This is the Reflections Unit, the 1st unit for Seniors. The main question to answer with this unit was “Who am I?” Each of our classes had some assignments that were used to help answer this question. In our Digital Media class, we made a mandala and a perspective video. In English, we made a personal essay, which doubled as a college essay, which, to be honest, I’m not comfortable sharing anymore. We also made a “personal museum curation,” which I will explain later. In our Animation class, we had several assignments that said bits and pieces about who we were, such as a Google doodle and a 3D object. The thing that I valued the most when it came to answering who I was was the personal essay because that got me to think about my past experiences and how I learned from them. The other assignments were much smaller when it came to answering the question compared to the essay.
Before we started on our essays, we made a list of 20 “essence objects,” which was meant to help us answer the question:
- My red LEGO Star Wars shirt
- A deck of UNO cards
- A dozen Khinkalis
- A Shadow the Hedgehog plushie
- A small red vestment
- A necklace with a cross
- An Avengers: Endgame movie ticket
- A physical copy of Speed Racer
- A Little Mac Amiibo
- A pouch that says “British Airways Operated by B|MED”
- A stick of Right Guard deodorant
- A MacBook
- A Black Belt
- A LEGO Captain Rex Minifigure
- A photo of me and my extended family
- A list of my phone numbers
- A table tennis paddle
- A tennis racket
- A fingerboard sheet
- A cold pack
Each of these objects represents who I am in some way. Some objects are more obvious in the ways they represent me than others. One of these objects was the starting point for my Personal Essay, and 3 of the objects were the starting point to the first 3D model I made.
Personal Museum Curation
Earlier in the year, we took our second trip to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SF MOMA), and we had an assignment to make a personal museum. We had to take photos of 5 pieces of art, 3 of which represented us and would be a piece of art we would put into our museum, and 2 of them would be pieces that didn’t represent us, and wouldn’t be in our museum.
The Art I Would Add to my Personal Museum
The reason that this art piece represents something about me is because of the simplicity of the piece. On the one hand, it’s a very nice and simple piece of art that can very easily be interpreted as a person running. Given how poorly I tend to think of my art as, as long as I can portray what I’m trying to say, then it works. On the other hand, it reminds me of certain games like Minecraft. It’s a reminder of my childhood and the games that I loved, and that’s why it caught my attention so well.
The reason that this art piece represents me is because of the kind of story it can tell. Whenever I look at the things I have done, I sometimes like to reminisce about the process and the story that led to that point. That’s the vibe that I get from this piece. It makes me think a little bit about the context of this piece. The things that I make should have something to tell you, whether it’s something important or not. Also, even though I’m not much of a comic book guy, I like the comic book art style.
While it does carry a lot of history, and it’s really interesting, the reason that this piece represents me is because of the things it was made out of. Who takes lead and ash and says “let’s make a fighter jet out of it?” I like how well it looks like a jet. It’s a similar case about how I took my poor art skills and said: “let’s make a good documentary.” I’m very thankful for the compliments I received about it, and it’s a reminder that good things can come from bad material.
The Art I Wouldn’t Add to my Personal Museum
The reason that this piece doesn’t represent me is because of the way that it combines 2 completely different looking things. While I think that such a thing can work very well (i.e. The Amazing World of Gumball), it doesn’t work for me here. When I make a video or something, I want to keep the style consistent. This is what I think makes my art less out of place and more bearable. If the art is simple, I want it to be consistently simple. If the art is more complex, I want it to be consistently complex.
What is this? Why is this? Why is this in a museum? This says multiple things about this society that I don’t like. When I think about trying to be successful in anything, I think that it should take at least a little effort. What effort when into a red square? Also, this says a lot about why I don’t like most modern art. So many people are trying to be so abstract about what they make, trying to give something multiple possible meanings, that they don’t realize that they end up crossing a line that just gives their art no meaning. You can look at what I make or do, and you can gain at least some context. I don’t get anything out of this square, and it bothers me that this can be successful. Get a load of this society.
When I look at my art, I think of how far I can take my artistic ability, and the things that I like. When I make my pieces, I like to throw in references or touches that represent things I like, such as parts of pop culture and video games, and well as other things. I see my art as a reflection of what I know what to do, and the extent of my ability. I have made things by hand, on Photoshop, Illustrator, SFM, and other things, and each tool I used was done to the extent of my ability, and what came out is what came out. If it’s good, good. If it’s bad, good. I know what I can do, and that’s the best I can be. The art I picked is a representation of the things that I like and the extent of my ability. I like simple things, I like Minecraft-looking things, I like cool vehicles, I like fun comic art and guns and other things. I don’t like inconsistency, poor mixtures, and putting no effort into things.
