TRUR1189 – Visual Design and Graphic Techniques


Design Brief 1 – Create a book cover or film poster

There are currently a few trends online where people are recreating film posters/covers with different properties.

Minimalistic

A trend of simplifying movie posters into simplistic graphics designed posters. I love how they can recognisably label a film without bold images but simply by one single shape or scene that defines the film. For example, Harry Potter is his scar with then elements from the individual films like a stone or a phoenix.

Album


Animated Loops

Book or movie posters designed as moving images like gifs for websites. Mostly subtle but noticeable.

Album


My Three Ideas

Breaking Bad – Original poster w/Moving smoke on the element logo (Moving Image)

Hacksaw Ridge – Having a minimalistic 2d scene of the ridge w/the protagonist lowering someone off the ridge. (Minimalistic)

Bladerunner 2049 w/Moving parts e.g headlights from car flashing, slight smoke moving and rain. (Combined)

I love all three of these films/series but I feel of the three Hacksaw Ridge is probably the lease recognized so I’ve chosen it. A war hero film where a Christian man wants to do his part in the war without violence. I personally loved the film and found some parts of it iconic, I’ll be using those scenes as a reference in my poster. Before creating a new poster I must first breakdown the old.

Original Poster

From looking at the current poster and what I’ve noticed from looking at current trends. I know I want to have a minimalistic look that depicts an element from the film. There is one particular scene that anyone who has seen the film will recognize and that’s when the protagonist lowers injured soldiers off a cliff throughout the night during the war.

My poster looks good and I’ve followed some of the properties I wanted to change compared to the original. The colours work well and for people that have seen the film, there is a strong connection to what is shown. Unfortunately, though people who haven’t seen the film don’t know what’s happening and I found myself having to explain the film and context of the poster. While that means it works as a minimalistic piece it’s unrealistic to be used as a promotional piece, so what I’ve done is go through and take some key things that I could change so that the ‘poster’ can be used as an advert or cover.

  • Change the quote to something that relates the film a bit more.
    • The film has another good quote that I’ll put below. I feel this second quote acts more like a synopsis for the film.
    • “While everybody else is taking life, I’m gonna be saving it.”
  • More context. With the other film, it was very obvious that it was a war film, other the one battleship it’s hard to show it’s actually a war film. By adding more ships and some explosions (miniature battle scene) it will help give more context and will go along better with the quote.
  • Needs more connection to the film. Whether it’s a title or some link; I need to add something so that people looking at the poster know where they can find the film or at least what it is called.

Final Poster

After completing the changes above this is the final poster I’ve produced. It’s now clearly showing the title of the film, has the quote and clearly depicts a scene people will recognise while still attracting a new audience.

I really like the final piece. It’s clear, simple and I think it’s also well illustrated (considering I’m new to illustrator). My only improvements I have noticed since the changes are that on dimly lit screens it can be hard to tell what some of the text says. On print and brightened screens, it looks great. I feel like I have achieved the brief and also done what I’ve wanted to accomplish with my changes and personal improvements.


Design Brief 2 – Create a static design for a local organisation or charity

Recently there was a local job posting for a position as a Social Media Manager for a post-pregnancy care treatment system. Using this opportunity I applied for the position. After submitting my CV a couple of weeks later I received an email titled “Design Brief “. Here is the briefing they sent.

Designing social media graphics will be a big part of your role at MUTU System. We post new content on our social media accounts daily and have excellent engagement from our fans.

Please design graphics for the social media posts below. The quoted text should be incorporated into the design.

  1. Brief 1 [MOTIVATIONAL]
    1. Fill up your cup, mama 💗
    2. “You can’t live a full life if your cup is empty”
  2. Brief 2 [ENGAGEMENT]
    1. What are you post-baby recovery goals? Comment below 👇
    2. “What are your post-baby recovery goals?”
  3. brief 3 [FUNNY]
    1. A little Friday fun! 🙊😴😡
    2. “Three emojis that best describe your kid’s mood today.”

I’ll be using the first brief as part of my course so I also need to include an animation element.


Research

Before cracking on with the design briefs I first need to do some research on the company, their current designs, colours, fonts etc. Scanning the website and Instagram I also took note of some key properties used to have a level of consistency and format.

