Final Review, Gaku’s animated short

Here is his video for reference. – I reposted it so that it can be viewed fullscreen. Domo arigato, Gaku-sama!

  • synchronized sound-image relationship

From 0:07 to 0:10 you can hear footsteps that reinforce the idea of the character running.

Screen Shot 2016-06-08 at 6.28.39 PM.png

From 0:19 to 0:24 you can hear chewing, which greatly enhances the final scene. The first time I watch this animation (without sound) I thought that the snake/creature was talking to the boy who climbed down into the cavern… Now, the lip movements are clarified.

Screen Shot 2016-06-08 at 6.29.19 PM.png

  • singular off-screen but diegetic sounds

After watching this video a few times, I still have not been able to identify any off-screen sounds. Sure, there are birds and water drops present, but these seem to be territorial sounds, used to enhance the environment.

  • metaphorical (non-literal) or symbolic sound-image relationship

In the opening shot, we hear a frequency crawl pan left to right, which enhances the throwing of the Apple. This sound is non-literal, but implies a kind of “fly-over” effect, similar to an airplane in flight.

Screen Shot 2016-06-08 at 6.28.18 PM.png

At 0:12, we hear an “ow” sound from the apple itself. Again, clearly this isn’t meant to be literal, but reinforces the idea that the apple fell and landed hard.

Screen Shot 2016-06-08 at 6.28.57 PM.png

  • diegetic territorial sound to define background or sense-of-place

Starting around 0:05 you can hear birds chirping, which makes sense, given the setting of a park, with trees. At 0:14 you can hear water dripping, and echoing reverberations to give us a better sense of the size of the cavern in the following scene.

Screen Shot 2016-06-08 at 6.28.18 PMScreen Shot 2016-06-08 at 6.29.06 PM

What do you guys think? Are there other sound elements worth noting? Am I missing anything? Are these sounds adding value to the animations? Comment and let me know.

 

Soundscapes – Reflection & Response

For this last extra credit assignment, Carl asked us to think about soundscapes.

A soundscape is classified in three predominant ways:

Keynote Sounds: A keynote sound is the dominant tonal presence in a soundscape[…]

Signals: An infrequent and also alarming informational sound is classified as a signal[…]

Soundmarks: the acoustic equivalent of a land mark[…]

In the US Navy I spent over a 1,000 hours on watch (standing guard, patrolling, etc.). Situational awareness on watch is paramount – it’s important to know where you are and what is going on around you. Sound plays a critical role in this process. For this assignment, I have chosen the USS Kitty Hawk pier vehicle gate.

Keynote sounds: The ventilation ports roar as they move thousands of cubic feet of air, it is constant, and harmonizes a sharp whining of coils with a dull hum. The waters are still, except for the occasional bass-heavy groaning of a barge, metal chains clank sharply on wood planks, and giant inflatable bladders rub against rusted plates with a low but rapid Pop-pop-popopopop.

Signals: The 1MC (general announcement system) blasts dozens of announcements; meal times, arrival and departure of high-ranking officers and officials, calling the duty section, calling working parties, calling the end of the work day, etc.; the circuit engages with a snap-click before broadcasting a scratchy, distorted hiss of dozens of loud speakers, reverberating on countless steel surfaces.

Soundmarks: North of my post there is a designated smoking area, it is one of many. There is a constant murmuring chatter, low grumbling voices and an occasional laugh, but the words don’t come through clearly. There’s the quiet, smooth Tick-Schwick of lighters igniting endless cigarettes, and the Hiss-Splat of sailors spitting on the deck.

 

Reflection Response #4 (Condensed)

In Walter Murch’s “Stretching Sound to Help the Mind See”, we are invited to think about the role of sound in cinema and in our own lives. He makes reference to recording prototypes by Edison, and early 20th century films. What I found most compelling was Murch’s idea about sound and three-dimensional perception as a hallucination:

…the depth we perceive is not a hallucination. But the way we perceive it — its particular flavor — is uniquely our own… And in that sense it is a kind of hallucination, because the brain does not alert us to what is actually going on. Instead, the dimensionality is fused into the image and made to seem as if it is coming from “out there” rather than “in here.”

