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December 12, 2007

Laura's Final Project: Reversed Roles

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November 28, 2007

Critique for Xi

Xi’s project was a representation of a perfect world displayed through various viewpoints on sportsmanship. Many different countries don’t always demonstrate sportsmanship; Xi asks the question “why?? We are all human; why can’t we be civil with one another? He executed his assignment of a perfect world with stop-motion animation.
The animation Xi did exaggerated the way various countries show sportsmanship. I thought they way he portrayed these scenarios was humorous. Obviously, some of the actions of Xi’s characters are extreme, and are not played out in real life, but the exaggeration was effective by obviously pointing out the problems society has with displaying sportsmanship.

I thought the quality of Xi’s images was good. He used real life images combined with special effects to reach the final product. I was impressed with some of the effects he was able to achieve with the computer. However, I was not as impressed with the quality of the sound. Some parts worked well with the visuals, but other parts were too loud and some did not have sound at all. Maybe if Xi would have recorded a background tone for the piece it would not be so awkward when some of the sound kicked in. I noticed there was no sound in the beginning which led to an uneasy transition in the middle of the piece when sound was added.

Overall, I felt Xi accomplished his goal in portraying a perfect world. The theme Xi displayed in his work could be played out in the life of athletes and also everyday citizens. It’s important to be courteous to one another, even if it is hard to do so. Perhaps, a perfect world wouldn’t be so far out of reach if we took the time stop ourselves and help each other up sometimes, like the characters at the end of Xi’s animation.

November 27, 2007

Laura's Perfect Eating World

This is a sketch-style animation that shows a young girl who comes upon some freshly-baked chocolate chip cookies, and is tempted by the cookies to eat them, but tries to refrain from eating them. In opposition to the cookies' plea to be eaten, voices from outside tell her that, though she may be hungry, she shouldn't eat cookies. Eventually, she gets overwhelmed, screams, and gives in to eating a cookie. Quite satisfied, she eats the remainder of the cookies happily and smiles.

The quality of the images in this animation is superb. I was especially impressed that the photographs of the individual frames were either very carefully taken or adjusted afterwards so that white was white and black was black; this made it easy to see and pleasant to watch.

As a perfect world, I think the idea of a place where you can eat free of guilt and consequences is a great idea. In Laura's description of this piece, she says that "time stops (as you can see on the clock in the animation) which demonstrates how the girl has escaped reality." I didn't notice this the first time I watched it; I wasn't watching the clock at this point in the video. If this was a very important point, some emphasis should have been put on the clock. But, even though I didn't see the stopping clock, I think the scream served as an effective transition to escape the voices. I also liked how the voices of society were drawn as coming from outside the frame, while the girl's own thoughts (and the cookies' pleas of being eaten) come from inside the frame.

Even though Laura says she didn't have much time for the sound, I think the sound is fairly good in the work. The pitch of the voices and the munching sound effects work very well together with the sketchy style animation. The only point where the sound doesn't work very well with the mood is during the scream, when another scream is patched onto the first to make it longer. It would be nice if this could have been recorded at the correct length instead. In general, the sound helps to show what the girl is thinking or feeling, even just by the simple way her hums change.

Overall, I think the video works very well to show a perfect world in which the voices of society are silenced and you can eat in peace. The video quality was excellent, and the audio was very good too; neither one got in the way of the message that the film was trying to convey.

November 26, 2007

Critique for Laura

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Critique for Grant

Grant’s third project focused on stopping time, an idea that at first seemed ideal but eventually turned out to be something not so desirable. I thought Grant was successful at portraying this idea. I liked how he used both video and stop motion to display this type of situation. He used the video to show real time and then after time stopped he used stop motion. I thought the idea was well thought out.

During the animation Grant also incorporated sound. He impressed me with how nicely he fit the audio to the visuals, which many other people in class found difficult to do. The sound was clear and crisp. The animation seemed virtually seamless. It was evident he put a lot of thought into what sounds worked with the images (i.e. clock changing numbers, flipping through books, walking outside, etc)

Another part of Grant’s work that impressed me was one of the final shots, when Grant was falling on his bed (in essence falling back into real time). I was amazed at how he was able to capture himself falling with stop motion. He must have used a special feature on his camera where he was able to take shots in a sequence, sometimes know as a paparazzi feature on a camera.

