Restoring Creativity in A Clicking World

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DK
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Restoring Creativity in A Clicking World

Post by DK » Sun Jan 27, 2008 1:41 am

This article reallly hit home with me. It's a little long winded but well worth the read.

http://www.rense.com/general80/rest.htm

D.K
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mkelley
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Post by mkelley » Sun Jan 27, 2008 4:35 am

Well, if baloney is what you like reading, it's worth it.

It's the same old neo-Luddite crap that goes around disguised as "inspiration". It fits well with the back to Walden Pond folks as well, so no surprises that it might resonate among the young (who seem to want to embrace this "nature is good but man is evil" -- just where did Man stop being part of nature?) as their mantra.

Look, there's nothing inherently *better* about sketching out your ideas on a piece of paper, just like there's nothing *better* about movie film versus high res digital, or oil based paints versus acrylics, or any of the thousand and one "old against the new" technologies that have advanced the course of civilization thoughout the years.

If you like using paper for your ideas, that's terrific. It's also terrific if you don't -- it doesn't really matter how you inspire yourself.

Does the fact that most novels are written on a computer make them any less valid than those written with a quill pen? Absolutely not, and any such argument to the contrary is a bunch of BS. The author of that article likes the idea he can put both words and images down on paper -- let me give him a 21st century flash -- he can do both on a computer (and they have the advantage of being a lot more durable as well as accessible to more folks).

Other advantages abound -- I can't sketch even a simple stick figure to save my life, but I can create wonderous 2D and 3D images in a matter of seconds. I've gotten to where I think of using AS as kind of a 2D "skulpting" tool and my ability to quickly "sketch" what I want amazes me. My pencil and paper sketches, OTOH, simply depress me to the point where I don't want to take them further (so I've dumped them).

I can also type lists of "to-do" and rough out scripts in a fraction of the time it would take me to typewrite, let alone actually use a pencil. And my handwriting is such I wouldn't be able to read what I wrote afterward anyway. I usually jot portable notes on my iPhone, or dictate them into my small digital personal recorder, for transcription later.

Indeed, there are SO many advantages to using a computer and/or technology that it truly requires an enormous ostrich thinking approach here to avoid noting them.

But if, DK, this appeals to you far be it from me to put you down -- I believe in creativity in ALL forms, even those poor souls not talented enough to do what they need with technology (oddly enough, I KNOW you're not one of them :>)
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Post by mkelley » Sun Jan 27, 2008 4:47 am

Ah -- must have had too much coffee.

My points still stand, but in looking back (and I resisted the temptation to edit my post as being "unfair") it sounds far more vitriolic than I intended.

So -- while I disagree with nearly every point in that written (badly -- the author should have followed his own advice and mapped it out better. Or maybe he did :>) article, I don't mean to sound so angry.

Paper is fine. Computers am fine. All all valid ways of getting things done. That's all.
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Post by DK » Sun Jan 27, 2008 4:49 am

I'm just about to start work on an animated television series and I found the article inspiring :)

EDIT: Probably just the timing but I'm finding it very hard to self motivate being a one man operation If there's any advice anyone can offer on the subject it's more than welcome. I'm sure there are a lot of forum members that are in the same boat.

D.K
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Post by heyvern » Sun Jan 27, 2008 6:37 am

Hmm...

Don't be too hard on yourself mkelley.

I had the same reaction. I get REALLY REALLY REALLY ANNOYED when someone tells me that a "computer" stifles "creativity". I do my best work DIRECTLY ON THE COMPUTER. I use "brain storming" software to create easily editable flow charts for initial ideas for stories or web sites or production schedules etc etc. (that is my legal pad and number 2 pencil).

Yes a pencil is a great tool... so is a computer. A pencil is a tool just like a computer. If you DON'T KNOW HOW TO USE THE COMPUTER EFFICIENTLY that isn't the fault of the computer. If you are more comfortable with a pencil and legal pad use it. If you like the computer use that instead.

