Reflections on white ceiling

I have never done animation myself, so it was an interesting experience. I decided to work alone for that project and it was nice to do what I want to do, because this time I was just the only one to decide what this animation will be about.

At first I wanted to make a simple animation with a cute myself drawn character just to master the skills learned in the classroom, so I borrowed a graphics tablet from the library. I tried to draw, but drawing turned out to be terrible, so I gave up on that idea, later I was really fascinated with animation of classmates who did the drawings themselves, I know how hard it was to make.

So then I started to think what else can I do, and this is when idea of White ceiling came up. Wait, actually I had the idea of it for a long time, to be specific, not the idea, but the feeling, and many times before I was trying to express this feeling and explain it to other people, but it was hard to do it just with words, so I kinda unconsciously thought that one day I would like to make a movie about it, not animation. But animation turned to be much more powerful tool in case of explaining this feeling of being lost in dimensions, than movie would be. I’m still not completly satisfied with it, and I consider it just a rough draft for a bigger future project, because sometime in the future I want to do it with my own images and some different organization. Because this time it was really hard to find pictures for animation, and I spend a lot a lot of time on it. I also made a lot of correction in Photoshop, combining some of the pictures and separating layers, so it was helpful that we learned Photoshop before. Another problem was that the resolution of these pictures was most of the time really small, so the project format turned out to be not perfect.

At first I started to work with a middle part, I animated horse-drawn carriage, woman walking with a book, coat going go out of the room just with key frames. For the cat sleeping and the last parts with space I mainly used effects. The most complicated part was a first one with eyes blinking and fan turning around. Due to the fact the animation was done first, it was also hard to work with a sound. At first I wrote down the script and then recorded my voice with Yeti in one of the reading rooms. I turned out that my voice was too slow and the animation is too fast, so I had to do it all over again, not just one time but few times. In the end I just made the animation slower in the Premier so it will correspond to the sound. I was also a little shy about my voice and accent, so I wanted to find a native speaker to say it for me, but one of my friends made me to do it myself.

Thank you so much to all the students and Marrianne, it was nice to work with you this semester! ūüôā

Reflections on Rama and Sita

I like how the author masterfully combined different types of drawing and technics, for example, in the beginning it was a almost real picture of the room and hand-drawn characters.¬† However the sound part here did not match actions well, for example when cat was jumping on a woman, it was hard to understand who makes what sound. Then in ‚ÄúIndia‚ÄĚ the style of drawing was completely different and sometimes there were some real pictures, for example map of the world.

The history parts like the one  about Sita’s family is really well done. Some characters appear in front, some on the background, but it is still easy to move a focus and even sometimes to look at the whole picture. I also like that people who are telling a history staff speak with an Indian accent and make many errors, so it feels like a real discussion.

In the dialogues parts, for example part of Rama and his father, or Rama and Sita I really like the transitions of the camera, however sometimes characters are lacking actions, for example father is talking almost for one minute holding a crown, but nothing happens except movements of his mouth and movements of Rama’s eyes, even when he says that he will send Rama to a forest.  Sometimes it is funny, sometimes it is not. That is why I like more parts of Sita and Rama, when Sita is singing (in the forest and in the house), I like the style of drawing and the movements of characters are more realistic.

It was interesting to see “Sita sings the Blues”, and it is still hard to believe that it was made just by one person and only by using Adobe Effects.


Everything is a remix

In modern times intellectual property right is becoming more and more important issue, we saw it in the “On the Rights of Molotov Man” and we saw it in the “Everything is a Remix”. Although in the first one question was just posted, but in the second one we were given with answer, with a straight-forward perspective.

Kirby Ferguson states that every creation is a cory of previous things. I’m kinda agree with his point, and I have already mentioned it in my reflection on Molotov Man. I think every single human is under society’s influence and it is essential part of his life. Our ideas, art, morals cannot exist in the way there are without a special process of “copying” (I would prefer to use another word) it means collecting ancestors’s ideas, exchanging thoughts with other people, learning from parents and building your own moral system, but after all these processes human comes up with his own, unique idea, music or whatever, and this result is not a “copy” (I really don’ like this word). The result is a unique thing which is made with a help of others.

It is about helping each other and not being greedy, like in every helping process, people should appreciate what other person has done for them, and be ready to help in exchange. I found a Steve Jobs example interesting. He was okay with “copying” when he was the one who was doing it, but as soon as it came to “copying” from him, he has realized that it was not right. This is just a selfish attitude that I cannot understand.

Understanding how to love comics

While reading “Understanding comics” ¬†by Scott McCloud I realized that if every textbook would be like this one the learning process would become much more fun and would go faster. I’ve never red comics before, oops, actually I have red some, for example Egyptian pictures in museums, but I have never considered them as comics, only after reading this book I realized that comics is much broader thing than most people think. But I have never red the comics, that most of the people usually consider as comics, I mean a book. This one was my first and the best so far, I even realized that I would like to draw a comics book one day myself. Now I believe that comics is not just an art, but something more than this.

