Hey there, my name is Gene. I am currently enrolled on the Digital Media Design course at the University of Winchester. I have a varied creative background but have a real passion for creating videos and animations.
I am 21 years old and am currently situated in Basingstoke. I enjoy playing video games, socialising with friends and petting random cats on the street.
For Week Four the design brief we were asked to explore the use of typography when producing digital content. This design brief was part of a larger project that focused on the main principles of graphic design that included the use of colour, type and imagery. For this design brief we were asked to produce a viral animation or commercial using typography. The design brief stated that the animation has to emphasise the words meanings whilst exploring various graphical styles.
When starting this weekly task I looked online to gain some inspiration to see how I could work towards meeting the design brief. I wanted to produce a digital piece that was based around something relevant and meaningful. I came up with the idea of making a 30 second short clip to exhibit some of the skills I have learnt whilst being on the course. I began working on a concept that could be used to promote the university and the course I am enrolled on.
I took to YouTube to find tutorials on how to produce a kinetic typography animation. I found a bunch of detailed resources that helped structure my digital piece. I decided to use Adobe’s After Effects as it has a varied tool kit to help bring my idea to life.
I wanted to add a personal touch to my digital piece; I started by writing out some text that I wanted to include on a word document. I aspired to personalise the animation to a select audience; budding digital designers who are moving onto further education.
The overall project took around 15 hours to produce and around 2 hours to render. It was one of the largest projects I have worked on consecutively over the space of two days. Having not done anything like this in the past I found it extremely challenging at times.
I added a backing track to the animation that I am pleased with, I think that the audio adds to the overall animation. I searched online for sometime to find the right track that would not entail any copyright infringements. I came across a website that solely posted audio that have creative commons licenses.
There still certain aspects of the project that I just couldn’t seem to get right, for example, the digital piece seems to have not rendered properly which makes the text look jittery in some places. I later found out that this could have been an issue to do with the audio file. Compressed audio files such as an .mp3 can cause issues with rendering.
Overall, I am happy with the end product I have produced. I think that it meets the design brief in a creative, individual way. I also believe that it could be used in order to promote the Digital Media Design course at the University of Winchester, this being my goal.
If I had the opportunity to go back and work more on this design brief I would ensure that the audio I used was an uncompressed file to guarantee a smooth render. To work around this I would have rendered the animation without any sound then overlaid it in post through the use of Adobes Premiere software package.
For Week 10’s design brief we were asked to produce an animated logo. We spent the lesson looking at a PowerPoint presentation that gave us background information surrounding how the audience interprets different media forms. The lesson largely focused on semiotics and Gestalts theory.
I started by brainstorming some rough ideas on how to go about meeting the design brief. I wanted to produce some animations for my own ‘brand name’ instead of using a pre-existing company. I concentrated on the idea of ‘Brain Scatter’ as a logo. I initially came up with the idea of multiple particles coming together to form a brain. I took to YouTube to find a tutorial on how to bring my idea to life. I found one particularly useful tutorial for After Effects. I had little knowledge of how to use this software package so the overall experience was tedious.
I was happy with the outcome of my animation for a first attempt but was found that it was not entirely what I was looking for. I decided to go back to the start and produce another animation for my brand. I began to work on another rough concept that heavily focused on brain waves.
I pondered on how I could possibly show this through the use animation. I began to run with the concept of a ‘glitch’ effect on the logo. I took to YouTube to see if there was any information that could help me accomplish this effect. I was much happier with my second animated logo. I think that it connotes a much deeper meaning than the first. It was interesting to produce two juxtaposing ideas for the same brand. I feel that the first animation I produced connotes a much more lighter and friendlier mode of address whereas the second reaches out to a darker, niche audience.
Overall, I had a lot of fun working on this design brief. I am sad to say that I did not have much time working on it as I have had some issues with managing the workload at the very end of this semester. I would have liked to produce some more original content instead of using YouTube tutorials to aid me in achieving the desired looks I was going for. I personally felt like I needed help on this task, as I have not had that much experience on working with After Effects. I am happy with the overall products I produced but felt like they could have definitely been a lot more finessed.
