November 20, 2009

Digital Art Workshop Animations

Some of the Animations produced in the Digital Art Workshop:

Frog Prince


Beauty and the Horse

November 12, 2009

Digital Art Workshop Show+Tell Event

Digital Art Workshop / Tales of Transformation / Show and Tell Event
Time : 4:30 - 5:30 PM
Date : Tuesday, November 17
Location : Tweed Museum of Art / Activity Gallery (downstairs) + Lecture Gallery (upstairs)
Open to : Digital Art Workshop students and their families

At the event, the groups will share their finished stories and talk about the process of creating the digital artwork and animations. There will be some hands-on animation activities and refreshments in the activity gallery starting at 4:30pm. The show and tell presentations and movie screenings will start at 5pm up in the lecture gallery.

October 20, 2009

Visual Plans for Transformation Tales








October 15, 2009

Jack and the Beanstalk > visual inspiration


Create a visual design plan to show your idea to the class, include influences by artists and animators, and a color palette to help establish visual unity for the project.

Jack and the Beanstalk > project idea

Folk and fairy tales provide a rich starting point for a digital media project. Passed down from oral storytellers through literary traditions to new media, they are always altered by retelling to reflect the needs of the storyteller and the aesthetics of the time. Because the story is so well known, it can be altered significantly and still remain resonant and recognizable to the contemporary audience.

Select a well-know folk tale or myth to retell using contemporary media. When choosing a story to translate into time and motion media, look for clear characters, action and settings. A story that involves transformation or metamorphosis can work well for animation. Dramatic characters and conflicts make for fun play-acting in video projects.

Break the story down into scenes that include specific characters engaged in key actions and settings. Identify all the characters, settings, props and dramatic moments in the storyline. Notice the arc of the story and the emotional mood of each scene. If you plan to create a very short work, simplify the narrative into as few words possible.

Define the ways that you will create visual unity throughout this media artwork. Choose a limited color palette for use on your project. Using line, texture, shape and color in a consistant style thoughout the piece will help create unity, even when a team of artists contributes to the whole. Identifying these stylistic elements is important in both individual and group projects. Visual qualities of characters and places need to be rendered in a consistant style for continuity.

Explore the ways that you will create surprise within your unified project by storyboarding the scenes. Scale shifts, unusual shot angles, and dynamic motion can make your work come alive. Sketch out the key moments in the story, blocking in areas of dark and light, positive and negative space. When storyboarding a scene, consider a variety of compositional strategies. Avoid plunking the character in the middle of the frame. Experiement with asymmetrical composition, dramatic angles, perspective, close ups, mid-range, and overview shots in different scenes.

Break down tasks for a team project, either one person per scene or one person per creative job. Assign a team leader, and/or designate portions of work to specific artists who have skills in those areas. Some love creating background art, others may enjoy character design, while another may excel with music and sound effects. Video projects may require a cast of actors and a director, camera crew, lighting, costume and prop makers. Animation is enhanced with narration and other voice work and sound effects. Make sure everyone knows their job and has time to prepare for it.

By doing the planning above, production should follow along more smoothly. Media projects can be notoriously time consuming. Keeping the story length very short from the start will help keep this in check. The team leader needs to keep track of progress on various scenes, checking that the elements that create unity and surprise are working across the board. Saving digital work frequently, naming and backing up files in a systematic way, will prevent the nightmare of lost hours of work!

Step 7 > EDITING

Editing down the video and sound can be the most labor intensive of all. Editing is also a very creative task, requiring a grasp of how all the pieces can come together as a whole. Editors make tough choices, cutting out pieces that run too long or too slow. The editor can use a fast rhythm to create emotional tension or slow-motion timing to give a scene a dreamlike quality. Guide your students to be selective when applying special effects and transitions to a project. These effects should fit with the stylistic unity of the work, when overused they can make the work very amateurish.

Continue reading "Jack and the Beanstalk > project idea" »

September 12, 2009

Digital Art Workshop for Youth


UMD Fine Arts Academy Fall 2009
Digital Art Workshop for Youth
4:00 pm to 5:45 pm
Tuesdays After School
Oct 13 through Nov 10

This 5 session afterschool digital art workshop will introduce youth to a variety of animation techniques that can be used to tell digital stories. Participants will learn how to create original imagery with digital tools such as digital cameras and photoshop software. Experimental animation materials such as clay, sand, and other stop-motion techniques will be explored. The media arts elements of space, time, light, motion, color and sound will be integrated to generate a unique digital story spun from a well-known tale.

Register via Fine Arts Academy >>
(218) 726-7090
(218) 726-7011
Download Registration Form>>

One of the most creative aspects of our Digital Methods class will be the integration of a Digital Art Workshop for Youth. Art Education Students will get the chance to do hands-on teaching and mentoring of children ages 10-14 who sign up for this afterschool workshop.