Photoshop

Animation

Part 1

For our third task within the portfolio project, we have been introduced to animation. From the brief we have been invited to take a look into three main aspects of animation. The first of the these aspects will take a brief look into the history behind animation, and in particular the praxinoscope. In task two, we must use our knowledge gained from the praxinoscope and apply it to our own 12 frame digitalized animation. Task three is also on the practical side as it delves into making a short experimental sequence using the technique ‘stop-motion’ animation. Carrying on from the project ‘Temporal Expressions’, the theme cycle will be used again, mainly due to the fact that a lot of animation is a contest cycle. THE PRAXINOSCOPEThe praxinoscope is a device that has been with us for over 130 years now, and constantly something that has been overlooked because of its pure simplicity. The beauty of the praxinoscope is that it goes back to the real roots of animation of using simple individual frames of a motion, the most famous of these being a horse galloping. The process of the praxinoscope is to place a strip of images around the outer ring, mirrors positioned in the centre of the device create the effect of motion once the praxinoscope is spun.

SIK-FLIPZBefore we undertook this task, we were given a very useful workshop seminar on animation. The technical knowledge gained from this seminar would help us when producing our own digitalized animation. The workshop consisted around twelve digital images of an animation walking. It was in Photoshop that we learnt how to organise the separate images into a timeline. Once in a timeline the layers could appear visible and invisible when played in a sequence. With the sequence compete it gave the effect of the animated man walking on the spot, from this we went further and made the man walk off the screen and back. As you can see in the example above, me and my partner Jack decided to make the illusion go further. We realised if we could make the figure walk in cycles, and position him at certain point of the screen, it would give the effect of him wall walking. To further enhance the illusion we used an image of a wall.



 Task 2

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DotsFrom the workshop seminar we jumped straight into making our own twelve frame animation sequence. Being one of my first experiments using this technique I decided to keep it relatively simple. The idea of a bouncing ball, or in my case several bouncing balls, is one that I have seen used before. The bouncing ball approach is one that can have great success due to the fact that it can look very realistic. It was pointed out to us that we should try to make our animation abstract, this being the reason for the multiple balls and the extra colour. The biggest difference from the workshop was that we had to digitalize our twelve frames into a GIF. As you can see in the first image, we digitalized the long strip of paper that we were using when experimenting with a praxinoscope. The first step was to photograph the individual images of each twelve frames. From here I could upload them onto Photoshop and start cropping the individual frames into a more suitable size. I first decided to make my first animation on the website ‘gifmaker.me’. The big limitation with this website meant that my animation could only move up and down, making it look far to simple. From this I decided to use the technique gained in the workshop. When using the timeline in Photoshop I was able to create a far more pleasing animation due to the fact that the balls are moving left to right and up and down.



Task 3WatchFor part two of the brief we had to create a short experimental sequence that explored the technique of ‘stop-motion’ animation and/ or pixilation (animation of humans). I decided to use my Ipad as a still camera and to focus my technique around ‘stop-motion’. The main reason for doing this was due to my idea of having a wrist watch moving in a circle. I thought that the concept of a wrist watch moving in a circle linked directly with the cycle theme. The use of a watch further links to the theme as a watch is a never-ending cycle. As I found in the praxinoscope task, the more images you gather will result in a smoother and better quality animation. As a result of this, I did find this animation very tedious, as I ended up taking over 200 images. The results do speak for themselves though as the animation does move in a seamless and smooth way.



Task 4

looking further ahead, I really do feel that this task has fuelled my ambition to create more animation in the future. I especially look forward to the 2D gaming side of animation. Overall though I am slightly disappointed that I didn’t branch out more, pixilation for one being a technique that I regret not looking into, but defiantly something I can be creative with in the future.

Alphabet Photography Task

Part 1

For our first project within the portfolio brief we have been set the task of taking photos of naturally occurring shapes which resemble letters from the alphabet. The brief stated that we should consider working to a visual theme, I thought this would be best as it would hopefully create a continuity within my photos. Working in pairs me and Jack decided to focus our theme around the idea of construction. With three or four new structures being built-in the heart of Bournemouth, we hoped construction would give us ample of opportunities to capture the full twenty-six letters. Little did we know how letters like ‘G’ and ‘P’ would prove to be so hard to find.

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The brief stated that we should look at some historical research for inspiration. One site that proved to be very useful was  http://www.alphabetphotography.co.uk/. The site features a search bar where words will be created from natural objects, for example in this image the word being ‘Bournemouth’. This site gave me great inspiration when going into Bournemouth as I knew the possibilities were endless.



Part 2

Alphabet Collage

The first image I created was a poster of the whole alphabet. One aspect that I am very satisfied with is that we were able to capture the entire alphabet. In doing so though, we did have to slightly stray away from our original theme of construction. Letters such ‘M’ and ‘W’ simply just couldn’t be sourced while located around construction sites. However I do feel our minor failures were overshadowed by big success. Good examples of this can be seen in letters such as ‘D’, ‘H’, ‘N’, ‘O’, ‘T’ and my personnel favourite ‘Y’. All of these letters have clear direct links to our theme. Construction further helped us when looking for letters with more straight lines. Scaffolding for example proved very helpful when trying to find ‘K’ and ‘N’.

Alphabet Task Name

In my next piece I decided to focused around the concept of arranging the letters to create a word, in this case to form my name. At first I thought this concept would create a unique and abstract look at forming words. In reality though I feel it looks plain, simple and lacks any quality. To improve this piece I tried to integrate my name into some form of media, social media being one. An interesting idea I explored was using this piece and having it as my name on my Facebook profile page. This idea would massively improve the depth, purpose and further increase how abstract the piece is.

Facebook

For my third design I decided to do some editing in Iphoto. The beauty of editing is that you can experiment with so many tools and effects. One of my first ideas was to change the photos to black and white, doing so created a nice retro feel but also meant they lacked continuity. It was only until I adjusted things like saturation, contrast and definition that the collage was able to gain continuity. The best example of this can be seen in the letter ‘W’. When changing the contrast it gave an immediate effect of making the lights standout from the bush.

Alphabet Task B&WOne part of the brief that intrigued me was that of having to call upon our photographs eye. I feel I have best demonstrated this in the image below. One aspect that I feel dominates this image is lines. The lines in the steps, the letter ‘F’ and also the door in the background all combine to leading the viewer’s eye to top right hand corner of the image. The objects in the image further create a hard and strong texture. The way this is done is through the steel in the railing, the concrete in the steps and the bricks. With all this, the image comes across as very structurally sound.

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Part 3

Having now completed this project I feel it has given me a great insight into how a photographer can see the little things in a big picture. It’s funny how I find myself out and about and see objects and think, that could have been a better ‘R’  or ‘P’, but that’s just a classic of photography and being in the right place at the right time. Although me and Jack were very enthusiastic with the theme, I do feel it constricted use slightly. It would have been great fun to have no boundaries, therefore being to use all object in sight.

Overall I feel me and Jack did a great job while sticking to brief.I hope to further work on this task in future, possibly linking it with another digital media type such as animation.

 

Bibliography –

WISE, M.,2007. Alphabet Photography UK [online]. Available from:

http://www.alphabetphotography.co.uk/ [October 5 2014]