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-01 an explanation This is a chronological progression of my year long efforts towards an honours degree for computer arts at the University of Abertay in Dundee (2011 - 2012). This may be of interest to anyone on the same, or similar, program if by some miracle you have wrapped your paws around a copy - I only intend on printing 3 or 4 and possibly stashing one in the library, under the stacks, in that secret compartment, to hang out with that one other book. But this one can’t instruct you on the specific advantages of a foot massage...

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00 INTRODUCTION Occasionally, in flicking through various artistic or design orientated books, a phrase will pop up along the lines of ‘this is not intended for cover to cover reading’. Instinctively I have the urge to ignore the author and defy his or her request by reading every page that follows, in order, cover to cover. This, fortunately, only lasts a few paragraphs, maybe pages if it’s good. In the case of the book you are currently holding I invite you to read it cover to cover, encourage you even. But at least know I did not write it in this manner. What follows is half honours project, half journal documenting one journey from student hood to ‘normality’. Truth be told, my aim in creating this is a selfish one; to show off. The idea of a book carries more weight than a certificate or the framed likeness of a proud graduate holding what is in many cases a plastic tube or thin roll of paper posing as something grander. It is what it is and what that is I don’t really know but you can be safe in the knowledge that any conclusion or understanding you gain through reading what I have wiggled together is probably, but not necessarily, correct; well done, I applaud you!

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The Modules

Concept Development

The honours year is split between 5 modules, I have uploaded the work for all 5 onto a blog, ijmccallumhonours.blogspot.com, in the hope of tying it together. I have also added a journal section to accommodate my own thoughts throughout the year. The note at the base of each page refers to which ever module the content of the page is responding to.

This is exactly what the title implies. Students are required to come up with many potential topics of study for the honours year. Several of these topics will be researched, analysed and developed before one is chosen. The specific questions each student is asked to address while contemplating this choice are as follows: As a creative what inspires, motivates & intrigues you? How do you research / explore ideas? How do you communicate, interpret, define, story & experience ideas?

Journal My thoughts, extra projects and admissions that may prove the submission of this work, alongside my honours project, unwise yet entertaining. While committing these thoughts to paper it has repeatedly occurred to me that grading the work of our tutors (by this I mean the organisation of their module, their teaching methods and ability) would be a worth-while exercise for both us and them. This would give far more satisfaction than the anonymous feedback sheets so often used. But, in the current situation, this book is as close as I will get. I hope you enjoy the occasional rant - keep in mind everything written in this section strives to stay honest and light hearted in nature.

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Each student is allowed to focus on any subject of their choosing. This module is therefore, in my opinion, the most crucial and deserves more attention and structure than it currently holds. Through out the first semester we are repeatedly informed that any finalised research aim will change and is likely to continue doing so until the end of the (academic) year. Interestingly the credits attributed to this development are graded in November, 6 months before the end.

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Professional Practice

Research Methods & Dissertation

Planning the project. The chosen subject is explained and the tasks required to complete the year are laid out. Everything is detailed, justified and portrayed through tables, documentation or visual representations. It begins with a self portrait in text. Then the subject at hand is mapped out and whittled down. This module develops the big question and divides it into several objectives which are in turn split into a number of tasks. These are then allocated dates within which to be completed. Everything is methodical. Everything is logical.

Words, so many words. The fortunately written and those that fell behind. The ill-advised additions, here too they pain my mind. In notes of lead I cite, take heed. They wrote, I read. I write, you read.

Honours Project The final few media tests (practical projects) complete enough to be considered ‘worthy’ of this section. I dub thee - ‘Pre-Production mk 2’.

Pre-Production This module accounts for the media tests - all practical work excluding the final piece. As my focus is on a portfolio-shaped key to employment which includes many varied examples of skill, the boundary between this and the following module is somewhat blurred. Of course as far as the academics are concerned there is a clean split - were they to line up the contents of each, a smooth development may be appreciated.