If I had the opportunity to work towards this design brief again I would have definitely spent more time coming up with some ideas that could have been easy to implement without the use of online tutorials. I would have liked to spend more time on the text element of both animations as I feel that that is the weakest part on both designs. In hindsight, I should have spent the time focusing on one strong logo but I just felt that the first idea was not strong enough to follow through with.
During our study week period we were set the task to produce 5 quick sketches on the campus of the University of Winchester. The design brief stated that five sketches had to be produced, spending on average around 15 minutes per sketch. The design brief was open-ended and allowed us to draw anything we found on particularly interesting on campus.
The main focus of the design brief was to improve our observational and drawing skills in order to help us on further projects when working with clients.
When starting this project I spent around half an hour walking around observing different sections of the campus. I wanted to produce five individual drawings that display the diversity of the universities architecture.
The University of Winchester is rich with both modern and minimalist architecture juxtaposed with a more traditional form of construction that shows the history and heritage of the campus. I thought it would be useful roughly sketching different forms of construction as it allowed me to work with different angles and curvatures.
I wanted to focus on areas that I spend the majority of my time when visiting the University. I chose buildings that I visit regularly but also incorporated areas that I haven’t ever seen before. I found this task uplifting in the sense that it allowed me to explore the campus further and appreciate the overall University that I attend.
I predominately worked with a sketching pencil to create rough outlines of the buildings. I found working with a ruler useful to go over the rough outlines to add rigidity to the piece. I timed myself for each sketch, allowing myself 15 – 20 minutes per drawing. The idea was to get as much done as I could on site but then to take the sketches home and finish off the sketches with some small touch-ups such as removing any unneeded guidelines or going over some of the lines with a stronger medium such as a pen. This was mostly to do with poor weather conditions on the day I visited the University. I wanted to stay true to the task at hand and produce as much work as I could within the allocated time slots but personally felt the next step with any rough sketch is to tidy it up to make it more presentable.
Overall, I particularly enjoyed this task. It was amusing to scout various locations to closely observe in detail. I have always enjoyed drawing due to my creative background so it was pleasant to work to a design brief that heavily focused around this. If I had the opportunity to go back and do this task again I would spend more time finding interesting angles and points of view to incorporate within my sketches. I would have liked to produce a sketch that was from a bird’s eye view overlooking a crowd of people within that environment.
Our project brief on week five was to produce a piece of digital art based on a traditional artist of our choice. Sadly, I was unable to attend this lecture, as I was not in the country. I took it upon myself to go over the lesson presentation.
Within the document there was a variety of different artists from the past up to the present. It was particularly interesting to view different art movements and to see who were the main influencers.
I noted that one of my favourite artists, Kazimir Malevich, was on the presentation. I am deeply inspired by his workings, as I am a fan of the geometric abstract art movement. I was excited to start right away. I continued through the PowerPoint presentation to find another artist named Raoul Haussmann, an Austrian artist who experimented with photographic collages. I was torn between both art movements so I decided to create multiple pieces of digital art inspired by both artists.
I took to illustrator to produce my digital pieces inspired by Malevich; this is because I am proficient with the tools the software offers. I also thought it would be useful as illustrator offers a lot more tools to produce both geometric and organic shapes. I ended up producing three small (A5 sized) digital pieces. I quickly drew a mixture of geometric shapes and organic free-flowing ones. I did not have any set idea of what to create so I just started placing them randomly around the workspace. This enabled me to get the ball rolling and I found that once I started to place the shapes, others just fell into place.
I initially didn’t set out to produce so much work in the style of Malevich but I found myself getting carried away, wanting to make a better version of the one I create beforehand. I did not want to look at much of the artists work as I thought it would have been easy to just replicate one of his designs unintentionally. I have worked in his style many times before so I found it particularly entertaining this time around.
After producing the digital pieces inspired by Malevich, I took to Photoshop to produce a collage inspired by Haussmann. I found that this method of working was a lot easier working on Photoshop, as its toolset is beneficial when cutting out segments of photos to create a realistic collage effect. I took to the Internet to find some creative influence, I analysed some of Haussmann’s work and noted it was largely based around images of people with a combination of text. I gathered some free-to-use collage resources from deviant-art and started to produce my digital piece.
