Project 3: Animation and performance in Photoshop

Before doing any animation work in Photoshop, be aware that some effects can drastically reduce you performance speed. I ran into an issue early on that dropped my framerate to 0.23 fps. If this is happening to you, then the first recommendation is to reduce your rendering resolution:

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Don’t be alarmed when your animation looks somewhat Nintendo-esque…

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This is temporary. Check your framerates again.

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Better, but not great. You may also need to rasterize your layers if you are applying heavy imaging effects, or make sure that your layers/objects are not retaining higher resolution images.

Sadly, I had to give up on a depth of focus effect:

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…and all that could have been.

 

Project 3: Demo

You can read more about this process here.

The workflow for separate scenes is fairly straight forward:

  • After completing your panels, select all Layers and Convert to Smart Object
    • File -> Save as -> filename_copy.psd
  • Create new psd file.
    • File -> New -> filename_compilation.psd
      • Dimensions: 640 x 480,
      • DPI: 72
      • Color: RGB
  • Video Group: -> Add MediaScreen Shot 2016-05-16 at 6.56.26 PM
  • Drag and Drop Fades
  • Cut and trim video segments to preference
  • Export video: File -> Export -> Render Video…Screen Shot 2016-05-16 at 7.00.51 PM.png
    • Format: H.264
    • Preset: High Quality
    • Size: Document Size
    • Frame Rate: 30 fps
    • Range: All Frames

Enjoy your video.

Project 3: Ideation Phase

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the process for creating time based art. About 90% of comedy is …

 

 

 

 

TIMING!

Get it? Okay, that was a bad joke, but it gave me an idea for how to approach this design challenge: I should stick to comedy as a theme. There are just too many difficult decisions around timing each of the five panels. Comedy is a static target, and I can use it for the entire decision making process. Here are a few simple ideas for including each of the three apple animations created earlier.

FOR THE ROLLING ANIMATION:

IdeatProject3 2FOR THE FADING ANIMATION:IdeatProject3 1

FOR THE FALLING ANIMATION:IdeatProject3

These last two are incomplete. I couldn’t figure out a good denouement for the first sequence, so I decided to do another, but then couldn’t figure out the denouement for that one either.

Project 3: Animation in Photoshop – Cezanne’s Apple

You can read more about this assignment here.

The goal is to create illusions of physics using keyframes in the Timeline Window of Photoshop with Smart Objects. Using Smart Objects is key, because you can interpolate more effects using this method (Free Transform vs Position only)

geiger_Apple-Drop2

geiger_Apple-Fade

geiger_Apple-Roll2

I’ve added a few additional elements into the mix to increase realism:

  • Notice the “shine” reflecting off of the rolling apple’s surface.
  • The subtle shift in shadow beneath the rolling Apple indicates a stationary light source.
  • The bouncing apple casts a shadow directly below itself. As it get’s closer, the shadow is deeper and more well defined, it is almost invisible when the Apple is at peak height.
  • The fading apple also casts a shadow, and this appears and disappears with the apple as well.

So, which one should I use for my narrative?

I’m thinking about different scenes from television and movies. Perhaps the apple drop can be used for dramatic effect? Like the “coffee cup scene” in The Usual Suspects?

usual-suspects

Or should I go for a Science Fiction motif and use the “beamed in” apple with some source material from Star Trek?

spock-ohh

Or maybe I should go for something more esoteric, and reuse the apple for a simple cause-and-effect relationship?

RollingBabies.gif

Reading Response #3

“I never take claim to any of the photos. which is really important, that that’s not my work.”

– Cassandra Jones

In “Send Me A Link,” digital media artist Cassandra C. Jones, used digital photos she’d gathered from the internet and compilation CDs (Image Collections) sold on Ebay, and then transformed them into animations or wallpaper collages.

In her BoinBoing interview, she also likes the term, “money shot” and uses it quite often.

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Here first example of a still-life “wallpaper” is a floral pattern made from hundreds of pink flamingos. She noticed that there was a typical kind of pose for the birds and that this pattern was repeated across several different sources. Here first example of time based art is a sunset created by stitching together hundreds of images (1,391 images, to be exact) of sunsets and then arranging them in order of their proximity to the horizon. She got this idea from reading Susan Sontag’s book on photography and the idea that (3m:14s) “sunsets are cheesy because there are so many photographs taken of it.” Cassandra related to this idea because while she was visiting Greece, she realized that everything on that island has been photographed thousands of times.

Screen Shot 2016-05-04 at 4.34.41 PMScreen Shot 2016-05-04 at 4.34.56 PM

What’s truly interesting about her work is the source data – the internet. She is able to find so many iterations of any given thing that it is possible to construct a coherent animation sequence from it. The use of amateur photography was important to her art because it demonstrated a connection to everyone’s experience with a common thing.

