New Project: Typographic Animation

Create-an-Animation-cropped.jpg

Today we will begin our animation unit.

There will be three parts to this unit:

Part 1: Animation Mini Lessons

You must export the flash file as a SWF, upload to Google Drive, and share the file with Ms. Lawson in order to receive credit.

  • Bouncing Ball
  • Cat Rotation
  • Ghost Dog Transparency
  • Masking
  • Motion Path

Part 2: Typographic Vector Still

Vector Still Project Requirements:
  • Created in Adobe Illustrator
  • Illustrates the meaning of the word
  • Uses only the letters in the word (and potentially the definition of the word)
  • Follows Principles of Graphic Design
Examples of Typographic Vector Stills

 

Part 3: 5 Second Bumper Animation that Brings the Typographic Still to Life

Typographic Animation Project Requirements:
  • Created in Adobe Flash
  • Uses only the letters in the word (and potentially the definition of the word)
  • Illustrates the meaning of the word
  • Follows the Principles of Animation
  • Sound adds to the meaning of the piece
  • 5 seconds long
Examples of typographic bumper animations:

Precursors to Animation

Thaumatrope

thaumatrope.jpgA thaumatrope is an optical toy that was popular in the 19th century. A disk with a picture on each side is attached to two pieces of string. When the strings are twirled quickly between the fingers the two pictures appear to blend into one due to the persistence of vision. Thaumatropes are often seen as important antecedents of motion pictures and in particular of animation.

Play with the thaumatrope Ms. Lawson has brought in. If you have time, try making your own.

Flip Book

flip_bookA flip book is a book with a series of pictures that vary gradually from one page to the next, so that when the pages are turned rapidly, the pictures appear to animate by simulating motion or some other change. Flip books are essentially a primitive form of animation. They rely on persistence of vision to create the illusion that continuous motion is being seen rather than a series of discontinuous images being exchanged in succession

Play with the flip book Ms. Lawson has brought in. If you have time, try making your own.

Today we will:

  • Overview the animation unit
  • View examples of typographic illustrations and animations
  • Learn the basics of animation with the following hands-on exercises:
    • Thaumatrope
    • Flip Book
  • Create a new blog post with the answers to the following questions:
    • How does animation work? (Hint: it is an optical illusion)
    • How does computer animation save time over traditional hand-drawn animation?
    • Describe your favorite word animation from today’s class. What did you like about it?
    • Describe your current feelings about the animation unit.
  • If you have not yet finished your Green Screen project (complete with artist statement), please do so ASAP.

Digital Storytelling: Last Day

Today we will finish our digital storytelling projects and write our artist statements. Here are some outstanding finished projects:

Artist Statement Brainstorming Questions (final artist statement must be in paragraph form):

  • Describe your concept. What story are you trying to tell? Why did you decide to combine these particular characters, accessories, and backgrounds? What inspired you to create this particular project?
  • Explain how you created your project. What parts of your project did you create yourself (either by taking photos or drawing imagery)? What parts did you download from the internet? How did you modify the images you downloaded from the internet to make them uniquely yours?
  • What challenges did you face while creating this project? How did you work through these challenges?
  • What do you want people to see, feel, or think when they see your project?
  • Hindsight is 20/20. What would you do differently if you were to start the project today?

Today we will:

  • Finish our digital storytelling projects
  • Create a final blog post with the following:
    • a FULL SIZE PNG or JPG of our completed project
    • an artist statement in paragraph form about the project that is a minimum of 150 words

Digital Storytelling: Final Projects and Artist Statements

Today we will finish our digital storytelling projects and write our artist statements. Please check your folders, as I have written feedback & suggested changes/additions based on your last blog post.

The more images you combine to tell your story, the better the project will turn out. Here are some outstanding student examples. Notice how many images were combined to create these scenes:

Artist Statement Brainstorming Questions (final artist statement must be in paragraph form):

  • Describe your concept. What story are you trying to tell? Why did you decide to combine these particular characters, accessories, and backgrounds? What inspired you to create this particular project?
  • Explain how you created your project. What parts of your project did you create yourself (either by taking photos or drawing imagery)? What parts did you download from the internet? How did you modify the images you downloaded from the internet to make them uniquely yours?
  • What challenges did you face while creating this project? How did you work through these challenges?
  • What do you want people to see, feel, or think when they see your project?
  • Hindsight is 20/20. What would you do differently if you were to start the project today?

Today we will:

  • Finish our digital storytelling projects
  • Create a final blog post with the following:
    • a FULL SIZE PNG or JPG of our completed project
    • an artist statement in paragraph form about the project that is a minimum of 150 words

In Process Critique

Today’s essential question: How can I use Photoshop to transform my artwork into an even more realistic scene?