I found working in Haussmann’s style extremely fun, as I have not made a collage since the first year of college. I wanted to produce a digital piece that paid homage to the era in which the artist was working. To do this, I utilised old images and overlaid a texture above all other layers and set the opacity to 20-30% to give it an old-world feel. I did the same with the digital pieces that I produced in response to Malevich.
Overall, I would say this was my favourite project brief to work towards. I found it beneficial in so many ways; it enabled me to change my work style in an effort to respond to art movements that have inspired generations up to this present moment. I am pleased that I decided to choose both artists as both methods of working are completely different yet both so interesting.
If I could go back and do anything differently I would choose to produce another collage in response to Haussmann’s creative pieces. I would have liked to produce another collage just to compliment the existing one on my webpage.
For Week Four the design brief we were asked to explore the use of colour when producing digital content. This design brief was part of a larger project that focused on the main principles of graphic design that included the use of colour, type and imagery. For this design brief we were asked to produce digital pieces for five different cities of our choice.
The outcome was to create five postcards or posters that heavily focused on colours of the corresponding city. I initially took to Google to source some images for each city. I wanted to be sure that I included a range of colours that were closely linked to each city. I used an online colour palette tool that analyses the pictures and produces a strict colour scheme based on the most prominent colours. I wanted to use two images per city as I felt this would provide a more balanced colour palette to utilise when producing my postcard, this is mostly down to the fact that I found the colour palette tool did not always pick out the best colours of the image.
After producing 10 different colour schemes for the 10 images used I decided to present this information in a way that was aesthetically pleasing. I took to Photoshop to produce 5 unique documents that showed the images used and the colour scheme gained from them. It was here that I gained an idea for the postcards I was to create next. I used a free watercolour texture that is provided by Adobe add-ons to show the colour scheme for each image in eye-catching way. This was what prompted the idea to create a postcard for each city that would have a watercolour aesthetic.
After producing these documents, I went back to Google to find a series of more in-depth images of the streets of each city. I wanted to use this kind of image as the previous document focused heavily on extreme-wide angle shots of the city. I thought that it would be much more appropriate to use close-ups of people going about their every-day life to add character and a personality to each post card.
After finding the desired images I went back to Photoshop to start work on my postcards. For each postcard I utilised the ten colours I gathered from the previous document. I found that working with such a strict colour palette was enormously fun. I found that they really started to bring each individual piece to life.
I was overall very happy with the end result of my postcards. I think that the text could have been a much stronger element but I did not want to take away from the beautiful imagery as I found this was the main focus of the task at hand. I found working to this design brief a great activity to learn new skills, especially with the Photoshop tools. I am personally more of an Illustrator user so found this task challenging at times.
If I had the ability to go back and work to this design brief again I would ensure that the text element to each post card would be up to scratch. I don’t think there is much wrong with it but it would have been nice to spend a bit more time on each one to ensure they were perfected. I would have also liked to produce another postcard, as it would have been nice to post an even amount on my digital portfolio.
Our first weekly project brief was to produce a poster for a sports category of our choice that heavily focused on the use of layout and composition. Within this lesson we looked at design examples from the past up to present times and analysed, in detail, what they had in common to make them successful standalone design pieces.
From scrutinising various design styles and types it was apparent that both layout and composition had a key role to play in creating a good design piece. A design that implements a strong layout will address any practical issues the viewer may have when navigating around any form of digital or physical design.
Within the lecture we learnt about certain grids and tools that can be utilised in order to achieve a balanced design. The Golden Section, otherwise known as the golden ratio, was one I found particularly useful and is a new method of working for me that I previously knew little about.
I wanted to respond to the design brief on a personal level by creating a design piece based on a previous hobby of mine. I was particularly interested creating a poster based around a swimming competition. I have an interest in the ‘Art Deco’ era from the 1920’s and thought it would be an interesting concept to base my poster around.
When looking for inspiration on the Internet, I found a collection of dated sports posters from the era, this further inspired me to create my own by working with the same mediums to create a dated aesthetic. From analysing some of the design pieces I sourced online I found that they predominately use light / pastel colours when basing a design piece around a female character. This is because pastel shades connote a delicate and feminine touch.
I chose to base my design piece around a young woman dressed from the 1920’s era to ensure that my own poster could have the same effect. I decided to utilise some brighter colours as well as pastel shades to indicate a summer tone.
I decided to use Adobe’s Illustrator to produce my poster, as I am rather proficient with the tool set they provide. I started by utilising the golden ratio to layout my design piece. I found it a particularly useful tool to use as a foundation to build upon.
Overall, I found working to this design brief both fun and challenging. I developed a variety of new skills and have become familiar with working with grids and the golden ratio. If I had the opportunity to go back and do this task again I would have spent more time with some of the proportions of the ladies figure. I would have also liked to add some further shading details into the piece as I feel this is an element that would truly bring it to life. I would have also liked to make it feel like the poster really was from the ‘Art Deco’ era by adding a textured overlay to the whole piece.
To conclude, I am happy with the end product I have produced. I think that it is a strong design that responds to the design brief that has been asked. This was one of the largest projects I have completed since enrolling on the Digital Media Design course at the University of Winchester
Week seven’s design brief was focused around the further exploration of typography. I was unable to make it to this weeks lecture so missed out on the presentation that went alongside the design brief. When going through the presentation in my own time it was apparent that this weeks lectures heavily featured the importance of typography to almost any piece of design.
When starting work on this weeks task I initially checked the document posted on canvas that featured the five different ISTD design briefs. I worked my way through the document, cherry picking a couple of potential briefs to work towards. The ones that really caught my eye were; “Food For Thought” and “Mark My Words”.
I began to look closely at each briefs outline to brainstorm a couple of ideas for each one. I noted that it would be enjoyable working towards creating info-graphic or a timeline for the design brief I would end up choosing.
I started focusing my attention on the “Mark My Words” design brief, I felt like I had a couple of solid ideas to create a digital piece around. For this task we were asked to trace the history of words or phrases to show where it came from and its provenance.
I began by brainstorming various words and phrases that are commonly used throughout the United Kingdom. I questioned whether the final product should be a static info graphic piece or more of a video presentation that shows the evolution of a word or phrase.
I then began to note down who my target audience was for the final product. I noted that type designers, graphic designers, educators and students would all fall into that category. I then began to draw some rough sketches to get the creativity flowing.
I came up with three different ideas for my final piece; I foolishly got carried away with one, which I ended up following through with to produce a rough final version. Along the way I must have lost touch with the initial purpose of the exercise, which was to create a digital piece that heavily focused around the use of typography.
Sadly, the idea I went along with predominately focused on imagery with the text elements taking a backseat. I am disappointed with this as it was week nine that I realised the mistake that I had made. Due to my workload I was unable to give this design piece the attention that it deserved. I regret the path I took when working on this design piece. I took the literal version of “Mark My Words” by producing a map of the UK and pinpointing where the words and phrases came from. Initially I thought this was a solid idea to build upon but looking back at the rough version of the final product I am disappointed that the text elements do not have much of a role to play.
If I had the opportunity to do this whole project again I would have chosen a completely different design brief to work towards I feel that I wouldn’t have been distracted enough to follow the easiest option and would have spent more time focusing on the core element of typography.
A compilation of the work I completed throughout the duration of my college course, I hope you enjoy.
Our first group project brief was to create an educational computer game aimed at 11-15 year old school children. I undertook the lead role of character design / sprite development as well as producing some concept art for the Heads Up Display (HUD). Alongside this role, I also produced a storyboard for the other members of the group to follow to aid the production of level progression and supporting concept art.
As a group we decided on creating a top-down RPG game that heavily focused on teaching the young player base good morals. The overall plot to the game intended to teach the audience about the impact Global Warming is having on the world. Our game, Cor's Gate, would eventually feature a combat system that relied on the users mathematic abilities. The user would have to answer quick-fire maths questions in order to do damage against enemies. One of the main features to a top-down RPG game is the wide variety of weird and wacky characters that populate the environment. It is important to have plenty of Non-Playable Characters (NPCs) for the Player to connect and interact with. The uses of NPCs within RPG games are varied. We wanted to use NPCs to provide the Player with useful tips and tricks to aid them when on their quests as well as provide information about the dying environment.
As the lead role of character design, it was my job to produce a varied selection of characters that the player could interact with. For the majority of these character I had to produce a sprite sheet. This is a document that clearly lays out all directions in which a character would perform. The document itself was easy to produce but I found to be time-consuming when taking into consideration how many characters we aimed to create. During this project I faced some time-contraint issues, however, to lessen the workload, I worked out which of the NPC's would be stationary when the player interacts with them. This was a quick solution and enabled me to quickly produce a high amount of NPC's to populate the environment.
