Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Design Production for Digital//Top 10...//Noma Bar.

Being given a copy of the fantastic book, 'Negative Space' by iconic (and one of my personal favourites!) Graphic Designer, Noma Bar, I really admired the bold, vector-rendered illustrative style produced by Bar- dependent on strong visual concepts and use of minimal block colours in a simple, yet very effective design outcome.

I feel that this is the sort of visual outcome I would like to work with for my own motion graphics 'Top 10' design project (see my Design Practice blog for further details/examples of my work), for my subject matter, penguins. The bold, monochromatic with spot colour vector-based style will work very well for my chosen target audience, 5-11 year old children, as well as being a clear visual representation of the distinct and bold animals themselves. 

Below, I have photographed a few of my favourite illustrations from the book, that may inspire me to think more conceptually and creatively than I may have done in the past.

Monday, 19 December 2011

Design Production for Digital//Top 10//Kinetic Type Screengrabs.

Taking a further look at kinetic type within this module- this time for my 'Top 10 Things' project, to look at the combination of kinetic type with music/soundtrack backing, and the necessity for precision in time management to the soundtrack. For the best example of this, below, I have blogged kinetic type "music videos", which have been created post-release of the song hits, carefully timed to the lyrical or instrumental beat of the songs.

A lot of stamina must have been required to make this video! For me, the typefaces don't always feel quite right or appropriate for the lyrics, but a great use of effects and experimental layouts used- and very well timed to the lyrics within the steady pace of the song.

Really great movement and effects used in this video- I love the beat pump motion which is used- can't wait to get experimenting with effects like these in my own designs- works really well with the music to create a high-impact, bass-like visual design.

Great use of multiple colours (in a varying colour palette) and contemporary cool typography used which helps bridge the movement between key frames in this motion graphics piece. Subtle movement and animation is used to great effect in communicating the lyrics in the song with considered style.

Again, a lot of dedication in making this motion graphics piece! Papyrus typeface, I think, isn't very well utilised here as the title key frame, though throughout the rest of the animation the combination of typefaces and simple, vector illustrations work well, with the colours and motion used being the main focus of variation and change- the repetition through chorus working well as a repeated sequence, most notably.

Perhaps a little too much going on in terms of sequence and key frames for me here... but, again, fits well to the pace of the music, and, of course, an appropriate colour scheme. The typeface works well for it's neutrality and versatility within the design.

Design Production for Digital//Top 10 & Silent Movie//Ident Research.

Researching general animated television show idents for inspiration for the developments of my 'Top 10...' motion graphics design project, with my specific subject matter of 'penguins' in mind. For more information and links to work, visit my Design Practice blog.
Also helping to establish effective movement and effects applied to type for inspiration for the 'Silent Movie' project (again, more information of which can be found on my Design Practice blog).
Analysis and comments about each of the sourced/linked idents are posted below.

The classic BBC ident- very simple and achievable with my current skill level on the Adobe After Effects software. Here, minimal colours and movement were used in times of function before form- before the true "style" of the BBC was adopted, and visual communication and delivering information was essential. Basic, but it does the job.

Again, another BBC ident, this time for their DVD range- again, a little non-descript in terms of style, but still using the iconic simple monochrome typographic logo and the three distinct colours used in the BBC "early days"- red, blue, and green.

Simple (and, achievable through my current knowledge of the After Effects programme) motion graphic titles for American broadcasting channel 'abc'- at this stage, not really giving much away in terms of visual communication of the channel, but simply acting as an informative ident- more creativity in terms of character would have helped to distinguish the branding of the channel more effectively.

The '20th century fox' ident/title sequence is perhaps one of the most iconic introductions to television, film and cinema from the past century- with it's grand orchestral soundtrack and the prestige communicated through bold, spotlighted typeface on (what appears to be) a plinth- it shows the "majesty" of the brand and creates a sophisticated motion graphic design which builds upon suspense and excitement of the audience.

A classic example of a CBBC pre- programme ident, usually shown in the intervals between age range/programmes on the channel, this ident introduces a variety of characters featured on the CBBC channel- such as Shaun the Sheep (from Nick Park/Aardman's original creation) whilst incorporating the strong visual identity of the channel with it's 'C' typeface characters and the green, white and black colour palette.

A simple and fun ident motion graphic design, which utilises foley art to enhance the simple five second animation in the stretching effect- great source of inspiration for my own 'Silent Movie' stretch designs (examples of which can be found on my Design Practice blog).

