Friday, 23 September 2016

Minor Project first ideas

For my minor project I intend to create an animated environment or object(s).

My first idea is to create a witch's hut which combines the classic but also modern definitions, for example black and white magic, knowledge of herbs and plants, dipping into paganism and new age witches. I would like to animate it in an app game style, where the player moves around the hut and clicks on the various objects to learn about and interact with them, possibly with mini games as well (for example: brew your own potion) and quizzes.

My next idea was to put the style first and create a world that is entirely knitted, with inspiration from Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy:
but the characters (if any present) would be more in a stick man style with influence from Shrek's gingerbread man:
But in a more simplistic style like Snow White here:

 This time I was not asking what topics I like, but what history my family has, which they have told me about.

 The first thing that came to mind was one of the big floods in Hamburg, as my grandad used to have a fuel station for boats in the Harbour in Hamburg, so he was affected first hand by the North Sea flood in 1962 and I thought it might be interesting to have knitted waves crushing into a knitted city, possibly destroying landmarks on the way. The animation could be presented with a "My grandad once told me about..." voice over which dips into the history of the city I was born in but also my own.

 The next idea is about my nan's history, as she was deported from Poland into a refugee camp on Fehmarn (a German island in the Baltic sea) at the age of 10 in 1945 and lived there for 5 years with her mother and brother before moving to Hamburg. I've interviewed her once for a school project, so I have a recording of her telling me what the camp looked like, what the general living situation had been like and how they dealt with daily life and not so daily diseases and injuries (my nan had Tuberculosis while living there). I think this could be an interesting animation if it's paired with a crackly voice over in German with subtitles and maybe a time lapse effect with everything moving very fast but then slowing down if something is described in more detail. I would use the same knitted style as described above, but with muted colours or entirely in black and white.

 Some other knitted objects I've though about were a motorbike and a Buddhist temple, but I haven't thought about the animation aspect of both of them yet.

 One idea was to have the lifelines as threads coming out of the people as they go about their day to day business, they have the yarn behind them intertwining and throughout the day knitting a grand pattern, which vanishes overnight, but it reminded me a lot of one of the invisible cities the first years are working on (collaboration with a first year? :p why not!)

 And the last idea was that a person gets up in the morning and absorbs everything they consume,creating the character from toes to head, for example the coffee turns into socks, the apple builds the hem of the trousers, the pages of the newspaper turn into trousers/skirt, the shower water turns into a t-shirt and so on. It would be in a first person perspective with sounds creating a lot of the story, person gets up in the morning, yawns, looks down and sees nothing, grunts maybe, gets up and drinks coffee, looks down and sees socks! Accompanied by a happy sound, eats apple, looks down to find hem, reads the newspaper and watches the trousers climb up the legs and so on.

 I love knitting, I've only learned it fairly recently and would like to explore the opportunities it gives me.


  1. These personal stories sound interesting. Though I think making the world knitted would have to depend on the tone of the story you want to tell. (I remember the knitted scene from Hitchhikers, I recall the look was for absurdity and randomness by exploring infinite improbabilities such as a reality where life was made of wool.)

    A knitted world could work if the narrator was a young child recalling a story their grandparents told them.

    1. Thank you Mark, I'll definitely keep that in mind :)

  2. I think you need to give 'knitting' a bit more thought - I suggest you look at synonyms for knitting and how the word is used in terms of simile and metaphor: the point about knitting is that it is something comprised of threads or separate elements combining to create something bigger/solid - and the other point is that knitting suggest vulnerability, as in 'things becoming unravelled' - it does seem as if knitting as an aesthetic works well for stories about 'memories' and also 'loss of memories' - I wonder if you'd thought of looking at personal stories about alzheimer's or dementia - something about memories and forgetting? I don't think just sticking a knitted aesthetic onto an existing story is going to be satisfactory in the long run... think about once solid things becoming unravelled, because then a world made of knitting starts to make more sense to me as 'more' than just a surface on a world; if the knitting represents the 'fabric' of the world/of reality/of memory - then things start to feel more embedded and less superficial.

    1. I love this idea of pairing knitting with dementia. I'm just thinking of a poor character having to Knit their memories back together :'(

      I agree 100% with Phil, go research this, it could be a sad but cosy story :)

  3. (great use of metaphor and simple staging!)