Week 11: Documenting Your Process

I’ve finally conjured up an product for my AfterEffects assignment and the topic for I’ve decided upon is…the film Sharkwater!

I knew I wanted to do this project on a film of some sorts but it took me a while to decided upon which film. I was scrolling through AfterEffects tutorials online and came across an underwater effect which I thought was cool. From there I realized it would be both interesting and challenging to do this assignment using only AfterEffects a.k.a no outside sources, pictures, footage etc. Off I went with this tutorial to see what I could come up with!

Here is the clip I have for the time being:

Motion Graphics Youtube

I still plan to work on the font and transitioning as well as incorporate music into it before I hand the project in. Though I’m likely going to be showing the clip to my professor at the stage I’m at now, just to get her opinion before I continue playing around with it.

I’m just happy to finally feel comfortable with AfterEffects because it took quite the amount of time to get to this point. Overall, I’m glad that once I decided upon this idea I stook to it and have still only used AfterEffects to create the concept from scratch!

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Week 9: What’s Your Type

Having talked about typography in one of my previous posts, why don’t I go ahead and put my words into practise! Every day you see hundreds of different fonts, from the subway signs to bilbord advertisements yet most of them go nowhere but to the back of your subconscious. Let’s take a look at a few different images and see how font is used!

Image numero uno:

Whether you know this album or not I’m sure the moment you see the titling a few words come to mind: “psychedelic”, “whimsical”, “woaaaaahh”. The Jimi Hendrix Experience album , Axis Bold as Love was groundbreaking and extremely ‘out there’ if you will, so the font had to be that of the same. What I find to be the most interesting and unique aspect of this font are the serifs. When I think of serifs these immediately come to mind:

Even though these fonts use serifs, there’s something distinctly different with the Jimi Hendrix font. Firstly, the font is just a tad italicized to help create the fluid movement for the text. Then the serifs seem to be almost exaggerated which definitely goes two in two with the title of the album “bold as love”. In my opinion, this bolding of the serifs make some of the letters look similar to music notes which again goes with the fact that this is a music album. Overall I think this font definitely would appeal to the general target audience who would be listening to this album because of how fluid and experimental it is (which is the same as Hendrix’s music!).

Image number two:

If you haven’t noticed that I enjoy music and music-related things then you aren’t reading these posts very well! Rolling Stone, a well-established music magazine. The font has become trademarked and for the avid reader, instantaneously recognizable. Now this font has got a few interesting aspects to it, the most prevalent being the 3D effect. I find the 3D effect gives this font an authoritative feeling to it; it’s forcing itself towards you to grab the reader’s attention. The font has some small details that make it quite unique such as the exaggerated descent on the ‘R’, the near-lacking of kerning (the space between each letter), and the additions to the serifs (‘i’ and “e” especially). I like this font because it feels very clean cut whilst still having definite characters that keep it from being ordinary.

Image Number 3:

Finally, the last image I’m going to take a gander at (at least for now)! Dexter is an extremely interesting television show which plays on the psychology of a good guy serial killer. There’s a few wacky things about the font used for this promotional poster which I think suit the overall show’s personality. Initially I noticed that the kerning changes between each letter. As the letters go inwards, the kerning becomes smaller and then vice verse. Notice how there is a gap between the “D” and the “E” but then the “E” and the “X” are touching. This use of kerning makes the font a tad uncomfortable and strange for the eye since people are accustomed to a relatively consistent kerning. This works with the show since the show itself wants the audience to expect the unusual. The other noticeable aspect that differs this font from other fonts is the notch on the “T” that goes above the ascent line. This kind of makes the “T” look similar to a weapon of sorts which again plays into the shows plot. Using a simplistic font (resembling an Arial Bold etc.) and then adding the additional notch gives the feeling that something is off which is very true to the character Dexter. Overall, a well-though out font which depicts the show extraordinarily well in my opinion.

The next time you’re walking around the city, try to pay attention to all the fonts that you come across! Put your critical hat on and think, “does this suit its purpose?” You’ll be amazed at what you can come up with!