A lot of visual content in this short ident motion graphics piece- not the usual style that I would associate with Cartoon Network, not quite as playful/silly, with the same sort of character- but an interesting variation and visual outcome nevertheless.

This is more like it! Totally silly and mischievous- and directly aimed at it's younger target audience with it's humorous character. Good colour palette also, clear, vector style- distinct and bold.

A the true classics in ident/title sequence history- the original Walt Disney pictures ident is a firm memory of mine, and I'm sure many children of my generation- the castle vector pictogram an identity of the Disney brand- showing the "magic of Disney" in a fantastical, fairy tale-like way.

And finally- a contemporary classic. The Pixar ident was created by company founder, John Lassiter after experimenting with animating an anglepoise lamp on his desk to create the iconic Pixar film's introductory ident. In this playfully simple piece of motion graphics, the company branding is shown as fun, innovative and with "bright ideas"- as the lamp denotes. 

Monday, 12 December 2011

Design Production for Print//Silent Movie//Desperate Housewives Title Sequence.

Another great example of a contemporary source of animation in a film/televised programme titile sequence- here, the US programme 'Desperate Housewives' (created by Marc Cherry) is introduced in a simple, yet effective animated sequence which could easily have been crafted on the Adobe After Effects software- with iconic images of women in arts, culture and the media used to represent the housewives of the tv show's title.

The overall effect is perhaps a little messy and cluttered for my liking- but a great inspiration to see how something so "busy" can be simply created.
Again, I have gone on to capture the key frame images in an Issuu document (above) through the use of screengrabs in order to gain an understanding of time and motion through the sequence- what would be useful, it the future, would be to also note down the specific times to see how the story board key frames were developed and prioritised.

Design Production for Print//Silent Movie//Charade Film Title Sequence.

An example of a slightly less contemporary source of motion graphic title sequence design- though a design which could still effectively be achieved through the similar style on Adobe After Effects that we look set to achieve through the Design Production for Digital, and, in particular, 'Silent Movie' brief (more information of which can be found on my Design Practice and Personal & Professional Development blog).

Although the design for the classic 1963 film 'Charade' (featured above) still serves a purpose- and serves it well... it is far too cluttered and "mad" for my liking- very psychedelic and fitting for the time, nevertheless... a lot going on in a short space of time for this animation- would be really interesting to evaluate it further to note when the key frames are featured on the entirety of the sequence and the affect this has on speed throughout the duration of the design.

Design Production for Print//Silent Movie//Monsters Inc. Film Title Sequence.

Looking into closer details at some commonly popular stop motion and animation sequences- particularly looking at title sequences and the way in which they are styled to be both unique and visually communicative of the forthcoming film.

One of my favourite title sequences (featured above) is from Pixar's 'Monsters Inc'- this sequence showcasing the great character and playfulness that can be adopted by both letterforms and inanimate objects- great inspiration for my own typographic work in the 'Silent Movie' project (see my Design Practice blog for further information). I love the way that the colours are also used against the stark black for a really high-impact, memorable animation piece.

The key frames of the animation have been highlighted by myself through a series of screengrabs (featured in the Issuu document above)- really interesting to see the frequency of key frames in relation to the overall duration of the motion piece and how this is effected in the overall pace of the motion- a great help to develop my understanding of how time is manipulated within animation- I will keep doing these small tasks to help build my contextual research and awareness.

Design Production for Print//Silent Movie//Anatomy of a Murder Film Title Sequence.

Here, Saul Bass' (legendary minimalist Graphic Designer) design for the film title sequence of Alfred Hitchcock's Thriller classic 'Anatomy of a Murder'- shown in an animated motion graphics style that Hitchcock became well known for.

Although very simple with bold, sans serif type, a minimal monochrome colour palette and simple cut-out-like shapes for the visual imagery, this film sequence is simple and communicates easily to the audience the subject matter of the film without overpowering it, or overshadowing the film itself. 

Again, I have highlighted the key frames throughout this Issuu manual document (feature directly above) which will hopefully be a source of inspiration for my own key frame and storyboard development throughout the 'Silent Movie' motion graphics project (see my Design Practice blog for more information) in which I will emulate this classic minimalistic style to fit in with my own portfolio of work.

Design Production for Print//Silent Movie//Catch Me If You Can Film Title Sequence.

Brilliant motion graphics piece created for the title sequence of Steven Spielberg's film 'Catch me if you can' starring Tom Hanks and Leonardo Di Caprio. 

