The beauty of animation is the capability of expression beyond still images and without words.
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Above is one of my very first motion media projects – one of my first ever stabs in the dark with After Effects. It’s not bad I don’t think, for a beginner, but I’ve come so far since then.
When I first got to SCAD, I had no idea what I wanted to major in. I knew I didn’t want to go back to Painting because I could not bear the thought of being alone in a studio for the bulk of my professional life. I know myself; I know I can’t be trusted to be motivated enough when left to my own devices. So I chose Production design, thinking this would be an opportunity to paint [sets] on a grand scale in a collaborative environment. But it just wasn’t the right fit.
A friend suggested Motion Media. It was both an alluring and scary proposition. I wanted to animate, but with a background of working in only two dimensions, I didn’t think I could do it with four (line, shape, volume, time). I entered college with pretty developed skills in drawing and painting. I skipped right into the advanced classes freshman year. I was used to being one of the top students in class.
But I also was used to being frustrated, as I witnessed the leaps and bounds by which my less-experienced classmates improved, while my work stagnated. I grew at MICA freshman year, but admittedly, I had less ground to cover.
That’s a huge reason why I chose motion media. I knew nothing about animation going in – about any program other than Photoshop, really – and nothing about how to design for things that move. How do you come up with transitions? How do you sync image with audio?
Starting from scratch. Having nowhere to go but up.
A full year after my first motion media techniques class, I’m really proud of how far I’ve come. A full year after the above animation was made, and I’m already in the process of interviewing and applying for internships. I’ll be graduating in two quarters. It’s kind of unbelievable, but very, very exciting. It’s really hard sometimes because I still think I don’t know enough, and there’s not enough time to learn it all. But I try to see any and all shortcomings as an opportunity for growth, rather than just a gap in my skill set. To me, learning (and seeing the results of what I’ve learned) is way more fun than just practicing.
Next up: a Principles of 2D Animation class in the Spring, some self-tutelage in Cinema4D (3D graphics program), a senior project, a Summer internship. I can’t wait
Tendril’s opening title sequence for the Style Frames New York conference
After a couple of weeks I’ve had some time to step back from SFNY and actually process everything that went on there. New York City is a complete and total reversal of Savannah, especially in pace. There is no getting stuck behind horse-drawn buggies in the Big Apple. My trip was bookended by a series of all-nighters: two before I left, and two upon my immediate return. Snow storm Nemo hit New England halfway into the conference, so I ended up staying in New York for a couple of extra days. Exhaustion has become less of a problem for me and more just a simple fact of life.
But I really did have fun! I was very proud of SCAD’s presence at the conference. All but one of the 21 volunteers in the conference were SCAD students, and I met a couple of SCAD alumni among the professionals in attendance. Several of the featured style frames that made it onto the slideshow that played in between panels and presentations were SCAD student work. Read the rest of this entry »
Are there many other things out there as satisfying as filling up a sketchbook? I don’t think so. It takes a dedicated artmaking habit to complete one. I remember when I first started seriously keeping a sketchbook, during the pre-college program at Ringling in 2007, where one of the RA’s suggested I look at the sketchbooks of James Jean. Since then, I have always tried to model my own art journals after his. I don’t think there’s any shame in that – he is amazing and his personal sketches continue to be my favorites among his work – more so than his commercial illustration or recent fine art.
Art journaling has become even more important to me now that I’m studying motion graphics. I work so much on the computer these days, that it’s refreshing and reassuring to return to my pens and microns and paints. Working with my hands, drawing what’s interesting to ME, collaging, pasting, tearing away, erasing, covering up, uncovering – it’s an intrinsically personal process. I used to write more in my sketchbooks; personal thoughts and entries, but that became troublesome when the time came to share my work with others. Now most of the writings are notes, names of artists to look up later, fleeting insights, etc. I look forward to continuing onto the next book – always the Moleskine Landscape Watercolor – and visually ideating in terms of motion and design in addition to the figures and portraiture. Read the rest of this entry »
I wrote the following couple paragraphs as an intro into my transmedia panel post. But as I surpassed 500 words before even getting to the meat of the article, I figured I better splinter my thoughts off into something new. But these are ideas and issues I think about often, especially when I consider how fast our technology-based society is evolving, and how as a Millennial(?right?), I’ve been cultured to adapt to it.
As a motion media designer, transmedia is at the core of my work. My parents, grandparents, and laypeople friends have asked me, “What exactly is it that you’re studying? What do you do with that?” And it’s hard to answer. I can’t really narrow it down into one field. Sure, I’d love to work on documentaries and films, making animated infographics and title/credit sequences. I’d love to do bumpers or ad-spots for causes that move me. I’d love to make installation experiences and moving digital art. I’d love to work on music videos. Motion media, transmedia, this new world of digital creative abandon – cannot fit into one box. It cannot be labeled. It’s as intangible as the Clouds that preserve it.
We Need To Talk About Kevin has been one of the most-hyped and most-parsed features at this year’s Film Festival. Anyone who saw it has a pretty strong opinion about it. And while RottenTomatoes gives it a 94% rating, all of the small consensus I’ve gathered seems to agree with my own – and that is that this film is so artsy that it’s circled back to the other side of Cool. But let me recap first. For anyone who doesn’t know, the movie is based on a novel of the same name by Lionel Shriver. Shriver apparently loved the film’s adaptation on her story, which is probably as good of an endorsement as any book-derived screenplay can hope for. Where the novel consists solely of first-person letters written by the main character, Eva, to her husband, the movie tells the narrative in a montage of flashbacks, nightmares, abstract shots, and symbolism. There is no voice-over, no narrator. It’s a brilliant example of why it’s not only okay, but necessary, but repurpose any story to best work with whatever medium you’re using. In that way, I thought the film succeeded very well.
I had no idea what to expect going into this film. My gut told me that it would probably be a feature-length screening, but upon sitting down the woman next to me turned and asked, “So what is this? A panel discussion or a presentation or what?” Honestly, the promise of Alec Baldwin’s presence was enough to provoke me into snagging a ticket. And so, with absolutely no preconceptions (well, I’d gathered from the thumbnail image in the program that it would be a 18th century period piece), off I scurried to my first Film Festival event. The ticketholder line was long, but we were admitted quickly.
Lucas Theater (or more formally, “Theatre”) is gorgeous. I’ve worked backstage during my brief stint as a production design major, but have never been an audience member before. The gilt details and intricate moldings essentially sing of theatrical grandeur. It’s pretty badass to be able to watch a movie in such a space. I can see why they chose this venue over Trustee’s (SCAD’s other Theater) for a Regency Era film.
So I just got back from the panel discussion “Filmmaking in an Independent World” at Gutstein Gallery today. It’s my second Film Fest event thus far (I saw a screening of Stanley Kubrick’s Barry Lyndon yesterday (introduced by Alec Baldwin!)) but my first panel. More than half of the tickets I secured were for panels, actually; all centering around independent and documentary films and new media. I figured I should go and write blog entries for some of these, since I haven’t really been producing much in the way of personal work this semester.