Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Digital Cutouts

Yesterday I had a quick go at doing some cutouts in After Effects.

Again as ever, a rushed job, but potential is there.

Jayum presents: Tom Allen

Last week I blogged about Thomas Allen's cutout work, and claimed that the following day i would have a go at it myself.

Well.... I did

So I routed around and found some magazines lying around and had a play with them. Then adapted the idea and started sketching and applying the same process to that.

Still a bit of a rushed job, but I like how these have come out. This is strongly becoming an area of interest that i would like to use in some form in my final piece. (whatever that is now)

Week 11

It's the time of year where everything happens at the same time. Deadlines at work, the whole festive thing, birthday, new year, 5000 word essay.

Besides all these things plaguing my day to day working, my head has been mainly thinking about this project right here. (realised today that it isn't due till may 2010) but still, been too busy to blog, but not too busy to be inspired in a number of new ways.

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Brighton pt 1

So yeah, I went down to Brighton last Friday. Laden down like a pack horse with so-called portable lighting, green screen, reflector, tripod, oh and camera.

Met up with one of my bestest friends and set up a mini studio in her house.

Played around with a few setups, took a collection of images along that we could draw inspiration from.

Haven't had a chance to download any of the images as of yet, feel the shoot went well, but whether the end results are useable, or in fact what i was after or needing I'm not too sure. Regardless, the experience of the whole setup and such was incredibly valuable. Great to have my first subject as such an understanding friend who is willing to mess around with everything as much as I was needing to.

With the first shoot out of the way, I feel far more confident about the equipment, and my ability to get what i want with these tools.

What a relief eh?

Just can't get enough

I remembered this video by 'The Saturdays' the other day (think it was last tuesday)

(This is the comic relief version. There is one without the noses, but I like them in there)

An example of bringing the 'pinup' images of the 50's to life. And really it just comes down to wardrobe, the array of suitable poses, and the pastel plain backdrops. Simple but rather effective.

Lotte Reiniger

Another inspirational practitioner Lotte Reiniger born in Berlin 1899, lover of chinese shadow puppet theatre and film.

Creator of Die Abenteuer des Prinzen Achmed (The Adventures of Prince Achmed), completed in 1926, the oldest surviving animated feature film.

Check out this clip of her at work:

and a clip from 'jack and the beanstalk

Thomas Allen

Oh my!

This my friends is beautiful.

The work of Thomas Allen is so simple yet (to me) so powerful. Sometimes it's quite distressful when you come across some work that is 'your' idea, that's evidently already been conceived and executed by someone else. In this case though (and with most others actually), because I like it so much, I find myself incredibly inspired by the thought that 'my' idea is worth pursuing.

I'm gonna have a go at this tomorrow afternoon i think.

Monday, 23 November 2009

Egon Schiele

Long time fan, first time blogger

The style of Schiele's work has always been an inspiration to me, although I've never directly referenced him in my own practice.

Again, this is a great opportunity to bring all these things together. For this project? I don't know, just wanted to make a record mainly for my future self to come back to.

Forgotten beauty

Brian May

Last week was channel 4's 3D week.

During part 1 of 'The Queen in 3D' documentary (generally awful btw) there was a section about early 3D.

Turns out one of the largest collection of Victorian Stereoscopes belongs to the other queens' Brian May.

Don't know if it was the fever i had that night, but I had the most vivd dream that Brian showed me around his collection.

Think i might start with the archives at Bradford, or the V & A first though.


I've been ill for the past week, so haven't been updating.

A few things have come up since last monday, and I'll write about them in due course.

The main piece of 'news' i guess is after having a quick meeting with one of my tutors, I am set to begin work ASAP.

In the pursuit of working out "what's in the box?" I've decided to hold off thinking about the final delivery and just start producing content. Be it, photographs, maybe some animation and video, the plan is to begin making stuff.

On that note, I have a photo shoot scheduled for friday this week down in Brighton.

Time to make something beautiful

p.s. feeling a lot better now, thanks for asking

Monday, 16 November 2009

Model Peepshow

A couple of weeks ago I stumbled across a toy theatre shop in Covent Garden, London. I say stumbled but it's been there since 1880.

Benjamin Pollock's Toy Shop

I had to buy something, so I eventually decided upon this cardboard diorama peep show.

Just need to work on my cutting skills before I attempt to put the thing together myself.

One idea would be to use this as a template to make my own.

