Client: College of Design, North Carolina State University
My Involvement: Concept, Co-Direction, Camera, Compositing, Animation, Sound Design, Editing
Primary Collaborators: Ben Scott and Alyssa Barrett
Please click here to view a full list of credits
Materials/Software: Digital Cameras, Omni, Pro, and LED Lights, Glidetrack Hybrid, Mixed-Media Materials, After Effects, Photoshop, Premiere, GarageBand, Soundbooth
For my master’s thesis project, I, along with a group of collaborators, created the Art2Wear title sequence for the 2013 fashion show held on the campus of North Carolina State University. The theme for the 2013 show was “Hypernatural”. The goal of the sequence was to capture the hypernatural theme and the dynamic, collaborative, and innovative spirit of the show through a hybrid media approach. This project was a group venture involving collaboration with a number of individuals from the College of Design, the College of Textiles, the Film Studies program, and the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences.
Art2Wear (A2W) is an educational event where students gain experience by coordinating and producing an annual show. Young designers are challenged to imagine, create, and inspire by expressing their point of view through wearable art. This highly anticipated event fuses the talents of both NC State’s College of Design and College of Textiles, exposing student designers to the broader field of fashion.
Click here to view process images and the experimental motion tests used to create the title sequence
Click here to view the project statement
For a detailed account of the precedents and process used to create this project, please click here to view thesis paper
My research includes the documentation and discussion of influences and precedents in areas of cinema, animation, fashion film/photography, philosophy, natural phenomenon, and the merging of science and technology. As a result of this research, my thesis offers thoughts concerning collaboration, the process and techniques used to create the final title sequence, and the fusion of fashion, animation, and cinema using digital and non-digital materials.
Stills from the Finished Title Sequence
Images from the 2013 Art2Wear Fashion Show
My Involvement: Concept, Direction, Storyboard, 3D Environment Modeling, 3D Animation, Lighting, Texturing, Editing, Audio Mixing (not responsible for character modeling or rigging).
Character Modeling and Rigging by Marc Russo and Kirby Culbertson
Materials/Software: Maya, After Effects, Photoshop, Premiere, Soundbooth
You Are Anonymous is the second short film I’ve created in Maya. The film was included in a group exhibition titled ID:Entity Self: Perception + Reality held at the Contemporary Art Museum in Raleigh, NC in the fall 2011. The show featured work by designers in the Raleigh, NC area and several faculty members and students from NC State University. The artists in the exhibition explored the “complex relationship between the “self” and the world” and offered a variety of interpretations of the theme. Much of the work in the show was influenced by our growing consumption of digital technology and its effect on the ways in which we communicate and our understanding about ourselves and our environment.
You are Anonymous is a reflection on the way controlled environments and extreme situations can shape and alter a person’s identity or sense of self. The piece is inspired by an infamous social experiment conducted in 1971 at Stanford University. In the “Stanford Prison Experiment” (as it is known), psychologist Phillip Zimbardo set up a mock prison and recruited student volunteers to play specific “roles”. Some students were assigned the role of prisoner and others the role of prison guard. After only a few days, the experiment took a startling turn and spiraled out of control.
According to Zimbardo:
“Our planned two-week investigation into the psychology of prison life had to be ended prematurely after only six days because of what the situation was doing to the college students who participated. In only a few days, our guards became sadistic and our prisoners became depressed and showed signs of extreme stress.”
The purpose of the experiment was to study human behavior and, as Zimbardo puts it,“ find out what happens when you put good people in an evil place.” A number of people, including Zimbardo, have compared this experiment to the prisoner abuse scandal at Abu Abu Ghraib.
You are Anonymous examines the relationship between the role of the controller verses the controlled. All of the decisions I made concerning texture, color, lighting, sound, and composition/camera angles were intended to enhance the theme of control verses submission. In the film, the “roles” assumed by the prisoner and prison guard become their identities. Since the prison guards in the film are portrayed in a negative light, it is important to note that I am interested in the concept of the abuse of power.
To learn more about the Stanford Prison Experiment, please click here: http://www.prisonexp.org/
Stills from the Film
ID:Entity Self:Perception + Reality Opening Night
My Involvement: All aspects
Materials/Software: Maya, After Effects, Photoshop, Premiere, GarageBand, Soundbooth
Absurd Hero is based on Albert Camus’s interpretation of the myth of Sisyphus. In the myth, Sisyphus is punished for being deceitful and thus doomed to push a massive boulder up a mountain for eternity. I decided to adapt this story because it gave me the opportunity to focus on character animation through the actions of my main character’s physical struggle up the mountain. The visual style of the film is based on simplicity and the use of simple geometric shapes to convey a story.
To begin, I researched the Sisyphus story and thought out rough ideas for my own interpretation. Once I had a rough idea for the progression of my story, I made numerous character sketches to identify the types of expressive movements my Sisyphus character should make. After developing a storyboard, I creating an animatic to plan out the action. During the animatic phase, I also recorded my own customized soundtrack in GarageBand and Soundbooth which emphasizes the actions and emotions expressed by the main character. Because the film is devoid of any dialogue, the character’s gestures, lighting shifts, and soundtrack had to convey a sense of both struggle and elation. As I animated in Maya, I applied deformer rigs to the character to add flexibility of movement. After the animated scenes were rendered out in multiple passes in Maya, I edited the film in After Effects and Premiere.
Stills from the Film
The following are experiments with puppet animation in After Effects. In Photoshop, the puppets were drawn, colored, and separated into pieces to allow for flexibility of movement. Once they were imported into After Effects, the puppets could be animated by grouping the separated pieces of the puppet’s body and moving anchor points to create bendable joints. During these experiments, I also used virtual cameras and “2.5D” layering in After Effects. I recorded the soundtrack for the “Shell” camera tracking test in Soundbooth.