For this project, we were given the opportunity to work within our specialist areas and to create our own project proposals, research artists of our own choice, present our final piece in the exhibition in our own way, to create our final piece in a media we wanted and about what we wanted. For this project, we had until the 7th of March to the 15th June which is twelve college weeks and three holiday weeks. all of this work goes towards unit 13 and we are creating this work for our exhibition towards the end of year exhibition and for anybody else that we are pitching our designs and our art to. For me, I was aiming to create my work and pitch it to the people at the GoEasy Campaign and I am also going to pitch it to Neil Corrigan who is a graphic designer at Creative Lakes based in Kendal.
For this project I wanted to work within my specialist area and that’s graphic design and more specifically I wanted to work with Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator which I was already very familiar with but I wanted to work within Adobe After Effects which I had never used before and I wanted to use it because I wanted to set a project using a media that I have never used before which is animation. But it soon came apparent that I did not have enough time to learn how to use After Effects and then create a good animation with it so I went onto Adobe Flash which was recommended by my tutors and proved to me a much simpler software.
So After deciding that I wanted to work within animation I decided to look at some artists that have made artwork using animations and I came across one artist called Elliot Lim and a studio of artists who are called Giant Ant Studio. These two artists were the main inspiration for my project but more so Giant Ant Studio because they have an animation called “Kick Plastic” which is all about plastic pollution and what we can do to change our ways. My project is about car emissions emitted during short journeys, the effects these emissions have and what we could do to change and I came up with this idea during a feedback session with my tutors and during it I showed them the Kick Plastic animation and they suggested doing something similar which is when I came up with the idea of doing my project about car emissions.
Also, I really liked Giant Ant’s art style in their Kick Plastic animation which I have an image and a video of below. I loved their style of creating a shadow tone and I took that style and recreated it in my own way which I have used throughout my still pieces and final animation. For example in the second image below is one of my first test pieces which was actually intended for the exhibition but I made, later on, I decided against it. In this piece are the clouds that I used throughout my project and I also animated them in a style similar to Giant Ant’s Kick Plastic Animation. In the Kick Plastic animation, the shadows of some of the objects quiver which is the effect I was going after in my animation which is towards the bottom of this blog post and I think that I achieved that.
It was Elliot Lim’s work that I found first when we just started this project and I was looking for inspiration. The first video I found was one that he made based on his favourite TV series called the wire and that animation is just below. It was the way that he made the whole animation flow from to scene to scene effortlessly which was what attracted me to animation in the first place and then I went onto more of his animations and there is one in particular that heavily inspired one of my still pieces.
Down below is the video and a screenshot of that video that inspired one of my pieces, and that piece is also underneath them. In the intro screen, you see a map of the world which Elliot Lim has created in a way which I like and thought it would fit it well with my own designs but I took it a little further and added extra layers to the land.
I also looked at several different other artists that were linked back to workshops such as Said Dagdeviren who is a cinematograph artist who I researched and was inspired by during the Cinemagraph Workshop. The blog post link above is a more in-depth post about his work. I also looked at an artist during the Collage workshop called Kurt Schwitters who I have a blog post about as well down below. But these were artists who helped me get inspiration for separate pieces which never went onto being used in the final animation.
I also did a bit of contextual research on my subject which included sending out questionnaires and looking up facts to do with short journeys that we make in cars and their effects. I found most of these facts from the website Sustrans because they had already researched into effects of short journeys including, the mileage it adds up to, the cost it adds up to, the amount of pollution it creates and even the effects it has on our health.
I intended to use the information that I gathered from my questionnaires rather than secondary sources but the Sustrans had done their research on a far larger scale and their information will be a lot more accurate than mine as well and I wanted my final piece to be as accurate as possible. the facts that I gathered are in the two blog posts that I have linked directly below.
Over the course of this project, I was involved in several workshops including a collage, digital drawing, cinema graph and a short Adobe Flash workshop. I enjoyed all of these workshops but some were more useful and more enjoyable than others. For example in the collage workshop, I learnt how to use the composition of the page better and generally how to collage but this skill was not useful for my project which was mostly digital based and didn’t require collage at all. I also enjoyed this workshop the least so I could have left this workshop out and nothing in my project would have changed.
Now the cinema graph was the workshop that I enjoyed the most. I had never used this kind of media and I was not very experienced in photography either so it was nice to experiment with a new media. It also involved using digital and so it opened up new areas to photoshop that I did not even know were there. Through creating Cinemagraphs I learnt how to make GIF’s using photoshop which was very useful shortly afterwards because videos can’t be uploaded to WordPress but GIF’s can be so it was a useful skill in order to show off my work on this blog. The actual skill that involved creating a good quality cinema graph was not needed in the end when it came to the final piece. But after participating in the cinema graph workshop I researched the cinema graph artist called Said Dagdeviren who inspired me to experiment further with cinema graphs. the image below is the cinema graph that I originally made and then the one below that is the developed piece and the third image is one of a set of six cinema graphs that I was inspired by.
