Posts tagged: Dan Shefelman

Students Join Mashable.com Vine Challenge

By , April 12, 2014 12:45 pm

Mashable.com’s weekly Vine Challenge produces a frenzy of infectious animation snippets on topics like creepy fantasy creatures, Jack-O-Lanterns, playing with food, and talking cars.  The more sophomoric the topic, often the more sophisticated the response in the form of six-second animated, blooper style shorts. Illustration students easily met the time limit to demonstrate: how a burger eats itself, the crush of a dinosaur, and a monster’s phobia of butterflies–a  condition called lepidopterophobia.

“Crushed” by Ella Fastiggi

On April 2, Mashable.com’s creative producer Jeff Petriello and company animators visited Prof. Dan Shefelman’s Illustrator Mentor Special Projects class to discuss Vine initiatives and work with students.

“Burger Monster” by Lauren French

“Vine is a smartphone video app. It’s used as a short-form animation tool,” says Shefelman. Vines (6-second videos) at their best can be particularly intriguing to illustration junkies and their geeky followers. 

“Lepidopterophobia” by Chelsea Morano

“Mashable is interested in student illustrators making Vines,” says Shefelman. “The bigger picture is that Vines are so user- engaging that including them increases the engagement among their own followers. Petriello is an early adopter of all social media because it engages Mashable users.”

caption to come

Chelsea Morano creating a monster with lepidopterophobia

“Vines are compared to Tweets. Nobody thought at first that messages limited to 140 characters would be useful, nor does everyone think six second videos are useful. At their best however, they are engaging indeed, and FIT students nailed it,” says Steve Ross, editor of Broadband Communities magazine. His publication serves the industry that makes the bandwidth for this stuff possible.

caption

Chelsea Morano animating a monster’s phobia

The Snapchat app allows you to draw pictures on your cellphone or tablet (see above) and share the results with friends. To experience more, download Vine on your smartphone and search for #creaturecrawl.

“A Horror Story” by Grace Batista

But not all apps are for everyone. “There’s nothing I could video for six seconds that anyone would want to see,” says fabric design student Ashley Ray.  ”Who wants to see you and your friends running through the streets screaming?”  But someday fabric designs may be animated with six second videos while people wear them.

caption

Lauren French animating her burger

But the trend is going strong. Out of weekly Vine challenges come Vine celebrities and the promise of a big payday. “The students were happy to hear that animators are being paid five figures to make Vines,” says Shefelman.

 

From Gropius to Cintiq

By , October 14, 2013 9:27 pm

It started with just showing dad around the workplace.  But then Tom Shefelman, 86, visiting from Austin TX, sat down to get the feel of one of the new Cintiq stations. The drawing technology, new to FIT, comes with a pen to draw and manipulate images on a touch screen.  A mangy dog and a cross-eyed character graced the elder Shefelman’s first creation.

Tom Shefelman’s first go at Cintiq

A retired  architect and practicing artist — and a student of the famous architect and Bauhaus founder Walter Gropius — Tom “has had an amazing career,”according to his son, Prof. Dan Shefelman of illustration.

“As soon as the pen touched the screen, it was as if he forgot he wasn’t drawing on paper,” says Prof. Shefelman.

Artist & architect Tom Shefelman, taking to Cintiq like “a fish to water.”

Prof. Shefelman and his brother Karl come from an arts-filled home. Their mom, Janice, is a children’s book author, and Tom divided his time between his architectural work and illustrating his wife’s story books.  Karl is a New York film director and story board artist. “I’m the animator and he’s the live action guy,” says Dan.

While they’ve all seen generations of technology changes in their respective industries, Tom Shefelman never strayed from traditional watercolor for his illustration work.

“I was amazed to see how effortlessly my father took to the tablet,” says Prof. Shefelman. “Although his fingers are twisted with arthritis and some joints are fused with titanium, he has continued to draw and paint professionally into his ninth decade.”

photos: Dan Shefelman

Raves for Cintiq keep coming

By , October 12, 2013 10:43 am

It’s not a new disco, a cutting edge designer or the stylist from the Hunger Games.  It’s a revolutionary technology in the drawing industry. “Think of it as an interactive iPad connected to a computer,” says C.J. Yeh,  professor of communications design. “You use a special ‘pen’ to draw or manipulate images directly on a touch screen. Cintiq is precise. It’s pressure sensitive, too, so it feels like working with traditional media,” says Yeh.  

Illustration student Eduardo Cuba

“In Chinese, we say: ‘good tools are essential to a job well done.’  Professionals spend a lot for tools like Cintiq because they are critical to reducing friction in the creative process.  Technology is not equal to creativity, however. Technology provides the necessary support to facilitate the creative workflow. – Prof. C.J. Yeh

Cintiq is a natural evolution of stylists-on-tablets also pioneered by Wacom. In the previous version says Yeh “When you were operating the mouse, your eyes were looking at the screen not at the mouse.  In a sense, your hand and your eyes were only remotely connected. With Cintiq, you work directly on the screen so you have much more control.  You are looking at what and where you are drawing.”

Illustration student Chase Beck Michaelis

“It’s number one virtue is its immediate connection between creativity through the hand to the computer. It gets a lot of students over the hump of going digital” says Dan Shefelman, professor of illustration. 

“This is so cool,” says illustration student Naya Diaz as she draws on a Cintiq. “It’s not something you’d otherwise have access to.” Cintiq displays can cost well over $3,000.”

