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Entries in Shawn Harris (3)

Shawn Harris and the Making Of a Music Video on iPad

You have no doubt already seen the animated music video that Shawn Harris created in the Brushes iPad app for Pop sirens Blush. If not, please take a moment or two and watch it now:

Shawn created this animation frame by frame entirely on the iPad, painstakingly merging all his creations together until, 7000 frames later, he had the video you see above.

Of course this is not the first time Shawn has done this, we wrote a few months ago about a similarly created video for his own band Maniac's song Thank Each Mistake. We posted his comments about creating the video and using the iPad a few weeks later, which are well worth a read if you haven't already seen them.

But, as much as we enjoyed the final video, of great interest to us is how Shawn did it and while the talent/skill/patience it takes to produce something as creative as these videos is mind boggling, the video Shawn posted as a 'making of' goes some way towards explaining it, if tantalisingly short. We hope you enjoy it!

"I've just touched the tip of what the app is capable of letting me create!"

You will surely remember the video that Shawn Harris created using Brushes on the iPad for Mania's super infectious 'Thank Each Mistake'. Shawn was kind enough to provide some extra detail about the making of the video. We are sharing Shawn's observations here as a way of inspiring others to push out into new creative territory with the iPad. Perhaps it's time to take a good look at the apps on your iPad and see if they can be used to create something entirely new?

Over to Shawn:

"´╗┐The iPad video using the Brushes app started with me just noodling around with the program, which I got because it was the one that Hockney and Colombo were using to paint the New Yorker covers... it is exciting because nobody knows the extent of our new tech toy. Nearly every project on the iPad, at this point, is pushing at a frontier.  It presents limitations, but then again, so does oil, or watercolor!  Part of the fun of art is letting the medium, with all of it's limitation, steer the creation and change the way the artist works, and the feel and look of the art. Being an illustrator obsessed with motion, I immediately gravitated away from seeing the app's potential for me in fine art prints, and toward toying with the painting playback feature, and the app's ability to export the brush stroke history as a .mov file.

I realized that if I could be deliberate about lifting my finger and creating a new frame, I could control a 2D stop-motion animation by pushing colors around the screen in small increments.  Most of my frames contain remnants of previous action, trailing behind my newly drawn frame, and one frame later, I erase the older actions and fragments, and then switch back to the brush and lead the action with a new drawing.  The technique I gleaned a bit from street artist BLU, who does graffiti animation by painting on walls, and blotting out previous paintings, photographing each advancing frame. (search his video Big Bang Big Boom) I got about 20 seconds into my experimenting, which by this point, I'd decided would be a video, and restarted the project, because it looked really fun, and I didn't want to pull any punches with that potential.

In essence, the handful of exports from brushes are just one painting, from beginning to end, that I kept painting over and over and over. I felt that surge of creative potential at the beginning, and now that I've finished, I feel like I've just touched at the tip of what the app is capable of letting me create!

I've directed/edited/created all of Maniac's video content, in part because we are an independent band (in the US. we signed to a label Stop Start in Australia, but they let us do our thing, and basically just try to work the songs to radio, which is still relevant down there, because they have awesome public stations, but that's another story). We work with funds we make from our self-screened t-shirts, painted CD's and vinyls on our webstore that we run ourselves. (You don't NEEED $40k to make something fun and pretty to watch with a good song!  This animated video was the price of Brushes -$7.99 I think...  And even if you want to throw in the iPad receipt, it still comes in under a grand.)

Mostly, I do this because I love doing it. I love writing a song and simultaneously conceptualizing a video, and the next day, starting the video, conferring only with my bandmate Jake. I love putting up progress stills and clips for our fans, and getting their feedback (which is mostly, 'whoa, cool - you're showing us stuff we're not used to being shown!', and I find the enthusiasm inspiring).  And then I finish the video and put it straight online.  It's fun."

You can support Shawn's creative endeavours by spreading the word about this video, his band and his other personal projects.

Thank Each Mistake. The animated music video that redefines iPad art

Shawn Harris, a singer, musician and artist, has used the iPad to produce an animated video for his song 'Thank Each Mistake'. Shawn used Brushes for iPad to create this mesmerising video. Shawn explains:

"By taking advantage of the actions playback feature, and by using a brushes viewer application for my Mac, I found I could export my painting as a quicktime movie. The app isn't designed for animation, but the playback feature, which records each brush-stroke as a separate frame, lends itself to a coarse morphy style of stop-motion fingerpainting..."

Few videos have impressed us as much as 'Thank Each Mistake'. It's a remarkable achievement, and we would not be at all surprised if Apple used it in some form to demonstrate the versatility of the iPad. And to think that some commentators seriously suggested that the iPad would kill creativity.

Back when we started iPad Creative we imagined that the iPad would change the way people create art. In April 2010 we said:

"This is iPad Creative. We believe with every fibre of our being that Apple's magical machine is without equal. We believe that the iPad will spark a revolution in the creative arts not seen since the popularisation of the Internet at the end of the last millennium. What makes us so sure? In short, you do.

The potential for computers to assist artists in creating and performing art has been strikingly obvious for many years, but until now that potential has been – to the largest extent – only realised by those with a natural affinity for technology, those that because of their upbringing, their social location, or perhaps their age, just don't care for computers. The iPad changes all of that."

It fact, now we think of it, doesn't Apple's recent iPad TV advert sound awfully familiar? Perhaps we have readers in high places!

Many thanks to Shawn for sharing his video, we have a feeling we'll be seeing quite a bit more of Shawn's work on iPad Creative.