Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Metamorphosis Animation




Sweet! It's one of my favorite times of year again... ANIMATION TIME! I've always liked these animation projects, and this one is probably one of the best. It's got the usual animation types, STYKZ, photoshop, stop-motion, stop-motion on a whiteboard, that kind of thing. But as the animation styles change, so does the animation itself! It changes and morphs and goes through (as the title suggests) metamorphosis, but not just from a caterpillar to a moth, more creative that that... but you can probably see that from the video. Anyway, the goal was to have a fresh, creative idea for an animation with different styles where something changes. Like how in those stories, how the lonely girl that's trapped becomes a princess or whatever, but more creativer. (creativer? that's not a word) Like, for example, a frog could become a fly and see what it's like to be hunted, and then becomes a vegetarian...? (that wasn't a good example) But there has to be a purpose or moral to it. And the purpose can't be something dumb like "To entertain the viewer!" That's not CREATIVE or ORIGINAL! That's the point of like... all animations. Ever. So a purpose might be something like, "To achive your goals, you need a little help from others." That's an example of a creative and moral statement. It must be the creativivestestest. (Still not a word)


So, our animation turned out to have the focus statement "Egg Seeks Adventure". The plot is that there's an egg that isn't sure what it wants to be. This scene would have a photoshopped egg named Eggbert, (not my idea) hanging out in a nest, thinking about what it wants to be. Then, it starts to rain, and the egg becomes slippery, (still in photoshop) and falls out of the nest. landing beside a river, the eggshell breaks in half, (stykz animation now) and becomes a boat. The boat drifts along in stop motion, and reaches the ocean. Eventually, it sails to an island, and the egg-boat really wants to explore it. Looking for a way to get onto the island, it accidentally runs into a rock. Pieces of the boat fly off and melds together and changes into a bird. The bird flies off into the sunset in photoshop animation to explore and settle down. Super deep right? The moral of the story is to find yourself and seek adventure.

Extremely scientific and statistical graph for grading purposes.

So, the results were't quite what I was expecting. As there was no dialogue in the entire video, many people found the plot confusing, so we didn't get very high grades in that area, shown by the very scientific diagram right over there <--. I do think we deserved the grades for characters, props, and backgrounds as well as creativity, originality, and execution. Overall, I mostly agree with the grades, but do regret that we didn't incorporate dialogue or speech into the film. Despite this, I am glad that at least 3 people voted ours the best animation in the class according the the VERY scientific graph also to the left.
Possibly even MORE scientific than the other graph,
however, this is not scientifically proven.

Adios,
-Linden

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Geometric Portraits

Easy version. Just stick the photo in a website!
But as you can see, it doesn't work too well.
So, I dunno about you, but I believe that almost all facial expressions are universal. Almost everyone can understand the facial expressions can make. For example, a smile. You know how I can tell that smiling is something people are born with? Because they smile as babies when they're happy. Frowning, in many cases, shows disapproval or disappointment. So, even if you're from somewhere like Brazil, or Germany, or China, I'm pretty sure that you'd understand what I meant if I smiled at a unique food dish, or frowned after being rejected from a baseball team, or anything like that. However, some facial expressions in certain places are not inherited naturally. Many expressions are a result of people or society teaching their children whether something is good or not, but even as babies, we all understand a smile, laughter, and crying.

