Erin’s animation project reflection

I thought up many possibilities for my final animation project, and one of them was the animation I did halfway with Bill. I at first designed the waving paper puppet, and a high resolution picture of the globe was in my laptop, so I decided to make them dance to the music “We Are the World”. After discussing with Bill, we decided on which section of the music we should select, and the main contents of the short animation. It was a very interesting experience to work as a group, and we had to constantly share files, and communicate with each other on how to make the piece be put together. Through this project I practiced how to make a puppet move, and the frequent use key points. Since I was more sensitive to music, after being taught how to link the moves of an animation to music to, I decided to start off my own project.

It took me a long time to choose appropriate music and ideas. To express the synchronization of the animation and the music, the music had to have clear beats. It was also hard for me to find a Capella for certain songs, so I set my mind on pure music. Actually, I did not totally get the hang of how link the animation effects to the music, but after watching a short clip on, I was able to do it on my own.

At first I wanted to find several pictures and make them relate to the music, but it was hard for them to work well together, and it was hard to make a transition between them. After trying a few effects with the same picture, I decided to only use one picture—the galaxy. The different shades of blue was very expressive, and the tone of the music was calm and mysterious. The hardest part of my animation was organizing the sequence of the effects, and making the transitions natural and not so sudden. I used Bubble, Shatter, the outlining effect, Flames and Twist in my short piece of animation. And I enjoyed playing with the effects a lot.

I am glad that I was able to practice different techniques of using After Effects in my two projects. And I hope that I will have time in the future to continue to make short animations on my own!

Erin’s response to Sita Sings the Blues

This film screens two stories which are alike to each other at the same time. It shows how Sita and Nina both continue to love their loved ones even though they turn to treat Sita and Nina badly.

Rama is always doubting the purity of Sita in the film. Everyone gossips about it, takes it as a role of man being generous to his wife, and not demanding strictly of her. Out of peer pressure, Rama thinks he should do something about as a king, and chooses to kick Sita out even when she was pregnant. However, in the last part of the film, Sita’s two sons sings the folk rhyme “Rama’s great Rama’s good …” which is all sarcastic about Rama’s act towards Sita.

There are a few special effects used in the film that I really appreciate. When showing the Brooklyn, New York scene, it always zooms in from a realistic street view, giving the audience a sense that it is based on a real story. The part where Rama goes to save Sita, he and his army chops up the demons, the scene is a combination of the actual movements of fighting and the bloody body parts flying about. Like the previous project shooting a realistic film, the camera position changes, and makes the film seems more changeable and interesting. Another great part that I really appreciated in the animation was the fire dance. Using black background to let people focus on the burning fire and white outlines of the dancing women, it was a very strong and impressive scene.

Erin’s reflection on sound project




Erin’s reflection on sound project


For the sound project, our group decided to do a pop remix. In this project, I learnt how to use sound editing soft wares such as Audacity and Audition to change the beat and pitch of the song in order to make it mix well with another song. This project let me see the possibility of mixing two very unalike songs into a new one. My task was to mix the a Capella of Rude with the instrumental of Mamacita. It was hard in the beginning, because I thought it was impossible to make the two songs, one slow and relaxing, the other fast and energetic to go together. But the clip only had to be 20 seconds long, so I decided to cut out the most classical parts of the song and try to make them match. I had to adjust the speed of the song, however, it wasn’t as hard as it seemed, because after 3~4 tries of inserting a speed adjusting number, I succeeded to match the first part of both songs. To make the second part match, I had to cut out a 0.1 second from the instrumental so that it fits well for the second part as well.


Although my part went well and smoothly, not all did. We found it especially hard to mix classical music with songs without making further adjustments. At last we decided to change a couple of songs that we used to want to use, to make the project sound better as a whole.


Erin’s response

Creation requires influence. We get ideas from pieces created by others working in similar fields previously. Just as Isaac Newton said “If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulder of giants.” We learn from predecessors first, and then can we get a good idea about a certain subject, eventually “create” our own work. However, another question comes out: how do we learn?

