Sunday, October 19, 2008

Just after I finished posting this morning, I was catching up on some blog reading while Sunday lunch was cooking and saw this post on A Wrinkle in the Calico about a site that lets you create giant posters. So, after lunch and after letting the children have their time on the computer- grrrrrr- I just had to have a play with the black and white cogs design (last photo on this morning's post). I am not going to print out all of it, but looking at it on screen has given me some ideas - maybe enlarge the design, split into columns then shift them out of line. Of course, I could print out all the parts and try rearranging them like a jigsaw. Or maybe print sections onto inkjet fabric and join by continuing the shapes over the spaces inbetween with machining. As usual, it will probably turn out as something completely different. Need to spend time with the sketchbook - watch this space.

Designing With Cogs

Following on from thinking about clocks, I pulled out this photo from my module 1 sketchbook. I took this on holiday in Venice a few years ago, in one of the churches. It is actually part of an old mechanism for the church bells - I am sure there is a proper name for this but I don't know it - rather than a clock but it has the lines and cogs I was thinking of. I had a little play with paper cutouts which I scanned in and manipulated in Paint Shop Pro. Here are the bits of paper on a black background.

Then I cut out some more and added some texture with gesso, gold spray paint, crackle medium and black paint on top - the picture doesn't show the gold cracks very well.

I combined this scan with a background that originated in my earlier work with pylon patterns - rubbings from folded paper scanned in and given a new colour scheme. I filled a layer with a metallic gold colour and masked it with the cog shapes so they take that colour and are slightly transparent. The second picture is the result of playing with preset displacement maps. I like the way the shapes extend out of the background in this one.

Finally (for the moment), a black and white study to look at layering the shapes. This is just the scan copied and pasted on top of itself, offset and cropped, with the layers given different amount of transparency. To make the shapes clearer and give more depth, I added drop shadows.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Adding Sound to Animation and Some Tricky Stitches

Over the last few weeks, I have changed my ISP, set up a wireless network and bought a new computer (now the children have the old one and we can stop arguing over who gets to go on the internet and for how long). It is far worse than moving house - hours going through address lists wondering who these odd names belong to and if I want to give them my new email and more hours checking all my online ids. Finally I have moved over all my favourite bits of software, found out if they still work, and sorted out the licences so they work on the new machine. Now it is all done, I have been playing with Vista and especially the Movie Maker and DVD Maker - at last a big enough memory to cope with everything at once. So, I have added some sound effects to the animation (yes, I know I said it was finished but can't stop fiddling). Here is a clip from it to get the idea - you need to imagine it projected onto the background I made.Have a look at the Coursework pages of my website to see my earlier notes and pictures. The sound is intentionally quite low so you may need to turn up the volume. It is part of my plan that if you were in the room, you might not be sure if you heard it first time.

In complete contrast, I have been continuing with the stitch sample for the Tudor historical study - having a hard time with the plaited braid stitch so I have just kept doing it. There is some very dodgy tension as you can see in this photo but I refuse to be defeated.

The sample shows basket stitch, braid stitch, plaited braid stitch, ladder stitch, detached buttonhole, knotted detached buttonhole.