Overall, I thought Grant did a good job expressing his idea of a perfect world. He even touched on the fact that what we think might be a perfect world doesn’t always play out that way. The images we great (i.e. exposure, clarity, etc) and so was the sound. I couldn’t think of any ideas of what to do differently next time.

Critique for Grant

Grant’s third project focused on stopping time, an idea that at first seemed ideal but eventually turned out to be something not so desirable. I thought Grant was successful at portraying this idea. I liked how he used both video and stop motion to display this type of situation. He used the video to show real time and then after time stopped he used stop motion. I thought the idea was well thought out.

During the animation Grant also incorporated sound. He impressed me with how nicely he fit the audio to the visuals, which many other people in class found difficult to do. The sound was clear and crisp. The animation seemed virtually seamless. It was evident he put a lot of thought into what sounds worked with the images (i.e. clock changing numbers, flipping through books, walking outside, etc)

Another part of Grant’s work that impressed me was one of the final shots, when Grant was falling on his bed (in essence falling back into real time). I was amazed at how he was able to capture himself falling with stop motion. He must have used a special feature on his camera where he was able to take shots in a sequence, sometimes know as a paparazzi feature on a camera.

Overall, I thought Grant did a good job expressing his idea of a perfect world. He even touched on the fact that what we think might be a perfect world doesn’t always play out that way. The images we great (i.e. exposure, clarity, etc) and so was the sound. I couldn’t think of any ideas of what to do differently next time.

Critique for Grant

Grant’s third project focused on stopping time, an idea that at first seemed ideal but eventually turned out to be something not so desirable. I thought Grant was successful at portraying this idea. I liked how he used both video and stop motion to display this type of situation. He used the video to show real time and then after time stopped he used stop motion. I thought the idea was well thought out.

During the animation Grant also incorporated sound. He impressed me with how nicely he fit the audio to the visuals, which many other people in class found difficult to do. The sound was clear and crisp. The animation seemed virtually seamless. It was evident he put a lot of thought into what sounds worked with the images (i.e. clock changing numbers, flipping through books, walking outside, etc)

Another part of Grant’s work that impressed me was one of the final shots, when Grant was falling on his bed (in essence falling back into real time). I was amazed at how he was able to capture himself falling with stop motion. He must have used a special feature on his camera where he was able to take shots in a sequence, sometimes know as a paparazzi feature on a camera.

Overall, I thought Grant did a good job expressing his idea of a perfect world. He even touched on the fact that what we think might be a perfect world doesn’t always play out that way. The images we great (i.e. exposure, clarity, etc) and so was the sound. I couldn’t think of any ideas of what to do differently next time.

Project IIII Proposal

I have been debating on what I want to do for project IIII, but as of right now I am thinking about exploring animation a little more. In the past I have done an illustrated story for a different class, and was thinking about making this book into an animation. The story I wrote is about a moose who wants to become a reindeer. It’s a small narrative touching subjects regarding defeat, triumph, and friendship. It was meant to be a story written for children. I have many drawings done already, but they are not in a format where stop motion can be applied. The pictures go along with the text of the story, so I was considering using a video camera to tape the pictures and zoom in on the characters. I am not sure if it would just be easier to do stop motion. I would like to narrate the story to go along with the images. The characters are interacting throughout the piece and I thought it would be fun to play the roles of both of those characters by manipulating my voice in audacity.

Based off of the critique for the previous project, many people had said they had troubles matching the images with the audio. I am nervous that, that might be a problem for me in this situation. I was thinking about cutting out the narration if I choose to do stop motion, and using just sounds as I did before. The problem with that is I want to explore a different route than my project III. I am also concerned that because the story is fairly long, my project might drag on a little bit. I am not sure if it would just be easier for me to recreate the story using a flip book/stop motion format. I know I would lose quality in the images but it might be easier for me to put the story in an animated form. However, if I did start over on the drawings, time would be taken away for me to edit and put together the animation, which I regretted in the last project.

I have come up with some other ideas as well for storylines I might want to consider doing an animation for. One idea revolved around the topic for the last project. I was thinking about the perfect world, and came up with the thought, what if men got pregnant instead of women? What would be different in this world? I would do the project in a similar style as project III. I just thought it was a fun idea and would be interesting to carry out in animation form.

