MeYouUsThem: Week Three essence, minimalism, narrative and the mystery that is gestalt.

This seems to be the most difficult week yet. Abstract categories like narrative, gestalt [minimalism] and essence. Silhouettes and textures wasn’t as abstract (neither is gestalt), but because my grasp of gestalt isn’t very good, it’s difficult.

For my signs project in Methods and Processes I had looked up the definition of and diagrams explaining the ‘principles’ of gestalt to help me get my head around it. The wording of those was too fancy and long-winded to actually explain anything. The meanings I’ve been explained by various professors are mixed and different, so to me it seems very ambiguous. It mildly irritates me when something is vague and I don’t understand it (like a never-ending flick to my brain). I could usually get over it, but this word keeps popping up. So I made another attempt to see what gestalt exactly is, what it means.

This website, I don’t know where it had been hiding all this time…

Gestalt < I’m assuming the principles laid out on this site aren’t hard and fast rules, and vary depending on the work, which would explain why it was so difficult to define gestalt.

But I can use these as a starting point to start working on creating minimalist interpretations of my object.

But before that, I need to dissect my object (doing it in this order, instead of the order of the categories made more sense):

  • Formally:
  • wires
  • screens/light
  • wheels, rubber
  • semimatte?
  • screws
  • plastic
  • metal
  • paper
  • circles (what’s interesting is that as the creator of the robot, I didn’t think of the holes/circles as a part of what formally made up the object, others pointed it out to me)
  • hexagons (nuts)
  • blocks/rectangles
  • blues, greens, goldens, transparent, black, pink, grey, brown, silver/metallic, red, yellow, white
  • hexagonal patterns, and rectangular patterns
  • smooth, buttons


  • Motion
  • Time, (1 week) of hard work. Physical and Mental labour
  • Playful, fun ^ (juxtaposition)
  • Purpose was also to be playful ^ now it’s a memorabilia
  • Technology
  • basic, yet complex
  • puzzle, mystery
  • interactive?
  • old, unused, broken
  • Quirky (happy, surprised, curious reactions)

Initially I thought a literal interpretation would just include physical attributes, but I could literally show technologicalness/quirky technology, mysteriousness.

It sounds simple…but executing it wasn’t. I had to get a friend’s help to help me make the rope like wires. I struggled. You can see my evolution from trying to make a braid (top left) and then getting closer to the proper rope pattern (top right):
Screen Shot 2015-12-07 at 12.00.40 AM copy
^Then my further development of this system. I wanted to get the look of a wire twisting so that it looked ‘foreshortened’. Figured it out after failing a bit (bottom left). Then came making the composition. Getting that ‘blue’ took some time. I tried picking colours from the robot. Then complementing colours. SImilar colours, colours that looked like technology. This blue looked the best in the end, It just spoke technology.

Ran out of ideas with the simplistic, circles gestalt style. Desaturating (contrast/crop) images for gestalt.
Box blur did literally what motion blur (twice, once at 90degrees, once at 0degrees) did.
Screen Shot 2015-12-07 at 1.13.31 AM copy

^ I moved on to creating a ‘surrealist’ image. I was recreating the swirls of a screw really zoomed in, when an idea flashed in my mind. I imagine someone sliding on the screw lines, like a slide. I began working and realised that it was very difficult for me NOT to draw a creepy child. I had to google references to be able to draw a non-creepy child…

Class discussion:

The strongest was the blue wires one. I wasn’t feeling the surreal girl one, neither were the professors. For surreal, the ‘melted’ screw looked better (just the wave filter).
Screen Shot 2015-12-07 at 1.32.12 AM copy
We discussed the Design implementations of what I’d created for this week. Things like the blue wires one looked like something that could be on a book cover. And with a few tweaks (the professor layered 2 of my creations) a magazine cover could be made:
Screen Shot 2015-12-07 at 1.36.40 AM

So, overall my essence group was the strongest.

Since everyone needed more time, we got an extension. I made more images for each category.
Screen Shot 2015-12-07 at 1.56.26 AM
^The ones that I feel are the strongest are on the right column.

Creating the silhouettes was hard. There were many detailed  parts so picking what to include in the silhouette took a lot of time by itself (before I even got to the textures). I used tools like the background eraser tool. None was successful or efficient. I ended up using a combination of the select > color range + focus range tool.

Flame looks better on close up (vertical form of image matches flame?) compared to the other one.
Screen Shot 2015-12-07 at 2.16.43 AM
Thought of ‘huing’ the flame to an Electric blue? Tried all shades. I ended up on a bluish colour to show the Narrative of an electric current. I showed a friend. Explained the concept of the electric current. She said: No, it’s fire…

You don’t realise when your idea isn’t working until someone points it out. I ended up trying out electric lightning effects (after watching tutorials). It involved creating a gradient and then creating difference clouds. Then it was just a matter of upping the contrast, colorizing for a hue.

Screen Shot 2015-12-07 at 2.23.57 AM

Photoshop being a pain again. The target channel is NOT hidden!!!! Glitches galore!
Screen Shot 2015-12-07 at 2.29.27 AM

While creating textures I discovered a bonus about the Extrude tool! I could extrude pyramid shapes instead of blocks! I could also extrude evenly overall, or based on the depth visible in the image (probably calculated by the shadow levels). don’t mind the glitch.
Screen Shot 2015-12-07 at 2.37.10 AM

After discussing it with my professors we figured that my narrative of the sparks looks more like essence instead of narrative. That’s when I’d decided to put a human aspect into it. (spark in the eye). Another reason I did that was because the next step was composing our images in a cohesive grid. I needed a variety of images. So I made a human touch photograph, because that was one of the main things that I seemed to be missing.

Silhouettes and textures:
Screen Shot 2015-12-07 at 2.45.59 AM

^Cream seemed to make things look more cohesive. But even then, the more vivid colours looked more successful, especially the ones where I matched the colours to the robot (wires – red, green, blue).


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s