New Project: Photographing the Mundane

I frequently hear, “but there’s nothing good to photograph here.” Our next project requires you to find beauty in boring or ugly surroundings. The point of this project is to open your mind to photographing things you would normally overlook. With enough practice, this exercise will eventually teach you how to take a good photograph of just about any subject matter or location.

We will examine the work of photographers who purposefully take photos of mundane subject matter, and come up with our own take on finding beauty in the mundane.

Here are some examples of great photos of mundane subject matter:
Michael Eastman

Michael Eastman

Michael Eastman

Michael Eastman

William Eggleston

William Eggleston

William Eggleston

William Eggleston

Over the next three weeks, you will take as many photos as possible of mundane subject matter.
The more photos you take, the better your final product will be, so try to take photos outside of class, too.

Project requirements:

  • 10-12 aesthetically appealing photographs or mundane or traditionally unattractive subjects (this means you will probably need to take at least 50 photos to get 10 good ones!)
  • photographs show an understanding of previous photography lessons and assignments
    • taken from an interesting camera angle
    • have a clear subject matter
    • image is in focus
    • any distracting elements have been cropped out
    • levels have been adjusted so the image has appropriate contrast
  • daily progress posted in a new blog post at the end of each class (post the photos you have taken that day, or before and after images of any photos you have edited)
  • final group of 10-12 edited photos and a 150 word artist statement posted in a final blog post for the project

Reminder: Daily blog posts back up your work in the event of a computer crash. They also enable me to see if you are on the right track with your project. Failure to post progress means a zero participation for the day. (That includes posting something like “my computer didn’t let me upload today.”) If you didn’t create a backup of your work with a post, you will not get credit for that post. Blog posts account for 40% of your grade in this class, so consider accepting these free points.

Today we will:

  • take photos of things we have previously considered boring or ugly
  • create a new blog post with the photos we took during today’s class

Finishing our Animations

animation_ScreeningWe will spend the next two classes finishing our animations (or opt outs). Once Ms. Lawson has approved your final animation, make sure you have put a .fla, .swf and .mov (this is the format we will play during the screening) of your project in the animation folder you have shared with Ms. Lawson on your school Google Drive account.

On Friday, AC students will hear a Holocaust survivor speak. On Monday, BD students (and AC 11th grade students) will screen our animations. Ms. Lawson has invited Ms. Hawkin’s 11th Grade Drawing & Painting class, as well as any SOTA faculty and staff who are available, to view the animation screening, so please come to class on time ready to present your completed animation!

Project Planning Post: Animation Storyboard or Senior Opt Out

Today we will plan our projects. You will receive a 10-point grade for this blog post.

Animation planning post requirements:

  • Photo of the storyboard sketches.
    Each of the main frames sketched out.
    Jenna has done a great job sketching the overall animation:
    jenna_storyboard.jpg
  • Broad Paragraph describing your animation.
    Example: “My animation will show a vine growing to reveal the word, “grow.” I will use mask effects to reveal more and more of the word. Once the entire word is visible on the screen, I will use the transform tool to have flowers and leaves start small and literally grow from the word/vines. I will use tweens and easing to make my animation look realistic. My vines will be green. I am still deciding on a background color.”
  • Specific description of action/tweens.
    Each main frame/transition should be labeled with the tutorial that will show you how to create that effect
    Example: “I will use masks to reveal the words in grow. I will consult the flower mask tutorial if I forget how to do this over break. The leaves will grow in from a point on one side. I will also consult the flower mask tutorial, as it shows how to change a registration point and scale from one side.”

Senior Op Out Proposal Requirements:

  • Answer all questions in the senior opt out form
  • Include images
  • Proposal must reflect several weeks of 12th grade level work. Projects that are too basic for 12th grade students or look like they have been thrown together will receive an F.
  • Bayleigh has created an excellent opt out example

Today we will:

  • Plan our animation projects or senior opt out
  • Create a new blog post that meets all of the requirements listed above

Animation Tutorial Catch Up Day

Folders have been updated. Please check your class folder for a list of tasks to complete today.
No one should be working on their typographic animation or Illustrator image today.

