Sunday, August 31, 2008

'Love Your Enemies'

So, this is my most recent 'master piece'. This was created for today's service at Genesis the Church in Royal Oak, MI. I used Photoshop CS3 and my Cintiq for drawing,Digital Juice Stack Tracks Ambient Stacks 2 - 'The 5th Dimension' with all procussion removed for the music, Final Cut for mix down and final export, and iDVD for burning the final deliverable. I also used MPEG Streamclip to create the web ready files for posting.

This would be considered 'cell' animation, though I do everything in Photoshop, so there's no actual cellulose used. I would call it 'frame' animation, as each frame is individually drawn as seperate layers. A 'frame' is drawn, duplicated, then the duplication is adjusted. The duplication is itself duplicated with the adjustment, and additional adjustment is made to the drawing, and so on until the project is completed.

I usually import the layered Photoshop file into After Effects to create the sequencing, but this time I tried a different process for the sake of time. With CS3, from the 'Animations' window, you can create the frameing sequence, and then export directly to a Quick Time file. I imported the qt file into Final Cut which already contained my music bed from the animatic. The process was about an hour, to 30 min. faster than AE, however there were a few timing situations that I was unable to alter because of this export process. It's faster, but you compramise timing flexability.

I received the assignment on Wed., the 27th, and spent a cumulative 8 hours on it from Wed. to Fri. evening. On Saturday, I spent another 8.5 hours to completion, however I didn't START until 7:00 pm! Which means an all-nighter. I guess I like it because I pull 'all nighters' every Saturday before I have an animation for church.

I feel that this piece is successful for the context in which it was used, and the production quality is pretty good. I was surprised to see how well the emotion of the 'thrower' was translated in the last throwing sequence. It wasn't a conscious decision to make it so violent, (this is the most violent piece I've ever done!) it just sort of turned out that way.

There were quite a few 'accidental' successes, actually. I was pleased with the theatrical results of the secondary movements - the 'victim' missing a rock, the 'attacker' taking steps back at the 'victim' crosses the bridge - however those motions were instituted purely as utilitarian work-arounds. I left a rock off to the side as a 'safety' for continuity - I kept loosing count as they passed from the thrower to the catcher. The 'attacker' had to move back a few steps to accomodate the 'victim' crossing the bridge, because the bridge changed length twice during the course of production. Again, because I kept loosing count of those silly rocks.

I didn't really 'risk' anything in this piece, and I'm still working in only black and white. Again, it's a confidence issue. And a need to work through procrastination - waiting until the last minute means I have to keep everything as simple as possible to work quickly. Part of my procrastination may be a artistic 'self preservation' - waiting until the last minute means performance pressure is replaced by deadline pressure. If I don't have time to make it fancy, then expectations are lowered, protecting my 'artistic ego'. I need to stop chaining up my creativity for the sake of protecting it. Because I haven't given myself the freedom to risk, I am extreamly underdevloped in my talent.

I think I have the story for my next experimental piece.

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