The Magic Lantern

Produced to be viewed with a projector, lantern slides were both popular home entertainment and an accompaniment to speakers on the lecture circuit. The practice of projecting images from glass plates began centuries before the invention of photography. However, in the 1840s, Philadelphia daguerreotypists, William and Frederick Langenheim, began experimenting with The Magic Lantern as an apparatus for displaying their photographic images. The Langenheims were able to create a transparent positive image, suitable for projection. The brothers patented their invention in 1850 and called it a Hyalotype (hyalo is the Greek word for glass). The following year they received a medal at the Crystal Palace Exposition in London.

A History

The Magic Lantern was the forerunner of the modern slide projector. However, researchers do not know who invented the first one. In 1676, a type of Magic Lantern called the Sturm Lantern was invented and it may have been one of the first.
The practice of projecting images from glass plates began centuries before the invention of photography. However, in the 1840s, Philadelphia daguerreotypists, William and Frederick Langenheim, began experimenting with The Magic Lantern as an apparatus for displaying their photographic images. Because the opaque nature of the daguerreotype disallowed its projection, the brothers looked for a medium that would create a transparent image.

They employed the discoveries of the French inventor, Niepce de St. Victor, who had discovered a way to adhere a light sensitive solution onto glass for the creation of a negative. By using that negative to print onto another sheet of glass rather than onto paper, the Langenheims were able to create a transparent positive image, suitable for projection. The brothers patented their invention in 1850 and called it a Hyalotype (hyalo is the Greek word for glass). The following year they received a medal at the Crystal Palace Exposition in London.

The Langenheims envisioned their slides as forms of entertainment, charging a fee to watch their picture shows. However, within a few years, lantern slides began to fulfill a variety of purposes. While entertainment remained an important function well into the twentieth century, lantern slides had the greatest impact on educational lectures, especially in visual disciplines. They played a vital role in the development of disciplines such as art and architectural history, making possible the detailed study of objects and sites from around the world.

Manufacture of Lantern Slides

The first lantern slide producers made their slides using albumen-coated plates and, after a short period, switched to wet-collodion plates. The introduction of dry plate processes, as well as mass-produced lantern slide kits, made the slides easier for amateur photographers to produce and also made them more accessible to schools and universities.
Besides the photographic medium itself, the process for creating lantern slides remained primarily the same throughout their one hundred year history. There were two ways of printing the images: the contact method and the camera method. The first dictated placing the negative directly on the light sensitive glass. This required that the negative was the correct size to produce the 3.5x4 inch slide. For larger negatives, the camera method was necessary. Using a camera with a long bed and bellows, the negative and glass were both placed in the camera and printed by exposing the glass to daylight or artificial light. After exposure in both cases, the latent image was developed out with chemicals. After the plate was dried, the image could be hand-colored using special tints. The slide was finished with a mat and a glass cover and was taped to seal the enclosure.

The finished product was placed within a lantern slide projector to be viewed on a wall or screen. The first projectors used oil lamps for light. By 1870, limelight, produced by burning oxygen and hydrogen on a pellet of lime, offered a better, although more dangerous, form of illumination. In the 1890s, the invention of the carbon arc lamp, followed by electric light, provided a safe method for displaying the lantern slide image.

The Decline of Lantern Slides

Use of lantern slides lasted throughout the remainder of the nineteenth century and until the 1950s when their popularity began to decline with the introduction of the smaller 2x2 transparencies. Finally, the discovery of the Kodachrome three-color process made 35mm slides less expensive to produce than lantern slides.


Projections Explained

On a smaller scale this could be done inside my diorama. Invisible projection screen between foreground and backdrop elements. Digital displays project content from above or below.

3D projection

Mutoscope Reel



This is where I began with 'The Tempest' also Edward Gordon Craig revisited 'Macbeth' and 'Hamlet' multiple times

Contrast imagery / Content transition

Playing with the idea of changing the scene within the box, drawing on symbolism and surrealism to flip from one image to

The Domestic scene - What the TV sees

The living room, the dining room, families at rest. Peering out of domestic household objects revealing what they see. Hidden
cameras, some form of social commentary.

'What the butler saw' - voyeurism

Stages of undress, the peeping tom. An interactive digital update to the mutoscope. Live projections. Composited scenes.


Storytelling. A whole play, or selected scenes, that can be viewed as a whole, or as individual segments / scenes.

Ideas so far......

The main gist is to combine elements from these research areas as a form of delivery.

A physical diorama, with a peepshow viewpoint. A scene that can only be seen by one person at a time.

Using composited photographs to make complete scenes displayed in 3D space.

Foreground / character / backdrop

Digital projection? So a Craig style setup of simple physical shapes and blocks, that can be projected upon to display a scene. Multiple setups could be displayed with this technique, possibly playing on the notion that one person would look and see one set on contents, the next would see something different.

