Ian F. Hunt

Cinematographer and Filmmaker

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Performance Video – Conclusion

Performance Video

Updated November 2012

There’s still a lot of interest in this project so I felt I should update this final Blog entry:

  • Firstly, please note I developed this project for the Mac running Snow Leopard 10.6. I’ve heard that there maybe issues installing Synapse with Lion/Mountain Lion. I would make sure you have installed all the Library files I’ve listed in my Blog entries, Macports, etc. as without these it just will not work.
  • Secondly, I also successfully installed the Kinect SDK for a Windows installation using Bootcamp, so this may also be an option if the Lion/Mountain Lion does not now support Synapse.
Full details of the Project Research and Development Timeline can be accessed using the links to the Blog entries shown at the bottom of this and every Blog post.

Performance Video – The Live Performance

Performance Video – Idea Development

Quartz Composer Video Wall Composition

Fig 1.0 Quartz Composer VJ’ing Composition

One of the project brief options is to create a musical instrument. From this brief the group came up with the idea of filming a local choir with individuals each singing one note which we would record onto video. Then using a form of interactive technology we would playback these videos in realtime creating a live Performance Video.

A performer, call them the conductor or musician would control the development of the song by starting and stopping the playback of the videos each representing a musical tone (or Sound).

The Approach

This would be unlike previous group projects as individual members of the group would be approaching this project from different directions, some us would concentrate on the Visuals while I personally would concentrate on the functionality, the interactivity and the technology involved in the project.

My Responsibilities

For this project I investigated a range of interactive methods that could be employed to manipulate and control a Video and then by using the interactive element of this project, to enable a Performer be that an single individual or group of people by their movements alone control the Video and Sound using Motion Capture Techniques.

I would design in effect a VJ’ing application, the videos responding to the hand movements of the performer. I would also design a delivery method that would include a live performance/broadcast which would for the purposes of this project should encompass projection onto a screen or even the face of a building, but for purposes of this project and the Blog I would just create a video of the working system.

Researching Interactivity – Motion Capture

At the early stage of the project I’d already decided that Microsoft’s Kinnect should be central to the project. Even though I’d had no previous knowledge or experience of designing for interactivity. Basing the project around the Kinnect would also ensure that I would be using the latest motion capture technology. I should qualify that statement by saying “The latest motion capture technology that is affordable and available for a student to have access to for this project.

Test Videos Kinnect Sound Control and Wiimote MIDI controller.

To enable the Kinnect to successfully interface with a MAC I researched and identified a range of Applications and MAC Libraries which needed to be installed and compiled before the project could progress. I’ve detailed these in previous blog entries – see the links below.

I further researched other methods of interactivity using a Wii Remote (Wiimote) for motion capture using the internal accelerometers and motion detectors. I also added a MIDI enabled Keyboard and a Computers Keyboard to control Video playback in real-time (VJ’ing) in my orginal Quartz Composer composition.

Using a MIDI keyboard to control Video Clips

Researching VJ’ing Applications/Interfacing Solutions

I researched and experimented with a number of Applications and application design tools before deciding upon Apple’s Quartz Composer for the development of the VJ’ing element of this project.

Others investigated included MAX MSP with Jitter, Modul8 and Ableton, in fact I tried each of these in turn, designing simple solutions using each of these to test the concept. However even though all of these seemed to suitable for the project for a number of reasons I discarded them for alternatives.

For example, I discarded the Modul8 application as I’d already used this application previously for a project over the summer break. For details see my blog entries Ophelia Project and VJ’ing Modul8 – getting started. I decided that working with this application again would not add to my experience or skills therefore I discarded it to explore new tools and applications.

See my previous Blog entries for details of these other applications – Blog post links below.

Quartz Composer Performance Video Composition

This has been a challenging project, involving a steep learning curve in order to get to grips with the Kinect and Quartz Composer, involving a considerable amount of online research and experimentation to get to the stage of a working prototype. I really mean prototype because I’m sure that the final project could be refined and improved upon.

Referring to previous Blog entries I had a Microsoft Kinect working through my Macbook Pro and driving a MAX MSP patch revealing the depth map image and generating X and Y coordinates.

MAX MSP licenses are limited to a small number of MAC’s within the University and the 30 day demo copy I have was due to expire just before the final critique for the project so I decided that I would take a different path and work with Quartz Composer which is similar to MAX MSP but comes with Xcode.

Quartz Composer - qcOSC an OSC receiver object

Fig 1.1 Quartz Composer – qcOSC an OSC receiver object

Synapse for Kinect which can be found here http://synapsekinect.tumblr.com/ is a stand alone application for both Windows and Mac for interfacing Microsoft’s Kinect to MAX MSP and for me the most interesting Quartz Composer.

There’s a few programs and plugins to install before you can use Synapse with Quartz Composer, just follow the instructions on the website creating folders as required and I also found it helpful to keep all the files in one folder which I called Kinect.

One of the most important is qcOSC which is a Open Sound Control receiver, for our purposes this is what brings the Kinect data into Quartz Composer that is depth image and skeleton data which you can link from to control patches in Quartz Composer. Referring to Fig 1.1 you can see references to ‘left hand position’, ‘head’, ‘torso’, ‘right knee’ and so on this ties in with the skeleton viewed in Synapse.

Fig 3.0 Quartz Composer - Kinect Patch

Fig 1.2 Quartz Composer – Kinect Patch

Fig 1.2 shows the Kinect depth image patch which I’ve linked to a Sprite which outputs the live Video from the Kinect to the viewer window.

Quartz Composer Lenticular Halo Patch

Fig 1.3 Quartz Composer Lenticular Halo Patch

What I have developed is an interactive Performance Video  Application and a Musical Instrument using motion capture technology to control Video and Sound in real time.

Fig 2.0 Quartz Composer Viewer

Fig 2.0 Quartz Composer Viewer

The centre of the project is Microsoft’s Kinect interfaced to a Macbook Pro running a custom Quartz Composer composition which converts the motion capture data from the Kinect to control in effect a VJ’ing application.

The XY coordinates derived from the Kinects Depth Image/Skeleton  are processed and used to enable the starting and stopping of looping video clips based purely on the hand movements of the person standing in front of the Kinect.

Fig 2.0 Screenshot of Video clips playing when XY coordinates data captured from the hand movements match the location of the videos on screen.

The most troublesome part of the project proved to be using the XY coordinates data captured from the Kinect to enable the Billboard Sprites for each of the Video clips as the hand moved across the screen. I tried a number of patches including Boolean Logic and setting Ranges, in the end after a meeting with Liam we identified that the Conditional Patch would resolve this issue using the following equations.

Conditional Patch Settings

IF X is equal to or greater than A then X = TRUE     AND    IF Y is equal to or greater than B then Y = TRUE

This is the equation I started with but in the end I found that I had more accurate results by setting the calculation to be a much simpler

X = X+-T   AND   Y = Y+-T

T = Tolerance range so that the Video clip would be enabled when the hand was within 15 points of the actual centre of the Video clip.

Fig 3.0 Quartz Composer Performance Video Composition

Fig 3.0 Quartz Composer Performance Video Composition

Fig 4.0 Quartz Composer XY Data Capture Calculator

Fig 4.0 Quartz Composer XY Data Capture Calculator

Fig 3.0 Screenshot of the Quartz Composer composition for the completed project. As you can see it involves a large number of elements (patches) which if time permitting I plan to reduce by creating Macros which combine patches together creating a custom patch. For example (See Fig 4.0) to handle just the XY data capture controlling the Video Clips effectively creating one patch to replace 24 individual patches.

Fig 5.0 Screenshot of the Data Capture Calculator (Fig 4.0) consisting of 4 Conditional Patches and 2 Logical Patches converted into just one Macro Custom Patch.

Fig 5.0 Quartz Composer Custom Macro Patch

Fig 5.0 Quartz Composer Custom Macro Patch

 

Creating the Video content

The original concept called for filming a choir as they sang a single note each, however due to the choirs performance dates and commitments we were unable to arrange a mutual time for completing this task and so alternative arrangements were made.

In cooperation with the AUCB Performing Arts department we organised the hire of one of the acting studios and the services of an Actor (Thank you Ben O’Shea). As a group we setup the studio for filming Ben against a Green Screen as he sang each note in a sequence across a number of Octaves. We used a  Canon EOS 5D MKII with the sound captured directly into the camera using a Rode Videomic. The lighting consisted of a Redhead kit, Fluorescent and Led lighting kits.