Source Website

Initial colours used on the website.

Colours used for text (inc font) on the website.

This font style and colour is used universally across their website and is also the font used for their logo and social media posts.

As this brief has out-of-education relations I have to plan ahead meaning using no copyright or unlicensed images. I need to include a disclaimer with my final submissions proving I own all the content, this also protects me against the company using my work without my permission.

The key to graphic design work is the presentation. Submitting my final designs must look presentable and clean. I’ll need to include different versions for each platform with different formats, dpi, and resolutions.


Brief 1 – [MOTIVATIONAL]

For this brief, I have chosen to be original. As I have said the company doesn’t use any original content. I want them to know I’m not just a graphic designer, I am also a photographer. So for this design, I did some closed research and thought about coffee groups they mention of their website. So I planned a table top stock image looking photo-shoot. After some drawing, I knew the look I was going for but had some complications.

Issues I knew I would have.

Coffee  – When doing a photo-shoot it can take a long time, drinks that are made hot tend to go cold and look horrible, to counter this I need a solution where I can still have a nice frothy looking coffee while clean and cold for the set to allow for easy transportation as we don’t have a coffee machine in the studio; unfortunately.

Reflections – With using china in the studio you have an issue with reflections. Lighting is key in photography and often it can be hard to mask on reflective objects.

My solutions. To tackle the coffee I will use stale granulated cold coffee, this will set a base for me to the photo-manipulate whatever I want on top of the coffee. As for china reflections, I will use hairspray. Hairspray acts as a mattifier meaning it absorbs light and turns reflective surfaces slightly matte.

Photoshoot

From drawing and looking at Instagram posts I knew roughly the positioning of the photos that I wanted but I didn’t know what materials would work best so I took a variety of different bits with me. I then set up a table, placed the items on it in the position I wanted. From there I played around with the lighting until I found the perfect 2-point lighting spots. The camera was a Canon EOS 6D Mark II. The lights we’re connected flash so that the ISO could be as low as ISO-200. Using an F-Stop at f/22 and an Exposure time of 1/160 sec meant that I got everything in focus and still retained my brightness and contrast. Exposure step wasn’t adjusted and the focal length was locked at 50 mm due to the fixed point lens I used. This was all then set up on a fixed location jib allowing me to shoot directly down using a shutter release button. Here are a few photos of the set-up, you can see the change is surfacing I use.

After the photo-shoot, I was left with four different styles.

Obviously, there could only be one final submission but I couldn’t decide between two. So I decided to fully edit two and then pick one to animate later on.

Photoshop + Lightroom Editing

Editing these actually involves some complex techniques. Firstly I took a previous image of coffee I had and cropped out the foam, this was then blended onto the ‘place-marker’ coffee I photographed. This was all done as Smart Object masks so that any changes could be undone.

Colour correction was then done through Lightroom as a link project so once-again everything is reversible.

From here I created a Displacement-map. A displacement map is an image showing the light intensity in areas of an image, this means that when I place text on the napkin it will simulate groves where the napkin has patterns making the text look like real ink.

From here I then exported the two styles and asked others around me which style people preferred, this then narrowed me to one to finalise.

People preferred the layout of the first image, this one will now go on to aftereffects, firstly I rendered two versions; one with text and one without.

After Effects Editing

After importing both images into after effects I make the ‘with text’ layer the top layer and lock the bottom layer. Using the pen tool I then mask over the text in an order as if it was being written. This is what I’m left with.

Next, I need to generate a stroke and apply it to the mask, I then increase the size until it almost covers all the text and then adjusts the pen points so all text is covered. This means that now if I enter a start and end key-frame it will now animate the pen. That looks like this…

From here I then also do a reverse erase and then export as a video file to then be able to put back into Photoshop (yes, a video in Photoshop). Once imported into Photoshop I then instant go to ‘Save for Web’ and select GIF. These are the settings I then used.

After exporting I was then left with my final animated GIF. Which thanks to Photoshop also infinitely loops. This would be useful for sites that don’t support video or don’t loop videos (like Facebook). I do also have a still copy which I then edited to the right resolutions and using Photoshop created presentable final examples with their desire connotations so they can see exactly what the posts will look like.

