In-class exercise: Room Tone

Class exercise with Wilson.

In this lesson we explored the technical aspect of sound production, particularly the room tone.

Room tone is the ‘silent’ recording of the environment sound. It is used during the postproduction to fill in any sound gaps or imbalance between different scenes.

Here’s our attempt:

we've tried

Exercise 02: Discovering Themes

One of my recent favourite movies has to be The Martian, a sci-fi film about an astronaut’s solo attempt to stay alive on Mars after being assumed dead during a dust storm.

the martian

An group of astronauts are on the mission to explore Mars. A sudden dust storm attack separated botanist Mark Watney with the rest. Presumed dead, the crew returns back to Earth without him. He wakes up after the disaster, alone.

While gathering any possible resources to increase his food stock, Watney has to find a way to contact NASA for assistance. He begins his journey on the vast and unfamiliar land to find a way home.

The themes of the movies are

  • Man Against Nature (survival)
  • Triumph Over Adversity (perseverance)

These concepts recur during the following scenes:

  • Watney constructs a potato farm to increase food supply.
  • He manages to contact NASA with an old abandoned probe.
  • Crops are destroyed from an accidental explosion, cutting off his only food supply
  • China offers help with its booster, Taiyang Shen, when NASA’s supply probe exploded from the lack of preparation.
  • Crew is determined to return back to Mars for Watney despite risking their life.

Another film that holds the similar theme of Triumph Over Adversity is The Maze RunnerThe story, too, is set in an extreme environment that pushes characters’ limits to overcome disasters. Thomas arrives to a glade where a young boy, food supply and weapons are sent over every month. Outside the glade lays a maze infested with nocturnal Grievers (spider-like creatures) who are eventually the driving forces behind the boys’ journey to escape the trapped world.

The Martian would be a better projection of the theme Triumph Over Adversity for its prominence of a character trying to overcome multiple hurdles as the story progresses. Both movies can easily put characters into their survival instincts in their dangerously atypical world. Martin allows audience to grasp the theme with just one character (Mark Watney), while Maze Runner concurrently offers complexity of relationships between multiple characters. As such, The Martian is more direct in conveying the idea of human perseverance.

2D Project 3: Ego

Ego, a sense of self-importance, is something that is not for open discussion. Many fear the public judgement for acknowledging personal strengths and weaknesses. It is important to exercise self-judgement, where we could learn and grow as an individual.

Here are the 4 equations to self-exploration:

____ + ____ = Me
____ - ____ = Better Me
____ x ____ = Ideal Me 
____ +/- ____ = Me In 5 Years

To start off, I listed out possible adjectives or features that reflect my personality.

Proj3_08_adjectivesI filtered down to the following adjectives, in which the best representation of me:




I love travelling overseas, immersing into the local culture and meeting people with alternative perspectives in life. Also, I am pretty bad in navigation. I need, the Google Map while travelling or to rely on my travel mates. When both fails, I find myself in unexpected situation, good and bad.

One of my spontaneous overseas trip happened recently in Penang. With a map on the hands, we had the best cuisines and met the friendliest shop owners. Company is definitely what makes travelling meaningful. I solve the equation with a group photo of me with my friends, whom I have been learning from to be a better person, a better me. Hence, I decided to compose this set at a very personal level by including my own photos.


hasisipark-01 by Hasisi Park

e39924408ffced0f21fb016d83302749 by Mitchell J. Goldstein

0beda1946636c3e476b2936c3fbbf662 by imnothalfthemaniusedtobe


Triad harmony of blue, orange and green is used. Photos of the same hues are put together to create multiple exposure effects, juxtaposed with landmarks/places from different countries.

Blue hued photos –

BLUE-HK2 (Hong Kong Ocean Park, 2015)BLUE-MY (Terengganu, Malaysia, 2014) PEOPLE4(Siem Reap, Cambodia, 2015)

Orange hued photos –

RED-HK2(Kowloon, Hong Kong, 2015)RED-CN2(Toronto, Canada, 2014)RED-CAM2(Siem Reap, Cambodia, 2015)

Green hued photos –

GREEN-CN (Toronto, Canada, 2014)GREEN-CN3 (Toronto, Canada, 2014)PEOPLE (Toronto, Canada, 2014)

Photos overlaid:blue huegreen hue

red hue

Our first assignment working with lines came to my mind, particularly with distracted and indecisive. Compact lines were cluttered in one area to create an irregular form. It is the same when one gets lost while navigating, walking in circles with uncertainty.

distracted-min indecisive

I decided to intertwine yarn threads with structure before losing into separate ways.  Colours of the yarns and background are selected from the same triad harmony.

