Option 1, exercise 1.2.2: the digital

AKA, the Glitch.

I had a black canvas already up in the Rebelle layout and because the one thing better than watching actual paint dry is watching digital paint drip, I set up some blobs of colour at the top of the page and let them dribble down. Slow TV at its best. Then, back on task, I imported five assorted screenshots and positioned them in the centre of the colour patches. My intent was to manipulated these independently of each other and the drips but they seem to constitute layers in their own right so that they sit, each in its individual layer, surrounded by an unoccupied layer which is on top of or beneath a number of other layers.

This lost me when I was trying to wet the medium for more drips, instead applying yellow paint behind, not inside each of the images. I didn’t find a way either to apply filters to the inserted images, having instead to applying them to the whole. There will be a way, I’m sure.

This is the video capture of the terribly riveting drip.

I have printed two versions of this amalgamated image (A4 gloss) with a view to making a physical piece. And I have just seen a time lapse recording feature in this version of the software.

11th January. Since yesterday (really? yesterday?), I’ve been immersed in the nitty gritty of Rebelle5 Pro and Filmora Pro and with both, I’ve made sufficient progress to have moved from being unable to do the kinds of basics I’d used routinely with previous versions to discovering what these apps have under the bonnet when you’re ready to lift the lid.

They have quite a lot in common in that each permits layers, each has a range of filters and effects, and they both extend the possible towards the improbable. For the amateur at least and as that’s what I am, it’s perfect.

I made some experimental pieces in response to the course materials yesterday with no real thought about design or composition; I just used the task as a platform for doing what I’ve failed to do earlier and invest real time into discovering what these apps can do.

Increasingly, and not least because every photo I take of my physical work is different depending on the time of day and the kind of day. Light changes what I see and also what my camera records, and neither is any sort of truth because, knowing what I put there influences my perception, and my phone makes adjustments of its own towards some kind of regularity.

I’ve often made subsequent adjustments so that the recorded image looks more like my perception of the physical piece, and so I am questioning my somewhat disdainful regard for digital ‘enhancements’.

In this part of this module, those digital enhancements are given much more of a free rein, at least according to my reading of the tasks. We are appropriating (not making) images to incorporate via print, photograph, print, and print again to pull out textures and make changes; and there is encouragement to use digital platforms in achieving this.

Admittedly, this might not have extended to a predominately digital approach but I would argue that the process has alerted me to many aspects of making art and the possibilities arising from digital manipulation that not only open up ideas for physical work but that are inherently art in their own right.

I have nodded to the physical by printing the drips made in Rebelle as three individual pieces (A4) and also as an overlapping combination in a long letterbox format. Gloss photo paper works well but does not, itself, photograph well and so I may get myself some matte stock to see how that behaves. It feels like a satisfying product. I like the starkness of it, the simplicity of the two originals, differing only in choice of saturation filter, with the much more complex centre piece where I basically wreaked havoc with new brushes and made a fantasy jungle!

The images at the head of each paint trail is a screengrab from a number of live webcams sited in Namibia, Greenland, and somewhere between the Moon and wherever it is the Webb telescope is going! Each of these is a separate layer and so can be manipulated individually. When ‘water’ is added, the colours run.

Colour shift due to a change in saturation.

This is the final piece set between its simple originals. Again, layers allow for application of paint without changing anything beneath, or using a textured eraser to reveal lower layers systematically.

The video is a truncated record of the process and more for illustration than as a piece of art in its own right. The big bonus here was sorting out some of the frustrations I had experienced with the Pro version of Filmora earlier. I’ve moved from annoyed abandonment to gobsmacked awe.

The obligatory animation. This is the fun bit!

I suspect I have not fulfilled the letter of the exercise but I do feel I have fully engaged with the spirit of it. Editing is a constant and detailed process with digital platforms because of the very many adjustments it is possible to make. I include in this an element of restraint about selection and force of application. It would be easy to throw everything in because, with layers and iterative saves, nothing is lost. The glitch is in the MotionLeap animated section of the video.

As an aside, I strongly recommend a rise and fall monitor/mouse/keyboard table that sits on your desktop. Flat when you need it to be, standing height when you want. Editing on-screen can be a neck, back, and shoulders crunching job – folded up and peering at a screen which is never at quite the right angle, especially at home. This is mine.

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