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Kokeshi at the Hanami Festival

31 May

Final animation. Enjoy : )

A little information about the animation and its title:

The name of the animation derives from the dolls used in the stop motion (Kokeshi) which were given to people who attended hot spring resorts in the Tohuku region in the Northern of Japan. There are two types, traditional and creative Kokeshi. The traditional have limbless bodies with large heads with their kimonos displaying simple patterns from the areas the Kokeshi is created in. Creative Kokeshi are more modern, with the kimonos displaying patterns created from artists and their unique styles.

The Hanami Festival, with Hana meaning flowers and Mi is the verb of ‘to watch’, is a festival set in Japan every year from the end of March to early May which celebrates the bloom of the Sakura blossom trees, and watching the falling of the petals. Usually people gather (friends/family/work colleagues) and hold parties with food, drinks etc. It was first practiced with plum blossoms, or ume, in the Nara Period (710-794) but by the Heian Period (794-1185) Sakura blossoms were attracting more attention.

Hope you liked that little lesson.

And now that I am off for the couple of months from uni, I can finally somewhat relax but plan on doing things over the break. But that will all happen once I know my RyRy is out of hospital and all fine and dandy. In case you wonder he got admitted since Sunday afternoon (although we also went on Saturday morning but they told him to come back if pains persist, which it did) with abdominal pains and after leaving at 11:30pm on Sunday night I have been visiting him every day, buying him stuff he needs and staying until visiting hours are over.

He believes that he’ll come out by tomorrow, but I doubt it really. Although it would be wonderful if he did.

Itty Bitty Update

21 May

So it’s been another busy week or so. Had to make a few very tiny changes to some of my environmental graphics designs. Overall I’m pleased with how they turned out. I’ll talk about that, and the newest version of my manga infographic, another day. But just a little note, I have finally finished the Portfolio Development module and will now be waiting for my results for it.

As for this post, I just want to say that I have started my animation (process of doing the photographs as well as putting it together). So far I would say I have done at least 40% of it in photographs and 20% of the animation put together. Doesn’t sound much, but really I actually don’t have that much to go if I continue with this calm attitude I have for the moment.

But here is a sneak peek (have sound on!) as to what I have done so far after I got back from submitting work.

Overall I have done about 26 seconds from many, many photos. My tutor for this module says that the slight shakiness doesn’t matter, as it does not need to be professional and that I can portray the almost hand-made effect of it. Obviously if I had a much better tripod it would be tops. But for the time limit I have, I can’t waste it trying to sort out the easy flow of it.

Anyways, on an interesting note, there is a new member to the Fox household. A real Fox. Literally. It has been coming over for about a month now and I have seen it twice in our garden (and it’s so cute!) It even came up real close to the door from the kitchen that leads to the garden. It’s a young one and we think it’s a boy. But I say almost every animal looks like it’s a boy, besides ones that have high-pitched tones in their sounds.

But the other day I was finishing up scanning my books for electronic submission and I heard this catfight. But with one cat. There was no other cat making hisses and scary meows but what I did hear was a growl. And something falling. I went downstairs to go see, believing that the fox and a cat is having a territorial fight, and noticed Gingy (a ginger and bulky stray cat who croaks instead of meows, and pops over every now and then) just sitting on the ground acting casual, looking at me as if to say: “what? I didn’t do nothing.” It was quite funny. But I think Gingy attacked the fox, which is unusual as it should be the other way around. But it hasn’t stopped it from coming over as we left scraps in the garden and it’s already come back to eat its fill.

Oh and as for the falling thing, we found out this morning it was one of my mum’s potted plants.

New Infographic & Updates on Other Stuff

30 Apr

I have done the next stage of my information graphic. Personally, I’m still with my first idea. I find the new one is too wordy and the images don’t scream at you as I feel they should. We’ll see how it goes in tomorrow’s (or later this morning) lesson. But for now, here’s what I have done, the new-infographic. There are spelling mistakes which I realised after printing out, and I’ll make the changes if used as a final. I would have done a jpeg here, but you wouldn’t be able to read anything.

I have done basically everything I was told to do: name genres, artists, number of mangas from each title exactly, a description of the manga (which was really hard to do in the most simplest format without giving too much away — and what I wrote is the simplest way to describe each of them!). It was also suggested and asked if there are any crossovers between the mangas, which there are in plentiful, especially in CLAMP’s works, but there’s not enough room to do that… This document in viewing mode is A1 size (print out has been shrunk to A2) as I couldn’t fit everything on there properly (the previous design was shrunk from A2 to A3).

Anyways, it would be interesting to know people’s take on it, if it gives too much, does it make you want to read any of them, or it’s ok etc etc. But I just don’t feel it’s an infographic anymore…

The only thing you would gather from it all is that I’m a fan of CLAMP‘s work. Although I don’t have all of their mangas, I’m planning one day to own them all. But if you decide to look up on the artworks of each title I own, you could guess that the reason I chose these mangas was because I’m a sucker for what I consider to be beautiful art works in the manga world.

Well, that’s all for infographics. My next assignment is environmental graphics which has to be based on education and the university I’m in, but I’ll talk about that another day. As for my stop motion animation, I’m getting all the props ready (bought some little doll house pieces from a crafts shop the other day especially for this project so I better get something good out of it, hahaha!). I have done a couple of background stuff and just got to do a few more then I can start the whole thing : )

As for Professional Design Practice, we have been doing a team project the last couple of weeks and will be doing a presentation in lesson. As for the Case Study we are doing, I’m waiting for my contact to get back to me for the answers to my questions. I just hope the email was received since it’s been slightly over a week now. If by tomorrow evening there hasn’t been a reply, gonna email again to see what has happened.