November 24, 2007

Laura's Project

Laura’s project starts with a young girl tries to find food and found some chocolate chip cookies on her kitchen table. She had a dilemma of whether to eat those or not. Her desire for the food was in conflict with the outside voice of trying to stop her from eating them. The voices became overwhelming and she finally broke down. She screamed loudly to make the voice go away and the time froze. She then finally escaped the reality and got to eat her food in peace. The work posts a problem that this world has. People cares about their body’s shape too much that they forgo the idea of food. Sometimes the taste of things can balance with healthy perspective. She tried to push the idea of idealism away and replace with people’s real desires and their pleasure of consuming delicious treats. The idea of keeping weight and eating food conflicts and posts many problems.
Laura’s project is based on drawings. I can see hundreds of frames taken by cameras and edited in Photoshop. I can see the lighting and contrast were enhanced on drawings. Perhaps some color could be added in to make important items or ideas stand out. The work moved through time and incorporated with the space. The idea was clearly illustrated. I think the sound worked well. She obviously recorded sound to match her drawings at the end. She seems enjoyed the recording of sound in the eating part. The narrative part was effective to help audiences understand the dilemma which the character was facing. The sound could probably be edited more using Audacity or Final Cut Pro. Overall the project was very effective in illustrating the theme of a perfect world through the idea of eating. It is suitable for many audiences because many of us are facing the similar issue. The perfect world becomes to eat whatever we desire but at the same time still be able to keep a perfect body.

November 21, 2007

The Perfect Eating World

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Most people in today’s society are hounded by these two words: carbs. and calories. I admit that when I eat something “not-so-healthy? I often think about the effects it will have on my body. Who doesn’t anymore? American society has put body image high on a pedestal. A part of me feels guilty for eating some of the things I eat. But is that fair? Wouldn’t it be nice to eat this or that without worrying about gaining weight? Wouldn’t it be the perfect world if those ideas were pushed out of our minds? The pleasure of eating those delicious treats is taken away from those negative voices swarming in our heads. “You’ll get back fat!?…. “Think of you thighs!?…. “Don’t eat it!?.. or “You’ll regret it!? are just a few of those thoughts all of us wish would go away. Wouldn’t you love to eat a brownie or say a chocolate chip cookie without having to hear those nasty thoughts?

Through my project I tried to portray the very thing I just described. A young girl finds some chocolate chip cookies on her kitchen table and doesn’t know if she should eat them or not. Her body sure wants them, but the voices are trying to stop her from eating them. Finally, the voices get too overwhelming and the girl breaks down. She screams so loud the voices go away. Time stops (as you can see on the clock in the animation) which demonstrates how the girl has escaped reality. She’s in a world where she can finally eat in peace.

This project was a pretty complex process for me. First I had to draw all of the frames, which ended up being a total of 235. Then I had to photograph the drawings and edit them in Photoshop. I needed to crop all of the images and add more light and contrast to enhance them. If I would have had more time I would have liked to play around with the lighting more in Photoshop. It turned out to be a little to dark for me. Then I had to add sound. The sound was fun to make for me. I recorded all of the sounds after watching the animation play through and matched it with the movement of the character. I didn’t leave much time for sound in the end, but I wish I would have, because I think I could have done a little more with it. The program I used didn’t allow much room for manipulation either.

November 8, 2007

Visiting Artist Response: Michael Kruger

“Prints, Drawings and other things? was the title of the slides Michael Kruger presented last week of his work. Michael Kruger is a well known print maker and has experimented with the medium for awhile. He mentioned during his presentation that he likes to use techniques where he is able to scan and recombine images.

At the beginning of his presentation, Michael mentioned what influenced him and his work. He talked about German Impressionism and how he idolizes certain artist based on how they use lines. Michael also explained his fascination with personified objects and how they strongly influence his work. He talked about how he likes the idea of “animating the ordinary world,? or “making the natural world extraordinary.? Michael collects books, figurines, and other objects that might be of inspiration to him.

I found one of his most interesting ideas to be the notebook series. He collaborated his old doodles on his notebooks with recent drawings of his. He likes to comment on cultural parallels, especially those that reflect political issues. One of his works entitled, “Shopping Jefferson,? made a statement saying how “we all live beyond our means.? Jefferson abused his creditability and was thousands of dollars in debt by the time of his death. Michael was making a point that we all live at the expense of others.

