Part of final animated short

I have one section left that I wanted to include in the tribute to my mother. It’s another animation, only this time it’s all After Effects. I am part of the way done and I thought I’d post what I have so far. It’s all one big experiment. It could certainly be refined, but for now, this is what I have. (No audio on this one yet.)

Sound design project

I almost forgot. I wanted to share my final sound design project. I audited a sound design class at IU in the fall. It kept me from doing much in the way of video, but I learned a lot. Why did I take sound design? Because it turns out that audio is just about the most important thing in any video or film! It took me some time to realize that.
So let me explain this project. I have been working for a year and half on a video tribute to my mother who died in March of 2010. I put together this stop motion animation — in fact, I think I posted it here before! But for audio, I just settled for a piece of classical music that I had no connection to, nor as far as I know, did my mother. But there was no copyright infringement, so I could use it. Honestly, I preferred watching the video with the sound turned off.
So for my final sound design project, I decided to make new audio to go with the video. I took audio that I had recorded before I knew the importance of carefully-controlled sound recording, so unfortunately the sound was terrible because of the intermittent beach winds where I was recording. Most of my work on the project was in trying to improve the quality of the recordings — a miserable and frustrating business if ever there was one! From the feedback I’ve received so far, though, it would seem that I mostly succeeded.

Promised Facebook hand-made items

In the beginning of 2011, a Facebook friend posted that the first 5 people to respond to the post would be given something hand-made by the friend before the year was out, and that if you responded, you should post the same to your friends and promise to make something for the first 5 responders. I did that and I thought about what to make on and off all through the year. Despite telling myself that I would not put it off to the end of the year, I put it off to the end of the year, just when I was also trying to figure out Christmas gifts. I thought I would make the same thing for all of my responders (of whom there were only four), but I couldn’t figure out what they would all use/like. I considered knitting something, drawing something, making a video… but I couldn’t decide. Funny how hard it was to settle on what I settled on. I was worried that they wouldn’t like it, that they’d be disappointed, etc. But hey, they were getting the things for free, right?! So I just stopped thinking so much and got started on making things.

I started with this lace headband in blue. I thought it would look nice with my friend, Kirsten’s, blonde hair. And I think I’ve seen her using headbands, so she seemed like a good candidate for this. The others, though… well, as far as I know, two of them have very short hair. The other, I wasn’t sure she’d wear it. So I made t-shirts.
The first was this for Camille. I started with a line using my sewing machine. Then I started stitching a random cross-stitch in the spaces between. Thought it wouldn’t take long. I was wrong! Despite the randomness, stitching took at least a couple of hours! I think it looked better in front of me than it does now in this picture. Oh, and it’s turned here. It actually was vertical on one side of the shirt.

After all the time it took to make the headband and the stitched shirt, I thought, I have got to find something faster and easier. So I hand-carved a couple of simple stamps and stamped a shirt for Sheri. I thought it would be a fun shirt — and Sheri is a fun, happy-go-lucky kind of gal.

Lastly, I wanted to do something really cool for Gabi, because she’s always been enthusiastic about my attempts at creativity. She’s been enthusiastic, but she’s also not shy about giving critical feedback — and usually she’s spot on! So without exposing too much vulnerability, I decided to experiment again with the cool embroidery stitches on my sewing machine. I also had some multicolored thread that I had bought a long time ago and hadn’t found just the right project to use it on. Red seemed like Gabi’s color, and the loops of the one continuous line that encircles the whole shirt seemed like a cool and unique thing to do. (I’m happy to report that she likes it!)