Tuesday, January 31, 2012


(My sister better not be the only one to get that reference.)

If my hands and wrists weren't so swollen, I would take the time to add some pictures and sneak peaks of this rotoscope, which I began editing today. But my hands and wrists are swollen from drawing and photographing 2285 frames. Now it is time for me to tidy the studio, catch up on some [probably decade-themed] tv show, and sleep. I deserve it, if I do say so myself. I also deserve a merit badge (or 8) for completing all of these hand drawn frames in just 10 days. I have to say, for completing such a big task in such a short amount of time, BFA seems far less intimidating than before.


Monday, January 30, 2012


Last night I dreamt that some old lady I've never met, who somehow knew I loved old things, left on my porch (that I don't have) a paper grocery bag full of Better Homes & Gardens magazines from the 50s and 60s (my FAVORITE!). AND another bag full of vintage floral fabrics. I was so excited. I was gonna make SO MUCH ART and start to COLLAGE RIGHT AWAY. And then I woke up, and was so upset that I ended up wearing houndstooth.

PSA: Michaela Lynch likes old things and floral things. Feel free to send her any combination of such things. She will make art.

Very Real Fears Right Now.


  1. Spontaneous combustion of all my frames.
  2. A tornado will sweep through Megastudio, picking up only glitter and my frames.
  3. While carrying my frames to the JMC tomorrow, they will all fall loose and fly into Euclid and get run over by the bus. (I have a constant fear of my art getting run over by the bus.)
  4. Fire in Megastudio.
  5. Electrical spark from an outlet causing an arc of electricity to hit the wall where all my frames are hanging and burn them to ashes.
  6. A sudden ice age causing such a severe drop in temperature in Megastudio that all my frames become brittle and crumble.
  7. An angry art student rips them from the wall and tears them to shreds.
  8. Facilities decides I don't deserve a studio and takes all my art and throws it out, causing me to go dumpster diving with no avail.
  9. IT is still mad about all the printing I did, so they decide they own my art and take all my frames away.
  10. A rare species of insect that eats only tracing paper will infest Megastudio and eat my frames and then die, leaving piles of dead bugs all over my desk.
  11. The fire alarm will be set off, triggering the sprinklers, which will not be turned off until going up the chain of command until given the official order to turn them off. If my frames are not dissolved, I will spend weeks blow drying them and ironing them flat, only to see that the ink has run all over the page, although this could lead to interesting artistic marks. Maybe.

I should sleep now. Tomorrow I'm finishing the credits and photographing the frames.

Thursday, January 26, 2012


Time for a vote! I need to write a very short (2-3 sentences) bio for the program for the Planetarium shindig when my rotoscope shows. But I have a hard time doing something so serious and condensed... Which blurb should I use?

1. Michaela Lynch is a BFA candidate at the Cleveland Institute of Art where she studies Animation and Fiber & Material Studies. She is the 2011 recipient of the Cleveland Arts Prize John Paul Miller Scholarship, and she once wrote a letter to Bob Dylan asking him to be her thesis advisor.

2. Michaela Lynch employs animation to synthesize the often unexpected combinations of materials with which she likes to work. Utilizing methods such as stop motion and hand drawn animation, her sincere intentions and caring effort become evident through labor-intensive processes. She will graduate from the Cleveland Institute of Art in May of 2012 with a BFA in Integrated Media.

3. Michaela Lynch once sold 29 love letters for $2 a piece. She hopes to one day sell enough love letters to buy a sheep and name her Beatrice.

4. Michaela Lynch is a maker of friendship bracelets and a follower of Bob Dylan. In her free time, she has no free time.


All I ever do is draw.

And I'm happy with that.

My hand doesn't hurt as often or as severely as it did for the first few scenes. My pile of frames has diminished by half. My right thumb muscle is significantly bigger than the left (though I am not sure if that is because I now have a super strong hand or if it is just swollen).

