December 10, 2007

Project 4

This project is computer game based. I used desktop recording programs to record several clips via a certain type of game movie making program. I thought of recording the screen using frame by frame to produce higher quality, but simultaneously it creates a low frame rate because it took a lot of memory, so i had to use video to keep the frame rate. I also used an animation program to make characters do funny moves. The video in the credit section was found online, i thought it was interesting. The video editing was not difficult, but it was rather hard to make the music match the video. A small portion of the sound was recorded from the game, the rest was recorded by my friends and I as well as from music found elsewhere. The theme is basically a group of terrorists killed most of the counter-terrorists (CT). They claimed that it was boring without them, and planned to have some fun, so they made several innocent people hostages. The government found the last CTs alive and grouped them together for a special force. Thus the rescue mission began...

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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.

Critique for Xi

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November 27, 2007

Xi's Perfect Sportsmanship World

This video shows a soccer match in which one player, in a fit of anger, head-butts another player in the chest, knocking him over. Following the title of "referee perspective," another video plays instead that shows a similar scene where one player knocks over another by striking him in the chest with his head. Following this, the video is shown from the less-objective perspectives of the French, Germans, and Americans. (We also get to see the rather amusing perspectives of the Mushroom Kingdom and Street Fighters.) Transitioning back to the original sequence, we see one player helping the other back up, which shows the kind of sportsmanship you might expect in a perfect world. Stop motion animation is used for the sequence at the beginning and end. The middle part, with all the replays, contains animation laid over video.

I think this video does a good job of showing its basic point, that regardless of what happens in a game, we should be civil with other players (and help them up even if it seems they've just knocked you down). However, beyond that, I really liked the sequence of "replays" in the middle of the video showing the perspectives of various observers. Although it seems quite obvious what actually happened from the referee perspective, the French seem not to see the other player at all. The Germans see the other player, but also noticed that had he not valiantly knocked over the player wearing blue, he would have been shot and killed by a sniper kitten. The Americans blame Islamic extremists. These views are, of course, completely ridiculous in the case of this soccer match, but they do a good job of representing the vast chasms between various world viewpoints on other issues. Almost all conflict in the world stems from differences of viewpoints and an inability to understand others' points of view. To a lesser extent, these differences of views also show up in sporting events and can certainly lead to one group feeling sore towards another.

The animation is excellent. The beginning and ending parts are well done, of course, but it's the effects added in the middle that make this video stand out. The ideas for the various viewpoints are good, and they are well executed. The Mushroom Kingdom and Street Fighters viewpoints are humorous, and also serve to point out how ridiculous the other viewpoints actually are (since they fit right in).

To me, the sound was the weakest part of the work. Although what is in the video is generally good, there are long periods of silence, especially in the beginning and the end, which are awkward. It would be nice to have some sound effects in the opening part where there are shots on the goal. Also, a constant low background crowd noise might have helped tie together parts of the video which had specific sound effects that needed to be accentuated with those that didn't. The sounds in the "replays" section were pretty good; they helped show what was going on and enhance the humor of some of the clips.

Overall, I liked this piece a lot. I think the "replay" animations idea worked very well to show different perspectives, and I appreciated the humor added here. I think this video goes beyond just talking about sportsmanship and talks about differences in world opinion in general in a very effective way.

November 25, 2007

Final Project Proposal

When I first starting to play computer game, I always wanted to make a video of the game which I play in. That was one of many reasons why I took the course. So on the last project I would like to illustrate technical skills and ideas of art through the concept of video game. So I can not only finish a great project, but also complete one of my goals and fulfill my passion.
On the video shooting part, I will choose to record it off screen either frame by frame or directly in a video format. Since video format only gives about fifteen frames per second and in a lower quality, I would choose frame by frame format instead if I can find the program. I will collect thirty frames per second and collect all pictures in a sequence. Finally compile together to reform the video. Sound will be collected separately through another program and edit through audacity before matching back to the video. I will be playing the game while recording. This will probably last about an hour and then I’ll pick out the good parts for final editing. My only concern here is the storage space I have for the frames. It will perhaps end up with twenty gigabits of pictures. Photoshop might be used to edit some frames to put graphical designs into the picture. But those will be simple editing consider the time limitation as well as the amount of frames I will have. Finally I will use Sony Vegas to edit the final video by changing lighting, contrast, and adding special effects.
The concepts and moral thinking that have to be included bother me a little. I’m thinking about that players who play well are being thought of cheating. That has always been a major issue in online games. But we know the concept of games is to play it, not to modify it. So in this video I can display the idea of facing such things through views of talented players.

