Yu- Final project animation rough cut

YuZhouAnimation

 

This is actually the second version of my rough cut that I presented to the class. I added more details, like the love hearts and bulbs and focus on the cat. Playing with camera and puppet is fun.

After the presentation, advice was given for the size of the dog. I meant to illustrate the growth of the dog, but it did not work in two seconds in my way. Also, things need to be fixed when the cat jumps. One other thing is that when at first the plate dropped to the ground, it did not break. The fire that meant for rage did not express my ideas clearly as well. There are the main focus of my improvement.

 

puppet pal final version by Nicholas, Isabella, Yu

puppet pal final version

 

Based on a true story.

Yu’ reflection after rough cut:

The rough cut was only like the beginning of our story. The true climax shows when we add the taxi, the rushing, the date and the puppet’s self-realization. It was a great experience to film in a taxi, and outside of a starbucks. I learnt that it was much easier to adjust the parameters to get a good picture when the light is enough. One thing that makes me really happy is that I managed to film the puppet in public areas without being shy(oh..ahah).

We adjusted the white balance, the sound level. Also we added some footage to help understand this whole story. I learnt that what we thought was clearly expressed in the footages are not what people see. Just like writing an essay, it’s crucial for us to get others’ opinions.

Our editing process was a struggle because we lost our footage which is supposed to be on our SIM card. Strange things happened 🙁 So we learnt that it’s always good to have a back-up. Storing things on the SIM card of the camera is not a good idea. At least we need a flash drive/hard drive. Other than this, we worked together efficiently. It was a very nice experience, and I really love this video!!!!

Nicholas’s reflection in general:

Making the film was a challenging, but rewarding process. The initial creative processes, such as brainstorming and creating storyboards, were easy. I attribute this to the fact that both of my partners were easy to work with and creatively inclined. The next, more challenging step was creating the puppet; after hours of work, eventually the puppet was built and we became ready to shoot.

Shooting was difficult, as we had to learn while doing. By this I mean to say that using tools like the camera and lights really reinforced how we were supposed to use these tools. I took on the task of lights, and became the impromptu light person throughout the shooting process. In addition, I often was the puppeteer, and hence performed in the entire movie. I have learned that puppets can be challenging to work with (but rewarding if done properly), and that lights are a crucial component of the filming process.

Editing presented different challenges, as this too was learned while doing. Nevertheless, we figured a lot out and eventually, through trial and error, began to edit properly. Although we hit a roadblock where we lost some footage halfway through the editing process, we still managed to complete the video with almost no quality lost. The lessons learned from the editing process: 1) always have a back up of all footage and 2) rendering and compression takes time, so make sure you have enough time.

Rough cut of puppet pal by Isabella, Nicholas and Yu

A Day in the Life of a Puppat or The Unexpected Virtue of Metahuman Experiences documentation

Here is our rough cut. We went to the fabric market together to get the materials for puppet and made the puppet. (everyone got a little hurt from the heating glue). Then we started filming.

Yu:  I takes care of the camera. It was really hard to keep the light level consistent in various places. Even in the office, different corners has its own lighting problem. The breakfast scene and the office scene are both shot on the 11th floor of AB, where lie all the economists’ offices. And focusing was a struggle. We did the editing together. We basically put all the footages together and added some transition effects. The most interesting part hasn’t been shot then.

Response to Sita sings the blue Yu Zhou

It is until the very end that I understand the link between the modern couple and the ancient Indian story. I was quite confused at first: whey did they appear together? At last I see the heartbroken girl identified with Sita, and might have involved in making this animation.

The story of Sita was presented very interestingly in this animation. There are two main versions of the figures. They looked very different to each other. But the color of the skin and other key elements remained to help us identify that they are actually the same person. The singing and the acting were integrated very well. Every time the tension is built in the story telling part, the singing relieves it somehow and helps us understand Sita’s emotion much better. Also, the three narrator character tells the story together through their conversation. They made mistakes and corrected one another, which is pretty amusing.

Details of this animation surprised me. Previously I have been exposed to many Japanese animation, where the painting style are consistent throughout the whole animation. Yet in this Sita sings blue, pictures of reality and drawing are combined to tell the story. Sometimes even one object can be composed of two parts of very different painting style. At first I thought that it did not make sense. But after a while I get used to it and I think it is very interesting to do the animation in this way. (Like how we implanted our puppet into the real life lol).

The music was great. The little break in this animation was cute. One sad thing is that the cat reminds of my cat which went out to play last week and never came back since then(SO SAD!) Anyway, since this animation was done by a person not a group, I really appreciate the person’s effort and talent!

Brad and Angelina in Shanghai – Kelsey, Dani, Yu

brad & angelina in ShanghaiEDIT

Yu’s part:

According to the class discussion, I changed the size of the minipanels in the first panel to make the figures and speech more easy to read. Also I drew lines of the figures to make it more comic like and to match the following panels. Air plane is emphasized with black lines too. In the second panel I deleted the speech bubble to make it clearer and simpler.