There is a mixture of joy and terror, living in a world filled with synthetic sound and the progress of cinema as a means of escape. From simple paintings on the walls of caves to MegaPlex 3D Movies, every step has required humanity to sacrifice a little bit of what we consider to be real. As Murch pointed out:

King Ndombe of the Congo consented to have his voice recorded in 1904 but immediately regretted it when the cylinder was played back: the “shadow” danced on its own, and he heard his people cry in dismay: “The King sits still, his lips are sealed, while the white man forces his soul to sing!”

My focus for this final project will be to synthesize a new reality by combining sounds out of context with my animation. Specifically, I will focus on creating sounds to supplement that which is not seen.

Sound Concepts for Group Evaluation

After reviewing the group’s animation sequences, Carl would like us to make specific recommendations for sound design:

Please also write down ideas for sound design for the two other members of your review group (see below), noting potential sounds and placement of sounds that could be used to strengthen their visual storytelling, add mystery, comedy, suspense or other value.  Specifically, please list ideas for:

  • 1 synchronized sound-image relationship
  • 2 singular off-screen but diegetic sounds 
  • 1 metaphorical (non-literal) or symbolic sound-image relationship
  • 1 diegetic territorial sound to define background or sense-of-place

Following the in-class reviews, groups will get together and discuss sound design possibilities.  Each member should post to their own research blog a summary of input they received from the rest of their group and directions which might be pursued.

Allison: Apple Bomb

Unfortunately, the sharing permissions for your video block me from viewing your animation again, but I do remember what the sequence looks like:

Synchronized sound-image relationship

  1. At the end the character takes a piece of the apple into their mouth. I think this could be enhanced with a “slurp” noise
  2. EXPLOSION!!! This is pretty self-explanatory, but the more dramatic the sound, the better.

Singular off-screen but diegetic sounds 

  1. SCREAM!!! When the apple is thrown off camera, and during the animation of it rolling, I think the character might scream, in a panicked kind of way
  2. Your character isn’t working in a vacuum. I’d expect subtle things like footsteps, or other kinds of body movements to be heard, but not seen. This will add value to the explosion and scream.

metaphorical (non-literal) or symbolic sound-image relationship

  1. Music. For some reason, I cannot help but imagine something akin to Looney Tunes accompanying this animation sequence. Maybe it’s the fact that an exploding apple fits so well within that Genre.

diegetic territorial sound to define background or sense-of-place

  1. The obvious choice here is to go fully atmospheric. Give us some weather sounds (wind, nature, etc), so that diegetic sounds have more depth and context. This shouldn’t compete in volume with the background music.

Ryan: Fairy Tale

This sequence needs to be edited down to just five cuts/panels so it’s possible that these recommendations will make less sense going forward.

Synchronized sound-image relationship

  1. In the opening scene, the woman in the forest moves in a sort of glide, or prance. We should have some kind of shuffle or other sound accompanying these movements.
  2. The opening of the door, the drawing of the curtain, the poisoning of the apple: all of these actions call for sound.

Singular off-screen but diegetic sounds 

  1. The most compelling off-screen sound would probably be a cackle of some kind, as the villain celebrates the death of her visitor.
  2. I think that your protagonist has a “singing” quality about her. Obviously drawing from Disney tropes, but I digress. Perhaps this singing could continue even off-screen.

metaphorical (non-literal) or symbolic sound-image relationship

  1. Music. We have a contrast in mood between the woman in the forest, and the woman in the house. I think that two pieces of music could enhance this contrast greatly.

diegetic territorial sound to define background or sense-of-place

  1. As with Allison’s animation, the obvious choice here is to go fully atmospheric. Give us some sounds of the forest, cheerful and bright.

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?”

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

“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.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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.