The Conceptual unit is a unit where we learned the expression of ideas through several different forms, including creative media, editing photos, and writing poems. We also created videos and learned how to use software like Photoshop and Adobe After Effects. We created this website and learned the how to put ourselves out there. We took photos using DSLR cameras and learned how to edit ISO, aperture, and shutter speed, along with what they mean. We used audio recorders and practiced reading our works. For Animation students like myself, we focused more on manual animation and direct techniques, with hand drawn animation and techniques with charcoal, sand, and paint. We put animations together utilizing Adobe Premiere. We learned the basics of animation the principles, and the design principles as well, analyzing shots in movies and things of that sort.
Overall, it was an incredibly fascinating and entertaining unit, and I thoroughly enjoyed learning about these new tactics and skills and applying them to my work. I really loved being able to experiment in English more creatively than I had previously in school. Learning animation and producing short animations as a start was also very interesting to try out. I also appreciate learning how to use popular software and edit things in Digital Media, altering it so I can accurately convey a message or an idea.
In English, we learned about poems and the necessary criteria to write a poem. We were then given a randomized statement to write a poem about, in which the Photo Haiku is also based on as well as the following poem.
Poetry Intention Statement
The basis for most of the poems in the unit was a statement assigned to us. Click here to see the page.
Photo Haiku Photo & Video
We wrote a haiku in out English class, which is a Japanese form of literature where there is a certain amount of syllables in each line. Then, we took a photo of what we though best represented the poem, and recorded our voices reading the poem. We put it all together in Adobe Premiere.
The video above is the finished product for the Haiku Poem Project, made with Adobe Premiere.
This was the very first project introduced at the beginning of the year. While at first I was a bit intimidated, it was an enjoyable experience, not to stressful and easy to follow. I really appreciate how pushed us right into it, but gave us all the proper tools to learn. It introduced a few key concepts, such as key frames and adding audio to images, that would be later applied to different software, like Adobe After Effects. The project helped create a stronger foundation to begin improving on our editing skills.
Concept Statement Poem- Stumble
This poem is titled “Stumble”, and it follows the concept statement. We recorded our voices reading the poem, and edited photos in Photoshop to represent the poems. I thought it was a nice project, and really like being able to experiment in poems, which I have not had too much experience with. I also tried to add a bit of rhyming in this poem, and changed the shift and tone all throughout to really convey the uncertainty. It was a fairly simple task, and I revised to make it sound as best as it could. I also had to focus on the sound aspect, and read it in a certain manner so that it was portrayed accurately, and the listener really has a feel for the message of the poem. This poem and the others helped me transition into joining audio and images.
Ekphrastic Poem- BAPTISM
This poem is titled “BAPTISM”, and unlike the previous poems, it was written based on an entirely different Concept Statement, which was “Feeling guilt through the experience of undergoing religious ceremonies.” This poem was also written as an ekphrastic poem, which is work inspired by other works, responding to it, whether it be an art piece or a book. As a class, Freestyle traveled to the Museum of Modern Art in San Francisco, otherwise known as the MOMA. The purpose was to find a piece of art in which to write our poem about. Strangely, I found the work of Ellsworth Kelly to be fascinating, and thought there was a story to be told through those colors. It was titled, “Red Yellow Blue White and Black with White Border”, made in 1952-1953, from oil on canvas. The simplicity allowed me a lot of creative leisure to make a story as I chose, and I am fairly proud of this piece.
Exquisite Corpse Poem
This project involved the whole class being split into halves, and writing an exquisite corpse stye poem together. An Exquisite Corpse is a project in where there are several collaborators working off of each other’s work, where each does a segment and the following person continues off that specific segment, handing it off to the next person. This can be used in art and in literature. We wrote a poem using this method.
Then each of us took a photo representing the line we contributed, and some used editing in Photoshop. Then, we recorded ourselves speaking the line, and every individual had to put it all together in a program called Adobe After Effects, adding our own style to it. This was the result of my rendition.
