Self-critique of Final works

14 Dec

The last few weeks of the semester were devoted to extending/revising projects that I had already created.


I was able to create one additional Valentine that I think works very well, even better than the first – the ear valentine. Creating the third was a real challenge because I had to figure out how to create something that could operate among two other things and on its own. Lots of time and effort went into playing with organs, compositions, text before I could find the right combination of elements. Unfortunately, time constraints didn’t allow me to work with the series as I would have liked. I would have liked to rework the three valentines as a unit, but the lung valentine still needs work.

I think the Ear valentine is the most successful composition. The text is readable and engaging. The very linear placement of the text outside the ear compliments the swirly interior text well. The image itself is engaging just in its shape and line qualities. And I think the blue and yellow colors work without being too cutesy. The image is less pixelated and it just looks more intentional to me.

The heart valentine is pretty good. But in light of what I was able to do in the ear Valentine, there are changes I would make. I made another version of the ear valentine that I can’t access right now. The borders have been taken down to maybe a half inch. I found that the more I took away from the border, the less I wanted a border. I would have liked to do the same thing with my heart valentine.

Looking at the two of them I like that the text is allowed to operate in very different ways. I think they could both stand on their own as compositions. That’s what I’m most proud of.

The lung valentine needs a lot of work. The latest draft is on the board. I wanted to give a sense of how the text would go, but honestly, there needed to be much more time invested in exploration to get the composition right. The way the lung is shaped is very different from the ear and heart, which are more round. The lung is more linear, so it was a different type of image to work with.


This video was a joy to make. I’m very proud of it. I went back and did some more work on the audio, but I wasn’t as pleased with cut 4 as cut three. I wish I could upload the last video, but I can’t seem to login to access the files.

I think the effects start later in the video than they need to. But I really enjoy the visual effects. Adding texture to the visual really helped connect the visual to the audio. I think they compliment each other well.


Marion Bolognesi, Watercolorist

10 Dec

She makes my blog more beautiful.


7 Dec


went in to knock out my last Valentine. Started planning out where to draw out the text. And nothing. Couldn’t figure out where to put it.

Then it clicked. The pelvis bone is all wrong. It’s not an organ. Besides being a bone and providing structure, it doesn’t do something like a heart does something. A heart pumps blood. An ear receives and transmits sound waves to the brain. The function of those organs inform my decisions about placing text. That bone doesn’t do anything. Scrapped.

So, I started googling the uterus. lol. That was fun. and graphic. but nothing inspiring.

Then I found the stomach

I began prepping the image and stuff and then I realized that there’s nothing special about how the stomach processes food. It goes in one end and out the other. The heart is unique because it has chambers and different valves, so the composition can utilize all these points as focal points for the text. The ear has lots of swirly paths and things for the text to get bigger, bolder, smaller, compressed, etc. I wanted them all to not only house the text, but transform the text. I decided that while I could make a composition with a lot of organs, it wouldn’t be strong unless the organ I chose could do something interesting with the text, unique from the other organs in the series.

Then I found a lung.

Not the ideal image, but I was immediately struck by how the text could work into this image.

It took a lot of flipping, erasing, and stuff to get the image together.

Then I realized that I needed to prepare the surface of the bronchial tubes for the text. That just means making the features of them less prominent so that the text and the tubes aren’t competing.

So, yesterday I started with this image in Illustrator.

Cut Three

6 Dec

I need to write about it, but I can’t wait to share it. Here it isssssss!

Last Day of class

6 Dec

Oh, this is bitter sweet. Today is the last day. I’m finishing the last Valentine in my series now. It’s 11:08am. I recently found a poem that goes perfectly with this Valentine. (It’s my own poem, but I’d lost it.)

As you can see the image is back to a very reasonable black and white, I’m playing around with this greeenish color background that will more than likely change as I continue working. The first step is to lay in lines and get the text in there. Should be fun.

Final Cut Express: Did a conflict occur during a trim operation?

3 Dec

Making speed changes while the clip is in the sequence doesn’t always work.

It will either expand the section you are trying to change (if you slow the clip down), or try to pull it closer together if you try to speed it up…and since you have other footage that would collide, then you get that error.

Place the curser (with the yellow tab) at the beginning of the clip you want to change and click the clip to select it.

Press F to “match back” to the clip. The clip will appear in the Viewer with the In and Out points indicated.

Press Command + J to open the Speed Change window. Adjust to adjust the speed.

Now, click the viewer and drag the newly changed clip back into the sequence.


Cut Two

1 Dec

I did a lot of work on the audio to get it to cut two.

Adjusting audio in Final cut is time consuming and tedious with one audio track, let alone 8. There are a few main variables I manipulated to get the layered sound I was looking for.

  1. Background noise
    • At any givem moment there are multiple voices at one time. I wanted to create the buzz of conversation within a room. In a hair salon, especially, there are conversations going on at every corner and naturally some bits and pieces fade in and out of the foreground. I wanted to capture that experience in my audio

2. Sequence

    • I went through all the audio tracks and identified moments I wanted to be in the foreground. The next step was to position them in a sequence. The audio is positioned first one clip after another, and then the entire track set is condensed so that there’s overlap in the conversations. Once that overlap occurs I found that some clips worked better in other places. Of course moving that clip shifts the way that an entire 20 seconds of audio sounds. Getting everything in the right place involves many many trials and a lot of patience and diligence.

3. Levels

    • Once you have everything in sequence, it’s a loud jumbled mess. Which makes sense, cause sometimes hair salons and conversations are like that. But for my purpose, it was necessary to pay very careful attention to the audio levels and manipulate them. The audio tracks come from TV shows, podcasts, and Youtube channels. That means different microphones, different sound quality, different audio levels. Just trying to get them within the same range is a good bit of work. Also, I didn’t want the important sections of audio to jump out at my listener. I wanted them to kind of waltz into the spotlight and then you know – waltz back out. This proved to be one of the most time consuming tasks. Especially when audio is constantly being shifted and those fades have to be redone.

Ultimately, the audio in this cut of the video is a drastic improvement. There are still issues in the audio range – some parts are very soft and some are really loud. But I think the audio works much better in this cut than the second.