Final Products

Evaluation

I’m really happy with how my final products turned out. I’m glad that the GIFs work properly and loop seamlessly as to me it makes it feel like a well-polished piece. I completed my personal goals with the final presentation and thanks to my research I had a good understanding of making GIFs. I feel like the text is captivating and forces users to want to read the full post. It’s hard for me to think of more personal improvements as I’m glad with my workflow and feel the way i handled this brief was well efficient. On the next brief I’d also like to learn another new technique to expand my capabilities even more.


Brief 2 – [ENGAGEMENT]

Research

For this part of the Social Media Brief I want to show that I can produce work using the current format currently used by the company. Their bold colour posts allow for easy reach and engagement, as sometimes pictured posts get lost within friends and family photos on social media.

Their format tends to be a solid slight-pale/water-washed colour with a mid-centered topic in a singular dark font and the logo generally placed centered below. I’ve included some examples below.

In addition to showing I can keep up with this format I also want to add some components from other content they’ve produced such as the ones below.

These stick to the format but have outlining shapes/vectors/patterns that can relate to or emphasize the content. So this means I am going to do the same.

Production Plan

Durring the last brief one thing that work really well is that I produced the final print on photoshop first and because I made it with masks, smart objects and linked images it meant it was completely reversible. I want the same workflow again. Because of the repetitive pattern in the background the first process I’m going to do is create vectors of 4 different objects and put them in a two-by-two grid. I’ll then be able to turn this into a repetitive background layer in photoshop. Here is my workflow plan for this project.

  1. Create 4 individual vectors in Illustrator
  2. Import those 4 vectors into photoshop and align in a 4×4 grid, then export as a pattern.
  3. Create another Photoshop project and create a layer and apply the pattern preset.
  4. Colour it, add text, add logo.
  5. Draw 3 question marks, import one to photoshop (other 2 needed for animation later)
  6. Finalise and perfect still print.
  7. In after effects create the same layout in sub-compositions.
  8. Animate the multiple question marks as a small loop and render.
  9. With the pattern layer have it on a repetitive loop motion using expressions and time remapping.
  10. Finalise and Export as lossless, go back to photoshop and render as a looped GIF.

The key element that I’ll be learning in this brief is time remapping. I’ll document this part of the project. But some other techniques will include blending, keyframes, illustrator, GIF conversion and project sub-compositions.

Production

First thing was to pick four individual things that I could then turn into vectors. They need to be things that relate to the company or for the goals that i’ve seen others set. I chose a house, a ring, a weight and a pacifier. After drawing these on illustrator i then imported into photoshop using art-boards so I didn’t loose the vector quality. Using rulers and guides i then created a grid and then aligned so the spacings we’re equal.

Once satisfied I then went to…

Edit > Define Pattern.

This then saves it as a separate file. But if i then go back into photoshop and create a new composition.

Layer > New Fill Layer > Pattern. Then select my newly created pattern layer.

This was the main part I knew I wanted from here came a-lot of experimentation. After experimenting I found out that what worked best was having two pattern layers both at a slight angle, I then added a soft Gaussian blur to one of the pattern layers and turned the opacity down (this gave the illusion of Depth of Field). I then put these in a folder and set the blend mode to Difference, this means that now if I create a solid colour later the black parts of the pattern layer will become a lighter shade. At this point is where I had to try a few different colours and ask others on their opinion, before doing so I added in the text using the font from the website so that they could incorporate the contrast of the colour to white text. I chose to ask between these colours; pink, blue, orange and red.

After asking a few different people we came to the conclusion that the purple/pink colour (#a270c9) was the most subtle but bold, it looked soft but still easy to read.

From here I added their logo and gave it a colour overlay of white at a blend mode of hard light; this meant it was matching the same colour as the text.

I knew from the start I wanted to have a bold solid colour image in the foreground and I chose to go with a question-mark as the post is asking a question. I took the easy way to this and got a graphics tablet and just drew the outline of a question-mark and then scribbled it in, I was happy with the outcome and felt this was a good finalised still print; now I just need to adapt it in After Effects CC.

Firstly I created two more versions of my question-mark in Photoshop CC, this will allow me to create an animation. I then put the three images into After Effects CC and cycled.

