Music has the ability to invoke visual images and emotions in us. When I listen to Peggy Gou’s “Han Jan-Edit,” I imagine nightlife—whether it be modern hotel bars, driving down a highway, or even celestial spaces. I wanted to take this opportunity to depict what I envision her song and the feelings it invokes would look like through shapes, colors, and movement.
My animation begins simply with colored circles that appear one by one, reflecting the intro of her song, in which an underlying beat is established. I selected the pink, red, teal, and yellow colors because of my associations of neon lights with city nightscapes and also because Gou’s foundation beat already feels complex and colorful too. I chose squiggles in the next scene to portray the way in which Gou’s music feels, to me, simultaneously fluid and with form. As even more layers are added to song, including her vocals, the squiggles are also transformed and move in new ways, almost “dancing.” Finally, I wanted to explore the ways that her music also calls to mind celestial visuals and a feeling of “blooming” in the last scene.
I think that this project was a good practice in animating in Aftereffects and in thinking more critically about my artistic choices when using color and shapes. Mary Stewart’s chapters on color theory in her book, Launching the Imagination: A Comprehensive Guide to Basic Design, especially made me recognize the impact that even minor alterations in hue, placement of colors in relation to each other, etc. can have on the meaning of the piece and the audience. However, I think this piece definitely lacks maturity. While I think that my color choices reflect the emotions that Peggy Gou’s song conveys, I think that my use of shapes can be more refined and effective.
Gou, Peggy. Han Jan -Edit . YouTube. YouTube, 2018. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A8S5Rd_02uA.
Repeater Grids – Adobe After Effects Tutorial. YouTube. YouTube, 2020. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0oJ1Ipa_cdM.
I used Peggy Gou’s Han Jan-Edit as the inspiration and background music for my animation.
This tutorial taught me how to make repeating images and allowed me to create the yellow shapes sequence.