The actual skill that involved creating a good quality cinema graph was not needed in the end when it came to the final piece. But after participating in the cinema graph workshop I researched the cinema graph artist called Said Dagdeviren who inspired me to experiment further with cinema graphs. the image below is the cinema graph that I originally made and then the one below that is the developed piece and the third image is one of a set of six cinema graphs that I was inspired by.
After making this cinema graph, which I thoroughly enjoyed making and was proud of, I wanted to involve cinema graphs in my work and I moved onto ways that I could incorporate this art style but the test pieces that I created failed and I decided to just keep them as experimentation pieces.
The Digital drawing workshop was another workshop which was not needed massively but it did help indirectly towards my project. In the workshop, we were asked to draw multiple drawings but each time we had a time limit which varied from drawing to drawing and for some of them we had the challenge to either use our weaker hand or to not take our pen/cil of the paper. We then took those images into photoshop and then edited them in any way we wanted. I created two versions of mine and both of these different versions helped me further understand photoshop a little bit more. both images helped me understand how to apply an image behind something more efficiently, how to use colours more appropriately and how to use some of the tools a bit better such as the wand, pen, and blur tool which became useful further on in the project where I was using these tools on a regular daily basis.
I also was shown how to use the basics of Flash and from there I experimented with what I had been taught to create the first animation below. But I experimented more and more with all the different tools and options that were available to create better and more improved animations and some of these animations can be found throughout my blog. Even my final animation was made in this software so the difference from the animation below to my final piece is massive.
This workshop has been the most useful seen as though without it I would never have been able to make all the short animations I have made throughout this project or even my final piece.
below are just a view of the animations that I made using Flash.
At the very beginning of this project, I came up with a few initial ideas which in the end I put aside and came up with a new idea during a tutorial which I stuck with. My first ideas were to create an animation based on the US Presidential elections, animate my own personal CV, create a set of posters for a movie/music festival or to create a set of promotional material for the place that I work at part time which would have included business cards, leaflets, menus, etc.
Shortly after coming up with these ideas I moved onto looking at animation because originally I wanted to stick with the animating my own personal CV idea so I needed to research animation artists. I found Elliot Lim and then Giant Ant studio who I have talked about already. I then had a tutorial session with Mike and Amy and during that session I showed them the Kick Plastic animation and together we came up with the idea to create a project based on pollution with cars and it was this idea that I developed. So that Tutorial feedback session was quite important to me as it set me and my project down the right path.
I developed it from just pollution from cars to the effects of the short journeys that we make and what would happen if we walked/cycled instead of driving for these short journeys.
Over the course of the project, I have created a various amount of test pieces. To create these pieces I have used quite a few medias as well, I have used printing, drawing, tracing, Adobe suites such as Photoshop, Illustrator, and Flash. After realizing I wanted to create a project based around short car journeys
After realizing I wanted to create a project based around short car journeys, I decided that I wanted to start it off through animation so I started creating test pieces and animations. the first animations that I created are the five that I have already implemented into this blog are just above. I liked the outcome of these test animations seen as though I had only just started using Flash that week but they were nowhere near good enough to be used as a final piece for the exhibition. So I moved on and went on to what I wanted the next scene to be which was going to be the map of the UK to zoom in and have a car moving on to the screen. I created at least 50+ versions of this scene and Below is five examples of these test pieces. These test pieces proved to be very useful because over these 50+ test pieces I experimented with colors, different lines and many different textures and themes. This gave me a head start as to what textures and color compositions would look like and what I could do to improve upon what I already had.
I then received feedback on what I had done so far and from that feedback, I decided that I needed to create a storyboard about what I wanted the whole animation to be about and then I could start creating still pieces and animations that I could use for the exhibition/final piece. Below is my first rough draft and further down is the final draft it,
After creating this storyboard I then went onto creating pieces that I intended to use as final pieces. These test pieces are all in chronological order. Before going on to making the test pieces I looked at Giant Ant Studio’s animations for inspiration and this first test piece is heavily inspired by their work. I started off by creating a collection of textures using pencils, pens, chalk, crayons and ink prints. All of these textures are above. Before using these textures I would take them into photoshop and get rid of all color so that when I used them in actual test pieces, I could apply any color to them I wanted. In preparation for the test pieces, I would also take sample images, print them out and then create a trace of the lines I wanted using a light box. To create the foliage in the second test piece below I gathered five different plants and merged them together to create a different foliage.Creating these first two pieces was important because these were the first pieces that I made with the intention of using them as final pieces so I used and experimented with textures, colors, shapes, composition and effects thoroughly to get and effect I liked. So I became really familiar with what materials and resources that I had available and how to use them effectively. During the creation of these two pieces, I also decided on a color scheme which was the colors in the blue test piece above. I did not come across many problems as such but there were times for example when I did not know how I was going to portray a car’s shadow. So I experimented a lot with different textures and densities of those textures along with how the outline should look. should it be sharp? or blurry? and just things like that all the way through every test piece for the biggest and smallest things. But when I came to a crossroad where I could not decide what to do I would lay out the examples I had made and ask for tutors and classmates on which one would look better or what could make it look better.
