Monday, February 22, 2010

type iv: I learned. . .

After conducting experiments with several types of materials including styrofoam, magnetic tape, and other plastic substances I have begun to learn how to create unique kinetic movements that occur from varying changes in static electricity and shadow casting or light changes. I have found these materials to have unique attributes that react to real laws of physics, and can create sequences that cannot be recreated in the computer without a lot of work.

When put in contact with different materials, the magnetic tape has a varying static reaction to plastic. The static attraction to these plastics gives the type that has been punched into it an especially unique consistency when filming. It also has an ambiguous nature to its appearance. This makes the magnetic tape a multi-tool for production. Only extensive experimentation can determine all of its uses but for now its purpose is to be a beautiful freak of science. It is also nice to find a use for this commonly discarded stuff called the VHS tape.

The styrofoam is another material that can be used as an anonymous or ambiguous thing that can be transformative and has many uses when constructing a reality. The ambiguous nature of styrofoam when photographed or filmed has an Allis in wonderland sort of effect on the viewer. It can seem gigantic or microscopic. I've heard it isn't as pretty when people realize it is styrofoam, but it is interesting to me to find things that are commonly known as anti-green and turn them into something useful. The reuse of styrofoam is something that could really be a good thing for the environment, and its ability to morph into many things is another interesting quality that seems worthy of further exploration.

Like the styrofoam, I have gouged slits into the side of acrylic plastic which has yielded similar results. It also has the ambiguous nature of styrofoam with even less context. It reacts in many was to light, manly shadow and high lights.

So what's the point?

Some might say that the current trend of kinetic typography has limits. This is hardly alarming to me because I've realized that the problem can be solved by applying some of the same ideas hollywood and moviemakers around the world have used when creating masterful set designs. . . use the real thing. When this happens, there are surprises like new tactile sensations to the words we read. The ambiguity of these materials in turn makes the message ambiguous and so you can shape the message that the viewer will receive. It is all very simple stuff as you can see, but the product or outcome is pretty great considering there is no need for high end applications to produce these things. The only downside to the medium is that it takes longer to create sometimes. But this wouldn't be a problem if there were as many catalogued ideas and tutorials for this sort of organic creation as there were on aftereffects.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Type iv theme developement

These images should give you an idea of what medium I'm interested in working with. I'm having trouble coming up with the content. . . or what my theme is. I want the visual narrative to show a gradation from dark to light. At first the material will be ambiguous and highly camouflaged by the lighting and eventually the materials will have more context as it gets lighter.  

There is the formal stuff the concept is being formed from my formal stuff and I need to figure out how to make it translate into words.  

What interests me about this exploration is how I construct a reality out of junk materials. I think the outcome could be more visceral. I wanted my questions to explore new ways to approach the production of kinetic type. Specifically I wanted to go against an aesthetic I like to call the "omnipresent typist" which I see a lot in current trends. It is most often seen in narrating type films based on dialogues from movies like the big lebowski and others. . . here are quick example links.  

you can see in these adobe constructed type sequences that although the type is treated in a specific way to make the message strong and memorable, it is a little cold and getting stale. One thing I think my experimental type can do is make a message have more impact and be more memorable simply by adding tactile sensations, along with other richnesses. I'm also interested in how these type forms are made with materials that are considered to be "not so green". I saw one of the sophomores had a poster that said "brown is the new green". Bam, that is a good message. . . but it isn't quite the connotation my aesthetic has- mine seems more poetic and less persuasive.  

So here are a couple of key observations that I've been letting pass through my head. I want to use them to form my final content since the  first images at the top are just experiments (i want a product/ artifact-preferabley a film and or photo).  

*The materials are cheap garbage that are bad for the environment  

*The materials all work with a kind of smoke and mirror feel in my initial documentation Using these materials can possibly perform the same techniques as photoshop with a little tweak lighting  

*The process saves time and performs one of what I feel is the most important and least popular of the 3 Rs in reduce REUSE recycle  

*I found another RBFuller quote that goes something like this- "Pollution is an unharvested crop." The quote is different from that and it isn't worded that well but the message is clear and sincere. Why not use junk? EXAMPLE- In WW2 people collected scrap metal to support the war effort.  

*Green is expensive they say, junk is cheap and accessible this is how Think i Think, haha. 

