Animation tests of “the climacteric dance”

According to decide a style and an animation method, I made some tests:
1. Hand-drawn cel animation
2. Duik (plugin for After Effect) character rigging
3. Paint & Stick (script for AE)
4. Paint & Stick in combination with free drawing

I started watching and analyzing a hip hop dance sequence on Youtube to be familiar with the moves. I wanted the visual style to be quick and sketchy.
1. Due to the repeated body moves, I only had to draw 15 positions of the dancer and after repeat them in order of the dance.
The outcome was too rough – I didn’t catch the smoothness of movement, it looks too funny. But I like the drawing style and the texture of pen and paper.
2. The Duik plugin could help me to get a more smooth movement. I created the little dancer in Illustrator and imported her to AE.
There is a lot of possibilities to create smooth and nice movement with Duik. The big challenge is to understand and create a perfect rigging of the character when you have that you are half way done and can make endless moves.
My test showed me that if I want to use Duik, I have to learn much more about it because my outcome was too funny, static, and awkward moves.
3. Paint & Stick – smart and easy script to work with. I could draw while having the dance sequence on a layer below.
The outcome was in the first stage boring and too much – somebody had been drawing directly after the dance moves.
4. Paint & Stick allows serval of layers, so I kept the first drawing and started to draw the face and hear on another layer and playing withe a thicker stroke. It is still not done, but I like the smoothness and the rough drawing style I can add on after.

What now:
· First I have to finish the dancing loop
· I want to change the sound, right now it is only there to indicate the beat.
· I would like to draw and animate 4-6 events which have to do withe the female climacteric phase. I am collecting storys from friends an family.

Duik:

Duik Download

Paint & Stick:
http://aescripts.com/paint-and-stick/

Decoding The Mind + nice animation

Inspiration:

Decoding The Mind

Proposal 1

1. Working title

A surrealistic journey

By chance I recently found an old suitcase in the garbage room where I live. The suitcase is from the ’60s and has previously been owned by a famous Danish surrealist, Wilhelm Freddie, whose name and former address is written on the suitcase. Wilhelm Freddie lived from 1909 to 1995. It made me curious and I started reading about Surrealism and its mindset and I think I can use it as a framework and starting point for my journey; a base from where I can “travel” into the future asking the same questions as the surrealist did in the past.

I want to use coincidence and the unconscious as a motor to drive me forward. I must learn to control this motor and be able to stop and look back critical of my own progress.

I am still fascinated by the body’s functions, aging and the limited control in contradiction to the digital revolution as described in my first proposal;
How can I connect the surrealistic ideas, the changing of the human body and the digital revolution?

2. Aims and Objectives
My first aim is to get a better understanding of Surrealism: The Manifesto, the history and the objects (film, paintings, performance, etc.). Is it just some outdated theories from the past or do Surrealism still have a relevance today? Are there any surrealist digital based art forms?

My second aim is to get more knowledge about the changing phases of the human body – how it is experienced as a person? What can I learn from art that uses the human body as a theme? What inspiration will I find in the science of the human psychology and physics?

My third aim is to be reflective and critical; what inspires me, what can I use and what can bring me further on my journey? What can I create based on my knowledge? How can I transform thoughts and theories into art? I want to be as visual as possible.

My fourth aim is to learn more about the basics of cinematic language: Time, sound, movement etc. What are the fundamental theories? How do they work today? Are the same principles useful in digital art expressions including interaction?

My fifth aim is to improve my skills in various technical equipment and software.

Objectives:
– Research Surrealism in general; read literature, visit art museums, look at surrealistic art.
– Wilhelm Freddie; read about his life and work, find and interview people who knew him (artist, gallerist etc.).
– Investigate the conscious and the unconscious. What does science say? What does Freud say?
– Sergei Eisenstein’s film theories and ideas about synaesthesia.
– Explore different media for production (video installation, interaction, etc.)

3. Context (Including Historical, Contemporary, and Theoretical Contexts):
What will be my context, where are my inspiration and inputs coming from? I am interested in the human body’s constants such as aging and the subconscious – subjects that we can’t control – in contradiction to the digital revolution, which is constantly and rapidly changing. The old suitcase got me on the track of Surrealism but I’m not sure how it will be a part of my final project. I’m inspired by Surrealism in my study proposal and maybe it will be used directly in my final project.

History:
Surrealism, moving image, thoughts about the subconscious, the human body in art and different digital media.

Synaesthesia: Sergei Eisenstein, Kandinsky, Stephanie Gray
Technology: Lev Manovich, Christiane Paul
Behaviors: Tor Nørretranders, Bill Buxton

Contemporary:
Read and write about my inspiration sources: Lis Rhodes, Memo Akten, Tony Oursler, Klaus Obermaier, Lucy McRae, Damian Ortega, David Lynch

Theoretical:
Cinematic language, Surrealism and digital art.

4. Methodology
The theory of Surrealism is my framework; it is a widespread ideology which embraces thoughts and objects that reach far into our history and cultural heritage. Until now the idea of the subconscious as a “tool” in the creation of art inspire me a lot. Also, the collage idea/strategy and the conscious clash of elements are worth a further investigation.

To examine the subconscious; I want to use myself in a test situation: I will write down my dreams for a period and visualize them. I have been writing down my dreams before in a therapeutic context. My psychologist helped me through a crisis by getting a better contact to my subconscious. Among other, she used dream interpretation.
Obvious it will be an experiment since I don’t know what I am going to experience in my dreams. My hope is that it will accumulate a bank of very personal images.

I want to transform my research about cinematic language (time, movement and sound) into visual examples.

I will interview women aged 50-52 about their experiences of body change and collect their storys.

I will explore and improve my skills in various techniques:
· Cinema 4D: Useful in a VR or Unity output.
· Audition and Audacity: I will need sound in my project and it is furthermore important while exploring synaesthesia.
· Animate (formerly known as Flash): Will give me knowledge about interaction.
I will use online software tutorials and ask professionals for advice in my work with sound and interaction.

5. Outcomes
The outcome will be a mixture of art installation, art movie, illustration, data visualization and motion graphics.

6. Work Plan
I plan to reach most topics described in this project proposal, before the low-residency in Camberwell in February. Some topics I might touch only sporadically but it is essential for me to get an overview. I want to play around, read, experiment with techniques and content, be critical and reflective and stay open for coincidences.

7. Bibliography
Betancourt, Michael (2013) The History of Motion Graphics. Wildside
Buxton, Bill (2007) Sketching User Experiences. Morgan Kaufman
Manovich, Lev (2001) The language of new media. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
Nørretranders, Tor, (1991) Mærk Verden. Gyldendal
Paul, Christiane, Digital Art Third edition. Thames & Hudson
Robetson, Robert (2009) Eisenstein on the Audiovisual. Tauris Academic Studies
Rosefeldt, Julian (2016) Manifesto. Koenig Books
Rush, Michael (2005) New Media in Art. Thames & Hudson
Statens Museum for Kunst (2009) Wilhelm Freddie, Stik gaflen i øjet.
Todoli, Vicente (2015) Damián Ortega, Casino. Mousse Publishing

Links:
http://www.ubu.com/vp/rinne.html
http://motionographer.com/
http://rhizome.org/
https://www.centerforvisualmusic.org/
http://resonate.io/