I then trimmed the composition and named it ‘Question Mark Animation’. Creating a new composition this time by 1080×1080 for my final composition size. I then added my pattern layers and created a keyframe where one of the houses was centred, I then moved along one house and set another keyframe. Because the start and end point look the same it looped seamlessly. This was then left as another composition that I named ‘Looped_Background’.

Now all my individual parts are in I just need to compile them correctly, firstly I created one final composition called ‘Final Composition’ and organised my projects tab correctly so all sources and layers we’re clearly labelled; this is what it looked like.

After putting all of the layers and sub-compositions in the correct places I was now left with one task – Time Remapping.

So because my project contains multiple sub-compositions that are all of different length they need looping, this can be done multiple ways but because I like to work in a way that also means I can go back and make changes I need to add a custom looping code, this changing of how the composition acts is know as Time Remapping.

To do this firstly on the composition I need to go

Layer > Time > Enable Time Remapping.

From here I go to the second final frame of one of the sub-compositions that i’ve put into the final and create a keyframe, i then also add an expression with the following value

loopOut(type = “cycle”, numKeyframes = 0)

From here I can drag out the layer and it should loop. Occasionally I found that I had an issue where the final frame wouldn’t loop; to fix this I deleted the keyframe I created after the expression was added. This step was then also done on the background as-well as the question-mark animation.

Because the background was a fixed loop cycle the final composition had to be fit to the length of that layer. This means that after I then export this as a video I can later loop as a GIF in Photoshop CC without any jumps or notice of a loop point.

Once in Photoshop CC I decided I wanted to add a vignette to the video just to give it more definition and to amplify the highlights (white) in the middle by increasing the shadows in the corners and boarder. Here is how I did this…

Firstly once the video is in the Photoshop CC timeline select Loop Playback

Next, I create a new Gradient Layer with these settings.

I then right click on the layer > Create Clipping Mask this applies it to the layer.

From here I repeat the same exporting process as the first Brief

File > Export > Save for Web (Legacy)…

When I did this it gave me loads of noice at the edges, no matter what settings I changed I couldn’t reduce the noise or colour gradient meaning that the GIF looked poor in quality. So I removed the Gradient Layer (as this reduces the amount of colours in the GIF) and it looked fine, but after exporting I noticed a black line down the right and I really wanted the vignette, so I tried the same process on the Windows version of Adobe.

For some reason with the exact same settings but through Windows it removed the issue of noise (due to compression of colours). I then export and upload here to notice that it’s too dark, so I increase the Gradient Scale to 250, then repeat the process.

Once happy with the brightness here are the final exports…

Final Products

Evaluation

The Second brief worked out much better then I could have hoped. I learnt a few new techniques and perfected some bits I’ve only done briefly before, plus I managed to troubleshoot issues along the way with resolution. I did exactly what I intended; which was to prove I could stick to their current format while adding my own element.


Brief 3 – [FUNNY]

Research

For this third and final section of the brief i’ll be using the same techniques as the others but one thing i’ll need to approach differently is third party content.

Due to how much time I spent on the other two briefs, admittedly, this final one is receiving slightly less detail. Due to the fact they’re wanting emojis the first thing that comes into my head for an idea is messaging. Social media is the only place emojis are really in use so doing the piece as a message conversation is my best approach.

Before I knuckle down on the idea I need to make sure I’m able to use the emojis. Where previously I’ve created all the content myself, this time around I need to show I can licence third-party content. When it comes to emojis they’re copyright protected. This means anything linked to a business requires licensing outside of fair-use/creative-rights.

After some long winded research the only way I found to gain full licensing was through Adobe. By signing up for a 30 day free trial I got access to a full set of emojis. My trail covers me for standard licensing with purchase available for a extended licence.

For all of what I’ve done so far I created another text file labeled Disclaimer this will include the following.

“All images are able to be used commercially and royalty free online through myself. Pictures used in the first brief were taken by myself. Emojis used in the third brief are through adobe stock to which I legally have right for usage on social media through businesses under standard licensing. More details…

All project files are re-editable and vectors were independently created by myself for these projects.”

This shows that all the work I’ve created is usable and is currently owned by me (besides the emojis).

Same as the other two briefs completed my static design in Photoshop. Once happy with the design I then exported each individual component by right clicking > Export As.

