Major Work: Artist Statement

Negative Space (2017)
Matthew Velozo #4667517

This project aims to creating a sense of movement outside the frame, utilising the negative space as a narrative which acts as a portal into different dimensions and editing methods, asking the question of ‘what is really in the negative space and why is it so overlooked?’.  I was influenced to explore the importance of the negative space to portray a narrative through comic books and graphic novels, which also influenced the aesthetic side to my work : ‘bright and cartoonish alternate realities’.
Working from my MEDA301 project, where I experimented with different kinds of zoetropes and zoopraxiscopes, I wondered how I could create something similar  technically, visually and through a narrative, but this time using animation and video footage. I started to think about how the negative space in the zoetrope is what created the illusion of movement, which led me down the path of thinking: “can you create the illusion of movement using the negative space between animated screens?”

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Major Project: Summary, Process and Final Words

With this project I wanted to broaden my skills of animation using technologies such as stop motion and projection, that I did in MEDA301. That is when I decided to tell a narrative of the negative space (what does really happen in the ‘in-between’?) by using 2 or more screens. I settled with 4 for the aesthetic value and symmetry. The screens would play different videos but have a common object or shape which moves from screen to screen.

I wanted to speak about the negative space between frames and the illusion of momentum that is created between frames. I proposed to use each screen to represent a different film technique and each video would be synced together with each technique representing a different reality with different laws. As mentioned before, I had this idea through my interest in graphic novels and comic books where the illusion of motion is created through the space between the panels. I also wanted to further explore different methods of narrative, this time in the shape and form of a hybrid of comic book panels and zoetrope frames.

I decided to use several different methods of filming, to not only explore different looks due to different formats, but to further my knowledge on these technologies. I filmed on a handycam (mainly people and moving objects) without any stop motion. I used a stop motion app on my ipad to create the moving objects (such as the balls, foil, fruit) and lastly shot both still images and moving images with a dslr. This was to further represent different film technique as well as different editing technique

With the editing, I wanted to make it look cartoony as well as display my knowledge in various post editing techniques. I used effects such as solarise, invert, threshold, curves and adjusted the brightness, contrast and saturation.

I did however have some difficulties displaying the footage. Firstly with the equipment, I couldnt find any lcd screens (on main and innovation campus) so I thought of alternatives and decided that it would enhance my aesthetic if I used framed canvases and just project my footage. It did not affect my after effects composition at all because to display on the lcd screens, I was using only one composition with 4 screens and also the canvases did provide a bright surface which allowed the footage to look like a moving painting.

Another problem was the room i was allocated (the black box). The black box had grates on the walls I wanted to hang my canvases up on but when i projected it would shine onto the grates and cause a distraction. I then had to build a background for my canvases to prevent it from distracting. I also had problems with the projector staying up and had to keep using keystone to correct my alignment.

If i was given more time/ what i would do differently, would be to learn projection mapping, so that I didnt have to waste a lot of time creating several different sized edits of the composition and hoping one of them fit without it bleeding or warping at the top (with the warp, the footage becomes uneven – although I can readjust when it falls and try to tighten the projector screws) I had to feather my footage by adding a mask to each of the clips, because it would prevent bleed and help with the alignment.
I would definitely also find canvases that would fit the regular 1080p aspect ratio in a video and projection map my clips without resizing them.
I would of also liked to experiment with several different shaped (circle, square, rectangle) and sized (tiny to extra large) canvases and frames, to look like an interactive art wall, however that would involve several projectors and compositions as well as projection mapping knowledge.

 

NEGATIVE SPACE (2017)
by Matthew Velozo

Major Project: Iteration and Installation

During my installation process, I had trouble with the aspect ratio of the video and it aligning the projector with the canvases. Ive made several different sized edits of my video but the problem seems to be that the projector is too high up and on too much of an angle. So im going to see if it can be fixed by ‘keystone’ in the projector or if I can extend the arm of the projector so it can sit more naturally and give the correct aspect ratio.

The positioning of the canvases has also been a problem as the fixtures that hold the projector on to the roof of the black box will slip in its position over time. I have found the need to overcompensate when it comes to the alignment of the projectors, optioning to put them slightly out of line to they eventually slip into the correct position.

Major Project: Footage and Editing Process

Footage

For the past 2-3 weeks, i’ve been experimenting with stop motion techniques and contrasting it with natural footage (in terms of movement).

Using a dslr camera, an iPad and a couple of handy cam style cameras, Ive tested out different textures to use for backgrounds, such as reflective surfaces (like foil), using objects such as metal coins, foil balls, and pet toys. I’ve also looked at different types textures such as ones that gave a grainy look (carpet, towels, sand).

Editing process

I have been using Adobe After Effects to edit my footage. I have split the footage into four panels that are separated by negative space. Ive had to go through many rounds of testing to get the sizing right so it would fit on to the canvases as well as it can be spaced out far enough as to created the sense of movement between each panel. Ive also had to pay close attention as to the speed of the stop motion vs the ‘natural’ footage.

During the editing phase of the project I decided to use the feathering tool, because I didn’t have enough time to learn and go down the projection mapping path. I decided I would ‘feather’ the edges of the video as a way to avoid the footage bleeding outside of the frames, as well as to give it a subtle vignette to emphasise on the ‘cartoony’ style of the images.

Below is a sample of the solarised images in black and white (some of the images in my video are very high saturation and some are no saturation) but without the feathering because I have to create a mask and place over each footage once my final sequence is complete.

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Major Project: Testing in the black box

So far, I compiled the footage I had already taken and edited through Adobe After Effects and decided to test the projection to see if the canvas and the video’s aspect ratio were aligned.
It was tricky because I did not do any projection mapping so i’m using rough dimensions of the canvas to fit the videos.

this is what it looks like with the canvases as well as the light projecting onto the grids behind

Ive also had to create another larger canvas to project on because the metal caging on the walls of the black box were a distraction when projecting onto it. When the projector is playing, it reflects light all over the room. I decided to use a piece of plaster board to create a background that the 4 canvases can sit on. The size of the composition is a little bit smaller than the plasterboard, giving the overall composition a sense of depth and creates the illusion of screens within screens.

 

Major Project: Equipment and Iteration

Firstly with equipment, I’ve had some problem sourcing my proposed equipment such as LCD screens. However, as my project has gone through many iterations, conceptually and technically, i’ve decided to change various aspects in how i’m presenting my work. The lack of availability of different pieces of equipment, such as LCD screens, has pushed me into the area of projection which turns out to be much more of affective medium for this project.

I’ve decided to use four frames of stretched canvas, to give it the aesthetic as a moving painting. Since I plan on using stop motion, I thought it would be fitting to present it as if the artwork is coming to life and connecting with each of the frames through the negative space in between. I’ve also decided to solarise and play with the brightness and contrast of the footage, to fit with the narrative.
below is a sample image of adjusting the curves to solarise the image.

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