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October November December January February March April

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15 34 55 91 109 120 137

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Personal Statement; an introduction to me. I have a strong interest in design and creativity, as you have probably guessed by this point. Specifically - visual effects. I had always been aware of amazing things being shown in films and TV but did not realise the potential of a career in this area until easter of 2009. I was reaching the end of part 1 in architecture at Edinburgh College of Art (3 years and a BA). Having become proficient in google sketch for architectural modelling I was looking to develop my work with a more advanced 3d package. This naturally lead to a youtube binge of showreels, specifically the following four from Autodesk :

Media and entertainment 2007

Showreel 2008

Best of the best 2009

Siggraph 2009 showreel

I watched these one after the other, over and over again. The realisation of a link between what I had been learning with sketch up and the unbelievable awesomeness of these videos is probably the single most defining moment of my life to date. This lead me to finish the BA, move to Dundee and begin the pursuit of a new ‘destiny’.

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Career aims: I am aiming to work in a smaller film and tv studio after graduating. Commercials and short promotional videos are the most likely areas in which I will find work. A speaker at the 'Scotland Loves Animation' workshop 2011 described having a broader skill set as an advantage in the world of smaller studios. The ability to wear many hats makes the studio as a whole more versatile. Also offering a skill that no one else in that particular studio possesses will give you a huge advantage in acquiring work there. He advised students to have a general range of skills as well as a specialisation. I do not find the alternative, focusing on one particular skill within a larger company, as enticing at this stage, although I would not say no to any form of employment. If a studio will have me, that's where I'll go. If you are interested in where this degree has led me after graduation, checkout my site: ijm.blogspot.com, that’s if you haven’t just dragged this book out a dust covered pile of ____ from the attic.

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As a creative what inspires, motivates and intrigues you?

When ever I see something, anything, that is done well. Usually most of these things will inspire motivate and intrigue simultaneously but with varying intensities. I have the most interest in things that are current, whither it is news, technology, events or social occasions. To keep up with these things I follow a group of online sources: Google news, Abduzeedo, Wired, Tech crunch, Gizmodo, Nerve, Vimeo, Linked in, Twitter, Facebook and some Youtube channels. Abduzeedo also does a variety of regular posts on inspirational topics: 'Daily Inspiration', 'Friday Fresh Free Fonts', 'Sites of the Week, 'Architect Day', 'Beautiful Houses', 'World Wide Photography, 'Video Inspiration', 'Logo Design', 'Typography Mania' and a whole host of tutorials. Another online tool I use is 'Stumble', this can lead to much procrastination but with the settings geared for the correct subjects that procrastination can easily turn productive. In the physical world my flat-mate, Keagan, and I have wrapped a column in paper with pens close by. The idea is for every visitor to leave a mark, drawing or phrase. Once full we will replace the paper and most likely hang the old ones. This, and other randomly creative activities, generate yet more inspirational material. My main motivation is the desire for success, although most likely an influence from society it is one I accept gladly.

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How do you research / explore ideas? How do you communicate, interpret, define, story & experience ideas? I have brought the last two questions together as I feel they are related quite strongly. The first paragraph deals with the source of ideas and this second will deal with what happens to them after their initial spark. When an idea is formed my first act is either to write it down or draw it out depending on what materials are handy. If it is relevant to an upcoming project or to one I am currently working on I will dive further into the thoughts surrounding it. To explore these thoughts I use a combination of trial, error, contemplation and planning. The exact mixture depends on the type of project being driven by the idea. Three years ago, for example, I was concluding my degree in architecture. This required the development of a large design. The design needed a strong concept to underpin every single aspect involved. In order to explore concepts that would satisfy such complex demands I doodled. For hours and hours, filling sketchbooks exploring every possible way of working spaces together in a manner that would reflect the concept, fit the context and satisfy building regulations. Once a design began to slowly emerge from these rough sketches I moved into creating small models that would further explore and describe to my tutors the ideas. This would allow me to focus on a particular form and move into 3D modelling with programs like Google Sketchup, Autocad and 3DS max. Through the process of fine tuning designs these programs allowed me to play with the specifics at greater speed than would have been possible using traditional media. These were purely the physical processes. Alongside their development I would discuss thoughts with tutors regularly and with peers every day. Working in a permanent space in a studio full of other architects allowed me to wander around and glean inspiration from the activities going on around and to discuss both my thoughts and those of others. Surrounding our studios was the rest of the art college with a huge range of bizarre and unexpected inspiration and creativity. In contrast having moved into a digital domain without permanent studio spaces has led me to the online world as described in response to the first question. My development process for CG projects still begins with the rough doodling but advances into creation of the final product far quicker. In creating VFX I tend to happen on an idea of what the effect should look like almost instantaneously, the development is focused more on how to achieve that specific look. Using a rough knowledge of the tools available I can normally imagine a way through the processes that would result in an imagined effect. At my current stage in learning the route is rarely exact. Tweaking and playing form a huge part in the process but also lend to small discoveries that aid any future efforts.

