VIS340: project proposal

Proposed Topic / Project Name: 

Overall description + proposed end product deliverables:
This will be a practice based project exploring stop motion animation using paper cut outs. The animation will be created as a music video for an original song produced and recorded in August 2019. The style of the animation will be collaged figures that move over hand-drawn scene backgrounds that tell a story different but complementary to the story of the song. The music video will be uploaded to YouTube and I hope to share it with local and national charities and organisations who work with people who've experienced stroke or other sudden and debilitating conditions.

Anticipated Supports / Resources Needed For the Research Component
  • paper, scissors, scalpel, marker pens, pencil, charcoal and acetate
  • iPhone
  • iMovie (or Stop Motion Studio iPhone app)
  • YouTube videos for tutorials
  • some kind of tripod set up for the camera to rest on for consistent angles in each frame
  • a static set up stage space where scenes are marked out and aligned and lighting can be controlled
  • a boat load of time and patience

Ethical considerations / biggest concerns:
Initially, in the recording of the song I experienced some ethical dilemmas. Julia is a real person known in her community and I've used several identifiable references in the song. After some contemplation, clarity arose - I would be happy to share the song with her personally and have not revealed anything that isn't common knowledge to those who know her.

A previous project from last semester generated a lot of waste and this made me uncomfortable with the environmental impact. In this project, waste will be minimal and use only products I already have on hand.

I've had some major concerns in my studies so far - mostly to do with the apparent fact that I'm not really studying visual art, I'm studying how to take good photographs of my art in order to make it look good online. This project is an attempt to resolve this by creating art designed solely to be viewed on screens online. If I find it satisfying, this may become a focus for the future.

My biggest concern is the unknown aspect of the medium and the learning curve of the technology. I've never done animation before and from my research, it's evident it's an extremely time-consuming visual art form. I came across one ratio (O'Neill, 2011) that discussed planning for one hour of work for every one second of animation (using the standard rate of 24 frames per second). I need to scale this back substantially and will aim for 5-8 frames per second. With the song recording running for 312 seconds, this is a expansive project that may not be achievable in the allotted time period. Some strategies I'm considering to complete the project include: using a minimum of 60 seconds of animation looped, a 20 second still-frame section, several still shots that mimic movement with the panning of the Ken Burns affect and still-frame opening and closing credits.


Week 5
  • write the narrative of the animation, identifying themes, characters and scenes
  • research graphic novel techniques and film-making techniques such as storyboarding
Week 6
  • analyse the song structure overall to identify climatic moments and note time points of action
  • identify the scenes and shots to be used and create a detailed storyboard with the times listed
Week 7
  • experiment with drawing, colour and collage for the main character
  • create moveable figures of the main character (front, back and side views with moveable head, trunk, upper and lower arms, hands and legs)
  • create a series of different faces for the main character to show sleep, awake, blinking, smile, resolve, shock, crying)
Week 8
  • draw static backgrounds for each shot required
  • set up staging area
Week 9 - 12
  • begin photographing scene by scene in iPhone app
  • editing and importing .mp3 track
  • upload final video to YouTube