartoons. I began this project knowing full well that it was going to be very difficult and time consuming, and yet it has been a dream of mine since childhood to create a cartoon animation, and so I accepted the challenge. Despite the inability to apply the music I would have liked without compromising the quality of the cartoon, I was very satisfied with the final outcome. I think with more time I will be able to further push this cartoon and so I think I will continue to develop this project over my Holiday break. Cartoons, though difficult they may be to create, I have found to be a real passion for me. I believe there will be several more projects like this one in my future.

I initially signed up to be in this class because I wanted try my hand at creating cartoon animations. I wanted to first see if I liked to make one and if so I planned on signing up for the animation class during one of the semesters to come.

I was indeed able to make a couple of cartoon animations in this class and they were very fun and also very difficult and time consuming to produce. I began by creating a sort of “composite� animation for my first project and I found that I really liked to process of creating it.

Based off of the insight I gained from my first project I decided to use the skills and methods I learned from the first animation and push them a little further for a final animation project.

My final project I decided was going to be a cartoon starring myself as an early Disney-esque styled cartoon character. I created the cartoon in a more or less traditional cartoon manner, however I set it in a modern setting as a reflection of my own frustrations with work and the pressures I have felt in today’s poor economy. It was a bit of a challenge to blend the two worlds and still stay true to an early animation style.

I knew based upon how much work the first animation was, that this project was going to be a lot of work. I soon found out after I began, however, that this project was quite a bit more difficult to produce than the first.

The first project was a visual collage of still images/photos and drawn then imported characters. These elements were then animated in Flash on the computer. This project was composed entirely in Flash. First the characters were hand drawn and then imported into Photoshop and then into Flash. Next in Flash I re-drew the characters and gave them a set also drawn in the Flash program. Each character and set component was laid within it own layer built up one on top of another. This allowed me to individually move and alter each figure keyframe by keyframe without disturbing any of the other images.

Though the animation was only some thirty seconds long, it was composed of hundreds of keyframes set in many layers. It was quite a feat just trying to keep all of the layers straight, let alone alter each one in appropriate succession to give the appearance of fluid movement. On a positive not however, I found that even though it was confusing and a lengthy process, as I continued to add on to the animation I became quicker and quicker at altering each keyframe. I believe that with more practice at this process I will become much faster and more efficient at making cartoons.

I initially wanted to lay a soundtrack in this cartoon, although I found that Flash would not recognize the song I had selected from my iTunes. I was able to import the song into Final Cut, however when I exported the Flash cartoon into a QuickTime and then imported that QuickTime into Final Cut, I had lost a considerable amount of visual quality from my cartoon. After the cartoon had been exported from Final Cut then quality of the project had dissipated tremendously and was no longer worthy of submission.

I felt upset at this setback at first and so I went back to my inspiration for some reflection and answers. I re-watched the original Disney cartoons and found that none of them had a soundtrack either. Next I looked to see if they incorporated any sort of text, and there was none. As a result I ultimately decided not to add in text either. Instead I wanted the outrageous facial expressions and the exaggerated gestures of the characters to tell the story.

I think despite the shortness of the animation, it was a success. I am very proud of this project and I think it demonstrates how far I have come since that first project I created. I have strong hopes to continue working on this project during the holiday break and further develop it. I also intend to create many more cartoons from here on out. I would very much like to figure out how to remedy the music and soundtrack issues that I have been faced with in Flash and once I have found a way around it to use music and dialogue in my cartoons in the future.

I have learned so much this semester and I plan to take this knowledge and use it to make many more video and animated projects in the future. I am proud of the work I have created in this class and I know there will be even better projects to come.

December 10, 2008

Jordain Chinander Project Three

Media Mill Video

December 4, 2008

Extra Credit Artist paper, Jordain Chinander

Yoshitaka Amano, an Artist of True Inspiration
Written by: Jordain K. Chinander

I am writing about my favorite contemporary artist, a person who is an endless inspiration to me, Yoshitaka Amano. Yoshitaka began as a professional artist at a young age and has continued to produce new works and generate fresh ideas ever since. Amano has a style like nothing else I have ever seen. He has works spanning the artistic gamut. Be it illustration work in books and graphic novels or film and animation pieces, Yoshitaka can draw, paint, or design for anything thrown at him while still staying true to his own unique style, and that is what makes him an artist worthy of admiration. I hope to someday be as successful and fulfilled as he in my own career as a visual artist.

Amano was born in 1952 a small town at the base of mount Fuji in Shizuoka Japan. He showed interest in drawing from a young age. As a young child he would waste the day away drawing endless pictures on large rolls of paper that his older brother would bring home for him from the factory that he worked in.