Poly-1 Using outlines to make the image
looks a little funky though
Wow, that was probably the first blog post I've made that DIDDN'T start with "Hey here's a new G.T. project I'm gonna talk about it now." But this new project is.... drumroll please..... (bup bup bup.... bup bup... bap... bap boop bup...) I really need to afford a good drummer... Anyway, it's low poly portraits! Any idea what that is? I sure didn't! But because of my extensive research on (ahem, wikipedia) I found out! Low poly portraits are basically used "for modeling graphics quickly and efficiently using simple 3-5 sided shapes." -Linden's vocabulary 2016. A link to some examples can be found here. Anyway, I made mine, which you can also see scattered across the blog post, using PhotoShop, some steps, and a WHOLE lotta time. The first thing you want to do is to get a photo of yourself or someone else or pretty much anything. Pull it into photoshop, activate the Grid, and lock your portrait layer. Using the line tool at about 5 pixels in an easily identifiable color, (I used red) start drawing an outline for your subject in the photo. Make sure each line starts and ends at either a horizontal or vertical grid line, and all the lines connect. Once you've done that, merge the lines and name it "outline" then start using the line tool to outline the main features, if you're doing a face, this would be hair, eyes, nose, mouth, and ears. Then you just kinda start connecting the lines, making sure that all the shapes you make are triangles. Yes, triangles. At places with more detail, use more smaller triangles. For large similarly-colored spaces use bigger and fewer triangles. Once you've finished with that, which takes a while, merge all of the lines together, and copy your photo layer. Be sure to be working in the copy layer, so if something goes wrong, you can delete it. Then, you use the polygonal lasso tool and select triangles individually, every time going to Filter-Blur-Average (after you do it once you can just use Command-F) to flatten the shape. Do that for every single triangle. All of them. Then just cut out the photo and you should be done! Ez-Pz-Lemn-Squizi
Poly-2 Without outlines, looks a little better
FYI this is a photo of my brother.
So, as you can see, Poly-2 has quite a few differences from Poly-1. Mainly that it doesn't look unnerving, but there were quite a few differences along the way. First of all, there were no outlines. Just lasso-ing various triangles and coloring them. Secondly, instead of going to Filter-Blur-Average, you use the eyedropper tool to select a color that would look good and stand out from the other triangles and fill it with that. Shortcuts for these keys are: Polygonal Lasso Tool: L  Eyedropper tool: I  Fill triangle: ALT-Delete. Pretty easy. Then, once you've selected and filled all the triangles with unique colors, (you can use manual color select to make them more unique) you add a Curves adjustment layer and tweak it a bit to make the colors pop even more. Then, you cut out your image, copy the background AGAIN, and go to filter-artistic-cutout for the background. Tweak it up a bit, find a good cutout setting, make it look all polygonal by adjusting the settings, and then click apply. Then, you add a color balance adjustment layer that affects the background but not the subject, and make it all quirky and weird to make the subject pop EVEN MOAR. If you want, you can even select parts of the background and copy and distort them, or make an outline for your subject, basically get creative. Then you should have something that looks really cool, and you're done! EZ-PZ-LEMN-SQUIZI

Have an EZ PZ day,
-Linden
Final Poly-3 with broken glass effect! I like it

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Verbal Landscapes

JohnsL_ReTime from Kapaa Middle School MEDIA on Vimeo.
So. Hi. What is up. I am here, apparently. And also we have another project. (Surprise Surprise) You know, basically the same into I've done for the past 3 years except this time is DIFFERENT this time I'm a little less enthuseasti- wait the all caps different probably ruined that. Anyway! The new project is called..... dun dun DUNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN RETIME Nature poem thing. Basically a nature poem with royalty free music, time lapses, and slow mos. Nature is a very big impact on my life for various reasons. First of all, our backyard is a forest. So that's a big part of my life that is entirely nature. Secondly, I can't see out my windows because there's a big bamboo patch in the way, so that's another big thing. And finally, I love nature. All except mosquitos, I love to run into the backyard and garden and mess around, climbing trees, rolling in grass, and generally having a good time.

As said before, the project requires time lapses and slow-mos. Now, I am here to tell you how they're made! And before you ask, no. We're not clicking the button on the camera that takes a photo every 30 seconds or so, and compiles them into a time lapse. We're doing it a little bit differently. To take THESE time lapses, you just click the record button on a camera that's on a tripod, (our requirements needed 2/3 sky and 1/3 ground.) and leave it there for at least 5 minutes or more. Then, you take the video to Final Cut Pro, or a similar video editing program, put the clip into your timeline, click the "Re-Time" button, and set it to fast. I personally like to make it 20X faster, but that's just my preference.  For slow-mos, you just simply take a 3-5 second clip (it can be longer, but it will become longer as well) of some kind of action. Then, like before, bring it into FCP and click "Re-Time" This time, go to slow, and choose whatever percent you want it to be slower. Boom! You just slowed down your clip to make it a slow-mo. Better slow-mos can be taken using a camera that shoots at a much higher FPS, but any old camera should work. Although it does get weird if you slow it down too much with an ordinary camera...