Dani’s part:

For my adjustment of the comic, I enlarged the pop out box in panel 2 to make it obvious that the intention was to zoom in onto the original image. I also centered the texts inside the speech bubbles.

Kelsey’ part:

For the changes I adjusted the speech bubbles in the fifth panel to match the tone of the speech as suggested in class. I also gave Angelina a different hairstyle to match previous panels. I tried to adjust the line thickness in the sixth one, but due to jagged selection edges it did not turn out well.

Response to The Ecstasy of Influence Yu Zhou

My first impression on this selected article is: oh, Bob Dylan again. Then I found out he was just among the many famous people in various fields mentioned in this essay. It seems that I can think of the question of copy, plagiarism from both sides. And there’s actually no simply yes or no. I like the idea of using scissors to cut the universe into pieces and then create, rearrange the pieces. This metaphor fascinates me.

“Finding one’s voice isn’t just an emptying and purifying oneself of the words of others but an adopting and embracing filiations, communities and discourses. ” I bet everyone more or less agree with this idea, but I am amazed at how the author structured his words!

The part in this essay that catches my eyes most is the USEMONOPOLY. The underlying meaning of copyright discussed by the author refreshed my understanding of the term. I was among the majority who take it for granted that copyright is a law, a sign of advanced, well-organized civilization. Now I am pretty much convinced that this is a social negotiation as stated by the author. The art and the nature of this world did not have the implication of copyright. It is the product coming out of economic concern to protect personal gain in order to help with the growth of the society and the mankind.

Response to the Everything is a Remix by Yu Zhou

I really like the idea of Everything is a Remix. When talking about Bob Dylan of stealing other people’s songs, it came up to my mind that once my friend showed me her original piece of song. Yet she was not confident of its originality because that might be a melody buried deep inside her mind for so long and just came out. She said that perhaps she only heard it once. Maybe Bob Dylan did “steal” the melody on purpose or maybe he did not. It’s hard to classify the border line of doing on purpose or by accident. I don’t think we should punish those innocent “stealers”. Or else people will be so afraid to create. In a world of 7000000000 people, coincidence happens all the time. People share ideas. In academic fields, people have the strong data base to search for already-existing ideas(though probably not all of them are published), but when it comes to art, especially music, it’s hard to search. So here comes the question that we cannot do anything to those who did it on purpose either. How do we detect one’s intention?   Pessimistically nothing.

The idea that all things begin with “copy, transform, combine” on this planet really impresses me. These three worlds illustrate the reproduction and evolution of lives on the earth. They also describes the popular word “remix”. It’s really smart to use this argument to somewhat justify remix as it seems more convincing. We ourselves are the product of remix. Why should we stop it? Films are built on other films, literature, well-known TV shows etc. Macintosh was built on Xerox. Newton found the Laws standing on giant’s shoulders. In this sense, creativity needs remix. If we are to create out of nothing, we stand on the point where our ancestors did. When our mind did not evolve that much, there will only be repetitions of the same or similar creation. So in any fields, we learn from the previous masters to do real innovation. Also it’s very interesting that we tend to justify stealing from other as long as that’s what we do and we benefit from it. When it comes to the case others stealing from us, we get furious as Jobs did to Samsung. For personal current benefit and interest, we really want our product to be protected so that we can earn more, or to stand in the stage of history longer. It’s really a mixed feeling. A certain time period of protection is very necessary, but the question is how long should it be? In different areas the time period should be different probably. The division requires huge amounts of work!

Response to Understanding Comics Yu Zhou

I have been a fan of Japanese comic since I was 8 years old. However, before reading this comic book on comic, I have never seriously thought about comic as a form of serious art. In my mind, it’s true that comic can convey thoughtful and deep ideas, but after all it’s a way of recreation. It is after I entered NYU shanghai that I knew Marvel and more about western comics. This time, “Understanding Comics” really opened a universe for me, as is shown in the book.

The author artfully introduced the meaningful form of art “comic” to us in the form of comic itself, which made his ideas more convincing, and transmitted more efficiently. Also, he truly brings “comic” to a lot more than recreational pictures to read. He upheaved it to academic level.

In Chapter 1, at the bottom of page 3, when McCloud mentioned that “the potential of comics is LIMITLESS and EXCITING!”, in the same panel he drew the limitless and exciting universe to illustrate this idea of potential of comics. In a second, he dragged us into the picture, looking at the endless and unknown place, which evokes our curiosity and fascinates us. Later in this chapter, McCloud covers the topics and history of comics, generating a high-up starting point of comics, where those comic were not so much thought as comics but other forms of art. I remember clearly when I saw William Hogarth’s satire series in National Museum, Tate Britain and Sir John’s house in London that I could not quickly fully understand what was the story in the pictures unless there was someone telling me the details as there were so many things happening in one scene and I was not professional enough to catch the main points.

