Concept and Ideation Task 4 – Kinetic Typography

During the week in which we learned about After Effects, we were given a new assignment that put our skills with this software to the test.

In this assignment, we have all been tasked to produce an animation lasting more than 20 seconds, using our skills that we have gathered from After Effects. In our animated sequences, we need to bring in kinetic typography (moving text) that corresponds with a soundtrack featuring a voice. The soundtrack can be from any media of our choice (e.g. TV, games, radio, etc.) and motion graphics/special effects need to be used for every word that spoken in the soundtrack.

I think that for my sequence, I will be animating something from a film or game, as they are two of my favourite types of digital media. I need to look at more examples of kinetic typography before I animate my chosen soundtrack.

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After Effects animation practice

This is the video that I produced in the second workshop we had about After Effects. We all recorded videos of ourselves and used green screens to edit our images onto other backgrounds. As seen above, I put myself inside a picture frame with cloudy mountains in the background.

I took this opportunity to practise my animation skills with the text, as I used different features such as motion blur and 3d rotation. Overall, I’m proud of my simple attempt at a short After Effects animation and I look forward to using this software for future projects.

Workshops – Adobe After Effects

This week we have been having workshops that have introduced us and allowed us to work with Adobe After Effects. In our both of our workshops, we have been working on kinetic typography by creating text and applying different motion affects to it.

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I found these sessions very useful, as I’ve wanted to try out a program like this and create my own motion graphics. If I keep improving on my After Effects skills, I could eventually move to on to make motion graphics and different animations on my videos.

Soon, I will be uploading a very short video that will contain most of the skills that I have learnt so far from After Effects.

Animation Practice – Sunset

In order to practise for our stop motion animation assignment, I decided to go back to Photoshop and revise the process of frame-by-frame animation. I found this very useful as it helped me understand the process better and it has improved my animation and software skills, especially with Photoshop.

output_x7u5az

My animation is made up of 19 frames, and it took me under an hour to make all the frames, put them all together and animate them. I found doing this very helpful, as it has given me inspiration for what I need to do for my assignment.

Coding workshop – HTML and Bootstrap

Today’s workshop acted as a brief introduction to the web protocol HTML (HyperText Markup Language), as well as some of its main features and uses. We used today’s session to create our own webpages, which we can use to upload and present our sketches from Processing (covered in the previous workshops). Some of the new HTML elements I learned to use today included the addition of columns and styles into my webpage.

We were also introduced to Bootstrap, a framework that is most commonly used to develop CSS (Cascading Style Sheets), HTML and Javascript websites. We used the text editing software: Brackets to create our webpages. Pictured below is my example of a webpage created in Brackets and the coding required to make it.

Screen Shot 2014-10-22 at 13.00.14

After this week, we will be moving on to jQuery, as well as improving our skills with HTML.

Bootstrap can be downloaded for free at http://getbootstrap.com/

Concept and Ideation Task 3 – Animation

Recently, we’ve been practicing our animation skills ever since our workshops from last week. We’ve been experimenting with frame by frame animation and creating GIFs with the help of Adobe Photoshop. Before the workshops, I had no idea that it was possible to animate with software that is most commonly used for image manipulation. Pictured below is an example of an animation that I produced in Photoshop:

Workshop animation

Click to see in full size

Using our new and improved animation skills, we need to create looping stop-motion animations of over 12 frames for this assignment. The subject of our animations can be anything that follows the theme of “cycle”, as long as it’s taken with a video camera or DSLR.

Additionally, since I have an iPod Touch, I can download Stop motion Animation Maker Pro and create my stop motion animation that way.

I’ve always loved watching and creating animation so I look forward to carrying out this particular assignment.

Temporal Expressions Task – Joiner Image

After looking into the work of David Hockney for inspiration, I have created a joiner image that is heavily based on his artistic style. A joiner image, in this case is a group of collages put together with photographs of one subject (e.g. a scene, object or person) taken from different angles and at different times.

To help me create an image like this, I used image manipulation software such as Photoshop and Fireworks to cut out segments of photos I had taken over the week and put them together into one image.

river joiner image bigger

Since the theme we should use to tie these images together is “cycle”, I decided to expand on this theme and make a joiner image about the water cycle. My joiner image is made out of 44 different segments of three photos I took of the same river, each taken from a different angle.

I found it was difficult at first to make a clear image out of three combined photographs, but once I had an idea on how to present and structure my final product, it got easier as I went along with the editing process. Overall, I’m very pleased about how my first joiner image turned out, and I think I’ve followed Hockney’s style as well as I can.

I now need to take pictures that exploit long and short exposure, in order to fully complete this assignment.

My Finished Alphabet Photography Poster

I spent a lot of time last week taking the last remaining photos of natural imagery that resembled letters of the alphabet.

I felt that the easiest examples to find were H, I and T and the letters that I found most difficult to find were C, G and Q. After getting all 26 pictures, I uploaded them onto my computer in order to edit and arrange them on a poster using Adobe Photoshop.

This is my final result:

smaller alphabet

Overall, I’m very proud of the poster I have created and I feel that this assignment has given a great chance to improve my photography skills. I’ve also improved my ability to spot different types of naturally occurring imagery and identify basic shapes and letters within them.

Computer Lab Workshops – Processing

Over the course of this week, all of the students in my DMD group (D) have been introduced to a digital coding software called Processing. Processing is a free-to-use creative tool that allows the user to create programs that generate text, shapes, colours, among other digital elements with the use of code. We had a couple of workshop sessions this week which have given us the opportunity to get more used to coding as well as find out more about the creative potential of using Processing.

During our workshop session on Wednesday, we were given the task of producing a program that generates a set of circles in random places on the screen. We also had to code in a function that reset the location of each circle with a single mouse click. We needed to learn more about different technical functions and terms such as “variables” and “if statements” in order to create this program successfully.

Pictured below are examples of an input code and the visual result that can be produced from it:

proper image 2 proper image

After doing this, I found out by experimenting with this software that if you change the value of x in the coding process (pictured left), you can change the number of circles that appear randomly on the page. For example, by changing both

“int x = 10;” and “x = 10”

to

“int x = 500” and “x = 500”

I was able to produce the following result:

image_1

While the coding aspect of the course may be difficult to get used to at first, I’m generally having fun with the software and I can currently use it to produce basic images and shapes. I’m planning on practicing my Processing skills during my spare time at home.

Processing can be downloaded for free at http://www.processing.org/

Concept and Ideation Task 2 – Temporal Expressions

Our second photography-based assignment was given to us earlier this week. In this assignment, we will be carrying out photographic experiments that exploit long and short exposure. We will also be creating joiner images in the style of David Hockney. All of our experiments should follow the theme of “cycle” to unify them.

We can also look at tutorials on cinemagraph and parallax techniques to help us create our joiner images.

The following are possible references for our project:

http://www.hockneypictures.com/works_photos.php – Examples of David Hockney’s work.

http://thedelightsofseeing.blogspot.co.uk/2011/03/cubismjoiners-and-multiple-viewpoint.html – Website giving information about joiner images (among other types of image) and how to compose them.

http://danielcrooks.com/ – Artist with similar photographic style