Monday, 21 May 2012

Caslon Project

In this project my script was the introduction to caslon himself. I did a bit of research into Caslon th person and why the font was required in Britain at the time.
Here is the script I had to work with :
-At the start of the 18th century, printing in England sunk to a low ebb.
-Everything from public prints to lecturing Bibles were shabbily produced, using battered old types.
-Not for nothing was English printing known as no more than ‘brown sheets and sorry letters’.
-It was left to providence and Caslon to avert a typographic disaster.

I storyboarded this idea for my script:


 I then created the following characters which I scanned in and created final copies off in Flash:


 I thought this would be a brilliant oppertunity for me to start to learn flsh as it is a programme Ive been wanting to learn for a while. I used some shape tweens and hints to make this project happen and then composited the videos on After Effects.
Here is the Final video, I think its a great start to Flash for me:

Preproduction for specilist study

In this project we were asked to help the L6 students with thier final major projects.
I helped Gareth Hirst, on his stop-motion project, ‘Street-Act’. I worked on editing the film together, colour correction and credits. To begin with I assisted in removing the rigs from the images. This was done by putting each rigged image into Adobe Photoshop, placing an image of the empty stage under it and erasing the top image where necessary. This was a process I had done before, so it took little time to do. I then compiled the images together in After Effects and found that a few of the images flickered because the lighting was not consistent. I fixed this using the hue and saturation curves on the programme. I had learned the best way to ‘colour correct’ through tutorials on Timing was key in the process of adding speech cards, the animation was to mimic the silent movie era so I watched a few shots of silent films and after consulting with Gareth, timed the cards into the animation. I also had some input when it came to selecting the music for the animation. This process brought out an excellent film, but when talking to a technician Gareth decided to recreate the film using Premier Pro. The quality of his new film was slightly better than the original. I looked at this positively, as Premier Pro is now on my list of things to learn, to excel my understanding of how to create a better quality edit. Gareth’s project was screened at Symphony Hall on Friday 20 April, accompanied by a live orchestra and watched by around 2500 people.

 I assisted Ashton Lewsey in two of her animations, the first of which was a selection from the film ‘Citizen Kane’. This project was for ‘YARN’ ( at Flat pack Festival in The Custard Factory. Ashton’s style is more free-hand with paper and paint. I helped by cleaning up her images on Photoshop and placing them correctly on stage so they animate smoothly. I used After Effects to time the video correctly to the dialogue. There was some lip-sync to be done which I had done before in the programme and it was effective in her animation. I also created some subtle effects, such as a dark gradient around the edges of the animation, to keep the viewer’s eye focused centre screen. Another animation I worked with Ashton on was her ‘Kino 10’ i-dent. She wanted me to animate the website underneath the logo that she had created. I suggested that it would look better if it appeared either side of the logo. She liked my idea and created the text for me to then animated using After Effects. I also cleaned her up her free hand animation a bit by cleaning up the white background which was originally to be creased paper. The final product looks really good and has been sent off to ‘Kino10’, awaiting feedback.

Through Ashton I met Grace Bresline who is studying Theatre, Performance and Event design. She created a popup cinema event in Digbeth for her Final Major Project. I was asked to edit, create graphics and credits for the final video. I sought all the things I have learned in After Effects through previous projects to create this video. I had constant contact with Grace, who explained what text she wanted and the creativity was left to me. I found that the video had a smooth and relaxed vibe to it, so I mimicked that with the text sliding on to the screen, gliding across and sliding off again. I also took inspiration from the posters Grace had created, and used the diagonal lines in the text I made. I stuck with the colours in the poster because they already added to the cool, smooth feel of the video and music. I made two tests for this film and worked on the one Grace liked, I also received positive feedback from Ashton and other animation students. I learnt how to get on board with the style and taste a client wants and to tailor my animation to what makes the client happy, rather than what looks good to me.

I was asked by Claire Hanson to make the opening credits for her animation. She showed me a clip of the opening credits from the movie: Atlantis- the lost empire, and said she wanted her opening credits to look like that. After talking to her about the style of her animation I suggested creating something which was similar to her style, so that the animation synced in with the credits. Her animation is to do with an ancient civilisation who wrote their history in stone using glyphs. I suggested that a really good way to create the title sequence would be to show the glyphs on the wall and then cracks form in the wall to reveal the English translation. Claire also had an incredibly long script before her animation started and she wanted this to be part of the title sequence. My input persuaded her to shorten this so that there is not so much history at the beginning of the animation. I also looked at her style of work, which is 2D stop motion using paper cut out. I wanted to mimic her style, so I took a lot of the effects and textures off from my original test. I learnt that sometimes less can be more (on screen) and as a result of this new test I was approached by Roshni Kakad, who wanted me to create her opening credits as well. I had to decline because I still had the Caslon project to animate.

I have used the experience in working for the L6 students to really explore some of the capabilities After Effects offers. I have a better understanding of how to work on a style laid out by clients, rather than doing my own thing. It has made me more confident in my abilities and I have spoken to technicians and other students who use After Effects and recognised that the next step in learning video compositing, effects and motion graphics is to look at programmes such Cinema 4D, 3DS Max and get further practise into Maya. Also I can look into Final Cut Pro and Nuke for node based compositing. If I continue on this route I could look into animatronics and motion tracking. After studying the online tutorials the best action is to apply to shadow professionals in effect houses and apply for an internship.