Below is a test piece that broke from the color scheme as I felt that the colors in this piece looked better as they are now instead of the purely blue color scheme. This piece took the longest to make out of all of them because I faced the most complications while making it. Underneath these first two images is a few images of what this piece looked like midway through creation.
I experimented a lot while making this piece and I had to ask for feedback the most for this piece than any of the others. First, I could not decide on colors of the sea or of the UK. I could not decide which texture looked best on the sea, land or clouds, I also could not decide how dark or bright the whole thing should be. This is probably because this piece broke away from the theme so I was starting from scratch again.
In the end, I was very happy with this piece and I badly wanted to have it exhibited alongside my animation but it looked too much out of place so it was left aside in the end.
The still piece below is one that failed badly and was left out of the whole thing entirly. I created this after having a feedback session from a local graphic designer called Neil Corrigan who suggested that I start focusing on the effects of car pollution in order to implement that guilt factor. I liked the sound of the idea and I agreed with him which is why I made this piece below because I was attempting to show off the effects of global warming. But there are a few things wrong with it wcih are pretty obvious. The color scheme does not tie in well with the rest of my pieces, the bear, and its cub look to out of place and so does the sun, the foreground and the chunks of ice. I gave up on this piece after having a tutorial session where we talked about alternative routes I could go down and came up with the idea to create an iceberg piece that could melt away in an animation which is what I went on to do.
The next seven pieces below were all supposed to be part of the final piece and exhibition. but after creating the first three I took them into Flash and turned them into an animation instead. These test pieces are the best pieces that I have made so far but they were also some of the easiest to make because all the prpblems that could have happened I had lreayd crossed and dealt with in the previous test pieces.
Below is my final piece and exhibition piece. It has portrayed my project theme quite well which is all about the effects of car emissions from short journeys and what will happen if we do not do something about it. My still pieces above better communicate my message as they show a majority of the storyboard and so they tell the story better than just my stand alone animation. Overall the finished still pieces and the aniamtion I have portryed Giant Ant’s art style and alos Elliot Lim’s in the UK Map piece. I took the way that Giant Ant animated their shadows and applied them to the clouds but the message of my final pieces are also inspired off of their Kick Plastic aniamtion.
I am also pleased with how my use of media. I like the way all the colors tie in together throughout my final still pieces and animation but the colors between the sky and the ocean also contrast well together. I also like the way I have used my own textures to create the sky, the clouds, the sun and the ice caps and other objects throughout the final pieces.I also think my use of font was a good choice as it makes the whole thing seem quite ice like and the way that the text darkens as it goes lower down is a nice touch as well. I also think the way I have animated the whole thing went really well, especially the clouds which took a lot of experimenting to get right along with the flowing water and the animated iceberg.
Although the outcome of the animation and the still pieces went really well, I still think there was a few things that I could have done to make it better. If I knew that I was going to be using an animation solely for the exhibition then I would have spent longer making it longer and possibly giving it a soundtrack which would add much more to the experience. but apart from that and maybe making the font last on screen a bit longer then there is nothing else I would change.
For my exhibition space, which there is an image of below, I set up the mac that so that it was aligned with the cut out that was in my exhibition space. I printed out the title and the text that is beneath the screen, I cut out the text and stuck it to the wall. but in preparation for my space, the board needed painting and a hole the size of a mac screen needed cutting out.
I decided to set it up like this after deciding that I did not want the space to be rammed with different still pieces that I have created but instead have the whole thing focussing on my animation because that is the main piece out of everything that I have made so far.
Overall I am happy with the outcome of the exhibition but there is one thing that I would have liked to change. I would have liked to place the text on thick cutouts of themselves so the text would stand out from the board and simply make the whole thing a bit more eye-catching. I was also told on the night that the text could use being just a little bit slower but apart from that all other feedback was really positive.
Over this project, I have learnt so much more about photoshop and how to use it, how to make effective textures with different medias and methods. I have also learned how to use Adobe Flash, how to make various cinema graphs adn how to export them and any short video for that matetr as a GIF. So overall I am really happy with the outcome of my project, my final pieces, my animation and I have enjoyed the project and this year as a whole and I look forward to moving onto even more opportunities at University.