“Copying is how we learn.” When first starting to play piano, we try to play the notes of famous pieces written by early composers, then we begin to put in more emotions into playing, eventually we gain our own understanding to it, and create our own interpretation of the work. In advance, we may think of writing our own piece of music. However, drawing may come from copying real life rather than artwork of others. When I was small, I did not particularly learn to draw, but I imitated images of flowers in the garden, and houses across the door. Therefore, the word “copying” has a broad meaning. No matter from nature, from other people, we learn how to imitate things through this process.

The contrast of Steve Jobs is very interesting, but often very true. We accept ourselves copying other people, but do not allow other people to copy us. If we admit that the world achieves and works out to begin with copying, we should accept others copying our work to some certain degree.

Everything is remix. Blind Willie McTell has stated that “I jump ’em from other writers but I have arrange ’em my own way.” The basic elements of creativity: copy, transform and combine.

Therefore, we can say, creating is about learning how to appreciate the work of the previous and then copying them to get influence and inspiration, them remixing and creating something “new”.


response to the Molotov Man

I find this as a very interesting piece of reading, for it is about a copyright controversy of art work. Joy Garnett, a painter, based his artwork on the photography of the Molotov man by Susan Meiselas, without asking for Susan Meiselas’ permission. After the exhibition of the painting, Susan’s lawyer sent a letter to Joy requesting a sum of licensing fee.

I think it is natural that we hope our piece of work is protected, and not used in abuse by other people without our confirm. However, through this piece I saw a deeper thought of idea and interpretation of copyright. Joy explains that he did not see the difference in terms of permission and credit, therefore was not aware of importance of copyright until receiving a letter Susan’s lawyer. Joy puts forward global and open questions about copyrights of all documentary photography, should or should not artists be allowed to decide who can comment on their work and how…the most interesting among all: “Who owns the rights to this man’s struggle?”

The last question somehow fits into Susan’s view of copyrights. She expressed her strong feeling for Pablo Arauz, the character in the Molotov man, who is being converted into the emblem of an abstract riot, and it would be a betrayal of him if she did not at least protect the diminishment of his act of defiance.

Therefore, the controversy of copyrights have not and will not end. But copyrights on photography are more there to protect the person recorded, and is a way to show respect to them.

Response to emforster

One aspect I think about the book is that E. M. Forster is being sarcastic about the social phenomenon right now that people are using too much technology in life that they do not see any more the importance of people interacting and communicating with each other face to face. It gives us an idea of what our lives might be like in the future if we do not limit our use of some devices.

If modern technology is greatly developed and used without limit, they can satisfy most of people’s needs, which makes human totally rely on them without even noticing their dependence on machines. In the novel Vashti thinks it’s absurd to take a convenient air-ship to the other side of the globe to see her son Kuno. She makes full use of the Machine to be attached to her friends, the outer world, all done in her room. She worships the Machine even if she doesn’t realize and admit it. She gets the sense of safety from clutching the Book and persuades herself the Machine is only being repaired when it broke down…… However, human have already realized their problems to some degree, by joking on the social networks about what could we do if electric goes out? What would we do if we could no more access to the internet? How bad we feel when we have to turn off our cell phones? But we just give it a laugh and let it go. Nothing changes.

I went to a junior high school classmate meeting this summer, and on the dinner table, everyone was holding out their phones in front of them. What’s the use of meeting each other when no one looks and talks, even chat to another person on WeChat?

In this book Forster puts forward an important lesson: we came to the world with nothing, and will leave with nothing attached to us. We are human, and the best, and most original way to communicate to each other is by face to face conversation. Although online chatting, such as Skyping each other maybe frightfully convenient, but we tend to miss details of the speaker, such as tiny facial expressions, and emotions, that are hard to convey through digital form.

Perhaps we should choose to put down our phones and communicate directly to each other at reasonable times.