I personally assisted with the setup of the studio for filming in particular the lighting and filmed the setup and some of the performance for a making of video to be edited by one of the group members.

Other members of the group edited the video clips with only minor advice from myself regarding After Effects. Each of the video clips have been set a run-time of 10 seconds which can be extended if required and saved as a .MOV file format. It should be noted that the .MOV file format is the preferred format for Modul8 and so the video clips could also be used in a live performance using a Modul8 equipped MAC.

Live Performance and Broadcast

The original concept and subsequent design would work well as a Live Performance with the performer interacting with the Video Sequences and the Sound to create a improvised music composition based upon the motion capture data. The performance location could be either internal or externally sited with the Video projected onto a convenient wall, a screen or with a sufficiently powerful projector onto the side of a building.

It would also be possible to stream the Performance Video over the Internet (Broadcast) using a streaming service for example Groovy Gecko a private company offering live streaming services. It should be noted that video streaming just means playing video content on a computer, the video content is watched in real time (internet connection speed dependent) rather than downloading a video and then playing it from the computers hard drive although the video content is actually held on computer in a temporary file that is deleted automatically when the video has finished.

YouTube and Vimeo, indeed any Video source where the video is watched over the internet can be considered as a Video Streaming source. Using a streaming service would be more efficient than using your own computer to stream the video mainly due to bandwidth considerations.

For Live Streaming you would need to be able to encode, compress and upload to the internet in real-time which would require a additional hardware and a powerful computer to be able to achieve this.

Next Steps

As I mentioned this is a project that could be developed further, possibly into a full blown VJ’ing Application making use of the many Video Effects and Filters that are included in the Quartz Composer Patch Library.

The design of the Quartz Composer composition could be used to control sound by hand movement alone by varying pitch and/or volume, the Halo effect could be replaced by other video or image files in fact by hand movement alone any number of video transitions, effects or sound can be controlled just by adding the relevant patches.

Health & Safety

Live performance will most certainly involve an audience and therefore there should be some consideration given to the Health and Safety requirements that should be put in place for both the safety of the performers and the public.

The Basics
  • There should be some form of barrier between performer and the public to prevent collisions.
  • The use of Electricity necessitates that precautions are taken to ensure that performers and the public are isolated from the electrics which should include securing trailing cables.
  • Insurance – there is a legal obligation to have public liability insurance cover.
  • The choice of venue may also have  to be considered for example a live projection in a public place will have different Health and Safety requirements compared with a projection in an enclosed space.

Kinect Specification

Sensor

Kinect USB Pinouts

Kinect USB Pinouts

Colour and depth-sensing lenses
Voice microphone array (made up of 4 microphones)
Tilt motor for sensor adjustment

Field of View

Horizontal field of view: 57 degrees
Vertical field of view: 43 degrees
Physical tilt range: ± 27 degrees
Depth sensor range: 1.2m – 3.5m

Data Streams

320×240 16-bit depth @ 30 frames/sec
640×480 32-bit colour@ 30 frames/sec
16-bit audio @ 16 kHz

Skeletal Tracking System

Tracks up to 6 people, including 2 active players
Tracks 20 joints per active player
Ability to map active players to LIVE Avatars

Useful Link http://liambean.hubpages.com/hub/How-to-Hack-the-Microsoft-Kinect-Overview

Project Blog Entry Links (Project Development Timeline)

  1. Performance Video – Conclusion
  2. Performance Video – Wiimote MAC
  3. Performance Video – VJ’ing using Quartz Composer
  4. Performance Video – Kinnect on MAC and PC
  5. Performance Video – MAX MSP Jitter
  6. Performance Video – Modul8
  7. Performance Video – The Human Orchestra

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Professional Project – Evaluation, The Art of Sport Festival

The Art of Sport Festival – AUCB Professional Project

The Art of Sport Festival. Weymouth Dorset Friday 4th May 2012.

Event located at Redlands Community Sports HUB and Wey Valley School.

Art of Sport Festival (3 minute version)

Art of Sport Festival (short version)

This has been one of the most challenging units in this academic year. It’s challenging on many levels, for example this was my first Documentary and working with an external client on a media project. A good decision was made early on, that was to test and hone our filming and documentary skills by getting involved with smaller but related projects leading up to the main festival. The first project, the filming of the Long Jump gave us some familiarity of what to expect when filming a sports event. This was immediately followed by the filming of the ‘Mini Art of Sport Festival’ which was an even better introduction to successfully producing a sport documentary.

I also watched some example sport documentaries on the internet and was surprised by the poor quality of many that I watched, some appeared to be unedited just visual records of sports events.

I’ve researched documentary theory, the most helpful was the book ‘Introduction to Documentary’ by Bill Nichols from the AUCB Library.

  • Publisher: Indiana University Press (1 Jan 2002)
  • Language English
  • ISBN-10: 0253214696
  • ISBN-13: 978-0253214690

My responsibilities were concentrated on the production of the videos, from visualisation, camera operation to editing and just about everything else in between. As we are a small team of 2 we often had to get involved in areas outside of our respected responsibilities particularly as this was essentially a client based project. We had technical issues; problematic equipment, location generated problems. These problems were added to by the need to satisfy an external client. Therefore I found myself in the position of having thought the job was done only to have to go back to the project and re-edit or make changes to the opening or end credits.

I also designed the end credits using images and logos approved and/or supplied by the client. It was fairly boring orginally so I added a card swip effect using After Effects and added some sound effects to punch it up a little.

As per the requirements of this unit a paper record of all our correspondence with the client, pre-production notes and associated processes are contained in a folder, which will be made available for assessment.

I’ve documented the projects planning, budgets and invoicing in previous blog entries.

Mini Art of Sport Festival – Blog Link:- Professional Project – RELAYS

Paul Oluyemi Long Jump – Blog Link:- Professional Project – London Olympics 2012

The Art of Sport Festival

With the completion of the Mini Art of Sport Festival I had in effect a working template for the main event ‘The Art of Sport Festival’ which took place on Friday 4th May 2012 at the Redlands Centre in Weymouth. From the experience gained from the preceding event I asked Aleksandra to obtain a camera and also asked Georgie Hewitt who I knew was good at filming with a DSLR to join us on the day. My idea behind this was that whilst I would film the days events and activities using mainly long and mid shots, Aleks and Georgie would concentrate on close ups and alternative angles to the ones I was using.

My plan for this project was to look for new content to film, the idea being that this could be added to by suitable video clips taken from the Mini Art of Sport Festival if necessary. I suspected that we would end up with considerably more content than what would be required for a 2 minute film or a 5 minute film and any duration in between.

I also thought it would be a good idea to create a variety of edits using different styles, for example 1 edit could be in a Corporate style and another more targeted towards a more general audience and maybe a 3rd just for children. These edits would be made available to the client should they want them.

We were fortunate on the day with the promised rainfall thankfully absent, I’d had visions of all 2,000 children relocated to the undercover facilities and the cancellation of some of the activities. However with the changing cloud cover the available light changed as well and so some sequences appear dark while others are bright. When working on the edits for this final project I am grateful to the pre-production planning where I decided we really must have an additional camera in order to cover the activities, shots and opportunities that may be missed by not having that additional resource. I have used footage from all 3 cameras in the editing process.

We have footage for several edits and should be able to satisfy the clients immediate and future requirements. For the purposes of this unit and the rapidly approaching deadline I have produced example edits based on the clients previous requirements, but I’m sure we will have to make changes to these depending on the media platform they will be displayed be it for a TV using a DVD or for upload to the Internet for video streaming.

In conclusion I think that overall this unit has gone well with the clients requirements having been met for the 3 projects. The team has worked well, each of our skills and abilities complimenting each other. What would I change if I had to repeat this type of assignment? to be honest not much, it would seem to be obvious to enlarge the team size but I would disagree, a larger team may have presented more problems than it would have solved. For example increased logistics, higher costs and associated additional equipment requirements may outweigh more any benefit it may have had. If I was to be critical I would say that we would have reduced our, or in particular my workload, in post production if I had determined our clients wishes more satisfactorily. I made the mistake of assuming that my requirements for the completed edit would closely match the clients, this was proved to be an incorrect assumption on my part. The solution to this would have been to involve the client earlier and throughout the stages of the post production process. However in my defense some of the changes were introduced late in the process for example the addition of more logos and changes to some of the edits to exclude individuals from the final edit.

The extensive project notes, shots lists and storyboards have been submitted as a folder at the hand in date.

