Wednesday, December 16, 2009

50 Most Beautiful Trees Photography

I love to look at art that inspires me and teaches me something about art creation. Though all of these images may not fall into the category of 'digital art', I'm guessing many have been manipulated in image editing software. More importantly, these are great examples to show students because they are absolutely captivating. I could spend an entire class period discussing what makes these photos stand out from thousands of other photos of trees, and the value of image manipulation in photography.

Take a look at 50 Most Beautiful Trees Photography.

'Either Side of the Sun' - Copyright 2009 Mike Shaw

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Fascinating projection art

555 KUBIK | facade projection | from urbanscreen on Vimeo.


"How it would be, if a house was dreaming"

The conception of this project consistently derives from its underlying architecture - the theoretic conception and visual pattern of the Hamburg Kunsthalle. The Basic idea of narration was to dissolve and break through the strict architecture of O. M. Ungers "Galerie der Gegenwart". Resultant permeabilty of the solid facade uncovers different interpretations of conception, geometry and aesthetics expressed through graphics and movement. A situation of reflexivity evolves - describing the constitution and spacious perception of this location by means of the building itself.


Art Direction: Daniel Rossa -

Technical Director: Thorsten Bauer

3D Operator: David Starmann

Sound Design : Jonas Wiese

Realized with mediaserver

A extended version of this documentation can be found here:

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Welcome to Aviary - Free digital art tools!

This organization, Aviary, has designed a series of web-based applications for creating just about anything, including a photo editor, effects creator, web designer, sound editor, color scheme editor, vector drawing, and screen capture. And best of all, they are all FREE to use!! Naturally, the implications for the classroom are tremendous. Over the next few weeks I will take each of the applications for a test drive and post a review on this blog.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Tilt-shift Stop Motion from Disney

Tilt-shift photography is a technique using a special lens that allows the photographer to create an artificial depth of field. The result can make miniatures look normal size - often used in architectural model photography - or can make real life objects look miniature. For Walt Disney World's 38th anniversary, Disney produced a video using tilt-shift stop motion showing a day in the life of the park. The effect is fun and whimsical, and I think it would be fun to experiment with this technique to for artistic purposes. Students can use software such as Tilt Shift Maker to simulate the tilt-shift lens effect on a photography.

Check out the Disney tilt-shift video here.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Performance art with digital twist

I love the idea of using my entire class of students to create an art piece. Every single person has an important role to play, and it takes careful planning and implementation from the team. Performance art is overlooked as an art form in many classrooms, and yet there are so many outlets for it. Look at the example below of skateboarders in San Francisco outfitted with a light up tetris game piece. Discuss with your students what went into the planning, the roles required to make this happen (including those of the film crew), and cooperation of everyone. Brainstorm ideas - what could we do as a class? How can we utilize everyone's skill set? How do we bring a digital aspect into a performance piece?

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Free, Handwritten Fonts - Great for Logos!

Here is a website with some great, free, handwritten fonts. Students should have fun using these for logos, posters, websites, etc. This would be a good opportunity to go over the usage agreements for free fonts as well.

Monday, September 21, 2009

More Color Scheme Websites

I can't wait to use color scheme generators with my students. Picking a color pallete for a design seems like a real struggle for beginners, even with a solid foundation of color theory. This website has the top ten color tools.

I would love to hear feedback from teachers who use any of these in their classrooms. Which one is the best? What do students think of them?

Friday, September 18, 2009

Playful stop motion

This animation has a different aesthetic, with a quirky story. Notice how incredibly smooth the animation is. This is a good example to show students in comparison to other stop motions seen on the blog, because it has such a different feel. It stimulates a great discussion on what makes it different.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Women artists had it tough

Okay, so it's a little off topic of digital arts, per se. But this letter was too great not to share. It's a letter written in 1938 from Walt Disney company to a female artist seeking a creative animation position. Women have really come a long way in getting rights...(you may need to click on the letter to actually read it).

Friday, September 11, 2009

Light Graffiti

Students would love to experiment with light graffiti. These artists are truly inspiring in their creativity and exploration of the medium. Share these examples with students.

The trick for the teacher is providing a dark enough space, and having a tripod to hold the camera nice and steady.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Stop Motion with Legos

Legos are a fun idea for stop motion. Many of your students will have them at home. This video is a little long, but there are some really great parts you can use for reference. I also think the theme of classic video games for this animation is fun.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Fist Full of Fur - Stop Motion

I find this movie inspiring. In fact, I had students create a production company intro for an animated short they put together, and they were only okay with little to no guidance on my part. I would use the intro on this video as an example to students. Completely doable for them, and of a much higher quality than what they might do otherwise.

