I love challenging the fear inside of me when snowboarding. I love the adrenaline rush, the beauty of the mountain, fresh ungroomed powder and the whole culture and style of snowboarders. It’s addicting and I can’t get enough.
I am a designer that snowboards, and hence, it’s been my dream to ride my own design.
The long awaited first challenge, my stop motion animation video is finally finished! Here’s a quick recap of the things I learned and wish I had known.
New software and techniques:
- Features on my new Canon 7D
- Studio lighting
- Final Cut Pro
- quick Lightroom editing tricks
Things I wish I had known before starting this challenge:
- Studio lighting
- Shooting techniques and tricks
- More studio lighting….
- A good tripod = a well worth investment (still on my “expensive to buy” list)
- The fact that I did not have to go through the trouble of withdrawing so much cash. My brother already had half as much just sitting in his room (which so happens to be adjacent to my room…)
- It helps to be in shape when bending forwards and backwards to shoot weird objects such as money. My hat goes off to all photographers out there!
Feedback and comments are always encouraged!
These past few weeks have been crazy to say the least. Finishing up an internship, applying for jobs and quickly starting a new (and awesome/demanding) job left me very little time to focus on my challenges. Moving forward however, I know that I will soon settle in at my new job and create the beautiful things I have my heart set on to… on time!
And talking about time, I can’t believe that today is already the 12th day of the month. You know what that means! I have the pleasure of announcing to you my third design challenge by introducing you to Raluca and Bogdan, my very good friends who will be getting married this year.During this very special time in their lifes, I wanted to take the opportunity to design their wedding invitations and anything else that needs to be designed for the reception that will be taking place in Romania.
I am long overdue in creating beautiful things for friends and family. This is the first of many future challenges that I will be dedicating to my loved ones.
Last night’s stop motion photo shoot was quite a workout to say the least. Between setting up the camera, tripod and lights, to moving up and sown between the money on the floor to the camera viewfinder, my legs are now incredibly sore! In the conscious effort to be semi proactive at work the next day (or in a couple of hours that is), I called it a night at 4am and settled to shooting another 150 photos or so this weekend.
I’ve posted a few behind the scenes photos on my flickr account.
By far the biggest lesson I’ve learned last night was to plan ahead, plan some more and PLAN again.
The second lesson I’ve learned was that I need to learn more tricks on studio lighting and just getting to know my camera better. Hmm… now you know what one of my future challenges will be!
Thanks for your patience as I work some more on what I thought was going to be a much easier project. Video will be up this weekend!
I am all packed up for tomorrow’s big money stop animation. Here’s what’s on my list:
✔ Cash (12 one hundred dollar bills, 20 twenty dollar bills, 300 one dollar bills)
✔ Coins (144 quaters, 107 dimes, 70 nickels and 139 pennies)
✔ 2 cameras, Canon 7D & Canon Rebel T1i fully equipped
✔ 2 camera tripods
✔ Softbox light kit
✔ 2 lamps
✔ MacBook Pro
✔ Multiple sheets and a big roll of white paper
✔ 3 rubber bands
✔ Blow drier
✔ Hair pins
✔ Sewing needle
✔ Sewing thread
✔ Hand sanitizer
Last night I went to three different banks and cashed out 95% of the money in my account. Why three? None of them had as many one dollar bills as I needed. It was worth the hassle, however, as I now have the exact number of bills needed to make this stop motion animation possible. Why am I risking things by “playing around” with a huge amount of real money? Gotta live life on the edge—that’s the whole beauty of this project. Plus, where would I be able to find fake money anyways?
Physically playing with the cash gave me a visual understanding of how my ideas are going to come alive. I then pieced all of these ideas together by roughly sketching out each second of my animation. As bad as I might be at sketching, it’s essential that I do it at the start of every project as its a good time saver and visual to reference off of. In the two page spread photo of my notebook, you will notice that on the left side are sketched out frames while on the right are random ideas and patterns jotted down to incorporate somewhere.
