Monday, January 25, 2010

Sequential Media - VCOM 363

I have protracted the course from its original form and extended the projects, process and teaching of methodology for the students. I expect the final versions of the projects to be of higher quality in form and tempo as well as narrative. The Muybridge experiments are still involved in the early process of the animation production. This is followed up with a greater emphasis on character development than in earlier years of this course with the addition of the five profile drawings. The final product to be included in the first phase of this first project is the storyboard as seen in the examples shown in class. All three of these deliverables should give the students a foundation for fleshing out the final animation.

The Muybridge experiment will start fluid walking animation for the character. The side profile of the character may cause the animation to continue from this POV but with close direction on the storyboard I hope to encourage students away from two dimensional story telling.

The five drawn profiles is meant to encourage emotional definition of the character. Students should start to feel what the characters are feeling at some point in the story. This should come across in the way the character is drawn and then extend into the movement of the character.

The storyboard services as a plan to tell the story in a way that communicates humor. Comedy is difficult and not easy to describe visually. Relying on the story or joke the students have brought to class will have to suffice as a measure for how they will plan the animation. It is not a course in story telling or creative writing which seems best left to the students in the class to judge the comedic value of each project. Discussion on how to emphasize punchlines, or exaggerations, or reactions to dialogue will continue with the critique of timing and pace of the story.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Design is Existential - Minus the Individualism Stuff

I was reading about the famous playwrite Samuel Beckett and considering his most famous play Waiting for Godot and thought about the absence of creative motivation or what some might call their muse that has gone missing. Many critics and scholars of the theatre have referenced the dichotomy of the characters, Estragon and Vladimir in their admiration for Godot to their vague understanding of him or even if they were to ever meet him. This seems to follow Beckett's relationship with writing or at least his existentialist tendencies.

"An existentialist theme is that of anxiety, or the sense of anguish, a generalized uneasiness, a fear or dread which is not directed to any specific object. Anguish is the dread of the nothingness of human existence." T. Z. Lavine.

Many designers "fear" of not being avant garde or even aujourd'hui, threatens our existence as design beings. It is not the object so to speak but our awareness of the "current" and "cutting edge" we are both in and out of that we fear. I have consistently approached my design with the notion that the content and context of the work would guide my observations to analyze my creativity, and the aesthetic result would be relevant to these subjects. I think this still resonates with me but I look at contemporary design with some disconnect and envy. If I have ever tried to be "current" or create using the visual language of designs I have recently seen it feels appropriated. Creating may support the axioms of existentialism but it is evident designers have, and will continue to, muster the bravado to put the work out there for everyone to critique. The older I am the more I admire the courage of designers who continue to push the definitions of design that gives me the courage to move forward with my own. It is not in the interest of setting the new avante garde but just to say, I did that, in the most conscientious way I can and maybe just to take a step towards getting over the fear.