Thursday, May 28, 2015

Music Videos Rock!

For my music video, Mikela and I are the only team of two in our class. At first I thought that it would be difficult to be able to film a lot, but we have proven that to be wrong. We had a sleepover and invited Sophia and Hannah to help us film. Sophia was a huge help mainly because she did a lot of filming Mikela and I on the beach. I think me and Mikela did an equal amount of work because we alternated who had the camera so everyone had the chance to film. We also had a GoPro that we tossed around.

I think that our audience will enjoy the scenes that we filmed at the beach and our bloopers because we have a lot of them and they look awesome. We filmed at the beach when the sun was setting so we could get really cool shots. We had so much left over footage and bloopers that we couldn't fit into our music video, but its always better to have too much footage rather than not enough. The bloopers that we put in the video are mostly of Sophia.

Music videos are our final project of the year, so we have the chance to put in what we've learned. We used multiple different effects and creative sequences. We wanted to put an animation into our video, but we couldn't find the time to do it. I think that the video was edited really well and shows how much we have learned not just this year, but from past years to.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Lyrical Livelihood

The end of the school year is upon us and that means the music video project is underway. The music video project is one of the things us G.T. kids look forward to all year. For this project we get to choose our groups and the song that we want to do a music video on. My team consists of just my friend Mikela and I because the rest of my friends in my class teamed up together without us.

I have multiple favorite songs and they all differ depending on my mood. So some of the songs I like are This is Gospel, Northern Downpour, and Let's Kill Tonight, all by Panic! at the Disco. When I listen to songs like this I want to shout the songs even if they are slow, but instead it ends up with me furiously lip syncing. When I start to like a song, I look up the lyrics and figure out what the song means.

For my music video we chose the song Fourth of July by Fall Out Boy. Our first choice would have been Uma Thurman by Fall Out Boy, but there is one line that isn't appropriate for school. Mikela and I both love Fall Out Boy, so we decided that we would want to do a song from their newest album, American Beauty/American Psycho. We chose this song because it has a really cool beat and we wanted to make a music video of us having fun and Fourth of July sort of fits this theme.

Since we wanted our music video to show having fun, we thought that our story could be about our idea of a good summer. So we are planning to go to the beach and other places to film. We thought that our music video could tell a story of friends who have a great summer and then have to go to different schools when school starts.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Our Animation Story

Each time we do an animation project we get a planning document where we have a storyboard, our plot, and purpose. On this we also have to come up with a focus statement which basically the title for the animation, in the format Noun Verb Noun. My team's focus statement is Ana Overcomes Shyness. We thought this was a fitting focus statement as our story is literally about Ana overcoming her shyness.

We hope that we'll tell this story well enough so that people will be able to see a deeper meaning in it. Our story mainly focuses on being shy and the anxieties and worries that go through that individual's mind. In our animation we have a scene in which there is a devil and an angel sitting upon Ana's shoulders and they are both telling Ana different things. The devil and angel represent a conscience and what they say are things that may have gone through Ana's mind. We also have a small flashback of girls making fun of Ana when she is trying to make friends. 

As a team I think that we actually worked really well together and were efficient. I think our best moment was when we finally had all our scenes together and done and we had a soundtrack to go along with it. Our worst moment was when Stykz, a stick figure animation program, kept crashing while Leila was trying to animate some of our scenes. So we would have had all our scenes done even faster and could have had more time to revise and edit.

I think that our class critique went fairly well for my team. The whole class graded each team on two things, characters, sets, and props and creativity, originality, and execution. For creativity, originality, and execution, it was very close between Meets Requirements and Above and Beyond, but overall we mostly got Above and Beyond. For characters, sets, and props with 69%, Meets Requirements seemed to be the common thought.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Animation Outtakes

The latest project in G.T. is the animation project. The theme for the project is "Tell Your Story". So we got into groups with people we have not worked with this school year. My teammates are Sydney Nice, Leila Nelson, and Ana Ell. Sydney likes to play soccer and volleyball. Leila also plays soccer and she is incredibly smart. Last, but not least Ana who loves to read and is generally an interesting person to be around.

After a while, we decided to use Ana as our main character for our animation. Her story was when she moved to my middle school this year and like any other new student, had no one to be friends with. When lunch comes around she has nobody to sit with so Leila and I will come to invite her to sit with us. Ana has a mental battle as to whether or not she should accept the author. Although it seems like a simple choice to most people to just accept the offer, she, like a few others, is shy and in this situation anxieties may get the best of someone. I think that this concept of being shy and anxiety is really important and hope that this could be an inspiration to step out of your comfort zone once in a while.

