Thursday, September 17, 2009

2D 3D desktop virtual prototype thing

Applying the images to a 3D design was suggested by a friend of mine. These photos show a virtual mock up made from printed illustrations, spray mounted to foam board. 
The immediate problem with the design is that as a desktop item, it demands a function simply because it takes up a large space on a table.

This is a nice problem to have because it always bothered me slightly that what I have been creating is decorative fine art; subject to dismissal in more cash strapped times. As someone once put it, it's nice to make something useful (even if it is still ridiculously ornate).

The design creates four 'rooms' which got me excited about having a house full of slightly sinister things going on; tentacle like vines creeping from the wardrobe, crocodiles crawling out from the toilet. The illustrations will definitely change as I develop the 'thing' into a more functional appliance. I'm thinking lamp stand....? 
Designs created in Illustrator:

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Mixed Media Marquetry Silhouettes

"Here kitty kitty"   
1940's wallpaper, dyed Sycamore and reused frame

This project began around March this year when I began collecting vintage wallpaper with a vague but growing idea of using found pattern to create mixed media marquetry. As a trained marquetarian (using the modern technique of laser cutting the inlays) I know the medium reasonably well and am confident of the design process.
Using experience from past work and my fine art background I plan to combine my illustrations with pattern in order to create a reinterpretation of the craft of marquetry.

Marquetry is the craft of covering a structural carcass with pieces of veneer forming decorative patterns, designs or pictures.   
The images are rooted in a retreat to a state of innocent wonder and nature. Fairy tale-esque scenes deal with themes of solitude, child-like imagination and the promise of adventure and possibly danger.
Several characters are involved in various states of wonder or peril as elements of nature clash with understood spaces of safety (the home); or possibly in adventurous children’s cases: confinement (the house).  
I have around 10 complete designs. The pictures below show the first finished picture titled "Here kitty kitty" which served as a test to find problems with the technique of mixing the unconventional materials. 

Friday, May 09, 2008

Knitware meets animation

Tricot machine_Les peaux de lièvres from David Valiquette on Vimeo.

"We actually shot our characters on green screen to start with. Then we edited, keyed and composited in AE [After Effects] to add the other elements like snow and stadium. We then outputed 723 jpeg of the clip to our knitter that used them as templates for the knits. The knitting technique is actually called in french "Tricot machine", hence the band's name!"
David Valiquette writing on Vimeo

Everytime I watch this it leaves me in a dreamy state of gooey happiness. Like I've been drugged. Love it. I especially like the mixed media approach to animation - it makes me think that all animations should start life as something physical in the real world.

The process described by Valiquette above (video to computer to knitter then back to computer) reminds me of the process used in creating Copy Shop by Virgil Widrich:

"The exploration of repetition and copying was literally undertaken by the maker (Virgil Widrich) in the process of making this film: The film was shot with digital tape and then transferred onto a computer. Each frame of the film was then printed out using a black and white laser photocopier. Those photocopies were then animated and re-shot with a 35mm camera."
Me writing here last year

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Portfolio progess

Following a couple of discussions about my portfolio design and content with Simon, Jules (see my old post) and Debs and Andy I have amended the design.
My old design listed all the projects indiscriminately (see here) and the problem as has been pointed out, is that my projects are not all specialising in one area and a prospective employer in video production may be put off in seeing web design or animation work. As Debs said, they may be tempted to go with the portfolio which shows pure specialisation in the skills they are after.
For the time being, I have split my portfolio into two sections (see here), one for AV production and one for design and animation. I
have also used it as an opportunity to implement some Flash work which is more industry typical in it's use.
However, I would like to be finding jobs which could support all areas which I enjoy - video, brand design and Flash animation. This job may be what I am describing and is on my list of SPP job applications:
My Client project is crossing these boundaries in a way as it is both animated and a full AV production at the same time. Debs and Andy pointed out that the use of Flash in this way is not typical to industry, and that Maya would more likely have been used.
Maya is now in the list of programs to learn.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

PRP artefact 6

I have started to create a DVD for my White Rabbit narrative in order to explore the possibility of a DVD (or CD-ROM) as a taster to a film, which links to the full film shown online. The idea is that the interactive experience of the DVD menus and sample clips becomes a hook into watching the full film, and with TV moving more and more to the internet, this idea seemed like a relevant experiment.
The problems I have encountered are that with the PC format using Adobe Encore there is no native support for hyperlinks from the DVD content to a web page. It has worked previously in conjunction with Sonic eDVD and a media player called InterActive player and despite this software being largely defunct I found a trial version of eDVD.

I thought I had found a solution and could still create a DVD menu which links to the web. I planned to build the DVD, burn several copies and send them to people to test. It meant they would have to install the InterActual player, which shouldn't have been too much trouble.
However......... I havn't been able to get the project to load in eDVD due to the player not working. A solution for other people with the same problem was to run any DVD player on the PC and therefore have the necessary codecs installed. This hasn't worked.

See my post on creativecow:

In not being able to user test what I have made, I have ended up with an artefact that is the same as the previous in terms of it's idea.
A bit stuck as to where the artefact is going at the moment ...

In the mean time, enjoy a screen shot of my new DVD menu:

Monday, April 14, 2008

Client Project finished

Client project is now finished. Testing earlier in the week revealed that I had some web compatibility problems Internet Explorer 7. As I had included some example HTML pages in my final product, in order to display the animation how it would be seen on the web, this was a potential problem. After re-exporting the flash files as version 6 instead of 8, it seems the problems have been fixed and the animations work across various web browsers. There is a small amount of difference in the synchronisation of the sound however from Firefox to Explorer.
The best versions can be viewed in Mozilla Firefox:

Version 1:

Version 2:

Sidebar version:

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Client Project progress: Music recording session

On Monday I had Bonnington studio hired out for recording the music that accompanies the General Store advert. It went well; with several variations of style and length recorded. I had used Nina Simone's "My Baby Just Cares For Me" as a pointer to what I had in mind. This proved to set a high standard that was difficult to match, and obviously we couldn't simply copy the track. However, I was happy that we had a lot of recording that could potentially be used and the edit is looking good so far.
Thanks go to Henry Cole for being sound engineer and pressing the right buttons. It is down to him that we got such a clean and clear sound with expert microphone selection: one true stereo Mic and two mono mics were used to create four tracks of sound which were mixed together to create a single stereo track. The streo mic was put up to the piano strings and the two other mics were placed in a triangular formation further back in the room in order to capture the reverberations of the sound as they bounce around the room.
Thanks also to Asha Patel for her piano playing skills.

This clip is just for fun and not an indication of the finished music: