aces Being Layered Through Time

Spaces being layered through time was a 5 day workshop at the De Montfort University, given to the students of the MArch and BArch programme. It included a lecture, short-film sessions, software introductions, group tutorials and a presentation on the final day.

Students were grouped in teams of 2 or 3 people, allowing them to locate the film between the cornerstones of their year’s project. They were asked to choose different aspects of their project and then to transform them into a time-based drawing, a digital film.

The filmic response allowed the students to project and construct a narrative space in order to engage with the conditions of their project. This was achieved by producing a couple of layered up images in photoshop and setting up 3d scene from it in after effects – allowing refined camera movement and audio linkage, that finally led to a 2 min animation.

This workshop suggested using digital film as a time-based type of architectural drawing. Leaving 2d techniques behind and communicating the architectural idea in a 4d drawing brings up various aspects: the camera’s point of view, atmospheric perception of space and changes in time. The workshop’s aim consisted in understanding architecture as a construct of time-based layering.

Students were introduced to digital film via key frame animation. The tutorials first consisted of basic 2d animation, then they advanced into 3d space, using a so called 2 ½ d technique – consisting of a refined layered-up combination of photoshop and after effects: a Scenography-like Space comes into existence by setting up different photoshop layers in 3d space.

In Addition to that, camera movements, light set up, atmospheric effects, such as fog and rain, animated line drawings and particle animations were created.  The tutorials also covered basic audio editing in premiere and gave insight to an efficient workflow.

Different aspects of the students’ projects were introduced to the camera step by step, allowing the camera to travel and poetically narrate a constructed reality.

Designing space means designing space within a context, be it of geographical or social nature, or even a digital media scape. By focusing on time based media the camera comes into play. The architect / the virtual camera becomes an active part of the scene, architecture is viewed from a specific angle, in a specific point in time: space is shaped through the gesture of watching. Also space changes through time: the virtual camera (consequently the moving image) might reveal information not visible to the human eye – space is loaded with narrative.

image in news feed by Ashley Clayton & James Flynn