Visual Literacy


Elias Hyde
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The intention behind my project is to create an intervention that encourages people to look at the world in a different way. My stop-motion animation strives to cause people to see urbanization as a struggle between nature and the man-made environment. This is different from seeing urbanization simply as progress. The animation I created shows this struggle by portraying a tree turning into a building which is then reclaimed by nature.

The first iteration of my project, much like my final, involved cubes as a background. This primary difference between this and my final was that the scenes were to be made out of shadows. A light mounted in the background was supposed to cast the shadows of flowers onto a landscape made out of blocks. The landscape created entirely of these paper blocks would not move and simply provide a backdrop for the animation of the shadows.

My next Iteration was similar to the first except the whole scene was built out of cubes. These cubes would shift to create the scene. I changed my animation to no longer incorporate shadows because of the difficulty of controlling and making the shadows. When only using cubes, I was able to plan and clearly animate each scene. The animation would consist of these cubes moving to create different forms such as building and landscapes. When working with cubes rather than shadows, gravity played a bigger role but the simple blocks were, in the end, much easier and more practical to work with.

When I had developed a clear idea of what I wanted to do for my final project I first created the animation with the details drawn on with pen but this proved sloppy. I made my next iteration of my animation with printed-out details which I would paste onto the blocks that made up the scene. This, though still keeping the slightly messy effect, was neater and made the details far more recognizable. In this iteration of the animation the plants were thin wire and the final tree was a thick trunk with bare limbs. This meant it was harder to mold the tree and along with this the plants looked more like geometric shapes than actual parts of nature.

In my final iteration I attempted to make the nature more recognizable for what it was. I also modified it to make it more practical in the animation. The limbs and trunk became thinner as to make the shape more malleable, and the roots got longer so they could stretch around the building. Along with making these changes, I added paper leaves to the tree for aesthetic effects. In the end, the movie was of a landscape, made of paper cubes, growing wire plants. The landscape then transformed into a building which was then made to look more like a skyscraper as windows were added. Preceding this the building began to shake and wire roots popped through it until it fell revealing a large wire tree. The blocks that once made up the building then gathered around the base of the tree and the tree grew leaves. The animation ends on this having represented a struggle but still leaving the message open for interpretation.



Grace MacPherson