Kinetic Typography: Gertrude Stein

Each line, each phrase of Gertrude Stein's poetry is like a single memory jumbled together with a lifetime of others. Some memories are faint while others are more vivid, but nonetheless they all leave a trace within us. The concept of the cross class project is the retelling of a heartbreaking moment in the life of one soul that was careless in love. I picked the two poems I felt showed the extreme transformation from naivety to maturity. In the translation from my printed artifact to the motion piece I wanted to focus on the layering aspect in regards to blending between multiple poems and evoking emotions.

Throughout this process I've encountered many obstacles, which I've learned much from. Firstly, I learned how to translate and execute the concept of simultaneity and layering in a motion piece. Understanding how to play out a concept in multiple situations forced me to also consider consistency within a motion piece, but also with the printed artifact. Lastly, I learned the hard way that files saved in After Effects CS5.5 will not open in older versions such as CS4.


  1. Sam,

    When watching your video I am defiantly getting the feeling of memory. The parts where the words come in at different times then they are originally written make complete sense to me. When I think of a certain memory sometimes I don't remember all of the things that happened immediately or even in the right order thus making the words come in out of order makes sense. The use of ink as a transition is a really smart idea. I appreciate the analog qualities of it. I also was at first not sure how you were going to connect the poems in a way that made sense but then the word heavy fades like the ink spot which creates a nice flow and contrast to the type. The music gives me a sense of memory as well. Maybe it is that I am thinking about a noise that would seem like it came from the past but it makes me have that feeling of calmness but the high notes also give me a feeling of anxiety. I also think that the use of different typefaces give another level to each of the phrases and words.
    Overall I really liked the animations and thought you did a really good job.


  2. I really appreciate how many different ways you managed to use t get your concept of memory across. While the music definitely sets the mood and is easily associated with that nostalgia feeling, you did a good job of controlling your type to fit well with it. Towards the beginning, you treated the type very delicately and revealed it slowly as if you easing the viewer into your poem.

    The ink spot creates a very interesting transition. It's definitely something I didn't expect - looking at delicate text on a clean white screen being washed away by black ink. I especially like the moment at 17 seconds where the bottom corner is fading away by the black. I really feel like that part is easily associated with memory, as if it were one memory fading into another or just the feeling of going back. I'm not sure how, but I almost wish I had more of that moment. However, if that were exaggerated more it may not have had the same effect. I think that the quickness of how fast it is gone is a big part of what makes it so interesting and nostalgic.

    I made a comment in class about how the music towards the end didn't correspond as well with the fast overlapping text. After watching it a few more times, with and without music, I think that I've changed my mind about that. When I watched it without the music, I felt almost as if the memory were turning into a bad one. When the final white begins to take over the rest of the screen, it seemed kind of panicked, like I wanted to stop visualizing that memory. When watching it with the calm music, however, it eased that feeling more so that it felt more like just the end of the memory. I think that if you would have done as I said and made the music heavier or more dramatic, it would have gave it more of that panicky feel, which I don't think is what you were going for.

    Altogether, I think you did a great job and took a very unique approach in experimenting with possibilities in AfterEffects. Good work!