My family and I are in Ithaca, NY. It is our tenth summer here. For six weeks each summer, I teach an animation course at Cornell University. This year, the class was unusually small, so I took the students on a short field trip to the Cornell Plantations, where we made animated GIFs around some wonderful cement sculptures that architecture students built in the 1960s, and then in the Plantations Herb Garden. A few days earlier, we had made some test GIFs at the Andy Goldsworthy sculpture, down a path in Sapsucker Woods, not far from Cornell’s Lab of Ornithology.
Click here for the tutorial I used to make the GIFs in Photoshop.
Here’s one my son and I made of a trickling fountain. This one is an example of a cycle in nature that really looks no different than live action…except that nothing will ever change – no lighting shifts, no shadows. Now I have my eye out for more natural cycles.
I’m very interested in cycles at the moment – so many things we do and see happen over and over again. I want to make a list of things that work well as cycles. I sometimes ask my students to animate complex cycles – things that happen over and over, but have some kind of difference every few cycles – an accent, adding complexity. I often show the strange and fabulous animated film Revolver as an example and inspiration.
Here are some examples of the students’ projects:
You can see an album with all our GIFs here.