I admit I do sketch a lot. Traditional media was my original passion as an artist. But for years after the computer came along I never TOUCHED a pencil or paint brush. Sometimes though I find pencil and paper gets in the way. Just the other day I was using my MECANICAL PENCIL that never needs sharpening, to sketch some characters for a children's book idea. I got frustrated and stopped. I used the computer to sketch instead. Much more freedom and I avoided the need for scanning.

(no trees harmed by these illustrations. ;) )
Image
Image

-vern
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Post by Rhoel » Sun Jan 27, 2008 6:47 am

The reality to new technology is a hybrid of both techniques - when writing novels, proofing is done on paper not screen, simply because its easier to find mistakes on paper. The same is true for computer programming - when you really cannot find the bug, you go back to the code printouts on a very large desk/floor or whatever to see the big picture, comparing stuff side by side. Its the only way.

In 2D/3D, importing paper roughs can be a great way of short-cutting to the final result. Indeed, with 3D, photographing front/side/top of a macquette and importing those is one of the best ways of building a complex character.

New tools = new techniques.

That said, I am neuvo-ludite when it comes to software, I still use older code if it works well - why upgrade just to have the latest fad and the inherent bugs that go with it: My Photoshop version is oooold - but it works and does everything I want it to.

What I am waiting for in 3D is stereo glasses and a glove "mouse" which which you can manipulate the bones - that would be the hybrid of claymation and CGI - the results would be so much better/faster.

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Post by mkelley » Sun Jan 27, 2008 7:22 am

OT but --

Wow, Vern, you are *very* talented. Those are brilliant images, no matter what tools were used to create them.

(So now I'm depressed about my 2D cartoons -- oh well, at least I can tell a story...)
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Post by DK » Sun Jan 27, 2008 7:35 am

Vern wrote:
I had the same reaction. I get REALLY REALLY REALLY ANNOYED when someone tells me that a "computer" stifles "creativity". I do my best work DIRECTLY ON THE COMPUTER.
Thatr is really interesting....what about inspration? Do you get that directly off the computer? I find I have to be in a quiet place or better early in the morning before I wake up is when inspiration hits me. I also use this time to plan out ideas of what I am going to work on in my head. Only after that do I even consider jumping on the computer. Seriously, How do you get your ideas directly from the computer?

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Post by heyvern » Sun Jan 27, 2008 9:20 am

I find the computer itself to be my inspiration. I get "antsy" when I am sketching. I want to get into the computer and start pushing pixels or points.

Like I said I was a hard core traditional media artist before the computer and then stopped practically cold turkey for years. I just didn't bother using a pencil anymore except for taking notes and making quick sketch/doodles at meetings. ;)

Another reason I argue with the "computer stifling creativity" is where exactly does the pencil end and the computer begin? For instance I was at a meeting once where they had those cool gizmos on a white board that input directly to a computer. Whatever we drew on the board in front of the group was instantly saved.

Another cool thing I would really like is one of those "digital pens". You write just like a regular pen on special paper and the pen "stores" everything you draw or write inside it and you download it to the computer later. The pen reads dots on the paper like an optical mouse as you write.

Is that "old school" or "new school"?

When I use a wacom stylus is that the same as using a pencil? If I push and pull points in AS to create a line, is that less important or less creative than if I drew the same line on a piece of paper?

the brainstorming software I use allows me to quickly drop in boxes with labels, drag connecting arrows to create relationships, or write rough outlines for processes and instantly turn them into flow charts. These can INSTANTLY be converted to web ready content and uploaded. What I like about this over the pencil is that I can change things quickly without having to "redraw" 50 things. If I did this on paper first I would have to redo it again.

Just wait until the concepts Rhoel mentioned become mainstream. At that point the "argument" won't exist. Huge big monitors on walls with multi-touch input. Then the pencil WILL be an inconvenience by comparison.

