Time to Pause and Reflect.

Tuesday morning is fast becoming the mad start to the week. Someone came in 10 minutes late and did a dance on the stage (if me and my sister come in late – which lets face it the chances of us not being late together are practically non-existent – the most likely thing to happen is us dancing to Hare Hare Yukai), and someone else came in ten minutes before the and and opted to leave. Ten Minutes? I wouldn’t have bothered mate.

Afternoon, and we’re at the audio stage of our pixilation project. To be honest I wasn’t looking forward to this because my last attempt (see the post below) was quite frankly crap. But it didn’t really matter, because we ended up on a computer that didn’t have sound working anyway (and not without considerable effort to sort it on my part), so we elected to take it home and add it ourselves… which in all likelihood will mean that we’ll end up with it having more than one soundtrack. We’ve been told to upload it by the end of this week (which, according to the time table, is Monday – Sunday’s a safer bet), but we weren’t actually told much about that. I’ve had to ask my sister to pass on any info on that score, seeing as her group seems to be getting more instruction than ours (apparently we were supposed to bring in a 30 second piece of music for the soundtrack in with us, I thought my hearing had played up again but everyone I asked didn’t hear it either).

We’ve been asked to reflect on work we’ve done at Uni. No problem, I seem to reflect on things 24/7, to the point where it’s annoying. Lets see, if you count the induction week I’ve done pinhole photography, whiteboard animation and pixilation (what I’m doing now). Now, I can’t really reflect on pinhole photography because a) it’s hit and miss already and b) can’t reflect on the developing because I couldn’t help the fact I could hardly see a damn thing. Which leaves whiteboard animation and pixilation, which I can reflect, and I’ll do both.

Whiteboard animation – If I’m completely and totally honest here, I feel that we should have done better. I know  we could have better. I remember sitting there during the talk beforehand and working out ideas using the stipulation of get the box from one side of the tree to the other and we could do anything else in between. But I didn’t suggest them when we got into groups, because I wasn’t comfortable enough with the people there to speak up (I did speak up a bit, and that was only because my sister was in the same group so I didn’t feel so uneasy).
One thing that practically screams out during the playback is that we didn’t really work as a group. Yes, we all took turns with the camera and drawing on the whiteboard but after that, apart from a few instances where we ground to a halt, it was a case of those not shooting or drawing sitting down, talking to one another and, to paraphrase what I said on the day, “we turn our backs for one minute and suddenly there’s a chainsaw!”.We stuck to the stick figure and very simple drawings to give us a chance of doing 120 frames in 2 hours. And yet somehow each of us managed to draw it differently, and ended up getting the tree to shrink. Actually I’ve only watched it once outside of Uni with the music, because seeing it alongside the other, artistically brilliant animations I feel like crawling under a rock and hiding for the rest of the course.

Pixilation – Now this time I hadn’t thought of anything beforehand, because I tend to work best off an idea, no matter how abstract, than from scratch. So it took a bit of discussion to figure out what we were aiming, which eventually boiled down to ‘consumption’ (apart from a Doctor Who style teleport, it’s mostly about things being eaten or in the case of the start, inhaled). When I look back on it, especially seeing it play back at 12fps, I really think it turned out brilliantly. Well apart from the ending, which was just us using up frames to get 360. We then batch processed them in Photoshop (four sets of which I did at home on the mac, and promptly discovered you can’t hide the program whilst processing otherwise it won’t work). The only way I can describe the chosen processed images is that someone sneezed whilst making the Doctor Who opening and layered the result on top of the video. I’m currently doing some audio editing, but I’m undecided whether to added sound effects over the music, or leave it as it is.

And hopefully tomorrow I’ll know where I’m meant to put this thing.

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