Making the Web Beautiful!

Friday, May 16, 2014

I’m very excited to announce that I’ve completed my MFA thesis project! It’s been the biggest undertaking so far in my artistic career and I’m very proud that I was able to stick with it and finish.

I also was honored to come in 3rd place for motion graphics at my school's annual Spring Show!

The Elements from Candice Weber on Vimeo.

From the start I knew I wanted to do something centered around art education and my idea grew out of the first things you learn in any foundations class: the seven elements. I want to use the seven elements: space, line, texture, value, color, form, and shape as themes for the piece.  I thought it would be an interesting project to mix motion graphics with compositing and make each shot represent one to two of the elements.

My top priority was to create a piece which flows together naturally with nicely composited effects. I also wanted to create a handmade or unique look to the piece so I created several original fonts. Overall, I feel I was able to capture the look and feel I was hoping to achieve.  

In addition to my goals for the final look of the piece, it was important to me to improve my technical skill set. In the creation of this piece, I utilized the following programs: Nuke, After Effects, Photoshop, Illustrator, Silhouette, and Cinema 4D.

A teacher once told me: “Thesis work take so long to complete, you’re a different artist by the end.” I found that very true, besides the changes from the experience of creating my thesis, time has changed my overall taste and style. I’ve learned new skills which lead to new ideas and it was sometimes frustrating to keep working on the same project for years. I think thats why artists have the tendency to abandon projects, but the nice thing about a thesis project is that you have to keep working and schedule work time or you don’t finish and graduate. So I will probably never do a large project like this on my own again, but I am glad to have this piece as a time capsule of my grad school days.    

Monday, September 23, 2013

An excerpt of my thesis project journal I felt useful enough to share:

There are two kinds of proud moments I’ve had on this project. The first is when everything works just the way I thought it would. This is the moment when my careful planning and thinking through ideas paid off. I was able to anticipate results, so all problems were basically solved during the planning process.

The second kind of moment, though less desirable than the first, is probably the most important learning experience. This is the moment when everything went horribly awry. Nothing worked out the way I thought it would and knots swell up in my stomach. I try my damndest to make it work the way I intended, but it just doesn’t look right and time is swiftly running out. This was a moment I had this weekend, after hours of attempts and the knowledge that my final review of this project could be in as little as two months.

However, it’s in this moment of defeat when minds start to break from the original plan and get into troubleshooting creative solutions. Its time to outsmart a skill you’re weak at with a better idea. Stop, take a step back, and reevaluate what minimally this shot needs in order to be successful.

It’s hard to do when you’re married to the original concept, but the judges of this piece are only going to see the results. They will not see the long, wasted hours you spend attempting a complicated matchmove, they’ll only going to see that it doesn’t look good. It doesn't matter what you were trying to do if you don't have the results to back it up. So if thats the case, get cleverer, get simpler, and use the skills you’re best at.

It’s amazing the feeling you get when a small revision changes everything; fixes all the small problems you've been desperately agonizing over and it just plain looks better and is more dynamic with the change. All the struggle to get to this point suddenly doesn’t seem to have been a waste. 

Would I have gotten the shot done faster if I had just realized this solution sooner? Of course, but I don’t dwell on it because I learned something from it. Besides, the best solution is not always obvious and the struggle is sometimes just part of to path to getting to it.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Sketchy Sketch

Random sketchy stuff:

Overlay from a shot in my thesis:

And gif experiments:

P1sBFH on Make A Gif, Animated Gifs

make animated gifs like this at MakeAGif

Inspiration and Keaton's Animation

So I've been recently browsing through random articles and videos for inspiration and came across this:

Late Night Work Club from Late Night Work Club on Vimeo.

 I love it. I love the idea of shared yet untethered creativity. Especially the idea of a community of independent animators. Makes me feel much less alone in the things I wish to do. Looks like this community holds lots of experimentation mixed some just plain bad-assery. Plus the tag line "In the dark, we build" is just so perfectly revolutionary sounding.

 Anyway, I told you that story to tell you this one. In looking through the videos of the various contributing artists, I came across this awesome piece by Charles Huettner:
I Am Sing from Charles Huettner on Vimeo.

 I was pretty inspired by this piece specifically because it seemed like a fun project that would loosen me a bit and allow me to share a project with my younger brother. This is the resulting piece:

Keaton's Animation from Candice Weber on Vimeo.

Background on Keaton: I recently introduced the idea of stop motion to him. My first memory of understanding the process was also a toy car chase my dad helped me make. However, Keaton chose that topic of his own accord as cars are his favorite thing ever. He was very excited about the way it turned out and my mom told me he's been counting his youtube video views. I think he enjoyed the feeling of creating something people can watch.

The collaborative nature of this type of project has me thinking of the influence that creating art with others has on children. I'd like to explore this idea more and in turn it'd be fantastic if I could cultivate an interest and understanding of art and animation making in my family and friends, particularly Keaton. I've always had an interest in animation being used for education, but I never really thought about how the hands on process has the power to teach as well as bond people.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Hello out there! I haven't post in a while, its been a crazy year. I took my first type class this past semester and while it kicked my ass quite a bit, I learned a lot. One of my favorite projects, which I actually struggled with a lot in the beginning, was the type classification poster set. The idea behind the posters were to be informative about whatever our chosen typeface were. I chose the faces Didot, Chaparral, and Futura. My idea was about classifying the types in the same way animals and plants are scientifically classified (with some artistic license of course). It's meant to be tongue and cheek, playful and hopefully clever.

Of course, as the only VFX student in a class of graphic designers and advertising majors, my posters were probably the least serious and the most illustrative. So I was actually quite shocked that the class and the teacher liked them, so I'm pretty proud of them now. There were quite the horrible critiques in the beginning and I really doubted if I could get through that class, but it all worked out in the end.

In VFX related work, I took matte painting one in which I learned a some new photoshop tricks and I think helped me get a little better rounded as a compositor. I think I'll take matte painting two next semester in order to learn Vue. Anyway, just in time for Christmas, my frosty, cold final painting in action:

Matte Painting 101 Final from Candice Weber on Vimeo.

A little bit of personal work I did was a fan video for the band OK Go. Its a similar feeling to my type posters which seem to be becoming a favorite style for me. I'm striving to get more personal work done in the coming year, but I really need to snap out of my current lazy streak. I've lots of ideas for fun videos, but I keep telling myself: "No, you should stay focused on your thesis." But real life isn't like that, I'm learning that rarely do you ever get to focus on one thing at a time. I just need to stuck it up, work more, and sleep less.

Ok Go Animation from Candice Weber on Vimeo.

And so my semester is all wrapped up and hey the world didn't even end, so all in all I guess I doing alright :)