It’s finally done! “New Direction” lyric video

My good friend, Kurt Baker, makes some of my favorite rock music. So, when I started my final semester, I asked him if I could create a music video for one of his songs. I had learned some things about kinetic text, and focused on lyrics using a really great font called “Blastatic” by Remedy667 as my inspiration for the style.

The Beatles cartoon from the 60s came to mind, and The Pink Panther title sequences, with the characters interacting with the text, so I created cartoon versions of each member of the band. It was really hard not to share the progress, but I really wanted Kurt to be surprised with the final version.

Creating the puppets in Procreate, to give them a hand drawn look, rather than a clean vector, then sending them to Photoshop for layer surgery was easier than I thought it would be, and not much is sweeter than seeing a well-synced character animation come to life! I edited the visemes – mouth shapes – as carefully as I could, and as painstaking as that can be, I’m happy with the results!

Then came After Effects. It’s like one of those really gorgeous people who acts like a douchebag, promising you trips to foreign lands, but leaves you stranded at the airport. Even now, I’m afraid to say too much, for fear it will hear me and never work again. That said, I’m really grateful to the IT staff at SMCC, my friend and advisor Kate, and a small army of healers and witches that banded together to make sure it came through for me.

After all the delays and tears shed (not too many! 😉), it’s done, and Kurt loves it, and here it is!

Check out all of Kurt’s videos while you’re there. He’s not only a great musician, but his sense of humor and humility is apparent in everything he creates. I’m really so thankful for the opportunity to do this! ❤️

Moving forward

Well, I’ve finished my AAS degree at SMCC. I went out with a bang, feeling very confident, and now – two weeks later – I’m feeling all of that energy of anticipation and “get it done”ness crash hard. So, what else to do but rest and recoup?

Of course, this is one of those situations where the writer glosses over the intense feelings of insecurity, the panic-inducing thoughts of not being qualified enough, the doubt of whether or not anyone else even likes what is being created enough to pay for it…whoops. No, it isn’t. I can’t be alone in this. There must certainly be some kind of “syndrome” for graduates that rains on the parade for a bit after the report cards are received, and the accolades are doled out. Please feel free to share if you have felt even a little of this after you completed a big project, graduated from school – even after a big wedding. I could use some validation for this.

All shadow work aside, I am able to maintain a level of pride at the work that I did during my studies, and I am still very excited to find a way to create animation for the rest of my life. I have some pretty interesting ideas for music videos, and I am now free to set sail on the good ship “The Golden Pinecone”, and make my dream of Poppet coming to life a reality. Creating and being productive is what makes me feel fulfilled. My best professor encouraged me to stop calling it “anxiety”, and instead recognize that I have DRIVE. Feels much better to say it that way, so that’s exactly what I’m doing. I AM DRIVEN!

Self-portrait I did in Adobe Fresco in honor of Pantone’s Color of the Year 2022 “Very Peri”

First thing on the “To Complete” list is a music video for my dear friend, Kurt Baker. I’ve been working on a lyric video for his song “New Direction”, and I’m pretty proud of how it’s coming out! I’ll share it here as soon as its released. Thanks for being here, see you next time!

Ending a new beginning

Today was the last day of my last semester. I earned my Associate’s degree in Applied Sciences, focusing on digital media and animation. I have so much more to learn, but I’m so much better equipped for the next step, and excited to share my cool stuff with all of you – in a much more structured and intentional way, from now on. Please visit my portfolio here: Behance Portfolio

Animated Idiom

The world makes us all feel a little like falling apart at the seams from time to time. It’s important to remember who is really in charge of everything in your life. Take a moment and listen to the echoes of those who came before, and remember who you are, and what you need to do.

The Golden Gap

As a “gap” project for my portfolio, I’ve decided to start on new character designs for my future holiday special, “The Golden Pinecone”.

Poppet Character sheet
Grampy Character sheet

Cut out animation

In my 2D animation class, we are exploring all kinds of techniques, and the master studies are great. Thanks to Lottie Reiniger and Terry Gilliam, last week’s unit was for cut out animation, but we cheated a little, using After Effects to edit them together. I wonder if Lottie would have even wanted technology that took that much of the process out of her hands -literally?

The theme was “Ridiculous Mishap”, so my goal was to use my short story about The Imp from Lodila Valley, but since the project called for only 20-30 seconds, I pared it down. I’ll tell the whole tale someday. For now, here is “The Imp”:

If you are not familiar with Lottie Reiniger or *gasp* Terry Gilliam, check out the clips below:

Lottie actually created the very first animated feature length film – before Disney. The most fascinating part is that she hand cut every piece and took every photo herself. Astounding genius! I think she will be the focus of my first podcast for my Podcasting class this semester, about women in animation.

