Monday, September 28, 2015

Memory Progress #2

September 14th, 2015 
Along the ideas for the Life Gems, I came up with another project that worked better than the original animation idea and the family tree idea. My idea would be a split screen animation showing two sides of memory preserved and stopped in family trees. On the left side would be a girl who would grow from a baby to an old woman. She would get married, have children, become a writer, have grandchildren, and live a good life with a prosperous family tree. On the right side would show countless stories of people whose lives were cut short. Some ideas are a child who dies of malnutrition, a woman who gives birth to a stillborn child, a family who dies from a bombing, and a child who commits suicide. The purpose is to honor all lives despite if their lines carried on or not. It’s also to make aware that not all stories have a happy ending.

I started making a very base mock storyboard for it. I imagine my style for the animation to be a shadow puppet silhouette animation. Each silhouette would be made in Illustrator, moved like puppets in After Effects, and put together into a film through Premiere.

September 18th, 2015
I started on making a much more detailed storyboard for the animation. I wanted to focus on positions so that I could easily move certain parts of the silhouettes I design. The first storyboards were based on only one character (the babies, the little girl, and the malnourished kid), but I needed to think of space after since more characters would be introduced.

I also asked my parents to send me profile pictures of themselves.

September 19th, 2015
I thought that looking into silhouettes and artists like Kara Walker could help me in stylizing the silhouettes a bit more. I also received the profile pictures from my parents. I also looked more into the shapes of each Life Gem a bit more.

September 20th, 2015
I continued working on the storyboard. I might end up scrapping some of it because the figures aren’t coming out the way I want. I’m also having a bit of trouble with certain Life Gem shapes...especially the pear shape...I think I need some more practice. Specifically, Dad wants either a pear faceted gem or a smooth round gem, and I plan to do his first.

September 21st, 2015
Finished a good chunk of the storyboard. I believe the main character’s name will be Bridget Finn...short, sweet, has a nice ring to it. Right now, I have 2 set parts: the malnourished child who dies young and the newlyweds who can’t conceive a child. The next part will be the family who gets caught in a bombing and the actor trying to go for fame and fortune and losing it all. I’d like it to end on a good note with Bridget dying fulfilled in old age having just finished her book.

September 24th, 2015
Tried my attempt at a pear shape Life Gem again using a model to help. It actually came out pretty good though it took a long while.

September 27th, 2015
Worked on making a smooth oval Life Gem this time. Took a few times but it came out very good! After that, I attempted making a faceted oval gem using a copy of the smooth. It took forever but the results came out alright...trying to connect the vertices is very hard I realize, and I still messed up in a few areas. Made a copy with more of a tear shape.

Also, my pear shaped Life Gem seemed a bit off. I really hope it didn’t get took a long time to even figure out that shape.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Memory Project Progress #1

Saturday, September 12, 2015:
With my list of the people the Life Gems were going to be for written down, I called my family and asked others in person about their favorite color and ideal gem shape. I was glad to know that everyone, including myself, had a different style they saw. After that, I proceeded to attempt to sketch the shape of each life gem. Sadly, I don't have my brother's and am still thinking about one other.

Sunday, September 13, 2015:
My main focus for today was trying to create some experiment designs of gemstones on Maya as to practice a bit on getting the shape down. I worked to try and create a 3D modeled gemstone on Maya with the research I had acquired. It took a couple of hours, but I got a structure that started to resemble a gemstone which was a big step up. Once after, I worked more trying to make different shapes and edges on the gemstones themselves. After a bit of a break, I worked again getting even more variety in shape and size. I don't have the hang of some shapes yet, such as the emerald or the cut oval, but I'm hoping to ask for some advice on that in class tomorrow.

Individual Theme and Group Theme

Individual Theme: Memory

  • What is one of the most common fears that never gets mentioned? In my opinion. it's the fear of never being remembered after you die. We all wish to leave some sort of momento for others to inherit and remember us by . In a bigger idea, a lot of us aspire to do great things: make films, become famous, write books and poetry. For my project, I'd like to look into the preservation and destruction of memory through the representation of different mementos.
  • Some ideas:
    • Life Gems: There is a choice in which a person can have their ashes be turned into a gem when they are cremated. This is a unique way of preserving memory.
    • Family Lines: It is often thought that having a child is a way of preserving oneself. However, what if the line ends abruptly? What if a woman is never given the chance to be a mother and a man a father?
    • Silhouette Animation: I think it would be a neat idea to do a silhouette animation (via Photoshop or another program) of things a person tries to accomplish in life and momentos in death.
    • Momento Tokens: I would like to go to thrift stores and gather items that can be used as momentos. Things like shoes, watches, handkerchiefs, and other trinkets.
    • Custom Mini Coffins: Along with the Life Gems, I'd like to design a few custom coffins in a miniature form. Some will most definitely be smashed.
    • Journal: To complete the project, I would like to keep a journal on it talking about each day spent on the project. It can be a journal, an email log, or a podcast.
  • Ideal setting: alleyways, hidden rooms, places you wouldn't expect to find momentos
  • Art styles: 3D modeling (Maya), stopmotion (Photoshop and Premiere), craft

Group Theme: Obsession with the Comfort Zone

  • As a people, it is much easier to stick with the things we are comfortable with than try new things. We can be drawn to a state of complacency, and we can be terrified by both change and the unknown. For a group project, I think it would be fun to do a performance or interactive exhibit showing this and breaking it for the audience.
  • Some ideas:
    • Texting vs Talking: It's much easier to text or type your true feelings than say them in person. The act would be a performance piece with someone talking as a computer monitor shows the type of their true thoughts.
    • What Food We Choose: This would be an interactive piece where people will have the chance to try something new or stay to the familiar (McDonald's. Burger King, In N Out). It would show how complacent people are with their food.
    • Things We Grow Out Of: Some people never grow out of habits or even items they loved as a child.
    • Wheel of Fears: Basically a bravery test...see if you are ready to face your fears.