Today we will critique our digital storytelling pieces with 1-2 partners. This is an in-process critique, so we are looking for potential, rather than perfection. Please copy and paste the following questions into a new blog post, and answer then with your partners about YOUR artwork. The peer critique will conclude by the end of 1st period. We will then spend 2nd period modifying our projects according to the suggestions we received during the peer critique.

Here are some projects that are off to a great start. What are some things that are working well in each project? How have these projects inspired you to improve your own piece?

Questions for In Process Peer Critique

Unity
  • How has the artist established unity throughout the piece?
  • Is the lighting consistent? How can it be improved?
  • Do the characters, costumes, background, and props go together?
  • Do the characters appear to be in, rather than pasted on top of, the environment? What are some ways the artist could make the characters realistically look like they are in the scene?
  • What are some changes that could make the piece even more unified?
Craftsmanship

Project requirements:  no pixelation, backgrounds neatly removed (no green or jagged edges), images photographed from appropriate angles, all parts of artwork are proportional to one another

  • What are some ways the artist could improve the craftsmanship on the project?
Originality

Project requirements: no copyrighted characters, piece created from a minimum of 6 images, at least 3 of which were photographed by the artist, any images taken from the internet must be noticeable modified

  • What are some suggestions to ensure the originality of this piece?

Today we will:

  • Critique our digital storytelling pieces with 1-2 partners
  • Create a new blog post with the following
    • An image of our artwork as it currently looks
    • The questions in this blog post (copy and paste)
    • Answer the questions in this blog post with the feedback your partner gave you about YOUR project
    • A second image with any of the suggested changes made to the project after the peer critique

 

 

Matching Lighting with Filters, Dodge, and Burn

Today’s essential question: How can I use filters and the dodge and burn tools to match the lighting throughout my Photoshop collage?

By this point, you should have started combining your images in Photoshop to create a scene. The lighting likely differs throughout, making it obvious that the scene was created from several different images. Today we will learn how to create the illusion of cohesive lighting through filters and the dodge and burn tools.

Adjusting Color with Photo Filters

For an image to look cohesive, the lighting needs to be consistent throughout. The image below was clearly Photoshopped because Mckenzie is not as blue as the background:
blue_woods_no_filter

We can change that by using Photo filters.

  1. First, select the layer with Mckenzie on it in the layers palette on the bottom right hand side of the screen. At the top of the screen, go to Image -> Adjustments -> Photo Filter
    image_adjustments_photo_filter
  2. We can then select different photo filters from the drop down menu, and preview them to see which one is the best fit. Similarly, we can also preview the intensity of the filter by adjusting the slider. For this particular image, the Cyan filter at 40% seems to create the most realistic effect:
    cyan_filter
    blue_woods_filter

Now let’s see if we can create a similarly realistic effect with a warmer background. Once again, notice how the original photo looks awkward when first placed in the scene:
orange_fire_no_filters

  1. Once again, we will select the layer with Mckenzie on it in the layers palette on the bottom right hand side of the screen. At the top of the screen, go to Image -> Adjustments -> Photo Filter. This time, the Warming Filter (85) at 60% seems to create the most realistic effect:
    warming_filter
    orange_fire_filters

Establishing a Clear Light Source with the Dodge and Burn Tools

Photo filters match the colors of each piece of the photo collage, but for a truly unified image, we will need to establish a clear light source. This is where the dodge and burn tools come in. They will allow us to add highlights (dodge tool) and shadows (burn tool) in a similar manner to traditional drawing.

In the image with Mckenzie, the fire is a natural light source. Therefore, we will want to darken the left side of Mckenzie, the bottom portion of Mckenzie, the ground area around Mckenzie and the fire, and the bottom portion of the logs.

  1. First, we will select the burn tool burn_tool from the tool bar on the left side of the screen.
  2. Next we will adjust the settings at the top of the screen. It works best if you set the exposure of the burn tool low, and darken your desired area slowly. This is how I have set my burn tool:
    burn_tool_settings
  3. Now select your desired layer in the layers palette on the lower right side of the screen. I always duplicate the layer (Layer -> duplicate layer) before dodging or burning it, so I can go back to the original layer if I mess up.
  4. Paint your desired area with the burn tool. You can adjust the size of the brush at the top of the screen, or by using the right and left brackets. Slowly shade the areas you want to darken just as you would with a pencil. You will have to select each layer in the layers palette on the lower right side of the screen before you can use the burn tool on any objects in that layer. Notice how we have now created a clear light source by painting shadows with the burn tool:
    orange_fire_filters_burn_tool
  5. If you would like to highlight any parts of the image, click and hold on the burn tool in the tool bar on the left side of the screen. The dodge tool dodge_tool should appear in a drop down menu below it. Select the dodge tool, adjust the setting at the top of the screen so the exposure is set to 15-25%, and paint as needed to create highlights.