Mini Art of Sport Festival – Evaluation

Here is the final client approved video for the Mini Art of Sport Festival

This was an enjoyable project, we were basically set an open brief to document the days events, the only restriction was that some of the children could not be filmed other than that we could decide ourselves on the best approach and the content that we would generate.

I’ve documented the days events in a previous blog but essentially, apart from some technical issues we successfully completed the planned filming and created a few set pieces which could be used to enliven the final video. On the whole I think we were satisfied by what we had achieved between just the 2 of us using the resources we had to hand.

Then in Post Production I became suddenly aware of the clients change in requirements and how they would differ from my own. Up to this point and on previous projects the only person I had to satisfy with my finished creation was myself, while keeping an eye on satisfying the brief and feedback from lecturers. For this project I produced a number of video edits (7 in all) until I had a final video which satisfied the clients brief, which included the following:-

  • must be no longer than 3 minutes long,
  • must not show/identify certain individuals,
  • must use only authorised logos and laid out in a particular sequence.
  • must be in .MOV file format

On top of this the video needed to include particular activities and people. Of course these requirements changed/evolved over the Post Production process hence the high number of edits produced.

Finally we advised the client on the presentation of the video for the VIP’s on the day of the Festival, suggesting that they abandon their original idea of using projection. That instead they secure a large screen TV or LCD panel for the day as this would cope more effectively with the lighting conditions (viewing in a marquee in full daylight). The Plasma TV they sourced had a built in DVD Player and good sound quality which solved the problem of linking DVD Player and Sound System to the display.

The early versions of this video was plagued by its audio, even though a directional microphone was used the ambient noise in the Sports Hall created by 100’s of children drowned out the voices of the interview. This was unsolvable although I attempted a variety of sound filtering using Audacity and Soundbooth. The only solution was to record again the interview sequences in a controlled environment. While doing this I had the idea to use this opportunity to record an interview specifically for the Art of Sport Festival in anticipation of similar problems with sound on the day. (This was proved to be the right decision)

The extensive project notes, shots lists and storyboards have been submitted as a folder at the hand in date.

 Mini Art of Sport Festival – Edit Stages as a Playlist (7 videos in all)

The Long Jump Project and Video – Evaluation

As I mentioned in my Blog entry for this project I was really pleased with the outcome, the final video coming very close to my original visualisation. Although we had all kinds of problems scheduling the shoot everything came together on the night. Our preparations and pre-production were up to the job and the shot list completed in good order with time to explore alternative angles and shots.

The post production also went as planned and I soon had 2 edits which I was pleased with and importantly satisfied the client.

If only all projects had progressed so satisfactorily.

The extensive project notes, shots lists and storyboards have been submitted as a folder at the hand in date.

Professional Project – Links to related Blogs

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Professional Project – Learning Agreement

Learning Agreement

THE ARTS UNIVERSITY COLLEGE AT BOURNEMOUTH

Learning Agreement

Name: Ian Hunt         

Course: Digital Media Production           

Level: 5                        

Unit: Professional Project 

Unit Code: IMD513    

Credit points: 45        

Study hours: 450       

Tutor(s): Phil Beards, Liam Birtles         

Synopsis of study

To produce a series of short documentary videos for delivery on DVD and Internet recording the build up to the ‘The Art of Sport Festival’ a local event organized as part of the Inspired Programme London 2012 Olympics. The London 2012 Inspire Programme recognizes innovative and exceptional projects that are directly inspired by the 2012 Olympics and Paralympic Games.

The client (a joint venture between the AUCB and BU) have asked our group to produce a video documentary of the ‘The Art of Sport Festival’ to be held at the Redlands Centre in Weymouth on 4th May 2012.

We as a group have also offered to make short video documentaries of other Inspire Projects preceding the Festival showing the progress of the groups as they prepare for the Festival.

The overall plan is to have a series of short videos, which can be recorded onto DVD for viewing in the VIP enclosure on the day of the Festival. To be included in this plan is to produce videos in a format suitable for showing on the Internet. On the actual day of the Festival we will make a documentary of the days highlights, which will also be burned onto DVD and at the same time delivered on the Internet for Live Sites in Plymouth, Swindon, Bristol and Weymouth during the lead up to the 2012 Olympic Games.

In addition to the Art of Sport Festival we would as part of this unit, work with another AUCB student Paul Oluyemi who is a Great Britain Long Jump Athlete to produce a promotional video for his sport. The plan is to attend one of Paul’s evening training sessions at a local athletics stadium and record his preparations for competing at the Long Jump.

My responsibilities

I will assume the role of Director for all the units’ projects. I will then following meetings with the client go on to produce produce a plan (conceptualisation) for the visuals and associated elements that I think will make for a good documentary. At the same I will in discussion with other members of the group and at the same time with the client identify ideas and produce questions for interviews and for any voiceovers that seem appropriate.

I will also produce the video edits from the documentary footage in formats suitable for burning to a DVD and for upload to YouTube and the clients own websites.

For the Long Jump element of the unit I would assume similar duties but this time target the final video primarily for the Internet and its distribution on Social Networks such as Facebook.

Aims

A1 To develop your creativity and your knowledge and understanding of professional practice.
A2 To develop and produce a professional standard of creative work in response to a ‘live’ or simulated brief.
A3 To prepare you for employment, freelance work or further study.
A4 To develop your understanding of costing and invoicing in preparation for business.
A5 To encourage students to see critical reflection as a key element of creative thinking and practice.

Learning outcomes:

            On completion of this unit you will be able to:
LO1 Demonstrate a professional standard of creativity and practical ability, including:

  • Work that is technically comparable to that made within a specified genre.
  • Work that shows an awareness of contemporary trends, styles and subject matter, within
  • commercial contexts.
  • Work that shows a high degree of creativity and aesthetic judgement.

LO2 Respond appropriately to the demands of a professional/self initiated brief, including:

  • Appropriate creative outcomes to industry/work related briefs.

LO3 Demonstrate readiness for employment, freelance work or further study with confidence in the level of your creative, practical and professional knowledge and skills.
LO4 Demonstrate understanding of relevant costing and invoicing procedures, including :
The various costing and pricing scales and structures within relevant commercial contexts.

  • Timescales for payment.
  • Legal requirements, copyright and syndication rights.
  • VAT, National Insurance etc.

LO5 Reflect critically upon work and to use this as a springboard for the further development of ideas and creative practice.

Assessment Requirements

        Body of professional creative work as identified in a learning agreement 100%
Each assessment requirement must be passed at a minimum grade of 40% to successfully complete the unit.

Assessment Criteria

        Evidence of knowledge of concepts and contexts (a) – Project work that shows creative maturity and direction within a commercial context (LO1,LO2)
Evidence of understanding through research and analysis. (c) – Extensive research, and the application of it, used for the underpinning and final conclusion of project work (LO1,LO2,LO4)
Evidence of realisation through presentation (f) – Work is placed within a commercial context and appropriate methods of presentation used. (LO3)
Evidence of understanding through critical evaluation and reflection (e) – The objectives of the research have clearly been identified and used to inform project work. (LO5)
Evidence of realisation through technical application and skills (g) – A synthesis of creativity and professionalism is demonstrated in the conclusion of the project work (LO1)

Transferable skills

        These must be taken exactly from the unit outline in your course handbook

Reference

        This will vary according to the needs of individual students. You will define reference material through negotiation with staff and list it in your Learning Agreement. For further guidance on resources please speak to your Subject Librarian

Action plan/time plan

        You should construct a relevant action plan/schedule to demonstrate that your project is achievable within the time available, and to help you structure the learning process. Your course tutors will advise you on the most appropriate way of doing this for your own specialist subject.

        All learning agreements must be signed by student and tutor.

        It is possible to make amendments to your agreement, as long as these are agreed by your tutor.

Professional Project – Links to related Blogs

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PPRD2 – The Essay

Essay

Personal Planning, Reflection and Development 2

This year has had its challenges, which have helped to concentrate and focus my thoughts in regard to the direction I’d like to take my future studies. I had until now thought that the technology was the most important aspect of the course and the challenge was to gain mastery of the development tools, but I now feel the tools should not be given such a high precedence. There is always a new tool already in development that simplifies the creative process replacing those in use today.  While it is useful to have these skills, it now, to me seems to be more important to concentrate on the development of my creative skills.