If you don't already know, stop motion animation is where someone or something is manipulated in a series of frames or pictures to give the illusion of movement. I like to think of stop motion as the basis of animation. Now a GIF, a.k.a Graphics Interchange Format, is a compressed animation or video file. You'll often see GIFs on various forms of social media. Below are two examples of a GIF.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Typography Images

In G.T. our most recent project is Typography Portraits. Typography portraits are images in which words are incorporated into portraits and Typography is the style and appearance of printed matter. I think that typography portraits are a really creative way to say things about a person. You can take famous words, phrases, and speeches and put them onto the individual who said them. However you choose to use them they can make impressions and leave impacts on people.

I think that my main problem during this project was that I came back from a trip when our class was doing this, so I missed some things. Luckily I only missed out on doing the practice image. Anyway while doing my teacher image(shown below) I redid the stamping of the words multiple times to get it right. I also could not get the features of her face to show very well, but I had help from my friends. So I used a brush at 30% opacity to define her lips, glasses, and hair. My teacher image turned out pretty good, but I think it could be even better.

So since I was absent for the practice Innovator image my first typography portrait was the teacher image. I used a picture of an art teacher at our school, Mrs. Sanderl. We had to chose words that describe our teacher so I used the words, passionate, determined, knowledgeable, artistic, kind, happy, fun, creative, curious, hardworking, and amazing.

My next typography portrait was of myself called 'Me'. We first turned our image black and white and then posterized it, making it so the image was made of black and white organic shapes. After this we selected all the black areas then filled them with words that wrote about ourself. We repeated the same for all the shades of gray and we left the white areas as they were. In the gray areas we used gray text, either light or dark gray. The words I used to describe myself were happy, internet, fiction, life, nature, creative, draw, music, one of a kind, read, fun, and amazing.

The last image is my final typography portrait. For this I simply took the black and white version and added color to the words and created a background. I also took the white areas or highlights and filled it with a light color that went with the rest of my words.

My favorite out of the two would be my 'me' typography portrait. I like this not because it's of me, but because I really like the style of it. I like how you select the different shades in your image and separately fill the area with text. I really like how you can choose a color scheme for your image and make it unique.

Teacher Typography Portrait or Mrs. Sanderl. 
'Me' Typography Portrait. (Not Finished)
'Me' Final Typography Portrait (Finished!)

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Double Exposed Portraits

The most recent project in G.T. is double exposed portraits. Double exposed portraits are basically photos in which there is a profile photograph merged in with a textural photo. Portrait photography contains one or more people showing mood or expression. For double exposed portraits profile images are used. Profile pictures are another type of portrait photography. These profile pictures turn into silhouettes of themselves in double exposures.

In photoshop, double exposures are made by blending a profile and a texture photo together. So you would need a profile photo and one or more other pictures. You would then load them in a stack in photoshop by going to File > Scripts > Load files into stack. Then use the dodge tool to make everything around the subject white. You could also just paint it white, but I used the dodge tool. From there select the top layer which should be the profile photo. Then double click on that layer and change the blend mode to screen and do the same to the other layers. From there you can adjust the size and everything else about the images to your liking.

I think that double exposures are really cool. They take two or more images and make something amazing that has a meaning.

I made two different double exposed images, one practice and a final. The final image consisted of things from our daily lives so I took a picture of my headphones because I love listening to music. I also took a picture of a camera because photography and film are things that I like and would like to pursue.

Practice Double Exposure
Final Double Exposure

Monday, February 9, 2015

HDR Photography

Recently in G.T. we've started an HDR photography project. HDR stands for high dynamic range. Dynamic range refers to the ratio of light to dark in a photo. HDR photos sometimes appear surreal and come out closest to what the naked eye sees. HDR photos are usually used for landscape photos like sunrise and sunset pictures. These pictures can fix over or under exposed pictures and gives them more color. Personally I like HDR photos better than normal ones. I really like how it enhances the picture to look more artistic.

Creating an HDR image is simple. You are going to need to plan out your shot to make sure it is perfect and using a tripod will give you the best results. Once you have your tripod and shot planned out it's time to take the pictures. You are going to take multiple pictures at different exposure levels, but be sure to minimize camera movement and keep composition techniques in mind. Start at -3 and keep going up until you reach +3. When you are finished taking your pictures you'll need to put them into photoshop. To import them correctly click File>Automate>Merge to HDR. From there select your files and then click Ok. The photos will take a little while to process. When they finish processing you are free to customize your HDR photo in any way.

Most smartphones have the HDR function, however this different from the manual process. With the automatic function you do not have complete control over the final picture. On a phone you simply select HDR and take a picture, whereas doing it manually requires you to take multiple pictures at different exposure levels and then can edit it to your liking. When making my HDR pictures I just focused on making them great and thought about how the end result would be.

*Below are a few examples of HDR photography.

Chocolate Chip Cookie