Category Archives: Journal

Graphic Designer is

They say…

“Design is a problem-solving process and the world today has so many problems. Designers need to play a larger role-not just responding, but initiating. We need to bring our personal beliefs and professional activities into alignment. Through our work, we have the opportunity and the responsibility to put our system of basic values into action-to model the behavior that we want to see in the world.” (http://www.aiga.org/ethics-and-social-responsibility)

“The creativity perspective, where our creativity is held sacred, will work in all situation to help us to get what we need. It is to embrace the depth and breadth of our creative power and creative ability. It does not necessarily replace any other perspective we hold. Rather allows us to step beyond any perspective we have to create what we desire. We may only need an engineering or a physician’s perspective or the like for a particular problem we face and wish to solve. The creativity perspective will help us to see and create the perspective we need.”

“The creativity perspective is not a way or a method of creating. Rather it is the ability to create whatever ability or view that we need to create what we desire. There is no single set of concepts, principles or rules that we can go to and point to say, “If I learn these, I will have a creativity perspective.” Rather, it is about seeing and observing how the principles, concepts, and ideas we possess do or do not allow us to move into the unknown and address what we need to face to create what we desire. A creativity perspective is something that grows and evolves within our being as we maintain focus and desire to become more creative and creatively empowered.” (http://ryuc.info/common/creativity_perspective/creativity_perspective.htm)

“It is through the message that the graphic designer as co-author finally confronts his or her knowledge, culture, conceptions and sincerity. The graphic designer must define a strategy and be aware of other existing social strategies, including those that arise from different national situations. In relation to the message, the graphic designer applies pertinent expression codes whether derived from local, national, or international culture — thus producing emotion and meaning. As in Baudelaire’s Les Fleurs du mal, this capacity of graphic designers to find paths through the “dark forest of signs” makes them artists in the full sense.” (http://backspace.com/notes/2009/09/the-social-role-of-the-graphic-designer.php)

“Graphic design, also known as communication design, is the art and practice of planning and projecting ideas and experiences with visual and textual content. The form of the communication can be physical or virtual, and may include images, words, or graphic forms. The experience can take place in an instant or over a long period of time. The work can happen at any scale, from the design of a single postage stamp to a national postal signage system, or from a company’s digital avatar to the sprawling and interlinked digital and physical content of an international newspaper. It can also be for any purpose, whether commercial, educational, cultural, or political.” (http://www.aiga.org/guide-whatisgraphicdesign)

“Skeptics are critical thinkers. They look beyond the surface and dig deeper. Skeptical optimists believe that there’s always a light at the end of the tunnel and that people can change and have the capacity to do good far beyond what we could ever imagine. They’re also aware that asking “why?” isn’t negative, but rather a necessary question to gain more clarity and achieve better results.

Skeptical optimists see the glass as half full but never get tired of brainstorming ways to fill it all the way up so that more people can enjoy what’s inside.” (http://www.thinksplendid.com/2012/03/on-being-skeptical-optimist.html)

Do No Harm

You are not a storyteller

Pablo The Movie

Man Vs. Machine

I say…

A Graphic Designer is a searcher. It is a person who has the ability to find, even in the most common of things, new meanings, new forms which become an integral part of mankind’s evolution. A graphic designer looks for beauty where others don’t see it. He finds new patterns in already existing ones. He gives colour and flavour to all that surrounds us. He finds innovative solutions for the implementation of results from research. A graphic designer sketches ideas and transposes them in everyday life in the most accessible ways. Heassists and guides the education of the society in the spirit of beauty. He adds value to every aspect regarding the well-functioning of society in relation with the people who make it up. He is a shaper of opinions who maintains his impartiality. He is a thinker. He can be skeptical as he sees reality in depth with his critical spirit, but he is actually a skeptical-optimist. He will always aim for perfection, for the sake of creation and not destruction.

By creating a small animation on the topic “Graphic Designer”, I would to like to impact the target group of the youth. They are the ones who will provide materiality to the future and I hope they will do it in a beautiful way, sticking to the moral values which are so necessary in today’s society. As for its display, I would choose schools, TV channels and, wherever possible, public spaces fitted with big screens for the purpose of advertising.

Words to be used:

  • Graphic Designer is
  • Searcher
  • Thinker
  • Innovator
  • Skeptical optimist
  • Healer

Inspirational movies

Transparent Machines

The Gap

The Innovation of Loneliness

Moving Brands / Moving World

Gobierno Abierto – Short Film

The History of Magazine

A Record Of Life

Name Assignment

La Sombra del Viento

Races and Faces

Working on Storyboard

Proof Working 1

First Look Storyboard

Human dynamics, institutional change, political relations and the global environment have become increasingly intertwined. The re-emergence of extremist political parties, the segregation of cultures and ethnic conflict, illustrate the problematic side of socio-cultural integration.

