• Shyam Patel

Final 3; 2: Corona-Retreat (Pt.2)

Coronavirus has inevitably taken control of our daily lives. Though submission to Netflix and couch-potato inducing behaviour is tempting, we must perpetuate. The key to our daily existence starts at our daily purpose. But what if a purpose one serves can only be served by leaving the household but is not considered a key-worker? That's where the fun really begins. Artist or not, creating challenges for people to complete is quite fun, and in the process completing them myself. One of the most interesting observations one can simply be in the presence of (not always literally) is when someone who would not be considered a professional artist (of sorts) uses their creative spirits to produce a piece of artwork. As Andy Warhol once said, "Art is what you can get away with". It's true. Art is really anything that oneself can get away with. By creating a set of challenges, it gets people thinking, engaging and most of all, competing, but allows people to still have fun within the safety and comfort of their own homes.

As an artist, I feel the need to take on my responsibility and hone the superpowers I have to do good. Although technically, artists are not considered "Key-workers", I think artists are remote key-workers. With that in mind, I'm sure most businesses are key-businesses that keep the economy running, but the main focus here is on artists (sorry other business owners, we do love you though). Artists are technically key-workers because, without artists, we would not have the vital animations, infographics, health and safety posters/artwork, correct signage, etc. I have come up with a set of challenges and have also created some design work to say a HUGE thank you to all the key-workers, that are tirelessly working around the clock to keep us afloat. I will later in this post analyse the piece of artwork I created and breakdown my thought process and the message I wanted to convey.

Corona-Retreat starts here:

1. Create a collection of GIF's:

For the GIF's I used different skills from previous University workshops. For the first one, it was just a loop I created using text, masking, strobe light and keyframes using Adobe After Effects. I created this as an acting header for the collection of GIFS that I made. The second one was inspired by Ezra Cohen a filmmaker and creative director specializing in creating unique visual environments for films, commercials, and live concert environments.

Ezra Cohen Visuals:

The third GIF was an experimental one. I wanted to create something experimental in Cinema4d and in the process, a happy accident occurred. I was having issues with getting some dark but ambient lighting in the scene and I accidentally flipped everything over as well as the camera and I thought of previewing a render of that particular frame (to see if anything had changed) and the scene ended up looking much better. The light rays were inspired by a photographer on Instagram that put holes in cardboard, spray painted the cardboard in black, and then held it up to the sun, therefore, creating beautiful rays of light. Although the light rays are much more intense in this photo in comparison to the render I did on Cinema4d, I used the same technique which I thought was quite an easy and a great way of recreating a real like effect.

Jordi Kolaitic Reference:

The third GIF was inspired by the RETO project. I referenced the RETO project in my "Disclosure" blog and somewhat tried to recreate this effect with slightly less movement and an RGB breakout which essentially adds an RGB colour to the B&W photo but in separate channels, all offset from each other.

RETO Project Reference:

The last GIF was all about encouraging social distancing. I had this idea bagged already and had actually done this type of animation in a previous blog when I was learning about tracking, kerning and leading. The last design is by far the simplest and most effective.

2. Create a piece of work inspired by your favourite artist:

In the present moment, I have quite a few favourite artists. I think my favourite above all right now is @jordi.koalitic. This is one of his many long exposure photos that inspired mine and all though this was the first time I tried long exposure, I thought it went well. With more practice, I strive to create content like Jordi.

Jordi Koalitic Reference:

My Long Exposure:

The way I created this long exposure was by setting up a lamp on a black cloth on my desk. I then use my phone's torch on the lowest setting and as I set up my camera I started to wave my phone around the lamp going upwards. I then took the photo into Adobe Lightroom as a raw image, adjusted the lighting. I then imported the image into Adobe Photoshop, adjusted the background accordingly and the foreground lighting in the lower thirds. I also colorised the lighting to give it more ambience.

3. How to create a quarantine zine?

With a lot of time on our hands, getting bored is easy. But when you have a household to create fun in, especially in these unprecedented times, capturing precious moments are important. After all, we are living in exam questions! Capturing moments and creating a scrapbook or zine out of it would be a really creative and engaging way of presenting your top COVID-19 moments.

4. Write a poem

Poetry has become a recent passion of mine. I never really understood the beauty in poetry until I analysed it so deeply in my English lessons in high school. It was only until later on (now) I was more interested in writing poetry and than ever. I was always interested heavily in music and lyricism and with that said, I thought I would write a poem about staying home during this pandemic. This is the first piece of the spoken word I have ever released. I created it with a background wave's track to add calmness due to the frustration this pandemic has greatly caused by forcing us to isolate within our homes. The intro animation was simply created using the curve type tool in Adobe Illustrator (which I learned in Alex's workshop) combined with a rotation animation in Z space using Adobe After Effects. The sound effects were used from a free sound website and the minute I had the idea of doing a zoom in zoom out animation whilst simultaneously rotating the text, I could hear the sound of an old castle door being reeled open with the loud metal cogs rotating. It reminded me of this one episode of Barney I watched as a child and that is where the idea of that sound sparked from. This sound also added depth to the animation and worked really well. The texture behind the text was a really nice paper texture I had acquired. Originally it was white, so I changed the colour to a light blue using the "tint" effect and I used a wave distortion effect on the texture to create the waves which compliment the waves sound in the background.

Here is the final animation:

The stand-alone piece

Ar-rest With Gratitude

The artwork I designed for all Key-workers sparked from a song I remember singing back in primary school (the whole world is in our hands). This idea was also inspired by my adoration for sunsets and space like settings. Originally I wanted to use a glass material and texture for the arm, however, it did not work as well as I had wanted it to due to the lighting. I, therefore, thought of using a silver chrome texture which also happens to reflect the fluorescence of the sky. The chrome texture is actually supposed to represent the key-workers as 'knights in shining armor'. The glass texture was essentially going to represent the fragility of key-workers, especially in hospitals and places of care, however, I decided that rather than conveying a message of fragility, the message was intended to communicate a sense of strength and courage. The world, of course, being at the tip of our fingers, that was crucial to the piece of work designed due to the trueness and realness of how much this pandemic to be over relies on our maturity and ability to comply with government rules and regulations. The intention behind the name "Ar-rest With Gratitude" acts as a double entendre, the "Ar-rest" conveying; people working remotely or self-isolating having the opportunity to catch up on rest that they may have not been receiving prior to this pandemic, due to commutes or working long shifts, however, being under house arrest due to the fact that they can only go outside for either 1 exercise a day, bare essentials or work if necessary. "With Gratitude" conveys that we thank all key-workers for the hard work they are putting in which also links back to Thursday, March 26th when the nation came together to clap for the National Health Service (NHS), but remotely, from the comforts of their own homes.

The animation was inspired by the camera works of @johnny_fpv. the dynamism in his art is unique, engaging and immersive. I wanted to replicate a short sense of his camera work in my own work by starting up close to the Earth, using the rotation axis on the camera and towards the end panning out, so the whole shot is in view. I used a spline in Cinema4d which allows for the camera to essentially slide along a path. This spline was created similarly to how a stroke would be created in Adobe Illustrator using the pen tool. I was able to edit the curves and position them accordingly whilst having a live preview of the camera position to ensure that the positioning of the camera was correct.

Here are some references I used for inspiration:

Johnny FPV Reference:

Final Project:

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