Vertical Project: Surrealist Animation

At the beginning of this project I brainstormed all of the possible topics I could research that relate to my memory of the gnome sanctuary. From gnomes I identified dolls and puppetry, and from that I went on to identify the art movement surrealism. Surrealism fits my concept well as my memory is focusing on the whimsical humorous nature of the gnome sanctuary whilst also trying to convey the weirdness and strangeness of the situation.

Inspired by the introduction to Adobe After Effects that I attended this week I decided that my final format for this project will be an animation, this was also previously suggested during early discussions with the tutors. An animation seems fitting as well for a memory, when we remember past events we don’t tend to see the memory as a still and detailed image but instead we remember key highlights from that event which progress through time. There an animation drawing attention to key visual and auditory highlights, and progressing with time seems appropriate.

To combine the format of animation with the idea of surrealism I began to research surrealist animations, as seen above. Many of the animations use collage which has been photographed to form a stop motion film, this approach is quick and easy to do however I find the outcomes to appear rough and the rough nature takes away from the imagery. The bottom two animations however I think is the most successful, where the collaged elements have been digitally animated. The smooth nature of the animation and the elements placed on a flat background gives an eerie unnatural feelings that relates to my concept.

The imagery I choose to use in my animation will be inspired by my previous research into the garden centre aesthetic, looking at garden centre displays where the objects are juxtaposed into their setting. I will also seek inspired from my own memory of the gnome sanctuary. Whilst at the gnome sanctuary many of the gnomes were sculpted to appear to be taking part in a variety of activities, ranging from everyday activities to bizarre fantastical activities, therefore I will generate imagery based upon this.

Introduction to Adobe Premiere Pro and Adobe After Effects

Early in the year I attended an introduction to motion workshop where we editing footage using Adobe Premiere Pro. Today I attended a short introduction to Adobe Premier Pro workshop which focused more on how to use that specific software package, where as the introduction to motion workshop focused more on video editing. The workshop also introduced how to use the software Adobe After Effects.

Premiere Pro is for video editing and you can use it to compose original work, After Effects on the other hand is for creating animations and can be used to create original artwork. Both software programmes are project based, therefore all assets must be saved in the same folder to maintain the links.

We began the introduction with looking at Adobe Premiere Pro. We looked at how to get our photographs safely off the camera, how to correctly format our projects and how to import our photographs into the software. The we began to look at the uses of some of the keys terms, something we had not previously covered in the introduction to motion workshop. The tools we looked at was the ripple edit, rolling edit, slip and slide tools, all designed to manipulate how footage, images and audio are positioned on the timeline. Finally we looked at how to render our final outcome in Premiere Pro. We looked at how to test render a small selection of footage from the film, which is useful to when working on large projects, as well as how to fully render your film with the correct formatting.

Once we had covered Adobe Premiere Pro we moved onto Adobe After Effects, a software that was completely knew to me and one that i was eager to learn. Throughout the course so far I have worked on many projects that I would have liked to have created animations for, however I lacked the skills and found learning the software by myself to be a very steep learning curve, therefore this workshop was perfect for my interests.

We started by looking at how to import assets into the software, still single images and a sequence of images, and how to place them within the workspace. Then we began to look at how to manipulate those assets by applying position, scale and opacity effects. Finally we looked at applying effects that changed the visual qualities of the imported assets, such as linear colour key and compound arithmetic. Finally, like with Premiere Pro, we covered how to render our final animations and make sure that they are correctly formatted.

Overall I found the induction extremely useful as it was handy to recap on how to use Premiere Pro and learn more about the tools, but what I really found useful was learning about After Effects. After Effects is a particularly difficult piece of software to self teach due to the fact that it is so fast and is used for a variety of purpose and formats, therefore a concise induction into the software aimed at beginners has helped me to understand roughly how it works, and hopefully I can now continue to self teach myself the software a lot easier.