in october twentytwelve i attended a workshop led by tobias leingruber about reasons, methods and concepts of phenomena who became famous and popular online really fast. due to this my professor olia lialina offered in her winter term course "viral events online and offline" the opportunity to cooperate on a project with the state museum of württemberg for their upcoming exhibition "im glanz der zaren". it would be about the bonds and relationship build between russian and swabian royals. to support the museums and exhibitions online appearance and advertisment constanze löwenkamp and myself made the royal gif project.
when beginning filming and getting used to the greenbox and the camera we first let olia try on the humongous dress including fake bottom, crinoline and the actually dress. see how she can walk, run, move and sit in it. testing then light, fabric and looks. film sequences from our second test shoot were also turned into rough gifs just to see how the post production could look like (including programs and technique) and what details we already would need to consider during filming. after this and summarizing all points to be beared in mind we filmed our final gifs with olia in her entire regalness (dress, crown, hair + make-up) and our fabulous king caali in the boiling greenbox.
after finishing filming the 'real' work began with the post-production. from over 20 videos we had to cut it down to 9, for each gif one. we focused on a smooth movement sequence and a good neat look. i keyframed those 9 clips in after effects which i've never done before. so that was an adventure itself. it did went really well but as the gifs were running on functioning websites with an already given structure and layout, they needed to be cut out perfectly. so there would not be any lost, hidden or semi-visible pixels floating around in the (colorful) background. meaning there had to be detailed extract work in photoshop done. this actually took most of the time and effort which we did not expect. as the movements were either a bit more complex or longer than the usual ones used i had to make sure the gifs would still look neat and smooth within as little frames possible which were variated from around ten to sixtysomething.
since putting this project online for it to work on the state museums website there has been quite some attention to it. of course olia, our great gif model, had to tweet about it as she did during the process of making it [tweet , tweet , tweet, tweet, tweet] and of course afterwards when it went viral [tweet, tweet, tweet, tweet, ] until she finally updated her gif modeling portfolio [tweet] with these royal gifs. i also can happily say that members of the F.A.T Lab seemed to quite enjoy the gifs as well and used them like aram bartholl in a F.A.T Lab post on their website where olia cried over dropping the internet or evan roth who vined olia being angry with the help of a 'view in room'. and lastly my university merz akademie supported me and constanze löwenkamp by presenting the project online on the faculties own website.