In this second year, which was progressing so well, two and half units completed, that is Performance Video and Future Cinema, both challenges successfully completed. The Professional Project was also going well with two videos satisfactorily produced and approved by the clients. Then came the next unit, New Perspectives for New Contexts, and suddenly the progress I felt I had made came to a resounding halt, a second year of disappointing marks and feedback. Writing a good quality essay still appears to elude me, but this only makes me more determined than ever to overcome this deficiency, as I am fully aware that this skill is essential for the final year where the dissertation forms a significant part of the degree.

Looking back to the first project and the first challenge of the year, the Future Cinema unit and idea development, the challenge was conceptualising an idea for Future Cinema that I could actually visualise being implemented in the real world but at the same time avoiding the obvious. The most obvious option would have been to work on a project involving 3D Visuals. However I felt that 3D should be avoided, as this is currently in Vogue and in Cinemas, and so this could hardly be a subject for Future Cinema. I personally think that our original conceptualisation suggested by Aleksandra, the enhancement of cinema sound, was ground breaking. The addition of two channels of binaural sound added to a cinemas 5.1 or 7.1 surround sound would add a whole new element to the cinematic experience. Providing the filmmaker the option to add a whole new dimension to their creation. I believe this project could be further developed and actually implemented in a cinema. However the project progress was not without problems, whilst I personally find working in a team satisfying I know it does not suit everyone and so for the first time a projects progress was being set back by a team members lack of involvement. This was resolved by re-assigning responsibilities and duties amongst the other team members. We then went onto to produce the project to a satisfying conclusion. At the time winning the praise of a lecturer from outside of our course, for the groups approach; its innovation, the experimentation, testing and in the development of a new concept for audio in film. We all learned something new from this unit from the advantages and disadvantages in working in a team and to look beyond developing projects based on visuals alone, which up to this point had usually been the most significant element in any preceding unit.

Armed with this new belief in our personal abilities to innovate and experiment, the group, working together, set about tackling the next unit, Performance Video. The idea was to design an interactive video/audio sequence, although not ground breaking, would have its challenges. I took on the responsibility for producing the interactive element of the project. I decided I would like to base the design around the Kinect as the central technology. Having not seen a Kinect before other than in pictures this really was something new, a real challenge for my technical abilities. Whilst this project was allocated the same amount of time as the previous one, I distinctly felt the pressure of the time passing due to the heavy workload. There appeared to be so much extra to research just to be able to get the project started, for example preparing the computer to be able to connect with the Kinect and then to go on and develop an application from scratch that could control the sound and video seemed impossible in the allocated time. With the deadline rapidly approaching and the seemingly unbridgeable gulf between what I had so far created and what was needed for completion. Then I had a real epiphany generated out of a meeting with Liam and other students, I reasoned the solution would be much simpler than I had originally thought. The missing element involving writing a simple mathematical expression, which I slotted into place and the project, completed. I felt again that positive feeling, the satisfaction of successfully completing another unit. The core of this project is the ability to control video and sound interactively just by hand and other body movements and with some further development this could be used in an Art installation. However, even with the positive feeling I’d gained from completing the project, I did feel somewhat disappointed with the final assessment, when it was deemed we had developed a means for creating a Performance Video rather than a Performance Video itself. Had we misinterpreted the brief?

Moving onto the Professional Project it was felt that we should break up the team, moving us out of our comfort zone. However I continued to work with Aleksandra as our interests complimented each other. I wanted to test myself in the Directors role and produce short films with a 2012 Olympics theme and Aleks wanted similar experience as a Producer. The first project was with an AUCB student, Paul Oluyemi who is sponsored by the AUCB for the Olympics and then the second project with Jo Gardner from AUCB Arts and Events and is the 2012 South West Inspire Programmer/RELAYS Cultural Coordinator. We contacted Paul, arranged a meeting with him and pitched to him the idea of producing a video from one of his training sessions, which I felt went very well. Then a meeting with Jo to discuss how we could be involved in the RELAYS project. From this initial meeting we offered to produce a video record of the Art of Sport Festival to be held in May, however as this was sometime away we also offered to produce videos of events leading up to the festival.

I visualised what I wanted to achieve from these two assignments, first we filmed an evening training session using the storyboards and shot lists we had created. Then we began to think of additional visuals we might add to enhance the narration, for example positioning the camera low at the start of the jump to capture Paul against the night sky as he jumped. We then began experimenting with the camera, for example using the focus to create a Bokeh effect of the stadium lighting. Then there was the challenge of storytelling using purely visuals. The original plan was to use a voiceover but we discarded this idea in favour of using the strong visuals themselves to tell the story. We both felt this element of the project had gone well, both of us producing our own video edits, both telling the same story but from different perspectives. I thought this was my best video work so far and was really looking forward to the next project. Why did I think this was my best work? I really think it was due to us getting the final video to look as close to what I had originally visualised. Usually there are compromises, but in this case I really felt we had got what we were aiming for first time and therefore deeply satisfying.

The next challenge, ‘The Mini Art of Sport Festival’ and forming a part of the RELAYS project and the preparations for the May Festival. This we decided would be a documentary on the organisation with voiceover for onscreen visuals. Filming a documentary was a new and challenging experience. From the video recorded on the day I produced four edits including designing the opening and end credits from Logos supplied by the client. Although I will never be totally satisfied with what I had achieved as the final edit will be decided by the client, I do feel this project is going well and have enjoyed the learning process thus far.

Regarding the third year and beyond, I have several interests that I will have to choose from to develop in the third year. I intend to make what term time I have left and use of the summer break to consider which will be the best of these to take forward. My choices though are all based upon a central interest in producing education and training tools, for example by creating a series of subject related videos or to look at an interactive method of delivery, possibly developing an App to run on the iPad, to this end I have already begun to investigate relevant development tools that is InDesign and IBook Author.

I hope to get some work experience in an education or training environment to determine if this is a possible future career path with opportunities for work satisfaction and personal growth.

Finally I’ve also decided that I would like to investigate the opportunities to continue in education following the completion of my Degree that is working towards an MA or even higher degree with the caveat of finances and time permitting.

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PPRD2 – Reflective Writing Exercise & Questionnaire

Personal Planning, Reflection and Development 2

Reflective Writing Exercise
Anonymous – Message to the American People

A parody of the film V for Vendetta released in 2006 by James McTeigue.

The central character of this YouTube video using the same mask as the central character in the film, which is now a symbol for revolution and rebellion against government and corporations around the world. The videos style simulates a CCTV broadcast image with simulated lines that were a feature of television broadcasts displayed on old vacuum tubed televisions. The narration disguised and generated electronically, two voices in unison. The screen character wears no hat but there is the outline of one simulated and which is similar to the one worn by the films character V. The symbol in the top left of the screen very similar to the one used by the United Nations suggesting that they should be considered in parallel a United Organisation against the establishment.

The whole video seems to represent a professional organisation but at the same time generates a feeling of menace throughout, the semiotics in the message designed to do just that. We are anonymous; we are watching you, big brother all these messages are in this video. This is a warning directed against the establishment, we are watching you and will react based on what you do next. The two voices one female the other male confuses but could also suggest gender is not a factor or could be seen to suggest this is a common message targeting both genders – in unison. This is a powerful video and instilled into me the desire to investigate what was behind this message and to attempt a similar video project myself purely for creative reasons and by it generate the same emotional response.

The Truth

This is my video, which I created in direct response to the one by Anonymous. I based my video design on an old television program called Dark Angel where a central character in the program (Eyes Only) used a similar technique to broadcast messages exposing government secrets or acts against the people. I filmed my own eyes in close up while reading from an excerpt taken from the V for Vendetta script. The visuals effects used included grain with artifacts to break up the picture, simulating a CCTV transmission. I also added a videotape position/time counter to give the video the look of a CCTV recording being played back. Another visual effect was to create the letterbox style mask so that only the eyes can be seen. The final touch was to disguise the voice, I used the Mac’s Voiceover Utility to read back the script excerpt using one of the female voice options.

While not entirely happy with the visuals, as I would have preferred to use someone else’s face for the close up. I am however happy with the overall result, the music track I’d chosen working well with the visuals to help create a feeling a of menace similar to the anonymous video. The overall message of the video is very also similar in tone to the anonymous video. Sharing a link, both with the anonymous video and with the film V for Vendetta, by using the words from the films script.

To summarise while I believe my video is not as successful as the anonymous video in creating the same feeling of menace it comes close and while I may not feel the full emotional benefit having produced the video and being aware of all the elements used in the production, to an outsider this video may have the same effect.

