Reflective Summary

Upon the completion of my MEDA302 project and the final assignment of my degree i’m very overwhelmed but also a feeling of great sense of accomplishment. Some of my previous university assignments were ones i wasn’t 100% proud of, i always felt i could of worked harder, or picked on aspects of the work i needed to change or fix. But after completing this work, i’m genuinely proud and over the moon with my finished project. It was a long journey to this point, many mistakes and fails, lots of research and a ridiculous amount of watching tutorials on Lynda. But without all the mishaps and hardships along the way i don’t think my project would of turned out the way that it did.

The beginning of my project started with the concept of ‘futures’. From there i decided to base my project on ocean pollution and the effect of rubbish has on our marine life. After lots of research on organisations such as Surf Rider and artists who use ocean pollution to create installations and sculptures i decided i wanted to create a screen installation. From there i discovered this music video created for Coldplay’s song ‘Up and Up’. I was inspired by its creative, surreal, unique and imaginative use of imagery as well as its ability to ask questions about real world issues. Finally i decided to incorporate the ideals of the video and create conflicting metaphorical and symbolic images that comment on ocean pollution and impact this rubbish has in the future. Using the techniques of chroma keying and green screen i wanted to create challenging and conflicting images which aim to question the audience. Through​ ​the​ ​use​ ​of​ ​footage​ ​and​ ​photographs​ ​captured​ ​by​ ​myself​ ​as​ ​well​ ​as​ ​stock​ ​footage​ ​and images,​ ​i​ ​created​ ​these​ ​visuals​ ​using​ ​Adobe​ ​After​ ​Effects​ ​and​ ​Premiere​ ​Pro.​ ​My​ ​landscape​ ​and marine​ ​life​ ​imagery​ ​is​ ​manipulated​ ​through​ ​perspective,​ ​reality​ ​and​ ​scale​ ​in​ ​order​ ​to​ ​emphasise the​ ​impact​ ​this​ ​pollution​ ​has​ ​on​ ​our​ ​ocean​ ​in​ ​a​ ​relatable​ ​and​ ​creative​ ​way.

I had many issues and failures along the way, there many compositions i started and never finished. It was difficult to find to pieces of footage that worked together, angles of the camera and lighting were hard to replicate. But i’ve felt my skills have grown in editing and after effects throughout this project, i’ve explored and developed new techniques and skills in the software. If was to do the project again i would take more time in the beginning to plan each image and i would of shot more of the footage myself. They’re were two compositions in particular i struggled with, the end result was ok but i still wasn’t satisfied with final image. Based off the feedback i got from Jo and Matt they agreed those particular compositions didn’t work as well as the other ones. They believed those compositions took away from the successful ones. I completely agree with this view, and i am planning on taking out these images once i exhibit at the Grad Show.

 

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Week 13: Last day

Bittersweet start to the day today. Last MEDA class ever. I decided on my final set up for my screen work, which involves the 2 screens in the foyer of the Mike Codd building. I figured to 2 screens would work well with my screen work, allowing the double screens to interact and portray conflicting images which will enhance my concept. After talking to Glenn, in order for my work to displayed properly i need to change my composition to from a 1920×1080 to a 3840×1080 which allows the format to sit perfectly across both of the screens. After some fiddling with my composition and figuring out the screens with Glenn, i finally got both images up on a loop. I was impressed with the end result, i felt i made a great deal of progress today. I also had a chat with Matt and Jo and decided to make a few changes to my original plan. Firstly, i’m going to limit my images to at least 8. This then allows me more time to get 8 images that are perfectly edited and immaculate. I also decided to try make a sound piece to go with my work which i believe will help convey my concept. I hope to play with sounds on audacity, mostly ocean sounds to create a mood which will enhance my screen work. I plan to come in as much as i can over the next 2 weeks to get this work done and ready for installation.

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Week 12: Filming

This week i did my own filming in areas around the illawara, while also in Sydney. I used my own camera and equipment, however i borrowed a drone from my sister’s boyfriend to get some aerial shots. My list included;

– Seacliff bridge

– Coffee Cup

– Steelworks

– Underwater Gopro

– Headland/water/beach

I got after a day of filming at North Wollongong Beach, Lighthouse, Steelworks at Port Kembla and at the Sea Cliff bridge i was happy with the overall footage. During class time i then consolidated all the footage and picked ones that worked the best with my image ideas. A few shots didn’t work very well, the camera was a bit shaky which in turn effected my camera track. Even with a warp stabiliser it still didn’t look right. I started editing footage for one of the shots, which captured the Seacliff with a drone. I incorporated the image of a plastic 6 pack and enlarged the image in the scene. I was really happy with the results and completed another one of my compositions. I also researched some ways installation ideas. I’m still unsure about the way i want to install my work. I decided at the beginning of my project that i wanted to display my work as a digital installation, but i’m not 100 percent sure how i’m going to present it. My initial idea was to use multiple screens, but unfortunately due to lack of resources and my current broke situation that idea is not possible.  Next week i hope to make a decision and come up with a plan regarding installation.

