| [FINAL ASSIGNMENT] Infographic on breast cancer

Infographic video on the marketing of breast cancer.

Infographic video on the marketing of breast cancer.

Click on the image above to view the video on YouTube.

Yeah ! It is finally done !

2 minute infographic video on the marketing of breast cancer. This video is a digital media work that exemplifies techniques and skills learned my DART 381 class (Digital Concepts and Multimedia).

Vectors and Animation created by Roxanne Desrosiers (2013).
Script by Roxanne Desrosiers.
Voiceover done by Myriam Baronet-Bellegarde.

Music: “Smooth This Out” from FreeStock Music.

| Alone Together

The path ahead is challenging but clear: we need to start reclaiming conversations once again. Icon Source: Entypo.

The path ahead is challenging but clear: we need to start reclaiming conversations once again.
Icon Source: Entypo.

Click on the image above to view the video.

This week’s viewing is a TED Talk by Sherry Turkle, professor of the Social Studies of Science and Technology at the MIT. She has spent the last 30 years researching the psychology of people’s relationships with technology.

What struck me at once was the title of the video itself: it emphasizes how we seem to be brought together by technology, yet these elements keep us isolated from each other in terms of social and human interactions. We have never been so connected, yet never so alienated from each other.

In her video, Turkle explains how not too long ago, scientists were trying to figure out how they were going to keep computers busy: for example, they wondered if people would be ready to put their contacts and calendars in the hands of technology (which at the time seemed like a foolish idea, she explained, because people were too attached to the feel of paper). Ironically enough, now it is the other way around, it is the computers that are keeping us busy. Indeed, we seem to have become addicted to this mobile connectivity mainly because our phones, computers, tablets and other electronic devices are always on, and always on us. This developed a certain vulnerability in us, which Turkle explains by the constant connection technology offers. Indeed, we have become intertwined in this mix between reality and virtual life. As a result, we seem to avoid real life commitments (like talking on the phone) and we prefer texting than talk to a person face to face. Turkle clearly states that we have developed an addiction to technology, but we are nowhere near accepting of letting go of this “drug”. In other words, we are slaves to our technology, but we like it.

Another important issue that Turkle mentions in her talk is that we have become too busy communicating to think, or even to create. Distractions are all around us, all the time; we cannot think without being interrupted.Therefore, we have lost the notion of being alone, and we do not know how to restore ourselves in solitude. Even in the most intimately alone time, we do not take the time to reflect on one’s self; instead, we see this free time as an opportunity to check our cellphones one last time… Even when we go the use the bathroom, most of us take our phones with us !

Needless to say that this flood of connections affect the self in many ways, since we are becoming lonely, longing for friends yet fearing the actual long-term commitment that comes with an actual in-flesh relationship. It is obvious that the time has come for us to turn the camera towards ourselves, to look ourselves in the mirror and make corrections on our addictive behavior. Like Turkle said in her video, the path ahead is challenging but clear: it is time to reclaim and start conversations again.

| Art & Synesthesia

The synesthetic experience of a synesthete is a real and concrete sensory phenomenon. Icon Source: Entypo.

The synesthetic experience of a synesthete is a real and concrete sensory phenomenon.
Icon Source: Entypo.

The reading for this week, “Art and Synesthesia” by Dr. Hugo Heyrman, highlights the relation between art as a synesthetic experience, and the experiences synesthetes have on a daily basis. Although I was familiar with the term synesthesia, I was not aware that synesthetes could actually have more than two linked senses. I was also surprised to learn that most synesthetes have incredible memory abilities as well; I thought this was true only for autists.

First of all, art is about moving the viewer by making them connect emotionally to the piece. That phenomenon itself leaves room for some synesthetic experience from the viewer, since he will hopefully connect unrelated concepts when engaging with art. This could be related to the cross-sensory perception that natural-born synesthetes have, which is what inspired artists from different times to experiment and cross all kinds of borders in their art. For example, the text mentions Luigi Russolo, a Futurist composer who experimented with music, sound, noise and the grain of voice. He created noise-generating instruments, which allowed the inclusion of noise into his musical compositions.

Furthermore, the wonder of synesthesia is the ability to trigger senses due to the stimulation of other senses. When this condition is transposed to art, one obtains paintings that can evoke sounds, pictures that can evoke textures, sounds that can evoke images, images that can evoke smells, smells that can evoke visuals… the combinations are endless ! And needless to say that the experiences differ most of the time according to the person who experiences the art piece, just like the experience of one synesthete differs from another.

