For this weeks task, we have been asked to create a short kinetic typography piece. Kinetic typography is the animation of words to speech. There are many examples of kinetic typography on sites such as Youtube, which were created using specialist software such as Adobe After Effects and Flash. To start off this task, I plan to watch some tutorials on Lynda.com in order to learn how to use After Effects to make kinetic typography.
For the next part of this task I decided to make some simple stop frame animations using pennies.
I started off with a really short animation where the top penny would slowly move across the top of the pile until it fell onto the ground and slid away, though I then decided to make it loop by having the penny return to its original position.
The second one was a bit longer, though with the same principal of the pennies sliding. The focus on these images was rather blurry, so I may try and make a few more in the future.
To help us with our new task, our workshop was based around animating simple gifs in Photoshop today. Kyle gave us a set of images to animate into a walk-cycle.
Having created my cinemagraph in a similar fashion, I found this process easy to do. Each frame of the animation had to be placed on it’s own layer, which would then in turn become visible/invisible when necessary. As I found this easy to do, I decided to draw my own walk-cycle based on the templates above.
I drew some basic sprites in Photoshop with a flat background and played around with them.
I added a shadow that moved beneath the figure as he walked to make the motion seem more dynamic. I then wondered if it would look better to have the character walking in a static position whilst the background scrolled past.
I personally prefered the second option, as this is usually how movement works in video games; the main character/sprite is almost always positioned at the centre of the screen whilst the world moved around them.
The next task on our list revolves around animation. We have progressed from static images and motion portrayed in photographs to full motion. We started our seminar by looking at some historical methods of animation such as the praxinoscope and zoetrope, both mechanisms that would rely on the fast motion of spinning through each individually drawn frame in order to look as if the pictures were moving. Based on these traditional methods, we have been asked to produce a 12 frame hand-drawn gif as our first sub-task.
We were able to have a go at this during our seminar, as our unit leader brought a praxinoscope for us to play around with. Our work for this task has to meet the theme of ‘Cycle’ (similar to the last task).
The second part of this task is to create a short, stop-frame animation using either real objects or people (also known as pixilation).
After getting a chance to use our unit leaders praxinoscope, I decided to make my gif later that day. Rather than using a pencil (which we were told to do) I decided to draw mine in photoshop using my Wacom tablet, as I much prefer drawing digitally. I kept to the sketchy style of a pencil though so that the gif appears obviously hand drawn. The gif is composed of 12 frames running at 0.1 seconds per frame.
Having completed each subsection of the Time and Space photography task, I am pleased to say that I have taken something away from this project. It was really enjoyable to make my first cinemagraph, as well as to find subjects that would suite the theme of ‘Cycle’ in my photography.
I was lucky to have a friend within the Media School who owned his own DSLR, which saved me a lot of time (as I did not have to loan one out from Siso).
This task really made me stop and think about motion; which subjects would appear out of place if I used a certain shutter speed or what would even make a good subject in the first place.
I may create some more cinemagraphs in the future, as I found the first one enjoyable to edit.
As I do not have access to a decent film camera, I have decided to use footage from a ‘Game of Thrones’ episode to create my first Cinemagraph. I followed a tutorial that I found here http://blog.spoongraphics.co.uk/tutorials/how-to-make-a-cool-cinemagraph-image-in-photoshop
For a first attempt I think that I did a good job with the animation looping to make it look smooth and continuous.
The video clip used was taken from the TV show ‘Game of Thrones’ Season Three, episode Two at 4:15 in.
For my David Hockney inspired joiner images, I decided to create a simple scene in our house downstairs.
I didn’t go into as much detail as Hockney (where he usually goes for a 9 by 9 grid) and instead went with fewer but larger images. For a first try I think it turned out rather nicely, though I underestimated how tricky it is to make the images work together (I did in fact take a lot more than are shown in the final piece above).
Tonight was a very productive night for photography. My friend Tom and I decided to try our luck with the weather and took a short trip down one of the main roads from the front of the university. Luckily for us, the rain had stopped for the duration of our shoot, so the photos turned out great.
For the slow shutter speed shot, I decided to go for traffic on the roads, as there is a continuous cycle of moving traffic around the university (specifically around the roundabout). These shots resulted in the vehicles appearing as beams of light almost shooting across the photos. My favourite shot were where we managed to get both the front and back lights of the car into the same image, giving both a white and red line across the photo.
For the fast shutter speed, I decided to keep the theme of ‘cycle’ related to my earlier attempt to do with water. Where it had been raining, a giant puddle had formed just outside our house in the student village, so we decided to take some shots of me jumping in the puddle. The final results ended up looking really good.
The last one especially captures the ‘frozen in time’ feel, as you can see each individual droplet of water and the ripples from the puddle clearly. I hope to start my David Hockney inspired joiner image soon.
(Not really a reference but still) a huge thank you to my friend Tom Smart for allowing me to use his DSLR to take these photos with him.
To start off with the shutter speed side of the brief, I tried to use my digital compact camera on an eight second shutter. It took a few attempts to get the lighting correct in the room, as my image either turned out completely black or white. Once the light balance was correct, I managed to take a few shots.
As I only had a tiny tripod at hand, I was restricted to finding a subject within my house. I decided to go with the tap, as the water made quite a disturbance when flowing into the glass and flowed out on a continuous cycle. The pictures above make it look as if mist is being poured out of the tap rather than water, which ironically still works with the ‘cycle’ theme (the water cycle, for instance).
The only other motion I could think to capture involved me physically rolling something in front of the lens, so that is what I ended up doing. I found a tin can and rolled it around at different speeds in front of the lens to produce different effects. The first two were where I held the tin in place for two seconds at a time before moving it, whereas the last one was where I continuously rocked the tin back and forth.
Just rolling the tin past the lens did not work, as it moved too fast for the camera to pick up on the motion.
I plan to take a trip out with my house mate Tom tonight in order to use his DSLR for better shots.
For our next task, we have been asked to experiment with photography relating to time. The two main methods for this brief are to use fast and slow shutter speeds in order to capture specific moments but in different ways. For instance, a fast shutter speed can make it look as if the subject has been frozen in motion, whereas a slow shutter speed will make it look as if the subject is moving much faster than they actually are. Our theme for this task is ‘Cycle’. As Cycle is quite a broad theme, I am going to experiment with different responses to this brief.
Whereas the previous task did not require us to have a specific camera, it is apparent that in order to respond to this task successfully we will need access to a DSLR camera. There is the option to take equipment out on loan via SISO, though the process for doing so is very long-winded and tedious. Fortunately, my house mate and fellow Media School student, Tom, owns a DSLR and tripod which he has very kindly agreed to let me borrow for this task.
I do own a digital compact camera (which I will take some photos with as well) though it can only go up to eight seconds on shutter speed, which isn’t very helpful.
The third part of this task is to create a ‘joiner’ image in the style of David Hockney. David Hockney is very well known for his cubism inspired photograph collages, which piece together a whole image using hundred of smaller shots from a wider subject area. I haven’t yet decided what I am going to base my collage on, though I have looked at some of Hockney’s work and particularly like this piece:
This piece is called ‘Still Life Blue Guitar’. I think I might try and do something similar for mine, as I really like the way this one slots together as a whole.
Hockney, D., 1982. Still Life Blue Guitar [online]. Available at http://www.hockneypictures.com/photos/photos_polaroids.php [7th October 2014]