I think this is going to be a fun project, and we're kicking it off with making rough sketches of what we might wanna make some of the dandelion scenes look like. I think incorporating the dandelions into the art is really important, which is why I like City Nights and Fireworks the most. Th ocean and forest scenes are ones that we can make look natural, with the forest growing and the fish in the ocean swimming. The space one is probably my favorite though, just being able to use the After Effects tools that we learned earlier in the semester. It definitely needs a lot more prototyping, but getting that general idea across was really fun to do.here are the 5 sketches I made for the beginning of the Electric Dandelions project.
This is a tool we learned called Write-On, and it's a tool that makes images appear based on the path you give it. It's a cool tool that we used in the demo to make vines grow, but I thought it would be fun to make it look like I was wiping of a foggy window. This was a super simple animation that took way too long, and that was mostly due to find the right sound effect, but I did learn some more Easy Ease and how to find the right sound effect.
This was a pretty cool animation project that focuses a lot on different types of tools and the versatility of After Effects, through motion and titles and, in my case, displacement maps. We learned the use of Adobe Bridge and the importance of timing, and I brushed up some of my skills on making the glitch effect that I learned awhile back. I thought it would be fun to give pretty video some more unsettling vibes, so that's what the glitch in there is for.
This animation was a little more complicated than the last one, and we focused a little more on solids and more unique aspects of After Effects instead of stuff like keyframes. We made planets spin, and uploaded things like TIFF animations and sound effects. I had a lot of fun making this project, and I put a little bit of twist on it with some After Effects experience I already have.
This project we animated a basketball to bounce and move around, and it was actually really useful for me to help learn After Effects a little more. I knew the basics of both animation and After Effects, and this project helped me get a little more in depth with both. Squashing and stretching, as well as motion blur are what make the ball bounce, and I wanted it to look cartoonish, because it's animation. I added the portals as a nice little touch, and even those had some issues with masking and matte layers.
Ummm, it's been couple of months, and I'm really happy that school is back in session, but I still have zero to show for it, and it's kinda killing me. I've been on and off with working on it, spending a couple of days in a row trying to finish it, then dropping the project. But, good news, I'm almost done! just have one more lightsaber shot to do and then once the sound mixing is done I can reap what I've sowed. This project is super intense and lightsabers are a lot more work than I thought it was gonna be. I'm glad I worked on it though, and it's definitely helped me scale my expectations. Wish me luck.
So we finally got to film, which I was super hyped about and excited to finally get the ball rolling in finishing this project up. While it's not necessarily my fault, I still wish I had kept my due dates and timeline in check, because now at the end of the school year I might not have a finished project to show the class. editing was painstaking as well, and while I originally planned to set aside two whole weeks to work on post alone, I had not gauged just how much work this would actually be. Whatever it is, I am glad I got to finally film and this is the edit (without the lightsaber effects) for Star Wars: The Phantom Nugget.
While I have had a hard time setting film dates with my friends, I have been working on everything else I possibly can, from learning the Video Copilot lightsaber plugin and working on intros and credit rolls, in the obvious Star Wars fashion. We have also finished and perfected the choreography, and practiced enough to know the beats of the fight and know where our opponent is going. Here is the polished blocking doc and the intro/credit scroll.
Choreography and Blocking
So I think that because I have never filmed something or made a short film before, I'm treading a lot of new ground and going into a lot of new territory. I'm having a lot of fun with it right now, and being able to actually go through and produce a product. Being able to express myself creatively is awesome, and practicing fighting with lightsabers is probably one of the more nerdier things that I've done. So far I've finished blocking and choreographing the fight, and have begun to develop the story and how it will be shot, including the infamous Star Wars crawl and Cantina Band for the credits. This is the choreography my friend and I wrote.
So for this project, I haven’t had much experience with filming things in general, I’ve had a lot of ideas and plans, but nothing I can ever set in motion, so this project is finally helping me get into the swing of things. I want to make this lightsaber fight as accurate as possible, so I’ve been reading up on fighting with swords. I learned the basics of how to fight with a sword, then I defined each of the 7 lightsaber forms that are in the Star Wars universe, messing around with them and seeing which ones work with the fight I’m doing.