It was also nice to get to know comics from the inside. It turned out to be a whole language, with its own rules, punctuation and spelling. There are any techniques, for example one with simplifying a main character, and many schools, for example asian and western one. There are also 5 different methods of organizing comics, in other words transitions:¬†moment-to-moment,¬†action-to-action,¬†subject-to-subject,¬†scene-to-scene,¬†aspect-to-aspect ,¬†non-sequitur. ¬†Even though I didn’t read comics before, but I was fascinated how powerful could be a 5th transition, aspect-to-aspect, it became my favorite, so now I want to read some asian comics where it’s used more often.


Who owns the rights to this man’s struggle?

The reproduction caused by painters, which led into a trend of the man being used for everything, is what is covering up the actual history of the Molotov Man. In Pepsi billboards and t-shirts, we see the Molotov Man as a symbol of revolution, to most of the people however, those who don’t know the actual context, it’s just a representation of a man, a stranger, who looks pretty angry. By learning the actual history of it, including the meaning it has to Sandinistas, we learn that this has a great impact on the people of Nicaragua, and we were missing the real context.¬†This overuse and use in the different context of The Molotov Man painting it’s covering up the real meaning that the photograph originally had and¬†is blackening the actual history of it ( but on the other side much more people get to know the real history of this man because of this scandal).

And I understand Susan’s will to prevent this blackening from happening, but I believe ¬†Joe was right in her decision to “include a credit line in all current and¬†future displays of the painting itself, as well as¬†on any reproductions, citing Susan’s photo, but not ¬†to seek written approval from Susan anytime her painting might be reproduced somewhere”. For me art is kind of language, while language is a tool to communicate, to express your thoughts and ideas. I strongly believe that everybody has a right to freedom of speech, that is why we even in the old time can see Plato commenting on Socrates work and building some of his arguments based on it, without asking permission. Artists are just people who use different language, they should not be restricted from using other’s “thoughts” (obviously not without citing) in order to create a new artwork, and even though this artwork would lose its original meaning, it would gain a new, special one instead.

Response to Forster

The main thing that struck me while I was reading this book was: but this is our modern reality is all about! It’s the same now with our online generation – with Skype, Facebook, infinite reblogging and second-hand quotes. In today’s world, where you can dictate letters, sitting in a chair, to somehow intelligent voice assistant; where movie tickets come in the form of accurate codes directly on our e-mails; where phone knows the rules of punctuation better than its venerable owner‚Ķ In this world we do not have to wait for a long time to see when we would forget that we ourselves have created “machines” and begin to worship them? I’m not talking about building them altars and singing hymns, but more about taking them as something self-evident, but in some way also magical, all-seeing and all-knowing? “Omniscient” but not in the Orwellian sense, but in the way machines had tied into our lives and became aware of our needs, that many of us would be terrified of life without them.

In “The machine stops” people have lost contact with each other. All communication is replaced with conferencing and “going online”. Touching each other is a ban, but this ban is only moral. Because it is not necessary, it is unpleasant, it does not carry “Ideas”. Connection is lost between husband and wife, mother and son, grandfather and granddaughter. They communicate, listen to lectures, share ideas but only by the machines. With machines, they did not lose connection, on the contrary they strengthened it. The machine becomes so familiar to human that it is not clear what to do if it would stop.

This novel was written in 1909. Unbeliviable! Forster was somewhere under 30, and he lived right up to 1970, when he saw two world wars and the beginning of an absolutely mechanized era. What a fate! In his book, the machine stoped but in the life it was just at the beginning of gaining momentum.

This story is not like any other dystopia where we can always find a stratification of society, the presence of lower and oppressed strata, especially the oppressed monster-dictator, which sooner or later gives rise to the revolt and discontent with its brave dissidents. Here we see that everyone is satisfied and happy in this world (actualy, underground) of separate room, where there is a button for  everything you desire. It makes no sense to travel, do not have to worry about diapers and child whimpers, it is enough to visit only sometimes offspring. And the kids became peaceful and quiet, being life loafers and fidgets is inhumane Рthey need trees, meadows and fresh air Рall that mankind has lost long time ago.  A kind of Sparta, but backwards: strong should die, weak should live in the shadows of artificial lighting, breathing artificial air, enjoying the music and books and under the incessant buzz of machines. There is no fear, no pain, and you can decide when it is time to die. This is a realm of reason and spirituality. Or maybe not?

Damn, how Forster was able to anticipate and predict our new generation of “children of the Internet” who are actually losing a contact with a real world? Many of them with tens or hundreds of “friends” around the world, are afraid of ¬†the necessity of personal contact, afraid to enter into the real world, hovering in virtual fantasies. Come on, admit it to ourselves, nowadays, what do we see and admire more often: the real landscape or pictures in google? Creepy tale of beginning of the 20th century, has become almost a reality at the beginning of the 21st century.