Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Animator Biography

Joseph Barbera

Joseph Barbera was an Italian-American director, producer, storyboard artist, cartoon artist, but most prominently known for being an animator. His film and television cartoon characters have entertained millions of audiences worldwide for a majority of the 20th century.
As Joseph Barbera transitioned into his art career, he moved to New York City and joined Van Beuren Studios in 1932 and Terrytoons in 1936. A year later, 1947, he moved to California while working with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM). This was Joseph Barbera's big bang, where he met William Hanna. The two of the people collaborated, produced and animated Tom and Jerry. After his contract with MGM ended, William Hanna and Joseph Barbera combined to create Hanna-Barbera, a successful television animation studio. They produced: The Flintstones, Yogi Bear, Scooby-Doo, Top Cat, The Smurfs, Huckleberry Hound and The Jetsons.
Joseph Barbera died from old age at 95-years old, in his house in Studio City, Los Angeles on December 18 2006. Joseph Barbera had a 70-year career in animation and is a legend in the industry.

Thursday, 7 May 2015

Art Video Game Reflection

Sofia Tiu - World Hunger Video Game - Adobe Flash Pro CC - 7 May 2015

The technical steps that I used for the video game were learning the new controls and learning the entire program itself. I am extremely unfamiliar with Adobe Flash Pro CC, just as I am with all of the other Adobe programs. Jumping into a program with no guidance was kind of rough. While working the program, I figured out how to: change the background of games, change the question side of cards and change the answer side of cards. I also figured out how to experiment with different programs and trying to 'explore' around to find my way. Lastly, I was able to learn how to function a timeline on Adobe Flash Pro CC. 

The idea that eventually used in the video game was the World Hunger theme. My world hunger theme was to incorporate the idea of World Hunger and to show a difference between how easy it is to feed the poor and the middle-class/rich. There are seven different answer sides, 3 being poor and 4 being rich/middle-class. The player will notice that it's difficult to get all the cards matched and I intended for this to show the harsh reality of starvation. There is only so much food in the world, and the ratio between being able to feed the rich and the poor is extremely more unfair that 4:3.

My idea never really changed throughout the production process. I knew first thing that I was going to go along with the world hunger theme because it was the first idea that struck during my epiphany. Though several ideas about the theme changed overtime. At first I wanted the idea to be flappy bird, but then I changed it over to memory because I thought the theme would be more easier to understand or comprehend.

I didn't have any influences for my art video game. If anything, I was inspired by the actual video game itself to recreate it into an art video game.

The layout of the video game was already set up beforehand. I decided since the layout was fairly symmetrical in itself, I would keep the layout the same. I didn't believe that there was a reason to change the layout so it was asymmetrical because I thought it would have taken away from the concept.

Since the layout of the video is symmetrical, the eye movement doesn't necessarily move in a circle but as harmony in the centre. Though that might be considered boring, I thought that the video game might have broken if I rearranged the layout too much. Though I believe the original layout is very comfortable with the player so they don't get a feeling that's too overwhelming.

My personal motivation was to show the honest truth about world hunger. I feel like too many people get annoyed at those commercials and think that if they can afford a commercial, then why ask people to donate? In truth, the thousands of dollars they used to fund that commercial can be worth millions if everyone who viewed the commercial to donate a dollar or two. It is true, the commercial is worth a valuable amount of money but that money can only feed a small portion of the entire world. Throughout the world, there are people starving. Even in Walkerton, sadly we would never know. Playing my game realizes how hard it is to feed everyone. Through my classmates that have played my game, have ended in 3 ways: 1) Could only feed the poor before running out of lives, 2) Could only feed the rich before running out of lives, and 3) Couldn't even feed everyone. Sadly, those three results are how the starvation situation is in reality.

I feel like the most successful part of the video game are my background changes. I feel very proud of it because most people only have one background throughout their entire game, and I miraculously managed to have a different background for each different frame/section of the game.

The entire production surprised me because I realized that I am terrible at navigating through unknown programs on my own. I felt like I was on an isolated island and had to survive for 100 days- and I unsurprisingly died within the first hour. The most difficult thing about the video game was learning the program.

If I had additional time, I think I would research more about the program and watch several YouTube videos on it. I think it would have been better if we had gotten a better introduction to the program from Ms. George-Easton, because she seemed fairly confident in our capabilities to recreate a video game. I think that if I knew what my goals were more confidently, then I would be able to create a better video game.