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My first installation idea, maybe using 5 screens. Second idea was to have 1 or 2 screens, possibly in the foyer.

Images from Drone Shoot

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Week 11: Consolidating Stock Footage and Planning

This week i began by organising and researching my stock footage. Figuring out the images i wanted to include in my work. I also sourced a few stock images. In doing this i figured out shots in which i would need to shoot myself, and objects i would have to photograph. Based of my mind map i plan to complete 16 different ‘images’ however, i have learnt during my time editing that my skill level isn’t at a level in which i could successfully complete so many. I’m still learning with after effects, my ideas start as experiments and then if the end result isn’t to my liking and i’ve tried everything within my skill level to fix it, i then decide to scrap that idea. For example, one of my ideas involved an ocean being portrayed in a coffee cup. However, one i completed the composition for one it didn’t look right and i also felt it didn’t work as well with the other images i completed. With that i decided to stick to landscapes, to keep my project and concept coherent. I also finished another composition this week. This one i combined two pieces of footage using the roto brush tool and created a city like composition with a scuba diver incorporated into the sky.

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This week i also had a chat to Jo about my process and she suggested i stick to the ocean pollution concept, and not stray from it. She also seemed pleased with the work i showed her so far. This week i’m feeling a lot more confident about my project, and feel like its starting to make good progress.

 

Week 10: Making Progress

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This week i started to do some experiments with After effects. I tried to animate a plastic bag like a jellyfish in reference to this image. I found an photoon google, manipulated it in Photoshop and then animated the bag in after effects. The end result wasn’t the best, the bag ended up looking like a rotisserie chicken bouncing up and down. The movement of the jellyfish was hard to replicate, i couldn’t manipulate the movements so that they were as slow and as fluid as a jellyfish. However, this was just the first practice i feel if i try a few more times i might be able to get the movement right. This might involve stop frame animationinstead of using the puppet tool. I also researched some more ideas for the images i want to portray. Using the sites such as Pexels and Flickr, I found lots of stock footage which could potentially be used in my work. Although i have found it difficult to find 2 images that integrate well together, considering they have to be from the same perspective and with similar lighting. I’ve found its much easier to use a combination of a photograph and footage. However, I plan to shoot most of the footage myself which makes the editing process much easier.

My resource sites:

https://www.pexels.com/

https://videos.pexels.com/

https://www.videvo.net/

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Week 9: Progress and Research

I felt this week i made some great progress. I started editing stock footage in after effects, playing with techniques and learning from youtube and lynda tutorials. My first successful edit was using footage steam/fog rising from a sky scrapers. I decided to incorporate footage of fish swimming in the sky. My first attempt was a disaster, but after looking at youtube tutorials and asking advice from my peers i figured out how to incorporate a sky layer to help transition between the buildings and the fish to blend the 2 conflicting footages together. The end result was a success. I also started on another image which involved a coke cup sitting in the ocean on a large scale. Its just the beginning stages, but after some more practice i’m sure it’ll be finished by next week. By next week i also hope to finish two more “images” and to work out which footage i need to shoot myself.

I began with this footage:

And the end result was this:

I also completed some research into other artists who have used waste as a means to create an installation. Although i couldn’t find a lot of digital installations on waste, i was inspired by two works in particular in the way they portrayed plastic so creatively. The first was Tara Donovan’s ‘Untitled’ (Plastic cups)The piece is comprised of over 500,000 drinking cups, methodically prepared in a formula of varying stacked heights, presenting the appearance of flowing water or a cloud formation as viewed from above. The other was Alejandro Duran’s ‘Washed Up’ series. His approach was similar to that of Andy Goldsworthy however he used monochromatic plastic waste from the ocean and arranged the objects in a organic and creative way. He has then photographed his creation to exhibit. I was intrigued and inspired by both of these works and how the creators have used the concept and physical plastic to convey the issue of ocean pollution.

