Chad Gadya embroidermation progress

embroidermation

A wee taste of the progress Theo and I are making on our “Chad Gadya” embroidermation project.

goat

Frames of the animation are stitched in groups of 6, arranged in a circle on matzo covers. We currently have 516 frames on 86 matzo covers, which I painstakingly finished by hand with multiple fabric layers and labels and everything.

Matzo covers

We hired Theo’s daughter, Emma, to help. Here she is ironing away while I adjust a lining.

NinaEmmaMatzoCovers

Here I am topstitching one of the 86 covers on a treadle sewing machine.

NinaHemsCover

We have a lot of additional photography, stitchcoding and stitching to do, but we are making progress. When the film is done the matzo covers will be for sale.

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This Land Is Mine is yours

Due to horrific recent events, This Land Is Mine has gone viral again.

Here’s a reminder that you don’t need permission to copy, share, broadcast, post, embed, subtitle, etc. Copying is an act of love, please copy and share. Yes means yes.

copying is an act of love, please copy and shareAs for the music, it is Fair UseThis Land Is Mine is a PARODY of “The Exodus Song.” That music was sort of the soundtrack of American zionism in the 1960′s and 70′s. It was supposed to express Jewish entitlement to Israel. By putting the song in the mouth of every warring party, I’m critiquing the original song.

 

Egyptian Falcon

falcon_fast1

Another thing for Seder-Masochism.

Death Makes a Holiday

Death of Firstborn Egyptians

I’m currently animating the Death of the Firstborn Egyptians (Exodus 11:1-12:36) for Seder-Masochism. This is the miracle that started Passover! Hooray! I’m being sarcastic!

Ancient Egypt parallax

I’ve been designing Egyptian foliage for Seder-Masochism. The ancient Egyptian graphic style is pretty flat; there’s little if any perspective to give a sense of depth.

plants3

However, animation can give a sense of depth without compromising the graphic style. Thanks to the magic of parallax, each still frame looks authentically flat, but in motion the scene looks 3-D. Nothing overlaps anything else but there’s still a foreground and background.

plants3Just one of many reasons animation is cool.

 

Chad Gadya cycling backgrounds

Which 24-frame cycle do you like more:

ChadGadya_BG8

Cycle A, “Clouds”, or…

ChadGadya_BG3

Cycle B, “Waves”?

I personally prefer Cycle B, because I like backgrounds where everything is moving – I feel it gives it more depth. As a 2-D design the clouds look nice, but in an animated cycle their stillness bothers me. I did make a version with moving clouds, but on this 24-frame cycle they had to be very dense to repeat:

ChadGadya_BG7

Cycle C, “Repeating Clouds”. I still prefer Cycle B. The sky pattern might be a bit unconventional, but I think it’s stylish. Also I don’t like all that white in the background of A and C.

The palette is limited to 10 colors because this is destined for Embroidermation. The animated GIF doesn’t have great color fidelity; thread colors will look better and have more contrast between foreground and background.

If you have an opinion on which of these you prefer, please leave it in the comments and maybe it will help Theo and me settle our argument.

Cattle of Egypt

I’m back to working on Seder-Masochism after a very long hiatus. Here are some biblical Egyptian cattle:

Egypt_cow2

And here they are after I AM THAT I AM gets through with them:

Egypt_cow_bones

The Angel of Death came…

AngelODeath8

 

…and slew the Slaughterer that killed the Ox that drank the Water that extinguished the Fire that burnt the Stick that beat the Dog that bit the Cat that ate the Goat that my father bought for two zuzim. Chad Gadya

The Slaughterer came…

 

shochet4

…and killed the Ox that drank the Water that extinguished the Fire that burnt the Stick that beat the Dog that bit the Cat that ate the Goat that my father bought for two zuzim. Chad Gadya

 

Update: animation modified to show Shochet slicing from below. He’s still decapitating the poor beast, but it’s slightly more kosher for sticklers. Yes I know kosher slaughter involves slitting the animal’s throat, it just seems so grotesque that the cartoon shorthand of bloody decapitation expresses it best for me. But for those who consider slitting from below important, here ya go.

The Ox came…

ox5

 

…and drank the Water that extinguished the Fire that burnt the Stick that beat the Dog that bit the Cat that ate the Goat that my father bought for two zuzim. Chad Gadya

just water

water8

 

I made some improvements to the water animation cycle below. I’m quite pleased. Like waves, natural special effects don’t come intuitively to me. I didn’t know if I’d be able to figure this one out.

The Water came…

water+fire

 

…and extinguished the Fire, that burnt the Stick, that hit the Dog, that bit the Cat, that ate the Goat which my father bought for two zuzim. Chad Gadya

The Fire came

flame+stick…and burned the Stick that beat the Dog that bit the Cat that ate the Goat which my father bought for two zuzim. Chad Gadya

 

The Stick came…

stick1

 

and beat the Dog, that bit the Cat, that ate the Goat, which my father bought for two zuzim. Chad Gadya

“The cat came, and ate the goat.”

chad gadya cat goat

Does it make sense? No. Chad Gadya.