The finished product was uploaded on YouTube, on Freestyle Academy’s YouTube channel.
I was surprised at how easy it was to put everything together and still make it look professional. The lesson on how to use this software introduced many interesting skills, such as adding keyframes for transitions using scale, position, and opacity. After Effects will definitely help with making more professional looking videos that are entertaining as well, which I believe will be very important for the future.
Photoshop Blend Modes
In Digital Media we learned how to use Photoshop, and in this specific assignment, we learned how to utilize different ways to make a photograph pop out, and edit it to make it either darker or lighter. In Photoshop, there are options to edit photos using layers that can brighten of darken the image based on which one uses. There is also an overlay brush to make certain things pop out more, and a blending option using an adjustment layer so that one can blend two images together.
It was a long and arduous process to complete this assignment. I had to edit so many photos, and use a variety of techniques. However, because of the effort I put into the project, the skills will definitely stick with me for a long time. This lesson offered me many new skills that I know will come in handy for the future, especially when designing images and making them look more professional. I learned the importance of settings using a DSLR camera, but that I can also fix over and underexposure in pictures with layers.
The animation class has been very busy this first quarter. We wasted no time jumping into animation with Zoetropes and Phenakistoscope Wheels, the latter of which is displayed below.
It was a little stressful to just move in headfirst with an animation within the first week, but it really help gauge my familiarity with the subject and gave me a sense of the work and effort required for the class. It was also a nice way to begin the year, coming up with creative ideas without having to worry about principles and things of that sort. I became familiar with the general process of animation with the project.
Then, we worked on animating simple shapes and conveying an emotion with the next project, the Flipbook project.
We had to have seven seconds to ten seconds of animation. I fulfilled the seven minute mark, which at a pace of twelve frames per second, was a whopping eighty four frames. It was not too difficult with the simple shapes, but it was a bit intimidating at first, for sure. I attempted to portray the emotion of Curiosity. I drew inspiration from cartoons, and tried to make it a funny little story. It was nice to draw an animation that was more comic in nature, and I liked seeing it all coming together.
The Direct Techniques project was a project in which we experimented with the different methods of animation. We had also just learned about animation and design principles, so we had to incorporate some of those into this project.
We had several different options, from sand to paper cutout to painting. We then selected two out of the three techniques to animate a short with follow through and secondary actions we had just learned. I chose sand to animate the blooming of a flower, and paper to animate the flourishing and decay of said flower. I used the principles in adding wind to make the bud follow through with the stem, adding bounce, also incorporating the leaves as secondary action to emphasize the movements. I used the design principle of contrast to have the white flower pop out, alignment to have the horizon direct the attention to the flower, and proximity so that the viewer only had to look at the center where all the action was occurring.
This project caused me to think more about what I was going to produce, and fulfill certain criteria. While a bit restricting, it definitely improved my animation, and I learned a lot to make it more professional. It also helped me prepare for the future, where I will have to utilize many of these concepts in order to be successful.
Exquisite Corpse Video
This was similar to the Exquisite Corpse poem, as it has the same concept of an Exquisite Corpse, except this was in more of an artistic form rather than words. The Exquisite Corpse video involved many collaborators taking off of the the last frame of the person before them, and continuing on with their own segment.
This was a bit of a confusing process for me, and I did not know how the project would end up. The final video was a combination of the two classes with each student doing a part. We practiced pose to pose animation and began with a frame given to us tried to end on another provided frame. This was my first experience with this type of animation. I did learn a lot however, and it was an interesting process. It is also very interesting to see other student’s parts coming together with mine, and the animation itself resulted in being pretty fluid.
Animation taught me a lot in the couple months that I have been attending the class, it primarily being that it is not the class for weak willed. Animation itself is already a difficult subject considering the intricacy of having to draw frame by frame, but this class adds a whole new level of difficulty to it, really testing the endurance and passion of students. It is not easy, but I really enjoy the challenge, and it is such a great opportunity to experiment in this topic. I also love to see the whole animation come together after all the effort put into it. It truly is magical.