Proj3_08Proj3_06proj3_yarn proj3_yarn8 proj3_yarn4proj3_yarn3 proj3_yarn6 proj3_yarn10proj3_watercolor3 proj3_watercolor proj3_watercolor2

Final Compositions



+ Bad sense of direction


= ME

proj3_ME proj3_ME CLOSEUP



Fear can take over and hold you back in making decisions. It is a psychological obstacle when you feel insecure and bare. Relating to my acrophobia, I imagine myself about to dive into the deep swirling ocean. A better me means to be more courageous in life, to take a leap forward without caring too much. Fear should not entirely be eliminated in life, however, for its ability to motivate and push my limits further.


van gogh by Vincent Van Gogh

van gogh2 by Vincent Van Gogh 


Initial attempts were to blend shades of blue to create different tones, but they did not turn out to be as vibrant in poster paints. Optical blending technique is used instead to contrast atmospheric moods. Bubble wraps build a sensual mood of feeling nervous, in need to hide for protection.

proj03_blue2 proj03_blue5 proj03_blue3 shades of blueProj3_02 Proj3_04 Proj3_05 copy

Final Compositions

12204853_10207109112338733_1843275412_n 12226755_10207109112378734_1006731029_n
– fear
12212201_10207109112258731_248284140_n 12202019_10207109112098727_1747930975_n
= better me

12204615_10207109111978724_785134058_n 12208234_10207109112498737_1245841677_n



Curiosity allows me to open the doors of knowledge. However, I can take very long to get comfortable in a new environment, often missing the opportunity to interact with new people. An ideal me is to remain passionate in learning not just in books but through experiences. Becoming a more expressive and adaptive individual would help me to reach out to people of different backgrounds.


f287adf18474cdbb7339a9e445e6fed8 by thepairabirds

2e7ba85e87f21174568a4dce77669900 by AnOldTrumpet

63126b931eda40f0207d913b85217417  by Catherine Lazar Odell


Curiosity is represented with cat for its nature behaviour. Triad harmony of blue, green and orange are used. Overlaying primary colour wheels create secondary colours (violet, green) to illustrate adaptability. By adjusting the lens of different colours (embracing new perspectives), we gain wisdom in new ways. Monochrome harmony from the Ideal Me composition is used to allow the colour wheels to pop.

Proj3_03 copyProj3_05proj03_cat4 proj03_colorwheel  proj03_cat proj03_cat2 proj03_colorcat

Final Compositions



x adaptable


= ideal me



I love how production set design could elevate stage atmosphere, providing performers with an illuminated world to tell a story. In 5 years, I would see myself working towards to become a spatial/scenic designer.


3af8f7c1244515c557035d4849cf6c1b by Leonardo Criolani

7e0e0be69636a2728abe5e7147956259 from Pinterest

cowbellAn ordinary cowbell


Analogous harmony of yellow and orange is used. Aluminium sheet is bent to shape like a cowbell instrument to represent performing art. To strike a contrast from the smooth and shiny surface of the sheet, I decided to use corroded foams for its porous texture. A combination of both would present a decorative instrument that gives pleasure to the eyes and ears.


proj03_cowbell proj03_cowbell2 proj03_cowbell3 proj03_cowbell4  proj03_pd proj03_pd2 proj03_pd3 proj03_pd4

Final Compositions

performing arts 

proj3_PERFORMINGARTS proj03_cowbell5

x product design

proj3_PD proj3_PD CLOSEUP

= me in 5 years


So there you have it, a 2015 Yi Wen. And I am already excited to meet the future me 🙂

“Who in the world am I? Ah, that’s the great puzzle.”

 Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland


2D Project 3: Colour Harmonies (Research)

Harmony /ˈhɑːməni/

Definition: the quality of forming a pleasing and consistent whole

There are three attributes in a colour – hue, saturation and value.
  • Hue refers to a colour/shade
  • Saturation refers to the colour intensity
  • Value refers to the tone, from light to dark
And this is what happens when colours collide euphonically.
1. Monochrome harmony

Value and saturation are present with no hue involved.

Middle Age by Andrew Hitchen ©

(Scratch Productions, Andrew Hitchen, Flickr)

2. analogous harmony

Use of one or more neighbouring hues on the colour palette.

Example by

Art for new @jodyhighroller socks available for preorder tommorrow with the Purple Icon, chopped by @ogronc on @maddecent

(Mike Jones, Flickr)

3. Analogous harmony warm and cool

Warm is represented by spectrum of colour red, while cool is represented by blue shades.

(Zoran Pungerčar, Flickr)


(SOMArts Cultural Center, Ajuan Mance, Flickr)

4. Complementary hues

Combination of two hues at the opposite ends of the colour palette.

Example by

mere taga metsa taga kannet

(vaula, Flickr)

5. Split Complementary

Combination of 3 or more hues at the opposing ends of palette.