Thursday, 30 April 2015

Toy Hack Reflection


A. If I were to sell and re-purpose this toy, I would call it a 'The Throwback.' The reason I would call this the throwback is because the toy is supposed to take bits and pieces of a person's life, and create a 'toy' that would represent the entity of a person's childhood. When the buyer purchases the toy, it turns into a toy that embodies their childhood.

B. What I really like about this new toy is that it resembles a part of someones childhood. Not necessarily mine, but I do believe that the concept of buying a toy that would resemble a part of your childhood would be very creative. I think that the concept of the toy is very creative and it would be really cool if it existed one day.

C. What I don't really like about this new toy is that the new parts of it aren't necessarily seamlessly attached together. I did my very best to try a sew the pieces together with matching thread or at least white thread, it was really hard to hide the inside or make it look like those parts were meant to be together. I really struggled with using the hot glue gun and any other materials to weld them together.

D. If I were genuinely gonna redo this assignment, I would try harder and research more ways for the toy to be more creative. I genuinely believe that if I looked up more about toy hacking and mechanics, I would be able to use toys with voice boxes and switch them around. I also think that if I went to a garage sale, I could purchase more toys for a cheap amount of money.

Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Art Video Game


Ideas that I think I can show in an art video game are:
- World Hunger. I think I can show this by showing a child trying to work or searching through scraps for food, or taking any desperate measures to satisfy their stomach, (i.e. an apple or piece of spread). An image or an object that I can use to demonstrate this theme are pictures of sick children from lack of nutrition, or maybe a bowl of rice or a piece of bread. I think that money is genuinely the #1 cause of a majority of global issues around the world, and the children who die every day- whether from hunger or disease- and that people with a lot of money exploit it and don't put it to good use.

- Stigma. I think I can show this by using prejudice and stereotypes, with images of people/actions and matching them up with the stigmatized words, like emo and attention-whore. I think that this can work with the memory game by allowing the player to unconsciously match the words but then at the end realize how they have been affected by stigma. I think this theme works with the flappy bird game because it can be an image of a person and having to pass through life obstacles, like the stigma, by the pipes resembling words like dyke and etc.

- Racial slurs. I think I can show this by using stereotypes. Using images of people of diversity and matching them up with different racial slurs. I think this works best with the memory game because the player is able to match up the racial slur with the person that they believe fits the racial slur. This shows how accustomed people are to being racist without being fully conscious about it.

My favourite theme from all three of these ideas is the world hunger one. I believe that I can modify the game so that it shows the reality of being able to give children food and ending the concept of world hunger. I will choose the memory game to show the concept of world hunger.

I will change the instruction screen background by showing a background that is created to illustrate the countries with highly-concentrated starvation. I will change the main game background into a modified picture of starving people. The question side and picture side of the cards will depend on the concept. The question side with show food, (i.e. apples, water, etc.) and the answer side will show a starving person or a middle-class/high-class person. I plan to show how easy it will appear to be feeding children but in reality, the player understands that people must try harder to feed children. I intend to change the game descriptions to several sentences, explaining how feeding children is important on both winning and losing screens.

Friday, 10 April 2015

Art Movie Reflection

Sofia Tiu - Art Movie - Adobe Premiere Pro - April 9 2015

When it comes to technical steps for my art film, I mainly used the tutorials that Mrs. George-Easton taught us during class. One of the most common technical steps I used was the fading between the clips. I used the video transitions > dissolve > film dissolve or flash dissolve. There are different points in the movie where I wanted the clips to fade into each other smoothly and different parts where I wanted them to 'flash' to the next, to insert the principle of timing and add more suspense towards the film.

I also used many of the Noise&Grain presets to make the 'Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid' clips to look more grainy and old, like Potemkin and Metropolis. In video effects > noise and grain > dust and scratches; and noise. I used the dust and scratches to make the clip look slightly blurry, but not so much that it's completely blurry that no one can understand what's going on, but enough so the clip looks like it was made in the early 1900's. Using the noise, it adds a 'dust' effect like Metropolis and Potemkin have because they've aged, and by using both dust&scratches and noise, it made Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid appear to have aged as well.

