Abstract Animation

For my animation, I created a musical concept based off the song “Where no one goes” by Jonsi, specifically the orchestral section from 0:15 seconds to 0:23 seconds. I used a square that pulsed in the center which represented the bass drum and beat of the music. From there I used lines and long rectangles to create movements that followed along with the low violins, and for the higher notes at around 0:19 seconds I drew circles. Overall I believe that I created a decent animation based on this concept, aside from a few things I changed from the original idea as I encountered difficulties or simply found a better way to do it. For example The main problem I encountered had to do with the framerater working with the song. Unfortunately due to the frame rate, somethings were not as synced as I originally hoped, however for the most part everything starts and ends at the same time with the music.

For my abstraction, I looked at the works of Norman McLaren and Mary Ellen Bute. In Norman McLaren’s animation “Dots” (1940) I got the idea of the square becoming more random at the end of the animation as opposed to the very geometric movements it was before. I got this idea specifically at moments like 0:14, 0:42 and 1:10 seconds where the shapes get distorted. In this video, the more crisp the note in the music, the more geometric the shape and the less crisp the note, the more distorted. I applied this idea with my song as at around 0:22 seconds cymbals began crashing, thus creating a contrast between the specific notes of the violins and other instruments. Along with this animation I looked and another video of McLaren’s called “canon” (1964). While this video was not really as abstract as it used real objects, how the objects moved, specifically from 0:23 to 1:48, really caught my attention and were abstract in their own way. They each moved to each chunk of music in fluid motions, and did not worry about individual notes. Overall this idea of thinking of the song as a whole or in chunks rather than just notes helped me to get the overall specific timing of my motions.

Along with Norman McLaren I looked at Mary Ellen Bute’s work for inspiration. Looking at her work in her video “Polka Graph” I got the idea that I wanted shapes to sync up with each note as they do in this video. Each note gets a separate square and motion which is an idea I applied to my own animation. On the left side of my animation you can see this throughout as each moving line and rectangle was made to represent a different note from the violins. The other video of her’s that I looked at was “Tarantella” (1940) and it is what I drew the inspiration for my moving rectangles from. At 2:46, she animates some rectangles that slide across the screen after a note is hit. This happens a lot more clearly at 2:52 as the entire screen begins to be filled by these rectangles. I really liked this idea of something “growing” out of the notes so I applied a similar concept in my animation. You can specifically see the similarity between frames 40 to 52 and frames 90 to 102 of my animation.

I feel like the strongest and smoothest part of my animation would have to be the stair effect I created. This happens twice in the animation, once between frames 30 and 45 and the next time between frames 80 and 95. While I feel like all of the lines I created on the left of the animation are very smooth and well done throughout the entire piece, the movements at those frames really blends together nicely. This might be due to the fact that unlike the other lines, they are all connected and move together, either way the movement her I believe is the strongest in the animation.

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