Today I am testing some compositions on the dome to see how they look. And I'm rotoscoping forever. I can't wait to see this completed. And don't worry--I'll be sure to make a version viewable on normal screens!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Somewhere Over the Rainbow

So you've seen that rotoscoping can be fairly naturalistic, or a little more quirky. This is probably my favorite batch, though, featuring experimental styles. While mostly faithful to the original line, the color treatment is really effective in these.

This Nike one has been a favorite of mine for a while now. The color is what really brings it to life.

And this one, a title sequence for a fictional movie, is another I constantly reference. Everything about it. The transition of the lines. The color. The compositing. The soundtrack (The Books, anyone?). All of it. Definitely watch this one.

This is a more recent discovery, but the watercolor against black is so striking. It really emphasizes the motion.

You Can Go Your Own Way

A Family Portrait from Joseph Pierce on Vimeo.

The thing with rotoscoping is that you can spend more time thinking about style and less time thinking about motion. It's all laid out there for you, so you can do what you wish with the lines. Either follow them faithfully, as I am doing, which often creates very quirky motion rather than Disney-quality fluidity, or you can appropriate the lines, change the motion, and develop characters.

Alois Nebel – Teaser from Negativ Film on Vimeo.

I have quite a fondness for anthropomorphism, so after graduating, when I have time to spare, I really want to play around with rotoscoping characters that wear lovely dresses and happen to have the face of a jackalope (for instance). And after searching on Vimeo, I discovered this piece, with a little something like that happening.

Kid Dream -The Jessica Stuart Few from Evan DeRushie on Vimeo.

The compositing of this film is done so beautifully, and with such a unique twist to this process. I know 10 minutes is longer than most of us like to sit still, but it's definitely worth it.

The Thomas Beale Cipher from Andrew S Allen on Vimeo.

Smokin Oken!

(Hannah Montana reference for Debbie.)

THE ART OF ROLLIN' A CIGARETTE from Daniel Moreno on Vimeo.

I haven't been posting because I've been rotoscoping! After a million and four printing problems (which I'll explain at another time), my frames (all 1746 of them) are printed and I've been drawing away. Unfortunately, printing to black & white laser printers often results in super dark images, even after lightening them in Photoshop. So the first scene (which I finished yesterday) took especially long because it was difficult to read. I rotoscoped late into the night until the guards came and kicked us out of Megastudio. I went home, and I slept. And I dreamed I was rotoscoping, waking up several times mad at myself and wanting a break from it.

Rotoscope from Euna Kho on Vimeo.

Today I woke up at 7, walked to church, stopped at the grocery store for a few essentials, started laundry, put on an episode of How I Met Your Mother, and started rotoscoping again. However, I didn't get very far before the bulb on my beloved portable light box burned out. After prying the back off, I found a very confusing mess of unfamiliar bulb and tangled wires. So I called Josh, who, in a bit, is going to take me to get a new one. So here I am, taking a bit of a break before chugging at it again. I do have a window in my drawing table, which becomes an instant light box when you stick a lamp under it. Unfortunately, that lamp has also died, so I am stuck for the moment. Which is why I had the chance to share a few more rotoscopes on Vimeo. Now, I am not at all supporting smoking by showing these. However, you have to admit it looks pretty cool as a hand drawn animation!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Linear & Traditional Rotoscopes & Christopher Walken

As long as I'm sitting here waiting for my frames to print, I figured I'd share some more videos with you. These are some nice rotoscopes that are more traditional and linear. (You'll see the other end of the spectrum later.)

This one from Spite Your Face on Vimeo is pretty traditional. I love the way the lines move, and there are a couple pops of color used nicely.

This segment of an animation by Kat Clark is hand drawn with pencil and fairly realistic, including rough shading. I think it's beautiful.

This one, the Official Music Video of "Grrr" by Andy Palmer from Christian G. Marra is beautiful! I love that you can often see the frame of the paper. The shading technique really works with the motion, and that opening scene with the landscape is done so well. And the animation of the sea... I have so many favorite parts.

