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  • Writer's pictureDulani Don Tennakoon

9. Trial and Error

Updated: Nov 19, 2022

The making of my animation

With my idea for my ‘Pecha Kucha’ set, I began to figure out how exactly I was going to create my animation.

As pattern preview on Photoshop was the catalyst for this idea, I started there. Originally, I recored my first little clip by propping up my phone on the side and filming my computer screen. So, I thought I would screen-record instead to have a cleaner video.

At the very first step I was met with a problem- first of many- the shape wasn't moving smoothly around the screen, instead it was jagged and jumpy, which made it look like I was just moving the shape from place to place instead of looking like an animation

It took a bit of thinking, but I figured out that it was because you need to keep it on free transform. However, thats when I ran into my next hurdle. When using free transform, it highlights the shape with blue box around the outside, so it meant it would be visible on the screen-recording. Keeping this in mind, I used the option of selecting where on the screen it would record, due to this, I had to be cautious of any drop down bars and the mouse, making sure anything that wasn’t meant to be on the recoding was no where near the box.

(More recordings will be posted on YouTube as flies are too big for this blog space)

I played around with this for a bit and while I did think that the layers of lines made it look like a brain full of anxiety and thoughts, it didn’t however look visually appealing and I wasn’t satisfied with how it was looking. I wanted it to look like an animation, with more colours and more shapes and swirls.

I decided to try it out on procreate, as I remembered you can create animations on it. Unfortunately, it was more confusing that I thought it would be, and I feel the type of animation for that tool is meant to have a more thought-out plan with a story board. Where as I on the other hand, wanted it to be free and fluid without thinking took much about it. With this in mind, I thought I could use the time-lapses option that come with procreate, where it automatically make a time-lapse of your drawing. But again, the problem of it being way too fast arose, so that idea was scrapped.

I was also having difficulty with the visuals, and wasn't sure what exactly I should draw to represent my thoughts. Thats when I realised, I should pick music first, and then draw to it while listening to it.

Picking a song was difficult, there were so many options. I wanted it to be impactful and create feeling within the viewer. Cornfield Chase Song by Hans Zimmer was a strong contender, but then I realised it was way too short. So, then I searched for other options, looking though Hans Zimmer's work first as he has many really beautiful instrumental pieces. It needed to be instrumental to allow the audience to still be engaged with the visuals.

After some more searching, I saw I had saved a song from Disney’s Luca on my Spotify, as I like to listen to instrumental music while doing work. It was perfect, the song is called 'Meet Luca' by musician Dan Romer and Benh Zeitlin. So I sat down and began to draw while listening to this song, for hours.

This experience was quite freeing as I wasn't allowed to overthink, I wanted to just go with what felt right, to draw what I felt from listening to the music, to use colours that I saw when I heard the music, the ones that I felt spoke to me when the different sections of the song changed. This went on for a while, as just like when screen recording on Photoshop, I needed to be mindful of any drop down options so it didn't fall into the canvas space.

I think the need to have it look satisfying is as a result of the many ASMR videos I have seen which are visually so pleasing to watch. Recently, when I went to London, I went to an Exhibition in Design museum, called Weird Sensation feels good: The world of ASMR.

ASMR is a new sensory phenomenon, a physical sensation of euphoria or deep calm triggered through sound, touch, and movement which brings you a sense of calm or tingles.

In recent years an online audience of millions has emerged. There are many content creators who create videos that aim to trigger these tingles in their viewers. This can be achieved in various ways, such as eating, whispering, touching or tapping. Like meditation or yoga, ASMR happens to both your body and your mind. It’s about focus, and slowness, the aim is to induce relaxation.

“The eye - it cannot choose but see; We cannot bid the ear be still; Our bodies feel: where’er they be, Against or with our will.”

- William Wordsworth ‘Expostulation and Reply’ Lyrical Ballads, 1798.

I knew the beginning by heart as it took many attempts to get the timing correct. Eventually, I had something I was pleased with, something that I felt went well with the music and looked satisfying to watch.

Place and Space

The concept for my idea is to try and make it look like the thoughts are coming from my head. So, I needed to go into the space in which my ‘Pecha Kucha’ was going to take place and see how it would look.

Initially, I wanted to use a projector that could project my animation onto my head, just above my nose. However, after trialing it in the lecture room I realise it was way too bight and it would blind me. As well as it would reflect off the TV behind me.

With that in mind, I tried out just playing it on the TV and sitting in front of it. I liked the look of this much better, and with the light turned off you could only see my silhouette which I thought was effective in trying to portray that it was "my thoughts" playing behind me. At first I was sat on a table, but I changed it to a chair as this height alined perfectly with my head so only the silhouette of my head was showing on the TV.

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