In 1967 at the age of only 15, he boldly marketed himself to the Tatsunoko animation studio while visiting a friend of his in Tokyo. The studio was so impressed with the paintings Amano presented to them that they instantly put him to work on a series they were producing at the time. The show was called “Space Ace and Mach Go Go Go.� From the work he did on that series he was promoted to work on additional series like: “Gatchaman,� “Hutch the Honeybee,� and “Cashaan: Robot Hunter.�

After fifteen years with Tatsunoko studios, Yoshitaka began a career as a freelance artist. By this time he had already gained a huge following in Japan and his work was a continued success. From here he began to produce paintings and drawings for many well-known books and graphic novels. Some of his best know works were his character designs for the “Final Fantasy� games and his illustrations done for Hideyuki Kikuchi’s “Vampire Hunter: D� series and Neil Gaiman’s “The Sandman: The Dream Hunter.�

Besides his work on T.V. animation series and in books and graphic novel series, Yoshitaka has also had great luck and much fame with him own private works. He has traveled all over the world showing his pieces in some of the best galleries and museums. He has shown in New York City’s Puck Building and at the Angel Orensanz Foundation. His work has been exhibited in the Tokyo Uenonomori Museum, were it attracted an unprecedented record of viewers. He has shown work in Los Angeles and the list goes on and on.

I first found myself attracted to Yoshitaka Amano when I fell in love with the “Vampire Hunter: D� series and movies. From there I began to research his work and found more and more paintings and illustrations that made me love this man’s unique style.

Amano does work in an often very dark and fanciful sort of dream-like manner. His characters always have an airbrushed quality about them and are very often done in way resembling ancient Japanese drawings and paintings. He will sometimes contrast a very dark and silhouetted character with some minimal vibrantly colored detail in the background or somewhere on the character or subject of the piece.

I would have to say what is most breath-taking for me about Yoshitaka’s work is the uncontrollable sense of depth and emotion in the purest form that is inherent in all of his work. I am always taken with each piece of Amano’s that I look upon. He is truly an inspiration for me.

I have never in my life been so attracted to another artist’s style and ability to produce such a variety of work while remaining true to himself and his form of expression. Yoshitaka is in my mind the epitome of what every working artist should strive to become in their own careers. He is true to himself and to his vision. He can draft you a character for a video game, illustrate you a book, design you a clothing line, build you a theatrical set or animate you a movie or T.V. series. He is a true maverick and a brilliant visionary. I hope to someday look back on a career as successful and fulfilling as that of Yoshitaka Amano’s.

November 10, 2008

Jordain Project Three Proposal

I would like to make a movie or an animation about "a Day in My Life." I will create this project by having it filmed or animated in a Black and White early cinema/animation style. I have the musical track already selected and I have been coming up with ideas for the general story. Although I do not have the entire story worked out yet I have the concept and basic plot together. I plan to either begin filming or animate by the end of the week. The characters in the project will be played by those who I see in my day to day life. There will be no speaking through out the project, characters will either act out the story through dramatized suggestive movements or they will be animated as such. This is as much as I can say about the project at this time, but I will continue developing my ideas so that I can begin working in a few days time.

November 3, 2008

Jordain Project 2 Write Up

Arts 1601: Time and Interactivity
Project 2
Jordain K. Chinander

For my second project I decided to re-enact a scene from the Land Before Time. As a child this movie always seemed to make me cry and as I have found it continues to do so. This was an interesting film to re-enact for me for two reasons. The first reason is that it was a challenge for me to act a scene from a cartoon in real life. The second reason was that it was such an emotional movie for me.

As a child the Land Before Time was a movie that always made me cry because it triggered fears I had of losing my mother. I find funny enough that even today when I watch this cartoon it still brings me to tears. I wonder why I still after so many years harbor my same childhood fears in one way or another.

I chose to re-enact this scene originally with my mother, however she was always traveling and so I ultimately decided to act it out on my own. I found it was strange to act a scene from a cartoon in real life, so I chose to tackle this roadblock by focusing on my voice similarity rather than on my costume or set.

Another thing that was tough for me was the emotional trigger acting out the scene presented. I found that I kept starting to cry while acting it out. In the end however, I used that raw emotion to push my characters and act the scene out more honestly. I found my emotions to be a help rather hindrance.

I really enjoyed this project and I learned a great deal doing it. It was completely different from the first project and I look forward to begging the third project to see what fun challenges it will present.


