Using one ambiguous picture from the psychological assessment test, The Thematic Apperception Test (TAT), college students were approached and asked to tell a story from the beginning, middle, and end describing what they saw in the photograph. This artwork was gathered almost like a psychological assessment. It lacked controlled settings, set independent and dependent variables, and contained too many possible confounding variables to actually be considered a psychological study.
While they were performing this task, photographs of their profile were taken during, before, and after. The photographs were then assembled into a stop motion. Audio of their stories were also collected and then added to the video.
The Use of the Thematic Apperception Test
In a clinical setting, the narration created by a subject would be carefully recorded and analyzed to uncover underlying needs, attitudes, and patterns of reaction. Although most clinical practitioners do not use formal scoring systems, several formal scoring systems have been developed for analyzing TAT stories systematically and consistently. Two common methods that are currently used in research are the: A person’s thoughts/feelings are projected in stories involved. This work allows one ambiguous image to be compared by multiple people. Revealing their own unique and then sometimes closely related stories. Diving into a possible discussion of a collective unconscious.
What is the Collective Unconscious?
This art project takes the TAT out of the context of a clinical setting and attempts to use it as a form of conversation starter. A possible way to get on a deeper level of conversation with strangers. Notice any trends as you listen to the different stories from person to person. Can you see some sort of collective unconscious revealing itself? Carl Jung believed the collective unconscious is revealed by shared archetypes, images, and themes in the history of humankind. Thus the TAT relies on this allowing the individual to reveal personal feelings related to these commonalities.
This short animation accompanied by a complimenting soundtrack, gives a psychoanalytic provoking look into the accounts of cinema’s effect on voyeuristic activity. The increase in technology and theater architecture gives way to the extreme immersion of individuals in a physical and kinesthetic experience. The use of the game engine Unity as a medium, allows the factor of enchantment to be raised and for visuals to be pushed more to an extreme.
The shaky movement you perceive the beginning of the video, is captured using motion capture software. This piece functions like a moving sculpture. I attached squares and a helix, adding additional animations and then a particle system to this piece. This was created using Autodesk Maya and the video edits were done in Adobe Premiere.
Creating this animation had many small steps involved, one of the biggest was prepping the butterfly.
I found a free butterfly model on turbo squid modeling website. The amount of polygon faces was very high. I ended up cleaning and then restructuring some parts of the butterfly to allow for more concise weigh painting and rigging. I soon learned that it would have been much more efficient to model a lower poly version of the butterfly. I then rigged the butterfly to animate a flying movement.
I Next I exported the model over to Mudbox.
I created a custom fire themed airbrush color. Referencing a chemical chart I found online:
Learning Autodesk Maya has been both exhilarating and challenging as an Artist. Before a year ago extruding or moving a vertices was foreign to me. Today I enjoy making small narrative stories with the skills I have learned so far.
I took a a cylinder primitive and then animated it to perform an interesting rhythmic movement. Next, I placed it into a MASH and added random and color nodes. I then took a camera an animated various viewpoints and perspectives.
On the more conceptual side of things, I was exploring the feeling of something that doesn’t belong, what does a dream of an internal struggle look like.
“Feeling at once agitated and confused, your self-torturing reflections, and the emotions accompanying them, whirl ’round and ’round. And although you crave some sort of closure to the stormy commotion inside your brain, no “truce” seems practical. For there’s an almost perfect balance—or more accurately, tension—between the positives and negatives of each alternative you’re anguishing over.” – Leon F. Seltzer, Ph.D.