Fighting With A Sword: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y_Y6ZDdsOvs
The 7 Forms Of Lightsaber Combat: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WP7sbwbIzks
Basics To Each Lightsaber Form: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLdcRTCxAZ53Wed6Y
The project we are working on is designing a narrative-based video game, and we have to make concept art to go with our idea, to construct how we want the game to look and certain design choices that we had to make. The game I made wasn't as narrative-based as it was meant to be. My game is about a game tester who is testing out a new type of game console, one that actually transports you into the world you're playing. In this game, a bunch of the test worlds are based on movies to make them easier to build and experiment, so the game developers don't have to worry about creativity or designing new concepts, just the functionality of the console. Your job is to complete all of the levels, but the catch is that the system isn't fully functioning and breaks down while you're in it. You have to repair the console in different ways while going through the movie-based worlds. My concept art on the left is figuring out how I want my character, Frank Homer son, to look. On the right are iterations of the teleporter that Frank will use to get in and out of the console, and how I wanted that to look.
Constraints are used to narrow down what you want to focus on in your iterations. For the hair, my constraint was trying to make my character look unkempt without looking gross or unappealing. For the teleporter, my constraint was that it needed to only be accessible when the story needed it to, and it Frank also needs to communicate with the developers. The handheld versions were mainly meant for communication, while the stationary ones were meant to have that accessibility issue tied to them.
I had some challenges during the iterations process. One of them was during the sketching process. I was leaning towards a specific design while drawing, and I ended up putting more effort into those ones than others. For the shirt design, I spent way more time on Number 2, than the others, even though it didn't win in a class vote. I spent too much time on them normally. Instead of them being sketches, they were fleshed out ideas. Another struggle I had with this was opening/closing doors to ideas and iterations that went deeper into detail. I had basically already put a lot of detail into my first iterations, and had to make an entirely new category instead of diving deeper into one design.
I learned that iterations can be used to help you get all of your ideas out there in front of people, no matter if they're thought out or not. It was also a really cool way of actually designing my character, where I didn't choose the design myself, but looked at what the majority of people wanted to see on my character.
For the hair iterations, design #1 won. For the teleporter iterations, design #3 won. For the shirt design iterations, #1 won.
This project is called The marble Olympics, and in it we used different forms of digital media to make a video parodying the Olympics. In it we have two different events; the relay race and the block pusher. My part was filming the marbles and making a stinger for the intro at the beginning of the video. The stinger I made was a glitch effect and I made it in After Effects. A good chunk of it was chunking some noise to make the blocks, then animate the contrast and make it look like it's moving. After that, I added color and made it look 3-dimensional. I think I got a feel for After Effects, as I had never really used it before. It was cool to be able to follow a tutorial (Video Copilot) and make something really cool that would give me practice for After Effects. i don't think the project itself was that time-effective, but the skills I learned in it will definitely useful.
I am working on a shirt design, in my free time. It’s taken a lot of effort and time, and I could’ve finished earlier if I hadn’t procrastinated so much.
Facing A Challenge
It was difficult to get it started. I originally drew it for a D&D campaign, but that fell through and I had a left-over drawing. Another thing that was challenging was finding time to work on it. I was developing another D&D at the time, and I was conflicted on which project I should work on.
Having A Go
I took the time to finish this, instead of the D&D, because that was a bigger project. I devoted most of my free time to working on it. I began tracing the drawing in Illustrator, and this went on for a week or two. When I finished tracing I needed to invert the colors, some of the lines needed to be reverted to another color, and I couldn’t do that while they were in a Live Paint Group.
I re-drew the lines that needed to change colors, and them accordingly. It took more time, but I think the outcome looks a lot better than it was before.
I learned a lot of useful skills about Adobe Illustrator, and learned more on how the program and different tools I could use to help me. The scissor tool was a really useful tool, and helped me to cut out segments I didn’t want. I learned how to make your lines look a lot smoother and precise, too.
I completed the project, and it felt really good. I was able to draw, trace, and shade the entire piece in a less than a month. I don’t think that's too impressive, and I could’ve finished it a lot earlier. But, I have a lot of other stuff going on, like school and work, so I thought it went well.
Reflection and Value
I think the most valuable part of this project was being able to work on it whenever you wanted, and not having a defined due date. It gave me a lot more creative freedom to not have other people working on the project with me.
Hello there. As I said in the previous blog post the design process and the Empathize, Define and Ideate phases, the design thinking process is healthier and more efficient way to find a solution to any problem, big or small. These last two parts of the phase, the Prototype and Test phases, are steps that are made to make your solution come to life and to make sure it works.
