November 2009 Archives

[[Artist Lecture: Todd Shanafelt]]

UMD has visiting artists lectures throughout the school year and today, November 30th, 2009, ceramic artist Todd Shanafelt visited!

Todd is a magnificent ceramics artist that's currently an associate professor at Minnesota State University in Mankato. During Todd's visit at UMD I got the opportunity to attend his workshop where he demonstrated some of his techniques and uses of mixed media.  After the workshop Todd gave a lecture explaining his background and art works using a carousel projector. The workshop was AWESOME experience to see different techniques that Todd uses, like using under and over glazes to screen print and put decals on wet clay. Todd also threw some small pieces to make a finished piece. He talked about the use of found objects, particularly metal, that he uses in his pieces.

To me, Todd's works seem to represent an implied functional object, sometimes with an aspect of anatomy. The use of steel in an organic matter like clay makes Todd's work very appealing to me. Overall, Todd's modern take on his work with clay is something to really check out!

Here is a link to his website::

Todd Shanafelt

[[Digital ART Workshop]]

Each Tuesday for 6 weeks our Digital Methods class is hosting a Digital Art Workshop. We are teaching the students about many different animation techniques.

Day 1 The first day we experimented in Photoshop and made a quick little animations. I was a mentor to one student, which was nice because I could give all my attention to one person and it made it less hectic. First we went through a Photoshop how-to on how to make an animation using a picture of your face that was taken in Photobooth and then using the paintbrush along with other tools in Photoshop. The students took a photo using the built in camera on the Macs and then opened it in Photoshop. The students all used the tools to transform their faces into magical creatures. The demonstrations worked really well and was a quick and efficient way to show the students what to do.

Day 2 We begun our on-going Animation Project! Between workshop days one and two I brainstormed an animation project idea and came up with a a story based our off the classic fairy tale "The Ugly Duckling". To make the story more interesting, I change it to be a tale of "The Ugly Pumpkin". I got the idea because I as on Long Island this weekend and went Pumpkin picking in a huge pumpkin patch.

The story is about an Ugly Pumpkin that doesn't get picked because it is different and unique.The pumpkins in the patch alienate the 'Ugly Pumpkin' and overnight he turns into a huge pretty pumpkin and then into a  Jack-O-Lantern. We presented a visual plan that showed out Andy Warhol pop art style we wanted to create.


On Day 2 we presented the story to the students, and started making a storyboard and designing our characters. We looked at photos of pumpkins online for inspiration and used filters from Photoshop to get the pop art look. The students were quite shy and hesitant this day and it was hard to get reactions and opinions out of them, but after some time and working through ideas we figured everything out!

Day 3 was really productive! Us mentors divided the animation work between the two students. One student worked on creating the pumpkin patch and all the pumpkins, and the other student worked on creating the ugly pumpkin and making it grow over night. Both students worked really well in photoshop with the assistance of the mentors when needed. One of our students even started putting his images into iMovie! I was quite happy with the effort put into day 3, but I knew we still had a lot of work ahead of us in iMovie.

[[Here is our Ugly Pumpkin!]]
goose_bumps_180dpi.jpgDay 4 Was special because we got to do stop motion! Before our students got into the room we set up a green screen and spot lights. We had gourds and mini pumpkins as objects and our plan was to move the pumpkins across the area to gang up on the 'ugly pumpkin'. Our students came into the room and we explained our goals for day 4. Our students seemed excited to experiment with this new kind of animation technique. Both students took turns and moved the pumpkins and took the photos of the scene. The end product turned out really good and I think we were all really proud. Once we got done doing stop motion we went back to the computers and worked hard in iMovie bringing the animation to life. In addition both of the students collaborated to make the final scene of our animation::: The Jack-O-Lanterns. Each student took a few photos of themselves with funny faces and then in Photoshop they layered their faces on top of the pumpkin and applied filters to make the final product. The students then created a flip book like animation in Photoshop and then sent it to iMovie to add visual effects and sound. Both students finished some iMovie sequences which helped us stay on track!

pumpkin_patch.jpgDay 5 Was our final day to complete our animation. We had two halfs of the animation, each done by one student, that we had to make into one final animation. Each student continued to work in iMovie selecting sounds and music and transitions to make the animation whole. Both students did great in picking effects and neither overused or underused them. The students were able to move around in iMovie and use all the different tools with efficiency. Garageband was also introduced on day 5. Having no background in Garageband it was fun learning from our students, they knew more than I did! On day 5 our group was able to finish our final version of our animation. We did have a few sound editing issues to complete after the students left, but most of the work was completed by the students in class! This was great because it showed the awesome effort by our students! Overall the experience was exhausting, but very very educational. It was a great opportunity to have hands on experience teaching students animation techniques and software.

[[Take a Look at "The Ugly Pumpkin"]]

The Ugly

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This page is an archive of entries from November 2009 listed from newest to oldest.

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