After scratching the surface of Adobe After Effects, I tried my hand at producing some animated embroidery through the medium of textile GIFs. This is all experimental right now and I don’t know how far I will go with it. So far the results are pretty crappy – but I’m trying something new and learning a lot.
I started by exploring the different ways I could to use After Effects, Illustrator and Photoshop to make some simple GIFs. My goal here was to push it into embroidery in some way but first I actually had to make something move. I kept things really simple. Illustrator does a nice step-repeat-copy function which I used to rotate an extruded cube around an axis.
The advantage here is that I got a nice clean line image that I imported into the PE Design software for digitising into an embroidery.
A basic start, but a start at least.
After that I tried fiddling around with the different line densities and directions in PE Design to see what I could get. I also moved onto text and incorporated a word from my studies in computer programming into the animated embroidery experiments.
Digital to Embroidery to Digital
As I was working I was considering the process I was engaged in, creating a digital file, converting it into an physical embroidery outcome and then converting that back into a digital format of the GIF. The resulting animated textile piece crosses the boundaries between physical and digital words while managing to retain the qualities of stitch. I enjoyed the fact that small “glitches” in the form of stray threads or slightly misaligned frames entered into the work of their own accord, I felt it added a dimension of authenticity to the GIF, evidence of its textile origins.
As I continued working and I understood more about the process I became more ambitious with the scale. I embarked on a mission to make a quilt. I went back to my trusted cube but made it a little more intricate by combining three cubes all rotating in different directions and combining the blue and red colour scheme.