The part of this discussion that STILL scares me more than anything else is the loss of data. It all comes down to all those "1's and 0's" and how easy they can be wiped out. Of course, I have lost legal pads in the past with lots of important data. I've also totally and completely ruined days of work when my airbrush spat out water because the compressor moisture filter was saturated. same thing I guess. ;)

-vern
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Post by DK » Sun Jan 27, 2008 9:32 am

Cool :) So you're ideas come to you as you are working? Is it that the freedom the computer gives you to play with pixels,points etc is how you create your ideas? Do you think about what you are going to create while you are sitting down at the computer or do you have some thought as to what you are going to create before hand?

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Post by temujin143 » Sun Jan 27, 2008 10:48 am

Having read your your post, I tried to draw using pencil and paper. To my surprise I realized that I now draw better using a wacom tablet than a regular pencil and paper.

I was daunted by the taught that I had to cleanup my drawing without the aid of layers and opacity adjustments.

So now I am dumping the pencil and paper. There is no better way to draw for me than with a computer and my trusted wacom tablet.

And I can also attest that this article is not true for me.
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Post by fiziwig » Sun Jan 27, 2008 11:01 am

There's something about paper and pencil that is too permanent. Sure, we can always erase, but somehow, a line put to paper is too final, not fluid enough. Digital gives me the freedom to explore and make mistakes that are easily corrected or refined.

Interestingly, I've also dabbled in composing music for years, but the quality of my composition became much better, and much moire creative when I tossed out lined staff paper and started using a midi keyboard and a music notation editor.

For me, digital has meant more creativity, not less.

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Post by Genete » Sun Jan 27, 2008 11:35 am

I believe that you're so centred on the "paper and pencil" thing. Taking apart that (anyone can use the tool that he found more comfortable) I think that the plan steps are worth to read and follow.
1. Clear your head of all your worldly problems.
This is one of the most important. But unfortunately "inspiration" comes to your mind when other problems / tasks are around.
2. Define the task that needs to be done.
Yes!. Sometimes people are so confident on his memory or experience and forget the target.
3. Start with the smallest possible steps in the project.
"Baby steps" more big the step is more risk to fall ("slow but secure" better than "fast and risky").
4. What software tools will you need for the task?Think of your computer as a toolbox with every tool you need. Write that all down, too. You may find that a program you need isn't on your computer, or in your toolbox.
I think we all agree on this.
5. Start outlining on a piece of paper with a No. 2 pencil, because you can erase it all you want.
Wrong advise. He thinks that everyone solution for the fastest and smarter tool is the paper and pencil. It depends on the person.
6. After you've outlined what's needed, take a closer look at each step.
7. Now start implementing your game plan just as you outlined it. Don't worry whatever you may have forgotten ­ TRUST your cognitive skills to spot it later and correct it later. The important thing is to GET STARTED NOW! Don't procrastinate!
Using the computer is better for the correction than a paper and pencil.
When using paper and pencil I frequently find that the paper dimensions are so small and need to attach other piece of paper at the edge. Dong that using a computer is fairly easy.
Anyway TRUST yourself is a good advice.
8. Hang the paper up somewhere if you need to, and check off each step of your game plan as you do them. Then you won't miss anything!
Better make a link in the desktop. :wink:

-G
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Post by jahnocli » Sun Jan 27, 2008 11:58 am

Genete wrote:"Baby steps" more big the step is more risk to fall ("slow but secure" better than "fast and risky").
In general, Genete, I agree with everything you say -- except the above. No artist would ever have done any worthwhile work without taking risks...
You can't have everything. Where would you put it?
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Post by DK » Sun Jan 27, 2008 12:25 pm

Genete. I think the title of the essay is a bit misleading to some people. There are some very valid and useful points in it as you pointed out that can be taken from it.

EDIT: Wierd. I just tried to log in to this topic from a auto reply and the forum logged me as not watching this topic? How could that suddenly change seeing i started it?

D.K
Last edited by DK on Sun Jan 27, 2008 12:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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