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Back to her wallpaper work: she bought a compilation CD for $2 on ebay that contains images of cheerleaders. According to Cassandra the (6m:17s) “crotch shot is the money shot of the cheerleaders. It was the perfect combination of (American) family values and pornography.” To communicate this idea more strongly, she arranged the cheerleaders into the floral (“wall flower”) arrangements and scaled them down to a point where an echoing pattern appears, masking the source image through rhythm and repetition. These images are wholesome and innocent, but with a vulgar undertone. If you don’t look closely, you can easily miss it.

 

Pacific Vortex – Reflection

If you didn’t go, you missed out. Check out this blurb from Carl Diehl’s Class Blog.

Pacific Vortex is pleased to plunge you into a multi-channel miasma orchestrated by Ben Glas and Joseph Wells.  Here you will find a formidable constellation of quadrophonic arrays and computational creativity that activates, in new ways, the architecture of the Mediatheque and your own mind! Sine-waves accompanied by generative visual abstractions will segue, sojourn, soliloquy, or, in other ways, play perceptively on the audience’s sense-abilities.

 

 on his customized16mm projection systems.  An outgrowth of projection arts and ad-hoc animation trajectories cultivated in San Francisco’s vibrant 1990’s musical scene, Manning physically conjures a phantasmagoric environment  using celluloid selections that are dyed, inked, bleached, cut up and compiled on large reels.  These elaborate illuminations hybridized with handmade slide and overhead transparency projections and mixed by hand are improvisational and articulated without electronic expediencies.

 

@PNCA 511 NW Broadway, enter from the Park blocks between NW Hoyt and NW Glisan.

pacific-vortex-series.tumblr.com

Part 1: Multi-channel Miasma Orchestrated by Ben Glas and Joseph Wells.

This performance was a great way to answer that classic question we’ve all had during our more formative and vulnerable years: “what would it be like to have severe tinnitus while tripping on acid?”

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“You are freaking out… maaaaaan…”

I do not believe that this was intended to be a pleasant experience, but that doesn’t make it any less valuable as art. The installation was well planned, and included three distinct visual fields, all based on monochrome oscilloscopes: Linear, Circular, and Sequential. By connecting these visual indicators to separate microphones in the space, the audience was provided with a real-time visual representation of the generated tones. Initially, the space was flooded with high-volume, low frequency tones that overlapped, this was a kind of “carrier signal” for the soundscape. The tones shifted independently, and were divided into separate channels. Combined with the space’s acoustics, this created a physical sensation that is adjacent to migraine pain, but decorative in nature.

The rising and falling walls of sound, combined with visual representation are entirely abstract, and not a simulation of anything specific, and my description is only meant to be as informative as possible. This time-based art might be “art for artist’s sake” but was still an interesting combination of different digital technologies and A/V equipment. Perhaps if I had earplugs I would have gotten a richer, but less intense experience. The pleasure wasn’t in the grinning and bearing, but in observing the feedback between visual and audio information, and seeing sounds transformed into shapes. The frequency and amplitudes occasionally combined to create familiar linear forms (sawtooth, sine wave) and geometric shapes (octagons, squares, and even triangles with rounded edges). It was compelling to be able to “hear shapes” but the experience was probably too intense for casual audiences.

Part 2: Out of time, place and scale, by the polychromatic Pond Mind Pulp, a live artwork carried out by Colin Manning.

If the first performance was an appetizer, then this was certainly the entree.

IMG_2237The first sequence was entirely digital in its presentation, but the second part included analogue sound and 16mm film projection. I couldn’t help but turn the viewing experience into a game of “Name That Film”. Some of which were esoteric educational films of yesteryear, and nothing too remarkable from that selection. Others however, were true blue classics – Abbot and Costello Meet Frankenstein, The Battleship Potemkin, and even Heinlein’s film adaptation Destination Moon) I’m sure there were others worth mentioning, but those were highlights for me.

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Even though the source material was often recognizable, the results were nevertheless quite abstract, and it is difficult to construct any literal meaning or narrative from the presentation. Sequences were arranged in an almost reckless manner, moving backwards and forwards through time, overlapping, mirroring, and mocking the past and forgotten future, like a  mocking riddle with no satisfactory answer. The audio component, while more discernible than the first piece, was still persistently abstract in its use. While there is no doubt that a relationship exists between moving pictures and time, it did not appear to follow a strictly linear pattern of past-present-future, but instead seemed to meander in a way that reminds me of what it was like a young child with the flu, watching old movies while laying on my side, volume up, comprehension low, while metabolizing the finest generic-brand, over-the-counter drugs that money can buy.

Nothing quite like the feeling of something familiar and strange. Time well spent.