In order to work as efficiently as possible, I purchased a professional pixel art tool called Aseprite. The software has similar tools to Adobe PhotoShop and Flash. Aseprite has features such as onion skinning and playback modes which allow the user to work in a tidy and efficient manner. I found the software fun and easy to use and overall had a positive experience with it. I believe that having access to this software allowed me to produce high-quality sprites with ease, without it I would not have been able to produce half the content I made overall.
When starting the sprite design process I conducted some initial research to find out the most efficient method of working. I came across a YouTube tutorial that used the same software I purchased. I found that the best method was to produce a male and female outline template, utilising the fill tool allowed me to create the stationary NPC's extremely fast. The tutorial also outlined how to produce a sprite sheet that enabled character movement animation in game. With this tutorial I was able to create 8 fully animated characters that could move in every direction.
It can be noted that there was some time constraint issues that we faced as a group. We were ambitious with our idea and was not able to create a fully functioning level with all of the initial ideas we aimed to include. I believe that if we had another couple of weeks we would have been able to produce something that is of industry standard within the top-down RPG market. We all worked extremely hard to produce the content we did in the little time we had on the project and all learnt a new set of skills. I would have liked to implement a fully functioning HUD as well as flesh out the educational aspect of the game. This is part of the criteria in which we fell short on. I think the game had potential to tell a great story but we just went down the wrong route.
Overall, I found working to this design brief both fun and challenging. It was my personal favourite out of all of the group projects we participated in. I developed a variety of new skills and have become familiar with software I never previously used before starting this project. If I had the opportunity to go back and do this task again there would be a lot I would do differently. I would love to overhaul the plot of the game to make it much more educational and fitting to a present-day scenario regarding climate change. I would have also liked to implement the combat system that heavily relied on the users maths skills. Granted the overall task we took upon ourself was great, It would have been better to think smaller but ensure that the quality was indeed better.
Our second group project brief was to create a prototype of a mobile or integrated device. Throughout the four weeks we had to conceptualize the idea through to designing a visual prototype as well as produce a detailed example of how the interface would run on the device.
After conducting some initial research we found that there is a lack of digital products within the swimming industry. Within our group we decided to create a device that aided the amateur to professional swimmer. Our idea was produce a pair of swimming goggles that allowed the user to check their vitals, speed and breathing patterns. We also wanted our device to have a built in camera and the ability to connect to a bone conduction headset to allow the user to listen to their music whilst swimming.
We were all set roles to undertake to ensure that we would be able to work as effeciently as possible. It was my duty to produce an short audio visual piece in order to showcase our prototype and its graphic interface. Within this production we aimed to demonstrate how the product would work whilst flaunting the prototypes main features. Whilst conducting our initial research into our idea we found that there were comparable products available that promoted themselves in a similar way; through the use of multimedia. We looked at promotional videos on YouTube to gain insight as to how to go about producing our own promotional audio visual piece. It became apparent that many of the promotional videos used a sequence of medium close-ups of the user and the prototype juxtaposed with first-person shots with overlaid special effects to give the audience the impression of what it is like to actually use the product.
In addition to this, a variety of post-production effects are utilised. Title callouts that are produced in Adobe’s After Effects are overlaid over the footage, and through the use of the motion tracking feature, they follow the subject whilst providing the audience with additional information about the product. We aimed to produce an audio visual piece that utilised similar effects, framing and composition to our competitors, however, we ran into a number of issues when working on this project. We found out rather late that we were not able to film in the swimming centre that we initially planned to shoot our audio visual piece. This had major implications as we were not able to find an alternative location, because of this we had to use footage that we found online. This was an issue as we could not source the right material that would showcase our product off in the best possible light. Also, the footage we found made it extremely hard to implement call-outs. We wanted to use go-pro footage to enable us to showcase the UI HUD but sadly I could not find any decent footage online.
It can be noted that poor weather conditions also caused a couple of small issues on a couple of days during this project. Due to the unsafe conditions we could not meet up as much as we wanted and even missed out on a lecture where we would learn how to use the 3D printers. A few members of the group had some trouble producing the 3D model that we were going to feature within the video. This, in turn, caused some issues as I was not able to feature the models within the video. To try and rectify this issue I have produced a number of concept arts in which we hoped the final product would bare some resemblance to.