November 5, 2007

Project III Proposal: A Perfect World

Instead of talking about my perfect world for my project III assignment, I’d like to point out what many people would want in their ideal worlds. So many people today, especially in American society, rely on fast food and TV dinners for their everyday meals. Yet, they wonder why they are overweight. I don’t think enough people realize what good eating habits are. People binge eat and then try and work out to compensate for it, but that doesn’t always work. Some people don’t work out at all and deny that their eating habits are unhealthy. For my stop motion animation project I’d like to focus on a theme of unhealthy eating. If people could have it their way they would eat whatever they want and not gain any weight. People wouldn’t have to worry about working out because their metabolisms would do all the work for them. I also might like to incorporate how people try to diet by fasting and not working out.

I think I’d like the animation to only have one character. I don’t know if I should have the main character be a human or an animal. If I use an animal I wouldn’t be directly commenting on American society, but I could still play the idea up a lot. Maybe I would have the character wearing an American pop culture symbol on his/her shirt. What would work better?

I’d like to start the scene out by having the character eat a normal American meal and then there will be a noticeable weight gain. The character then feels pressure to work out and goes to the gym. It tries to work out but it doesn’t seem to work. Then the thing goes home and decides to go on a diet. It doesn’t eat anything it all (commenting on societies poor dieting habits). The character goes to bed hungry and has a dream. The dream setting allows the character to eat anything he/she wants without gaining weight. The character goes over board and eats everything in sight. When the character wakes up it is sadly disappointed to be brought back to reality.

The style I would like to use for this project is a flip book drawing. I am not sure how the pictures are brought to the computer, but so far I plan to take pictures of the drawings and import them onto the computer and then sequence them together. I do not want to use any dialog in this animation, but instead just sounds, sounds that you would hear when one is alone (i.e. eating sounds, grumbling stomach, disappointed noises).

I think this animation will noticeably comment on how American society today treats health and dieting. Many people see working out as burden and wish they didn’t have to do it. Others seem to avoid all foods that could harm their image. Perhaps this animation will allow viewers to find a happy medium in their diets.

November 1, 2007

Project 2: What Not To Do When Interacting With Others

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October 24, 2007

Nikki S. Lee Visiting Artist Response

Starting the presentation with a bit of a sense of humor, Nikki S. Lee quickly allowed her audience to get to know her fun and quirky personality. Nikki was a born and mainly grew up in a “Korea-Korea? environment as she put it. She only was a witness to Korean culture growing up, very unlike the mixed cultures young people today experience as they mature in American societies. Intrigued by American culture Nikki decided to move to New York City to pursue a career as a photographer. She decided to enter the commercial field and did not find it artistically satisfying. As she began to do her own work, she experimented with concepts of reality. What was real to her and what was fake? She went to galleries and read books focusing on photography and philosophy. Eventually she was led to the idea of exploring identity issues. She stated that “I exist because others exist? concentrating on the idea that the people you surround yourself with affect how you act. “Why am I so sweet to boyfriend ‘A’ and a bitch to boyfriend ‘B,’? she asked herself. Nikki came up with the conclusion that everyone’s personality has various “layers? (which she entitled one of her recent works). Each layer is either peeled away or built up according to the types of relationships you are in and the experiences you have. “How many faces do people have,? she wondered? In this work she used multiple transparent paper drawings of herself and layered them on top of each other for a picture. We were not able to see the work, but it would have been interesting to see how the different artists perceived her. How did other people and cultures see her face?

She also demonstrates this identity concept in her work by showing herself in pictures with her various partners. In the “snapshots? her partners’ faces are cut out, leaving only parts of his body visible. It is evident how her personality shifts from picture to picture and person to person. She leaves the features of her partner out of the picture to allow the viewer to make his/her own story about the work. I thought this method was powerful. I was able to relate to the work and it made me question how the people in my life cause my personality to change. It made me realize that life is too short to be around people who bring the worst out in you. The purpose of those images for her was to review her identity through others thoughts. However, I think the viewers were able to review and question their identities through her work.

