summary essay | hannah kairuz

During this semester the progression of my Digital Artefact did not go to planned. I changed my original idea two weeks after pitching my first Digital Artefact idea, to my new Digital Artefact, “The Art of Animation”. and thought changing my Digital Artefact made me more driven, I know I didn’t achieve what I intended to achieve, and this summary will also provide a critical analysis of my work. The body of work I produced for Future Cultures, and the self-driving it took to get to the completion of the project is something I am proud of, nonetheless.

My original Digital Artefact (DA) idea focused on “The Future of Me” and was going to act as a reflective investigation into my future, and what it meant for me to create plans in thinking about my life 5 years into the future. And thought this idea did meet the criteria of the subject, I couldn’t find the drive to push myself to continue the research. My original idea was going to be on multiple platforms and be more accessible online. But along with the existential crisis the research made me feel, I just couldn’t continue to blog about and vlog about myself for my original plan of at least six blogs and 3 video blogs. And thought in theory the idea sounded up to the task of the DA, the scope was just too great a workload for me to handle. I did begin the project by taking the advice my peers, and tutor gave me, and investigated five-year plans and the “science of planning”. And following the model of FEFO (fail early fail often) the idea failed early and never made it to its first blog post.

The new DA has assisted me into my graphic design work and helped me look deeper into a field of work I admire. If I had to re-pitch ‘The Art of Animation’ I would say the project investigates the past and how it’s shaped the future of animation and the trajectory and scope of the artform. Before beginning my new DA, I took the same steps I did with the original, pretending in a way I did have to do a Pitch. I planned for what the future of animation would look like in five year’s time, when (if I choose to pursue it) would be in the industry myself. I landing on creating three blog posts that explored the past, present and future of animation along with a concluding video essay. I choose this topic because I was working on animation for the first time in my life as an artist. I’ve always appreciated animation but never knew the different processes it entail, and the history that has shaped the presence and the future possibilities of animation.

Blog 1: I addressed the history of animation and different inventions that have shaped the way we animate today. In addition, a few techniques that have been replicated to computer-animation from traditional handmade techniques. I considered I set myself well with this first post, and it felt like I had a clear trajectory in mind. But in the research, I failed to even mention that I was looking into the future of animation in the span of five-years. And that’s where I must have set myself up for a bit unsuccessfully when I failed to mention which window of the future I was looking in.

Blog 2: In this blog I wanted to address the changes made to animation in the current and near-future using examples of CGI and mix medium animation like in Spiderman: Into the Spider-verse. I re-reading this blog I feel I got lost in wanted to talk about all the interesting things about animation in CGI films to the point of not even addressing the future.

Blog 3: I did an overall recap on the previous blogs. As well as looking more into animation in the game industry. I feel if I separated the genres of animation more instead of touching on various points, I could’ve covered more thoroughly. As well as leaving myself room to address the future of those areas and spaces of animation.

Video Essay: In my video essay I summarised the blog series and brought it to an overall conclusion. I liked this part the most out of my DA for the fact it gave me to show the animation in motion, without just clipping a YouTube video to my blog. It allowed me to provide commentary while a clip played. The only problem is if I did multiple video essay, it would have been time consuming and overwhelming. Thought it would’ve been beneficial to my DA. But I am glad I got to include at least one to my project.

The passion for my new DA allowed me to pump out the content the project and assessment needed, but I know I missed the brief. My project only addressed the future, as a whole. Nowhere in my project did I mention if I was referring to the future in 5, 10 or 20 years. I believe my project does have social utility, particularly as a Visual Communications student, who knew there are currently other students in my cohort studying Motion Design for the first time. And most likely looking into animation for the first time in their lives. I found it had a lot of use for people, even after the glimpses of CGI animation we saw in our weekly viewing and live tweeting in the subject. I knew there would be people out there with some interest in animation and knowing “how the sausage gets made”. The regret I have is, I only made my blog series available on my own personal blog, and re-blogged the links to my twitter. In hindsight I could have made use of the subject blog and posted my content to that platform. As well as advertising my blogs on Reddit or other social media’s to gain engagement and feedback on my weekly posts. Underestimating the workload and need for research hindered my final product of the DA this semester. Also not using social media to its fullest, really didn’t allow my DA to flourish the way it could have.

What I have learnt from producing ‘The Art of Animation’ is that when a topic has relevance, and some kind personal passion to you, the work just flows. And it didn’t feel like work, it felt like I was researching for my own knowledge in that particular field of graphic design. Which I know was something mentioned to the cohort at the start of the semester in selecting a topic to investigate for our DA’s. But perhaps that’s where the meaning of my DA got lost, in my own passions and excitement for animation itself. I forgot to address the brief of the DA because I got lost in the facts and art of the animation I was looking into. If I could go back now and refine the scope of my DA again, I would do what I said in my “new pitch”. Look at the industry in five years, as if I were to be joining it. And thought I mentioned new techniques and new age methods of animation, I didn’t insert myself anywhere in the DA. Nor did I mention that period of five years. I got lost in the word “future” and the mantra, “the future is now” and just kept mentioning the vastness and immensity of the future of animation.

In one way or another completing my DA this semester for BCM325 was beneficial to me and my future.  My DA is a body of work I am proud of producing. Though it did miss the brief in some ways, it did address the way history has shaped the future of the topic. And if I choose to step into the animation field, I know vital information that will assist me in producing content because of the work I have done this semester.

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