Phil  – DanaNathanEricLindseyAlexJordanJoseTaliGlen

Revisionist {insect} Storytelling

Digital Sculpture – Professor: Joe Meiser


Project Overview:

In this project you will create a series of “scenes” that depict an existing story, folktale, or myth—using an insect (or insects) as the character(s).  You will exercise poetic license by reinventing the story as you see fit.  By conducting research on the insect and story you’ve chosen and incorporating this research into your project along with your own insights, you will create a result that will have both personal and cross-disciplinary relevance.

Learning Objectives

By completing this project, students will:

  • Learn how narrative can be conveyed through a visual work to create intrigue and depth of meaning.
  • Develop a high level of proficiency with T-Splines by using the plugin in a contextualized manner to achieve an advanced result.
  • Conduct artistic research that draws upon various textual and visual sources to create a work of art that has cross-disciplinary and personal relevance.
  • Cultivate a refined technical understanding of how Rhino and Keyshot can be used to achieve a high quality desired result.
  • Further advance their understandings of effective composition strategies, and how point of view, arrangement of parts, cropping, negative space, and other factors influence not only the technical aspects such as movement, but also a viewer’s interpretation; every technical element of a visual work has conceptual implications.

Step 1 – insect research

Choose an insect and research it.  Learn about its behavior, its unique attributes, how it is culturally understood, and any other information you find interesting.  Please write approximately 200 words to describe what you’ve learned.  As you’re writing this response, please integrate your own observations about the insect and tell why you selected it.

* Please upload your response to the class website.  Prof Meiser just created individual categories for each student, so please put your post in the category titled with your first name.  To find your post after you’ve published it, go to the “project 2” page and click on your name.

Step 2 – narrative research

Choose an existing story, folktale, myth, or legend.  Find a written version of the story and read it carefully. Then answer the following questions in a written response; your response should be approximately 200 words in length.

  • Tell what story you chose and explain why you selected it.
  • In literature and in cinema there is special attention paid to turning points and climaxes because these intense moments develop the plot and draw viewers in.  Please choose a few key events or moments from your story and describe their significance.
  • In this project, you have an opportunity to exercise poetic license in your translation of the story you’ve selected.  Please tell what you intend to change about the story, and tell why you plan to change it in this manner.

* Please upload your written response to the class website; put your post in the category of your own name. 

Step 3 – collect visual references

Collect at least twenty visual reference images that relate to the insect and narrative you’ve selected.

Include the following:

  • High quality images that you’ll use as reference material while you sculpt the insect.
  • Images that you can use as points of reference for developing your “scenes”.
  • Images that relate to the emotional or expressive tone that you want to convey in your project.
  • Any other images that you think will be useful as you create your project.

* Please upload your visual references to the class website; put your post in the category of your own name.

Step 4 – sketches

Create at least ten detailed sketches of the three scenes you might create.  In art projects divergent thinking is an important aspect of coming up with good ideas.  Creating ten sketches rather than just three will help you think divergently and come up with a range of different solutions, ultimately enabling you to reach a better end result.

Consider the following as you create your sketches:

  • What aspects of the narrative (turning points, climaxes, key moments) do you want to include?
  • How can your narrative be sequentially developed through the various scenes you create?
  • How can you integrate your insect research to make a more inventive, interesting narrative and visual work?
  • What expressive and emotional elements of your visual references could be included in order to enhance your scenes, props, or insect(s)?

Grading Criteria

The best projects/highest performing students will:

  • Consist of at least three “scenes” to sequentially develop a narrative.  Students must create at least one Keyshot render of each scene, for a total of three; however, students are highly encouraged to exceed this requirement by creating additional scenes and/or multiple final renders of each scene. The renders you create for this project should be larger than the ones you created for your first project.  The higher the pixel dimensions, the better.
  • Inventively synthesize various inspirational elements to produce a highly innovative final result, including:
    • Elements of what you learned by researching the insect
    • Clear integration of the myth, folktale, legend, or story from popular culture that you have somehow revised
    • The emotional or expressive tenor of the idea you’re trying to convey
    • Other elements deemed important by the student
  • Achieve an outstanding level of detail and complexity in the geometry of the insect, props (if included), and environment.  Projects should demonstrate a high degree of proficiency with T-Splines.
  • Be proactive in seeking advice from the professor and TA, and maintain a strong dialogue with them in and beyond the class.
  • Have outstanding work ethic, showing a high level of focus during class and consistently working on the project outside of class (even going beyond the university standard of 6 hours per week).
  • Achieve a quality of result that is commensurate with the student’s potential.  (In other words, students with a higher aptitude will be held to a higher standard)