I had to include this one by Yas-no on Vimeo... that's Christopher Walken, in case you don't remember the video! Still rather traditional (and for the record, by traditional, I mean staying fairly close to the original), this one utilizes watercolors, which, because of their nature, seem to fluctuate a bit in hue each frame. Lovely!

This is how you make a rotoscope.

Well look what I found for you! (Since I'm still printing...) This video by Jackson Ezinga goes through the process of rotoscoping and shows you what the video looks like, what it looks like during production, and how the finished product turns out.

Personally, I think the lines in this are a bit too animated. Then again, when rotoscoping digitally (using a tablet) within Flash, the lines are a bit unpredictable. The program just adds weight to them willy nilly (or if there is a method, I haven't figured it out).

If this were mine, I think I would have left the lines on top of the video. It's aesthetically interesting, and easier on the eyes.

Let's Talk About Rotoscopes, Baby

As cynical as I'm being about this whole process, I really am very excited to work on this rotoscope. Tuesdays I have class from 8:30am until 10:30pm (which also means that, yet again, I have a 4 day weekend...hooray?). It's really dense, but at least today, the first day back from break, we got out early a bit, leaving me time to print these frames. I made it about 350 pages on one printer before the toner started running a bit low... Which totally convinced me to buy a laser printer after graduation. I printed another batch later, and I'm back at it again, on page 600-something out of 1746. Thank goodness I'm playing with repetition and only doing 8 frames a second! As much as I'd love to do more, unfortunately, this has a very strict, very soon deadline.
Since I'll probably post about this animation a lot, I figured I'd explain the process a bit more, and show you some other lovely rotoscopes from artists on Vimeo. This has been one of my favorites for a couple years. Animated to the song "2 Atoms in a Molecule" by Noah and the Whale (great music that makes you happy), this is the final year animation Dan Jones did for his degree at SVA.

It's done at 10 frames per second, and without any compositing! Personally, I love this because every single frame moves. Unless it's done right, I tend to dislike (mild word choice) 2d animations that are rather still. But even the titles are animated frame by frame in this.
Now, for those of you who aren't familiar with animation (I know, I sometimes forget we speak another language), rotoscope involves using reference footage. Traditionally, you trace over footage (very possible to do this and still animate characters like they did for Betty Boop). I happen to be a big fan of the aesthetic achieved through tracing, and find that by selecting lines, I still have a lot of control over the image, as literal as my tracing may be. So this is what I will be doing. And as far as frames per second goes, it's exactly what it sounds like: the number of frames that pass on screen for every second. So for one second of animation, Dan drew 10 frames. For 10 seconds, he drew 100 frames. Get it?

The color choice is super cheerful and appropriate, and there's even a bit of colorful confetti!

Well I am still printing away, but I'm sure I'll share a few more favorites with you soon.

Side note: I totally love that Dan's website is dandidthis.com! I mean, speaking as someone who opted from somethingsmichaelamade.com. Ha!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

2,256 Frames & 1 Slight Problem

I've spent the last few days fairly sick and incredibly exhausted. Not exactly the way I wanted to end my break. Especially considering I have so much to do. I don't think I've properly explained this rotoscope project in its entirety (and if I have, I'm sorry for repeating myself). So here's the deal: 5 animators from CIA and 5 composers from the Cleveland Institute of Music partnered up. The composers created a score for the animators to create visuals for. Each group makes an [approximately] 5-minute long piece. And then they will all be projected onto the dome of the planetarium at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History. Voila! Not really. It's supposed to be a big Cleveland shindig with all sorts of hoopla created around it (in a good way), but right now, it means a lot of work. Mapping an animation to a dome is one thing. Understanding it is another. And that's after I do the work of rotoscoping this (by hand, the old-fashioned way). Of course, I'm the only one taking this route. All our styles seem to be vastly different. But I'm dead set on this, even if it is a lot of work. Plus, it's going to be part of my BFA. Hooray!