 

PPRD Questionnaire

 

  1. My previous work experience has included a range of roles in a number of industries but none in the Digital Media industry. However the skills and experience gained are hopefully fully transferable and will greatly benefit me when seeking employment in the Media Industry in whatever role I choose in the future. At this time I have still to decide what role this will be but in the short to long term I am seriously considering continuing in education doing a postgraduate course rather than immediately seeking employment although I will certainly have to supplement my grant by working part time. Therefore some part time work in a Media related industry would be ideal.
  2. I have enjoyed all the project work carried out on the course so far the only possible exception being the project using Maya. The projects with a Video production element have been the most interesting and I have enjoyed Post Production particularly using Premiere Pro and After Effects. Bearing this in mind Post Production work would be of most interest for a future role although that may be me just choosing the safe option, as technical challenges are something I’m very familiar with and I am used to solving.
  3. I am unlikely to consider moving out of the geographical area in the short to medium term and so I will only be looking for local work or consider setting up my own company in the local area. The type of job may be working for a Video Production company or setup my own. I have discussed this with friends and family and they have convinced me that I should consider a career in education or training, something that I had not personally thought of before but now that I have, I think I could be interested in that role particularly if it combines a technical aspect that is also of interest to me.
  4. I would like to assume more responsibility in future projects and so I would welcome project management roles. I am interested in anything technical in the New Media Industry and I continuously research these areas on a regular basis. I do however get easily sidetracked and could easily spend hours working on and solving a technical challenge not related to the project in hand. I would welcome any time spent on using Project Management tools, which I plan to do for the Professional Project Unit.
  5. I have already begun to develop a number of contacts outside of the University, unfortunately they currently all seem to want the services I can provide free of charge and so this needs addressing for the future. I know I have a problem charging a fair rate for my services and quite often offer discounts when none have been asked for. For example I have friends employed in Education who have suggested that I start a training company as they think I have the skills to train people particularly in technical subjects (Computer Related).
  6. I refer you to my answer to question one; I have successfully functioned in a variety or roles as both an individual and in a team on a project. I can liaise successfully with clients at all levels and have worked overseas, successfully overcoming language and working barriers to complete major projects on time and on budget. I have a range of core skills, which I have added to whilst at University. I consider myself a very technical individual and given time I can successfully adapt to new technologies and applications. I have run my own businesses for over 20 years and I have a range of business skills for example I’ve secured Funding for a business, setup accounting practices and employed and managed teams of people.
  7. I need to understand what if any differences there are in running a Media Business compared to the Businesses I’ve run in the past. I suspect there are many differences mainly related to the type of customer I would meet and their requirements. Although my time in the professional Theatre Industry means that I have experience of working and relating well with people in the creative industries.
  8. I have secured my own domain name and designed my Blog to act as a Portfolio of my work completed while at College and University. At some point I will develop a separate showcase of my work specifically for prospective clients to view online.
  9. In the short term my portfolio has attracted over 37,000 hits since going live in May 2011, I’m hoping this will eventually produce a work related contact, which will lead to paid for work in the Media Industry.

10. Not easy to answer this question, as I not ready to commit to a specific role in industry, for example I am seriously considering remaining in education on the completion of the course. I therefore plan to investigate postgraduate education choices.

 

  1. a.     Short Term

i.     Investigate postgraduate education MA or PhD courses

ii.     Employment in Education PCGE course

iii.     Part time opportunities for media related work

iv.     Setup a Media Company

v.     Seek industry awards by entering work into competitions and festivals

 

  1. b.    Long term

i.     Establish my name in the Media Industry

ii.     Earn a living as a Digital Media professional

iii.

 

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Professional Project – RELAYS

RELAYS

RELAYS – Regional Educational Legacy for Arts & Youth Sport

[youtube youtube.com/watch?v=6fvqGwD3iGc]

2nd Professional Project, working with Jo Gardner on the Inspire Programme. The Inspire programme enables non-commercial organisations across the UK to link their events and projects to the London 2012 Games in an official scope.

We’ve been asked by Jo to record the The Art of Sport Festival which takes place on the 4th May 2012 in Weymouth. This is a Festival for children from local schools and involving both Sport and Art activities. However as this date would be almost at the end of the Unit, 8th May we decided that we would also create a series of short videos recording some events leading up to the main festival. Our first opportunity to do this was at the ‘Mini Art of Sport Festival’ which was also hosted in Weymouth and took place on Friday 16th of March at the Wey Valley School (This would also be the venue for the Art of Sport Festival).

As this is a live event the majority of what we would be able to film would be outside of our control and for that reason a second camera was procured which Alek’s would use hand held to record cutaways and those candid moments that the main camera may miss. Unfortunately on the day this additional preparation went unrealised as we had technical problems with the second camera.

Filming

I’d already decided with Alek’s that we would interview Annie Hargreaves and Virginia Bailey for the documentary. I planned to use the first few 10 seconds of video and then using the sound channel only from the interview as a narration/soundtrack over the visuals we would be filming of the children competing in all the sport and art activities on the day. Although this was unknown to us at the time this would be our second technical issue on the day. For although we used a directional microphone the ambient noise level was so high high that it effectively drowned out Annie’s and Virginia’s interview.

Overall though the day seemed to go well and I managed to try some unusual camera techniques including holding the camera on a fully extended tripod over my head to record high level visuals. This is where my camera the Canon 60D comes in useful with it’s swivel screen which allowed me to view the action even with the camera positioned some 2 metres over my head.

Due to the sound issues with the original recording we arranged with Virginia to come back into the studio on another day so that we could record the interview again. We filmed Virginia standing in front of the Inspire Programme Banner in the DMP Studio. The footage is a surprisingly good match with the video sequences shot on the day and integrates well into the final video.

Editing

I created a number of edits, all of which I showed to the client for approval before going onto producing the final edit. Some of the edits required the removal of individuals from the footage as identified by the client. The interview soundtrack is an issue which can only be resolved by re-recording this in a studio environment which I intend to do as soon as Virginia is available.

I had to create a opening credit using the Inspire Programme sting (Supplied by them) and static images from RELAY , which I created using After Effects producing a video sequence. The final touch was to create an end credit sequence using the static images and logos from the various agencies and organisations involved in RELAYS.

The video above is my personal edit (the 7th edit in this project so far) and may not be the final edit to be submitted to  the client.

An important lesson to be learned from this process is to actively engage your client at the beginning of the Post Production process. I made the mistake of completing each edit to my satisfaction and uploading to YouTube for the client to review. This meant that I was repeating the editing process for each change and addition, effectively wasting hours of time rendering and uploading videos that were eventually superseded by the next edit. The answer must be to sit down with the client with the edits )in the editing application) and agree with them the way to go forward effectively finalising the edit before going to the final stages of rendering, uploading and/or burning to DVD. Unfortunately this is probably not an option in the real world trying to schedule meetings for this purpose, my own experience shows how difficult this can be.

Project Planning and Production Notes

  • Company Name: H&S Productions
  • VAT Registered: No
  • Project: Mini Art of Sport Festival
Type of Project: Digital Video – Documentary Production

Synopsis: To film the Mini Art of Sport Festival a pre event for the Art of Sport Festival in May 2012. Produce a number of short video sequence of 2 to 5 minutes or less for upload onto the Internet for embedding by the client and to produce a DVD for promotional purposes.

Pre-production:
  • Arranged meeting with client to discuss the project and the clients requirements for the videos.
  • Produce a series of basic outline Storyboards and possible shot lists for the event.
  • Produce a list of questions to ask the participants on camera.
  • Complete a Risk Assessment and advance booked the equipment needed.
Production:
  • Filmed the event live on the day over a 3 hour period using 2 cameras. Canon 550D and Canon 60D.
  • I set both cameras to record in 1080p at 30 fps.
Post Production:
  • Produced 4 edits from the videos taken on the evening from both cameras.
  • Actual time working on these edits varied but altogether 6 hours for all 4 edits.
  • Edited using Adobe After Effects and Premier CS5.
  • Sourced a suitable music soundtrack
  • Created the opening and end titles from video and images supplied by the client

Budgeting Notes

Filming:
  • Myself and Aleksandra would do all the actual filming and editing.
Equipment:
  • I would use my Canon 60D and Aleksandra borrowed a Canon 550D from a fellow student which was sufficient for this filming session.
  • For editing we both had access to our own MAC computers with Adobe CS5 installed therefore no additional equipment was required for this project.
Additional Costs:
  • We would use my car to travel to and from the venue.
Outline Budget
  • As we would carry out the entire production ourselves our charges would come under the £50 per day restriction.
  • There was no additional equipment required therefore no charges made for this.
  • Assuming 2 people over 2 days the total cost would be £200.
Actual Budget
 

Project: Art of Sport Festival – Rate based on

  • 1 days filming

  • 2 days editing

Director Ian Hunt £200.00
Producer Aleksandra Leontjeva £160.00
Camera x2 £280.00
Sound x1 £140.00
Video Editor x1 £140.00
Sub Total £920.00
Add 5% Overheads £46.00
Add 15% Profit Margin £144.90
TOTAL To be invoiced to the client £1110.90

Based upon this initial Budget calculation we would have completed the project and come in under the maximum the client would be expected to pay that is £2,225.00 with an overall profit of £1,114,10. This is assuming we invoiced at the maximum allowable and based on overall costs of £920.00 + £46.00 (Overheads) – that is £966.00 total costs.

