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Project Presentation for Render (2021)

The film “Render” was created with research in dance movement, digital animation, projection programming, and film. The research process of transcending physical and digital movement was conducted in three parts: embodied movement generation, transcending physical movement into digital movement, and merging the physical body with its own mediated movement. The exploration begins by transforming the physical, embodied movement of dancers into digital movement with illustrated animations. Using projection, the animated graphics are layered onto the physical body. The film captures the movements of the physical body, with the digital movement of that body, cohabiting in one mixed reality environment. 

The research uses methods of navigating space in both physical and digital realms by questioning how motion created on the sagittal, frontal, and transverse planes in dance correlates to the X-axis, Y-axis, and Z-axis in 3-D animation. Through the transformation of this process, two manipulations of dimension have occurred when rendering physical space into digital space, and back to a shared, mixed reality. In the mixed reality, the animation footage is projected onto the physical body via computer software and a projection unit. The physical body’s movement is determined by the animation and creates a duet between its current self and former, unmediated self. By utilizing the body as a canvas for digital animation, the film merges corporeality with intangible entities.  

This film is currently still a work in process with projected completion in Summer 2022. The film I have submitted is a draft to display the intention, quality, and outcomes of the process so far.  


Directed by Katie Phelan 

Cast: Mackenzee Albert, Katie Phelan, & Katherine Shamdin 

Choreography in collaboration with Mackenzee Albert, Katie Phelan, & Katherine Shamdin 

Animation, Film, & Edit by Katie Phelan 

Music by Jacob Smithburg 

Costumes by Juliana Waetcher 

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