Response for Sita Sings the Blues

This animation is amazing! I have never seen this kind of way of telling stories. The story is told impressively through a combination of various expression ways and the topic it arouses – the relationship between man and woman – is also interesting.

The story is told by a combination of modern times and the ancient India, and the successful internal link between the two story – both telling the story of an abandoned woman by her lover enables this method to deepen the meaning of this animation. Also, the expression method is a combination of modern techniques as well as the traditional Indian drawing style such as the scene using video game setting with the characters draw in the traditional Indian style. This gives the audience an enjoyable and refreshed watching experience all the time. What’s more, the music, especially the voice of the woman who sings the blues, as long as the other sound effect in this animation vividly and elegantly fulfil the needs of the scenes.

Besides the interesting expression style, the notion it conveys is also deep and worth discussing. Every time after the impressive story telling scene, two background commentors will give a discussion about the content of this story. This transition gives different perspectives for the audience to evaluate the characters’ behaviours in the story, and intrigue the audience’s thoughts on the story.

Really love it!

July and Inez’s audio

We are trying to tell the story of a robot and a lucky girl. Although there’s limit communications between them because of the language barriers, the love and companionship is universal. We design the script for the audio first and then gather materials for the audio from either online or recording. When downloading records, we use http://file2hd.com to transfer video or other sources into audio; http://freesound.org  to find the sound; http://www.readspeaker.com/voice-demo/ to change the language. After that, we use audition to edit and combine all the records, sounds and music together.

During the process, we have encountered lots of the difficulties:

For instance, to display the sound of the robots, we have tried several methods: 1. effects/modulation/ Flanger/robotic  2. effects/time and pitch/Stretch and Pitch – make three copies of one audio and put them in three tracks, keep one normal and add lower pitch, raise pitch to the other two respectively, and run them at the same time 3. record a robotic background noise and add it on another track to the original audio and play them at the same time. After making a trial to each method, we finally using both method 1 and 2, and manage to figure out how to change the human voice to a robot voice.

Another problem occurs when trying to find some sounds. We use  http://freesound.org a lot to find the sound, and it’s super convenient. However, some of the sound is not available, so we try other methods like looking for a video edition and then change it into the audio file. Basically we applies two methods, one of them is copy and paste the link to http://file2hd.com and extract the video track to audio, and another one is to download the original video and import into adobe premiere, and them only keep them audio part. Other than that, we have tried different recording equipments, we have found that Blue Yeti Multi-Pattern USB Microphone has a perfect sound quality while Tascam DR-40 Handheld Digital Audio Recorder cannot prevent the noise. Thus, eventually, we record our audio with the former one and has achieved satisfactory sound performance.

Talking about the future improvement, we hope we can figure out how to present the audio in different ways so that every moment can be meaningful. Now the audio still has plenty room that is informative but not interesting.

Anyway, it’s super fun of making this audio!

Here is our audio!

A broken she/he – comics by Isabella, Maggie, Luke and Inez

Inez:

The process of making this comics is really fun. We passed through several steps when confirming the theme and expression way. First, Isabella, Luke and I have decided to talk about a comparison of boys and girls’ reaction after they break up. Then we decided to do 8 panels, from break-up to thinking about each other. When Maggie joined us, she brought us many new ideas, such as combine real photos with drawn characters. After discussion, we decided to use Maggie’s idea to express our comics. We also decided to change 8 into 7 panels as well as to add words. Maggie and Luke are in charge of taking photos, Maggie also draws the characters, Isabella is in charge of frames, and Luke and Inez are in charge of collecting other sources and editing the comics. I feel proud when our final comics come into being. 🙂

Maggie:

Working on this comic was interesting. We came up with the idea to merge real life and cartoons. We took pictures of very familiar places to everyone in the NYUSH student body, (Family Mart, Starbucks, hallway, gym, etc.) By doing this we hoped to achieve a type of reality in which the readers of our comic could relate to. We wanted to leave the characters vague so that anyone reading it could project themselves onto the person, be it boy or girl.

