Final Documentation- JLopez

My project is neither site specific nor temporarily set up because my final project is a video. To reiterate, throughout the term, I used light art techniques combined with stop motion animation to create a short video almost like a music video. I combine light techniques such as neon lighting and shadows to create visuals that go along with the song and hopefully inspire the viewers. 

I’ve posted my final video on youtube so it can be viewed by anyone at any time they want.

Here is the link to watch:

Since my project is a video that can be viewed whenever, there is not much documentation to take of any physical objects. So I decided to provide some behind the scenes looks at my equipment and how I managed to create some of the scenes.

My project setup

For my project, I used a Ugee drawing tablet to help animate the neon visuals in my video. I was able to get smoother line strokes by using the tablet than by hand so I decided to take this route. As for the brainstorming process, I made sure to write down all of my ideas on paper so I would not lose them. Below is a picture of a sheet from my idea notebook.

My ideas notebook

After watching the video, one could probably pick out the different scenes from this sheet of ideas. The lines that are crossed out are ideas that I either scrapped or completed animating. Some have check marks next to them which serve the same purpose as crossing them out. Some lines are neither checked nor crossed out, and this just indicates that I forgot to cross them out, but they were animated. 

My animation process is the same as it’s been since 2D animation was first invented by animating each single frame and stringing them together to create the motion. A lot of it is based on human motion. For example, in a couple scenes, I would first record myself doing the motion then take individual screenshots and string those together as shown below.

Once I have these frames and am happy with the motion, I load each one individually into my editing software and create the neon lighting effect around the circumference of the figure which translates into this (shown below)

You might recognize these frames from one of the scenes in the video where the guy is drumming. That is how I achieve the motion you see in my short. 

I did not use software dedicated to animation for this project. Instead, I strung together the frames in windows movie maker and just shortened the playback time of the frames to about .19 seconds in order to have them playback quickly. This stage is where I ensured the animation lined up with the music. I then exported out of movie maker and imported to Sony Vegas 2.0 where I arranged the different clips where I wanted them and added any after effects or color correcting that I needed.

I would like to thank Professor Rosenstock for giving me the creative freedom to make a project like this. I’ve always wanted to expand my animation skills to add to my portfolio and a project like this is exactly what I needed.

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