The blocks could also move within the space. Using handles (harking back to the mutoscope) the viewer could interact with the space, rearrange the contents, back and forth, rotate, then a new scene could be projected.

I would like the majority of the settings to be still image. Photographs. With the possibility of moving character elements displayed within the space.


The entire projected scenes could be video, moving images, that bring life to the scene, possibly combining with the movement of the blocks and staging inside.

What's in the box?

Good question.

I have so far been approaching the idea from a delivery point of view, and as a result haven't really been considering the content.

What is being delivered?


The style and presentation of females through glamour images, particularly during the 1950's is something again that I have a fondness for. From the cartoon, graphic images of 'titter' magazine, to the photographic career of Betty Page, this too is an area I'd like to explore during the process now know as "What's in the box?"

"What the butler saw"

The Mutoscope, a popular source of moving image. Hand cranked reel of photographs would be lit within, played one after the other giving movement to the scenes.

Dubbed, "what the butler saw" the content would tend to be based upon the notion of voyeurism, spying through the keyhole. Women undressing, readying for bed.

This practice is something I plan to draw inspiration from. The hand crank interactivity, would be an interesting process to apply a more digital consequence to.

Thinking thinking thinking.....

The Peep Show

The French Polyrama Panoptique relates to the idea of Dauguerre's Diorama.

When doors are opened and closed on the top and the back, the images / scenes within would appear to change from day to night.

Edward Gordon Craig

I've been interested in the work of Edward Gordon Craig ever since I studied theatre studies at college.

1872 - 1966

Born in Stevenage, Hertfordshire

Author of 'On the art of Theatre'

He demanded complete artistic control.

The DIRECTOR was the 'True artist of the theatre', actors were no more than 'marionettes'

Everything combines to present the 'unified stage picture'

He revolutionized the way set design was approached. The main focus being that of large screens, panels, boxes. These were simple in design, solid elements, that could be moved and rotated to construct different settings and scenes. Neutral, mobile, non representational. They complemented the actors on stage, setting off the movement and lighting.

Articulate the relationship between movement and sound, line and colour.

Louis Daguerre

1787 - 1851

Theatre design / Architecture / Panoramic Painting

'invented' the Diorama in Theatre

The 'Daguerreotype' process of photography

Daguerre constructed huge panoramic paintings, playing with perspective and lighting.

Audiences would come and view these paintings, and with progressive lighting the scenes would appear to change / move over time. Subtle lighting would give the impression of day changing to night. Candles would ignite, shadows would move.

The whole audience would be on a rotating stage, so once one painting had been viewed they would rotate 180ยบ and be presented with a second scene to experience.

One of Daguerres diorama paintings can still be seen in the church of Bry-sur-Marne (Paris, France) The image changes as the day wears on. Candles light up at night time.

The Diorama

Denotes a partially 3 dimensional, full sized or scale model of a landscape typically showing historical events, nature scenes or cityscapes, for the purpose of education or entertainment.

This is a concept or area of production that i have been interested in for a while now. I remember when i was in primary school and we had to make a diorama scene within a shoe box. I chose to recreate a scene from Shakespeare's "The Tempest" using tissue paper for the stormy sea.

I find myself being drawn back to this process. After years of working with digital compositing, I'm thinking that I could draw upon these skills and explore them in a more physical sense.

I want to make something in the Physical world, something hands on, something you can interact with.

I want to make a Diorama.

Jayum so far

I graduated from the University of Lincoln in 2003, with a BA in Media Production.

For the last 6 years i've been back at the university lecturing in the area of DigitalMedia.

Animation, Post production, Special effects, Compositing, DVD production and interactivity.

I've also worked on a number of freelance projects over the years exploring various elements of digitalmedia.

This is a music video from a few years back, made for the London based band Black Cherry. The video was designed, shot, edited and animated within 24 hours for dazed and confused / myspace 24 hour live web broadcast for Aids awareness day.

Here is an animated short produced to commemorate the anniversary of the abolition of slavery. The film was shown at the British Museum, London, as part of a black cinema film festival.

MA and ME

Hello and welcome to my blog.

The plan here is to explore my research and development progress during my studies on the MA in digital imaging and photography at the University of Lincoln, UK.

I'm working as a Part Time student, so the course runs over 2 years.

The course began in september of this year, so it's now 8 weeks into the program.

The first project isn't physically produced until Semester B, but initial ideas and planning are well underway now.

So here's what I've been working on so far.

Feel free to leave any feedback or comments