Week 8: After Effects and Your Work

This past week I was introduced into the world of AfterEffects. As my teacher, Ginger says

“It’s like Photoshop but moves!”

There are infinite possibilites with using AfterEffects which I am beginning to quickly learn. We started off with several tutorials which specifically focused on text.

For our first tutorial, we learned how to use key frames.  An animation key frame is a single still image in an animated sequence that occurs at an important point in that sequence. Key frames are defined throughout an animated sequence, in order to define important points of motion before the frames in between are drawn or otherwise created to showcase the motion between the two key frames. In short, key frames allow you to save a lot of time because you only have to tell them the beginning motion and where the motion ends; keyframes will fill in the rest for you!

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Initially AfterEffects seems quite daunting, there are so many aspects to the program which can be overwhelming. I think having previous experience with Photoshop definitely helped the process of learning this new program. I’ve learned to download the free trials of both programs so I can play around with them at home which I also think has helped.

For my motion assignment I have yet to completely decide on an idea because there are so many things I could do. I know I want to focus on a movie so then I can recreate the teaser to my own liking. Here are a few examples of teasers:

Watchman

Kill Bill Vo. 3 

The only problem I have been running into regarding the creative process is choosing something that works within the required time limits. We’ve been given 5-10 seconds for our teaser; this doesn’t sounds like much but if you have 24 frames/second that becomes a lot of work. All the ideas I’ve had up till now would be much longer than the 10 second max and would therefore be an abundance of work. The next week or so I plan to sit down and go through my ideas.

I find typography to be a very diverse effect to work with so I plan to focus mainly on it for my assignment.

Up till now, AfterEffects gets the thumbs up from me!

We’ll see if I’m saying the same thing after I begin editing the motion graphics assignment!

Week 7- Photoshop Poster Assignment

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Artist statement:

My concept for this photoshop assignment was to create an advertisement poster for the charity organization Me To We. Every year Me To We has a number of excursion trip to various parts of the world which are in need to help. The destination I decided to focus on for this assignment being Ecuador, since I went on one of these trips there myself last summer. I wanted to bring a variety of aspects into this poster that both reflected the organization and the travel destination. The main goal of this poster would be to influence the public to either go to the Me To We website simply to spread awareness of the organization but more-so to bring interest to their volunteer travels.

My target audience for this Me To We poster is a relatively young demographic, approximately between the ages of 16-25. It is directed towards both male and females because the Me To We travel groups receive applications from both sexes. The type of person who would be interested in a volunteer trips would likely be adventurous, an interest in travel, a caring individual, and have at least a certain degree of interest in culture. I believe my poster appeals to a person grouped in this category.

With photoshop I was able to creative a very specific design to help achieve my objective. I knew I wanted to use more than one picture to help express the different aspects of a Me To We trip and I think by using a tile-like background it draws the attention of my audience in. I used nine pictures I took on my Me To We trip in Ecuador ,sized them accordingly, and played around with the saturation. I also knew I wanted to incorporate the colours of the Ecuador flag to help further solidify the travel destination. I did this by creating a colour box over the specific pictures and then changing the opacity so the images could be seen through the colour. Moving onto fonts, I simply chose the font I thought reflected the company and suited the target audience and changed the opacity. I want the audience to feel excited when they see my poster and this is why I used very engaging photos as well as definite colours.

Here was my original sketch of the poster:

The challenge I anticipated in the early stages of this process was being able to colour the individual pictures to look seamless. Initially I was going to colour each picture at once but soon realized it would be much more efficient to use the box tool and just change the opacity. The real problem I encountered was related to fonts. It took me a very long time to decide on a font that I thought suited the objective of my poster and then took even longer to decided how to put in on the poster. I tried using overlay but the wording became too blended into the images making it not very legible. After much debate I went back to my favourite tool, opacity and turned it down enough that the reading was legible and didn’t feel choppy.