Like mentioned in the text, synesthesia enabled artists of modern art movements of 20th Century (Expressionism, Futurism, Dada, Surrealism, De Stijl, Abstract Expressionism, etc.) to reach new heights of creativity. Nowadays however, art as we used to know it has been replaced by multimedia, which kind of achieve the multi-sensorial synesthetic experience by the means of different medias. As we continue to create new technologies, we should never forget that whatever the nature of the piece, the viewer should continue to be engaged in moving and emotional experiences.

| [Assignment 03] Titling Sequence

Title Sequence for an infographic video on breast cancer.

Title Sequence for an infographic video on breast cancer.

Click on the image above to view the video on YouTube.

Short 10-second title sequence for my DART 381 class (Digital Concepts and Multimedia) for a 2-minute infographics video on breast cancer.

Animation created by Roxanne Desrosiers (2013).

For educational purposes, the music used in this video is an instrumental version of Atlas, by Coldplay (2013).

Obviously, I decided to do the opening sequence on pinkwashing, so I will be able to reuse it for  my final video. I kept the general aesthetics that I presented in my proposal, so that there will be a certain unity between the title sequence and the infographics itself. Music and sound effects have not been added to the titling sequence, since I have not yet decided if music or a voiceover will be used in the final video.

| Patch for Adobe After Effects on OS X Mavericks

Quick link to a patch to install Adobe CS6 After Effects update.

Quick link to a patch to install Adobe CS6 After Effects update.

My friend shared one very useful link on her own class blog in order to update Adobe CS6 After Effects so that it will run with Apple’s new operating system (OS X Mavericks). It saved me a lot of time, so I thought it would be a good idea for me to also share it on my blog to make someone else’s life easier.

Click on the following link to land on Adobe’s download page: www.adobe.com/support/downloads/

During the installation process, I heard you may be asked to close the “Adobe Crash Deamon” application. Essentially, this application is a process that monitors Adobe apps for crashes and helps report them. I did not have this problem, but you can always follow these steps to close the application:

  1. Open your Activity Monitor (Application > Utilities).
  2. Using the search field up top, search for Adobe Crash Deamon.
  3. Delete it.

After that, you are ready to finalize your installation process, which only takes a few minutes. Afterwards, you will be able to open up  After Effects without any problems !

| Titling Sequences & The Role of Saul Bass

Saul Bass was a Jewish-American designer, who became famous both for his corporate identity and graphic work as well as for his contribution in the film industry. Born in 1920 in the Bronx, New York, he created some of the most compelling images of American postwar visual culture, such as corporate identity campaigns for AT&T, Quaker Oats and United Airlines (Bass and Kirkham). However, in the late 1950s, Bass extended the limits of his graphic design career by starting to make film titles. Without a doubt, among his best-known works in film are the title sequences for such classic films as Otto Preminger’s The Man with the Golden Arm (1955) and Alfred Hitchock’s Psycho (1960), two motion pictures that have played a significant role in the development of this new genre in film industry.

Before the advent of Bass’s title sequences in the 1950s, not much action was happening in the actual titles sequences. Film titles in American movies of the early to mid-1950s generally followed the style of a rather static kind of graphic design mostly found in typical Hollywood title designs at the time. These early title sequences, called “title backgrounds”, consisted of a fairly short list of credits, written in unimaginative lettering, displayed over a static image that often represented the genre of the film (Kirkham). In fact, in an interview with Los Angeles-based graphic designer Pamela Haskin, Saul Bass himself qualified older titles as being made “strictly with typography, mostly bad typography, and constituted the period when people were settling in, going to restrooms, or involved in chitchat” (13). In other words, the projectionists at the time only pulled the curtains once the titles were finished, letting the audience know that the actual movie was starting. Thus, nothing was truly genuine in film sequences before the arrival of Saul Bass in the film industry in the late 1950s.

My initial thoughts about what a title can do was to set mood and the prime underlying core of the film’s story, to express the film in some metaphorical way. I saw the title as a way of conditioning the audience, so that when the film actually began, viewers would already have an emotional resonance with it.
– Saul Bass

Opening title sequence for the AMC series Mad Men. Image Source: http://suvanisuri.files.wordpress.com/2011/07/mm_end_frame1.jpg

Opening title sequence for the AMC series Mad Men.
Image Source: http://suvanisuri.files.wordpress.com/2011/07/mm_end_frame1.jpg

With Bass’s collaborations in films such as Otto Preminger’s The Man with the Golden Arm and Alfred Hitchock’s Psycho, the American designer served as a kind of founding figure who paved the way for graphic artists to follow, developing an aesthetic which has the ability to offer a reading of the film and its main theme before the film even begins. The typography combined with the animated graphic elements allow this to happen in Bass’s opening sequences. Needless to say that even today, we still have homages to Bass: the opening sequence for the AMC television seriesMad Men, which combines several elements from Bass’s previous works, is among the most current ones.



