Ghost Pepper Sauce

In the abstract animation “Ghost Pepper Sauce,” I set out to convey a visual representation of the feeling one gets after eating sauce made from one of the hottest peppers known to man- the ghost pepper. Sticking to my original concept, this animation is made by manipulating tissue paper that has either been cut or crumpled. The over all feeling of the animation does give the feeling of something, perhaps dangerous or painful, happening suddenly and eventually subsiding, as is the feeling of eating the hot sauce. The warm colors help to convey the heat aspect as well. The jagged edges of the crumpled balls of paper and the sharp points of the triangles add to the visualized feeling of pain.

To research abstract animation, I watched work by Hans Richter and Mary Ellen Butte. I attempted to emulate Richter’s process of making the shapes change size rhythmically, seen in “Rhythmus 21,” in between seconds 5 and 7 to create the impression of a pulse of heat. I also drew the idea of one color engulfing another to become dominant in seconds 1, 5, 7, and 8 from brief parts of Richter’s film “Filmstudie.” Butte’s work “Synchromy No 2” inspired me to make shapes appear suddenly at second 2, and then again at second 6, to correlate to a sudden feeling, as she does this when an instrument makes a sudden sound. “Synchromy No 4,” also made by Butte, includes shapes growing in size to convey the growing intensity of sound. I lent this same method to my own work in several segments, most notably at second 5, applying it to convey intensity of heat rather than music. I also reversed the process to imply dying intensity of the feeling of the heat, seen at second 7.

I believe one of the strongest motions of my animation happens at the very beginning as the crumpled up ball of red tissue paper becomes bigger and then spreads out. The same can be said for when the orange, and then the yellow become dominant through a similar process. This smoothness is achieved again when the paper is re-crumpled and removed at the end of the piece.

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