The colours, simple pictorial style and typography used throughout the animation work wonderfully together- usually I'm not a fan of mid-blues and blacks, (I find that black often dulls blue, as opposed to white) though I think that it works really well in this instance- as can be seen throughout the keyframes I have screengrabbed and put into an Issuu document (above). So far, this is probably my favourite title sequence animation I have seen- stylish, consistent and yet full of varying content- a great example of what I could aspire to achieve throughout this Design Production for Digital module.

Sunday, 11 December 2011

Design Production for Digital//Silent Movie//Storyboards.

Looking at existing examples of storyboards, and the way in which storyboards are most commonly sketched out and produced, as reference for my own work and professional outcome throughout this digital module.
At this stage of OUGD202, the Silent Movie brief, we have yet to go into the level of depth and detail that these storyboard hold, yet I know that I would like to practice and improve upon my hand-rendering and drawing skills in time where we progress on from simple typography. Below are a few examples (sourced through google images) of the storyboards I will be working from, and aspire to achieve a standard of.

Great detail and shading- although colour isn't used (along with the rest of the examples I have shown on this post) a sense of tone is established which help gives depth and character to the key frames. Great use of arrows and annotation also used to help where exact visual communication may not have been conveyed.

A little annotation/image heavy for my liking- but certainly serves a purpose- quickly drawn and quick to understand- would be good to use in a crit session or a business meeting for a quick sketch-up example- visual communication is always the most useful way to convey an idea.

Again, good use of shading to help express the visual communication throughout the key frames in the animation sequence- again, with a few annotated notes to help further explain the intentions of the designer- useful for both the client and the design themselves when taking the designs further into the necessary digital software (in our case, Adobe After Effects).

Interesting way of labelling and marking the key frames with the boxed off section at the top- would be interesting to find out whether this is relatively common practice or not. Again, good variation in weight of line in the sketching to help establish the character of the scene- plenty of detail, but still minimal- just enough to visually portray the important message and aesthetic detail required.

Again- minimal and sketchy, but still with enough information to help put over the necessary detail through the key frames and the animation sequence- for me, particularly fussy with detail and perfectionist by nature, it will take quite a lot of confidence to produce work that is this readily-made and sketchy, but I hope to practice over Christmas (I used to draw every day, boo hoo!) and get my confidence back with this fast, communicative style.

Great use of block colouring to establish shadow and shade in this image- makes the key frame look quite bold and dynamic- already giving a great sense of character to the design. 

Here, quite an in-depth example of sketched key frames- not only in the design details, but the time in which the sequence and key frames run- all quite closely aligned and detailed- I imagine this would have been produced at a late stage of the animation development when important details are an important factor for consideration.

Bold, annotated and clearly arrowed design- a great starting point in establishing key frames in an animation sequence- really helping to portray the message to the design team/client without being too busy- yet still visually clear and direct. 

 Again, another example of quick, simple, yet very effective shading techniques that for me works really well- helps to get an idea instantly onto the page at it's most primitive stage. Throughout this module I'm going to really try and get as much visual imagery down as possible to document my progression through this very new design output I am learning (digital media and animation).

Instantly recognisable as work from the television series, The Simpsons, a great example of the primal stages of hugely successful animation- really interesting to see how these initial stages are formed, and a great source of inspiration for my own work- best get sketching!

Friday, 9 December 2011

Design Production for Digital//Silent Movie//More kinetic type.

Looking at more examples of kinetic type- this time in perhaps more of a mainstream, or narrative format- as well as being from YouTube, which, comparatively to Vimeo, it is far more rich in quantity for my research, but perhaps not quality- but will, of course, provide a lot more room for potential inspiration for the motion graphics movement in my own Silent Movie project- looking at colour, type, and layout, in particular.

Great use of layout- keeping a varied and interesting composition- amazing what you can do with such a minimal colour palette and simple, modern sans serif typeface. Executed with great finish, the motion is so slick and precise, it can almost be forgotten about- all the movement seems very natural and fluid.

Wonderfully eerie and subtle, the uppercase sans serif typeface is really crisp and clean- and combined with the styalised effects make this animated piece really edgy and considered- again, also, showing how effective a minimal colour palette can be.

Whilst I can see how the typeface is appropriate to the film, having watched it in the past, I don't think it's visually that effective- it looks a little messy with the textured background, and a little out of context with the particular sound/narrative- if you weren't to have seen the film, it could be a little confusing or misleading. However, I think the colours work well- particularly with the blood splatter effect played in the background.