“People are afraid that the evolution of a global village will raise conflicts between cultures, cause a fragmentation of culture, or lead to cultural domination by more developed countries and possibly create hybrid cultures (Johnson 191-96).”

This threatens to create Tribalization.

In my opinion, graphic designers can shape our society in a beautiful form. They, through their knowledge and visions, can avoid human evolution to take dark shades and offer an alternative to a world in which happiness is dominant.

“Graphic Design has always be in existence from the prehistoric world  to this modern world, and it will continue to be around us. It has influenced every society in many different. It is also deduced here that Graphic design is seen as water is to life, unavoidable and vital.  It is meant to beautify and to solve the problems of communication, information, awareness, clarification of views whether abstract or philosophic and to pass future knowledge. Graphic design has also improved the presentation of science, opinion and facts through high thought compositions of visual information called Information design.” (King’s Edogiawerie)

Storyboard First

After first tutorial

Following Alexandra’s tutorial, in which I discussed the idea of the movie, I realized I could bring a few improvements to the initial script. Through applying a few personalized sets of letters and the introduction of more motion, I think that the idea that the film is based on, could be perceived more clearly. In any case, I will ‘build’ the new sets of letters, I’ll update the storyboard, following to finish it at the next tutorial hosted by Markos.

Untitled-2

Storyboard 2

The thoughts after Markos’ tutorial

It seems that the concept behind the script isn’t clear enough. I’ll try to improve the scenes, maintaining the initial idea for a more concise variant.

I left from the idea that in every component of society there is a design and behind every design there is a designer. Whether it be the social or political side, designers have influenced evolution, but have not always obtained their desired result. The lack of vision or ignorance of those who rule us have led to devastating consequences upon the planet: pollution, desertification, deforestation, global warming etc. With all this, designers have never stopped searching for solutions, to reduce the destruction and cure society. At a certain level, designer can be looked upon as a healer. He is the generator of curing solutions for the plagues of the present.

I completed the script. Also influenced by my recent reading of an anthology of essays, “78+1 Essays” (Michael Bierut), I am certain that the association of a designer with a healer is appropriate. Graphic Designer is a Healer.

Storyboard 3

I have changed part of the original illustrations, created others and I have a clear idea over the story. I continue to search ways and techniques to animate typography.

Workshop

There were a couple of exhausting days. I viewed tens of tutorials for After Effects. A few have grasped my attention and, with determination, I hope to ‘move’ things.

I succeeded in passing half of the way. I made mistakes, lost many hours for minor mistakes, but in the end I am pretty pleased with the end result… so far. I chose to use a few more effects than originally planned, and because, honestly, ‘have grabbed me’. I am still at an amateur level but I believe I am on the right path. I discovered Red Giant Trapcode Suit. They are phenomenal. Initially I tried to obtain a ‘particle sphere’, but I couldn’t find Optical Flares and DNxHD Video Codec, necessary for obtaining the effect. Until now I used Trapcode Particular and Trapcode Form, and just at a small level, but… you can obtain incredible things.

For a period of time I was stuck on the effect of transition between scenes. In the end I opted for what is actually seen in the film. Its creation wasn’t extremely difficult, but I can say that it needs a lot of patience and care. It took me approximately five hours to finish it, but it was worth it. It also brought me a benefit. I managed to set the command for ‘Trim Comp to Work Area’, a function which is extremely useful, which I didn’t have previously in the line of commands of After Effects.

Print 1 Print 2 Print 3 Print 4 Print 5 Print 6

To better shape the shade of warning of the words which represents the planet’s problems, I decided to give another touch of personalization. I believe the effect is more powerful now.

Untitled-1

So far this is the result…

During the Easter break

After the presentation before the holiday and after the discussion with Alexandra, I decided to make another few adjustments to the scenes which symbolize Earth’s threats… Surely, they can be much better but what I accomplished depended on how much I managed to accumulate in After Effects during this time.

Print 11

Print 2

Print 3

Print 4

Print 1

Print 7

Print 8 Print 5 Print 6

Print 9 Print 10 Print 12 Print 13

A lot of hard work, errors, stress, but in the end I can say I am quite pleased with the end result. I tried to use as much from After Effect’s options, which probably ‘loaded’ the movie too much, but honestly, when you begin to uncover its secrets, you want more and more. This is the final result and as the music, I used portions of ‘Viking’s’ soundtrack, which is one of the greatest TV shows of all time.