Illustration student Kerri Brown

“We need to be well rounded in both the traditional and cutting-edge methods of making artwork,”  says illustration student Rebekah Bennington. “While I love that the FIT illustration program has focused heavily on traditional media, it’s great to see the school embracing this awesome technology. The touch screen really helps narrow that gap between traditional media and computer media in a way that a tablet doesn’t quite manage.”

Illustration Prof. Dan Shefelman with class in the Cintiq lab

Cintiq can open students’ eyes to new possibilities in digital imaging.  I believe it is a perfect bridge into  the world of digital media for visual artists because it resynchronized the hands and the eyes,” says Yeh.

In the past, illustration student Giancarlo A. Fernandéz says he “stood staunchly on the side of traditional media…I was reared on traditional media, and for the most part work faster and more efficiently with pencil in hand…While working with a stylus on a tablet seemed to make digital work less alien, it did nothing to push me toward embracing software.”

Fast forward to Fernandéz’s first experience in the Cintiq computer lab. “For the first time working digitally seemed visceral–no need for an extensive knowledge of the inner workings of a program. This felt like a new incarnation of ‘traditional’ media. The possibilities are so exciting…Working on the Cintiq made digital work so approachable and familiar…I feel fortunate to have had the opportunity to see the artistry that can be achieved on a screen as opposed to a canvas.”

It turns out, says Fernandéz,”Cintiq can make a believer out of even the most reluctant traditionalist.”

 

In Meagan Meli’s portfolio: A Forest Princess, Cyclops & Valentine

By , September 24, 2013 2:29 pm

Within many of Illustration major Meagan Meli’s creations are a potpourri of themes, imagery and cultural references. Several of Meli’s illustrations are playfully dark and scary in an Edward Gorey sense. None of the design elements are left stranded – they relate to each other by way of complementary colors, placement and equal doses of quirkiness.

“Valentine” by Meagan Meli

There’s the juxtaposition of the human heart next to floral Victorian shapes. There’s the incorporation of hippy era mushrooms, a Native American-dream-weaver, Day of the Dead and woman-as-wolf symbols. Canines, feminine skeletal parts, beaks and third eyes are to be found in her works as well.

“Meagan is well into the process of developing a unique visual communication style,” says Chair of Illustration Ed Soyka. “She has a very personal approach. It appears she’s really benefited from a fine arts foundation.” 

“Cyclops” by Meagan Meli

“‘Cyclops’ is disturbing and arresting and thought-provoking,” says Illustration Professor Dan Shefelman of Meli’s illustration. It has a copper plate acid etching feel to it.”

Meli considers it to be her most “bizarre and gruesome” piece. “This is based off of a real congenital disorder called Cyclocephalus, otherwise called a Cyclops,” she says.

“Dream” by Meagan Meli

In another, a knotted bunch of wildflowers somehow fits in delightfully beneath a skeletal torso. The bottom pelvic area of the torso looks to have two fingers touching in an “Om” shape.

“I combined my favorite types of imagery into one piece to make my “Dream” illustration into something special,” said Meli. 

“Forest Princess” by Meagan Meli

“I saw this woman’s face in my head for a while before I drew her,” says Meli about “Forest Princess” (above). This is more of a sketch but I worked hard enough to say that it is a finished piece!”

Meli, who is completing her BFA in illustration, received an AAS in fine arts at FIT. “They are different worlds,” she says of the two disciplines. “Going from working abstractly to the push to working very tightly is a leap!

“Experiences in my major have helped me find who I am as a young, developing illustrator. Professors John Nickle, Don Sipley, and Dave Devries contributed to the illustrator I am today. They are incredible talents.”

“Barn Owl” by Meagan Meli

“‘Barn Owl’ is the most popular from a series of five called “Osteology of an Animal,’” says Meli.

“I can’t believe how far I’ve gotten in two years,” says Meli. “I can’t wait to see what becomes of me after these final two years in the FIT Illustration department!

 

Photos used with permission

Contents of Pandora’s box re-captured

By , December 13, 2012 6:51 pm

There are two garish babes bursting with vanity and a gloating cross-legged, primed prima dona. There are the furious fat spider, a he-man who boasts, and a lecherous pair of wide-open mouths sporting minks’ teeth. An ominous, famished figure sits eerily among them while a lazy daydreamer lies pathetic and inert.

 Jealousy, vanity, famine, greed and rage are on display in terrifying, cartoonish proportions on the 3rd floor of the Pomerantz center. These creatures originated in Professor Dan Shefelman’s contemporary media class.

Lauren French

A group of very self-absorbed, miserable louts share space together.

Brittany Falussy

Pandora’s original box came with a heavy lock. These evils are contained in a plexiglass covered display case.

Adam Bohemond

Danielle Fee

The dysfunctional contents of Pandora’s Box.

 

photos: Dan Shefelman

 

Shefelman’s Ooze

By , December 3, 2012 1:24 pm

Dan Shefelman is an illustration department professor who understands the bottom of the food chain. He writes the comic strip “Ooze,” which appears in the current December issue of Mad magazine.

Professor Shefelman’s microbial view fits well with Gary Larson’s (of “The Far Side”).  If you think that Larson’s cows are smarter than the typical political leader, Shefelman, does one better — he has bacteria that are smarter. Imagine your bar date reproducing so fast that you’ll wish you went dutch when the bill comes?

by Dan Shefelman © E.C. Publications, Inc.

To find out more of what happens to Chico Paramecium on his blind date with Cilia Flagella, check out Mad magazine’s December issue on the stands, or to view it free (“What me worry?”) at the FIT library.

Image used with permission from Mad magazine.

 

Panorama Theme by Themocracy