Experimental Week One

The first week of experimental animation was all about ink, charcoal and chalk. My first experimental piece was made using black and white ink on black paper. I made the images using a Canon DSLR and Dragonframe. It’s been quite a while since I’ve done any photography work and I got the white balance wrong resulting in the white ink being purple. I ended up correcting this in After Effects.

I wanted to try a three frame dissolve but this proved unworkable when attempted in After Effects. I tried having three frames of the same image. The first and last frames were set to 50% opacity with the middle one being set at 100. The third frame would overlap the first frame of the next image, also set at 50%. The idea is that the two 50% frames combine to produce a 100% opacity frame. Of course, After Effects does not work like this. In the end I bodged it by slowing the frame rate down to 12FPS and making each image three frames long.

I wanted to try two things with the charcoal. I have a fascination for sacred geometry. The fact that these amazingly complex patterns can be generated with nothing more than a straight edge and a compass is something I find both beautiful and mysterious. I decided to try to animate the creation of a five-pointed star, starting with a single point. The end result, once I bodged the multiple frame dissolve, seemed to work quite well. As I was working it occurred to me that this could form the basis of a project, especially if combined with an animated mandala experience.

Finally, I wanted to try and play with smearing the charcoal. I used layout paper for this as I was hoping that its mild translucency would allow the white chalk to show against it when scanned. This didn’t really prove to be the case but it was nice when mixed with the charcoal.

Only for the very interested here are some error videos.


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