Improved Movie

The last tutorial before Crit. Watching the movie, along with Markos, has revealed to me new possibilities for improvement.  I think there will be a few days of exploration and experiments. I hope to achieve giving it better consistence.

Final movie

The final touches, the final version… I should probably feel more satisfaction, but in the light of my previous feedback, I have a unsettling sensation. I don’t claim that I have accomplished an extraordinary movie, but I am convinced that it is based on a well-designed concept and the animation is a clear projection of my vision upon this topic. I enjoyed working with After Effects, I have accumulated a lot (keeping in mind that I knew close to nothing of this software) in a relatively short amount of time, and yes, I might have over-used the possibilities that the software offers, but I cherished these moments and I would probably do the same if I would do it again. The quality and expression of the message in design, for me, must have a flowing link and, especially, should represent me. It is a projection of my thoughts and perspective over this topic. I can certainly say it isn’t a ‘festival movie’, but I believe I have reached the key points for any creation of this sort. The message is clear, emulates emotion, and captures attention. It can be remodeled, improved, even re-invented, but in the end you must find yourself in your own design. I consider myself as an amateur at the moment, but I am convinced that this film is a certain part of my artistic thinking. With time and many other projects like this, this will be refined, but in hindsight I don’t think I will be ashamed with my origins.

I thank my tutors, Alexandra and Markos, for their patience and perseverance with which they taught me the ‘ABC’s’ of animation and for all their advice given throughout this project.

Narrative & Sequence

Narrative
„A narrative is a written, spoken or visual account of connected events. A narrative can best be understood in terms of the tradition of storytelling. A story can be factual or fictional. It can be conveyed through books, magazines, newspapers, comics, film, television, exhibition and the web. Designers have adopted the form of the story or narrative as an engaging and efficient method of sequencing information.”

Sequence
„A sequence is the specific order in which a series of related events proceed. Designers consider the story that is to be told and make decisions regarding the order in which key information is to be seen or heard. A sequence of information may flow continuously or be punctuated with silence, noise, space or time. Clear segmentation of information that can be reconnected back to an overall concept allows an appreciation of the individual parts as well as the whole.”

(Tony Pritchard, 2009)

https://tonypritchard.wordpress.com/2009/11/29/narrative-and-sequence/

 

I have a lot of thoughts on my mind right now… It’s all about “Can I really learn these new things?”. Generally speaking, I like animation, but I haven’t really worked in this field before. Anyway, I’m a bit uncertain right now, but surely I’ll be more comfortable with this in the next few weeks.

Look at me! I’ve already started writing in my very first blog. In year one I used to keep my notes and research in a sketchbook. Always at hand. Now, looking at blogging from a different perspective, I realize that it’s an improvement from a sketchbook. Perhaps, useful ideas have been lost through too many pages. I think the blog will eliminate such kind of problems. It’s a different focus when you’re reconsidering notes, research, images etc. And another big advantage is that you can keep your working progress in a video format. Video never leaves any meticulous detail escape.

I’m already more relaxed. It will be fine. You have imagination, you have a good eye for graphic design… put them in motion!

So far, I cannot say that I have any particular type of animation that I like. So I will review two short animations, different techniques used, giving the best of my constructive criticism.

Javier Recio Gracia (2009)

Beyond the plot of the movie (by the way, it’s a drama “wrapped” in top quality humor), which caught my eye from the very beginning is the accuracy with which the scenes were created. Small details executed with great finesse (the moving old woman’s hair, the reflection of her face in the glass frame, the gouges of the gramophone disc, the adjustments of the folds of the pillow etc.). The second reason why the movie surprised me is the fast tempo in which some of the scenes are played (the fight between reaper and doctor, the chase for the “prize”), scenes which in real time only last 3 minutes, but it left me with a sensation that what I watched was much more.

Another forte of the movie I think is the soundtrack correlated with the facial expressions of the characters. It is as if you “read” the story, the dialogues, the unsatisfaction or satisfaction of the characters in actual words. Like subtitles embedded in your head.

The movie was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film and won the Goya Award for Best Animated Short of 2009.

Maciek Janicki (2013)

After watching a few animations, more or less exciting, I came across this superb movie. The simplicity yet its complexity is hard to overlook. All the small things give the impression of a titanic handmade work, almost impossible to accomplish.