So today, feeling much better, I came to the studio, prepared to begin printing some of the 2400 frames (alright, there are actually only 2,256). But for some reason, none of the printers anywhere want to print my frames!
And so I decided to work on a few other necessary things (which you'll see more of later), like updating my resume and such. Tomorrow and Monday will be spent getting my act together and getting organized for the start of the new (and last) semester. Writing artist statements. Sketching ideas. Storyboarding narratives that are currently running through my veins. And sleeping.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

JS + TB Forever

Today I called on my dear friend Josh to help me out with one last scene I needed to film for my rotoscope. What did this entail? Carving initials of 2 fictional people into a tree at a park. Is this illegal? I don't think so. Creepy? Some might think so. Romantic? Maybe for those who don't know it's not real. Either way, I think Josh did a nice job.

Tonight I have to render this out. The rotoscope, which will eventually be displayed in the planetarium at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, as well as my BFA exhibition, is roughly 5 minutes long. Luckily, because of the technique and style I'm going for, slower frame rates are better. Which means I can sneak by with just 8 frames per second. Which means only 2400 frames! (Thank you, Mom, for going to Utrecht and bartering for a discount on 24 pads of 9x12 tracing paper for my birthday and Christmas gifts. Best gifts ever. Sorry they thought you were weird. For the record, when I went there to purchase a new Moleskine calendar and Dad asked if I needed any more tracing paper, the cashiers put 2 and 2 together, and realized that I was the weird one.)

Tomorrow I will start printing the 2400 frames. Dear CIA community, I'm sorry if you're planning on printing anything in any of the labs. I will probably use all of the ink ever in the universe. Love, Michaela.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

You Make My Dreams Come True.

You should probably watch this right now, because it's guaranteed to make you instantly happy. You should also check out my Etsy shop, which I just added some lovely dreamcatcher to! I put my shop on vacation when the fall semester started up, so that I could focus on my BFA. But since I'm still on winter break and have some time, I decided to list a few items. But hurry! Come January 17, I'll probably put it back on vacation.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012


Why is it that every time I visit my family in Detroit, someone tells me I remind them of some character on some MTV show? It's always MTV. And by someone, I mean a sibling or my father. The characters are girls who are usually weird, sometimes artsy, and never do anything with their hair except through it up or put it in a side braid. What does this say about me?

So now I have to catch up on ANOTHER MTV show I've never heard of to decide for myself, once again, if this is a good thing or a bad thing.

Ok, back to art.

Bearded Ladies

On Christmas, Santa brought me a pack of adhesive mustaches. (Why? Because they were weird and my mom thinks I like weird things.) Since they matched my outfit so well (a favorite dress of mine), I decided to thank Santa by wearing one to Christmas dinner. My mom was less than pleased.
As it turns out, Uncle Mikey and I matched.
 Mia wanted to match, too.
And this led to something wonderful. This.
I think my only direction for Mia was "You're sad because you have a mustache." And then I just asked her questions. And this happened. I figured, as long as I was borrowing the schools lovely 5D, I might as well make marvelous things!

I'm Alive, I Went Home, I'm Back, I'm Working.

My mom didn't seem to believe me when I told her how tired I was. Because, you can't be tired unless you have 5 kids. It doesn't matter if 2 of them are away at college. You're still tired. And more tired than anyone else on the planet.

And then I slept until 3:30pm.

I deserve a merit badge. I told her I was still tired. But she thinks that it's "part of being an adult." I'm sorry, that's not what the CIA admissions people tell high school hopefuls. Art school tired is a kind of tired most people don't experience. My neighbor back home, a graduate of College for Creative Studies, is one who can relate and has told me about his numerous all-nighters (and he did it all without caffeine!). My mom still doesn't get it.

So after becoming nearly nocturnal, watching all 5 seasons of Blossom via Youtube, embroidering merit badges, trying to think about BFA, eating birthday cake (did I mention I'm old?), making friendship bracelets with Mia, and playing the Jaws theme song on empty and almost empty beer bottles (my dad was so proud), I'm back in Cleveland. Ready to work.

The studios opened back up today, so I got here bright and early. The caffeine headaches have already begun, and a fresh spill of glitter is waiting for Debbie. Today I think I'll make fun art.