This project was, in total, pretty fun. I mean, there was nature, poetry, chickens, what's not to like? (Unless you despise writing for some reason...) But the hardest part was probably getting the time lapses. I had a lot of trouble with this for a variety of reasons. First of all, it was difficult to get the camera at an angle of 2/3 sky and 1/3 ground without a tripod. Some pretty creative arrangements were made using game boards, binders, textbooks, and chairs. Not to mention getting to a spot that didn't have telephone wires or cars strewn all over it was a little challenging. But my favorite part about it was probably the editing. Heh, those chickens look so silly when slowed down... and that time lapse looks really cool in it's entirety... It was quite fun to mess around with the Re-time function. Quite fun indeed.

Well, I guess I'll post again when there's another G.T. project. (as always...)
-Linden
Plan for the poem. Didn't quite go according to plan.
BONUS! Here is the results for the critique. Personally, I mainly agree, except for that 2. In fact, because I was so opposed to it, I asked the person who voted "2" and asked what was wrong with my video, and he said that he thought he voted a 4. So, other than that, I basically agree with the results. I did good, but not super exceptional.

Friday, September 2, 2016

Poetic Personal Statement

HELLO and WELCOME back to another school year! Another one! Isn't it crazy? They just keep coming! Anyway, the first project of the year is......... wait for it......... dramatic effect...........................
wait, I just realized, you probably know what it is from the title. . . To think I wasted all of those periods! Anyway, the first project is the Poetic Personal Statement. And I would like to start things off right. The word poetry. You've probably herd of it before, you may have even written poetry before! But what's interesting about the word is how many meanings it has. To some people, it could be a few statements that rhyme, to others it may mean the emotions poetry conveys. To me, poetry means: Several statements, usually in a certain pattern of writing (rhyming, or whatever) that conveys a moral, meaning, or emotion. That's just my definition of it, (connotation, anyone?) so you might have a different one. Don't take everything I say as fact. Unless you do, in which case, YOU ARE NOW MY MINION. MEET ME AT THE PARK AT 5:00 PM TO DO MY BIDDING AND DON'T BE LATE. Seriously though. I also think poetry is used for different reasons. My personal reasons that I think poetry is written is to convey a meaning, express an emotion, and / or telling people a message that the writer takes to heart. You may have a lot of other reasons for writing poetry. Perhaps it's fun for you, and that's the only reason you do it. Again, these are just my opinions.

So, here is MY poetic personal statement:

Here I am, working and stressing
Knowing, I won’t get a savior blessing
Going deeper and deeper, into the zone,
For all of my work must be my own
Trying and trying, through blood, sweat, and tears,
Letting go of the stress to let go of my fears
Relaxed, focused, and working presently
Trying to keep my health, mentally.

Did you see any personal goals in there? Perhaps that I want to stress less? Fear less? Work harder? Stop procrastinating? Be healthier? Anything? Cool.

I used rhythm and rhyme very thoughtfully in this poem. For example, notice how the tone in the beginning is much different than the tone in the end. I tried to make it so that the beginning is fast paced, stressed, and a kind of last-minute tone, but in the end, I tried to make it more relaxed and chill. Notice the difference now? And, of course, I made the rhyme do a similar thing, with the fast-paced, and then the slower relaxed words. If you want to see the final project, you probably already have because the text, sketch, and final project are scattered about the page.

Welcome back!
-Linden


Monday, May 23, 2016

Music Video Finale



So, it's only, like, one week away from the last day of school!!! YEAAAAA! Time to plan vacations, relax, prepare for finals, and make an awesome music video! What? Were you NOT expecting that? Did you not read the title? Well, that's the FINAL project in 7th grade G.T. Pretty awesome huh? Our song that we (Micah, Me, Callum, and Jason) picked was "Johnny B. Goode" by Chuck Berry. It's a pretty old song, and I mean really old, like, from the 50s. In the project, we had to take the songs lyrics, and lip sync it while telling a story. Here's the song lyrics that were used:

Deep down in Louisiana close to New Orleans,

Way back up in the woods among the evergreens

There stood a log cabin made of earth and wood,

Where lived a country boy named Johnny B. Goode

Who never ever learned to read or write so well,

But he could play a guitar just like a ringing a bell.