The Peer Review

I really found having a peer review session before submission to be very helpful. It was really beneficial for me to have my fellow class mates give me their own personal critiques of my movie before I handed it in because it gave me the opportunity to make small changes before the final critique. I would like to continue working in this manner for my final project. I will probably ask some of my peers to look at my work in progress for the final project before I submit the final version. A mixture of small group and large class critiques of my work would be helpful other classes as well, perhaps I will suggest this method to other teachers in the future.

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October 18, 2008

Jordain Chinander - Visiting Artist Response

For my visiting artist assignment I have decided to write about a lecture and book reading that was given by author Neil Gaiman on October 9th at the United Church of Christ, in St. Paul. The lecture was part of a promotional book tour for Gaiman’s newest novel “The Graveyard Book.� At the event there was also a sneak-peak for the not yet released stop-motion-animation production of his well-received book “Coraline.� In addition to the typical book tour venue geared towards selling his book, Neil also spoke briefly about himself and his background as an artist. Finally, at the end of the evening, Gaiman took submitted questions from the audience including one of my own inquiries. I was very impressed with the work Neil presented, with hearing about himself, and especially having my question answered by the author.

On Wednesday October 9th I attended a lecture and reading given by author Neil Gaiman at the final stop in his book tour promoting his newest book “The Graveyard Book� as well as the production of his famed book “Coraline� into a feature film. Gaiman began by giving a short lecture about himself, his history as a writer, and finally a brief background of the book. Afterwards he read the final chapter in the book to the audience, explaining that he had read one single chapter to each city he visited beginning at the start of the book and now finishing with St. Paul.

After he read from his new book he gave us a quick history of his best-selling book Coraline, and explained how it, like “Mirror Mask� and “Stardust� before it, was going to be made into a feature-length film. We were then treated to a sneak preview of the film. The movie has been made entirely in stop-motion animation; the same director and crew who made “The Nightmare Before Christmas� created it. The movie stars Dakota Fanning as the voice of Coraline, the main character. Based on the preview I saw, this movie looks like I will be just as entertaining as “Stardust� and “Mirror Mask� were.

As an artist, Neil Gaiman is an extremely well versed creator. He is multi-talented, having worked on books geared for many audiences ranging from small children to adults. He has also worked on films, as I mentioned earlier, and he is additionally well loved in the world of comics and graphic novels.

One of Neil’s most famous works was a series he picked up from DC Comics called “The Sandman.� “The Sandman� series was originally created and introduced by the company a number of years ago, however it was unsuccessful and was eventually dropped until Gaiman reintroduced it in 1989.

Since the reintroduction and of “The Sandman,� Gaiman has worked with both of the other top Comic book companies Marvel Comics and Dark Horse Comics.

Similar to his re-adaptations of failed comic book series, Gaiman was also employed to adapt the concepts of Japanese legendary director Hayo Miyazaki’s drawings for “Princess Mononoke� into a script version for the feature length animated film. I think this shows the writer’s talent for being extraordinarily adaptable in his writing for not only his own works but the work of others as well.

Mr. Gaiman spoke to us briefly about himself and his history in regards to its influence on him as a writer. He is modest however about his numerous achievements. Rather than boast about himself he spoke more about his years living in London and the effects the English lifestyle had on his writing. He also mentioned that his family, especially his children, have always been an inspiration for the characters in his books.

After having spoken about his personal life, career and influences, Neil took questions from the audience. All of the questions pre-written a submitted before Mr. Gaiman took the stage. I wrote one to him asking for his advice in regards to how a young college Arts major, such as myself, might make my way into the field of Illustrating for a large comic book company such as DC, Marvel, or Dark Horse.

Gaiman’s response t my question was very inspiring and helpful. He advised me to draw often and really hone my skills once I feel confident in my talents; he suggested that I create a portfolio that is dynamic and professional. Once I have a firm portfolio in place he said that I should create numerous copies of it and send it into not only those three major comic book companies, but to news papers, magazines and any other publishing mediums that would put my name out there but also anyone who would be in contact with a comic book company.

What I took from Mr. Gaiman’s advice, as having been the most useful was the concept of submitting my work to those outside of my intended field of work to build myself a strong foundation as a versatile artist. I suppose this makes perfect sense coming from an artist who works in a multitude of mediums himself. I was also inspired by the way in which he gave me the advice. He spoke in such a manner that I felt it was as though he completer confidence in my ability to make work for myself with the employers I mentioned by putting a little effort into my portfolio and by having a little faith in myself.

The entire experience was inspiring and enriching for me, I really enjoyed attending this event. I learned a lot about what makes one of my favorite authors tick. I also received valuable advice and was treated to a free reading and preview as well. I thouroughly enjoyed the lecture and look forward to Neil Gaiman’s next visit.