Overall, this project was both challenging and fun. I am rather disappointed in the amount of work we managed to produce but realise that it was partly circumstantial due to us not being able to film in the swimming centre. I really wanted to produce a quality audio visual piece that used the 3D models as well as first person footage to showcase the UI. If I had the opportunity to re-do this project I would completely change the idea to something that would be easy to film in a public location. The use of lighting is important when using call-outs. I would ensure that the footage obtained is well lit and well shot to allow for easy editing when taking the footage into After Effects. There is a lot I would do differently if I had the opportunity but the overall experience when working with this team was uplifting. Throughout the whole project each team member gave it their best to learn new software and to overcome the unexpected challenges.
Our final group project brief was to take advantage of interactive systems that display or relay information to an audience. In groups we were tasked to design and develop an interactive project that entices the visitors of the TransMedia Exhibition but also adds a sense of engagement to their experience. iSight is an application that has beeen designed and implemented onto an iPad to enable partially sighted or blind visitors to move freely around the TransMedia Exhibition. The application aims to make exhibitions more suitable for the visually impaired by taking into consideration their requirements to ensure they can examine the exhibit without assistance.
The interactive application aims to achieve this goal by providing the user with a simplistic easy-to-use User Interface (UI) that delivers multiple “filters” in which the user can apply to view the exhibition in a variety of ways. We wish to deliver an experience that is entirely controlled and tailored by the individual to ensure they can interact with any of the exhibits without feeling singled out. We believe that any visitors to the TransMedia Exhibition have the right to take away a quality experience home with them. iSight will include a range of basic viewing parameters to cater for users who have borderline sight issues all the way up to the users would are completely blind.
When first starting this project I began by drawing up some rough logos that I thought would signify what iSight is truly about. I used a variety of mediums to create a handful of unique logos. The logo itself needed to be simplistic and easy to read. I do not think that my logos are anywhere near finished or to the standard where they could represent the connotations of our application. I then started to produce some simple User Interface (UI) designs on Adobe's Illustrator. I utilised an iPad skin vector to lay out what the application would look and feel like in its final form. This process proved useful when trying to develop the application as it allowed me to visualise what features needed to be implemented.
I had some major setbacks when it came to developing this type of application. I had little to no experience with the Objectictive-C language and could not find a detailed tutorial for something similar anywhere on the internet. I also had some computer issues the last week of this project, My Macbook would not install Xcode because of the iOS I was running. To fix this issue I updated to macOS High Sierra which, in turn, caused my laptop to turn sluggish when running the smallest programs as well as turning itself off randomly. In addition to this, the update caused my MacBook Pro to not charge properly. These computer issues made it almost impossible to get a functioning prototype. Thankfully, another member of the group was also working on the development alongside me and was able to produce a basic application that utilised the camera functions. At this present moment the application does not have any filters that we wished for it to have. I am upset that I have not been able to work on the application this past week, I am even more upset that my Macbook of 8 years is finally on its way out.
To ensure our booth is as interactive as possible we will be including an interactive area predominantly targeting the members with sight disabilities. However, it can be noted that any member would be able welcome to interact. We aim to use a projector to showcase some art styles in which the members of the exhibition can use Wii remotes to interact with a variety of arts. We will be using Darwiin Remote, a software that allows the user to control a Mac with a Wii Remote. The Macbook will be connected to a projector to allow all members of the exhibition to interact as easily as possible.
Overall, I found working to this design brief challenging. I believe that if I did not have so many issues with my Macbook then things would have went differently when working on this project. I am upset with the amount of work I was able to produce for this project, I really wanted to have a next to complete application to showcase alongside our interactive projector. This goal may have been ambitious but was something I was strived to meet. If I had the opportunity to work on this project next year I would ensure that I have some up to date and reliable equipment. I shall be purchasing a new Macbook for my studies next year as mine is ineffecient and slow. I would also ensure that I dedicated enough time to fully research and understand Objective-C language. I have a lot to learn within this sector and it interests me highly.
Please see the video below to see what current state our Application is in at this present time.