From this assignment, I’ve definitely learned the ways of photoshop. I understood the general idea behind how to use it but putting the program into practice for a poster I created helped solidify my understanding. This poster piece reached my original goal which I found to be extremely interesting. I came up with a concept from scratch and photoshop made it happen exactly how I wanted it to turn out. I believe my Me To We poster addresses the target audience. Overall I’m very happy with my final product.

Week Six: Blogger’s Choice…Typography!

Helevetica, Arial, Times New Roman…

When one thinks of typography these words are likely the first things to come to mind but there’s so much more than just a few simple fonts!

With each font, a specific personality is given to the lettering through differentiating typeface:

Serif: A slight projection finishing off a stroke of a letter. There’s also something called a sans serif which is when a font doesn’t have the slight projections.

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As you can see there are small ‘tics’ on the ends of each letter which gives the font more of a personality. The use of serifs is also used to help with legibility. For print, serifs help guide the reader’s eye across the page. Sans serif tends to be used for low resolution computer screens (websites, email etc.) since it’s easier on the eyes.

Font Metrics: Measurement information |that defines individual character values, such as height, width, and space, |as well as overall font values, such as averages and maximums. Font metrics can be expressed in specified fixed units, such as pels, or in relative units that are independent of both the resolution and size of the font. In short, font metrics is the way of calculating how a font will look.

There are several aspects to font metrics:

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The majority of fonts have a baseline which is basically an imaginary horizontal line in which the characters rest. The decent line is used when any part of the lettering goes beneath the baseline and the ascent line is appropriately the exact opposite (lettering that goes above the ascend line). As one goes through the list of font metrics, certain fonts use certain aspects.

Now this is all fine and dandy but why is this important? When you want to choose a font for a project, instead of saying “oh that looks pretty cool” you can acknowledge the serif or lack thereof and the varous font metrics. This’ll help you in choosing the perfect font for every assignment instead of sticking to the basic times new roman! Open your font horizons! Here’s a few fun ways to think of the ‘personality’ of a font (if fonts were dogs):

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Now if you’re really into typography there’re some pretty innovative things you can do using these principles. One of my personal favourites is the use of typography to create an entire image. This image of Jimi Hendrix was made by using typography in a way that expresses his lyrics whilst making the image of his face.

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I hope you never think about the fonts you choose the same way again!

“Typography is the craft of endowing human language with a durable visual form.”
― Robert BringhurstThe Elements of Typographic Style

Week Five: Lighting and Igniting

Nuit Blanche.

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(Pictures taken by Irina No and Natta Summerky)

It’s become one of the biggest art events not only in Toronto but all throughout Canada. The night begins at 7pm and continues into the wee hours of the night ending at 7am the next morning. Downtown Toronto becomes an enormous art gallery showcasing hundreds of exhibits.

I ventured off with a few friends around 10pm and began my journey walking southbound on Yonge street. Before I even hit Dundas Square I was bombarded with loud music and thousands of people swarming the street. I found there to be more simplistic exhibits further North but once I was around Yonge and King things began to get a little more wild.

One event that stood out to me was the Fun House located at Bay St. and Adelaide St. W. The event took up the majority of the street with ropes, light and other contraptions hanging off metal bars. There was a looped video playing the the background to help forcaste the creepy feeling of the exhibit; if it wasn’t obvious enough with demonic clowns walking through the piece.

I’ve always loved the use of live action acting intertwining with film footage. This exhibit was one of the ones that I had to stop for since there was so much going on. Further down the street, continuing the exhibit there were vintage fun house mirrors which I was able to grab a picture of myself in!

Another exhibit I found quite interesting was Planes, 1968 by Trisha Brown Dance Company. Taking place on 1 Adelaide St. E, dancers scale a 13 x 21 foot wall against the backdrop of a 16mm film by Jud Yalkut and a soundtrack of a vacuum cleaner by Simone Forti. The sheer size of the projected film used was amazing and was what initially drew me in. Watching the dancers work with the situation they were in made the exhibit all the more astonishing. Here’s a quick video of the piece!