Today we will finish any missing or incomplete tutorials, place both the Flash and SWF files of each completed tutorial in a folder labeled with your name, upload the folder to your school Google Drive Account, and share the folder with Ms. Lawson.

RIT’s Spring Preview Day is next Friday, April 21st. If you are interested in attending, please register here.

Today we will:

  • Finish any of the following tutorials (if you have not yet already done so):
  • Upload both the flash and swf files of any tutorials we have completed to the animation folders in our school Google Drive accounts, and make sure we have shared the folder with Ms. Lawson.
    All completed tutorials must be in the same folder, and the folder must be clearly marked with your name in order to receive credit.
  • If  time allows, work on our storyboard sketches.

Part 2: Storyboards and Typographic Still

Today’s essential question: How can I depict the meaning of a word using only the letters in the word and definition?

Today we will create storyboards for potential animations. We will use the various storyboard frames to determine the single best image to use for the vector still we create in Illustrator. If we have time, we will begin creating our vector still in Adobe Illustrator.

Here is an example of what I am looking for in a storyboard:
Storyboard1.jpg

Here is an example of the completed vector still:
snore

Here is the final animation.

How to Convert Text to Vector Outlines in Adobe Illustrator

  1. Select the type tool. type_tool
  2. Change the size and typeface from the drop down menu at the top of the screen. Choose a large size (72-200pt) so you will be able to see your word.
    typeface_window
  3. Type some text.
    word
  4. Select the selection tool. selection_tool
  5. Type -> Create Outlines
  6. Object -> Ungroup
    This will separate the letters.
    outlines
  7. You can now move, scale and rotate individual letters with the selection tool.
    ungroup
  8. You can also select and move individual points on a letter with the direct selection tool. direct_selection_tool
    e1 e2
  9. You can thicken a letter by adjusting the stroke (Window -> stroke)
  10. Make sure you save your file as a PDF and post your progress to your blog.

Today we will:

  • Sketch storyboards for potential animations
  • Create a new blog post with the following:
    • A photo of our storyboard (circle the frame or frames you think would make the best vector still)
    • A well-developed sketch of your planned vector still
    • A few sentences describing your planned animation
  • If time allows, begin creating our vector still in Adobe Illustrator

 

 

Animation Day 4: Masking

mask2Today’s essential question: How can I reveal parts of an image or color change by using a mask in Adobe Flash?

Today we will learn how to reveal parts of an image or color change by animating a mask. You will need to sign into your school Google Drive account, open the Animation folder I have shared with you, and download the “masking_images.psd” file to complete the Mask Tutorial.

mask.png

Here are some short animations that use masks:

Today we will:

  • Complete the Mask Tutorial tutorial, upload both the flash and swf files to the animation folders in our school Google Drive accounts, and make sure we have shared the folder with Ms. Lawson
  • Write a few sentences on our blog summarizing any challenges you faced today, how you worked through those challenges, and how you currently feel about computer animation
  • Finish any of the following tutorials (if you have not yet already done so):

Animation Day 3: Rotation

Today’s essential question: How can I use the transform tool and rotation points to animate a moving character in Adobe Flash?

Today we will complete the Cat Rotation tutorial. You will need to sign into your school Google Drive account, open the Animation folder I have shared with you, and download the “black_cat.psd” file. Do not try to use your own image for this tutorial, as it will not have the body parts on separate layers like this file does.

 

Finish early? Learn how to animate an object that moves along a motion path.

Today we will:

  • Complete Cat Rotation tutorial, upload both the flash and swf files to the animation folders in our school Google Drive accounts, and make sure we have shared the folder with Ms. Lawson
  • Complete the Ghost Dog and Bouncing Ball tutorials, and share those files with Ms. Lawson (if you have not already done so)
  • Write a few sentences on our blog summarizing any challenges you faced today, how you worked through those challenges, and how you currently feel about computer animation.