As we enter a more technological age, we will need to explore worlds far more frequently than our bodies can take us. We already have drones that submerge themselves to the bottom of the sea to explore new sea life and we have little rovers exploring the surfaces of mars and the moon. We have cameras that let US and Israel citizens communicate in real time and we have the ability to record all of these things for record in future days. A very apt analogy to these new advances in camera and communication as our own senses. We have eyes on the moons, ears in Canada, and voices in every house. It only makes sense to flex these senses and use them in every way possible, like a musician trains his ears to hear the imperfections in his violin, or a hunter trains his eyes to spot a rare tiger among the tall grass.

In 1976, when the technology of the camera was just become more sophisticated than just the ability to make paintings on the go, Steina saw the potential and experimented with the technology to show just how similar a video camera was to the motion tracking of the human eye. And in honor of this discovery, she welcomed the camera into the world by letting it see itself in the mirror. Like how Lacan wrote in his “Theory of the Mirror Phase”, he explains how children begin to look at themselves in the mirror so as to get a good understanding of who they are and what they look like. Just like how the Video Camera was merely an infant, as a child observes itself, it develops a mastery over who it is and what it can do. It sees too hands moving in a way to simulate a grip. Just like that, someone observing a Camera from the mirror will see the potential the camera has to its 1-direction limitation. It can only see one way, but that can be a blessing to someone wishing to draw mystery, or maybe they want to add details, so they add a mirror to show the viewer something outside of the camera’s own range.

Over time the Camera will become second nature to the eye, and the mirror will help us develop whatever we use to enhance the camera, whatever it may be. Perhaps, one day, we could watch ourselves be born again, in a new, mechanical body, one that is full of new possibilities and equipment, and we will need to observe ourselves in order to see what we can do.

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During the cold war, art seemed very divided between American Abstraction and Russian Realism, with Americans advertising Abstraction, as a representation of freedom, while Realism was a representation of conformity. The hard colors and lines made Russian art very different from the capitalist American way, and I quite like it, but not a few Russians, who were upset with the way their government was, so they decided to do some abstract art as a way to protest their government’s communist way. Thus spawned the Russian Abstract art movement. I like this even more than Russian Realism or American Abstraction. Americans were too crazy with their creative freedom, making splatters and fluid motions that look pretty, but also looked like they meant nothing. While Russian Realism was better, it suffered from the stiffness and boredom that often came from conformity. Russian Abstraction allowed for the creative freedom to have form and structure. One of these artists was a man names Erik Bulatov, and one of his artworks was called “People in the Landscape”.

It’s quite a painting, with a lush background portrait of a stream flowing through a field with a forest in the back, but 90% of the painting is blocked out by a beyond simple cube-shaped room, with a brown floor, white ceiling, and teal walls. Inside the room is a man and a woman, sitting together, with nothing around them. The woman is wearing what appears to be a tiger-skin-pattern dress and the husband is in a wife-beater. The sudden contrast of luscious environmental art going against the flat colors of the room is clearly a contrast between the communist lifestyle and the desire for freedom. The brown floor and teal walls make the cube feel like a minimalist representation of the environment, but so long as the background is there, the cube will always feel like a cage.

The painting is a perfect representation of the dissatisfaction everyday Russians felt living under Communist Authority. They wanted to freedom that seemed to be everyway but in their actual home. Their clothes were simple, in fact the white portions on the floor around the wife make it look like she took the dirt on the floor and used it to make her clothes more unique. Forced to use the dirt on their homes to make them feel different, this painting is brilliant and beautiful: Smart and pretty, real and abstract, at the same time.

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PHP SQL assignment 5

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LA Times Interview Essay

We’ve seen some great, animated movies out at this time lately, what with Epic, The Croods, and Frozen showing up on this big screen. With all these movies, you often wonder how they get made and the thought process behind them. You even begin to wonder if maybe you, yourself, can make a movie as good as that. Thankfully, LA times gave us a very informative interview with the directors of the top five animated movies of late, each from a different company, which helped us understand how each workplace handles their thoughts.

When you end up designing a large collection of characters for projects, very often you’ll end up running out of ideas, even for very reoccurring side characters. A big help with getting around that is just using simple images like Letters or symbols. Sometimes they just help holding a place in until a better idea comes, but other times, that symbol becomes the key-design trait of the character. Like with Art, from the movie Monsters University, who was so ambiguous, no one knew what he should look like, so they just used a letter A with eyes as a place holder until someone looked it over and realized that this fits his design perfectly.

