1 – Vortex
2 – Tree
3 – Lift in Shopping Centre
My Moving Image:
Would I still be a human?
When I watched this film, I was inspired by the whole animation. I really liked the waves in the beginning (00:04) and how they moved in lines going left and right and thought maybe I could create something similar for my opening scene (keeping in mind the vortex idea).
This was what I envisaged my sea to look like (done with acrylic paints):
These were the notes I took during watching Moana:
Paint sea like a1 piece pattern (Have in 4 pieces moving from side to side as sea)
Human (unfinished, possibly see-through drawing) with the background shining through, flower growing through them from the ground/root upwards through their head and opening out repeatedly on top of one another up and up and up
(Drawings unfinished to show that we are all in process, unfinished beings)
What if my brain was over there and my body was over here, would I still be a human being poem – would I still be human if…
These are the initial images I took to be put into my moving image.
Seeing how I could combine humans with nature to look like they fit together:
I envisaged tracing the branches from the picture below (left) on Illustrator and then halfway down transforming them into veins (see below right).
I traced a woman’s spine on Illustrator and played around with it (as I was also learning how to use the program) and envisaged making one out of moulding clay and creating a stop motion animation of the spine falling apart.
However, unfortunately I didn’t have the time to do either of these things in order to develop them how I wanted, so the best thing I could do was use them as the images they are.
For my humans I would have liked to have developed them from the five initial images I created (seen in one of my first blog posts) as I was so excited about drawing something new that I had never done before, however I didn’t manage my time properly and experienced a kind of mind-block where I was too worried to try and continue with it – incase it went wrong. So, I decided to push the idea of the empty outlined human as it was easier to do within the time frame but also fitted my concept well. However if I could go back I would have developed my 5x images and made an animation from them.
I also wanted to incorporate my group members’ illustrations to make sure all of our work looked like it goes together:
(Top left by Ahwa, top right by Frank, bottom image by Megan)
My mini-animations made with Photoshop:
To see all footage taken during this project please visit my YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCPG4YdFbxel3A0NV_b_p33w/videos?sort=dd&view=0&shelf_id=0
Run out of Time
I started to feel that my narrative would definitely need to stay on the more abstracted side as unfortunately I no longer had the time to create a story with more detail and more intricate drawings. This is due to time management issues as well as spending more time on the group project than my own goal of learning how to animate. I researched into what being a human being is to other people and I came across a vast amount of opinions. The main point I got from it though and from this whole project was that a human being is most definitely not a set thing, it can be anything. Many of my drawings of my human character have been faceless throughout this whole project, and so I’ve decided to depict my human as a shadow.
I decided that the best thing I could do was to make a moving image, consisting of footage, images, drawings and some little animations all combined to make a small three-minute film.
Sketchbook – trying to develop the imagery of my human:
Experimenting with making an ’empty human’ with bubble wrap and balloons as they are both mostly empty and airy. Below – trying the PVA an acrylic technique on a balloon – it didn’t work as well as it did on paper, also trying with masking tape for a skin peeling off effect.
Above – shadow experiments with my sister! I think that shadows/outlines could illustrate my empty human very well, it is simple and to the point and must be as impactful as possible.
As you can see from my sketchbook pages, there was a particular quote about what humans are that inspired me to use shadows:
“But breath and shadow, nothing more.” – Sophocles
My poem went like this:
Would I still be human if my brain was over there?
A whole body of separation –
If I didn’t have feelings, if I didn’t care.
If tears didn’t fall,
If I never got angry, not even a little bit, not even at all?
If my body is here, but my brain’s not in my head,
Would I be a human being –
Or, classed as something dead.
Same dilemma if my intestines were to break through my skin,
How would a human function? Where would digestion even begin?
Would I still be human if my spinal chord broke down?
How would I stand up straight?
How would I get around?
Can you still be a human –
If you’re knocked right off your feet?
Where do the beginning of emotions and the ends of our organs meet?