Beyond the finesse of this project I liked another aspect quite a lot. Following the small car you feel time flowing naturally, as well as everything that appears on the sides is as if it’s a “rewind” of a destruction. It’s almost as I was watching a movie in “forward” and “rewind” at the same time. I’m not certain that I found the right words for what I felt, but for sure it’s a forte of the movie… At least in my opinion.

 

Character making I

Colaj Making 1

Workshop day. The task was to make a character from a set of different materials. The process sounds easy but as the character shapes itself, it got harder to choose what materials to use to complete various of the body, how to shape it as a whole, what you are aiming to. The materials used were: plastic glasses, elastics, cardboard, clay, straws, and matches. Finally my character has personified into Eric: a young alien, estimately in his early 20’s, left his home planet Venus looking for new challenges. From what he told me when he arrived, Venus is a pretty rough place to live in. Terrible weather , bullies and nothing to do except hunt. His attitude shows me he has a warrior spirit. He doesn’t talk too much though. He is pretty grumpy and honest, the looks he gives me with one or both eyes make me… Brrrr!!! I don’t know how he will handle himself on Earth, but I won’t wait to see it. It’s not exactly the guy whom you want to be friends with, so I let him find his own away and give shape to another character, this time in hope for it to be a bit more pacifistic.

Character making II

Mix 1

Mix 2

Mix 3

Mix 4

Mix 5

Gasirea

Character profile

Name: Mopsy / Age: around 15 years old / Gender: male / Date of birth: unknown / Height: 12 cm / Weight: 150g / Place of residence: London / Profession: freelancer / Likes: children / Dislikes: gadgets / Social media links: don’t like

Write a few lines about how would you describe yourself to others.

I’m a little shy, I love quiet and meditation. I like children, especially their honest nature. I want to meet new people every day, with which I can have long conversations, to know their thoughts and with whom I can share my knowledge with. I don’t like gadgets and overall technology which transforms people into solitary beings.

If you were stuck on a desert island and could only bring 5 things, what would it be?

a pen / paper / gramophone / a favorite record / a whiskey bottle

If you could have any job, other than the one you have now, what would it be and why?

A detective. I like to analyze little details which other people miss out and to surface the hidden truth.

What is the first thing that you do when you wake up and the last before you go to sleep.

In the morning I drink a cup of coffee. Before I go to sleep I smoke a cigarette and reflect upon the day which has just passed.

What makes you feel relaxed and what makes you really angry?

Talking with nice people makes me feel relaxed. People being sucked into the world of gadgets.

Tell us a bit about your best friend.

I don’t yet have one.

What is your guilty pleasure and why?

To play pool but sometimes I forget the notion of time.

Memories from your childhood?

People were more friendly towards me, more available to be around me.

A week of joy

Colaj 4

QUESTION FOR THE CREATOR: Now that you know your character better, write a paragraph about him and your experience of living with him.

He is often taciturn, gets angry quickly when he is near technology because he thinks that people have become reliant on it in a negative way. But in the moments in which he held conversations with me and various of my friends he was truly adorable. He can be funny when he is in the center of attention. To conclude, he is a valuable friend, capable to enrich your life, always willing to help to get past difficult moments. I think I will keep him for a while longer.

Creating the silhouette

Creating the silhouette, I used Adobe Photoshop and Corel Draw.

IMG_5097

IMG_5098

IMG_5099

IMG_5100

IMG_5101

IMG_5194

Making a storyboard

Once a concept or script is written for a film or animation, the next step is to make a storyboard. A storyboard visually tells the story of an animation panel by panel. That depicts the sequence of the key scenes (setting, dialogue and action) of a movie with pictures or sketches and text. It help to visualize the concept and in deciding whether or not to proceed with the final production. The finished movie may not always conform to all aspects of the storyboard, but they will document many of the early developments in the movie.

For this task and for the next phases of our project I was assigned to a team, formed of three people: me (of course!), Brandon and Patricia. At the first meeting as a group, we established a few technical details and drawing some ideas for the story which will come to life in a short video.

The storyboard

Storyboard_Ovidiu Mocanu

Making a video

Day has debuted very well. The weather was great for this month and it has given us a good mood. Already at the location, we have managed very quickly to prepare the necessary materials for the storyboard scenes. There were a few hours filled with humor and improvisation, in which we took turns in being directors, scenographers, cameramen. We hope that after the mounting of the video, we will have satisfaction of a thing well done.

Colaj Making Video

Searching inspiration

A useful visit in the universe of comic-books. Forbidden Planet. Source of inspiration for a future cut-out.

