Tuesday, December 10, 2013

[Project 7] Second Life

For the Second Life project I downloaded all of my clothing from the Second Life marketplace. I tried to make my real self look as accurate as possible without spending too much money, and instead spent it all on my fantasy self. I wanted to find something that was funny but not too weird, so I picked a tiny dog with swirly glasses as my fantasy self.

I had some trouble getting the clothes to fit properly and found it hard to customize my real self's face so I spent more time trying to find accurate hair and clothing. For my fantasy self, it was a premade avatar so the only time-consuming part was looking through pages in the marketplace to find something I liked.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

[Project 6] 3D Modeling

Single Object
My single object is a big penguin plushie. The body and beak are made of spheres that I scaled to look more blobby, and the wings and feet were made using the extrude tool in small intervals then scaling each piece to form curves. With the feet, I made the middle toe and left toe separately so there would be an indent, then mirrored the left toe and put them together to make a foot. Overall, it was really fun to make and I'm satisfied with my first ever object in 3D. SketchUp was a bit difficult to learn, and some things were harder to me than they seemed, but it turned out good for a first try.

The wing was probably the hardest thing to make because of the bend. It was difficult to rotate the extrusions to make it look smooth, and for some reason certain angles make it look staticky. Another thing that was very difficult was the textures. On the beak, the texture tiled randomly, so instead of having darker straight orange lines, it looked more like a checkerboard. With the fur, I used a black fluffy texture but it's not that visible because I think it's too small. Scaling up the texture didn't solve it. Also the white belly isn't as accurate because all the textures tiled, so I created it by intersecting then deleting a square.

I chose this object because it has sentimental value to me. It's one of the first things my boyfriend gave to me, and we've now been together for almost four years. 

Collage Object
My collage objects are inside a glass bottle. The bottle has a pink tag attached on the outside, a cork lid, and a pink paper crane, three different origami stars, and two beads on the inside. The hardest thing was the crane. Because I couldn't actually open the bottle, it was hard to use my own object as a model. So I referenced a crane component from the SketchUp library. Even with an existing reference, it was incredibly difficult to make and looked nowhere near as nice as the reference. I think the crane alone was just as difficult as the penguin. But I'm overall very happy with the outcome, especially because it's my first time using any 3D modeling.

The hardest part was rotating and attaching the shapes together. A lot of the time it would get stuck and start dragging something else, or be just a few degrees off.  The tail got stuck inside the body before I could manipulate it to be realistic, so that part isn't accurate. 

The stars, beads, and bottle were overall pretty easy after I had practice. The stars were very fun to make and I think that they bump out like actual paper stars do. The bottle was made from a sphere that I intersected with a square to make a flat base. The bottle neck and cork was made from extruding and scaling. The tag was made from a square that I bent and rotated to look like paper. 

I thought it was really cool to see everything come together. I made the pieces individually then put them together when I was done. Even though it's not perfectly accurate, I'm happy to have a personalized digital version of something important to me. And creating something complicated like that makes 3D seem a lot less intimidating. I will probably try to learn more. 

I picked the objects because it was made for my by my best friend. I can't personally do origami even though I've tried repeatedly to learn, so even basic things like cranes and stars are pretty to me.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Reading 2: Video Art

1. Following the release of portable video cameras, Radical Software claimed "Power is no longer measured in land, labor, or capital, but by access to information and the means to disseminate it." Is this still true in modern day society, after the inventions of many more technological advances besides industrial video cameras? 

2. McLuhan asserted that technology would expand human senses beyond what we are capable of. The text cites examples like the manipulation of synthesizers to create mandala-like image effects in live shows, but this seems to be a very specific example. Do all types of technology help to expand human senses? Is this the primary reason for the creation of certain technologies, or can things be invented without the intention of expanding senses?

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

[Project 2] Stop Motion Frame Animation

The title of my stop motion animation is "Endangered Animal Super Squad". I had the same general theme as the triptych, but chose to show a light-hearted story where a group of endangered animals band together to thwart an evil poacher from killing a panda. The day is saved thanks to the Endangered Animal Super Squad!

Monday, September 9, 2013

Reading 1: Walter Benjamin

1. Benjamin repeatedly asserts that the most notable difference between traditional and mechanical media is that the former has its own 'aura'. However, photographers and movie directors go to great lengths to try and replicate mood and understanding through their works. Additionally, photographs and films are considered art in modern day. Is it true that mechanical media does not have an aura? Is aura necessary for art?

2. It is clear that the advancement of mechanical media has an impact on traditional art. Do the pros outweigh the cons, or vice versa? Would art be better without these technological advances?

Monday, September 2, 2013

[Project 1] Digital Triptych Montage

The title of my triptych is "How can you help?" I used Adobe Photoshop CS6 and a combination of magazine scans and stock images from sxc.hu. I referenced worldwildlife.org's list of endangered animals when choosing what animals to feature. In the "How can you help?" text, I made thumbnails of the animals from other panels clip over the text. Here is an example of what I mean by that, taken from the first triptych. 

I chose the theme of endangered animals because I personally really like animals and feel like people should be aware of how many are endangered. My favorite magazines have always been ones like National Geographic just for the animal pictures, and with this project being a collage, it instantly reminded me of that. The "How can you help?" headline came from a magazine article, but I opted to re-type it instead of scanning it so I could make it bold enough for the animal thumbnails to be clipped in.

The animals included are: Indian elephant, sea lion, Gal├ípagos penguin, black rhino, green turtle, orangutan, beluga whale, giant pandas, tiger, chimpanzee, polar bear, and black-footed ferret. All of these animals are listed on worldwildlife.org as endangered or critically endangered.

I merged all the images in order to make them fit side-by-side in this blog post, but here are links to each triptych in its proper dimensions: triptych 1, triptych 2, triptych 3.