Then in after effects I used a final print to line up each components to create to final print with individual layers in after effects.

By using key-frames I then animated the message bubbles to have a pop-up effect. I then created a null object and Parent & Linked each message to the null object. This means now when I animate the null object to rise it will move each object attached.

Once all the key frames looked right I exported and went through Photoshop to export as a GIF.

Final Prints


Evaluation

With this final brief it shows that I didn’t put as much time and effort in. This is due to the over-the-top new techniques I learnt for the other briefs. Unfortunately due to having a two week period to complete the whole brief, my third final image was rushed. With my motion graphics being added prior to the deadline it meant it was completed without much technique going in to making the transition easy.

If I was to redo this brief I would probably put aside some time at the start to plan and time manage myself to make sure I had an even amount of allocated time. Delegating time is something I’ve noticed through this module that i need to work on for the remainder of my course.

Oh, by the way… I didn’t get the job. 


Design Brief 3: Create a moving image sequence for a film trailer, an interactive article or kinetic text, show design plans/sketches and evaluation.

Preparation and Research

For this third final section I wanted to explore something that I have not yet used during the module. While I’ve done a lot of animation and vector work I haven’t yet focused on in depth text animation.

Kinetic typography; fancy for moving text; is what I want to use.

Ever since I originally saw Cee Lo Green’s – FUCK YOU, I have been fascinated with typography.

While looking back on it now it seems old there are still elements that are used today. Some key things that the typography in this video follow are inline, timing, contrast and texture.

Inline – The lyrics follow format with it all being accurately spaced and even.

Timing – The appearance of the lyrics are well timed to the music with scenes to verses.

Contrast – Colours of text to background change while remaining visible.

Texture – A looped vintage tape is blended over the top to give it more texture.

Arguably now as someone who’s been breaking down digital art for the past decade this 8 year old lyric video, while at the time, was mesmerizing. Now, it’s incomparable against others.

Another lyric video that stands out to me is a parody song by Weird Al called Word Crimes.

I really like how this music puts more illustration in the mix. Words act out their meaning and each line has a different scene. While I’d love to create something of this level it’s truly a big project and the way it has been created would have been split into different sections.

It’s a great example of how far editing software has come as these videos are only spaced four years apart.

Kinetic Typography isn’t only used in lyric videos. It’s also commonly used for speeches and lessons on the internet. Small qualities are also commonly used in adverts on tv.

Next, I’m going to plan out between two different pieces; music or a speech. For music, I have chosen the current chart-topper song Vossi Bop by Stormzy. For the speech, I have chosen Courage by Bishop T.D. Jakes.

Speech.

Doing a speech was my primary thought. Speeches tend to be spoken slower, easier to interpret and tend not to have lyrical copies. The speech I have found was the first one that popped up on YouTube.

When listening to the speech I could instantly come up with ideas. So what I decided to do was look for a transcript. Unfortunately one wasn’t available so after some research, I found a clever tool, here is how I got a transcript.

YouTube has a feature where it will scour the audio and automatically generate subtitles. I found this website that pulls those subtitles from the site into a text document. Here is what it left me with.

From here I removed the timestamps, cleared the spaces and then went over the transcript while listening to the speech to make corrections. Let’s just say the recognition is far from perfect.

I was left with this. A near perfect transcript bar one line where he stumbles an is unrecognisable. At this point, I decided to check out the of the song choice instead.

Music.

Following the transcript issue with the speech, I decided to google the lyrics for my chosen song Vossi Bop by Stormzy. Thankfully there a variety of sites, some with additional information about the lyrics which could be helpful.

I decided to go with Genius.com thanks to timings, a player and the fact they source directly from the record label.

Vossi Bop Lyrics – https://genius.com/Stormzy-vossi-bop-lyrics

Looking at the lyrics I instantly saw it was better suited for kinetic typography. The lyrics had a lot more meaning which would work out creatively. Thanks to there being a lot more verbs, which would work well visually doing their meaning and more of a variety of nouns while the speech was very repetitive.

Usually, when creating a video you structure themes, colours and techniques before story-boarding. In this instance where we already have part of the content done, I am instead going to break down the lyrics and form ideas based around the words and meanings so that the video better fits the tones of the individual parts of the song.