Here is a side by side comparison of the original collage, as well as the collage after we have applied photo filters and the burn tool:

Be careful not to go overboard with the dodge and burn tools:
intense_burn_tool

Today we will:

  • Continue building our scenes in Photoshop
  • Create cohesive lighting using photo filters, dodge, and burn
  • Create a new blog post with the following:
    • An image of your progress so far
    • A few sentences describing any challenges you faced today, how you worked through those challenges, and what you would like help with

Using layers to create a realistic scene

Today’s essential question: How can I use layers to create a realistic scene with a foreground, middle ground, and background in Photoshop?

I created this photo of puppies on vacation with many layers in Photoshop:
beach_layers

Here is what the layers palette looks like:
layers_palette

Here is a step by step process for building the scene with layers:

1_beach_layers

2_beach_layers

3_beach_layers

4_beach_layers

5_beach_layers

beach_layers

Using foreground, middle ground, and background will help your characters look like they are actually in the scene, versus on top of an existing image. How will you use layers in Photoshop to create a realistic environment? What are some things you could add to your foreground?

Today we will:

  • Continue building our scenes in Photoshop
  • Create a new blog post with the following:
    • PNG images of anything you worked on today
    • a few sentences describing what you found easy, as well as any challenges or things you would like extra help with

Pen & Quick Selection Tools: Removing the background from an image in Photoshop

Today’s essential question: How can I combine images to build a unique setting for my story?

Today we will remove backgrounds from images we will use in our digital collage. If you have taken your green screen photos, you may wish to use them. Otherwise, you will download pieces of your scene and remove the backgrounds from the various pieces that will comprise your setting.

Creating a setting

You must photoshop at least 3 different images together for your background or setting.  (So, for example, you cannot just put the images you photographed in front of the green screen into an existing photograph – you must add at least 2, preferably more, other items to customize your scene.) The emptier the scene you start with, the better. For example, the image below is terrible for the purposes of the project, because it is already full of cars and people, so we have no room to add our own:

1f2d7a02-dd5c-45e9-84fe-b98e76377bf1

The next image is much better, because it has space to add whatever cars or people we would like, giving us complete control over the mood we establish:

dennys_restaurant_at_the_elko_junction_shopping_center_in_elko_nevada_cropped.jpg

Here is another example. These wooded scenes are all a great place to start because they have ample space in the foreground to add other imagery:

Here are some extra images that might make the scene more interesting:

 

Removing the background from an image

Quick selection tool

If the background is solid, and contrasts with the subject, you may wish to use the quick selection tool. It is quicker than the pen tool, but will not give you as much control. Here is a tutorial on how to use the quick selection tool.

The pen tool

If you would like more control than the quick selection tool provides, use the pen tool to path around your objects. Today we will learn how to use the pen tool to path out part of a photo and copy and paste it on a new layer. You can then drag the layer with the isolated object into the Photoshop file where you are building your scene.

How to create a composite image:

  1. Go to the “paths” window on the lower right side of the screen. It is likely tabbed next to the layers palette.
    Click the “new path” button. new_path_icon
  2. Go to the toolbar on the left side of the screen. Select the pen tool. pen_tool
    Outline the part of the photograph you want to modify.
  3. Once you have closed your shape by clicking on the first point, go back to the paths window.
    Right click on the path you have created, and click “make selection.”
    make_selection_layers
    Feather the selection by 1pixel (this will soften the edges of your selection).
    It should look like ants are marching around the part of the photo you have selected.
    Screen Shot 2017-02-15 at 7.43.06 PM.png
  4. Control + C to copy your selection. Control + V to paste your selection. Hide the original image by clicking on the eye icon.
    photoshopproject-162
  5. Save your file as both a Photoshop file and a PNG. (You will be able to post the PNG to your blog and maintain the transparent background.)
  6. Drag the isolated layers into the Photoshop file where you are building your scene.
    s8pbf7_scene

Today we will:

  • Finish shooting any needed photos in front of the green screen
  • Remove backgrounds from images we will use in our digital collage
  • Create a new blog post with the following:
    • any photos taken today
    • before and after photos of any images where you removed the background
    • a few sentences describing any challenges you faced today, as well as how you worked through those challenges