The 1st project in Digital Media for this unit was to make 2 different mandalas, both of which would be a form of representation of who we were. You could portray this in any way you wanted, as long as it was done in a mandala. A mandala is a circular shape with a repeating pattern several times in a radius of sorts. One mandala had to be in color, so we could use the color in the drawings and the drawings themselves to represent who we were, and one had to be in black and white, which would achieve the same goal, just without color, and this mandala would be laser printed on a material of our choice, like wood, bamboo, acrylic, or plastic. I chose to print my mandala on a gold and black plastic, where the laser would print on a gold sheet and reveal black underneath it.
This is a photo of a customized Zapworks logo that we made for our black and white mandala. You need an app on your phone called Zappar, and you use it to scan the logo in the middle to get a video of us explaining how we appreciated this project and why we did what we did for our mandala. Here’s a link to the video itself:
Here’s a video about the build process for the black and white mandala:
The objective of the perspective piece was to make a video about an opinion we have about something in the world. It could basically be about anything as long as it wasn’t slandering a specific person or wasn’t really offensive. We had to use After Effects for this project, and try to use the various effects on the program that we learned, such as animated masks, sound effects, transitions, shaking, and more. When it came time to choose something to form an opinion on, I couldn’t really think of much, since I’m not one to have a strong opinion on things to criticize, so I just chose something I moderately disliked in and made a video off of it, which was golf. Now, I don’t hate golf, or even really dislike golf, I just don’t like it compared to many other sports, so the goal of my video was to make it satirical. If the video feels like something you’d find on Youtube, that’s the point. If you like golf, that’s great. I hope you aren’t offended in any way by this video, I just wanted to make it satirical.
We had various animation projects we were working on during the other projects, all meant to be a small part of answering who we were.
The name doodle was our first project. It’s basically a name-tag with a drawing in the background, which is meant to represent a part of who we were. My doodle is a pixel art image of Little Mac, specifically the Wireframe version. I did pixel art because it’s simple and easy to get the message across with. I made Little Mac because I like him and I like Punch-Out!! The black hair is a detail that points to the Smash Bros. version of Wireframe Mac, which is important because I like Smash Bros. a lot, and I like playing Little Mac in it a lot, so you can say that this name tag does represent a small part of me.
If you’ve ever gone on Google.com and saw those little animations that play around with the Google logo, then you’ve seen a Google Doodle. A Google Doodle can be described as a motion graphics loop, which is a subgroup of animation that has the goal of creating the illusion of motion to convey some sort of message. The goal for this assignment was to make a short animation that could be considered a Google Doodle on something that happened (or happens) on your birthday. Mine is on June 13th, which just so happens to be the same birthday Chris Evans has, so I did my doodle on that. We also had to make a loading animation for the doodle, since we were supposed to post this somewhere, but we never did.
Notan and Chiaroscuro
This project had us draw a bunch of frames from various movies in the Notan and the Chiaroscuro styles. Both forms are done in black and white. When you draw in Notan, you have important pieces of a frame in black, with the rest of the frame in white, and with Chiaroscuro, the shadows are in black, and the rest is white. We also had to make a drawing of the frame that combined the 2 art styles in some way. Here are a few examples of what I drew (Left is Notan, the center is Chiaroscuro, and right is a combination of both):
Since we were starting Maya this year, which is a 3D modeling, texturing, and animating program, we started off with modeling. We had to pick 3 objects from our Essense Objects list and make 10 different sketches for each object, each in a different art style. The 3 objects I chose were the Khinkali, a stick of deodorant, and a tennis racket.
From there, we had to pick one of the 3 objects and make the object in Maya. I chose the tennis racket, and here’s how it looks in Maya:
3D Object #2
All of the previous projects we did in Animation were done without a teacher, which was because of some unfortunate circumstances, but once we got our new teacher, Mr. Cho, we jumped right into Maya and started doing some modeling. We were tasked with making a full 3D model with texturing and detail. We had to pick a Warhammer weapon and make a model out of it. This is the weapon I chose:
We then took this weapon and made a low-poly model out of it. This is what it looked like once finished with the polygons:
After that, we had to unwrap the model and make a UV layout, which is used for texturing. Here’s what the UV’d model looked like:
After that, we put the model into an application called ZBrush. Before working with the Maya model in ZBrush, we did an exercise where we made an object starting with just a sphere. We made a skull:
We then put the weapon into ZBrush and added details on it. This is what it looked like after detailing:
After that, we put the detailed model into another application called Substance Painter. This app is used for texturing and adding color to the model. This is what the model looked like after texturing and coloring: