Darkest Nights (Future Project)

This was part of a storyboarding class at the Advance Computing Center for the Arts and Design. I wanted to focus on the story of the gumiho, the nine-tailed fox. I did not want the gumiho to be the focus, but the catalyst for a character’s growth.

This piece follows a couple and death. It has many symbols pertaining to death and the trials of the soul.

Hysteria

Throughout history, women have been seen as crazy for taking on a “man’s position”, and because they were looked down upon, many women conformed to hysteria or mental illnesses to fit the male dominated visions. For “Hysteria,” I wanted to contrast beauty/femininity with madness/destruction.

This piece started with the sound first before even thinking about the visuals. I made all the sound from scratch instead of relying on archives. When I got to the distortions and sound editing, this allowed me control over every component. With the film, I used symbols for beauty paralleled with destructive actions. Bringing the components together, the layers created a world where “hysteria” could thrive. The entire piece was edited in Adobe Premiere.

Children of War

Children of War is a piece that explores the psychological damage, particularly in children in war torn areas. The bombing of Hiroshima was a period in history that inflicted great destruction physically, mentally, and emotionally on countless innocent lives. While this happened many years ago, children around the world still continue to experience the effects of brutal internal and external conflicts. This piece primarily focuses on children’s accounts of Hiroshima to act as a starting point of analyzation for understanding a glimpse of the horrible conditions numerous children are exposed to on a day-to-day basis.

This piece also received the Aida Cannarsa Snow Endowment Scholarship Award for Undergraduate Juried Scholarship of 2018 and was on display in the Hopkins Hall Gallery from February 26, 2018 – March 30, 2018

This video explores still images moving through space. The images were done in Photoshop then moved as png files to After Effects. On top of the images, there is a light grain layer to enhance the feel of the time period. Smoke is created through fractal noise. Narration reading and Japanese translations of survivor accounts were done by Aina Weinstein and Kyuzo Kelly.

중독 [Obsession]

중독(Obsession) focuses on the objectification of Asian women. Much of Korean marketing relies on the ideal woman. While it helps companies, it negatively impacts consumers. In the extreme, fetishes towards Asian women develop, especially porn consumption or otaku/koreaboo culture. As an Asian-American woman, I am very interested in how this impacts viewers.

To address this topic, I took Asian commercials and developed a new narrative. I went through hundreds of commercials and picked the ones I think would get my message across the best. Once I broke up each commercial and created a story, I applied glitches that progressed into extremely unappealing visuals/sound. I took the popular song “Gwiyomi,” which is a song about being possessive and being cute for a person that you like. It was a popular trend around 2013/2014 in Korea. Both males and females performed this song with a certain dance-like action meant to attract people by throwing away your pride and performing the shameless act of cuteness. For me, I felt like this song’s background helped elevate the message. By adding sound effects and progressing distortions along with the images, it creates the lost and unattractive feeling despite it being attractive images. This is meant to convey the idea of cultural influences even if it isn’t apparent right away, like with consumption.

할아버지(Grandfather)

Hyun-Ki, now a man, reflects on his time as a young boy that never understood the harsh demeanor of his grandfather. Following the death of his grandfather, young Hyun-Ki becomes lost and confused at why a piece of himself seemed to be missing. One evening, he is visited by a majestic crane that leads him to a graveyard in the forest, where he is able to see his grandfather again and find truth and love. In these moments of reconciliation, young Hyun-Ki realizes the hard life his grandfather had enduring the Japanese occupation and Korean War. Returning to present times, Hyun-Ki revisits his home again one last time, and finally, he understands the love and sincerity his grandfather had towards him.

할아버지(Grandfather) is a personal piece. Growing up in America, the way my Korean grandmother acted seemed strange and cold. When I finally talked to my grandmother, I learned about her upbringing and how the war and “don’t feel, don’t speak”culture shaped her. Instead of using females, I used males to play with the idea of sensitivity. With the character’s spiritual journey, it allowed me to work through my identity and creating a piece on the regrets of judgement in the face of cultural divide. 

This piece was created in Cinema 4D and put together in After Effects. It was made in the course of two months in a 3D animation class at The Ohio State University. This was my first ever animation, which allowed me to jump right into learning how to rig, light, apply textures, and create settings.

Animation Drafts and Renders:

Main Character Renders:

This is the main character Hyun-ki. His character base was from MakeHuman, but the facial features were sculpted in. The eyes are made from scratch and are made in a way that reflects light and images in front of him. Hair was added to make the character feel more realistic. The skin tone was also done with Body Paint and has multiple layers to give a greater depth to the skin color.

Storyboard:

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Animation Proposals:

  1. This proposal focuses on the Jeju Massacre. The story starts with a grandfather and his grandson, who bond over the history and past of Korea. However, the grandfather dies leaving his beloved grandson behind. Within these tragic times, the grandson has trouble moving forward until one night he is visited by a white crane, a symbol of peace and purity but also a symbol of the Korean people. Captivated by the crane, the grandson follows the crane until he ends up a gravesite on Jeju, one that honors the novel “Sun-i Samch’on” and the unknown children killed during martial law brutality. Wondering the whereabouts of the crane, a feather falls from the sky into the child’s hands. A warm light envelops him and reveals the tragic yet alluring tales of his grandfather. At the end of the vision, his grandfather in a white hanbok with the spirit of the crane stand before him, to wish his grandson a blessed future.

2. Inspired by Han Kang’s “Vegetarian” and Steinbeck’s “Of Mice and Men”, this piece explores the idea of whether we can be truly innocent and pure, leaving behind greed and terrible things of the world. However, this cute little monster loves too much, which leads to the demise of his beautiful plant.

3. First, the beauty of the sea turtle is shown to the viewers. However, things quickly change, and the turtle is seen battling for its life in a net. Alone in the world and trapped as a result of men’s creations, the turtle is left alone to eventually suffer and perish.

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4. What happens after death? This is a question this piece explores. A man enters a dark room. The light of the door disappears as the man wanders aimlessly until a glowing butterfly of rebirth appears. The butterfly grazes his hand and quickly turns into a stream of light. Eventually, a bird of flames appears before him. Circling him, the bird brings him to the heavenly clouds. The beautiful sight last for a moment before he is thrust into the stars. Looking at the earth he once knew, his heart glows warm, and he is enveloped in his light and love. Replacing him, a star burns brightly looking down on the people of earth.

5. The box. A mysterious thing. Now, three stand before you. What is inside? Slowly, each one opens under a bright spotlight. Carefully, the packages open up. The first two empty, then the third one opens. Slowly, the camera moves into the box to reveal a pair of eyes. Where did they come from? The camera moves to a man in the corner without eyes. Quickly, the footage moves backwards to all the times the man was hidden in the image. The boxes were a mere distraction.

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Ghost Light

Once again turning to my Korean roots, this piece explores curiosity and triumph in a fantasy version of Korea. While on a journey in the woods, a young ghost becomes fascinated by a candle flame dying. Unable to comprehend the reason for the flame going out, the ghost works on figuring out how to reignite the beautiful light.

This is my second animation; however, instead of using Cinema 4D, I used Maya. This was done in a class under the Advance Computing Center for the Arts and Design at The Ohio State University.

This piece really allowed me to explore the process of animation carefully through a series of mini projects leading to this final project. The first project was developing a house. I knew I wanted a traditional Korean inspired house, but I wanted it to be playful too, which is why it is rounder. Following the sketch, I built up a scene and used the Arnold Renderer in Maya. This was the first phase, so the candle flame was not yet in the scene.

Following the house, the next step was to create a character that fit the scene. I originally wanted a character that was very flowy with ribbons that trailed behind. However, the shape was not working for me as I built it, so I opted for a simpler design. I used a Korean bridal mask for the face and a male dancer costume. I didn’t want a defined gender for this character.

Rigging the character and doing the weight painting was really unfamiliar to me. It took a lot of trial and error. I went through many versions to get the weight painting right. As I took the model into the animation phase, it was very rigid in terms of movement. Subtle details like delays in certain parts of the body compared to others and breathing helped to make the character more life-like.

In terms of camera-movement and lighting, which got merged in the same project. I wanted a camera that helped focus on certain points, like the relation to the ghost and the flame. In terms of lighting, I originally used a lot of red lights. Blue lights were added in to create a balance.

One of the biggest struggles I came across was getting my flame to render in the scene. It took many hours to achieve the flame I wanted through using Maya’s Fluid Simulator. When I brought it into an already scaled scene, I first ran into the problem of when I shrank the flame, it would disappear. Then when I had the flame, it would only render in parts of the scene. As a result of the final project deadline for class, I decided to create a flame on a green background that I could key out in After Effects. Following the rendering of my animation, I took the flame that had the removed green background and keyframed it to move along with the camera position.

“Journey to New Year” Trailer

This was a three month long project that was for the Chinese American Student Association at The Ohio State University. The premise was creating a live game that viewers could interact with. This was the promotion for the event, which displays the narrative elements of picking teams and fighting bosses. A total of 19 videos were created for this project in order for paths to be driven by different weapon choices, team choices, and missions. Audiences voted through Kahoot to pick their paths leading to the use of 9 videos during the show.