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.

Grant's Project.

In Grant’s video, the beginning he seemed to be stressed, worried by homework and things. He was tired and went to sleep. The focus becomes the alarm clock on his bedside. The speed of the clock went increasingly faster along with its sound. Then he woke up, but suddenly found that every single clock froze. He went out and found that leaves stopped in the midair, and the entire world has stopped. His stress and frustration went away that he could finally get his work done. He could finally get do something that he always wanted. Such as watching the entire series of a movie that he borrowed from a friend, read all the textbooks that he had been behind. He tried to talk to his friends, but realize that he was the only one in that world. He was bored and tired of being the only one. The time finally started moving again. The perfect world is never perfect. There is always something that we don’t idealize. The stopping of time allows us to do things that we always wanted, but it also posts many problems. The concept becomes what is the perfect world? And do we really want to live in an idealized world? We would perhaps want the imperfect world back.
It is a narrative piece that runs with time. The space and time melted together and coherent into one. It attacks the idea of perfect world through freezing of time. The pictures were well shot. The lighting was clear and uses of tripod helped to keep images moving. The editing reflected the change of angle and photoshop was used to add the unmoving leaf into the frame. A small fracture of video was used to reflect the unstopped part of the video. The sound was well, seamlessly used and incorporated into the work. The narratives timed well with the video. Also the clicking sound from the alarm clock and the flipped sound of DVD covers left me memorable impressions. The idea of this work stands out becomes it displays the idea of imperfection. The perfect world is not perfect. The graphic details also leave audience with great impressions. The angle of picture taken and outdoor effects were powerful.

November 20, 2007

Project 3

This video is based on the theme of a Perfect World. I attacked the topic from the view of sportsmanship. The video illustrates an act under temporary temper, and different perspectives on it from various numbers of others. I used stop motion techniques with pictures for the beginning and the end, and a video with several flashes I made at the middle. The sound were made by me to match up with the video. Finally it ends with a friendly hand shake by both sides.

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November 5, 2007

Project 3

My idea of this project is based on my personal interest. I have been playing soccer since I was in elementary school, and it certainly brought me many memorable experiences. It is a sport full of skills, teamwork, and moreover, the sportsmanship. I will attack the project from the view of sportsmanship and use this to reflect our world as a whole.
I shall use the form of photography to display pictures frame by frame. A tripod will be necessary, and I will either choose to use a regular digital camera of a professional one if I can find one. Several friends of mine will be performing the acts as I take pictures. Five to ten pictures will be taken for each second elapses, and the final image sizes will be reduced for the purpose of the project. Shatter might be used when someone moves in a slow motion, so smoother movements can be captured. The project will start with a normal soccer game. At last minute of the game, a player will slide tackle another which results into a feud between. I will find a video from FIFA World Cup 2006 where a cartoon is made to reenact the head to chest impact during the championship game. Then I will display some words to transit to a replay, which shows what would happen in a “perfect? world. Instead of fighting, one will give a hand and show sportsmanship to another. The audio techniques can be shown through the sound of kicking the ball, sliding, hand clapping, sound from referee’s whistle, the crown noises, and so forth. I will use a microphone that connects to the computer to record inside a room to make the sound clearer and easy to be edited without noises. The location will the soccer field. However, for some parts of the project, green screening might be used so that the background can be replaced.
This idea can address the sportsmanship issues we seen in modern day’s competitive sports as well as different situations in our normal day life. We should treat others the way we want to be treated. A simple act of kindness can let the relationship between each other be much more easier.

November 2, 2007

Michael Kruger

Michael Krueger thinks narrative is crucial to his work. Every drawing or photograph he had contain a story. He started with video game character imaging, involves many uses of technology. He is also intoprint making. Lines are an essential part to his art. They are extraordinary according to him. He has a hobby of collecting fruit items with faces on them. These things inspire him to make works that others would not think of. His latest work involves Medival woodcut, everything in the picture is related to a part of the American history or simply the history in general. He went back to his high school notebooks, they brought him some detailed memories. He started make drawings on the notes.
Michael's work is very meaningful. They don't simply contain only artistic beauty, but also the beauty of the past, of the world, of our everyday life.

