Responsive Web Design

The term ‘responsive web design’ refers to a method of web design where the user experience across all devices is thought about. The design of a website must look and act differently depending on which device is being used

Good Websites vs Bad Websites

The Good:

http://www.leadinglightdesign.com/Screen Shot 2018-01-04 at 10.16.50

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This website is a company that creates concept art for games, film, tv, digital media and marketing. I really like this website because it is custom tailored for the service they are selling. When you open the home page you are met with a large high-quality image of one of their works, this shows the client the companies potential straight away, the image will change after a few seconds to another piece of work giving the user a feel for the variety of work that is produced. If you scroll down you can view several categories on the website which are all paired with a reference image of what to expect. I find that the website is easy to use and has a satisfying layout. The most important part of making websites for this kind of business is the user journey, when the client wants to purchase artwork they will want to see examples of this on the website, this website has done this very well by including these artworks directly in the user journey. In other words, when you go to the website you don’t have to look very far for what you need.

http://fandom.wikia.com/

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This website is a ‘wikipedia’ for Games, Movies, and TV shows. The official Wikipedia will already have pages on these things, however

The Bad:

http://art.yale.edu/

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This website is a poor example of an arts university website, it ignores the fundamental aspects of design, although this may be some sort of statement or an artistic installment in of itself, I cant understand what other reason such a prestigious establishment would have for owning this website. The usability/user experience is also a serious problem on this website, there is a menu to the left but it is quite small and perhaps too long, all the options are clumped together making it hard to read and select something. The background is also problematic, in most cases having negative space is a good thing on a website but in this example, it is extremely misused. All of the text/information is on the far left leaving a large gap of negative space to the right, a simple fix for this would be to centre all of the text making a clean looking design. There is not much to complain about for the background picture itself but the way it is used doesn’t really work, most background images are white or light coloured so that the font colour may contrast with it, however in this case the background is a messy combination of lens flares with black in-between. This means that any text will be almost unreadable when put over the top of it, to combat this the website developer has decided to put white boxes behind the text and other images creating a really rushed look that is almost insulting to art itself. Above the title sits the contact information, the contact information should be easy to read and accessible but instead, it is written in small orange font; the orange blends in with the background making it unreadable.

 

The Ugly:

http://www.arngren.net/Screen Shot 2018-01-03 at 15.54.09This website is terrible because of how crowded it is, the screen is cluttered with hundreds of advertisements leaving the user confused and disturbed. This style resembles a shopping catalog, these catalogs are designed to hold as much information and advertisement on each page as possible, a website, however, can have as many pages and extensions as possible. The other failures of this website include: Poor font choice and colour, no distinct title or main feature on the homepage, extension menu is dated and hard to read, images are extremely out of proportion making some of the products hard to see. A way of improving this website would be to have a proper homepage with a title and easy to use menu, all the products should be listed on separate pages so that users can view them individually and find out what they need to know with ease.

 

help with fonts

https://prowebtype.com/

‘Actor Follows Camera Shot’

After watching peaky blinders I became inspired to try out a style of filming where the actor follows the cameraman, I think this shot would work perfectly for a scene in my short film.

I will use this type of shot to depict the character’s breakdown towards the climax of the film, the character will be in distress and the viewer will be able to see this clearly. This also presents a great opportunity to use after effects to overlay drawings/animations over the footage, we were thinking of including ‘Grime art’ in our film somewhere and this shot seems like a good opportunity.

Unfortunately I couldn’t find any other footage of this style of shot or even a name for it, people have called it the ‘Don Juan Technique’

I recorded the video from Netflix and uploaded it to youtube, the video is unlisted and only viewable through this blog post, I do not own this content. Im purely using this video as an example.

FMP Poster Design

As part of my Final Major Project, I will be designing posters to go alongside with the short film. This helps give the project more character and depth, they will also hopefully be an eyecatcher when we present our FMP’s at the end of the year.

These are some Moodboards I have put together as part of my research for the poster design.

The first one is a mood board containing images of colourful buildings and skylines that I will use as inspiration for one of the poster designs, I like the colour gradients used to represent sunset/sunrise and will likely use something similar in my poster design. The shadows on the buildings add depth which brings the image to life rather than being a flat vector, I may try using both flat vector style and shading to see which one works best.

Miami Buildings moodboard

The second mood board is one including images of night time, moonlight and park benches. I have used images from real life and also vector images that other creators have made. Moonlight Park Moodboard

Whip Pan Shot

What is a Whip Pan Shot?

whip pan is a type of pan shot in which the camera pans so quickly that the picture blurs into indistinct streaks. It is commonly used as a transition between shots and can indicate the passage of time or a frenetic pace of action.