Professional Project – Links to related Blogs

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Professional Project – London Olympics 2012

London Olympics 2012

Professional Project – Paul Oluyemi Great Britain Long Jump Athlete – London Olympics 2012

One of my original ideas for the Professional Project is to produce a series of short films, documentaries that represent the local viewpoint of the London 2012 Olympics.

An internal University email brought Paul to our attention and at the same time it was also suggested by our Lecturer Phil Beards that we contact Olympic long jump hopeful Paul Oluyemi who is both a student and is sponsored by the Arts University College Bournemouth.

Aleksandra (The Producer) and myself (The Director) arranged an initial meeting with Paul to discuss the project. That is what we were looking to achieve and of course to request his involvement and his permission to make a short video. To produce a short documentary of some of his preparations and training for his sport the Long Jump  during the run-up to the London 2012 Olympics.

Following on from this we had a another meeting where I discussed with Aleksandra what I visualised for this video. Basically the idea was to produce a very short video documenting a single training session for a Long Jump. Also to film separately an interview with Paul in one of the DMP rooms. Aleksandra came up with the idea that we should also film an informal training session on the beach which would provide a comparison between the formal and informal.

A followup meeting with Paul we discussed in more detail the parameters of the project and he suggested that we could film one of his training sessions at the Kings Park Athletic Stadium in Bournemouth. Paul trains six days a week, but we had a deadline to work to as Paul was heavily committed over the coming weeks so we had to move quickly.

Within a week we were at the stadium setting up the cameras for an evening training session on what felt like one of the coldest evenings of the year. The lighting didn’t come on until after 6.30pm and the test shots we tried beforehand although acceptable I soon realised would not fit in with the rest of the video footage as the light faded into night. So I decided we must wait until the stadium lights would come on, this way the light would be controlled and therefore consistent throughout the video shoot.

I set my camera the Canon 60D onto a tripod and Aleksandra used her camera, the Canon 550D handheld. The main shots were all storyboarded beforehand and so I knew where to position the camera for each of what I decided would be the key points in the Long Jump. These were the approach; the launch down the runway, the foot hitting the board, the flight and the landing. In all I guess we had Paul complete more than 12 jumps to get all the shots we required. On top of this we filmed cutaways for example warm ups, the raking of the sand, closeups of face and feet and son on. In all we were on site for 3 hours to get just slightly more than a minutes video.

Within a few days of filming I had a first edit to show Paul in order to get his approval, as after all Paul was in effect the client for this section of the project.

The next stage was to arrange and meet with Paul to film the interview in one of the sound editing suites, which we completed with a week of starting the project. We used my Camera the Canon 60D to record visuals and my Rode Videomic mounted on a table top tripod to record sound. Using this setup we avoided any mechanical noises from the camera getting on the soundtrack.

I then set about creating a second edit combining the 2 shoots, this can be seen above. I decided that I would just use Paul to introduce himself and then the rest of the video would be the long jump itself. I personally felt this had more impact than using the interview soundtrack as a narration over the jump sequence.

Project Planning and Production Notes

  • Company Name: H&S Productions
  • VAT Registered: No
  • Project: Long Jump
Type of Project: Digital Video – Documentary Production

Synopsis: To film a training session with a Great Britain Athlete competing in the Long Jump. Produce a short video sequence of 2 minutes or less for upload onto the Internet for embedding by the client in social media websites for promotional purposes.

Pre-production:
  • Arranged meeting with client to discuss the project and the clients requirements for the video.
  • Obtain a release from the clients agent to be able to embed the video in our student blogs and for transmission on the AUCB internal iPTV Network.
  • Produce a series of basic outline Storyboards and shot lists for the training session.
  • Complete a Risk Assessment and advance booked the equipment needed.
Production:
  • Filmed an evening training session under floodlights over a 2.5 hour period using 2 cameras. Canon 550D and Canon 60D. I set both cameras to record in 1080p at 30 fps.
  • Filmed an interview with the client in studio approx 30 minutes. Canon 60D, Rode Videomic.
 Post Production:
  • Produced 3 edits from the video taken on the evening from both cameras.
  • Actual time working on these edits varied but altogether 4 hours for all 3 edits.
  • Edited using Adobe After Effects and Premier CS5.
  • Sourced a suitable music soundtrack

Budgeting Notes

Filming:
  • Myself and Aleksandra would do all the actual filming and editing.
Equipment:
  • I would use my Canon 60D and Aleksandra borrowed a Canon 550D from a housemate which was sufficient for this filming session.
  • For editing we both had access to our own MAC computers with Adobe CS5 installed therefore no additional equipment was required for this project.
Additional Costs:
  • We would use my car to travel to the venue.
Outline Budget
  • As we would carry out the entire production ourselves our charges would come under the £50 per day restriction.
  • There was no additional equipment required therefore no charges made for this.
  • Assuming 2 people over 2 days the total cost would be £200.
Actual Budget
 

Project: Long Jump – Rate based on

  • 2 days filming

  • 1 days editing

Director Ian Hunt £400.00
Producer Aleksandra Leontjeva £320.00
Camera x2 £560.00
Sound x1 £280.00
Video Editor x1 £140.00
Sub Total £1,700.00
Add 5% Overheads £85.00
Add 15% Profit Margin £267.75
TOTAL To be invoiced to the client £2052.75

Based upon this initial Budget calculation we would have completed the project and come in under the maximum the client would be expected to pay that is £2,225.00 with an overall profit of £440.00. This is assuming we invoiced at the maximum allowable and based on overall costs of £1700.00 + £85.00 (Overheads) – that is £1785.00 total costs.

Earlier Video Edits

2nd Edit
First Edit

Professional Project – Links to related Blogs

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New Perspectives for New Contexts – David Hockney iPad

David Hockney iPad

David Hockney iPad.

The Bigger Picture

  • Course Title. Digital Media Production.
  • Unit Title. New Perspectives for New Contexts. Ref. IMD506. Level 5.
  • Course Tutor. Amanda Stephenson.
  • Completed. 23/03/2012

David Hockney has a history of embracing and experimenting with new technology and this has recently come to the attention of both the public and the artistic world again with his use of the iPad, iPhone and Video as an artists tool and medium. The aim of this study is to discuss how Hockney’s current high profile use of the iPad and other digital technology will effect contemporary art and its place in the cultural definition of what is considered fine art, which is now being created using this digital technology. In addition, to look at how digital technology has found general acceptance among artists and the public as a method of creating artworks. David Hockney, arguably one of `England’s most celebrated living artist’ (Parson, R. 27/02/2012), and his use of digital technology specifically the iPhone and iPad in the creation of his latest artworks has caught the imagination of the media, fellow artists and the general public. For it is Hockney’s use of this new technology, the iPad and iPhone in particular, which have come to the attention of the worlds media, this creating as much interest as the exhibition and the artworks on display themselves. These artworks, currently on display at the ‘Royal Academy of Arts’ feature prints; oil paintings and watercolours covering many of the walls of the gallery, many of which were created using the iPad.

This move away from the traditional painting methods to using the latest in digital technology could be construed as an evolutionary change in the fine arts establishment. With the current acceptance of celebrated artists using this new digital technology growing, this could be seen as only leading to the eventual replacement of many of the traditional methods of creating artworks, that is, those artists using the sketchbook and then painting directly onto canvas using oil and watercolour. However, this will almost certainly not be the case, there is still a place for the traditional methods. The technological advances introduced by the iPad and similar developments in digital video, 3D and Holographic projection may end up just being no more than another tool in the artist’s toolbox.