 

 

Project 2: Cezanne Deconstruct / Reconstruct

Here is the final image from Project 2: Cezanne Deconstructed

geiger-project2-cezanne_v011

Here is a link to the Photoshop .PSD file.

To recap the details of this project:

This project is making use of an image in the public domain: Still Life With Apples, by Paul Cezanne in (1890).

You can download the original source image here.

Deconstruction: You can read my earlier post about this process here. The goal was to take the individual elements (pieces of fruit, plate, flower pot, table, and wall), and create new layers with the completed forms (since there is overlap, the Healing Brush and Content-Aware Fill are extremely useful for restoring these elements.

 

Reconstruction: First, I recombined these individual elements with an emphasis of recreating the original as close to a per-pixel level as possible. Here is the result:

Screen Shot 2016-05-02 at 11.29.01 AM

The unseen apple: How many apples do you see? Four? My answer was four when I first saw this image. After spending dozens of hours on this image, I’m convinced that there is a fifth apple. Here’s how I discovered it:

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Notice the gap in between the apples in the above image? This was the result of my reconstruction, but the original image does not have this gap. At first I thought that I was just not following the edges of the four apples. Maybe I was trimming off too much? Nope. That space is not only filled in, but it has a shadow. This can only mean that there is another apple behind the bottom two apples in the background.

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This is the only visible part, but if we assume an average size apple (compared to the others), we can assume a basic shape. Unfortunately, Adobe’s Content-Aware Fill is pushed beyond its limits:

Screen Shot 2016-05-02 at 11.40.53 AM

This just doesn’t quite look right. And it would take great artistic license to “reconstruct”. It would practically be an original drawing, even if it was heavily stylized to match Cezanne’s. And this isn’t important enough for this project to pursue. Ultimate goal is to synthesize an entirely new image – one with an illusion of depth.

Let’s get messy!

geiger-project2-cezanne_v001

In order for this work to be considered Fair Use, I need to create something transformative.

First, we need to create some space. I’ve decided on a simple room construction, using assumed dimensions:

 

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In order to increase the sense of surface lighting, I used a series of gradients on masked layers. This mimics the reflective and shadow casting elements inside of a room with moderate backlighting.

Then I decided to play around with the other elements:

Screen Shot 2016-05-02 at 11.52.59 AM.png

Uh oh… I don’t think that plate is going to survive the fall…

Screen Shot 2016-05-02 at 11.55.36 AM.png

I used the Free Transform Tool to stretch the plate to a top-looking-down-angle, and then used the Eraser Tool to “shatter” the plate. I then used the Magic Wand Selector Tool to isolate individual “shards” as new layers – which I moved around to create clusters. This caused the size of the .psd file to balloon to over 1GB in size. Worth it!

Screen Shot 2016-05-02 at 11.59.20 AM

Cezanne must have been a very frustrated artist.

The final steps: involved depth of focus, additional (failed) works of art, and more manipulation of light and shadow.

geiger-project2-cezanne_v011.png

This depth of focus effect does cause a considerable loss of detail, but is accurate to the way our eyes focus on different objects and varying distances. The perspective here assumes your focus is on the fine detail of the nearest apple’s core, under a light-source.

Don’t worry, the full detail is still there:

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Strangely, without the soft unfocused effect things do not look as realistic.

Fair Use Considerations: Is this a fair use of a creative work?

  • This work is noncommercial: it was made for educational purposes, and I am not financially benefiting from the use of the original material.
  • Cezanne’s Still Life With Apples is in the public domain
  • This work is transformative in nature – I think. I didn’t just take it apart and put it back together as is, I transformed the image into something new. By synthesizing a scene with transformed elements, you can reimagine  the circumstances behind the original work. This is not a criticism of the original, but perhaps it qualifies as “fan art”.
  • This new digital terror certainly does not “compete with the original or have any negative effect on its market.” No one is going to regard my homage to Cezanne as a counterfeit. For one thing, it’s not a painting, it is contemporary, and referential.

What do you think about this use of Cezanne? Is it Fair Use? Is it a good use of Photoshop? Leave your comments below!

 

Fair Use – Reflection and Response

“Art is what you can get away with”

-Andy Warhol

-Banksy

-Matt Geiger

To understand fair use, we have to go all the way back to the Constitutional Convention of 1787. The Committee on Postponed Parts was responsible for ironing out the details on patent and copyrights. Needless to say, a lot has changed since the late 1700s, but let’s take a look at Article 1, Section 8 of the US Constitution to see what they came up with:

The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;

…To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries;

This is still pretty open-ended, but even then it was understood that all culture and scientific discovery is built upon what came before:

“The constitutional goal of the Copyright Act is to promote the making and the dissemination of culture” (1:45)

This is not an open invitation to plagiarism, but a declaration of a carefully orchestrated, and ongoing balancing act. On the one hand, we want a plurality of original works and the good faith use of existing culture to produce new works (Fair Use Doctrine), but we also want to ensure that there remains a secure and reasonable expectation for creators to receive just compensation (Copyright Law).