How will I use this technique?

For my final major project, I want to use this technique to introduce a character and progress the story. The whip pan shot is perfect for this because there are two characters played by the same actor and this style of filming allows me to cut the footage with ease.

Other films/projects that use this shot include:

Casino Royale

The shot is used effectively here to present both characters in a chase scene, it also helps convey the busy environment to the viewer without missing the action.

Cloverfield

The technique is used here to convey a scene of horror and panic, many people are crowded around in the street. The camera angle makes it look as if it is being filmed by one of the scared civilians, the whip pan conveys the fear and distress of the scene.

This is what I came up with after cutting the footage together:

 

 

Pixar Animation Process and short film research

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Pixar short film: Boundin’:

Boundin’ is a 2003 Pixar computer-animated short film, which was shown in theatres before the feature-length film The Incredibles. The short is a musically narrated story about a dancing sheep, who loses his confidence after being sheared. The film was written, directed, narrated and featured the musical composition and performance of Pixar animator Bud Luckey.

Pixar Animation process and technique:

Pixar Animation Studios have a long and complex process when it comes to animating movies or short films, the process begins with concept works and storyboards made by the design team. Pixar values its collaborative nature, everyone on the team works together and shares ideas about the design process. This is important in a professional environment so that the workers all have a clear goal rather than going against each other or having different ideas about the production. The equipment that Pixar uses is extremely high spec and up to date, it is a necessity, in order to run their software and render their animations.

Job Roles:

There are a large number of job roles in the Animation Industry; this is a pipeline for producing animated short films and other animations. This list displays all of the job roles needed to make a short film, they are ordered from top to bottom showing which roles come first to last in the production process. Many of these will happen at the same time but in most cases, the previous step needs to be completed so that production on the next step can take place.

  1. Story
    Director
    Script
    Script visualization with storyboard
  2. Editorial
    Storyreel – a blueprint of the film
  3. Art
    Visual development artist
    Show the visual feel of the film
  4. Modeling
    Sculpt 3D versions of artworks
  5. Rigging
    Design how the characters move
    Place joints, muscle, and fat
  6. Surfacing
    The surface quality of assets, texture, colour etc
  7. Rough layout
    Staging and blocking
  8. Final layout
    Prepare shots for animation
    Set dressing
  9. Crowds
    Create short animations which are applied to background characters
  10. Character effects
    Deal with what characters interact with
    Props
  11. VFX
  12. Matte painting
    Backgrounds
    Paint with models
  13. Lighting
  14. Image finalization
  15. Sound design
    Create and apply soundtracks and sound effects to film

Maya Bouncing Ball Animation

This is a blog post about an animation I made in Maya featuring a bouncing ball, I have done a similar animation in 2d before but this is a step up as part of my research for our obstacle course task.

To start the project I set up a sphere polygon for the ball and 2 rectangles to act as surfaces that the ball would bounce off of.

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Side on view of the scene

 

I then started to animate the ball moving by adjusting the position of the sphere and adding keyframes, I also used the help of the ‘Graph Editor’ to make the motion more natural. Whilst I was repositioning the ball I also changed the scale slightly depending on the position, this adds a stretch/compress effect when the ball is traveling fast or hitting a surface.  eyrtjhghkgfh

 

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This is a 3D view of the scene

 

Game Trailer Ideas

This blog post will be research/reference for the live action game trailer we will be making. Here is where I will come up with ideas for different games and later present them to my group.

Hotline Miami:

I chose to make a trailer concept for this game because I really like the theme and I think its quite possible to achieve a professional looking trailer with a small number of props and video editing.

hotlinemiami_siteheader

 

Story:
The game is set in 1989, the story follows an assassin who answers his phone with a cryptic message each day telling him where the next location/target will be. A large amount of the game takes place in between levels in the killer’s apartment where the main character resides and waits for the next call, there are subtle changes to the apartment throughout the game that fit with the story.

Trailer:
For the trailer, I think it would be a good idea to focus on what happens in between missions, partly because the gameplay would be ridiculous in real life but also because It is a nice way to give context to customers without blowing their minds. The pacing of the trailer will have to be quite slow since it will just be the character arriving home, washing up, taking a phone call and then leaving again (or hanging his stuff up and going to bed, can decide on details later in production). How I imagine the trailer starting is a low shot of the front door opening and the character stepping into the house and starting to put his things away, the camera should stay below his shoulders so as not to reveal the face/mask. There will be multiple shots such as a close up of a gloved hand putting keys down on a counter, boots being taken off, a weapon being put away etc. All of this will lead up to the character entering the bathroom and washing blood off his hands in the sink, a top-down birdseye view of the sink would be best for this scene since it allows the viewer to see what is going on in the sink as well as keeping the face/mask secret, perhaps at the end of this scene the camera could pan down revealing the mirror and the character walking out of the bathroom in the reflection. Some of that might be a little too complex and unrealistic to produce with the time and resources available.