Chapter 2 talks about the vocabulary of comics, I saw a lot of familiar stuff as we were talking about icons last semester in GPC. I think it very interesting that artists can lead people to mask themselves in a comic by making the surroundings more objective and realistic and the main characters more subjective and iconic. Though I did not agree with McCloud’s drawing of a simplified face on the middle of page 39, when he mentioned “And just as our awareness of our biological selves are simplified conceptualised images”. When we think ourselves, certainly a lot of details will be ignored, but surely not to that extent. Here he used a too much simplified image of face, perhaps because he wants to universalise the icon. Yet when I was reading this, the effect does not seem good.

Chapter 3 focused on the effect of gutter and Chapter 4 discussed time and space. Gutter, time and space are very unique in the form of comic, compared to other forms of art. There are so many meanings and techniques under the usage of space and gutter that I never thought before. Now I am wondering would contributes more to a good comic, a good story or good drawing techniques, as they are both so important to comic. Before, I thought the artists who devote their life to comics should practice drawing in the first place and then go on to deepen their thought, now I realize that learning these theories are also crucial. Yet when people take the theories for granted, will there be less innovation when creating comics as people use the already existing techniques?

Response to “On The Rights Of Molotov Man”

One question pop up to my mind after I finished reading this piece. Where is the voice of the Molotov Man? Since the topic is on the right of “Molotov Man”, why there are only the original photographer’s and a painter’s voices heard?

When Susan tried to defend the Molotov Man’s position, trying to contextualize her photography, did she even ask what his attitude towards his image being reproduced again and again? Perhaps she is right, but chances are that this man does not hate what people are doing to turn him to a iconic figure. On the other hand, when all those artists symbolizes this Molotov Man, have they every thought of the feelings of this man?Or probably they did not even know where this originally come from.

Basically I am for all those artists(decontexualizing), because in my opinion that every time this figure was reproduced, it was no longer the original piece. In art, especially painting and photography, imitation seems everywhere. My view here is kind of passive since I think if this is a trend that one could not stop and I don’t see much injustice here, then what’s wrong with decontextualisation? Here’s an example of a Chinese figure, which does not reconcile with the Molotov Man in the professional art category and in that the figure has been dead for so long. There are very popular kuso pictures of Du Fu(a Chinese ancient poet) on the internet. The poet who appears in textbooks has been put on weird clothes and forced to make funny postures. (I made a screen shot here) It’s true that one might say this person no longer lives, so how could we know if he cares to be made fun of in this way.

dufu

The example of the various version of Dufu is made on purpose. Creators knew where the original figure came from. Yet in the Molotov Man’s case, there’s another problem with this painter. He tried decontextualisation, to forget about the original photography. He did not put the photo in front of him when he made his own art. In other words, this figure is printed deeply in his mind. One of my friend once told me that every time she tried to write a song and recorded the melody, she was afraid that what she thought was her original creation is actually some existing tune buried deep in her head. My writing teacher(Chinese) once told me that one first had to read, to memorize, to accumulate to a certain amount, then one could create and write stuff. Knowledge is passed on between our brains that many times an idea poping into our mind does not really have originality. Same applies to the category of art works. An artist should be prepared to see fragments of his/her work to be captured and recreated by others.

If Susan really wants to defend the original intend of this photograph, she should probably first ask herself that has she ever done the same thing to other people’s work? Has she asked the opinion of the man in the photo?

Response to the machine stops

This short story provokes the question of the relationship between human beings and machines. The Machine in the story seems to represent all those machines we human beings created. It allocates all the functions that we could possibly imagine. All those little buttons ideally makes our life easier and better. However, I did not feel a tiny bit of joy but only fear.

At first I believe the machine was created to provide convenient life for people, as our computers and other electronic devices did. Later it evolved into controlling human’s life. At the end it becomes the god. With such a machine playing the most important role in her life,  I don’t think Vashti is a human being any more. Also thousands of others who enjoys the life in their suit, praying to the machine, they claim that they are busy and ideas are so important. But why? what’s their ideas for? I did not see a little bit of happiness in their words and deeds. They are like parts of the machine, working according to a certain pattern. As they approach “spiritual”, they are actually pushing themselves away from humanity. Without happiness and difficulties, without the joy of family and friends actually gathering together, what’s the meaning of life? I cannot imagine. The only thing that gives me the sense of life is Kuna, who bravely breaks the rules and believes in that age.

At the very end, I must say luckily the machine stops and all those weird “humans” are going to die. This weird joy of mine may come from the fear of a future underground like this. Perhaps I holds the fall-behind thought. Still I don’t want to see a future like this, where people are turning into cold machines. What’s our initiation for creating all those machines? To master them to give us a happy life or to let them master us and assimilate us? Clearly the first one. So we should never forget our wishes at the very beginning. While starting to learn some technologies, we should always bare in mind that the core is human not the technology itself. We shall never lost ourselves in tracing fancier and fancier techs.