Obviously Emily is my biggest fan… and equally I’m a fan of hers!
I posted a while ago about my friend Lenny Carter. She makes the most amazing puppets (among other things!) She just graduated with a 1st from London College of Communication. I went to see her degree show the other day and saw the final incarnation of Clara. Clara is a misunderstood young girl, who feels as though she’s being manipulated by the people around her. In response, she creates her own world to which she can escape reality. Clara is th … Read More
I decided to try out student hood before I got too old!
I tried a 2nd year of a HND a few years back but no students or tutors turned up (plus after a years tution the other students didn’t know how to open Quark which I thought was pretty bad… opening a piece of software is the same no matter the type!! so I left as I was only working part time and couldn’t really afford to do something that wasn’t going to teach me anything).
I probably should have done a different course but a BA in Digital Media Design was linked to the work that I’d already done so it was a practical choice – I could have gone into the 2nd year but decided that I needed a break from working full time (been 25+ years!)… well the course was a mix of video/audio/web design/design and it seems to be an intro to each subject.
I didn’t really take to the video/audio as I’ve only dealt with still images (photo/drawn/illustrated/DTP etc) so I’m slightly surprised that I ended up doing stop motion… wish I’d paid more attention to it all now ;-P
both of those show Clara’s previous head… I burnt the super sculpey clay head when fixing a broken eye! took four tries before I got one that worked… is slightly better – I do want to try and re-make her head with actual rotating eye balls… which I hope to work into the storyline.
you will also find links to my blog documenting how Clara was made and Clara’s own blog which is her personal journey into asserting herself and making her own stop motion sequences, hopefully helping her solve personal issues and learn new skills.
All this is still very much in production and I have a long way to go – I will eventually be adding a comic strip (not sure if it’s from Clara’s personal view point or one that Clara actually makes herself!?!) and hopefully the full animated sequence will be done in the next 10 months, plus more useful links for anyone who wants to try this themselves.
Also, the website needs sorting – I want the comic strip segments on the page to zoom and shift to open up – rather than go to a new ‘page’ (it’s a flash website), also the blank segment will be where Clara’s comic strip will go (I don’t have a suitable image for that yet). plus sounds… and how to add video content that doesn’t show a youtube or vimeo logo or if embedding, how to get it to show a decent resolution/quality as it’s rather poor at the moment… but you can see the video below which is from youtube in the meantime!
In the first term of the second year we had to prepare a project proposal which will be created in the last term of year 2.
I decided I wanted to create a stop motion animation using a puppet that I had started to create.
This first puppet was rather awful so as I was now serious in creating an animation with this puppet I decided to remake the whole thing using a ball & socket jointed armature.
I’ve been keeping a blog on the process which will eventually be attached to it’s own website – click Clara’s Animated World to visit my blog.
As Clara thinks she is a live (!?!) she has also started her own blog which you can find here: Clara’s Blog – all photographs by Lenny Carter – RunnyCustard.co.uk
How Digital Media can aid self-expression
Integrative Project Proposal by Lenny Carter
In using Digital Media as a means of self-expression will raise awareness of how a person can bring their dreams and personal thoughts into reality. This can be educational as well as a possible aid to personal development. The process of creating such work can create skills that could be used in the future, for example: better job prospects and career choices. This could also bring a greater self-awareness towards personal goals, and desires.
Whilst Digital Media cannot itself solve the issue of stress or self-fulfillment of dreams etc, but it can be used as a tool, just like pens, paints and music can help towards stress relief and this has become much more accessible to people since Digital software and computer equipment has become less expensive especially to the young or who have limited budgets.
The project will consist of a stop motion animated film that features a young teenager character that shows how she escapes from her problems (or the attempt to understand and reconcile the effects of them) by using a personal item (a toy that becomes her friend and mentor) by dreaming imaginative scenarios. The characters will be seen in ‘real life’ and a partial sequence of her dream sequence. It will also have the main character re-create this dream world using digital media. The viewer of the animation will see the character teach her-self new skills, and could then try the same techniques themselves. The results of the animated film created by the character can be posted onto a social website, like youtube.com, Facebook, MySpace or flickr etc.
This project is educational in the development of new skills of Digital Media tools and also interplays with Art Therapy. John Harley and Kelly McWilliam’s book, Story Circle: Digital Storytelling Around the World, write about how ‘people are taught to use digital media to create short audio-video stories, usually about their own lives. The idea is that this puts the universal human delight in narrative and self-expression into the hands of everyone’, again regardless of budget and skills this is a possibility in today’s technological environment.
Cheaper computers or using computer at libraries (for free) means that creating self-expression art works with digital media is now available to a lot of people. Most computers now come with a web camera, and software can be downloaded for free (especially open source software, i.e.: Gimp is a well known free alternative to Adobe PhotoShop Photo Editing Suite).
Objectives and Research Methodology
Storyboarding of animated sequence.
Primary Research and secondary research will feature questionnaires on Facebook to the general public and a poll on Deviant Arts aimed at similar types of self-expressionist work using Digital Media software and equipment. Relevant books and Magazines on the subject will also be researched.
Research of costs of making an animated film (free versions of software, equipment etc) analysing and researching the techniques of stop motion and animation, including timing and to convincingly move a wired armature, building props and sets, sound techniques, storyboarding, and how to create mood and atmosphere with software and positioning of props and lights etc.
Website Design – Platform creation for Animated Film. The site will contain links to useful sites that will aid viewers to make their own animated, alternative realities themselves and to stress the importance of accessibility and that this type of project can be created in the viewers home – specialist equipment or skills is not necessarily needed to create their own self-expressed ideas in animation.
Art therapy similar organisations on how self-expression can deal with stress and personal development? Also to research similar websites that use Art therapy to aid self expression in the creative arts and to whether there are any current sites that cover these areas using stop motion animation.
Resources for Project
This project will be completed in a home environment using an iMac, Digital SLR (entry level), or Camcorder (depending on research and software used), and the website will stress the aspect.
The film will feature a homemade stop motion character that is glued and sewn (It will contain a wired body and the main character will feature a ball and socket joined doll (these are now within the amateurs budget – the wired version is the cheapest and more accessible type to use for those on a very limited budget), both options will be used and information given on ease of use.
Software which will either be PhotoShop, After Effects, Final Cut Pro, SoundBooth, and a stop motion software package (i.e.: iStopMotionPro), PC or Mac.
Free options will be featured on the website so that viewers to the site can see that stop motion is accessible to the young and those who do not have the funds to explore what used to be a specialist or professionals hobby. Free options to include are Gimp (similar to Photoshop), Audacity (sound), and Window’s moviemaker or iMovie on a Mac.