Building The Walkabout Story With Visual Tools. (Somewhat revised and updated from the original; also this has been re-formatted for presentation on the web).
ABSTRACT"Walkabout - A Young Woman's Journey of Exploration," is on display at KTOO through March, 2016. "Walkabout - ,,," is a series of 10 large, oil on canvas panels. The paintings and text show the evolution of humanity through the appearance of a young woman participating in some of the notable events of human history. In developing the complex images used in each panel, the tools and techniques of Google searches, Wikipedia, digital image manipulation, sound, collage, and 3D motion graphics were mixed in a variety of ways to form digital maquettes. The maquettes are used as visual guides in the creation of each oil on canvas painting. Curiosity about how to conquer the learning curve on each of these disparate, difficult, and demanding technologies - let alone how to integrate them - has been a major driver in my attempt to create "Walkabout - …" By revealing some of the process involved with creating one of the panels, I'll try to pass some of what I have learned along to you. By listening to your questions and trying to answer them, I will also better equip myself for the next phase of "Walkabout - …" development.
What is the Concept?
The Concept is in the full title: "Walkabout - A Young Woman's Journey of Exploration". There is also a subtitle that I use in videos: "The story of a young woman on a quest for knowledge and experience. Her Odyssey will take her through some of the events in history that inform and illuminate our humanity."The Final Product will have these Features:
"Walkabout - …" is a cultural history rendered in 10 oil on canvas paintings. Each painted scene is described with a block of about 250 words of text.
There is a central character, a young woman named Cassie. She appears in each painted scene.
There are sound effects and music appropriate to each context.
All text blocks are read by a professional reader and are available interactively via smart phone.
There is a simple, evocative piece of original instrumental music integrated with the theme.
My daughter, an art historian, after a review of the finished maquettes, said: "What is the back story for your central character? I want to know more about her."
Cassie's story on her walkabout will be rich enough to be extended into a book, film, play, graphic novel, etc. For now I am writing a short story for each panel. Each story will have Cassie as a protagonist, and the environment, place, and time, in each panel will offer the possibility for conflict and resolution.
Images, Narrative, and Sound Effects
This is a short video originally shown at Juneau's Winter JUMP Festival in 2015. It was the first full scope working prototype and live audience test of the creation of a maquette for the oil-on-canvas painting: "Panel 1 - Savannah". Click HERE to run it.
Summary: Complex Image Development for Walkabout Panels.
Establish Concept and story arc.
Set topics and create a simple story board of characters and scenes.
Use photography, Google, and sketching to gather and create Imagery.
Use Wikipedia to verify facts.
Classify Imagery by probable end product(s), and associated topics.
Set up a simple, unforgettable, project keyword at the root level. Walkabout is my root keyword.
Hierarchy levels, folders, and file names must be simple, consistent, and evocative.
Include a current date in every digital file name.
Cut, paste, layer, and adjust Images using Photoshop and .PSD files.
Print Image proof in Standard Formats (.RAW, NEF, JPG, .BMP, etc.) sized at 4 by 6 by 300ppi.
Stay Away from all Copyright material, or get signed Releases.