Finally, a quick mention to the food (how could I not)! There were everything from restaurants to fast food stand to even food bus carts. Having gone to Nuit Blanche the past few years I’ve learned to wait and see all the different places to get food instead of simply choosing the first one I see. This year I stopped at the famous Food Dudes truck. Their menu was gourmet yet reminded me of home and most importantly, cheap! I took a few pictures at the truck!

What I found to be the most interesting was the sheer power of social media throughout this entire event. My twitter feeds had never been so busy with people tweeting about the various events; where to go and what to see. This overwhelming connection of the thousands of people made this year’s Nuit Blanche feel special.

Last but not least, my roommate and I were so inspired by the vast amount of art that we decided to make our own exhibit in our apartment! We named it “Banana Exhibit” and even though it was really just for fun I believe it showed the power of Nuit Blanche. Who knows, maybe my roommates and I will have an exhibit in next year’s event!

Week Four: Every Colour Tells a Story

With each week I find the topics we learn about become more and more interesting. This week we learned all about the psychology behind colour choice and how it’s used in marketing. I’ve chosen four images from different mediums in which I’ll be analyzing their choice of colour.

  1. Sin City directed by Frank Miller, Robert Rodriquez, & special guest director Quentin Tarantino

Now I find this entire film’s use of colour to be extremely intriguing. The majority of it is filmed black and white except for very specific moments or characters. I love this approach at use of colour because it draws the audience’s attention the most important object in the frame as well as gives the character’s more definition. In this specific scene I think the use of the red almost flame-like background (storm clouds) right as the characters go into a violent is very well done.

Psychological properties of the colour red:

Positive: Physical courage, strength, warmth, energy, basic survival, ‘fight or flight’, stimulation, masculinity, excitement

Negative: Defiance, aggression, visual impact, strain

In the case of this scene in Sin City I think it’s fair enough to say the use of red is to display both visual impact and aggression as well as stimulate blood. There isn’t any actual blood shown in the scene but the use of red puts the gory image into the audience’s mind. Overall this scene is extremely visually stimulating and is very intense yet interesting for a gun shootout (which has been done many times before).

2. Gain Laundry Detergent billboard advertisement

The use of colour in this Gain laundry detergent ad is very bright; grass green being the main focal point. The only other colours being used are all very ‘happy’ and saturated colours i.e. red, yellow and orange.

Psychological properties of green:

Positive: Harmony, balance, refreshment, universal love, rest, restoration, reassurance, environmental awareness, equilibrium, peace

Negative: Boredom, stagnation, blandness, enervation

When one sees the colour green the first few thoughts that pop into their head usually consist of environmental awareness and freshness; both of these characteristics being intertwined in the product brand messaging. Being a laundry detergent the most important aspect of the product is that it makes one’s clothes fresh and clean. The green colour definitely showcases this brand’s image. The goal of this advertisement is to make you buy their environmentally-friendly, fresh product and I think their colour choices help persuade the buyers into believing in this detergent.

3. The Care Bears Television Show!

Everyone remembers The Care Bears! Even though this television show initially aired almost 30 years ago, the colour choices made were still extremely well-thought out. It may seem that there’s no specific colour choice since each Care Bear is a different colour but the intensity of the colours is very specific to its audience. By using more pastel colours it is easier and gentle on the eyes; very non-threatening which is important for a younger demographic. The less harsh colours puts the audience at ease even though there are numerous colours.

4. Metro Supermarket Flyer

Finally, I’ve chosen the weekly flyer from the Metro supermarket. One of the most interesting things I learned about the psychology of colour was the influence of red on hunger. The reason so many food chains and supermarket flyers use the colour red is because it can actually make you hungry! As you can see in this Metro flyer, red is definitely the predominant colour being used and a very bold red at that. Also note how the word “best” is very prominent which is trying to make the reader believe that if they go to Metro they’d be getting the best product.

In conclusion, I think the class this week on colour has made me more aware on the choices people make in every aspect of media. Nothing is effortlessly thrown together! I’ve already started to notice the smaller details in colour choices even simply walking down the street.

Love all the colours of the rainbow, since they have more of an effect on you then you’d ever have guessed!