October 5, 2008

Jordain Chinander Project 2

ArtS 1601 Time and Interactivity
Jordain K. Chinander

Project Two Proposal

For this project I would like to re-enact a scene from the movie The Land Before Time. It was my favorite movie as a child and seems to be the modal for other movies that make me cry. I will act out the scene with my mother co-starring the scene. I will use minimal props and a suggestive but unrelated set. I will also place the theme song the movie sung by Diana Ross, softly beneath the dialogue. I do not think that this re-enactment will have the same emotional effects on the viewer that it had on me at age five, however it will still be of interest to watch no doubt.

I chose the movie The Land Before Time because as a young child I would watch the animated feature over and over yet each time I saw the early scene in the movie where the main character Little-foot’s mother dies I would cry. I usually skipped over that part because it made me so sad. I continuously had nightmares of my own mother dying based on that movie. Later I found similar situations brought me to tears as well. For instance the movie Bambi and What’s Eating Gilbert Grape both made me very emotionally distraught when the mother character dies in each of those two. Each of these movies made me fear I would lose my mother too. I believe the fear was distilled in me at an early age from watching the Land Before Time.

Because the deep-rooted fear I have of losing my mother is the real reason I believe for being so moved by this movie, I want to act out the scene with my mother. She will play the role of Little-foot’s mother and I will play Little-foot.

The scene require few props only some suggestive costuming to imply that we are dinosaurs and the set will be consisted of a bland and dark room with a plain bed to hit at the scenery in the movie.

My mother will lie on the bed and act as Little-foot’s dying mother speaking her last words to him. I will kneel beside the bed speaking with her and hearing her final instructions to me.

The scene will be either filmed from a tri-pod at various angles and positions unmanned, or I will use a family member to manually film each shot.

I know that this movie is really emotionally charged for me personally, and that I may even have difficulty re-enacting it, however I think that from the audience point of view it will be comedic. Whether the audience finds the scene sad or humorous I think that this will be a very therapeutic assignment nonetheless.

September 30, 2008

Jordain Chinander Project 1

Media Mill Video

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September 16, 2008

Sample Storyboard Examples
(sorry guys I forgot how to turn this into a direct link)

September 15, 2008

Sample Storyboards

September 13, 2008

Jordain: Project One Proposal

Project One Proposal: Stop Motion Animation
By: Jordain K. Chinander

For this project I would like to incorporate animated drawn images along with an actual human character. The story will play with the concept of time by using still images taken at varied durations of time during the film’s course of action. The story will be composed of a beginning, middle, and end. It is meant to generate creative thinking and interest in the viewer.

The project will include a single human character and a set of drawn images that will appear to become animated when they are snapshot in a rapid succession illustrating minor changes in detail to suggest motion.

I want to bring together two seemingly different worlds, namely the “real� one and the animated one, and blur the boundaries of their distinctions from one another. This goal will be accomplished through their active interaction with each other in the short film.

The concept of time will be actively engaged through the manipulation of still images taken at varied times through out the film’s course of motion. The images at times will be set with greater periods of time in between them when focused on the human. This will make the character seem less animated and more posed. Whereas there will be many still images captured with less time between each caption of the drawing, giving the drawing the allusion of animated interaction with the character and the viewer.

The story will be simply composed of a direct story line. That is to say it will consist of a beginning, middle and an end. The beginning of the film introduces a lonely artist hard at work drawing in front of his drafting table. Before him sits some paper his pencil and a mirror. Upon closer examination the viewer will see that this artist’s face is composed of paper. He is vacant and without expression. Next the viewer will be shown the artist’s drawing. It is of a face. However this face is not of any imagined origins, but rather a likeness of the artist’s supposed face. As though it were brushed by a touch of magic, the drawing comes to life and begins to talk to the paper-faced artist. The drawing then urges him to lift up the mirror and gaze into it. Reluctant at first, the artist inevitably placates the drawing fulfilling its wishes and looking into the hand mirror set across the drafting table. The viewer sees the backside of the mirror as it is lowered to reveal the artist has been given a face. The film ends with the artist glancing down at his drawn counterpart to be surprised by the sight of an empty page before him.

The layout of this film is not to be a straightforward and entirely comprehensive narrative, but rather an interesting set of unrealistic events geared to inspire abstract thoughts of the surrounding world. It is meant to be a message to the viewer to start seeing the reality in the imagined and to see the unreliable nature of the real world. Also I hope for it to help the viewer to see him or herself in the work he or she creates and the things he or she surrounds himself or herself with.