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Alejandro Duran “Washed Up”

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Tara Donovan “Untitled” (Plastic Cups)

Week 8: Presenting my idea

This week was a bit of a rush, i had figured out my idea but i was trying to research how i could convey it. I want to comment on the pollution in our oceans, and the impact it has not only on the environment, but the marine life inhabiting it. For the presentation i really wanted to make sure i got something up on the wall. I decided to create photoshop images to portray my vision. The 3 images were a scuba diver swimming through an ocean rubbish dump, a whale swimming through an industrial site as well as a person eating an ocean ice cream. All of the images create a metaphor commenting on the future of our ocean. I got some good feedback from Matt and my peers. Matt recommended i stick to the screen work and not include a sculpture in the installation (originally i wanted to create a plastic sculpture to go with the screen work) but i feel my concept can be explored just through my animation. Next week i hope to start properly, write a list of all the ‘metaphorical images’ i would like to portray. I would also like to watch some more lynda tutorials in order to gain insight into how i’m going to complete the work.

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Post Grad Week: Researching My Idea

After developing my concept, i began researching installation art using screen works. I knew i wanted to make a short film, however i wanted to intergrate it somehow into an installation. I was inspired by the Coldplay ‘Up and Up’ music video which incorporates different effects to create a figurative and dreamlike world. I wanted to encompass these ideas in my work but incorporate my concept to create new meanings. The video is seemingly bizarre and surreal, almost a Salvador Dali approach to imagery. I love how the images capture the audiences imagination, as they’re taken into a fantasy world. I thought this video fits so well into the concept of ‘Futures’. Each ‘image’ created has an alterior meaning and purpose behind it. The video brings up political, social, environmental and cultural issues in the way that is relatable and creative. I think what works so well in this video is the use of scale, taking something that is typically small and enlarging it in a large environment. I aim to use this technique in my own work. Below is a mind map of all my ideas of  ‘ocean pollution metaphors’ that i want to include in my work.

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I also looked into other creatives who used ocean pollution in their own artworks. 1 organisation i came across was called ‘Washed Ashore’ which is a involves a group of volunteers who collect plastic and rubbish washed up on the shores of beaches and then creates sculptures using the collected rubbish.

“A work of art is born. From tons of plastic pollution, monumental sculptures have arisen to awaken the hearts and minds of viewers to the marine debris crisis. Our art pieces and educational programs travel the nation to inspire change in consumer habits.”

Week 6: Iterative Practice and Critical Reflection

Project Proposal

SUMMARY OF PROJECT: My idea is to create a screen based work combining my skills in animation and cinematography using After Effects. Inspired by Coldplay music video, ‘Up and Up’ I plan to incorporate conflicting images in order to create metaphorical and symbolic works commenting on environmental issues in our oceans as well as global warming. Using the techniques of chrome keying and green screen, as well as editing stock footage to create challenging and conflicting images, which aim to question the audience.

 CONCEPT:

It is now believed that there are 5.25 trillion pieces of plastic debris in our ocean. I find this issue to be catastrophic, as a lover of beaches and the ocean I find it devastating that our waste is destroying our marine life. It scares me that our oceans may never be the same again. I chose to base my work on this issue, as it is something I feel much strongly. Focusing on the issues of plastic and its impacts of the marine wildlife, I plan to combine conflicting images in order to create a metaphorical message towards this issue; for example, a scuba diver swimming through a garbage coral reef or a person eating a melting ocean ice cream. These metaphors are challenging and confronting, putting the issue into perspective.

 ASETHETIC /INSTALLATION: I plan to create a screen-based work, however I intend to present it in a video installation. I intend to create at least 6 metaphorical images displayed either separately in multiple screens or together in one large screen installation. As well as that I intend to create a sculpture created from plastic waste found in the ocean. I hope to hang these from the ceiling above my screen work. Ideally I would like to use multiple screens, however I know I’m limited to what is available. If not multiple projects would suffice, creating a larger scale viewing.

AUDIENCE ENGAGEMENT: To enhance my concept further and to encourage audience involvement I envision to have plastic waste found on our beaches hanging from the ceiling above my installation. This gives the audience more to look at, not just a screen/multiple screen but also engage with the objects hanging above them. The screen work is also engaging to an audience, as the footage is unique, surreal and edited, which in itself is engaging. I hope the combination of these two elements will draw the viewer in and encourage interaction and curiosity.

LOGISTICAL NOTES: In order for this project to work, I need to build and develop my skills in after effects. This is a technique I have tried before, but not something I’ve developed. I would say I’m at a beginner level. But I feel I can take on the challenge and in the end will benefit my skills in the program, which enhance my chances of getting a job. I will also find stock footage to use, which is going to end up to be costly. I also plan to shoot some of my own footage for the Chroma key images, in doing so I will have to hire a underwater camera.