After downloading the lyrics I started to break them down. Adding in artistic directions so that I could plan around it. Whilst doing so I came up with loads of ideas, this was annoying. Given how long I had to create the video after planning and leaving room for evaluation and improvements I decided I need to pick a song better suited to my time frame. If I had a client or a set song it would be different. Artistically I’d rather do something smaller and be happy rather than rush and skip over lots of design ideas.

For the next song, I decided to go with something more uplifting with a more basic beat and lyrics.

Gramatik is a Slovenian electronic music producer who does more jazz-styled music. I picked his song ‘Hit That Jive’ thanks to instant stylish ideas I got listening to it. As the music itself had a style I decided I wanted to mimic. The song feels very old/vintage but with a modern upbeat take. This old-modern idea is perfect for typography. One of my favourite and most popular styles of still typography is vintage.

Vintage Typography.

What I would also call coffee-shop typography, vintage typography is considered to be very hipster due to its old-new style. Often it involves a mix of curvy and bold fonts surrounded by simple shapes on a washed dull colour. Bold without bright colours. I’ll show some good examples below.

One thing I really like for these examples is how they use a texture to create a worn effect, making it look like the paint/colour has faded with age. This is something I would like to add to my video as textures always add more depth. It’s also the key thing I think that’s missing from the Cee Lo Green video.

So far looking at my research I know I want to create a old style typography piece. I want to add texture to text so it looks worn while still using a creative font. I want to add an overlay to the whole video so it feels scratched and old, an idea I got from the Cee Lo Green video.

Now that I know my style I want to make a personal plan. For the rest of the module, I’ve learnt new things. For this project, I hope to learn more while incorporating the previous stuff I have experimented with including Displacement Maps, Keyframes, Looping, Export Settings etc, all while keeping my project folder clean and reversible.

Production

As most of this video will be animated using separate files I decided to start in Adobe After Effects CC. So before I do any production the first thing I do is create a project folder. This is where everything will be kept. I create sub-folders for assets, fonts, images, audio and save-points. This means I know where everything is kept so that linked files can’t go missing.

Now booting up After Effects I create a new composition at 1920 by 1080 at 24 frames per second. The reason why I chose 24 was because of my style, as I want an old vintage look if I had a too high refresh rate it would look too smooth. Next, I do what I did in the previous design brief and organise my Projects tab. I load in my folders and insert my Music.

As typography is one of the key components I decided to start there. Using a standard font I wrote up the first line of lyrics, each word has to be on a different layer so could animate it individually. I then looked at the waveform of my song and set the text to appear in time to their pronunciation.

Being flat this looked boring so I set the words to come in from different sections of the screen by adding keyframes while changing the position of the text. I then parented the whole sentence to a Null object (so I could move as one) and set it to be centred as the text came on and to zoom in after each sentence. This was done in each lined section to the following lyrics.

Hit that jive, Jack
Put it in your pocket till I get back
Going downtown to see a man
And I ain't got time to shake your hand
Hit that jive, Jack
Put it in your pocket till I get back
Time and time waits for no man
And I ain't got time to shake your hand

These lyrics are then repeated throughout the entire song, so once I had done that I needed to save it as a sub-composition and add it into another Final Composition. After adding some motion blur and trying a few different fonts this is how it looked.

I then timed this correctly to the repeating sections so that all the lyrics were done.

Next, I needed to add a vintage effect. To do this first I wanted to add texture to my text. I selected a grunge effect that I had in my texture pack. I decided to add this in the final composition so it could affect anything below it as well. I set its blend mode to Silhouette Luma so that it affected the white text.

To add more of a vintage effect I thought the idea of a film grain would go well. After watching at least 2 hours of tutorials I learnt how to add film grain. I learnt that having multiple copies with different blend modes works well. This is what it looked like.

Following these effects, I realised that I needed to make some changes to the text. Firstly I needed to make the text black. To go back and change this would be tedious as each word is a separate layer. Also where I had my texture to effect white it would cause issues. So after some searching, I found an effect called tint which allowed me to remap colours. Here are the changes I made. I chose slightly off white so it looked more washed.