October 15, 2007

Prosumerism

After reading this article I found myself wondering if prosumerism was a good thing in American society or a bad thing. The article did not make an argument for either side really, but made me realize that it isn't one or the other. Prosumerism is just a example of the ways people today are adapting to and embracing new technology. We are using what's available to us and that's the internet and sources like Flickr and Wikipedia. Society is so fast pace and independent now. So, we take advantage of cutting out the middle man and approach ideas and activities that we can do ourselves. Prosumerism is just the direcition society was forced to head into.

October 7, 2007

Critiquing my Sound Project

Our first project in this class had to do with creating a sound primer. This was my first time doing anything with recording and editing audio files. I ended up doing a piece on sounds found in a dorm room. Based on the constructive feedback I received in class, I felt overall I had done well being my first time. However, me being the tough critic I am, I felt there were some changes I would have made if I were to do the project again.

First, I would have listened to the audio file on the speakers that were to be used for presentation. I wasn’t able to test out the speakers we used during critique so the sounds I expected everyone to here were not demonstrated during the presentation. I wanted certain sounds to be heard over others, and had anticipated using surround sound. So, certain sounds were set up for that.

Also, another change I would have made was I would have extended the time on my file. The sound moved too quickly for the narrative I was trying to create. The build up of sound was evident, however, in my opinion it happened to quickly. It didn’t allow enough time for the listener to distinguish what was happening. For instance in the beginning of the piece there wasn’t enough time for the listener to know that the person had come into the room and settled down. I also could have used different sounds to let the listener know that there was two people in the room right away. If I did not explain the situation of the story to the listeners ahead of time, it may have been confusing as to how many people were in the room. As I explained in critique though, I didn’t know there was going to be two people until later into my project, so my focus changed. I should have worked the project more to fit my new idea.

Overall, I would have spent a little more time?proof reading it.? I should have listened to it and given it more time to sit. If I would have done that, maybe I would have noticed all of the changes I wanted to make to it earlier.

Project II: attracting the opposite sex

For my “how to? film assignment it took me awhile to think of a topic for my project that was not only interesting for me to do, but also something that would be entertaining for my audience. I looked for suggestions from friends and family, but most of them did not have an original idea (i.e. how to bake this, how to play this, etc). I wanted something a little more interesting to work with than that. So, some how I came up with the idea to show my viewers a “how not to? video on impressing the opposite sex in the dorms. I chose a “how not to? approach because I thought it would be funnier to poke fun of the types of ways freshman try to impress the boys/girls in their halls.

I am hoping to record my video in the dorms, particularly in the areas where the guys and the girls interact (i.e. hallways, laundry rooms, lounge area, etc). During these small boy/girl interactions I want to capture the awkwardness that is demonstrated. Not too long ago I had one such experience that I wouldn’t mind reenacting to put into my project. I was walking down the hall with my roommate and a boy tapped my shoulder as I walked passed him. I looked at him and he said to me, “Hey, you just missed me. I was in a towel from getting out of the shower.? He gave me a wink and all I said was, “Ok.? I can’t imagine the look I had on my face, because first, I was caught off guard, and second, who says that. That is just one example of what not to do to impress a girl.

Hopefully, this film will be humorous as I intend for my audience to be guys and girls who have been through the experience I am portraying. I will try to show multiple scenes in the dorms of these awkward occasions. I am not sure if I will stage the scenes or simply capture the moment. Maybe I will do a combination of both. Perhaps, I might put a few interviews into the piece as well.

What inspired me to do this was the situation I mentioned before that I encountered in my dorm hallway. It donned on me that this video could not only an informational video, but also a reflection of how pathetic our attempts are sometimes to impress the opposite sex.

September 28, 2007

Dorm Sounds

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September 12, 2007

Techno. in my Life

It's funny that the use of technology was our first assigned blog entry, because a few hours after we were assigned to do this blog, I was given another assignment from a different class regarding the same topic. In my Journalism and Mass Communication class we also were asked to look at how technology and media affect our daily lives. Our fisrt assignment in that class was to avoid use of techonolgy or media for a twenty-four hour period and then write about our experiences. This meant no television, no computers, no cellphone ( which meant NO TEXTING!), no books, and no newspapers/magazines. We were basically going to be stripped of our daily necessaties. What was I going to without my cellphone for a day?! I still yet have to complete the assignment (we were given two weeks to complete so we could pick a convenient day) but am well aware that it is going to be very difficult, if not impossible to avoid the use of those items. Once I complete the assisgnment, I'll try and post the results.