As to the technical aspects, I found the Wacom tablet super cool! I want one for myself to doodle during classes, or to write notes on my laptop, since I am still a firm believer in the fact that I need to write things down to process them. I think the most difficult part of our comic was trying to convey our message. We wanted to talk about the breakup process, and their respective reactions/repercussions, but we wanted to convey this predominantly through characters and not words. Toward the end, we realized words were a little necessary if we wanted people to understand what we were trying to say.
Luke:
Comic working is attractive, for what you can do can be everything. Just use your imagination. We took pictures from the real life and combine them with comic icons where is the most interesting in this comic work to make our comics more closer to real life. Talking about the technology tools, we find the Wacom tablet is useful and easy to learn. When I saw Maggie using it, she at first was not that familiar with this tool but just after few minutes she created several lifelike comics persons, which is amazing.

A broken she:he

 

Reflection on Understanding On Comics

This book has renewed my knowledge of comics, which needs more respects and passion from the public. Before I read this book, I would treat comic books as reading materials mostly for children, which has an implicit derogatory sense. However, now I would treat comics as one type of art, equal to music, drawing, etc. Though it’s still difficult to define what is comics, it is a way that artists create their world.

One of the points that interest me is about the self-refelection in comics. McLOUD claims that comics is simplifying the reality, and since human beings are self-centred creatures, we would reflect ourselves on the icons, comics become more charming. When we are reading the comics, all the icons of human beings as well as their extensions are treated as ourselves. Less information in the comics, more reflections in our mind. In this sense, comics seem to free our mind for imagination and self-reflection.

However, McLOUD also points out that even if room is left for the readers, our brain will understand the comics in a certain way. Just as we cannot interpret the combination of one circle, two dots and a line into anything else than a face, our mind has already restrict the vocabulary of comics to a “general” way. With this limitation, comics is also created by the artists particularly for human beings in the way that human beings can understand.

Another point is about the time in comics. Comics provide various ways of expression for the artists. Actions happened at the same time can be displayed in different part, change happened at different time can also be drawn in the some image. The length and width of separate images can represent the different length of time, and the lines referring to a sequential action can also give a sense of time. What is the most amazing thing is that our mind can understand all of the expressions and we love them!

Comics is an art full of changes and designed specifically for human beings. I love this book.

Photoshop group work – Madeleine Stanley, Yue Sun, Inez Yuxin Tong

Feedback from the Photoshop work:
Madeleine Stanley:
Initially, I added a baby to the mouth of one of the seagulls in the original image. To do this, I had to erase the background from the baby photo, then resize it and rotate it slightly to match the angle and size of the birds. I also added a few adjustment layers to get the tones to match up more accurately. I additionally erased a small segment from the baby’s back where the seagull’s beak is so that it looks more like the baby is actually in the gull’s mouth.
The second time I edited the photo, I added an image of a shark eating a man to the background. I had to erase the background from the shark photo as well, though this time it was a bit more difficult since there were splashes of water included that I wanted to try to preserve. I added adjustment layers, similar to those on the baby image, in order to get the shark image to blend with the original. I also blurred the shark layer slightly so that it matched other parts of the original image on the same plane.
To update the photo, I flipped the baby around and rotated it so it was facing slightly downward, helping to incorporate it more realistically into the entire photo. I also added shadows and highlights consistent with the original photo. I removed the birds behind the baby so there was less to distract from this feature. Finally, I resized the shark, pushing it back farther into the background and making it smaller. Since it was farther in the background, I added another lens blur filter to help it blend in. I also erased some of the water splashing up from the shark since it was distracting.
Yue Sun:

When I got the first round from Madeleine, I found her added a baby into a seagull’s mouth, which was really funny. Thus I added an ice-cream onto the crying baby’s hand. I first used pencil as the instrument to cut the ice-cream from the original photo, and then I put it onto the baby’s hand. Because the ice-cream floated onto the baby’s hand, which did not fit the physical law, I used clone stamp to paint the baby’s hand on the ice-cream to make it look more real. Then I added the same filter as Madeleine did to make the changes as a whole.

The second time I got the photo, I found some more interesting changes on the photo, because in addition to a man being chased by a shark, the background of the photo became mirror symmetry. I first polished the background a bit, because there were some parts were not well cut. Then I added a shark warning sign onto the photo and put a crow onto it. And then I added the same filter.

Inez Yuxin Tong

For the first round, I’m kind of annoyed about the too much information in this photo. There are two many birds! After consideration, I make the background symmetrically so that people can focus on the middle part, where my two partners made changes.

