Decalcomania In Time

This is my first exploration of what I am calling “Video Decalcomania.” When I was still able to paint, for decades I used decalcomania extensively as the ground for each painting and as the main stimulus for my imagination.

Here I used some random frames of video I had shot of an artist in her studio. I imported that footage into After Effects where I duplicated it several times, offset the duplications and assigned each layer various blending modes in an effort to arrive at some random textures and changing images. I exported a QuickTime movie of the above montage into Toon Boom Harmony where I let my imagination go wild with brush marks, lines, and colors accentuating the strange things I could see in the video decalcomania.

I finished it with the creation of a soundtrack using field recordings and synthesizers in Ableton Live. I took the resulting .wav file into After Effects and put the movie together with the sound.

Use the search box at the top of this page to look for more examples of my use of the decalcomania process. Essentially it is the same as the childhood experience of looking for recognizable animals, faces, mountains, etc. in some passing clouds. The Surrealists used the process as inspiration for paintings. My favorite is Max Ernst.

While this video has some fun sections, and a few visual surprises, I find the lack of any plot structure or character disappointing. It makes me want to prepare more video footage and start all over again with new digital video source material to create an entirely new animated decalcomania.

About bobcomings

Visual artist working in wide variety of media and forms including painting, drawing , sculpture, digital drawing and painting, digital animation, and sound exploration for almost 60 years.
This entry was posted in Animation, Digital Drawing & Painting, Sound, Video, Visual and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Decalcomania In Time

  1. Susan Gilbert says:

    I am sure you had a lot of fun with that soundtrack. I love this little film, doesn’t need any plot. I would just like it to be a little bit longer. But I definitely like the idea of you making a new one.

    • tputter says:

      I agree about the brevity of this piece. You have NO idea how LONG it took to do this short work. Acrylic scumbling on a decalcomania surface is like lightening compared to single frame by frame animation of an image. I want to do more with video decalcomania, but will have to devise more efficient methods. Ah, time!?

  2. Fred Smith says:

    WOW Bob – This is a brilliant video. The visual images and the hypnotic sound create a powerfully engaging video/movie. Thanks, and please give us some more. -Fred

    • tputter says:

      Thanks Fred. This first attempt was a real time consuming struggle – felt like I had been sentenced to hard labor in a pixel quarry. I am going to shoot more video with the video-decalcomania process in mind and hopefully have a bit smoother time of it with the next one. For the first time, I did feel like I was on my own turf with this one. Almost all of my other animations were derivative or attempts to do character and plot traditional animation. Nice to be home at last.

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