Through The Fire Tattoo Animation

My first assignment for my Frame by Frame class was to recontextualize the meaning of an image through the use of Photoshop and After Effects.  The photo I chose was of a cool tattooed man that was watching the West Indian Parade. Vanity requires me to use a photo that I took myself, naturally.

I did some editing of Chaka Khan’s song, “Through The Fire”, in Audacity, and I used a fire sound clip from online. I made a bunch of layers in Photoshop  on top of my photo and masked them in After Effects. The Dragon slowly awakens, builds up his power, and then releases a burst of flame. Huzzah! The Man’s tattoo really makes for a striking photo, but when you think about tattoos, the problem is that they do not move or change. Their purpose is permanence.

However, what if tattoos could come alive and say something? What if they could move, and breathe, and take on a new meaning of their own? I think that if tattoos were not permanent, and if they constantly changed, their meaning would be completely different altogether. In the case of my animation, something the man feels brings his dragon tattoo to life. It spews forth flames, and they both fade to black.

To me, the animation of a tattoo that is supposed to be static completely alters the purpose and context of its meaning. It is no longer permanent, immutable, and inert. Instead, it is alive, vibrant, and explosive!


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