I really like this project, and I've discovered that it may be a key to developing some of my brain storming habits. It's really simple stuff but I need that sometimes.  

The reason I want to author the final content is because the medium choice is going to need some content in order to have more meaning when I put it into film. Not that I need it to be complex or super serious, it will just add to the theme and give my experimental type efforts a purpose.  

If you are familiar with Thanatopsis by William Cullen Bryant, it is a heavy duty message. . . Thanatopsis basically translates to meditation or view on death, but the specifics of the content inspire some of my thinking on these issues in addition to the RBFuller thoughts. Thanatopsis is a good line of thought for me because it talks about things like "becoming brother to the insensible rock" when we die. That infers that we are related to all substances before and after death.  

It is hard to tell who is right or wrong on environmental stuff. Global warming- a hoax? either way, junk takes up space. Scientists and inventors work a lot on finding new ways to make energy. EXAMPLE instead of using corn to make ethanol there is research to find a way to harness algae for the same purpose. It's a good idea to switch from a food source both for the economy of food production of humans and machines.  

Taboo materials like styrofoam are taboos because people only make observations about it. EXAMPLE it takes a long time to disintegrate. So why not use it if it has already been created? I'm being repetitive only because I am sometimes unclear so it might help you help me help you. . or at least there is a lot of stuff floating around your head right now, and you can get an idea of what floating in mine. I use the blog as a tool to work this stuff out sometimes.

tell me what you think about these words

Monday, February 15, 2010

typeiv words

After conducting several experiments to find new ways to create kinetic typography, I've been lead to a new set of questions. Since there are many nuances in the industry I am not so interested in what I can do to kinetic typography but rather what kinetic typography can do for me. My User Experience professor Michael Kidwell has a benchmark to list the three principle uses of language. They are the Practical, the Poetic, and the Persuasive. All three point to a specific trait that good typography has. This trait is Memorably Specific for a Reason.

Knowing this I set out to find what this means for kinetic typography. I began to look at materials and their possible connotation baggage, and also different words or messages I could say with the materials.

I thought of Andy Goldsworthy and other artists who do ephemeral work. I looked at people who do "Permanent" sculptural work like Takenobu Igurashi. This research lead me to believe that sculptural could be a kinetic and powerful medium for typography that could make it more memorable because the words could interact with real objects and the environment. This would add tactile sensations and other memorable stimuli that people could relate to.

Then another sub-question came to mind. Does kinetic type have to be in a film or can it be depicted in a series of photographs. Or does it even need to be captured at all; just sculpture. Since the earth and all its things are moving all the time, there is no stopping anything. I've noticed that 3d kinetic type is truly the last frontier for the field because it bridges the gap between image and type as well as the gap between photo and film.

make three dimensional bitmap words. work on three dimensional cursive. work on other things, and then make vector and bitmap imagery from them in order to create movable letters and words from them.

Friday, February 5, 2010

The definition of typography is a term that restricts the meaning of todays discussions on the topic. First of all, I don't really know where the typography happens in a computer. Typography is a magical code in the form of an image that spatially translates spoken words in specific ways. Type is in print, motion graphics, and even text edit whether we admit it or not.

Through the type iv reading assignments it is clear that information is a popular thing. Lately trendsetters of typography often question the obvious, enjoy problem solving, organizing data, and experimentation. Everywhere there must be check and balance systems because design is subjective in comparison to other sciences. 

In a lot of ways it seems like the design world just shifts back and forth over many spectrums. This is why I am interested in the composing of kinetic typography. At first I wanted to conduct an experiment that would lead to utter chaos. . . how much is too much? Well I think I've tested that one out in several spots and it often has lead to frustration and regret for even trying. By now it is late and I've decided to concentrate on testing out new ways to present kinetic typography. To do this I will set up trials with simple variables in timing, exposure time to words and the deletion or addition to necessary words. My inspiration for this is a long list on youtube that has its own trends set in stone. . . kinetic type done by a scribe. For this project I would like to take authorship, alter texts and screenplays, and show the audience my experiment through both a film and some sort of printed documentation of the exploration.

Hopefully I can do more research and get a thorough plan for testing these waters but for now my goal is to break trends and set a foundation of questioning. I believe that typography and all language has close relations with music. Music is something that everything kind a gets jealous of, but typography is patient.