Like everything else in the US Constitution, this is a compromise.

You can use copyrighted material openly, and without permission from the holder of said copyright, so long as you meet three basic conditions:

  1. Your use is noncommercial: i.e., you’re not financially benefiting from the use of the copyrighted material.
  2. Your created work is transformative in nature: i.e., you are not simply reproducing an unaltered version of an original work, but are transforming it in a way that allows for new interpretation which is separate from the original work. This includes things like commentary, mash-up, remix, and critique. Here are some examples:

Commentary

Mashup

(WARNING: Links to torrenting site ThePirateBay, might be NSFW)

withbootslogo

Remix

Criticism

The third and final condition is that your use of copyrighted material must not “compete with the original or have any negative effect on its market.” A.K.A. “Parody Law”

Here’s something that pushes the limits: DUMB STARBUCKS

Intellectual Property is a complex web, and there is no guarantee that following these rules will keep you out of legal trouble, but it is still a good idea to follow rules of Fair Use Doctrine when using copyrighted material or even material that is in the public domain. The Center for Media and Social Impact has published this helpful guide of Best Practices for Fair Use in the Visual Arts, but if you want to save yourself the trouble of a single mouse-click, then scroll down for a short list:

PRINCIPLE: Artists may invoke fair use to incorporate copyrighted material into new artworks in any medium, subject to certain limitations:

LIMITATIONS

  • Artists should avoid uses of existing copyrighted material that do not generate new artistic meaning, being aware that a change of medium, without more, may not meet this standard.
  • The use of a preexisting work, whether in part or in whole, should be justified by the artistic objective, and artists who deliberately repurpose copyrighted works should be prepared to explain their rationales both for doing so and for the extent of their uses.
  • Artists should avoid suggesting that incorporated elements are original to them, unless that suggestion is integral to the meaning of the new work.
  • When copying another’s work, an artist should cite the source, whether in the new work or elsewhere (by means such as labeling or embedding), unless there is an articulable aesthetic basis for not doing so.

 

 

Photoshop – Cezanne Deconstructed

For our 2nd project, we’re working with a classic painting as an image source: Paul Cezanne’s “Still Life with Apples”

Paul_Cézanne,_Still_Life_With_Apples,_c._1890

Photoshop is a powerful tool for working with rasterized images in layers. Since there are several different elements in this painting (Potted plant, fruit, plate, table, and wall), we’ll need to create new layers for these elements.

Screen Shot 2016-04-22 at 7.28.42 PM

If you look in the lower right corner of this screenshot, you’ll see several layers listed (most cannot even be seen. There are that many).

Let’s take a closer look at some of these isolated elements:

This is where things get interesting. You’ve probably noticed that many of the objects overlap one another. How can we hope to get a whole lime when there’s a firkin’ lemon getting in our way?! Adobe has an answer for this: Content-aware fill

“Content-aware” is an algorithm which takes into consideration what the surrounding elements in an image are like: things like color, vale, texture, etc. Let’s try a practical example with our partial lime. We’ll start by selecting the lemon in this element:

 

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Those “dancing ants” let us know what part of the image is going to be filled.

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This is better, but it is still not perfect. You’ll notice that there is a “seam” where the content-aware fill applied its magic. We’ll need to handle this manually:

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I used the Healing Brush Tool to achieve this. This brush works in three steps:

  1. Select a “sample” area to determine what you want the “damaged” part of the image to look like.
  2. Paint over in small sections the area you want to heal.
  3. Repeat step 1, by selecting a new sampling area and then move on to heal a new small section

This method has allowed me to reconstruct the unseen portions of these visual elements. Next, we need to make these layers into separate files:

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This is what the files look like in Finder. You can download copies of my PSD files here.

 

 

 

Photoshop Calisthenics

Reference can be found here.

“1) Use the selection tools + refine edge to isolate objects from the Culture Catalogue image, then copy and paste them into a New Document, so that each is on a new layer.  Rename the layers, save as: lastname-isolated-objects.psd”

geiger-isolated-objects.png

Click here to download a copy.

“2) Use Retouch and Repair tools to modify radically alter the castle while maintaining a ‘realist’ aesthetic.  Save as lastname-weird-castle.psd

geiger_weird-castle.png

Click here to download a copy.

“3) Recombine objects from the Culture Catalogue within the Castle image, using refine-edge to integrate the objects more seamlessly.  Save as lastname-weird-castle-2.psd”

geiger_weird-castle-v2.png