Narrative 1

Introduction

The Virtual Narrative Project tasked us students to develop a visually appealing and structured story. We accomplished this by learning as writers what a good story looks like and the story arcs of the characters that it contains. Through animation, we were able to accomplish producing a different narrative in a new media previously mentioned. Throughout this unit, we picked up on vital skills that enabled us to tell these stories from Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Dreamweaver, Adobe Audition, and Adobe Animate.
From the Visual Narrative unit I valued how we learned more platforms of media to further expand our selection from tools to use while storytelling. I feel that I improved as a storyteller by being able to ‘show’, and not ‘tell’, in a narrative.

Story

In English, we were assigned to write a short narrative that emphasized what we had been learning in class about the elements of a great story. Other than that, there were no other limitations on the project. The inspiration from my story was based off of the old idea of judging a book by its cover. I wanted to create a piece that encompassed the importance of how physical looks can often lead people to quickly judge them. 
After we had written our story, we recorded them and imported the audio in Adobe Audition. Using this program, we were able to add in several of effects and other sounds to enhance the audible experience. This gave the story a new sense of life and direction, which is what I valued from formatting it as an audio version.

An Unlikely Friend

Brandon Hill never admired school. Even attending Ravenwood, a prestigious preparatory school made no impact. He had no friends, only the cool wood surface of the desk that he would put his face upon and the leather wallet in his back pocket would bring happiness. Education was a forced endeavor, a seemingly pointless exercise that involved reciting useless information back to the same person that spoke it. In late January, his school fell to a money laundering scandal. Brandon didn’t care, however. In fact, it even gave him a sense of joy.

The new school, Mason J. Hoover High School, located in the heart of the Massachusetts suburbs, was a cluster of sad, dirty yellow buildings that relentlessly pierced their way into Brandon’s eyes. It was the only public school in a 30 mile radius of Brandon’s house, and all the other private schools were not accepting students at this time. Yes, there were some inmates of the previous institution that appeared to be present, but they were outnumbered twenty or thirty to one. At least the others in the old school had some class, or enough money to fake it. The peeling paint revealed concrete walls that held up the dirty, disgusting buildings. There was a noticeable difference in the characters that attended this school, particularly the clothes that they wore. The rags on their backs shivered in comparison to the clean suit that Brandon wore. It was a public school, and held no more value to Brandon than the dirt on the underside of his shoes.

Math class. The one word to describe this experience in Brandon’s opinion was insignificant. Algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, any other topic that a typical math class covers – useless. Nothing was worse than hearing the mumbling clown speak nonsense that would never have any practical use in the world in any situation whatsoever. Nothing, except of course the boy named Mac, a fat, smelly creature, who seemed to do nothing in the world but eat. One couldn’t even walk past the classroom that he occupied without smelling the noxious fumes that his body produced. He wasn’t just annoying to Brandon, though. Mac was constantly mocked by boys and girls of all ages alike, but he consistently kept a cringey smile on that face. That smile was the worst, and it asked for the beating of a lifetime. To Brandon it was the smile of someone who thought nothing could bring them down, and that was the worst.

He sat by a dumpster that smelled unpleasant, all mixing in his food that created an unbearable taste. Brandon ate alone, no one willing to sit with him. Brandon thought nothing of it. After all he knew he was better than everyone else, right? Then he noticed some boys walking towards him. The boys were both attendees of the school before Brandon arrived, building a reputation of strength by causing constant mayhem. Their eyes held anger and a troubled past, causing Brandon to look around nervously, looking for anyone nearby. He thought that people in the vicinity would cause the boys to not do whatever they were planning. That was not the case.

The first punch was a shock, and his face swelled up almost instantly against the cold asphalt. The boys shouted while they swatted at Brandon with their fists and feet. They spat insults about Brandon’s current wealth, and told him that he didn’t deserve anything that he owned. This didn’t bode well for Brandon while he was being beaten as it just increased his negative opinion of the people at the school: pure human filth. Grunts and moans of pain filled the air, although mainly Brandon’s. One of the boys took Brandon by the head and shoved it into the ground, bloodying his mouth. Brandon raised his head and spat out some teeth covered in blood onto the floor. He continued to struggle with the other boys, in a continuous of cycle of holding each other by the neck momentarily, and then being wrestled to the ground.

In a sudden instance, Mac’s jiggling body was seen running towards the mayhem. He struck one of the boys on the back of the head with a powerful punch. The boy fell to the ground quickly, and he remained there, seemingly unconscious. Brandon didn’t know why Mac had decided to help him, as Brandon made fun of and hated on him behind his back. But, he accepted the aid nonetheless. Mac continued to beat the unconscious boy while he sat atop him until he was struck from behind with a kick to the head. Mac face planted onto the floor, and groaned a horrifying sound from the pain.

When the dust settled, he and Mac lay motionless on the ground. Everything ached and the rough pavement aided as support for his destroyed body. The unconscious boy remained on the floor, although the other boys had left once they were thoroughly satisfied. Brandon lifted his head from the concrete and looked at Mac. Mac met his eyes in a comforting gaze. Brandon felt connected to Mac, and respected him for his help. He felt foolish for trashing him before. As his eyes fell down on the rest of Mac, he gave way to a smile. Mac had that stupid childish grin on his face, and nothing would ever be the same.

Illustrations

The custom illustrations on this page were all made in Adobe Illustrator. I took inspiration from different environments and ecosystems and then tried to put a spin on them. I enjoy the look of geometric shapes and other simplistic designs as well so I wanted to incorporate those in the illustrations as well. 
As for the personal illustration itself, I took inspiration from a picture of an astronaut in space. I have always been fond of the suits astronauts wear when they go on space walks, but I wanted to make it in a creative and different way. I accomplished this project on Adobe Illustrator by using the pen tool to create hundreds of triangles which then I would take the base color of the picture underneath those triangles. This type of portrait that I made is known as a low-poly portrait, a very geometric form of art.
Personal illustrator project
Narrative website banners made in Adobe Illustrator
Narrative website banners made in Adobe Illustrator

Animation Production

Animation is always difficult and can be rather tedious. It can be hard to make deadlines because it takes so long and it can be hard to focus as well at times. However, I feel that the work is often worth it when a product is produced that you’re happy with. The mood scene project in animation required us to make two characters in Adobe Photoshop that had a unique background and also animate them in a walk cycle. We made backgrounds from foam and we set mood lighting to emphasize an emotion we wanted to explore.

The next project we were tasked was the rotoscope project. This involves using real video footage and in our case, tracing over using a brush tool in Adobe Photoshop. Some people think that rotoscoping is almost like cheating because it is tracing over footage but it can lead to really diverse creations, although it’s the same footage.