Fig 1.0 iPad David Hockney

Fig 1.0 An untitled iPad drawing by the Artist David Hockney


Hockney’s pioneering use of new technology in the creation of his latest exhibited work includes; oil paintings, watercolours and prints made directly from the sketches produced on the iPad and so it immediately appears the traditional methods still have their place.

Hockney says

At first you think it’s a bit of a novelty, it took me a while to realise it’s quite a serious tool you can use and it took me a while to get skilful on it. Skill is practice. It’s not just a novelty. I realised this is a clever tool you can use. He added: The iPad is very direct. I would point out [that] Turner used watercolour because it was a quicker medium than oil-painting so you could quickly get down more fleeting effects. If you find a medium that’s even faster than that any artist is going to be interested in it. (Hockney 2012)

Here Hockney extols some of the benefits of using the iPad, the ability in being able to produce artworks quickly he considers to be one of the most important benefits to using the iPad over the any other artists medium.

Hockney then goes on to say

It’s a very serious medium. It’s just a newer one and it affects the way you do things. You couldn’t have had impressionism without the invention of the collapsible tube so you could take paints outside. Technology affects things all the time and it certainly does pictures. I follow it; I follow that aspect of technology. And I’ve no doubt it is a marvellous new tool. (Hockney 2012)

Another example of how Hockney’s work is directly influenced by the advances in digital technology and the direction it has taken him is a unique perspective of a landscape displayed at the gallery using a Video wall showing a scene of a Bridlington Landscape as it transforms over the seasons. This artwork produced using grid of nine cameras, three wide and three high, each with a slightly different perspective recording the same landscape; its movement, the swaying of the trees, leaves and the grass and the changing of the seasons colours. These videos are displayed on a video wall of eighteen screens, nine showing the images as recorded, the other nine displaying the same images but using a different timeline. The viewer chooses which videos to view, their eyes moving across the video wall seeing the same landscape but from different perspectives and as the landscapes seasons change from winter to spring. The viewer has effectively chosen a unique perspective, two people standing side by side will view the landscape differently just by their choice of screen to view and the order that they look at them.

As the iPad and iPhone find general acceptance in the Arts community as a tool for creating fine art does this have other ramifications beyond the acceptance of the iPad as the means to create artworks? Will we see a wider acceptance of what is considered Art? Will the digital artist become the norm, the iPad replacing traditional methods and art forms, which may then soon be consigned to History?

Fig 2.0 An untitled iPad drawing by the Artist David Hockney

Fig 2.0 An untitled iPad drawing by the Artist David Hockney


“I draw flowers every day,” he said, “and I send them to my friends, so they get fresh blooms every morning. And my flowers last.” (Hockney 2012)

For an example of digital technology replacing traditional methods you need only to look to the Book and Book Publication, we are already witnessing the demise of the Book in its current form, the traditionally printed text on paper bound in a soft or hard cover. The rapid growth of Ebooks or in this context iBooks will inevitably replace the traditional book and consign it to History, the demise of the traditional book, its passing recorded in an Ebook.

‘The more I got into the iPad, the more I realised what a fantastic medium it is for landscape. There are certain things that you can do very, very quickly using it. (Hockney 2012)

How long before the flat screen displays and projectors displaying Artworks replace the oil painting, the canvases and photographs adorning our walls? This process is already happening, visit a Museum or Gallery now and you can already see the video projections, the video displays used in contemporary exhibitions, they have already found acceptance and their place as a means of displaying Art to the public.

As with all technology given time the cost begins to fall. It is already possible to purchase a digital photo frame for displaying the family photographs; the family holiday, which can be hung in place of the traditional canvas or frame, indeed as much now as in the future replacing the need to print the photograph. Less costly and easier to produce, combined with the rapid advancement of display technology it will soon become possible for the walls of homes themselves to become artworks, that can be ever changing, a slideshow of art displaying a different scene or artwork determined by the home owner and covering an entire wall.


Artists have embraced photography as a medium, it is an artwork in its own right and used as an artists tool used in place of the sketchpad in a similar fashion to Hockney’s use of the iPad to replace the sketchpad. The evolutionary change now is the move away from photographs produced using film to digital technology. This progression to digital technology opens up the possibility for further digital manipulation of the photograph, in fact an endless number of possibilities for alteration, styling and enhancement using digital imaging tools. But within the world of Fine Art the photograph had yet to find the same level of acceptance and value as an example the oil paintings that is until the recent auction of a photograph by German artist “Andreas Gursky, which sold for $4.3m (£2.7m) at Christie’s auction in New York, thus setting a new world record for a photograph.

Fig 3.0 Andreas Gursky's Rhine II

Fig 3.0 Andreas Gursky's Rhine II

The price paid normally associated with the sale of an oil painting by a grand master. Hockney’s work created using the iPad can be measured against the success of the current exhibition. The associated media attraction has elevated the iPad as an artist’s tool and as such artworks created using the iPad will eventually if they have not already find similar success in the Fine Art auction sales.

When considering how this use of digital technology and the effect it will have on future artworks it would be beneficial to look back at a similar period of evolution. From the modernist period and artworks created in the post modernist period. The increasing use of photography and film depicting a two dimensional reality, rather than the traditional painting with its pseudo third dimensional effect giving the painting a semblance of depth, but paying usually only limited acknowledgement to the reality of the scene.

The first and most evident is the emergence of a new kind of flatness or depthlessness, a new kind of superficiality in the most literal sense, perhaps the supreme formal feature of all the postmodernisms (Jameson 1991)

Rather than a revolutionary change, the use of the new digital technology in contemporary artwork creation can be viewed as a further step in the evolution for the creation of artworks.

First consider the traditional methods, for example comparing the surreal works of Salvador Dali and his modernist style paintings for example ‘The Persistence of Memory’ with little resemblance to reality. Then contrast this to Andy Warhol’s artworks, in particular the postmodernist picture of ‘Campbell’s Soups’ surely the epitome of the postmodern ideal. A picture, effectively of a tin of soup in all its two dimensional reality. Then consider the methods used to create these artworks, Salvador Dali’s pictures created in oils whilst Andy Warhol’s were screen-printed onto canvas, using acrylics. Now consider the use of digital technology, the images created on an iPad and printed either directly or used like a sketchbook with the final picture painted onto canvas using oils.

Fig 4.0 Salvidor Dali, The Persistence of Memory

Fig 4.0 Salvidor Dali, The Persistence of Memory

This is art in evolution, rather than revolution, the iPad another tool in the artist toolkit. This is surely at the centre of postmodernism in its relation to art, the approach of producing traditional art forms by using non-traditional methods. It should also be noted that not all artists have embraced these new methods and still prefer to work in the traditional ways, using traditional methods to create their artworks with the artworks themselves showing the subject in its reality.

Fig 5.0 Andy Warhol's, Campbells Soup

Fig 5.0 Andy Warhol's, Campbells Soup

Hockney as mentioned previously, is no stranger to technology and has previously pioneered the use of technology to create his artworks, for example using photographs in collages to create his artworks, depicting a landscape. The most famous example possibly being the ‘Pearblossom Highway’, which was produced in 1986 as a photographic collage used to represent a landscape of the pictures title.

Fig 6.0 David Hockney, Pearlblossom Highway

Fig 6.0 David Hockney, Pearlblossom Highway

He has produced artworks using the humble, and now almost consigned to history Fax machine. Each fax page forming a part of the larger collage, thus creating a picture on a grand scale. Scale is something that Hockney refers back to again and again, for it is an important factor in his artwork. We can therefore deduce from this recent exhibition, this recent embracement of the iPad and iPhone is but a natural progression for Hockney. As the new digital technology becomes available he will almost certainly experiment with it and use it for the creation of his new artworks. Previously and where other artists may have already used the iPad, it can now be said that Hockney’s higher profile as a professional and celebrated Artist can therefore only lead to the acceleration of other artist to follow in his footsteps. We can therefore safely conclude a future a place for the iPad and similar devices in the contemporary art world and with some confidence. The use of the iPad may well become the medium of choice for many future artists. Particularly as the range of art and graphic design applications are developed to entice artists both professional and amateur. The iPad could be all the tools the Artists needs to take with them as they venture out to capture a Landscape. The iPad, replacing the Artists sketch pad, pencils and charcoal is certain, for as Hockney said ‘it is very fast and this is what an Artist considers important when creating an Artwork’ (Hockney, 2012).  Using the iPad to quickly capture the light at just the right time, in a constantly changing landscape from glorious sunlight to a morose landscape beset by shadows and dark crevices as the clouds obscure the light and the suns position changes. iPad what next? New technology is already available to the artist to explore, the wider acceptance of 3D technology in the world of film, television and the growing interest in Holographic technology as a medium may well if not already soon find acceptance by contemporary artists as a means of creating future artworks. Digital video technology is also having its effect on the contemporary artist, Hockney has already used video in his current artworks and we can assume that this will be a medium, which he will utilise in the future.