On his way out the character takes his mask off and hangs it up somewhere or puts it down, the character will then sit down at a desk or on a couch, we would see the back of his head as he starts to relax in his seat. After a few seconds of peace there will be a loud ominous phone ringing noise, once again there will be multiple dynamic shots of the character making his way to the phone, some could reveal scenery within the house, I want there to be one shot that lasts for 10 seconds or so that follows the character from the waist down. To break up the shot we could cut to other shots in between giving some side views or simply showing some inanimate objects around the house.

The character will answer the phone and listen the voice give him obscure details such as “The neighbours are making noise, all 12 of them” or something like that which will be confusing but also compelling to the viewer. After the message is complete the character will walk back down the corridor, find and put on his mask (This time there will be a mid shot above the characters waist revealing some sort of animal mask being put on). The final shot of the trailer will be a long/mid shot of the character stood next to the door, picking up his baseball bat (or some form of blunt weapon), stuffing his keys into his pocket and then exiting the front door. Then cue the game title ‘Hotline Miami’ and title sequence.

Logo Design

Logos are an essential part of a companies branding, a logo is something that a company uses to represent themselves, logo’s have to be catchy and memorable in order to attract an audience and create a recognisable brand image. In more recent times logos have become more simplified with minimalistic features, this gives a more memorable and professional look.

In current times there are logos everywhere, a good logo has to draw the viewers eye to compete with other brands and companies. Most logos you see today will include bright colours and abstract curves, these features often stand out, especially when viewed digitally. The five principals of effective logo design are; Simplicity, Memorable, Timeless, Versatile, Appropriate. The first of these principals is very important as it can affect how memorable or versatile the logo is, if the logo is too cluttered or complex then it can be easily forgotten and may not fit into different environments (such as banners or products).

Memorability is something you need to think about when designing a logo because if people cant remember what the logo looks like then they will not be able to identify your business. A logo design being ‘Timeless’ means that it must not look too dated and still be effective in 10 years time, many companies have updated their logos recently to fit into the digital world. However if a logo is updated multiple times then it may no longer become recognisable, if a company is going to do this then they must make sure they keep some of the core elements from the original logo. A logo must also be ‘Versatile’ this means it needs to fit into multiple environments such as; A poster, a banner, a website, a thumbnail etc. The final Design principle is ‘Appropriate’, a logo must be appropriate to the company otherwise it is pointless. Smart logo designs will involve a product or service in their logo, this gets the viewer thinking about the product/service straight away.

Here are some examples of good logo design:

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This logo is appropriate to the service they provide, the viewer can identify immediately that this is a moving company that helps people move houses.
1200px-Logo_NIKE.svg
This logo is easily identified as the ‘Nike’ tick. It links with their motto ‘Just do It’. Their whole brand is based around motivation and progression in the sports industry, making them one of the biggest brands to date.

 

google-chrome-for-android.png
This logo is one that I find most memorable, I use the internet every day of my life and google chrome is one of the primary tools for browsing the web. This logo is distinctive for its colour scheme and unique style, circular logos are the most versatile and can be used in many different places.

 

1200px-Mountain_Dew_logo.svg
This logo is extremely vibrant (especially when paired with the drink itself). This helps it stand out from other drinks in the store. The sharp edges and contrasting colours make this logo abstract. Many other soft drink logos have bubbly, curvy designs, mountain dew have decided to embrace the vibrant colour of their drink and make a logo that reflects their decision.

Project Setup, Asset Management and Topology.

How to set up a project in Maya:

To start off you need to select File > Project Window, once in the project window click ‘New’. The project window will display all of the default project locations and names, you can clear all of these by selecting Edit > Clear Settings.

Enter the name for your current project in the ‘Current project text box’. Then select a location for your project file by clicking the browse icon to the right of location. Click ‘Accept’ to save your changes and close the project window, project directories and sub-directories will be created if they don’t exist.

Asset Management in Maya:

Asset management is a key skill to use in any industry, it saves time and increases the workflow. If you have proper asset management you will be able to locate all of your assets and understand what they do, when working in a 3D environment this is important because it can get confusing trying to find certain objects or figure out what one of your assets does.

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The importance of Topology:

Topology in 3D is the layout of the model, how the vertices and edges form together to create a mesh. Having good topology is important because it can affect the frames per second of your project and also the rendering times, certain problems will arise when rendering if you have poor topology.