Make It Interesting

Noticing the beautiful curves, shapes, and contrasts of my guitar got me interested in recording it for my final project. I setup a backdrop and placed my drums in the background to offer some contrast and reflection. I used a lamp as a main light and placed a fill light on a stand and pointed it directly above and at the guitar. This produced lots of reflections and increased the contrast.

I recorded different angles, focusing on the varied lines and shapes of the guitar. I tried to highlight the different components of the guitar in a tasteful way.

I recorded a three chord progression with the guitar and added some delay, reverb, and modulation to create space and depth. A slow timpani drum beat ties it all together.

Editing the video consisted of pacing the video cuts to go along with the music. Some shots cut on each chord change, while other panned shots last a little longer. I think the timing of the cuts work well with the tempo of the music.

STRAT from Matt Carlin on Vimeo.

Art Machine

For the animation project, we were given the task of creating an art machine by manipulating code in flash. I went to the site, www.visualcode.ch, and found a package drop animation to start with. The animation was a few rectangle shapes that interact with each other when the user clicks on one of the shapes. I started by writing down some ideas in my sketchbook, and eventually settled on an idea of a bird pooping on a car when the user clicks on the bird.

To begin, I imported photos I took of my car, a parking lot, and bird poop into Photoshop to remove the backgrounds and create transparent pngs. I then found a photo I took of a bird in Key West and separated the wings in Photoshop and created three files; one of the bird’s body, and two of the wings.

Once my files were created, I imported them into Flash and created new symbols for the each asset. I made a movie clip for the bird so I could animate the wings as the bird moves along the screen. I then replaced the symbols from the original animation with the new assets I created. Once I did this, the interactivity was affected negatively. When I clicked on the bird, the poop appeared out of nowhere and didn’t seem to come from the bird. To correct this, I edited some aspects of the code to correct the position of the poop. I also decided to change the speed of “delivery” to make it leave the bird faster. I also expanded the size of the scene to fit the photo of the parking lot better. Once I did this, I had to change additional aspects of the code to correct the start and end position of the bird to fit the new scene size. I also edited the code to change when the poop symbol would reset if it didn’t hit the car.

I am happy with how the animation turned out. Additional tasks to improve on the animation are to keep track of “hits”, and to set a target number for users to reach.

Unfortunately WordPress no longer supports embedding flash files, so here is a screenshot of the animation and also a link to view the full file.

Link to ‘Art Machine’ Flash file

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Below is a gallery of the assets I created for the animation.

Concrete Poetry

For the Concrete Poetry project, I designed a visual poem based off the randomly generated word, “meantime”. I chose to represent the word as a clock and implemented CSS animation code to make the words spin.

The greatest challenge with the Concrete Poetry project was getting the spinning words to animate correctly. I had to figure out where to begin the rotation transform for each ‘meantime’ div so that it moved around the circle in a fluid way.

In addition to creating a visual poem, the class worked together to create a homepage and a navigation menu that resides on each student’s page. This allowed the student’s to work together as a team and offered the challenge of working on multiple projects simultaneously.

 

Link to ‘meantime’

Bringing the CSS Styles Panel Back in Adobe Dreamweaver CC

Adobe changed a lot things in the Creative Cloud, thus making it hard to follow some outdated online tutorials. A major change was the replacement of the ‘CSS Styles’ panel with the more visual friendly ‘CSS Designer’. For any future web designer out there following along with an older tutorial, you’re probably going to be extremely lost. However, I was able to bring back the ‘CSS Styles’ after digging around the internet for a solution.

To switch from the ‘CSS Designer’ window back to the ‘CSS Style’ window, you must type in the following command:

For PC: Ctrl+Alt+Shft+P
For MAC: Cmd+Alt+Shft+P

Keep in mind that by using this key command the ‘CSS Designer’ window is COMPLETELY replaced with the ‘CSS Styles’ window. The ONLY way to see the ‘CSS Styles’ panel is to use this key command, as this panel has been eliminated from every menu as far as I can tell.

Alphabet

I have recently developed a fascination with the view of Earth from space. It is interesting how similar the world looks from extremely far away and at a microscopic level. Using Google Earth and Street View, I set out to find instances of the alphabet in a virtual world. However, I found this to be uninspiring, tedious, and uninteresting, and decided to try something different.

While exploring Google Earth, I noticed how grid-like many rural parts of the world look when viewed from above. This got me interested in using the grids to block out letter formations. Using Google Earth, I took screen captures of various farmlands and began to manipulate and copy & paste contrasting colors to form distinct letterforms. I was successful for the first four letters, but soon realized I was running out of original farmlands to manipulate. I did not want to use the same environments over and over again because I felt like it would make this world I created appear artificial.

 

Starting over, I decided to stick with the grid and block idea. For a project last semester, I created a 3D still life of chess pieces comprised of lego blocks in Maya. Combining these two ideas, I researched some alphabet block patterns from which to recreate letters in legos. I then set up a small photo studio to photograph each letter. I marked off a spot on the backdrop to keep each letters placement consistent. Creating each letter proved to be the most time consuming task, but a workflow was developed as I moved to each letter. Once each letter was photographed, I imported each one into Photoshop and applied some color and lighting adjustments .

Interact 2 Exercises

“HTML” | Links to my first html exercises. These examples demonstrate the ability to create multi-page html websites, style the look of a webpage, and also how to embed content from another website.

Link to Hello World!

Link to Hello World! with subdirectory

Link to Video Mash: Rock Paper Scissors


”Javascript” | Link to my first Javascript exercise. I changed the content of The Daily Beast website to create a parody version busting on celebrities.

Link to Parody: The Daily Beast


”CSS” | Links to my first CSS exercises. Theses examples demonstrate the ability to style, position, and form content using CSS

Basic CSS Exercise

Marinetti poem re-created with pure CSS: Marinetti

Original Marinetti poem and CSS version on a complete webpage: Marinetti in Typeset and CSS

Reflections on the History of the Internet

So Al Gore didn’t invent the Internet.

Reading about the integration of arts with computers and the Internet leaves me wondering what the early pioneers of these tools would think if they were around today. Personal electronic devices have revolutionized how people interact with each other on a daily basis, offering almost endless ways for communication. Vannevar Bush envisioned a device, called a Memex, which could store a user’s personal files and save references for future use. Cloud storage would surely blow him away!

I am interested in a variety of artistic mediums, especially photography and music, but I don’t usually think to combine them. Artists like John Cage, Richard Wagner, and Bill Viola pioneered the integration of various mediums and found inspiration in many disciplines. Cage was very interested in indeterminacy, which states that a piece has the ability to be performed in many different ways. He used this idea to create Music of Changes, a piece where the dynamics, tempo, and duration were based of the I-Ching, an ancient Chinese book which describes ways of achieving random numbers. Introducing randomness fascinates me, and I am currently figuring out ways to apply this idea to the creation of designs on printing plates. Researching these artists will help inspire me to find my own ways of combining my interests.