For my video editing I decided to download and use Adobe Premiere Pro because it is the best to use for the actions I want to take. Having never used the software before I have spent a lot of time watching tutorials on the website and on YouTube to resolve any problems I have faced.
Before using the site I wanted to work out how to create the Polyopia effect in my art. This is a mental condition people experience after hitting their head, drinking too much or taking hallucinogens. The idea behind this effect is to distort the hand and create a trailing effect. I have researched into the condition and how people perceive the world with it. After downloading Adobe Premier Pro and watching these videos I found one which helps me create a similar effect using the Visual Echo effect. This effect allows me to create the trail as the hand moves in the video. Using the effect control panel I am able to play around with the number of trails, the distance between each trail and the decay (transparency) of each trail. I have found the tutorials extremely helpful and it has saved a lot of time trying to produce the work I want.
Having never used this software, I feel this video is more of an experiment than a final piece because I am still trying to find my feet within the program. I started by importing my material into the program and telling Premiere Pro which part I wanted to include. I decided to trim the media once it was in the program but only importing the video and no audio because I wanted it to be silent. By doing it now, it would make editing a smoother process. Below highlights the button to click and drag your work into the timeline. I found this method easier. If you wanted to include both the audio and the visual material simply click on the video and drag it into the timeline.
Using the effects and the effect control panel on the top right of the screen, I was able to play around with the trailing and echo effect on my video. I found this to be the most exciting part of the editing because it began to bring the effect I wanted to life. The effect control panel allows me to change the number of trails, and the decay between them which means I am able to create a more ghostly look (similar to Bill Morrison) or a more obvious abstraction. After playing around with the Echo effect on the video, I decided to make it black and white to stick with the idea that neutral is better to keep the focus on the hand. Not only this but, it enhanced the trailing once I unsaturated the whole video. The shadows it has created add to the trail and I feel has created a better film. This effect has created an abstraction to my work which has developed the idea I am exploring of hands into something more intriguing.
Video Editing on Adobe Premiere Pro
Video Editing on Adobe Premiere Pro
After exporting the video, (which take an hour) I have looked back through the film, written notes to determine whether I edit the film again. The note making has also allowed me to grasp a better sense of the piece.
Yvonne Rainer is a contemporary artist who produced a video, Hand Video, 1996 (see blog post about her). The little project has really inspired me during this time of change with the current Covid-19 situation because it was a simple yet affective piece which I feel could help me to develop my work further.
After being stuck in a rut with my drawings and where to take the them, the change in location and way of working, along with her video as inspiration, I decided to begin creating short films (no longer than 10 minutes) of my own hand. The video consisted of a plain white background with nothing but my hand moving in front of it. The movements started small and again to get more lively and aggressive and then quietened down again at the end of the video. The reason behind this development is to explore the dynamic movements of a hand and be able to look back at the work to explore it further. I found it has been an interesting way to be think my ideas for the exhibition and why I enjoy exploring hands.
I began editing my film on iMovie where I was able to cut and paste, edit the sound as well as play around with the filters. It was quite interesting to see the different effects and how it would change the mood of the work. I found it quite frustrating because I would edit a video and begin to play around with the filtering and lighting however, I decided the film itself wasn’t right and so I had to re-film the work a few times. Although plans have changed and I have had to travelled home to continue my studies, I am fortunate enough to have a large space to work in and the correct lighting and fairly good quality equipment to use. I mostly intrigued by the black and white filters because it gave a very neutral tone to the work. It took any attention away from the background or the colour and focused entirely on the hand and its movements. There were a few different black and white filters so I tried them all out to see which one I liked the most. The ‘Silent Era’ filter [figure 1] was most interesting because it gave a vignette effect away the outside of the video and also a vintage recording filter across the screen. By this, I mean the work looked older than it was, relating this back to Bill Morrison’s Decasia as well. I also tried the ‘Noir’ filter [figure 2] which gave a very simple black and white filter to the work. I liked this filter but, I felt it didn’t really bring anything to the film so I don’t like I will continue with this filter.
Figure 1: Nina Williams, Hand Movement, 2020, (Silent Era, Silent) Video (unfinished)
Figure 2: Nina Williams, Hand Movement, 2020, (Noir, Silent) Video (unfinished)
The polyopia effect is a mental occurrence which can affect anyone. Polyopia is where an individual sees two or more images arranged in rows, columns or diagonals after having fixed on a single stimulus. There are no clear causes of Polyopia but there are links for those who have experienced strokes and suffer from epilepsy in the occipital cortex.
The reason for my fascination with this concept is the imaginative visual effect which can be edited in my films. The effect connects the real physical hand with perception. By making this link, I am attempting to form the bond between the physical gesture and the emotion it is trying to portray. This effect will help me to create a film with multiple numbers of the image to create movement and flow through the work. After some investigation into how I would be able to create this effect in my work with Youtube videos and exploring Adobe Premiere Pro, I found the Blurring video effect created a similar interesting effect.
As well as drawing in charcoal, I sketch in pen which creates quick scratchy sketches of hands. I incorporated some colour using watercolour into the sketches to give them life and realism. I created many small sketches to create a ‘wall’ of drawings. These drawings reflect an array of emotions and feelings through the range of gestures. I played around with different amounts of pen and watercolour in to change the intensity of the drawings. The drawings are not part of my exhibition because they are just sketches and don’t belong in my exhibition making them more part of my consolidation module. I produced these sketches recently but, they are in reference to the gestures I produced in the film art. The idea of these drawings was to keep the emotions flowing and explore the different gestures and the emotions associated with them. Creating the ‘wall’ was for the documentation of the sketches but, also a way of me to bring all the drawings together and bring the power to the whole image.