Final Semester!

My senior semester at SMCC has begun, and it’s a doozy! I am taking 2D animation with AfterEffects, Podcasting, Advanced Digital Illustration, Senior Portfolio, AND a Capstone internship at Assuaged, Inc. as a character animator. I’d say I have my work cut out for me, but I also decided to make myself available as a tutor for the Communications and New Media department, so I’m really asking for it!

The great news is that, with all of these resources, I will graduate in January with an Associate’s degree, along with a full professional portfolio, resume, skills, and even some experience under my belt.

I’ll be posting my projects and WIP here throughout the semester, as well as on my Youtube channel, here: https://www.youtube.com/c/PeregrineStarr. My first project for 2D Animation is a cut-out style, like Terry Gilliam’s work with Monty Python, and I’m really excited to do this one! I have often created cut-out animations with kids I nannied for, as winter projects, so it will be fun to make one all on my own.

Stay tuned…

Cybele

Cybele of Lake Chitali

Cybele (si-bill-ee), named for an Anatolian goddess (also known as the Magna Mater, or “great mother”), is a genderless water creature that dwells in Lake Chitali, at the outskirts of the Land of Lo.

It is considered, like most Lodians, a hybrid of plant and animal, and cannot survive out of the water. It has three stages of transformation: pod (much like larva, attached to the parent), juvenile (free-floating), and parent (rooted).

Pods develop at the end of hundreds of tendrils protruding from the parent, and are released by the force of the next generation growing behind them. This gestation process takes seven years. The small size of a released pod increases the potential of being eaten by other water creatures, or other such demise.

Surviving free-floating Cybele (juvenile) continue to float on a 70-year long expedition to gain insight and knowledge that extends beyond any other creature in the Land of Lo. This is possible because each generation of pods absorbs the knowledge of the parent, and it continues through life only to add more. Not all water creatures in Lake Chitali are water-bound, and many bring tales of adventure from the shore. Assimilating those stories with its profound intuition, a juvenile Cybele develops vicarious experiences.

Mature Cybele end their journey after 70 years, by swallowing a large golden pearl created from the song of Ko the giant oyster, Claviger of Pearls, then sinking to the bottom. Fortified by the pearl’s energy, they take root, and sprout the tendrils that will start bearing their own pods. Once it becomes a parent, it creates thousands of offspring in the remainder of its lifetime.

Pods possess a strong incandescent light glow that changes colors according to emotions being transferred telepathically. Pink means love, green means confidence, red means fear, and so on. It is because of these translatable lights that adult Cybele are considered oracles. They are often visited by travelers on a quest to find meaning or guidance in their lives.

Seekers must swallow a pearl themselves in order to find the Cybele. To find a golden pearl, the only kind that allows the bearer access to the deep underwater realm of Lake Chitali, they must first find Nacre, the Mother of Pearls, who actually lives by a stream in Lodila Valley. She will bestow the proper “golden ticket” upon those she deems worthy, and give them precise instructions on how to find the oracle.

The seeker will follow those instructions, which includes swallowing the golden pearl, and finds the Cybele, presenting it with a question. At this time, the creature begins channeling emotion to provoke thoughts of logic and new perspective in the seeker. The Cybele then absorbs the life experience of the seeker, through a tendril that connects with the pearl in their body, and provides the “answer” they need, in exchange.

Once the pearl’s energy has been fully absorbed, and the seeker has reached revelation and epiphany, they are then released to float back to the surface, equipped with the new insight. Odis, the giant octopus, Claviger of Waves, ensures the floating seekers are returned safely to shore.

For example, a seeker may have lived an empty life of loneliness, never having experienced true contentment of genuine love from another, and may be consulting the Cybele oracle as a last hope for answers as to why this has happened to them. Upon approaching the Cybele, the large tendril will reach out to the seeker and touch its heart glow from the pearl they swallowed. The pods will then respond with pink glowing lights, and the seeker will experience pure and genuine love for the first time.

That emotion will provide a realization that they have not encountered before – perhaps a dear friend whose affections were dismissed is pointed out to them – and they will be released to float back, knowing they must embrace the love being offered, in order to feel that emotion again.

Someone who has lived a life of complacency and servitude may be provoked to feel anger, and be inspired to change their situation for the better, and so on. Anyone may seek answers, as often as they wish, as long as they have swallowed a pearl. The experience is quite intense, so most Lodians only need one to set their lives on the right course.