For the second round, I’m unsatisfied when I’m done with this change. Since the whole photo is still crowded with many birds, I decided to remove some extra birds. Also, according to the changes my partners made, I decided to add a red mask on the photo so that the photo will look more solemn.

After receiving suggestions, I clean up the picture again and remove many extra birds. Also, after consideration, I’ve removed the adjustment to the background colour and keep it as the original.

ima hwseagulls.V8

How to define the ownership of art work?

The article”On The Rights Of Molotovman: Appropriation and the art of context By Joy Garnett and Susan Meiselas” arouses a simple but crucial question to the contemporary art, that is how to define the ownership of the art work?  What kind of reproduction can be treated as a legal and new creation rather than the interpretation to the original artwork?

On one hand, the conservative artists have found enough references from Walter Benjamin’s book “The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction”. Benjamin defines the existence of an “aura” when the artists is creating artwork from the certain place and specific time. This “aura” endows the artists with the uniqueness of their artwork, and blames the loss of “aura” when advanced technologies such as photography and film threaten the copyright of the existing artwork. Unlike the respect shown to the recreation of copy all over the years, when artists tend to call the behavior as “recreation”, fights and arguments are made.

On the other hand, I would keep the sense of “aura” while in a totally different way although it’s understandable that people get annoyed when they find their photography has been “turned” into a painting by someone else and meanwhile this person calls it as recreation, like what happened in this “Molotovman” case. Now that we’ve entered the times of science and technology, the obstacles of recreation of art has been decreased. When people can easily edit an artwork, what is the essence remained for the special talent of an artist? I would treat the skills and ideas of reproduction also a must for an artist. Everyone now has an “aura” when creating the art, since with different perspectives, the interpretation of an artwork must be distinct. Then the ability of creating a wonderful artwork based on the original one is the distinction between normal people and an artist.

Then why will there be all these arguments of the equality of reproduction and copy? I regard this conflict as a result of the sense of ownership. “Aura” is not enough to show the ownership of the artwork. The artists often treat their work as their little babies, and yet they forget that even if the babies seems to belong to them forever, they will always turn out to go for their soulmates when they grow up.

Instead of ownership, I would rather treat artwork as independent pieces. The artwork will have their own destiny, no matter there is an “aura” or not, no matter how many people tries to threaten the ownership of the original creators. After the artworks have been created, they have their own life, regardless of the change of the world. In this sense, technology will become the enlightenment and hope of the end of a monopoly applied on the artwork.

 

The Machine Stops – When machine becomes part of our humanity

In E.M. Foster’s The Machine Stops, human beings cannot accept the reality that the machine stops when they rely all their life and change all their life on the machine. Although this is a really interesting fiction novel full of imagination and inspiration about the relationship between human beings and machine, I feel like we have covered similar materials all through the time from either novels – 1984 by Geoge Owell years before or the recent British TV series – Black Mirror.  People recognize the power of machine and care about the potential danger of human’s dependence on machine.

Some moments in The Machine Stops arouses my interests: “O’ Machine” appears for several times, which is like a prayer. However, a prayer seems to be a performance of humanity, except now it’s with the machine. Normally people will treat the machine as a disturbance of humanity, while in this prayer, the humanity is expressed by the machine. In this sense, I prefer this expression: Nothing is wrong with perform the humanity with a machine, and it’s only problematic when people rely all their life on the machine. In that case, when the machine stops, the world will change.

——– After the discussion in class, I’d like to add some thoughts ——————————————–

Something more about the humanity and machine: Technology is only a method to improve our life, while humanity is eternal. In the past, we use telephone to keep contact with others; now we use Skype, or wechat, or facebook; in the future, maybe we can see a more real person “standing” in front of us when we need to maintain a long-distance relationship. We need to believe that the development of technology will bring us more convenience than harm, however, with a clear consciousness of the potential danger. This danger comes from the uniqueness of the most advanced technology than others. The distinct comes from the huge change of how people express their humanity. In the TV series Blackmirror, one episode depicts what people will react when technology can store all our memories and display to ourselves every time. This technology seems convenient for people to check their memories and remind themselves, however, it turns out that people will overestimate others reactions and become crucial to suspect others. When more information has been given, people tend to rely all of their lives on the technology. That is the dangerous attitude.