[Chorus:]

Go Go

Go, Johnny, go, go
Go, Johnny, go, go
Go, Johnny, go, go
Go, Johnny, go, go
Johnny B. Goode
He used to carry his guitar in a gunny sack
Or sit beneath the tree by the railroad track.
Oh, the engineers would see him sitting in the shade,
Strumming with the rhythm that the drivers made.
The people passing by, they would stop and say,
"Oh, my, but that little country boy could play!"
[Chorus]
His mother told him, "Someday you will be a man,
And you will be the leader of a big old band.
Many people coming from miles around
To hear you play your music when the sun go down.
Maybe someday your name will be in lights
Saying 'Johnny B. Goode tonight'."
[Chorus]


Quite a handful, huh? It's the entire song, with a little bit of instrumental removed. So, the story that we used in conjunction with the lyrics basically told the story that the song told, but with a little bit of "creative details". (In other words, we made stuff up.) The story is about a country boy named Johnny B. Goode, who is really good at playing the guitar, and when he lived in the country, everyone celebrated his awesome musical talent. But when he moves into the city, a couple of bullies show up, (This happens at the second chorus) and shove him down. Well, he takes this pretty harshly, and basically quits guitar so he won't be teased for it. But, on his somber way back home, he remembers all the things people have said, and what his mother told him, and he returns to the awesome music business, better than ever. Great story, GG. I mean, GS? Good Story? I'm not sure.

Sooooooo, in most music videos there is fast- shot montages. We don't really have that, but we do have some fast-ish montage sequences that aren't really montages, but whatever. The main one is near the end when two bullies (acted by Micah and Jason) shove Callum over, he falls over, and runs away angrily. Another scene that isn't really fast-edit, but it could be considered a montage of sorts is in the beginning, when Callum is getting ready for the day, falling out of bed, washing his face, walking into the hall, picking up his guitar, etc. Put those two together and I guess you could have a fast-edit montage... I'm not sure. Personally though, I don't think that the song needs any montages or fast edits, because of it's tone and genre. I believe that it's good as is.

This music video totally shows the BEST WORK EVAR. It's like if work and best had a kid and it was named Team 8's music video. Perhaps that's an exaggeration. I'm not sure, because I think it looks great. It shows our best work because I think it is A: our highest quality that we could accomplish in the allowed time, and it shows everything we've learned this year. It has Wide, Medium Close, Interesting angles, A delicate plotline, (That couldn't be shattered with a sledgehammer, indicating that it's not as delicate as I thought...) and photoshop skills for the intro screen. We did have some difficulties, but we usually overcame them pretty quickly. This was probably one of the better projects of the year. (What was the best? You decide!) I think we did pretty well in total.

ONLY ONE MORE WEEK OF SCHOOL LEFT :O

-Linden



Results of the critique:

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Animated Life Lessons



So, a new project has sprung up out of the blue! An animation project using the photoshop animating tool and puppet warp! This time, however, we had to work with people we've never worked with before. So, my teammates were Callum and Shaday. (Links to their blogs to the right) The goal was to create a funny "visually simplistic" animated story that had a life lesson, while exaggerating character traits. My trait was procrastination, Callum's was his introverted... uh... introvertedness?... and Shaday's was that she's also introverted, but hyper as well. Other people to make a cameo in the animation: Mr. Sanderl and Kacie Burns. Anyway, in the story, me and Kacie are asked to do dishes, but I don't do them and Kacie messes up. Callum, the introvert, has to find help, but he has trouble talking to people. Then, he finally finds Shaday on a bench, and since they have some things in common, they become friends. The end. Great story. Beautiful, and I'm not sure what I can add to that.

So our finished project is REAL funny, yeah. Totally. Hilarious. Eh, perhaps we slipped up a bit on that part... But some parts were kinda funny. Like when I just walk away for no reason, or Kacie drops all of the dishes and messes up big-time. My personal favorite part was when Callum confronts his fear of large crowds by simply saying "nope.". That's pretty much all that was kinda funny, the other stuff was mainly focused on the story. The life lesson is to not be afraid of public, and that there is always someone out there that can understand you. This may sound silly, and that so one would ever think that they are all alone in this world...- wait... nope. People think that sometimes. So, it wouldn't be hard to believe. Basically, there is someone out there who can help you, who you can become friends with, who thinks similarly to you. If I had to put the entire meaning of the story into one word, I guess it would be "Motivation".