It would seem that, as a human, you need both in order to grow
Like a flower needs water and sunlight –
To let its beauty show.
A human being is a ‘homosapien’, whatever that means.
But a being doesn’t have to be a set thing and things don’t always have to be what they seem.
I love these flower animations!! Maybe I could use stop motion animation for part of my narrative outcome – for example where the wind takes my character’s spinal bones and I could use modelling clay for this.
Due to the abstraction that engulfs my narrative, one of my tutors suggested that I look into the film/book called Naked Lunch. I found the book very interesting as it is documenting the process of being addicted to drugs, and the author wrote much of it whilst being intoxicated, hence the abstraction of this story and the non-linear narrative.
One of the lines in the book says “If a friend came to visit – and they rarely did since who or what was left to visit”. This made me think of an empty human, kind of like the ones within our dystopia. My human can’t think, she is just controlled by the power of nature, similar to the case of Naked Lunch except the human is controlled by drugs. I started to try and visualise what this empty human would look like:
My initial storyboard
My storyboard shows the main human character waking up and getting her eyes thrown to her by the eye (sun) – showing how nature controls humans right from the beginning. She then starts walking and finds herself amongst water (the vortex) and stays there for a while, after which its starts to rain. The water engulfs her and she is forced to cry (emphasising the power of nature again).
She then calms down and finds a bench to sit on, when a storm/hurricane takes over her causing her spine to become unhinged and to get swept away with the strong wind.
After this chaotic event, having lost her spine she can no longer walk so she props herself up against a tree. The leaves start to intertwine themselves with her but instead of causing her an inconvenience, they transform her into a leaf, a leaf woman, thus fixing her broken spine and she may now live forever as a leaf.
I want to show the contrast between nature doing the opposite of helping her and then suprisingly helping her out at the end, this is to show how either way nature has all the power – and even though nature saved her in the end she still has to live forever as a leaf woman, not as her natural self.
After brainstorming with my group today, we have come up with some ideas following on from our first two images of our environment. We decided we would like to depict the water in one of the A1 images as the reflective surface is important to our narrative. The second could be along the lines of the roots of a tree, intertwining with organs and bodily parts such as the veins and bones. Lastly, we thought that the third should be based inside somewhere, preferably where materialism is at its height, for example a shopping centre. With further discussion, we agreed that it could be just one aspect of a shopping centre, for example an escalator where you can see a couple of shops in the distance or an elevator where the doors are only slightly open so you can see a sign as to what is on each floor of the shop opposite e.g. beauty, womenswear, home, electrical etc, to make it clear and simple where it is and to avoid making it too busy and overwhelming like our first ones.
Brainstorming Ideas –
Henrique Oliveira – http://www.henriqueoliveira.com/, 2009-2011
I really like the way this installation of a tree trunk is taking over the whole room, the floor and the ceiling, showing just how powerful nature is – which is exactly what we are trying to depict.
Experimenting with making my own textures – above is PVA glue and acrylic paint to get the veiny/tree like effect – depends which way you look at it!
Cutting paper to bend/twist it like a tree trunk
Trying to make the tree look like it is grown from human veins, and the human is giving the tree life rather than the trees providing us with oxygen – showing how nature uses humans in our dystopia.
Taking the tree to another level using lots of sheets of paper to get the thickness, however this paper was difficult to bend into shape. We decided to make the tree out of paper mache pulp in the end, as using the paper didn’t work well. We scrunched up lots of newspaper and mixed it with hot water and PVA glue and started moulding it into the shape of a tree.
WATER – vortex?
The image above gave me the idea of a water vortex – as water is something so vital in a human’s life but the vortex makes it even more powerful and strong and very dangerous for humans to be around. Below we began painting the vortex, using masking tape to mask the edges to make a perfect circle.
SHOPPING CENTRE – lift opening onto shopping centre first floor?
We thought that the lift could be even more realistic if we scratched into the surface and made it look a bit like graffiti, and if we used shiny paper to reflect the metallic colour of lifts in general.