Blogger’s Quilt Festival – “Ziz” quiltimation in Art Quilts

Approximately 32″ square. Cotton fabric, cotton/bamboo batting, rayon thread. Machine embroidery, quilting, trapplique.

I’m submitting this in Art Quilts because there’s no “animation” category in the Blogger’s Quilt Festival. ;-) I’m happy to have it in an online show, because you can easily see it animated:

Ziz quiltimation - animated quiltEach block of the quilt is a frame in the animated cycle above. I created the animation, exported as vector images which Theo Gray stitchcoded in Mathematica. Each block was stitched in 2 parts on our embroidery machine: first the Ziz (gryphon) figure, then the background. I cut out and applied the former to the latter and the machine “trappliqued” it down and did the echo pattern. Finally I zigzag stitched the blocks together, topstitched homemade bias tape over the seams, and bound it.

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Stitch me closer tiny dancer

embroidered dancerTheo stitched the yesterday’s dancer outline with the background inverted to make a fill.

Embroidermation du jour: twirling dancer

twirling dancer embroidermation

Today’s embroidermation features a rotoscoped dance outtake performed by Reena Shah about 7 years ago for Sita Sings the Blues. Theo coded the stitches and the animated sin wave loop background. This is designed for larger quilts, but this version is tiny as it was stitched on our embroidery machine.

I sewed the 16 panels together like so:

The cycle is actually 13 frames long – an annoying number for animation. The final 3 frames are repeats so it could be a 4 x 4 square. Finished size is 16″ x 16″.

Ziz Quilt finished

quilted animation, animated quilt

It took me a while, but I finally got around to stitching the Ziz quiltimation into a single wallhanging. To recap, here’s how these frames look in a movie:

Embroidermation: Tree of Life

The source animation (a vector file sequence) was adapted from my short segment for the upcoming feature film “The Prophet.” That will definitely not be rendered in Embroidermation, but the Tree of Life is such a classic, traditional embroidery motif it was just crying out to be used in this test.

embroidery

In addition to stitchcoding, Theo hooped and ran the machine on all 96 frames, and then he made them into a flipbook.

Theo hand-stitching 96 embroidered frames into a flipbook

Because he’s crazy, that’s why. He even crafted a copper rig to cut out the frames precisely, and register them for photography (he photographed them too).

embroidermation cutting device

R-G-B, C-M-Y, H-O-R-S-E

CMY on K. See previous two posts on TSP animation for context: 1, 2.

CMY on white.

RGB on K.

RGB on white.

A herd of CMY TSP horses.

All The Pretty Horses

I ran an inversion on yesterday’s horse Traveling Salesman Problem animation:

Again I had to take out a few stray lines manually. Here’s the same white on black:

Yesterday’s negative image and today’s positive image together:

The positive image has only 2,000 points, so it was faster to process. It’s still denser than the negative image (background) which has just under 4,000 points but covers a lot more area.

Here are both with contrast on grey:

and in yellow and blue on magenta:

The Traveling Horse Salesman

horse traveling salesman problem animation

I traced the famous Muybridge horse in Flash, exported as a PNG series, processed each frame with the wonderful StippleGen2, opened each resulting .svg file in illustrator, copied back into Flash, removed stray lines by hand, and exported this animated .gif. The manual corrections are cheating and break up the single line I wanted, but StippleGen’s TSP optimizer left more lines crossing the body and legs of the horse than I could stand:

Theo’s going to see if Mathematica’s TSP optimizer with some additional restrictions works any better.

Tupi’s Kickstarter now live

Remember when I pleaded for good Free vector animation software? The Tupi project just launched a Kickstarter campaign and I’m a backer.

Tupi’s strength is its simplicity; it’s great for kids and anyone new to animation. It doesn’t yet have the power I need to produce feature films, but its development is a good thing for all of us. Since it’s FLOSS (Free Libre Open Source), any innovations made in Tupi can be applied to other Free programs, and anyone who wants to customize it can. Oh, and it’s free – you can download and start playing with it right now.

Embroidermation Test 4

animated quilt, quilted animation

Really this is Quiltimation, the result of our embroidery/quilting/trapplique techniques. Here’s a single frame without all the .gif compression 8-bit color artifacts:

embroidermation Ziz single frameThe trapplique technique was a lot of work, requiring multiple hoopings for each frame, as well as precision cutting and placing. We probably won’t do more of that. Our next project is more traditional embroidery with just one color of fabric and multiple colors of thread. Whole lotta math required to make this work, which is fortunately Theo’s department. Meanwhile I’ll stitch together these 12 frames into some sort of viable wall hanging.

Embroidermation Test 3

We had a little breakthrough at Gray-Paley* Labs, doing trapplique with the embroidery machine.

Theo improved stitch quality within the Ziz, but for some reason our registration between layers is always off. As you can see, the machine stitches the registration borders 1-2mm apart on the bottom, while they’re almost exactly lined up at the top. We can’t get our satin stitch quite on target, because the registration step is always slightly off from the satin stitch step. We discovered the machine thinks the files are slightly different sizes. It’s Theo’s challenge to figure out why, since everything is exported from Mathematica at the same resolution.

Even with these problems, the trapplique is a big aesthetic step forward in the project, and if we can work out the remaining technical kinks I’ll be able to make a 12-frame cycle/12-panel quilt soon.

This teal-on-blue iteration used wool batting on the bottom layer, making it the puffiest trapplique by far.

*Graley? PaleGray?

Embroidermation Test 2

Sequel to Embroidermation Test 1.

Theo Gray and I bought a 10-needle embroidery machine to pursue a dream of embroidered animation. Existing embroidery software sucks too badly to do the automated shape-to-stitch conversions necessary, so Theo found a way to use Mathematica instead. This is his first full test, created in Mathematica, exported directly via an Embroidermodder file conversion program as DST files, stitched on canvas (which made the edges kind of jaggy) and photographed. No loose threads were clipped in the making of this video.

Bird 2

Same bird as yesterday, but with the wing flapping from the side. Also it blinks every other flap.

Bird of Play

24fps bird animationMy brilliant Anime Studio Pro teacher Victor Paredes has traveled on to California (visit him at SmithMicro’s Comic-Con booth!) and I have time to digest and practice what I’ve learned. I remain intrigued by ASP’s even-odd fill possibilities, so today I made this bird.

 

Sharknado the sequel

Victor just improved the Sharknado particle technique and taught me.