Summer 2012 Chronicle of the Yellow Wallpaper

my descent into madness

Category: Uncategorized

A large chunk of missing time

My goal for this blog was to obsessively track my process. However, I just needed to finish my project ASAP and decided to not track it at all.

But it’s done! You can see it HERE.

From the last post to this post, a lot has happened obviously. The backgrounds took me a long time to do since I had to make around 30 of them in photoshop and include the props too. Patrick had helped me begin the AfterEffects process. He compiled some of the animations and backgrounds I had in the program and through him, I became more familiar with the program. I spent about a week adding new effects and shadows in AfterEffects, and a couple days ago I finally finished all the clips. I then put them in Final Cut in the order of my edited video I had gotten these clips from.

My biggest regret of the project is the wallpaper animation. I wish I had done something more creative with it and maybe invested more time in that aspect of it. What I originally had wanted to do was create shapes out of the wallpaper print, but since I was running out of time and I did not know how to do that, I had stuck with the shadow in the wall of the wallpaper.  I also regret not using two different actresses playing off each other so that there would have been more interaction with what should have been two different characters.

Smaller regrets include minor AfterEffects problems that bother me each time I see it. And not having more paper rolling around in the last few clips. And I wish the last clip lingered a bit longer.


On a more positive non-regretful note, one of my favorite parts of the project was the sound design. At first, I was just going to use Animal Collective with some sound effects. But as I began working on the project, I began to think of a more distinct style I wanted to achieve. My stylistic inspiration was old 50s style TV. I added lots of grain and decided that I wanted to do insert old commercials that had a clear gender role distinction in them. It was especially easy to find cosmetic commercials and I also found a doll commercial. They all worked out very perfectly and I enjoyed layering the sounds in places that fit well. Weirdly worded sentence, but I am running out of time to write this.

I might show this in the BDP Showcase soon for DA&M. I might also change a few things that one of my mentors suggested. We’ll see!





Before september before september!

The fills took a long time to do, but mostly because of my stupidity. I wish I had just filled them in as I went along but I think impatience took over then. But they are done!

Today I worked on the backgrounds, but I am having a hard time. Drawing in photoshop is difficult for me since everything is looking really cartoonish or just crappy. I want tohave the background be somewhat whimsical and impressionistic but realistic and not distracting. I tried just doing basic desks and chairs and the wallpaper today, but I found myself getting nowhere. Well, except iwth the wallpaper I am mostly tracing wallpaper patterns and copy/pasting them as a print. Then I’m going to make the wallpaper look decayed and antiquated with a rotting yellow color.

I’m most excited about the AfterEffects part which has yet to come. I’m also scared since I’m not proficient by any means in AfterEffects, but I want to be.

Today I’ll put together a rough animation of the piece thus far, using video clips for the things I don’t know how to include such as the bottles and the curtains clips.


Here are some photoshop tutorials for digital paintings that might help me: –> THIS! I need this so bad.


Freehand drawing on photoshop is difficult ofr me unless it looks cartoonish! I am also used to tracing things now…blah. I should just practice more and also be more satisfied with some things that look okay, but not what I want.

School’s starting tomorrow. I need to get this done before Saturday! Coffee shop for hours and hours and hours tomorrow! OH LAWD GIMME STRENTH!

Done with rotoscoping!!!!! (okay, kind of)

Well right now I have gone through an estimated 1700 frames more or less. I am so sleeeepy. I still have two different clips that I haven’t done. One of them I need to find the clip again since somehow it did not get saved to its folder, and the other I had a lot of trouble with. It was the shot of the woman behind the wallpaper, except I video-ed it of my actress behind a sheer curtain which was INCREDIBLY hard to try to rotoscope. I am considering not fully rotoscoping it, but utilizing it in a video format with overlays and other drawn elements. I might try one more time to rotoscope it so it looks more uniform. The clip I can’t find is a relatively easy one, just her lying in bed for a few seconds.

My next step after this is to fill in all of the clips. I really, really, really hope that won’t take too long. I don’t know if it would have been better to do that as I went along or in one big sweeeeep. One of the most important takeaways for this project for me has been realizing the importance of audiobooks in doing tedious tasks. This week I have “read” the first Hitchhiker’s Guide, Bossypants by Tina Fey, A Modest Proposal, part of 1984, and I’m currently trying to listen to the Hobbit again. Right now, gollum is talking so I might just be too scared to sleep tonight which is perfect! Although I think I need to get up early in the morning to see my aunt. Ugh.