So far, so good. I know exactly how my animation is going to work but what I have been struggling with, and the reason why I have not completed my challenge yet, is finding equipment and space. Luckily I was finally able to sort all of this out by borrowing a tripod, a softbox lighting kit and graciously being allowed to use the space at work. There are still a lot of things that I will need to figure out before tomorrow nights photoshoot. I will check back in to share with you how it all went down. Wish me luck!
For those that haven’t been keeping up with my first challenge, I am creating a stop motion animation with money. It is going to move, fly, roll, wiggle… and man is it going to be funny!
Currently, I am sketching every single frame to calculate the minimum amount of photos I need to take (300), have elements move on the beat of the music (boom, boom, bam) and figure out all technical aspects of the animation (lighting, camera props, shooting scene order etc). My problem right now is that I need more cash! I will be stopping by the bank tomorrow to withdraw possibly all of my money in my account. And so, the number of sacrifices I will make for my 1212 challenges begin…
Here’s a rough visual that I have been playing with and what will be one of my frames. What do you think?
I have been playing with money over the past days and will, in fact, create a stop motion animation with it. Follow me over the next few days as I blog live the behind the scenes.
Money, money, money…. you are in for a fun surprise!
The biggest lesson that I learned during my first challenge, stop motion, was the importance of picking the best ideas out of a large poll. Yes, its great to brainstorm and have a variety of options, but it is just as important to know which idea is the best solution.
Tonight, after back and forth battles, I have stepped my foot down and decided on a concept! But sometimes I can’t help but think of bad ideas before good ones come about. And even jot down these ideas in the hopes that something good will come out of them. In the wish to break out of this habit, I am sharing with you what I hope will be my last large list of “not so great ideas” that I jotted down while on the metro, waiting in the doctor’s office, during lunch, late nights, (passenger) car rides….
During college, many of my professors lectured about the importance of having a great idea. But I was never told about how these ideas are formed, and where do great ideas come from.
I reflected upon this while on the quest towards finding that breakthrough concept for my stop motion challenge. I came to realize a lot about my thinking process and put together a list of 10 places where my ideas come from, and the things I do that help me find them.
- Concentration and focus
A great idea has a purpose, and brainstorming with focus is my key in finding it.
- Breaking out of my comfort zone
I put myself in different juxtapositions (taking on extra work and projects, attending eclectic events, staying informed)—a crucial aspect in keeping ideas fresh and creativity flowing.
- Hanging out with non-designers
As Karl Heiselman put it at AIGA Pivot in October, “Designers, don’t just hang out with other designers. Learn the language of business…” and great ideas will follow.
Feedback from experienced elders has helped me develop what I thought was a great idea, into an even better one.
- Not worrying about who gets the credit
I used to look for ideas online, in books, magazines, experts and everywhere else when in fact, the people around me had excellent ideas and solutions. When you are working in a collaborative environment and know that someone has found a better solution than you, accepting and knowing how to work with their idea can come a long way (and is also a great trait to have as a leader).
- Thinking for the next context
One way I check if my idea is worth a penny is by considering it in it’s next larger context. Think of it as a chair in a room, a room in a house, a house in an environment…
- Giving it time
When in doubt, I sleep on it, brainstorm some more, or try number 4.
- Creative exercises
As often as I can and most of the time without realizing, I question my own surroundings as well as everything and everyone I meet. I step back, let my mind imagine, jot ideas down and revisit them.
- Thinking EVERYWHERE
I keep a notebook and phone close by just in case I need to sketch or jot down any great idea popping up while I’m on vacation, on the metro, eating, brushing my teeth, working out, driving, snowboarding etc.
- Keep thinking
I was once told that the best ideas come later on in people’s careers. However, one great idea could change someone’s life. Until I find it, I will keep thinking and repeating all of the above.