Explain: Improvements Final Video

Above is my final video explaining the five stages of sleep. In the video I integrated type and image by layering the JPEGs of my typography scans on top of my videos, I then set the images to a low opacity. This allowed the text to be seamlessly integrated with the imagery but it also gave the typography an ethereal feel similar to that of dreams. In parts of the film I also used the same technique but to layer two videos which would play at the same time, giving an unnatural and eerie feel. Towards the end of the video during the REM stage I set the type to appear and disappear very quickly at points, this was to represent rapid eye movements. I also made sharp cuts between video clips to represent rapid eye movements.

For the background music I used delta waves sleep music by Meditation Relax. This music is specially designed to help people sleep at night, specifically to enter a deep sleep therefore it seemed appropriate in context to my video.

Explain: Improvements Typography

In my video I decided that using moving imagery of my mobile wouldn’t be enough to convey the information about the five stages of sleep, as the only information on the mobile is the brain wave activity scans for each stage of the sleep cycle. I felt it was essential to add textual information to my video however I did not want to simply add frames of digital text as this would not integrate well with the abstract nature of the imagery.

As I wanted my video to be mainly imagery based and easy to understand I began by reducing the information for each stage of the sleep cycle down to it’s basic keywords. I then printed these keywords off and distorted them with a scanner. Not only did this make the type more abstract but it also gave the type an eerie unusual nature similar to that of dreams.

Once I had experimented with distorting the keywords I choose the most successful distortion of each keyword, the distortion that best balance legibility with interesting forms, and refine the scan in Photoshop. I refined the scans by cropping them down and then increasing the contrast to improve clarity.


Explain: Improvements

Mobile made up of four discs, each representing a different stage in the sleep cycle 

Printed on acetate suspended with invisible thread

For the project Explain I made a mobile out of a wooden embroidery hoop and embroidery thread, from this mobile hung several threads with paper discs attached. Each discs would contain factual information on why we dream. Acting upon the feedback given to me at this crit I have remade the mobile out of transparent materials, the discs are now made of acetate with my vector illustrations printed onto them and they are hanging by invisible thread. These materials allowed the mobile to appear more dreamlike as the elements appear to be floating and can be seen through one another. Furthermore acetate is very reflective so interesting visual effects were created due to lighting.

To record my mobile it was decided that I should create a moving image piece, and that the way in which the mobile is filmed should optically convey the elements that it is informing, for example rapid eye movement. The advice given for creating a moving image piece was to add a soundscape to the video, also to make sure that the video is very short so that it is manageable.

I also decided to focus on one strand of the mobile to use in my moving image piece, the strand I choose was the strand documenting the 5 stages of sleep. I choose this strand as the various stages of sleep could be creatively illustrated in the piece, for example during the rem stage of sleep eye movements could be conveyed by moving the camera in certain directions.

Jack Sachs

Pick Me Up Festival 2016 Work by Jack Sachs

“Jack Sachs is an illustrator and 3D animator based in London. Jack studied BA (hons) Illustration at Camberwell College of Arts. Having trained as a ‘traditional’ pen and paper image maker, he suffered a serious injury to his drawing hand before starting his final year at university. To confront this Jack began to learn to use 3D animation software to make his work while his hand healed.” (Paul Burgess)

Once completing university he went on to work for Fox ADHD where he produced funny weekly animated GIFs based on current news. He also went on to work for Blink Ink, helping to animate The A-Z of 90s Slang and worked as a 3D Designer for Don’t Hug Me I’m Scared among many other projects.

His other clients include: Tate, Spotify, Zeit Magazine, The New York Times, MTV, POP magazine, i-D magazine, Converse, Vice, Fox Network, BBC, Lazy Oaf, NTS Radio, DFA Records (Factory Floor), Activia Benz, Doug Aitkenstudio, Pick Me Up graphic arts festival, Thump, Arena Homme +, Yawn Magazine, SB studio, So Young Magazine, 15 Folds, Tate Britain.

During his talk he gave 4 tips which he believed was vital for pursuing a career in design:

  1. E-mail studios and designers who you want to work with, many of the jobs he has had in the past has been due to e-mailing studios and designers asking for work
  2. Carry on producing work that is most important to you throughout your education and career, despite being a animator and 3D designer he still draws for his personal work which is another side to his practice
  3. Share your work on social media
  4. When freelancing there will be loads of knock backs so don’t put yourself too much on the line to avoid constant disappointment

He also talked about his practice, he mentioned about his hand injury and how he became a 3D animator/designer, also about how he still draws as part of his practice. Something particularly interesting to me that he mentioned was his editorial work. Due to many newspapers and magazines now having digital versions he is being commissioned to produce more gifs and animations for use in editorial. Finally he mentioned his love of motion tracking, which he explores on a high tech level (professional recorded footage) and on a low tech level (creating phototage using high quality iPhone clips).

To get into 3d animation and 3d design he recommended the software Cinema 4D as it is the most accessible in his opinion. This is the software he uses for most of his work, including motion tracking where he can feed in footage, match up the footage to plotted points within a digital space and then add his 3d objects into the footage (as seen in the video above). He also recommended the software Sculptris, a free virtual sculpting programme which he used in a workshop he hosted teaching young adults the principles of 3d design.

When asked about his inspirations he replied with early animations created at the beginning of the 3D industry, mainly from the late 80s and 90s. Videos he noted as being particularly influential were The Minds Eye and Computer Dreams, which can both be seen above. This is a style I still being used today, for example amongst those in the vapourwave subgenre.

Vapourwave is an electronic music subgenre that originated in the early 2010s and spread over the next half of the decade among various internet communities. It is characterized by a nostalgic or surrealist fascination with entertainment, technology and advertising of the 1980s and 1990s, and styles of both corporate and popular music such as lounge music, smooth jazz and elevator music. Sampling is prevalent within the genre, with samples often pitched down, layered or altered (earlier in a classic chopped and screwed style).

Many have interpreted vaporwave music as a critique or reflection on consumer capitalism and popular culture, as its name alludes to vapourware, a term for products that are announced but never released. The visual style of vaporwave (as seen on album covers and music videos) is commonly referred to as aesthetics (often stylized as “AESTHETICS“, with fullwidth characters). The style often involves classical sculpture, web design, surrealism, low-poly computer renderings, glitch art, VHS recordings, cassette tapes, Japanese art and cyberpunk tropes. – Wikipedia