Triad Harmony:

Example by


(Kid Kolorki, Flickr)

Tetrad Harmony:

Example by


(bayananderson, Flickr)


4D Project 2: Sequentially – Impossibilities of Being


Tired of life, the dreamer takes a nap. In her unconscious world she meets dream, who brings her into its time capsule. They revisit their childhood times that were filled with happiness and laughter. How life was simple but rich, pure but contented. Dream reminds dreamer that whenever she feels like giving up, remember where and how she started. She is, a dreamer with dream.

As attachment grows, dreamer finds it tough to withdraw from the unconscious world. She contemplates if she should leave. She might not see dream again. It lets go of her assuringly, whispers,

“Wide-eyed walker, don’t betray me

I will wake one day, don’t delay me

Wide-eyed leaver, always going”

These photos are mainly taken by me during my overseas trip and photography hangouts with friends. I decided to give a very personal take on this project, portraying the struggle I have been facing. They were composed with Photoshop to create an illusional world with dramatic hue, saturation and distortion.

It was overall an very exciting project to work on, especially to be able to thread my photos collection together into a representation of my dream. By including captions to the composition gave a direction flow, while music builds an atmospheric mood around the audiences.

Research/ Artist Reference

Photo used: Self portrait by Sally Mann
Lyrics (Caption): Grown Ocean by Fleet Foxes
Music: First Kiss by Ulzzang Pistol


Salvador Dali
Dali Atomicus by Salvador Dali, 1948
Dali Atomicus, 1948

Kelly Victoria – weirdfoxes.tumblr.comKV1 KV2 KV3 KV4


2D Project 3: Colour Analysis (Research)

Colours are powerful. They stimulate and provoke human emotions, manipulating the way we feel. According to Colour Affects, here are the emotions represented by the 11 basic colours –

Primary colours include red, blue and yellow.


Positive – Physical courage, strength, warmth, energy, basic survival, stimulation, masculinity, excitement
Negative – Defiance, aggression, visual impact, strain

Jam Hippy @ EDGE Creative Collective 7



Lighter tint of the red will produce pink.


Positive – Physical tranquillity, nurture, warmth, femininity, love, sexuality, survival of the species
Negative – Inhibition, emotional claustrophobia, emasculation, physical weakness

The secret of the universe

(Señor Salme, Flickr)



Positive: Intelligence, communication, trust, efficiency, serenity, duty, logic, coolness, reflection, calm
Negative: Coldness, aloofness, lack of emotion, unfriendliness

portrait x2

(Jozelle Dyer,Flickr)



Positive: Optimism, confidence, self-esteem, extraversion, emotional strength, friendliness, creativity
Negative: Irrationality, fear, emotional fragility, depression, anxiety, suicide

Self portrait

(davidad64, Flickr)


Mixing all the 3 primary colours (red, blue, yellow) together results in brown.


Positive: Seriousness, warmth, Nature, earthiness, reliability, support
Negative: Lack of humour, heaviness, lack of sophistication


(Hiroyuki Izutsu, Flickr)


Secondary colours are green, violet and orange.


Positive: Harmony, balance, refreshment, universal love, rest, restoration, reassurance, environmental awareness, equilibrium, peace
Negative: Boredom, stagnation, blandness, enervation


(Flora Chang, Flickr)



Positive: Spiritual awareness, containment, vision, luxury, authenticity, truth, quality
Negative: Introversion, decadence, suppression, inferiority


(Karen, Flickr)



Positive: Physical comfort, food, warmth, security, sensuality, passion, abundance, fun
Negative: Deprivation, frustration, frivolity, immaturity


(Pashandy Ep, Flickr)


Shading colours are black, grey and white.


Positive: Sophistication, glamour, security, emotional safety, efficiency, substance
Negative: Oppression, coldness, menace, heaviness


(Denis St. John, Flickr)



Positive: Psychological neutrality
Negative: Lack of confidence, dampness, depression, hibernation, lack of energy


(Serdar Saygi, Flickr)



Positive: Hygiene, sterility, clarity, purity, cleanness, simplicity, sophistication, efficiency
Negative: Sterility, coldness, barriers, unfriendliness, elitism


(alloparis.allotokyo, Flickr)



2D Project 2: Rhymes

To get a taste of how children books are illustrated, I flipped through a few of them and noticed a particular style among them.

