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4_Digital Animation and Visual Culture In Process

Research 4.10: social media

TASK
Artists Ryan Trecartin and Emma Calder both make use of social media as the source for their animation and video work. Each ask how cameras, social media, and reality TV have changed the way we engage with the world and with one another. Watch the videos made by both artists as a starting point to reflect on your own experience of social media.

Emma Calder, Everyone is waiting for Something to Happen (2016):

Ryan Trecartin, Tommy Chat Just Emailed Me (2006)
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4_Digital Animation and Visual Culture In Process

Research 4.9: Video Games and Corporate Video

Of all the digital animation that is produced, corporate videos and video games are possibly the most numerous form. The various visual styles of this non-advertisement based graphic content can be a rich source of material for artists.
Explore either video games or corporate video as your focus. Research several kinds of contemporary corporate video online that make use of animated elements or find examples of video games throughout history.
Make notes of the stylistic choices taken in each and the dates that these were made. Look at the composition of frame and narrative arc of the video as well as aesthetic choices of the graphics and animated elements. Using your chosen clips compile a video timeline of visual styles that develop from the 90s to the present.

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4_Digital Animation and Visual Culture In Process

Research 4.8: Something is missing

TASK
Undertake research into absence and representation in moving image and build
up your own argument about whether ‘something is missing’ in digital
representation. For example;
● In what ways can representation be defined by an absence?
● Why is this particular to animation and the digital world?
● What will the future be like?
Your argument can be in written, recorded audio or video form. Remember to
cite your sources.

Ed Atkins and Naheed Raza, Tomorrow Never Knows (2013)
Cecile B. Evans, Hyperlinks or It Didn’t Happen (2014)


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4_Digital Animation and Visual Culture In Process

Research 4.7: Image quality

TASK:
Identify animations that uses good and/or bad image quality in interesting ways.
Reflect on these animations in relation to Steyerl’s quotes above and look up and
read her essay, In Defence of the Poor Image .
Write a short piece (written, audio or animated) that draws together your research and viewpoints on image quality. For additional context, you may want to review Alan Warburton’s videos Spectacle, Speculation, Spam and Goodbye Uncanny Valley from the previous exercise.
Illustrate with images if needed. Your essay can be presented in written, audio or
video form (Approximately 1500 words, 3 minutes audio or 1 minute video).

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4_Digital Animation and Visual Culture In Process

Research 4.6: More Real

TASK:
Do you agree with Peter Jackson that high frame rates allow an audience to see more reality?
If so, do you think this is desirable? If not, what other motivation do film-makers and animators have in pushing for such high frame rates?
Use OCA’s discuss forums to share your thoughts and any animation references.

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4_Digital Animation and Visual Culture In Process

Research 4.5: Frame Rates

TASK: To demonstrate that you fully grasp the concept of frame rates, write a short paragraph explaining the difference between slow motion and frames per second in your ongoing glossary of terms. Cite any web or literature references that you use.

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4_Digital Animation and Visual Culture In Process

Research 4.4: ‘mid-morph’ moments

TASK:
Find three examples on the internet of morphing forms that include one example of each: analogue morphing, computer graphic (1990s) and digital (contemporary). Take a screenshot of the midpoint of each transformation to try and capture the point of transition.
Ian Ferguson, Bush Arnie Morph (2006) Image via Wikimedia commons

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4_Digital Animation and Visual Culture In Process

Research 4.3: Morphing: analogue and digital

TASK:
Academics, like Norman M Klein and Vivian Sobchack argue that there is an important difference between analogue morphing and digital morphing. They suggest that digital morphing programmes tend to smooth out glitches and hesitations more than analogue morphing.

Klein argues that the effects of seamless computer morphing; “displays less of the mercurial, the lighting hand and traced memories.”
Klein and Sobchack also argue that analogue morphing can be used to express a ‘poetics of loss’ and anxiety about the organic disappearing into the industrial. An audience of analogue morphing is asked to think in terms of allegories of entropy and ruin, whereas digital morphing turns this sense of decay into a sense of fantasy.
● Consider the difference between analogue and digital examples of morphing.
● Do you agree with Klein and Sobchak’s view? Can you find examples of animations to substantiate your view?
● What, if any, are the differences between an analogue approach to morphing and a digital approach?
Document your research and reflections on analogue and digital morphing with images and clips to illustrate your point and upload this to your learning log.

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4_Digital Animation and Visual Culture In Process

Research 4.2: Compositing


Look at the work of animators who use compositing techniques. Reference some of the names mentioned in the preceding text and below are some examples of artists who work with compositing.

Heather Phillipson, Zero point garbage matte (2014)

Andy Holden, Chewy Cosmos (Panels to the Walls of Heaven) (2013)

Benjamin Popp, East Lake Sans Souci (2017)
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4_Digital Animation and Visual Culture In Process

Research 4.1 : Analogue and digital

TASK: Find some analogue and digital animations to compare and contrast their visual qualities. You could look at early cartoons and their later digital remakes or compare CGI animations with claymation.
Look at their visual qualities and consider what is lost or gained. Can you
obviously tell that one is digital and the other hand crafted and what visual clues give this away? What does each offer in terms of the image they present.
Add your research notes and reflections to your learning log.