After that, I was still not happy. It looked too modern. I thought the text was too animated in comparison to my grain effect. I needed to reduce the framerate. This wasn’t as simple as changing it in the composition settings because it would affect all my keyframes instead I needed to use a filter called Posterize time. This filter allows you to change the framerate of a clip by skipping frames, this makes the footage jump, adding to the vintage effect.

After this, the smoothness was fixed but it looked too clean, the grain looks like it was just placed on the top (because it was). I needed to do something I had done in the previous brief which was using a displacement map. Here are all the effects.

This is what it left me with.

These were applied to an adjustment layer so I could attach it to multiple compositions.

I really like it now, it all fits well and looks more authentic. So I proceeded to get feedback from others around me. One bit of feedback I got was that it had not outro or introduction. To fix this I decided to add a black and white filter that would come off when the beat drops. As an outro, I added a fade to black with a “Fin” title.

This flowed a lot better.

Now I have a good base for the video I need to add more artwork. While editing I got an idea that came from a game trailer where a story is told using characters as figures on sticks.

I created this in illustrator by converting photos into artwork and then porting into Photoshop. Using a paper texture and a picture of a Popsicle stick I created a figure. Here are my layers.

I did this to 5 different instruments. Here they are as JPEG images.

I imported these to after effects as their original linked PSDs.

Now I understood there was no automatic way to animate the figures to their corresponding instrument but I thought there has to be an easier way.

After doing more research I learnt how to use a tool in After Effects called Motion Sketch. Motion Sketch is a tool that allows you to capture movement from your mouse and turn it into keyframes. This meant if I sized the layer I can then use the mouse to create the position keyframes, meaning I’d only have to manually change the scale and rotation options.

Here is a screenshot from after I completed all of the Figures. To do a motion sketch you first must enable it in the window section, it will appear in the tool section. Then click Start Capture. This turns your mouse into a cross-hair where you can draw a path as it goes through the timeline. You do have the option to smoothen the motion, I set this as low as possible so it looked more like real life movement.

As you can see in the picture I also have Null Objects. This is where I wanted to flip a layer but already had the keyframes set, rather than re-recording I parented the layer to the Null Object and flipped the Null Object instead.

Once I was happy with the figures, the sub-composition was then aligned in the main Composition.

I decided to add drop shadow so the figures looked more realistic with lighting.

This is the layout of my Final Composition.

Here you can clearly see all my layers. One thing to note as well as how my projects tab is laid-out. This took no time as I had added it on the go, everything is easy to access and reversible as I wanted it to be. Now to Export.

Exporting as I said in the previous brief is something I’ve struggled with and after effects, I am the worst at. For example in the previous brief, I exported a 1080 by 1080 video at 20ish seconds and it totalled to over 1gb. This is way oversized and I knew if I tried to export this it would be hundreds of gigabytes. To get around this I watched a class by Adobe on how to use Adobe Media Encoder; a program I never knew existed. By going through the Media Encoder it let me change the bit-rate (the size per second) which meant my Hard Drive was saved.

I rendered out at H.264 full size totalling to ~250mb. Success. This then got uploaded to YouTube and sent out to a few people for their opinion.

Everyone loved the changes I had made.

Here is what they watched.

Final Piece


Evaluation

I am really happy with how the video turned out. I feel like I took inspiration from my research and applied it well to my own project. I had fun during the production. Editing was fun thanks to all the new skills I was learning, I am genuinely proud of what I have made. I feel like I accomplished the brief but more importantly, I feel like I have learnt a great deal.

If I was to redo this brief I would definitely apply more attention. I dedicated a lot of effort to the previous briefs if I had applied the same dedication to this maybe I could have gotten a lot further. One thing I have noticed in the video is at 1:20 there is roughly 10 seconds where there isn’t much happening, this annoyingly now looks a bit bare to me. Adding maybe a double-bass figure here would have been a good idea.


One last thing I’d like to add is an evaluation of this module as a whole. I’m personally proud of the work I have done. Normally with work, I do what I know, stepping out of my comfort zone and creating new things to what I like to think is a professional level. One thing I want to take away onto another module is my time management, I dedicated a lot of time to this module which unfortunately when a personal issue arose it took me off track for finishing the third brief on time. This final bit to me felt a little rushed being completed; research to final export in just 4 days. However, I am still happy with what I have made and the way I went around it.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.