Hockey’s use of the iPad and iPhone as a means of sketching and producing artworks is just another, but significant, step in the evolution of contemporary art as artists further explore the possibilities of using these digital tools. His ideas of the grand scale, a theme that he returns to again and again, creating ever-larger artworks for exhibition, he says are due in the main to his use of the iPad, using it to visualise the Bigger Picture from the individual parts broken down on the iPad’s screen. Yet and in counterbalance to the this use of this technology Hockney returns to the traditional methods, the painting of oil on canvas and the watercolour to produce many of his current artworks. This is not the end of traditional methods for creating art as there is something satisfying about owning an oil painting, a print or indeed a photograph, we may safely concur that the traditional and new digital methods will continue to complement each other for some time to come.

However, just as assuredly the use of this new technology can only continue to influence artists and they’re methods of working and indeed their artworks. The definition of what is Fine Art has now been irrevocably changed as digital artists find greater acceptance. With this acceptance there comes a wider audience, with galleries embracing the technology for major public exhibitions and therefore reaching more people. Indeed, as new digital technology is added to the toolbox of the contemporary artist the definition of what is fine art will have to evolve to follow these developments and the method of displaying this art. The artist’s ever-growing toolbox originally just containing the brushes; its oils, acrylic and watercolour paints now complimented by the addition of the iPad and the iPhone. The artworks produced in a day and not just destined for gallery display but also uploaded for the world to see on the Internet.

“I draw flowers every day,” he said, “and I send them to my friends, so they get fresh blooms every morning. And my flowers last.” (Hockney 2012)

 

Bibliography

 

  • Hockney. D. Hockney Pictures. http://www.hockneypictures.com/home.php [Accessed 3rd February 2012]
  • Caine. M. Channel 4 News. http://www.channel4.com/news/david-hockney-the-hand-the-eye-and-the-heart [Accessed 4th February 2012]
  • Jameson, F. 1991. Postmodernism, or, The cultural logic of late capitalism. USA: Duke University Press, 1991
  • Author Anonymous. Fredric Jameson / postmodernism: depthlessness http://culturalstudiesnow.blogspot.com/2011/05/fredric-jameson-postmodernism.html [Accessed 15th February 2012]
  • Culture Show. 2012 [TV Programme] BBC2 Monday 27th Feb 2012 19:00. Andrew Marr interviews David Hockney about his newest exhibition A Bigger Picture. Director. Parson R. http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p00pd79w

This Essay is not one of my best efforts, apparently there is room for improvement and I got the Bibliography wrong – using Bullet points is a no no and I should have identified in the quote using a number for example (1) (2) – you get the idea. I spent too much time future casting what will be the effect of the iPad  on future artworks rather than analysing what is the effect on fine art now, which was not what I was aiming for, I meant to future cast.

OK I got a pass and better than average but I still suck at Essays 🙁

By

New Perspectives for New Contexts – Introduction

    Hockney iPad

    Fig 1.0 Hockney iPad

    iPad Artists

    David Hockney, surely England’s most celebrated living artist has embraced the latest in new digital technology; for it is his use of the Apple iPad and iPhone replacing the traditional sketch book in the creation of his latest Artworks that inspire me to ask the question is this finally ‘The breakthrough in the acceptance of Digital Technology by artists of Fine Art’

    To quote Hockney he says, “At first you think it’s a bit of a novelty, it took me a while to realise it’s quite a serious tool you can use. And it took me a while to get skilful on it. Skill is practise. It’s not just a novelty. I realised this is a clever tool you can use.”
    He added: “The iPad is very very direct. I would point out [that] Turner used watercolour because it was a quicker medium than oil-painting so you could quickly get down more fleeting effects. If you find a medium that’s even faster than that any artist is going to be interested in it.
    “It’s a very serious medium. It’s just a newer one and it affects the way you do things.
    “You couldn’t have had impressionism without the invention of the collapsible tube so you could take paints outside. Technology affects things all the time and it certainly does pictures. I follow it; I follow that aspect of technology. And I’ve no doubt it is a marvellous new tool.”

    Cain, M. (2012). David Hockney, ‘the hand, the eye and the heart’. Available: http://www.channel4.com/news/david-hockney-the-hand-the-eye-and-the-heart. Last accessed 7th Jan 2012.

    By

    Professional Project – Idea Development, Synopsis

    Professional Project

    Idea No1


    Professional Project – The Charity Documentary, Synopsis

    I have been asked by a local charity to film a documentary of the work they do in the local community. Part of the National Gardens Schemes they give practical and horticultural advice to people participating or wishing to become part of the NGS.

    Every year NGS gardens across England and Wales welcome about 750,000 visitors. Most gardens which open for the NGS are privately owned and open just a few times each year. Some gardens open as part of a group with the whole community involved. The gardens give all the money raised directly to us (including from the sale of teas and plants); the only exceptions being in some cases they ask that a small proportion goes to a nominated local charity.

    Japanese Water Garden

    Our tradition of opening gardens of quality, character and interest is supported by our Patron, HRH The Prince of Wales.

    Did you know that we currently give away more than £2.5 million each year to nursing, caring and gardening charities and we have given them a total more than £25 million in the last 15 years.

    The National Gardens Scheme. Site Accessed 27/01/2012. http://www.ngs.org.uk

    The central idea would be to follow and film one or more of the gardening experts as they discuss the practical aspects of their work for the charity at the same time featuring some of Dorset’s key locations, areas of outstanding natural beauty and some of the gardens that participate in the scheme. I would also like to film interviews with other key members of the charity if possible to discuss the good causes they contribute to in the local community.

    Idea No2


    Professional Project – The Olympics Documentary, Synopsis

    London Olympics 2012

    Fig 2.0 London Olympics 2012

    Produce a documentary on the preparations as we countdown to the hosting of the London Olympics. Film in London key locations and attempt to show the overall state of the preparations and ideally get a Londoners view of the Olympics then contrast this with the preparations and the local viewpoint in Weymouth and Portland.

    The idea would be to film landmarks that will feature as locations in the Olympics including any advertising and special arrangements specific to the Olympics in both London and Weymouth. Conduct improvised interviews with locals and ask their opinion of the Olympics and how it would personally effect them if at all and indeed if they are happy that London is hosting the Olympics or not.

    Research

    This was my preferred idea for the professional project. I thought I would need to do some initial research so I planned a visit to London to make a short video of the preparations for the London Olympics. I was to be disappointed, although I visited the main sites in London, for example Trafalgar Square, Westminster Palace there was no indication at all that the Olympics were coming to London. I couldn’t even find an advertising board for the event.

    However I did make this short video to practice video documentary techniques in particular Observation Mode.

    Idea No3


    Professional Project – The Web TV Project, Synopsis

    Produce a Television Program for Broadcast on the Web. The basic concept is to produce a studio based Television Show initial ideas are for a chat show or game show.

    TV Chat Show

    WEB TV

    Fig 3.0 WEB TV

    My first thoughts are to produce a show that is specific to Student Life and include an element of the current political situation involving Student Fees. Ideally I’d like to include a interview with a representative of the National Union of Students or a local representative most probably the current President of the AUCB Student Union and in counter argument Politicians from each of the three main parties. In addition recordings of outside interviews with students could be introduced and the guests could view and comment on these. I’d estimate a show run-time of 45 minutes.

    TV Game Show

    Dartboard Bullseye

    Fig 4.0 Dartboard Bullseye

    It would most probably involve more time than is available be to develop a game show format from scratch so the idea would be to adapt an existing or more likely a games show from the past and update this for current TV formats. My initial thoughts would be to combine a game of skill with a question to advance to a conclusion and prize. I thought something like Darts, that is answer a question correctly and receive 3 dart throws the idea would be to get a dart into each of the numbers in sequence 1 to 20 followed by a Bullseye to win.

    Web Broadcast

    With a show recorded the plan would be to deliver this over the internet by streaming it initially using the Universities internal TV network and also look at delivering the program over the World Wide Web using streaming technology.

    Professional Project – Links to related Blogs

    Word Count 743

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