The last thing I learned to do was how to do 'layer blends' on Adobe Premiere Pro. Technically, the correct term is 'clip blending,' however it was the exact same as Photoshop CC. Even though they use the same layer blends and opacity settings, it was still difficult to function through Premiere Pro and change the layer blends of the clips.

The main concept that I wanted to incorporate the most in my art movie was that the man in Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid appears to be loitering, somehow, and gradually through the movie gives an untrustworthy vibe throughout. Also, I wanted the ending to be somewhat ambiguous, but made clear that the man has the baby, and the viewers are left determining why the man wanted the baby, who is the baby, who is the man, and what will happen to them both.

My main concepts stated above were definitely my priority to make happen. I knew that if I had other ideas come along, that I would want those main concepts to appear in the film. The one idea that I had that did not make the final product was a whole different concept for the film. My original idea was to create a funny, amusing and entertaining film that would make the viewers laugh. If you have seen my art movie, that idea went completely out of the window.

I got my influence from this one movie that I have recently watched online. To be completely honest, I don't remember the title of the movie, or any of the actors in it because it was an indie film and something that I have never heard of before. However the entire movie took place by two perspectives and they would weave into each other. I.e. 5 minutes about POV 1, cut into 5 minutes about POV 2,  and it would continue for the whole film. Not only was it really mind-boggling, but also confusing because it was hard to differentiate whose perspective belonged to which character. By this 'weaving' I incorporated it into my art film, by showing seconds of the man, then seconds of what's going on 'outside.' And if you noticed, the weaving occurs throughout the entire film.

In my art movie, there's not very much symmetry or asymmetry. I could say that I intended for it to be asymmetric, but that would be lying. I'm not sure if this counts as composition, but I wanted the 'weaving' to be a contrast. The clips of the man were fast-paced, as if he were on the run. However the clips of Metropolis and Potemkin, were all slowed down to 20-50%, to emphasize the trauma occurring on the 'outside' and allowing the viewers to have time to 'try to' comprehend what's going on in the outside and why this is happening.

I didn't necessarily intend for any movement in my film, but I did intend for the eye to catch certain things and certain subjects of the clips to become the centre of attention. I know for my Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid clips, I intended for the man to be the centre of attention in every clip. The baby was the focus, the lighter, the word, "MOLOCH!", etc. There were many different times I wanted the audience to be intrigued and become appalled as to why 'this' happened, and what 'this' necessarily is.

Beyond fulfilling the requirements for the art movie, my personal motivation was to try and push myself out of my comfort level. I'm not necessarily a happy person, in my opinion, and sometimes I don't realize I look extremely angry/rude, but I'm not a morbid person. I hate horror movies and I couldn't bear to watch Paranormal Activity without being pressured into it by family. Even though I'm okay with blood and gore, I like happy things. I don't like watching a girl die because a chainsaw ripped her body, or listening to the suspenseful music of Jaws- they scare me. I like cute things. I like pink fluffy unicorns dancing on rainbows, I'm that person. So for this art movie, I decided it was time to take things to a next level and push myself further. I knew that I could accomplish mediocracy, but I knew with this art movie I could do better than that. Honestly, I hope I did.

The most successful part of my art movie was my main concept. I believe it was original enough throughout the years this project that existed and that I successfully left my little comfort zone. I think that knowing myself and my personality,  I wouldn't have expected myself to create an ominous film like this, perhaps three months ago. Even though the most successful part isn't really something technical, I'm really proud of myself for being able to achieve something that I wouldn't have dreamt possible, especially for a first-time user in Premiere Pro.

None of the parts of the process really surprised me. I didn't think that Premiere Pro was too hard to learn, or that creating the art movie itself was really difficult. Even though the concept of it was hard for me to grasp, I didn't really struggle to create the movie itself. I found that this assignment wasn't necessarily 'easy.' However, it wasn't a huge mountain to climb like that Photoshop montage. In my opinion, the difficulty level of this assignment was what surprised me the most.

With more additional time, I think I would have found a better audio track. Don't get me wrong, I love the suspenseful and eerie music that I found, but I honestly believe that I could have found a better one that suited the movie a little more. Many people would disagree, but I believe the only reason that music works is because it's very ominous, suspenseful and little too scary for my liking. I think that there are tons of audio clips out there that I could have used, and with search restrictions with the wifi, I think I could have only listened to about 20.