Our prototyping phase went two very different ways; one towards reducing morality rates from accidents, and making biking more appealing in Napa. Our first prototype was an innovation of a bike helmet. One that had pressure pads on the inside, to measure the g-forces inflicted on the wearer's head. If the g-force is high enough to cause damage to the head or cause an injury, it will signal to a 9-1-1 dispatch. There are motion sensors to tell if you are unconscious and a GPS so the paramedics would be able to reach you. I'll explain why that didn't work in the test phase. The second prototype was building more roadway for both the Napa River Trail and the Napa Valley Bike Trail. We were designing routes to connect both to each other, and connect those to the Oxbow Commons and the trail further downstream. The River Trail will continue to run along the river, and run through the Oxbow Preserve. It will connect to the Oxbow Commons through a bridge, then continue down to the Napa Valley Bike Trail. For The Bike Trail, it will continue to run beside the train tracks and go through the Oxbow Commons. Then, it will connect to the River Trail and the separate Bike Trail. We will also paint murals further uptown, in between California Blvd. and Pueblo St. To make the trails seem even more appealing to the community, we will run lights along both of the trails, so it will be lit at night.
Test: For the helmet, there were a couple of things that got in the way; the how, and how it related to the project. We weren't technologically savvy enough to be able to create a helmet like that, and the helmet's design didn't math up with our problem statement. Our problem statement was to make biking safer and more comfortable, while the helmet was made to prevent fatalities and get paramedics to the sight faster. That's why we had to scratch that idea. The trail connector, however, we will be sticking with. It seems plausible, but there are a couple of constraints that will stop us from doing it.
Constraint 1: Cost. It will be very expensive not only to make the trails with asphalt, which is relatively cheap, but also with hiring artists and putting up lights along the trail.
Constraint 2: Permission. The River Trail runs along the banks of the river and in between private property. Further downstream, people have purchased land that goes all the way up to the banks of the river. We would need to sign contracts with everyone who owns land in the path stating that they would give up part of their land to help build this. Some people might agree, but some will not.
The design process is a very creative and extremely good way to come up with solutions for a problem that you're facing, whether it's for an assignment or just solving a problem. There are 5 main steps to the design process are; Empathy, Define, Ideate, Prototype, and Test. Empathizing is getting to know the user better, and putting yourself in their shoes to better understand what the problem is. Defining is understanding the problem, then forming questions to help your research. And ideating is coming up with ideas based on the user's needs and the research you found. I'm only going to talk about Empathy, Define, and Ideate. As you can tell by the title, there will be a second part about the prototyping and testing.
As I said in the beginning, empathy is putting yourself in someone else's shoes, trying to understand what the problem is and what the user needs from the prototype. I learned how to feel how others feel, using interviews and empathy maps to get the most valuable information. I used a note catcher to get every piece of information that our interviewee said. Through that, I was able to see what the organization was trying to do, how they were doing it, and what got in their way. I think the hardest part of the Empathy stage was filling out the empathy map. It was split up into four different categories; Say, Do, Feel, Think. The Say and Do were easier to fill out, because all I had to do was look at her to see what body movements she made, and listen to what she was saying. the harder parts were the Think and Feel, because we had to interpret the information we got from the interview and turn that into emotions and thoughts that she had.
The define process was one of the shorter processes, where we figured out what the problem was after getting the empathy stage done. Each group had to come up with a problem statement, a sentence that defined what needed to be done in the project. The way my team did was we looked through the interviewer notes and found phrases and ideas that were repeated multiple times. This is the problem statement we came up with; "The Napa Valley Bike Coalition needs to find a way to make biking safer, because conditions and the environment can affect a biker's comfort and experience."
When we first started the ideate phase, we already had ideas forming in our minds after we made the problem statement. We spent about 10 minutes writing every idea that came to our head, no matter how crazy or impossible it was. After that, we had a vote. We voted on the ideas that we wrote down based on which were more feasible, affordable, and effective. Once we narrowed them down to about 5 ideas, we different process to help expand our thinking process. We made constraints based on our research and interview notes, and tried to make changes to those ideas to conform to those constraints. One of those constraints was making a board game. We made a Jumanji-style board game, but instead of giving you riddles about jungle creatures, it gave you tips on the rules of the road, and different ways you can be safer on it. Another constraint was making a solution to the problem from a different time period. We set in the 1820's, and since there were no cars around, bike safety wasn't a problem. Bikes were just invented, so they were the new mode of transportation. We could've made a solution to help bikers from getting trampled by horse-drawn carriages, but I don't think that would've helped.