October 28, 2007

Project 2

This how-to video shows how to play airsoft as well as how to edit it with some cool effects. The beginning is an animation, the 3-D effect is stretched from a 2-D picture. I used Sony Vegas to edit the most part of the video, including radio blur, infrad, smoothing, slow motion and such. I also used Adobe Fireworks to edit some pictures. The computer screen part was recorded off the screen using a special program. And the sound by me was recorded separately. I think the music was a good choice, it naturally matched the video.

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October 18, 2007

Nikki S. Lee

A "Korean-Korean" Artist, she did not want to pursue a career as an artist, that she has to struggle for her life like the rest of young artists in Korea in late 1980s. She came to America to take photography for two years. After a while, she started to hate her own work." She focused on identity issues between Western and Eastern, and thought artists are always by themselves. However, later she found others to be useful. She never really thought her work stood out among others in the early years, and thus not ready for any show. But others encouraged and appreciated her work. She started to think about relationships and how they have changed her life. This led her to cut out herself from pictures with her previous boyfriends, and designed a unique kind of images. A little after, she decided to make films, to experience a different medium.
Her recent work about layers, jus tlike people's faces, related to their changes that correspond to what they experience, and think about how others think of her own face. I think this is a great way to satisfy our curiousity of how exactly others think about us. Different people might have quite opposite impressions on us depend on the perspective they view. She had many projects focused on identities, of her experiencing different culture and such. It just seems like we will not understand one another until we step into one's shoes...

October 8, 2007

Do It Yourself.

I think it's a great idea of producing things and ideas ourselves. It satisfy the needs of consumers the best, and the cost is little and close to none. Such as in the cases of wikipedia, we can get free information, all that is needed is to have everyone contribute a little effort, and the public as a whole would benefit. The physical products are useful without fancy covers and economically affordable. The simply way of how things turn out is also another perspective of art.

October 7, 2007

Project 2 Proposal

The idea of my project is to toy guns to represent the war in Iraq. This topic especially interests me because back in my childhood, or even as a teenager now, airsoft weapons interested me a lot. We could often gather many friends together and play as teams. The realistic characters of weapons and the impressions of the game mimic the real time army and wars. Another reason of why I chose this topic is to mock the ongoing war. Our soldiers are starting to lose faith in the causes of war, many refuse to participate. On the other hand, the Iraqis’ gained moral in fighting the war for their independent control of their own nation and drive the western outsiders out.
The making of this video should be as difficult in editing as in shooting the video itself. First of all, I need to gather a certain amount of people, have them wear two separate kinds of clothing to distinguish between the American soldiers and the Iraqis. The location will be set at the backyard of a house, with trees as blockages. The camera will be set to widescreen, with in camera fade for the endings of each clip. Focus will be mainly set to manual focus; however, in the parts of fast movements, automatic focus would work better for clear quality without having one hand shaking while the other tries to focus. Contrast and amount of light allowed needs to be adjusted throughout shooting due to the outside location, especially behind the house where shadows might affect the lighting. Video will not only be shot as a spectator’s view, but also includes the effects from first person’s impression. It the process of video editing, the contrast and lighting needs to be added. The smoothness in transiting from one clip to the other is especially significant. If possible, slow motion will be added in some action shots. Pictures might be great at some point to help transition of clips. The video will be around three minutes, and the last minutes will be spent to shot the editing scene. This will reflect part of the mocking part on the ideas of the video. In parts of the video, the absence of the sound might work better than to have a low quality sound recording from the camera in the outside environment with many sources of sound.
Finally, the intended audiences are the ones with similar interests in airsoft games. Also, the people who are oppose to the war in Iraq.

September 26, 2007

Back In Time

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September 12, 2007

Technology in daily life

I spend a decent amount of time on computer daily. It is almost a necessity in our life in 21st century. I use photoshop edit images for my family and friends. It is fun to make something different than the way it exist in nature. Sometimes I choose to play music on a sound editing program, thus I can add special effects and change the speed of the sound file. Computer is also a primary tool for communication for me. I use it to see others' blogs, to chat online, to send or receive e-mails, and to do research online. Online computer game is also a little part of my life. With the increase of technology on cellphones, I am able to take pictures, record sound and video. Digital technology is everywhere and is playing an essential role in our lives.