001 002 003

For instance, the illustration from the book Safety On We Go is drawn with fine and grainy lines which is a certain type of texture style oftenly used. Characters tend to have staged poses. They can sometimes fill the entire page with small intrigued objects around the main character (refer to Trina Schart Hyman’s artwork). Despite being assigned to reinterpret rhymes in a different manner, I somehow would like to keep few of these elements in my compositions for these are what makes children rhymes magical.

from A Child’s Christmas in Wales, Trina Schart Hyman


Research – Surreal Artists

Surrealism is a breakthrough for conventional art, as it plays with viewer’s perspective and sense of proportion. Here are the artists I have gotten inspiration from –

Edward Gorey uses pen and ink to illustrate daunting scenes. His artworks are heavily filled with short and fine lines, leaving a very compact and eerie impression.

edward gorey

Anita Kunz adds in humour to her illustrations, which can better provoke emotions and grow viewers’ interests in knowing the message behind these artworks. anita kunz anita kunz2

Wolfgang Paalen plays with simple shapes on these art pieces while working on the negative spaces in between.Wolfgang Paalen 2 Wolfgang Paalen

*All photos are found from Pinterest. 

Process – exploration in editing 

I used Hey Diddle Diddle as my practicing subjects on Photoshop to understand how filters like threshold and transformation tools work.



Using just two subjects, the cat and fiddle, they created a systematic and repetitive layout. I tried playing with Threshold filter on the cats, which gave me an insightful collage of shadow variables. They can bring across different moods, less shadow intensified cat looks innocent whereas those with darker shading look scary and mysterious. Fiddles are aligned neatly to fill up the background and slightly tilted diagonally to create a singular movement in synced to the cats. Arrangement is overall clean and neat, but lack of creativity.

Repetition of the same image and variation of shading values will be seen in my final composition 3: She had so many children she didn’t know what to do.


As the original photo of the moon already has densely filled lines and pattern, I decided to keep its essence and dramatise with Threshold filter. Also, I can achieve the kind of compressed fine lines drawing style found in traditional children books. Cows are filtered with Path Blur to show jumping motion. It is one of my discoveries in pushing subjects to look more 3-dimensional.

Highly textured subjects will be seen in final composition 4: Couldn’t put Humpty together again; blur filter in composition 1: And the dish ran away with the spoon.



Images are inversely contrasted for further experimentation. Highly exposed subjects pop out with its large white spaces, complemented by a darker shade in the background. Despite the intentional juxtapose, it still looks boring for its literal context interpretation.

As such, I tried adding images that require audiences to decipher its underlying meanings. It will be seen in final composition 2: The little dog laughed to see such sport and 3: She had so many children she didn’t know what to do.



Final Compositions

1) And the dish ran away with the spoon1_DISH_SPOON
Story description

Jumping onto the table, a deliberately dressed dish leaps forward to reach for the flying spoon. Her old partner, who is laying on the floor lifelessly, seems to have given up in the relationship. She has decided to leave for good. If you would look closely at the top right corner of the composition, a policeman arrives to arrest the adultery couple. However, his clumsiness has landed him way too far from his target.

design principles used
  • Emphasis – Background is blurred to ‘pop’ out foreground elements
  • Movement – Arrangement of the laying spoon, dish and flying spoon creates a diagonal visual continuity across the composition
  • Proportion – Stark contrast in sizes between the policeman and culinary to prioritise attention to the main characters – dish and spoons
2) The little dog laughed to see such sport2_DOG_LAUGHS
story description

“What is taking him so long?” the pack of dogs wonders. They are dying to play catching with their new found friend. Hopping onto each other’s back, they elevate themselves to look for their friend. As the last dog peers over the little boy’s back to see what is he up to. He is so engrossed into the gameboy, he did not hear the mocking laughters coming from his back.

design principles used 
  • Rhythm – Dogs face in alternate directions
  • Gradation – Size of dogs slowly decreases
  • Balance – The platform that little boy is sitting on occupies half of the composition, leaving the other half of the space for the dogs
3) She had so many children she didn’t know what to do 3_CHILDREN
story description

Looking into the mirror, Frida Kahlo imagines how her child would look like. How she wish to embrace her own child in her arms. The faces of the illusional child get blurrier as they float nearer to her, as she knows it is impossible to realise this dream.

design principles used
  • Rhythm –  Faces of child form ring of circles around the mirror
  • Balance –  Symmetrical composition
  • Gradation – Value shade of the faces fades off into the center
  • Movement – Overlapped faces around the mirror are arranged in a manner that directs optical focal point to Frida Kahlo at the center
  • Harmony – Despite an overwhelming repetition of faces filling the composition, they exist harmoniously by gradual shading and similar movements
4) couldn’t put humpty together again4_HUMPTY-min
story description 

Humpty is broken and cannot be mended. It is thrown into the infinite galaxy hole to be disposed permanently. Even in the last few seconds, four formulated hearts are still trying their best to save Humpty. Pumping and pumping, with their veins popping out and muscles about to tear. The mission is not over until Humpty has its last breath.

design principles used
  • Diversity – Variety of heart illustrations
  • Balance – Symmetrical composition
  • Movement – Visual continuity from the hearts of four corners to Humpty
  • Contrast – Blurred background suggests the long distance between the subjects and galaxy