My goal was to be done by Thursday. It is Thursday. GAH. I will try to get at least all the fills done by today, and maybe if there is time in the night I will do the wallpaper animation.

I’m most worried about the wallpaper animation because it is a detrimental aspect of my project. If I don’t have a good wallpaper animation, the rest of the story won’t make sense at all and I will have done all of this work for nothing. I might even spend a whole day on it if needed.


  1. Find and finish Bed clip, and maybe attempt the lady behind the wallpaper clip again although that might be able to fix with AE. (This will take maybe about 2 hours at most)
  2. Fill all clips that aren’t filled and fix small things in each clip. (I have absolutely no estimate for this. I am hoping less than 5 hours).
  3. Do wallpaper animation. (I am estimating I need a couple of hours for this, hopefully not more than 4, but these things take a while…)
  4. Draw 28 different backgrounds/floors for every clip in Photoshop. Some can be the same just skewed so this is an overestimate. (This might take 2 days, not sure.)
  5. Draw props in Photoshop. (Bed, Desk, Chair, Some chains, a noose,….this suddenly got too morbid…)
  6. Find textures I want to use.
  7. Put each clip in AE and make ’em look so awesome that this was all worth it.
  8. Put them all together in Final Cut.

I wish I was a southern christian woman sometimes so that I could say “oh lawd, give me strength!” and maybe it would actually work. Aint no rest for the sacrilegious. I’m starting to ramble and say weird things so I should stop typing. I might sleep and just wake up when the mother does tomorrow. NIGHT.

Textures textures textures

So I am so close to being done with rotoscoping. Right now, I’m mostly worrried about the wall animation, which i think I’ll have to figure out how to tween correctly or just do it all in AfterEffects. Here is something I was messing around with in Photoshop. I like utilizing textures and I think I want an old, grainy TV effect on top of it while I have soundbites from TV in the background. It’s appealing to me to make it somewhat more modern while retaining the old meaning and old, decaying look of the whole surrounding.

This is perhaps too late to think about…but…

Part of me is worried that I haven’t treated my character with enough respect. That I have treated the mental illness is an overly efficient manner in which I have simply summed up the story without giving her enough of a character or depth. But how do I do all of that in less than 3 minutes? 

So now I am thinking of adding a voiceover and maybe more audio inserts.

GAH. I keep having slight panics throughout this.

A few clips compiled

Here are about 6 clips that I had been working on but didn’t post up. They obviously aren’t finished but I am planning to fill them in and put them in AfterEffects as soon as the other clips are rotoscoped.

The first one I experimented with in Photoshop and then AfterEffects while putting a Gaussian Blur on the video in the background – I’m not sure if I will use it, but it is an interesting idea to use my video as a palette for coloring in certain aspects that would be difficult to do otherwise.

I’ll write more about this later when I have more time!


Opening Shot of House

I did this one in Photoshop, but it’s not animated yet. I think i’ll mess around with turning on the lights and tracing the lines again to givei t that same jittery effect. I wanted half of it to appear to be a dollhouse and the other half to look like the house described in the novel. This is probably my favorite part of the whole thing. I love Photoshop so much more in comparison to Flash, but it’s just terrible for animating usually.


this took two days straight for about 7 seconds.

first clip

I tried to do something somewhat simple for my first clip – so this is just hands scratching the wall. The colors obviously won’t be the same. In total, this is 36 frames that I drew (but 9 seconds since it is spread apart). I am using 18 fps. Even this simple one took me foooorever. I’m not sure what I’ll actually do about the fills either -so far I’m just doing Flash solid fills but I kind of want to paint shadows, etc. We’lll seeee.

the long and winding rooooad

Rotoscoping takes forever. And I have been neglecting my project for the last few days because of an impending Differential Equations exam.

I tried rotoscoping in Photoshop because I started to get really bummed out with how Flash looked and how painting over it didn’t look as good as I wanted. But after messing around with PS, I realized that Flash was the best program for this in terms of simplicity. However, I still need to paint my backgrounds which will be done in PS. I still am considering trying to roto in AE instead of Flash and doing the whole thing in PS and AE. I’ll post my crappy 10 frames of PS animation, it just is not meant for animation. Maybe if I had a lot more time it could be possible.

So right now, I’m just struggling with time management. I think I’m just not going to sleep this week. Blarghblarughaldugheioafjndka. I keep kidding about going insane during this project btu it is becoming more likely as it (sort of ) progresses.