Our Greatest Export: Culture

While I spend the large majority of my time these days making animated films, Alysha has really been broadening her range of expertise. Why, just this morning she was featured on the Purdue University website as one of five “Purdue Culture Makers.” Wow!

The entire series is about showing how smart and creative the students at Purdue can be, and of course Alysha was a perfect candidate for such a profile. In the article she discusses why she chose the Purdue Apparel Design program, what has inspired her during her education, her big senior collection due out this Spring and her ambitions for the future. She even gives a very nice plug for Base14, which includes a link to us right from the web page! That’s better publicity than I got during my four years in West Lafayette! Also, if you look closely at the main photo, Alysha is sporting the amazing ceramic ring she made of Baru from “The Girl and the Fox.” That’s proof of the symbiosis that Alysha and I have between our creative endeavors. As she says in the article: “His creativity inspires mine and vice versa.”

We’re always better together, sis! Congratulations on the write-up and keep that culture coming!

Teen J-Squad!

This past weekend was the conclusion of another rousing session of Journalism Workshops at Ball State University. While I haven’t been to the workshops for a few years now, I still like to reminisce about teaching InDesign to high schoolers and consuming an unhealthy number of ICEE drinks from the Atrium cafeteria. Of course, nothing paints a better picture of the ‘shops than a classic cartoon I made back in 2006, entitled Teen J-Squad.

An obvious take off of Teen Girl Squad by Homestar Runner, Teen J-Squad was originally intended to serve as an “edutainment” video to illustrate various graphic design concepts to my students. However, it quickly devolved into a cascade of absurdities and slap-stick humor. Still, the jokes contain a surprising amount of commentary on the culture and politics of high school journalism. So in honor of its three-year anniversary, I’ve uploaded a somewhat “remastered” version of Teen J-Squad to YouTube. Enjoy!

Are We Animators Yet?

For those that may not read every blog post, a little update: I’m currently earning my MFA in Film & Television down at the Savannah College of Art & Design. But as I like to tell people, I’m having a bit of a love affair with animation. I’m in Film & Television to learn the essentials of directing, screenwriting, editing and the like, but ultimately I prefer working in front of a computer rather than on a set.

So while I take my required 700-level Film & Television classes, I’ve begun sneaking over to the animation building this quarter to take “ANIM 202 – Animation I,” or basic principles of animation. Today we finished our first assignment, a bouncing ball and a cannon ball. Pretty basic stuff compared to Ara, I know, but it’s so nice to get back to the basics before I go any further. This class should make me much sharper as an animator, and after this I can move on and take some character animation classes.

Anyway, if you’d like to see square one for professional animators, take a look below. I guess now I can officially change my business cards.

Note: Videos after the break. Continue Reading »

The Digital Revolution Comes to 2D

With the Fall quarter done here at SCAD, it’s time to launch into high gear on the long-term project at Base14. For now it is still classified, but what I can tell you is that it’s another animated short film expected for a Spring 2009 release.

Today, however, I’d like to share with everyone another stepping stone on my personal path toward animation enlightenment. I present to you a paper I penned for my contemporary art class, entitled: The Potential of 2D Animation as a Digitally Produced Art Form. The paper explores the maturation of animation as a traditional art form, and how it has progressed into a digital world. As you can guess from my main argument in the paper, my next film is a digital 2D piece. I learned a great deal about animation history and current trends from this paper. I’m actually really glad I wrote it.

You can read the entire paper via the link on the right.

And you know, while I’m thinking about it, I’d like to step onto my soap box for a moment and suggest that the APA and MPA bring their style guidelines into the 21st century. The indentation, rugged double spacing and non-existent italicization all stem from the days when masters students plunked out their thesis papers on typewriters. Get with the times, guys. Rewrite those guidelines to take full advantage of modern word processors. Same goes for script writing standards, too. Just think how much the readability would improve if we could format scripts in a modern way.

*Steps down from soap box*

Film School: First Thoughts

Well, it’s about time I write a bit about life here in graduate film school.  As you may remember, I’m currently enrolled in the Film and Television department at the Savannah College of Art and Design. Let me begin by saying Savannah, and all the events and speakers that SCAD brings in, is incredible. I have a speaker, seminar or gallery exhibit I want to go to practically every day. It’s terrific.

The real downer so far has really been the lack of stimulation coming from my classes themselves. When graduates are enrolled in the programs here, a panel evaluates their abilities based on their portfolios and transcripts and judges how prepared they are for the graduate curriculum. This often results in the applicant being assigned preliminary classes to fill in the knowledge holes. I was lucky enough to not be assigned any, but so far, from talking to peers, these 300/400 level undergraduate classes are more challenging than our 700 graduate classes. What gives? I’ve had enough free time to actually hang out with friends and work on the next Base14 movie. Both these I like to do, but while I’m down here I’d like to learn something I don’t already know. Or at least, learn it a bit faster. Where’s the fire hose, boys? I’m thirsty.

In a bit of condolence, I did work on my first filming project last week. We shot a two-page script for sound design class. This coming week we’ll be bringing the actors into our sound studios and conducting automated dialogue replacement on the film, just like the pros. Now that’s pretty exciting.

More to come on my classes.

Lights... I've always wanted to use lights.

I've always wanted to use real lights.

My team members Tobias and Christine perfect the camera angle.

My team members Tobias and Christine perfect the camera angle.

So Long, Purdue. Hello Savannah!

As the wise Rafiki once so eloquently put it “Ahhh. Change is good.” And here at Base14 we couldn’t agree more. Change is a strong theme for the company today as I, Tyler, officially graduated from Purdue University with my Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Graphics Technology. Thanks Purdue! Now it’s on to bigger and better things down in Savannah, Georgia where I’ll be attending Savannah College of Art and Design for a Master’s Degree in Film and Television. This can only mean good things for Base14, as my newfound skills in directing and producing will undoubtedly lead to continuously better film productions. Of course we here at Base14 would like to thank all our fans and supporters during our stint here in West Lafayette, and encourage you to keep in touch. Purdue will always be recognized as the spark that gave life to the multimedia development diversity of Base14.

Commencement 08

JDay 2008, Baby!

i can haz n-desinez?Welcome, young journalists! Another brilliant High School JDay is upon us! And what better way to celebrate than our very own HS JDay 2008 Advanced InDesign Website! Too cool! Once you’re there, don’t forget to take the survey! And if you get bored, why not browse the rest of Base14.com? I wouldn’t mind. ;)