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Arts Videos Eclectic Homeschool Resource Center

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Book Image Animusic - A Computer Animation Video Album
Wayne Lytle
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Watching Animusic is like being mesmerized by the world's most elaborate Rube Goldberg devices: You're so astonished by their ingenuity that you can't look away. This "computer animation video album" is the brainchild of Wayne Lytle, a progressive-rock keyboardist and 1988 graduate of Cornell University's Program of Computer Graphics. Modifying techniques originally applied to the visualization of scientific data, Lytle partnered with graphic artist and 3D modeler Dave Crognale to create elaborate virtual stage sets and imaginary musical instruments that are driven via MIDI interface to virtually "play" the music that Lytle has composed for them. "The music drives the instruments," explains Lytle in his engaging DVD commentary, "and not the other way around." Using proprietary software called MIDImotion™, Lytle and Crognale have invented self-playing musical instruments that exist in a magical realm of musical and mathematical precision, perfectly synchronized to the kind of fully-synthesized prog-rock that Lytle obviously enjoys (and if you're a fan of Keith Emerson and Rick Wakeman, you will, too). It's the kind of audiovisual bombast that appeals to some more than others (and there's something oddly impersonal about removing humans from the performance of music), but Animusic is so intricately clever that anyone can be captivated by the meticulous novelty of these beautifully engineered musical marvels.

Take, for example, the most popular track, "Pipe Dream," in which thousands of animated balls take on a life of their own, popping out of an intricate system of pipes and barrels and bouncing, with percussive precision, onto all varieties of strings, drums, xylophones, timbales, cowbells... it's just hypnotically amazing. The same holds true for all of these videos, and while the colorful 3D rendering of Animusic (first released in 2001) is no longer state-of-the-art, the underlying mechanics remain timelessly appealing. For this special edition DVD released in 2004, Lytle opens his toy-box to reveal the creative process of Animusic from conceptual drawings to final 3D rendering. There's also a "solo-cam" function allowing viewers to switch angular focus from one instrument to another, along with animated set-construction demonstrations to show how everything fits together in the realm of Animusic. The 5.1-channel surround mix makes Animusic a perfect demonstration disc for high-end video systems (this is nothing if not a geek's delight), and Lytle's first animation (from 1996) is included along with a sneak-peek at Animusic 2, the follow-up DVD released in 2005. --Jeff Shannon,

Book Image Animusic 2 - A New Computer Animation Video Album (2005)
Director: Wayne Lytle
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DVD Highlights:
* 8 unique music animations
* All 8 animations in Widescreen (16:9) AND Fullscreen (4:3)
* Both Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround and 2.0 Stereo mixes
* Fully animated musical menus
* Director's Commentary
* Fold-out 4-panel menu structure diagram insert

Special Features:
* STARSHIP GROOVE - multi-angle (3 views)
* POGO STICKS - backstage rehearsal
* RESONANT CHAMBER - split-view (6 windows)
* CATHEDRAL PICTURES - set construction
* PIPE DREAM 2 - render progression
* FIBER BUNDLES - multi-angle (4 mixes)
* GYRO DRUMS - split-view (4 windows)
* HEAVY LIGHT - set construction
* HEAVY LIGHT - close-ups
* Over 250 Art Development Stills

Book Image Getting Started in Watercolor
Walter Foster
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This Walter Foster Art Studio DVD features fundamental instruction for watercolor methods and techniques from accomplished artist Joan Hansen. The DVD offers a cost-effective and more convenient alternative to attending an artist's workshop—viewers can choose from a menu of basic techniques, as well as pause or replay segments of the instruction.

Book Image Introduction to Weaving - VHS

Deborah Chandler's instructional video teaching weaving techniques for beginners.

Book Image Kandinsky (1996)
Portrait of an Artist

Wassily Kandinsky painted the first totally abstract work and thereby created a milestone in modern art. A native of Russia, he taught at Munich's famous Bauhaus and ended up in Paris as a leader of the Abstract Impressionist movement. Kandinsky's emotional use of color and form pulsates throughout this presentation, filmed during a major retrospective at the Centre Georges Pompidou. VHS format.

Book Image Linnea in Monet's Garden - DVD
Lena Anderson and Christina Bjork have turned their popular children's book into a charming, simply animated introduction to the work of Impressionist painter Claude Monet. Linnea, a vibrant little Swedish girl, is intrigued by the paintings of gardens she sees in a book in the home of her friend, Mr. Bloom. Together they go to Paris, where they visit the Marmottan, a little-known museum with an exceptional collection of Monets. Linnea discovers the familiar paintings are just "blobs and smears" up close, but become recognizable flowers when seen at the proper distance. Mr. Bloom explains that Monet sought to suggest the play of light on water and foliage, rather than recording it in detail. The next day, they make their pilgrimage to Giverny, to walk amid the scenery Monet painted. Linnea is bright and well-mannered but never priggish; her relationship with Mr. Bloom suggests mutual affection and respect. The animation itself is fairly minimal--comparable to Saturday morning cartoons--but the story and well-photographed paintings make up for its limits. Linnea could easily be expanded into a series that would teach children about the life and work of other important artists. --Charles Solomon

Book Image Monet: Shadow & Light

Monet: Shadow and Light presents a rich portrayal of the trials of a struggling but stubborn Claude Monet and how a boy with budding talent shows him the importance of family. Set in 1869, five years before the Impressionist movement was recognized, 29 year-old Monet paints his view of the world while trying to support his young family with his art. Settling on the Seine near Paris, Monet discovers landscapes and people that inspire his art. Unfortunately, he also has to deal with a lack of understanding from his father, his creditors, and especially from harsh critics whose narrow-minded attitudes thwart acceptance by the art world.

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