Tag: #giftheportrait

CUNY – QCC – 2D Design Students GIF the Portrait for NET-ART.

CUNY QCC 2D Design Students “GIF the Portrait” for the NET-ART website.

One of the final projects in our foundation 2D design class here at CUNY QCC is a multi-fragmented modular project. It puts a display on the various skill sets acquired through out the semester. With the exception of turning the static exercises into motion graphics. The GIF the Portrait project is a public project that was created on one of my first tumblr blogs (you can view the tumblr archive here) a few years ago. It has grown and expanded over the last 3.5 years into a great ongoing diverse archive of animated GIFs. There are so many ways to put one’s own spin on things, especially in the “how”one may animate a portrait. In this context below, lets put an emphasis on starting with one.

How did we GIF this static Portrait of Pablo?

My QCC 2D design class indulged in the re-organization of a portrait project by using a headshot. The class selects one portrait (or 2 to create a hybrid image) and works with it as its subject. Like many of the previous classes before this one, the class chose none other than Mr. Picasso. Of course Picasso has great context with our foundation art course as his presence was strong in the technique of being one of the main creators of the collage technique, creating variations and constantly reinventing his work. The idea of using a portrait can easily be applied for other courses as it comes down to who inspires you and why? The project executes itself as a full class collaboration and online presentation. I am happy to share the student work and outcomes here on the Net Art website. This blog post serves as a tutorial and iteration for how you may get started participating. Are you an individual student or faculty member who wants to create your own version? Or perhaps you wish to use the project as a part of your up and coming class curriculum? I am happy to help answer questions and also facilitate the project if you wish. Get in touch.

What you see above is actually a stop motion animation consisting of 22 individual frames all sized at the same dimensions of 8.5″ X 11″. This part is important.

For the actual animation we used the ImgPlay app that is available here via iOS or Android

Its a great app that allows first time GIF makers or those interested in creating animations to get their feet wet! The app has several features and capabilities including output to both .gif and .mov video in small, medium and large file formats. This makes it easy to share the works on various web platforms and social media outlets.

Re-organizing the Composition and applying Variety – The steps:

Objectives: Re-organization of a representational image by generating a new series of non-representational variations.

Materials: X-acto knife, pair of scissors, glue sticks, multiple photo-copies of the image above. (You can play with lightness and darkness for print output if you wish to see more value contrasts in the animation.) If you are using an      X-acto knife rather than a scissors for cutting the photocopies, a self-healing cutting matte is recommended (if you have one, if not, cardboard works).

Size: Each new iteration should be sized at 8.5” X 11” for a smooth output.



1. Collect 5 or more of your photocopies.

2. Begin cutting and fragmenting the images into several pieces and parts by showing different shapes and form variations (see the image above).

3. Arrange and organize your pieces and parts by recomposing a diverse series of new compositions. Finalize the artworks by pasting down your pieces into place. You may work directly on one of the un-cut versions of the original image if it helps you keep with in the sizing format. The outcomes should be subjective and show variation in style and composition.

4. Gather all of the completed new works and lay them on top of each other. Photograph each completed artwork one at a time in the same position – remember keep them all at the same size (the viewfinder on a mobile device works very well!)

5. Download and open the ImgPlay app and add the images in the sequence that you would like to see. Toggle the animation speed and save your files – The App is available here via iOS or Android

6. Send your outcomes here! We would love to showcase your individual, class & student work in our growing archive of cross CUNY campus participants.