The first year of the Digital Animation and Interactive Media program within the Department of Design at The Ohio State University is dedicated to technical and theoretical exploration. During my time here, I have tested multiple making methods, studied the principles of animation, and fine-tuned my thesis thread. The current shape of my research is to examine ways in which tabletop roleplaying games (TTRPGs) can provide discrete spaces for stakeholders to practice lateral thinking in order to address real-world problems. Below are examples of my work that demonstrate both my progress as an animator, storyteller, and designer.
Ter(li)minal was my first experience collaborating on a design team. As the only first-year MFA student in the group, I was surprised and heartened that my more experienced peers were so open to my ideas. Our only parameter with this DESIGN 6400 assignment was to complete it in five weeks, so we were given free rein to establish a concept and process.
During our ideation phase, I mentioned my interest in liminal spaces as sites of transient presence and interaction. Since our team had all flown over the summer, I suggested that we consider the liminal experience of waiting for an airplane. From that initial idea, we built a VR experience in which the user experiences constructed timelessness and placelessness in a nondescript airport waiting lounge. After establishing the initial concept, my role entailed sequencing the narrative flow (e.g., baby cries, delay messages), writing and recording the dialogue, and modeling some assets. Though I was no stranger to building a story, using a sound studio, trimming dialogue, and 3d modeling were all new to me. The images below show the proposed narrative. Please click on them to view them in more detail.
After setting a precedent of casually seeding my research interest into collaborative work, I once again suggested a liminal space as the setting for a group project in ACCAD 5001. This time, my team and I built a story around a brief interaction between strangers at a gas station.
I wrote the script, drew half of the storyboards, captured the cutout animation using Dragon Frame, composited the footage in After Effects, directed the voice actor, mixed the sound in Audition, and cut the final edit in Premiere. Every part of this process was new to me, save for script writing.
What if we abstracted the unknown variables inherent to riding a public elevator? That was the starting point from which my team approached this mixed media animation for ACCAD 5001.
I devised the initial character design, drew half of the storyboards, created the color key, and completed numerous 2D animation sequences. I gained a firmer grasp of Toon Boom Harmony while completing this animation. It is the software I have used in all subsequent animations since.
Prior to this academic year, I had never used 3D modeling software. In ACCAD 5002, I learned to model, rig, animate, light, and render a scene in Maya 2018.
Little Worlds: Armrest
In my final project of the Fall 2018 semester, I revisited the idea of interactions between strangers in liminal spaces one final time. Little Worlds: Armrest is one of the three animations made in Toon Boom Harmony that touches on a fleeting moment between people brought together by happenstance. I practiced rotoscoping in this project in order to communicate minute change.
My primary goal in 1994 was to evoke mood through lighting.
In Gummed Up, I sought to create a rig that could deform in an extremely exaggerated manner. I used a lattice deformer to create the gum that sticks to poor Evan’s shoe.