Thursday, October 30, 2014

Art a la Text

This week, we had to create text-based imagery (using photos we've taken this term) from a variety of different online applications for my Digital Media course. It was quite an interesting experience to work with these programs because I've seen text-based images that use these same techniques on many different occasions.
Created with
The three (3) above images were created with
(click to enlarge all)
The first image you see is one that I took earlier this semester as part of the Urban Landscape project. is a website that takes images and turns them into ASCII generated art. ASCII (American Standard Code for Information Interchange) is a type of encoding used by computers that represents the English alphabet. Different characters are rearranged in ASCII art to create a visual image. (for the latter 3 photos) is a website that can not only create ASCII images, but also letter-based (HTML), and matrix-style images. For this, I chose to use one photo from my Typology grid from earlier in the semester - this particular record being Purple Rain, and the text generated in the third image from a famous line in the opening song, "Let's Go Crazy".

The first image above is one that I took on my urban landscape adventure at the beginning of this term. I titled it "Color on the Walls" because of the way the black substance seems to really stand out on the background of the wall. Using the online application Tagxedo, I was able to create a Tag Cloud based on the initial image and using the title as for the words to make the image. I highly enjoyed the fact that this application allowed you to upload your own font from the computer. I used a computer font version of the text used during Prince's Sign "O" the Times era - mostly because it is a really cool looking font, but also because I deemed it a good fit for the words. I've seen images before that were tag clouds, but never thought to make one myself. It's pretty enjoyable, especially with all the features and creative freedom that the application offers.

For the third (and final) segment of this assignment, I returned to a photo from the Urban Landscape set, and then used two other photos that I've taken outside of this class that I really love. The first image is of the Fifth Third Bank glass building in downtown Toledo. Using Textorizer, I uploaded the image, typed words in the box that I thought were a good fit for the photo (Toledo, downtown, beautiful, clouds, etc.) and played around with the different options until I achieved the final product. The next image uses Textorizer 2, which has more options that you can manipulate, but keeps the text in somewhat of a straight line. This makes it more useful for writing poems or other sayings over your photo. The photo I used for this is of a few frames of a piece of black leader film strip that I removed emulsion from using an exacto knife, then colored in portions of it to spell a word (the entire film is of course much longer) and held up to the light to photograph. More about the process of creating cameraless animation with film can be found here. The words you see in the photo are a small poem I wrote for this assignment that reflects my feelings on creating scratch film. It is quite a freeing process. The film was created for Optical Printing and Animation, a class I'm taking this term. The final photo in this set is of my two lava lamps that sit atop my dresser in my room. For this, try moving toward the screen and then away from it. It may or may not appear to move! I thought this was a great effect for the lava lamps, so I played around with the effects in the application Excoffizer until I got to the point where this effect was achieved. It's a trippy sort of thing, and of course I'm all about images that play tricks on the eyes and mind.

Overall, this week's assignment was quite enjoyable for me. It was one of those assignments that didn't really feel like an assignment at all because I had so much fun with it. Second to the video/audio mashup assignment, this is one that I've had the most pleasurable time working with. Now, I'm off to rest my eyes. Sleep deprivation is making me see and hear things that I'm pretty sure are not there... pretty sure.

Until next time, Peace & B Wild.

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