Stop-Motion Animation Narrative Presentation

15 Mar

I have done my presentation for Week 7 of Digital Narratives. If you remember from my last post I was mentioning how I was planning on focusing on stop-motion animation. For this presentation I had to look more into stop-motion and explain the narrative forms of particular animations, which can be found in these notes.

There’s also an experiment I did based on Object Animation. It’s not at all fantastic like the ones from the professionals, but it was my first try in trying it out (and I do know that I need a flat surface to keep the camera steady! So apologies for the shakiness of it). In case you wonder what the doll was from the animation, it is a Kokeshi Doll which I bought a couple of weeks back from London’s Chinatown (although technically Kokeshi Dolls are Japanese!). I haven’t given her a name yet, though…

This is the animation if you can’t view it on the Power Point. As I said, quality is not great so don’t expect any “WOWS!”

The animations that I looked at were:

I really enjoyed watching the old stop-motion animations. Something about them was ever so innocent. I wish I found them sooner though, but I guess it’s better late than never! And watching the Morph shorts really brought back some good memories of watching it as a kid ^_^

I really fell in love with Lotte Reiniger’s Cinderella. The intricate details, beauty, and simplicity of the animation is truly astounding.

But the effort that went into these animations is remarkable. Dedication and patience is truly needed and it played out well for all of them.

Very amazing works of art.

The Busy Bean

22 Feb

Although I was feeling fine earlier today, right now I am not a very well Fox.

This is me right now:

But I’ll try to do this post as there is a bit to talk about since I last mentioned anything.

BE AWARE: a lot of PDF files in this post

All three modules, Portfolio Development, Professional Design Practice and Digital Narratives have all been interesting so far. Deadlines for tasks for all modules are coming fast so sometimes it does feel a bit swamped. But so far I have managed to cope ^-^’

The first part of the assignment for Digital Narratives involves us in doing research on a particular narrative topic and I chose to do animation. So far I have done basic research into the history and different types of animation and this is my presentation and presentation notes which I presented in today’s lesson. Lots of p’s there…. =/

Further research will involve me looking more into different types of stop motion animation and traditional and modern animators who involve themselves in this technique.

I will also discuss how stop motion conveys emotions or any forms of narrative and eventually pick out which type I’ll do. The reason I chose this kind of animation out of all of them is because I like the quirkiness of it and strange to say but I always found it cute seeing inanimate objects move and become all personified. Also it seems more fun (although time-consuming!) to do.

A full-blown presentation will come up in Week 7 (it’s now Week 3).

Portfolio Development has us working on two assignments right now. I’ll talk about the first one we were given:

Called Ripped from the News and from this we had to select 5 headlines from newspapers and design posters that are as reductive as possible. It was hard but I managed it somewhat, and I thought I’d put up the first part of the assignment. Currently I’m planning on digitising four of the posters (the 4th article, which should be the ‘Fabulous at 50!‘ article, I scrapped in the end) — as finals it is two to select as A2 poster formats.

The second assignment is taken from book publishing company Penguin/Puffin who are holding a competition for students in higher Art/Design education. The book jackets we have to design, for the assignment, is one of the books outlined in the competition brief: One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey and Grimm’s Fairy Tales by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm (the competition itself mentions that we can submit one design for both the adult and children’s book).

I am ashamed to say that I have never read any of these books (or seen the ‘…Cuckoo’s Nest’ film) until now (the books that is — not the film). Bought them both in a bookstore last Tuesday and have been reading them when I have the chance. I’m enjoying both and don’t know which one to do. So I might do both for the competition itself and pick one for the assignment. Have some ideas jotted down for them both anyways ^^

Finally, the Professional Design Practice module. With this we have been given weekly tasks to do. Our first task was also taken from a competition that was held by Palgrave/BFI which asked to produce a book cover (only the front) of the 1973 film Don’t Look Now by Nicolas Roeg, with the book by Mark Sanderson. The book mentions of the themes in the film and an interview with Roeg.

I bought the film and watched it all the way through. Was interesting, but weird… Anyways, here is the book cover I designed using Illustrator and Photoshop CS5 (white line is bleed mark):

It looks better on screen than when I printed it on my home computer ._. details are better shown…

You can view the process here. (In case you wonder, I used printscreens I took from the film to do this cover and I did a mock version, shown in the pdf, using those printscreens).

The second task we did was to write up an editorial article (consisting approx. 500 words, 1 image relating to article, title header and 2 columns) based on Identity in the Digital Age. We had to look into the topic and also research on layouts and legible fonts suitable for this type of media. In the end I found a few things on online posts and newspapers/online newspaper articles.

We also had to do a 10-20 point manifesto as a list style containing personal contextualisation and specific aims positioning our future.

Here is the article and manifesto and the printscreens of how I did the image.

Both use Kozuka Gothic Pr6N and Calibri font.

Our next task, which is in for this coming Monday, is to do a self brand and come up with logo designs for ourselves.

Anyways, now I’m tired, my hand and arm hurts from all this typing, and throughout it all I began feeling better *yay*

And I’m really, REALLY, REALLY looking forward to this Saturday for Hyper Japan after 4 months of waiting since buying tickets ^______^

Anime. Manga. Games. And Japanese culture and food galore! <(^o^)>

Night, night!