This problem with Design also leads to a question on the overall style of the film. Maybe you want a mad scientist, but the design seems too ambiguous, so you have to look over the designs of previous mad scientists: Maybe a Dr. Frankenstein, or maybe a James Bond villain with the suits and the shadows. Other times the style can be an even bigger problem and stem to the entire film. Should the movie be overtly cartoonish or realistic? Should it have a Nordic environment or a suburban one? Often times, once you answer these questions on style and design, they’ll help you solve even more important questions, like what their personality is like.

Sometimes a character’s personality can be determined entirely by their overall appearance, while other times it’s the other way around. Sometimes both the design and the personality are influenced together by the overall style of the film. Say you have a character that’s large and bulky, but you don’t want him to work against the other characters. Maybe you could give them a personality that is softer or have their actions be animated in a certain way that keeps in style with everyone else. Maybe you want the villains of the film to be easily identifiable, so maybe they have a general design style that contrasts heavily against everyone else’s.

You need to make sure that the overall style of the film stays consistent throughout the film. Sometimes you end up with two sides of the staff with conflicting ideas on what the movie should be and you have to decide which of the two fits evenly between the two. This can either be a difficult choice or an easy one, but you need to make sure there’s a consistent design going on.

Sometimes when making the first few design choices, an animator and designer will be left with restrictions, either self-imposed or technology based. Maybe your team can’t animate sticky things that well, or maybe water or hair is just too much for you to work with. Maybe the team has no designs yet and all these excess options can lead you to have too many choices. This can be very struggling and incorporating restrictions on the design can be a big help in finding a design that you want.

Drawing the designs can also be a really big help as they are faster than working in 2D when trying for general ideas and making design choices needs to be a fast and clean movement. So when putting your ideas together, it is important to draw them out instead of animating them in 3D.

Detail is a very noticeable, but also unnoticeable thing in 3D design since you have to control every little thing that is happening. Sometimes it’s just wanting a small rig on a prop so that it can animate better, which eventually leads to giving that prop a personality and character of its own, while other times its knowing that the water will be causing one interaction to affect something else and having to animate everything the water is interacting with, which may lead to interesting design choices about the environment all together.

Sometimes this obsession to detail can be a problem though and you can’t spend too much time on it all. Sometimes there are a few mistakes that have to be kept in order to create a feeling of realism, since not everything in nature will act perfect and mistakes let us see that realism that would have been overlooked otherwise.

Animators don’t work in bubbles and because of that, it can be an improvement to work. Maybe the voice-actor’s performance will add inspiration to the personality and design of a character, maybe the limitations of an animator will improve the quality of the story, and other times, maybe the influences of whoever has the money will lead to cut-backs in design that might improve some radical design choices the more creative types on your team have been working on.

Having listened to the thoughts and ideas of these five people, my perspective on and understanding of the animation industry has grown and I hope to use this to help me out with my own projects and see where I am heading. Am I going to be able to meet those design choices the right way? Or will I be held back by too many choices that need to be cut back on? All I can say is thanks to the LA times for getting this interview for my colleagues and me.

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PHP exercises

PHP Exercise

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Doubles not so identical

I went down to Alfred university to find something worth discussing for my Interactive design class and I ended up having to do a report on a collection of paintings produced by the painting club at Alfred University.

The project is interesting, many different art styles going from a minimal and geometric painting using the polarity of colors to paint one image on two canvases, while another pulls out the Dada and paints two paintings with similar but different designs, showing them next to each other.

The contrast of images isn’t fixed. Some choose to go for a more symbolic use of polarity, representing two images as opposites but identical, while others prefer to show two paintings as a way of showing two different ideas that seem to be the same, but have different outcomes.

There’s a duo painting that has a radial symmetry of a collection of squares and broken edges, but one is compact and rigid, while the other is large and shattered, as if someone had taken the smaller one and ripped it bigger.

The paintings aren’t so much informative as they are inspirational. Finding new ideas for designs that I could use myself. Such as the first painting I saw of two canvases being used to show a single image, but with a different color on either side. The polarity of colors, held together by the unifying design, is certainly an idea I could get behind in trying to figure out a design for a webpage or an advertisement.

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Assignment 4

Assignment 4

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