In order to plan for this project, it took multiple maps to decide how to best tell the story and allow for audience influence. In order to create a feeling of a video game, the use of green screen was used for a majority of the filming. After Effects was used in post-production for the special effects with Photoshop being used to create the animated characters.

Green screen filming, editing the path footage, creating trailer, developing visual effects, desiging settings, and animating the pig character were done by me. Outdoor filming and direction, script planning, mini game editing and visual effects, nian monster design, and sound scape and editing were all accomplished by the talented Megan Wright. Subtitles and Translations were done by the lovely Danielle Chen.

Click link here to for the entire show’s playlist: CASA’s Journey to New Year

Skull Island (2019)

This is meant to be a test of how far the Unity game engine will go on its own. This short piece is on a loop. There are balls that are constantly being generated. However, to combat the program from crashing, there is an invisible plane under the skulls that destroy the rolling spheres. The lightbulbs are also moveable and will move randomly based on how the generated spheres move and collide.

This piece is meant to be creepy and invoke an intro to a game that follows moving pieces through space. The audio that is recorded in the video is not great, but the actual project has sound that changes based on where the camera is. As the camera moves closer to the skulls, the spacial recognition makes the sound distort.

If you would like to see the piece on your own computer, you can click here. However, be warned that depending on the computer, the file may be slow or not open or it could work just fine.

The Red Cube (2019)

This was a simple project to learn how to navigate Unity. The project required that the objects only be created from cubes. There are no specific rules that say how the game is played. It is a trial and error game, in which each death creates awareness to the mechanics of the game. For example, certain objects like the skull, grim reaper, or bars can cause instant death.

Kimchi Vlogs: Taipei to Banqiao (2018)

All my life, I had been watching travel and food vlogs hoping to one day go off on my own adventure. The opportunity finally came through an animation internship under Kenneth Rinaldo that allowed me to travel to Taiwan. Through this experience, I was able to find the beauty in culture and the process of evaluating one’s experience through film. During the process of putting the video together, I was extremely nervous and worried about the final outcome. Throughout my time in Taiwan, I videoed as much as I could with the exception of my camera dying or no photo spaces. I felt pretty excited to view the footage, but as soon as I saw the clips, I was worried about the length of clips and their shakiness and whether from my hundreds of videos would I be able to string together a cohesive piece.

Since I wasn’t doing the typical documentary, I did an extensive amount of research and studying to figure out how people put together such cohesive narratives in a vlog format. This research helped me to figure out how narrations and diegetic sound worked in these situations. It also helped me to figure out pacing of clips from walking to revealing settings or people. In the end, putting this project together gave me a new respect for travel YouTubers as I began to see the artistry in a form of video that is seen as very low in comparison to other forms of documentary. 

It was amazing to see how a single clip or image could make or break the continuity of the piece. After I laid out the images, I sorted through the audio I wanted to keep and figured out what audio I wanted to add in. I did do diegetic sounds as well as voice overs. The voice overs worked best with explaining the settings and what I was feeling at the time or what was happening. At first, I wasn’t sure if I liked the voice over, but when I added a music track underneath, it felt more complete. With sound and images aligned, I began adding little bits of “décor”, from text to graphics. I think with the graphic components on top of the film, I was able to capture who I am as a person as well as elevate the cutesy vibes that I found in the vast streets of Taipei and Banqiao, Taiwan.

Watching (2018)

This piece I wanted to go extremely simple and focus on how jump cuts can be used to move along a simple plot. A color correction was done to create a cooler color that would elevate the setting. There is not a lot of additional layers in the film, except grain and glitch effects.


Self-Destruction (2017)

This piece works with the idea of visual noise. Many of the images are distorted through the use of fractal noise paired with displacement maps. The fractal noise is set on a timer, so it moves in a strobe-like pattern. A mosaic is overlaid to create a pixelated feel.

Despite the past digital feel and imagery, the message of the work revolves around the idea of the harmfulness of today’s digital society. People possess the ability to be anonymous, which can lead to bullying and uncalled for comments. In addition, the presence of the digital age creates anxiety over body image and can lead to negative effects on the users.

Tribute to Oskar Fischinger (2017)

Inspired by Oskar Fischinger, this work focuses on the idea of visual music. All the shapes are simple and are animated through space mainly using primary colors. Feeling rhythm and beats without music, I wanted to envoke my passion for my Korean heritage. There are many instances of using the colors in the Korean flag on certain frames as well as using shapes and patterns that resemble imagery and structures within South Korea.