Bass, Jennifer, Pat Kirkham and Martin Scorsese (Foreword). Saul Bass: A Life in Film and Design. Laurence King Publishers, 2011. Print.

Haskin, Pamela. “Saul, Can You Make Me a Title?” Film Quarterly. Vol. 50, No. 1 (Automn 1966): 10-17. JSTOR. Web. 23 September 2013.

Kirkham, Pat. “Reassessing the Saul Bass and Alfred Hitchcock Collaboration.” West 86th: A Journal of Decorative Arts, Design History, and Material Culture. Vol. 18, No. 1 (Spring Summer 2011): 50-85. JSTOR. Web. 4 October 2013.


One of the graphic elements that will be used in my animated infographics video.

One of the graphic elements that will be used in my animated infographics video.

The main goal of my project is to create a clear animated infographics video that will inform viewers about breast cancer and the marketing of its symbol, the pink ribbon. My animated video will start with the data: I will give the viewer a few general facts about the disease. Then, I will give a global picture of the marketing of breast cancer (and of the pink ribbon), in order to raise awareness in the viewer of the irony that lays behind this so-called “noble cause”, and highlight the need for harmony in the many organizations that represent it. I will use animated simple graphic elements, quotes and typography (itself animated), as well as sound and visual effects in order to bring to life this delicate subject matter. Also, I plan to have narration in my video: it will most likely be a female voice, that will tell the story in a rather humorous tone. By doing so, I hope to touch my audience, as well as make them realize the urgency to act and ask questions in order to find the proper cure and finally put an end to the epidemic that is breast cancer.

Click on the link below to view my brainstorming process for the video, the gathering of data and the sketched storyboard for my animation.


| Think Before You Pink

While I was watching Léa Pool’s documentary Pink Ribbons, Inc. as part of my research for the final assignment of my multimedia class, I learned about an organization called Think Before You Pink. This specific organization is a project of Breast Cancer Action, which was launched in 2002 in response to the growing concern about the overwhelming number of pink ribbon products and promotions on the market. Their campaign calls for more transparency and accountability by companies that take part in breast cancer fundraising, and encourages consumers to ask critical questions about pink ribbon promotions.

The truth is that companies put pink ribbons on absolutely anything in the name of breast cancer, and this year is no exception; you can find the pink ribbon symbol on cleaning agents, groceries, toilet paper, office supplies, beauty products, apparel, alcohol… you name it ! (Karuna Jaggar, Executive Director of the organizationOdds are you can find a pink ribbon option almost anywhere.

This website helped me a lot for my documentation and data gathering for my infographic video about breast cancer, since it addresses the matter with the critical eye I was looking for. I think that it is important to raise awareness of this tidal wave of pinkwashing, especially as we are halfway through Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

| Information is Beautiful

Visualizing the major causes of death in the 20th Century.

Visualizing the major causes of death in the 20th Century.

This week I started doing some research on infographics videos, because I am very much interested in exploring this medium for my final assignment.

While I was doing some preliminary research, I stubbled upon this very captivating site called Information is Beautiful. Basically, their goal is to dedicate the website to distilling the world’s data, information and knowledge into beautiful, interesting and, above all, useful visualizations, infographics and diagrams.

One infographic that relates specifically to the topic I am planning on working on for my final assignment illustrates 20th Century Death Causes. I fact, I plan to work on breast cancer, and according to the visual below, cancer is not the number one cause of death around the world. Because we hear so much about cancer and its prevention in our Western society, we would be tempted to think that cancer would have to number 1 death toll worldwide. Therefore, it is surprising to see that other non-communicable diseases (excluding cancer of course, which has a category of its own) are the number cause of death, representing 1,970 million deaths.

Cancer and its death toll.

Cancer and its death toll.

Cancer is the cause for 530 millions deaths around the globe, and breast cancer alone causes 36 millions deaths (the most significant one being lung cancer).

I might consider doing some sort of circular diagram (animated, of course) for my final infographics video.