E3.3: Edges in Time: Accumulation, destruction or trace

E3.3: Edges in Time: Accumulation, destruction or trace

Conceptual abstract exploration of the ways that our perceptions of past present and future change over the life cycle from beginning of life when the past starts gradually to be known, and the future looks long, large and bright to the final shortening of a future that looks increasingly dark, and memories slowly erase and possibly even our sense of ‘now’.

Visible Animators: Material Accumulation, Erosion and Trace

“Great care is normally taken to hide the animation process and presence of the animator to avoid distracting from the continuity of the movement. In stop-frame, shots including the shadow of the animator are deleted and re-shot. When the audience notices the presence of the animator through, for example, the tactile fact of a drawing on paper, this is a distancing effect. The viewer is made aware of the animator through production time; the build-up of layers of a substance or through the life and durability of the material itself.”

TASK: Make a quick 30-90 second animation exploring one of the following three animation techniques: accumulation, destruction/erosion or trace.
To start, you may want to restrict the materials you work with, so your animation can explore the possibilities of accumulation, destruction or trace by experimenting with mark-making, objects, or physical materials. Alternatively, you may want to explore these themes through image-making and metaphor by drawing, photographing or using found materials. Either way, be playful in your approach, and log all of your experiments on your learning log as well as your final piece.

Animation in physical media using build-up, erasure and trace techniques with both dry and wet physical media produces beautiful results. Media include sand art, charcoal, painting and mixed drawing and painting. Animation can be recorded with video and/or Stop Motion with different effects. Similar effects can also be reproduced digitally in software like TVPaint and Procreate on the iPad.

These are approaches that I want to explore in a lot more depth in Assignment 5, and also my animation work for SYP. My work in this project only starts to look at issues involved in complexities of planning, layering and performance that are different between physical and digital techniques.

Inspiration

Animation in physical media using build-up, erasure and trace techniques with both dry and wet media produces beautiful results.
I started by compiling a padlet of different potential media, styles and approaches including sand art, charcoal, painting and mixed drawing and painting.
Some of the activities are recorded with video, others using Stop Motion.

Made with Padlet

Charcoal Doodles

I started by experimenting with Charcoal Stop Motion, just doodling and experimenting with spontaneous drawing. Capturing in Stop Motion Studio on my iPhone using a uniform capture setting and varying the size of strokes each time to get differences in speed of build up and erasure.

Different effects can be achieved through using different types of charcoal, different rubbers and smearing tools and on different paper.

Narrative needs quite a lot of planning.

The resulting videos can then be further edited with audio in TVPaint (most versatile for frame by frame) and/or Premiere and/or After Effects (for standard video effects) to vary the speed of build up, tone/colours, layering etc.

Charcoal Stop Motion: first Doodle
Charcoal Stop Motion: Tree and Wind animation

Edges in Time:
iPad timelapse in Procreate

The second set of animations were experiments in conceptual abstraction for SYP ‘Edges in Time’ starting to think about the ways that our perceptions of past present and future change over the life cycle from beginning of life when the past starts gradually to be known, and the future looks long, large and bright to the final shortening of a future that looks increasingly dark, and memories slowly erase and possibly even our sense of ‘now’.

This series was produced in Procreate Timelapse video on my iPad using charcoal paint, smear and erase brushes in different sizes and opacities. Unlike charcoal animation, Procreate allows different layers to be altered and manipulated. But it is very difficult to control brush strokes – normally this is achieved through experimentation and undo/redo that is fiddly when all this is recorded with minimal editing capacity. It is also extremely difficult to control speed and relative pacing of animation – it is not always clear what will record as a slow process or as a single frame jump.

This was an interesting and quick way of conceptual experiment to see how things might work. But obviously needs a lot of refinement, probably in a combination of physical media and more professional pc software.

Edges in Time abstracted concept animation will be an important part of SYP, even if the end result is not professional. And further developments will be included as part of MI A5 Presentation.

Edges in Time 1: vertical timer: this did not record many of the brush strokes, even when they were done in separate small strokes and selecting and moving cut elements does not show as a separate frame unless combined with brush strokes.

Edges in Time 2: Horizontal Timer this is longer with more brush strokes recorded. I quite like the horizontal format. I could experiment with trying to show the past pushing the present or the future pulling the past, and a rather stuttering present. I could also make a lot more of the boundaries between the time and environment. Presumably the cones are ‘me’. I could experiment more with the relative tones and colour. But this is too complex for the software and would need to be done in TVPaint.
Edges in Time 3: Vertical Timer with audio. this is longer with more brush strokes recorded. I like the addition of the ticking – I offset two tracks at slightly different speed so that they are out of sync. But this would be more effective if I play a sound track and use physical stop motion techniques where the animation in drawn in sync with the audio. Then composite the video with a clean audio track and any additional effects or editing in TVPaint or Premiere/AE. This was useful as a quick experiment to give me some ideas though – and point to what does not work as well as what might.