I'm not sure I mentioned this, (I probably have) but these three legendary people, Linden, Shaday, and Callum, have never worked together before. Our average productivity was about average, but we were doing better than some people. I think that I worked the hardest and fastest of the entire group, (over two-thirds of the animation was from me) But Callum and Shaday were very productive as well. The best moment of the project was when we had FINALLY finished, and were ready to turn it in. It took a really long time, plus two deadline extensions, to finish the animation. If you see the film and are like "Wow. this is the worst animation and film of all time." First of all, no. it's not the worst film of all time. (That title probably belongs to a very bad film that I want to mention, but don't want to bash on it, so you fill in the blank. __________________) And it took a lot of effort to make. The biggest challenge was definitely time, NOT t-i-m-e, as we are forbidden to say that word, but it was probably speed. I was lightning fast at animation, but Callum and Shaday were not quite as fast. When I had finished my assigned scenes, they (no offense) weren't done with one. I diddn't really have a problem with this. Most people from other teams were just as slow, so I was glad to help them out and do a few extra scenes. Soooo yeah. In total, not one of our best projects.


OMG only a few weeks of school left!!!!!!
-Linden


Plan for the project right here

:





Friday, April 8, 2016

Character Development

Original photo
Hello, do you know where I can find highway 491? No? It doesn't exist? Whatever. I'll find it myself. Oh- wait. That's the wrong line. What I MEANT to say was that: Hello! New week! How you've been? Alright? Good? Have a nice easter? No? Whatever. Anyway, I'm a pretty good person in general and want to make other people happy, (Including myself,) and I'm a perfectionist. Why do I mention this? My answer to that is; Did you even read the title? CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT! I'm a perfectionist! That's character development! Never mind.... Anyway, you may not no that, but I always want everything to be perfect, especially when it comes to art. I doubt it's OCD, but it can be annoying. Speaking of which, in art we're doing this project where you draw grid lines on one picture and draw grid lines on your paper, and copy the picture. I mention this because it takes like twice as long as everybody else on the copy, because I want it to be freaking perfect. I just can't do it messy even if I wanted to! It's kinda ludicrous. Perhaps an enemy of mine hypnotized me in my sleep so I must do everything perfect! IT'S GENIUS- wait- wait- no... no it's not.
Cutout

When we animate ourselves, we have to exaggerate certain character traits for our character. I think mine will do everything really slowly and perfectly, but still messes stuff up sometimes. I would do this because I'm (as
Final .GIF warp thing...
stated before) a perfectionist, but I sometimes mess things up more often then I would like to admit. My character should also be an artist, but take a long time drawing and sketching. I could do this by making each thing my character does by having my character do things a lot slower than other people, and STILL manage to mess things up. Kinda like a sloth that accidentally spills drinks and breaks dishes, bu
t not THAT slow. I may make a few tweaks to this character in the final animation, but this is the base idea.

Creating an animated .GIF is a little bit tricky, but also kinda fun. The first step is to take a photo of yourself and shove it into photoshop. Using the quick selection tool, cut yourself out and downsize the photo so it ISN'T 6 feet tall. No, really. It's usually 6
feet tall. Next, bring up the animation toolbar at the bottom. Then, you move your character into frame gradually, making a new frame on the animation bar every bit you move it by. When it's in frame, you can duplicate the layer and use the puppet warp tool to move your character's arms or legs or whatever. Each frame that you use the puppet warp, you need to create a new layer for, and make only that layer shown in the frame. It's a little complicated, but finally you either select all frames and duplicate them and then reverse them to make it loop, or you move it bak out of frame. This makes it loop. Then you select all frames and change the timing to 0.1 seconds. If you want, make an epic background for it, or just take a photo of something and stick it in there. To save, click the "Save for web and devices" button, select the settings you want, and save it as a .GIF file. Done! You can post it onto your blog or whatever. Awesome... right? Right?

I'll assume the answer is "Right"
-Linden