Unit 4: Synesthesia, Moving Image

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INITIAL IDEAS

Working together, myself and Ellen wanted to create something visually contrasting. For example the transition between solid and liquid, state changes and metamorphism. So we needed to work from contrasting sounds. Soft, harsh, organic, orchestral, electronic etc. Amon Tobin and Jean Michel Jarre, both electronic artists inspired us to create a song with a medley of sounds, found in garage band. Visually we were inspired by Kader Attia’s sugar and oil piece, where oil progressively deconstructs sugar cubes. As well as being a beautiful work of art, it also relates to our ideas on transitioning between states.

 

Our final track consisted of mellow organic sounds, followed by drums beats and uptempo electronic sounds, then back to mellow. Next we had to find a way to replicate all these changes and differences visually.

 

Firstly we experimented by filming ink dropping in water; using different colours and creating time-lapses on premiere. We agreed that the ink show represent the mellow parts of the song.

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PROTOTYPE/ ANIMATIC

At this point, we both felt something was missing. We needed to frame these materials in to some sort of context. As music and sounds provoke emotion we thought using a human figure would help convey our ideas more clearly. So we experimented by projecting our ink films on to Ellen, using her white t-shirt as a canvas. However this wasn't as successful, the digital projector looked a bit cheap and unoriginal.

 

Then I thought I could try animating Ellen, by using a pen/ tablet to trace her from the frame we already had. I then tried overlaying the ink films on the drawing, using After Effects. This method was a lot more successful, aesthetically and because it convey our intentions more clearly.

 

After our crit, we were encouraged to manipulate the ink films even further by making them look less like ink and look more like and abstract energy. We were also advised to continue experimenting with different materials to represent the contrasting sounds of our track.

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We went on to explore other layering effect/filters on After Effects, to manipulate the ink to look like something else. Inspired by Attia, we experimented by using drops of ink to deconstruct sugar cubes. We filmed the process and made a time lapse in Premiere, then overlaid it with the rest of our images. We thought the grittiness of the sugar could represent the drum beats. We tried to experiment further by creating a time lapse of bubbles popping and decreasing in density, to represent the faster, electronic part of the track. However this wasn’t very successful because the camera without a macro lens couldn’t pick up any details of the bubbles, so there movement was hardly noticeable. Still, we overlaid the time lapse to bring more depth and texture to the images.

 

 

Overall we were please with out outcome. However it was rather the beginning of something than a finished piece. We would have like to try out filming other materials and textures to overlay on the t-shirt, or even creating our own sounds with a microphone. Intentionally I was suppose to animate the drawings, though I only had time to capture still frames. It would have been much more successful if there were subtle movements in the drawing to suggest emotion and life. For example eyes blinking, hands twitching etc.

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