I am really enjoying working with film art with my theme because it allows me to show the emotion in a more natural environment and through movement.
I started to play around with the idea of hands drawing hands. I filmed myself drawing sketches of different gestures. In the video you can only see the drawing, the pen and the hand so all of the focus is on the movement itself. Editing the film took place on iMovie and Premiere Pro where I edited three separate films into one. I also increased the speed of the film by 200% because I felt it gave the audience I sense of the emotion rather than dragging out the process by having it at normal speed. I decided to keep the sound on the film because I found the scratchiness of it interesting and contributed to the gesture I am expressing through my hand movements whilst drawing.
Editing the speed
Editing and combining separate clips into one
Importing and editing
Editing the speed
I found the exercise quite intriguing because when I looked back at the film, I was able to see my technique.
After looking into the work of Lee Krasner, an artist suggested by my tutor. I decided to tear up and play around with a few of my drawings (Figurative Charcoal Sketch & Figurative Charcoal Sketch 2). This idea comes from the intention to rip out torn work to distort it even more. The reason I wanted to use these drawings, it because I wanted to use already produce work to make more.
I started by using masting tape to hold the pieces onto the paper just as a temporary hold so I could move them around and decide where I wanted them. I began to add in coloured paper and use my charcoal to draw over this. By doing this I was creating the connection between the original drawing and the coloured paper. I enjoyed using the lighter pink with this collage further than the dark pink painted paper because the dark was too rich and didn’t give as much contrast as the lighter paper. As I continued to work with this collage I felt a strong positive feeling towards it and felt as though my work was going somewhere.
I did encounter problems during this process. As you can see the biggest difference between the second and the last images below. After placing more and more of my torn figurative drawings onto the canvas, I decided the pink paper did not work. I was able to overcome this problem by covering it up with more charcoal. As well collaging old artworks together, I wanted to incorporate fresh charcoal to create links between all of the works. The reason for this pieces was to refocus on mind on gesture and body language.
For my final exhibition I was quite troubled for ideas because although I love producing hand drawings using charcoal, I wasn’t sure how to confine them into an idea. After talking with tutors and other students about what we use our hands for. Gestures and language use the hands on. regular basis.
Signal language is used everyday by more and more people in today’s society because it is the biggest aid for the hearing impaired. I have spoken to a student who has struggled with a hearing impairment throughout her childhood however, she did not find out about the condition until she was fifteen years old. I asked her about how it affected her mental health and whether knowing she had the condition helped or whether it made things worse. She replied with a decline in her mental health and that it prevented her from her future career in the RAF. She explained how now she has comes to terms with it and has had surgery to help with this disorder. I asked how growing up was difficult, with a reply of “I was tested for iron deficiency and anaemia because I would always come home from school super tired but it was actually from trying to lip read all day”.
I have decided to create a few different phrases with my drawings. The first sequence I am drawing is “I am fine”, a phrase constantly used by people who aren’t actually ‘fine’. The reason for creating this kind of art is to link it back to art therapy and how an individual could express these phrases they may say to their therapists through artistic creation.
For the third part of my hand sequences I decided to draw an image halfway between the two other hands. This is a more clenched hand whether the palm and nails are still visible. I wanted to produce this piece because I feel it completes the sequence of these hand drawings. The drawings within this collection show a progression to the clenching of an individuals hand to form a fist. The reason behind these drawings was to portray depth and intensity within the hand along with the use of the compressed charcoal to form this intensity. I am fascinated by the way the hand is distorted to form this shape and how it wrinkles and crumples up during the clenching process. At this stage, this is the reasoning behind this collection.
This is the only hand that I have completing finished because I was interested in the depth and intensities of the palm as it clenched into itself. The intensity of the charcoal in this image draws out the lines and wrinkles in the hand. The compact charcoal has created a deepness to the work which draws the eye into the work and creates the 3D effect to deepen the work.
I may complete the other two drawings however, they are simply experiments at this time. By completing the other two parts will form the sequence and is a potential idea for my exhibition show.
My work is continuing to develop and I wanted to start thinking about how I could develop it into a final show piece. I started to think about a few ideas one of which was to include a video of myself producing a large scale drawing. I wanted to do this as a way to show a hand drawing a hand. Then movements I make through producing the drawing and how my body reacts and response to my progress through the drawing.
I want to show to the audience the physical and mental strength needed for this sort of work. I am experimenting with drawings of my own hands at the moment because I feel hands tell a lot about a person. The gestures through a person’s hands and body language tells a lot about an individual’s mood. I am also producing drawings of a friend looking at the way she can distort her body to show her ribs and bones. These distortions come from her insecurities and eating disorders. That connection between the mind and body is so important as the body is the physical communicator for the mind.
I decided to experiment with film. Here I have experimented with a time lapse of a drawing to show the essence of the drawing process rather than display a long film of my time and production. Using a time lapse is interesting because not only does it allow me to see the way I work from a far but, also makes it a great way to show to the audience how I produce my work. For this piece, I used iMovie to edit the film.