Overall this project demonstrates strong storytelling through stop motion animation, including a very clever use of dialogue.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Digital Graffiti

Students might find this sort of light play really interesting, and more importantly inspiring. How could artists use this medium to create a conceptual artwork, beyond just exploration?

Visual Performance - Lichtfaktor vs Optix from Jens Heinen on Vimeo.

Saturday, August 15, 2009


The face-amation project is a fun way to have students create a sort of stop motion animation using photography and video editing. Credit goes to teacher Ian Sanders of Apex High School for this project. Check out a student example here.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Animata - Real-Time Animation

Animata is an open source tool that allows you to create real-time animation. Could be an interesting tool for performance art or for live visuals at a concert. It also gives students a sense of how character rigging works.

Animata Jazz Pub from gabor papp on Vimeo.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Conceptual Music Video

Digital artist Andrew Huang created a music video titled "Doll Face". It is a beautiful conceptual piece that is also visually stunning. This video can be shown to students to discuss the role of concept in an artwork.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Iconongraphy Development

From Felix Sockwell's website:

Felix Sockwell is a high end identity designer and illustrator. His icons are simple, clean, and brilliant! When I teach students about designing logos, I like to show them the process of evolution an icon design can go through, and the truly endless possibilities.

Felix Sockwell on Drawger - Mr. Sockwell designed the New York Times GUI for a new iPhone application. This page shows his process - a fantastic resource to share with your students!

Felix Sockwell's Professional Website - He shares so many great examples of his work here. Just be cautious, not all of the work is appropriate for students.

'Desconstructing Dumbo' - A fun exploration of the Republican party icon, the elephant.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

The Art of Pixar's UP

In my opinion, Pixar Animation Studios is the gold standard for computer animated films. Every film is better than the previous one, and the movie 'UP' was no exception. Amazingly talented artists work to conceptualize the design of the characters, backdrops, and sets. One such artist, Lou Romano, posted concept art for 'UP' on his blog. Use this resource to show students what goes on behind the scenes artistically to create a movie as visually stunning as 'UP'.

From Lou Romano's blog:

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Siggraph 2009 - Emerging Technologies

For those who aren't familiar, ACM Siggraph is a member-based organization who's mission is " promote the generation and dissemination of information on computer graphics and interactive techniques." Every year they hold a large scale conference. It is happening this week in New Orleans. I've attended quite a few of these conferences, and while it can be overwhelming, there are some really fascinating things to see. I recommend attending at least once if you're interested in Digital Arts.

One of the best experiences at the conference is the Emerging Technologies exhibit. People from all over the world share innovative technology they've developed. As a digital arts educator, I am inspired by new technologies for creating art. Check out some of the projects here.

If you're interested in knowing more about the ACM Siggraph organization, and how you can get involved, they have a special committee for educators. You can learn more here.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Amazing Stop Motion Animation

Produced by an art student at Savanah College of Art and Design, this is a truly inspiring example of stop motion animation. Watch the behind the scenes video to see how it was created using computer drawings and projections.

DEADLINE - post-it stop motion

DEADLINE - the making of

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Educational Video Sharing Sites

Two great YouTube alternative sites for student and teacher video sharing:



Thursday, July 30, 2009

Color Scheme Generators

Teaching students to work with color is such an important part of a design education. I usually begin the school year with a project requiring the application of a color harmony so that students begin to understand how to choose colors that go well together. I've found a couple of fantastic resources for generating color schemes that I love to use with my students: - Absolutely amazing tool!! Needs the newest Flash player to run.

Color Scheme Designer 3 - A little different than, but still really cool.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Tech Training Resources

Two great resources for learning software skills: - Thousands of video tutorials. Unlimited access for $25 a month.

Bay Area Video Coalition - Train the Teacher (T3) - Free training classes for educators.

Inside look at creating animation, Walt Disney style

This is an amazing video to share with students about old-school animation techniques.

Meet the teacher/designer/geek

Welcome to my blog about Digital Arts Education. I am a passionate arts educator, a professional graphic designer, and a tech geek. I love the fusion of art and technology!

This blog is about sharing teaching ideas and resources for other teachers out there interested in integrating arts and technology.

Please come back often!