Colaj Forbidden Planet

The video

Looking at the video now, I realize that many aspects in its making can be improved.  From the narrative, to the technical details.  It’s hard to consider everything in your first try. Especially, the character’s movement can be improved a lot which implicitly could be make the narrative clearer. In any case, it was a successful experiment which gave me a new perspective over animation.

The cut out

Storyboard Cut Out Layout

For the cut out animation, I modified the original storyboard to obtain more simplistic scenes, keeping in mind that in this type of animation we cannot use background or any other helpful things to show the narrative. Only the characters can be used. I think this animation it’s a good experiment in terms of how we can actually do our final animation. The process of making this animation was easy, but take a lot of time.

The cut out, second attempt

This animation was realized only by Patricia and me.

Storyboard

I tried to imagine a short story with a moral behind it. The film refers to respecting the PG signs, which are given often when watching a movie. PG stands for Parental Guidance. (This means a film is suitable for general viewing, but some scenes may be unsuitable for young children.)

Untitled-1

The final animation. Research

Keeping in mind previous experiments, feedback and the level of knowledge in After Effects, I decided to find inspiration in stop-motion and cut-out animation, creating a film, which based on the storyboard, to forge a link between reality and the world of animation. We focused on the type of animation which uses After Effects and animated characters. Wanting and the gaining of a touch of humor, I think the animation from “SpongeBob in Real Life” is appropriate to our desire. Funny and effective, is a perfect way to illustrate a story with moral which we chose to represent in the final movie.

In the last two movies, presented above, I tried to find the most appropriate effect for the final scene of the film in which we will use typography, which in my opinion should be a memorable one.

Scene 1_TEST

Scene 4_TEST

Scene 3_TEST

Mopsy Four Position_Test

The storyboard

Final Storyboard

After Effects Practice

Printscreen1

Printscreen2

Printscreen3

Printscreen4

Printscreen5

After a few hours of practice with Markos, I started to work on my own animation at a beginner’s level. I cannot say it’s a hard software to master, but it is definitely not easy and I need a lot of practice for the future. In any case I was overwrought when I finished the scenes assigned to me by my group. (Even if they’re not exactly professional, I am pleased I made the first step!)

Rated movies are not always for pleasure

Final Animation Feedback

“I’m relief that you have a final animation (…) The narrative works really well, the background works good with the characters. (…) I would get rid of the initial text, and the characters presentation can be shorter. The bubbles could be more animated, also the outline, it looks a bit outside the scene, it looks that it doesn’t belong to the animation because of the different ascetic (…) it needs more secondary movement for the robot. (…) The inside of the house looks different from the inside, looks that they are in a different place. (…) Some shots could have more time, (…) the discussion to choose the film could be more explored (…) the screen could shake a little bit when Spacefrog is getting out” – Alexandra

”I am really impressed with the presentation, well done guys it work really good (…) the robot needs more secondary movement (…) don’t get down from the comments, it is just advices to improve the project.” – Marcus

Improved Storyboard

Untitled-1

Movie improvement

Evaluation

In general, we think that the project can be considered successful. The experiments from the first stage were a real help in finishing the ending movie.

Accomplishing the outdoor movie brought us a surplus in reconsidering technique and narration for the final movie. Certainly this film could be improved, especially in the technique of movement of the characters, but being pushed by time, we chose to allocate more time to finishing the final movie.

I am really happy that I used After Effects because from the start of the final animation I didn’t know a lot about it, but now I learned more about the program. The execution of the scenes in After Effects wasn’t very difficult but it certainly takes a lot of patience. The fact that the software gives you the possibility to use ”parenting layers” eases a lot the synchronizing of various characters parts’ movements. The rest relies on the precision in using the position, anchor point, scale. But everything is learned through practice. Using After Effects has not just been another software,  but I feel like it is a more than necessary tool to achieve a pleasurable aesthetic in animation.

One aspect, we can say, didn’t work efficiently. The group of three, became quickly a group of two (after making the outdoor movie and the first cut-out): Patricia and Ovidiu. It is pretty hard to re-divide, in the middle of the project, tasks for three. Failure of the allocated responsibilities of the third member hanged quite a bit in obtaining a good quality for the final film. However, with all these, we can say that due to the capacity of reorganization and the desire to finish the movie, we got a pretty good result , even, in two, we found the time to remake the cut-out , which we are now pretty pleased with.

We think that presenting the situation fairly is just and represents, in essence, the appreciation of the work done, without it this project would have resulted in failure.