My journey through graduate school and my stay in Chicago has come to its end. New set of letters. Master of Arts in Animation. My program and the city’s cultural scene and natural environment has been artistically and technically enriching in more ways than I can say. I also really honed in on the value of networking and relationship building. Getting to know people in the wider realm of the arts is so important in order to complete anything of substance and consequence.
I think I really mastered that on this project. I worked with two other artists who I’ve gotten to know over the last 2-3 years and their performances really put extra unique native Chicago energy into it. Visual artist Candace Hunter performed the voice over. We recorded it one day at Faie African Art Gallery in the historic Bronzeville neighborhood on the south side of town. And Samuel Savoirfaire Williams, Jazz Violinist, gave me permission to use one of his band’s songs, Counter Poise from their Ran Out of Time CD.
Hardware and software wise, I used a variety of tools. I recorded Candace’s voice over on a H4n recorder. The animated parts of the film are hand drawn in Flash, the voice over and music clip were edited in Audition and all visual and audio files were edited together in After Effects to produce the film.
It all began last year during the fall quarter and this is culmination of our efforts.
On campus, I and my classmates spent the fall quarter in pre-production, giving pitches to each other about three ideas we had in mind for a final animated short. We voted for our favorites of everyone’s three pitches and most of us went with the preference of the room. Then we proceeded with weeks of developing a coherent story then storyboarding it with a series of weekly class critiques and revisions.
Since mine was an adaptation of a part of a poem my challenge was to create what my professor called a “visual language” just for this piece. She didn’t want me to simply animate the words but to illustrate some of the deeper meaning. Well one of my pitch ideas was an abstract animation so I was able to fit some of that style in after all. Developing a visual language for someone else’s writing is no easy task though. In fact it was actually the toughest and longest part of the project. My storyboards changed significantly and I was still modifying them into this quarter before I was able to get started on animating it but the extra time and effort was worth it.
From that point critiques of my storyboard panels were easy to adapt into my evolving sequence of images. Once I got into the activity of creating animated key frames, weekly animation critiques accelerated my process even more. This project gave me the opportunity to experiment with elemental animation in the form of water, clouds and smoke and that part of the creative process was most enjoyable for me.
Thanks to my final project professor Jo Dery for guiding us through the process of pre-production last quarter and full on animation in Animated Short Film Parts I and II over the last two quarters.Read More
If you’ve heard of the old radio shows from yester year like The Shadow or Halloween classics like War of the Worlds then you’ll like the modern day twist Hartlife, a team of multimedia actors and artists, has given the old genre. While strolling through artist alley, their booth caught my eye and I spoke to director Jeffrey Gardner about their newfangled internet audio drama.
Funny how small the world is. Turns out Jeffrey and I are coworkers. We both began working at the Museum of Science & Industry earlier this year. I bumped into him in the museum one day a few weeks ago, months after this interview, and said “Hey, do you have an internet radio show?” He said yeah and remembered us talking at ComicCon this past summer. It was great catching up with him again.
Be sure to catch up on episodes of Hartlife’s Our Fair City, save the site and drop the guys a line to tell them how much you enjoyed it.
When we began this year’s weekend Science Achievers program at the Museum of Science and Industry, our manager in the Fab Lab had us facilitators create introductory PowerPoints as a way of introducing us to the kids. I chose to share my favorite T.V. scientists from my youth and a couple from science history who inspired me to become a technologist. Take a look at the presentation and you’ll get to me a little better too.
Still can’t figure out how I pursued engineering first before science later in life (engineers don’t have cool T.V. shows, scientists do!) but I have my act together now – LOL. Really enjoyed putting this together. It affirmed my combined scientific and artistic pursuits in my current life.
This was my group interview presentation for my current job as a fab lab facilitator at the Museum of Science and Industry. I’ve always liked physics and astronomy so I figured I’d take it back to “how it all began”. Our objective for the interview was to pretend that we were giving a real science workshop to kids. Our audience was the group of us interviewing plus a number of museum staff. Take a look at mine.
One of the goals of the fab lab is to have kids make something that they can take home with them. I had an activity where they created an atom out of pipe cleaners and wagon wheel pasta that took home as there personally made souvenir. I had a good time with it. Most importantly, I got the job
I was inspired to do some personal Photoshop work after Felix Baumgartner’s record breaking space jump a few weeks ago and created this as a Facebook Cover. I split the composition between two layers with left and right halves and learned a new tool in the process to blend the two together. The smudge tool is amazing. I just stumbled across is while poking through the menu. It’s officially a fave to use in any abstract work I do from now on.
You’ll notice from the screen shot below that all the real work happens on layers 1 and 2, the left and right half mentioned earlier. This image blending technique is easy to employ by simply keeping both layers open and working along the intersecting border to create cool transitions.
I’ve decided to continue improving my Photoshop composition skills by regularly updating my Facebook Cover with original digital work. You’ll be seeing those here as I create them.
I’ve used this as a head shot on some of my social media profiles. It’s not me but I do favor a cool beret in cool weather. What do you think of it?Read More