Quite brilliant! This scene from Oscar winning 'The King's Speech' perfectly encapsulates the scene where the King is engaged in an angry speech therapy session- good use of colour- a lot going on, but they are well-considered and consistent. Also, using the typeface Gotham ensures that the animated piece looks clean, crisp and contemporary.

Fun play on the scene in Resevoir Dogs where the agents are assigned their names (Mr Black, Mr Brown, Mr Pink, etc)- in which the type and colour used within the motion piece works alongside the narrative- interesting use of textures and effects too (such as the vignette) - gives the animation a very filmic, old Hollywood style.

At first, I thought that the layout and positioning of the type was a little cluttered and a bit too messy for my liking- though at the end of the motion piece, I could see how carefully planned and considered it really was! The lowercase/titlecase serif typeface works well with communicating the subject matter, and the subtle yet prominent use of colour for a single word works well- a memorable and unique design.

Good use of minimal colour and simple yet effective layout and composition from this narrative in Quentin Tarantino's 'Pulp Fiction'- easy to watch and direct- perhaps could be a little more inventive, however?

I much prefer this motion graphics piece from the film 'Kill Bill' from the example written about earlier in this post- the colours feel more appropriate (the stark contrast of the bright yellow and black which is iconic- and can be seen throughout the film) as well as a more appropriate use of type- however, in this example, I still would have chosen not to use the serif typefaces- doesn't feel appropriate for the violent, brutal, yet ever-so-stylish film and it's narrative content.

Good use of type effects in this section from Pixar's 'Up'- I like the way that the type overlays when the two central characters are talking over one another. Although the yellow, black and white work fine together- I would have liked to see a blue version. Again, being familiar with the film, I feel that this would have been a more effective means of visual communication.

Very fun and playful- but for me, I would have probably chosen not to add the images- they feel a little unnecessary, and clutter an otherwise slick and inventive motion piece- though they, by no means, affect it's visual impact entirely. Good use of minimal colours throughout the narrative- but still bold and eye-catching.

Thursday, 8 December 2011

Design Production for Digital//Silent Movie//Televised Idents.

Starting to look at a selection of televised idents as identities for the television channels BBC One, BBC Two, and Channel 4, as inspiration for my own visual communication and design development for the Silent Movie/digital design brief- idents both past and present. 

Growing up with these idents (particularly the BBC Two selection)- I have been awed and inspired by them throughout my life. Great ideas of how to give character and personality to my words and letterforms- hopefully I will be able to master and develop my After Effects skills to such a degree where I can feel that real characteristics will be formed in my work that are true to my selected words float/stretch.

Saturday, 3 December 2011

Silent Movie//Kinetic Type Research Task.

In one of the two research tasks for the Silent Movie project (see my Design Practice blog for more details) we were assigned for over the weekend, we were asked to look at an existing piece of motion graphics design- specifically kinetic type. For the first part of the task, being asked to take a series screen grabs of the design (twenty-five). From my research and videos sourced earlier today, I chose this hypothetical title sequence for the classic Hitchcock film 'North by Northwest' for it's interesting variations of composition, type layout, and minimal, sophisticated colour palette.

 I took twenty-five screen grabs over the 1 minute 15 video (75 seconds)- resulting in a screen grab every 3 seconds (temporarily left the time bar on the bottom- I'll crop the images down before I print them off for presentation on Tuesday- just for my reference for the meanwhile). Really interesting to see the progression in the kinetic type design this way- distinguishing the key frames throughout the design as well as developing a closer understanding of time specifications, movement, and composition.

Then I went on to generate a series of screen grabs highlighting what I felt were the key frames within the motion graphics design. Surprisingly not as many as I thought- being a title sequence, the design covers a lot of content, though each key frame specified here (on average 75 seconds/# of frames) is at every 3.75 seconds- though, of course, could easily be broken down into more detailed and depth. 

Again, I will crop down the images ready for print and annotation for Tuesday's scheduled workshop session.

The sheet ready to print and annotate on Monday (printing onto A3 scale to achieve the highest resolution, scale and quality of image at short notice)- bit peeved with the widowed frame at the end- but I wanted to achieve the largest frames possible within the dimension limits- GD sacrifices must be made. Again, I will annotate this with directions and time frames once printed (and post an image below...). 

NOTE: After talking with friends (GD buddies) today I realised that we don't have to annotate the screen grabs as we will in fact be cutting them out... probably should have been listening more carefully...