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Beginning to think; finding the topic for research. My first serious thoughts on the honours project began just after christmas of third year. Around this time I became involved in several projects being run by the fourth years of the time. Having an insight into their chosen research subjects and project development allowed a clearer vision of the goals I would be aiming for. Over the next few months I jotted down research ideas as they came. Around the end of may I collected the most promising subjects and consulted my tutor, Lynn. This is the list I took to her: 1 Do the various styles of movement in animation have specific advantages or disadvantages? 2 How to asses the quality of your own animation 3 Can animations be sold like rigs and models on, for example, turbo squid? 4 Sound and animated performance 5 Using animal traits to enhance human performance 6 How closely can reference footage be followed? 7 Expressing relationships between characters through performance 8 A study into techniques that increase an audiences empathy with animated characters 9 How influential are micro-movements in a characters performance? 10 How effective is the use of contrast in movement 11 Using techniques from sport to inform animated movement During that discussion the last 4 ideas were highlighted. I spent some time looking into each and settled on ‘Using techniques from sport to inform animated movement’. This, though, didn’t last. Throughout June I imagined every possible way of taking the idea forward while considering both my own interest and what would be achievable. A study in micro-movements began to look the more favorable option. By the end of the month I had switched over and broadened the topic into ‘A study into facial expressions in animation’. This seemed to be the one, I began researching the subject through the second week of september. Two problems became evident. The first: this is a well documented and popular area in which a year long study was looking less justifiable. The second: there seemed no clear way, to me, of incorporating a short production that would complement the study. To clarify: my main aim for the project is to produce a single animated piece of high enough quality to impress any future employer. It was while struggling with these problems that my current (at the time of writing this pharagraph) topic hit me; in cg productions, do massive budgets justify the increase in quality.

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These are my notes from that initial idea: Quality of short films verses the quality of larger productions. Are massive budgets justifiable for the gain in quality? Try to produce a high quality short with a low budget. How do some big budgets get it wrong? How do some low budgets get it so right? Where do bad low budgets go wrong? Big budgets getting it right... wow Box office receipts justify rising costs, are audiences going for the big budget movies or the epic visual appeal? Could the same box office results be achieved with a half / quarter the budget for production? Films | Tv series | Adverts | Music videos What are the costs: case studies of several productions of varying budgets but similar quality, what are they doing differently? How is quality judged (box office sales / image quality (not just resolution))? Question ideas (for those currently in the industry): Which area in production budgets are the most likely to run away if not controlled tightly? Considering the cost (money, man power and time) which is the most efficient / rewarding part of the production process / pipeline? If one part of the pipeline had to be axed, what part? and is it actually conceivable to remove such a part? Where is there a lack of literature on this topic? How this idea came into being: Throughout the summer, alongside my thoughts on the honours subject, I have been pondering my future career. I have an interest in visual effects and finished third year with a growing passion for animation, hence the common focus through all the topics considered for honours. After graduating I intend to find a job as an Animator, Modeller or VFX assistant and work up to Head of Animation, VFX Supervisor or Head of 3D. Alternatively, but by no means the lesser option, I will try to find work in a smaller studio that will encompass more than one element in the pipeline. With a greater understanding of how the various elements in a production pipeline work and come together I would have a greater chance of succeeding in these aims. This research topic is a perfect opportunity to build my understanding and create tangible evidence of experience which can be presented to potential employers. Another advantage to this is the chance it presents to talk with those currently in positions overseeing productions about the way they work and potentially to pass on to them knowledge gained from my research.

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Aims & Objectives 1 Are the massive budgets of blockbusters justifiable given the ability of smaller studios to achieve high quality productions at greater value.

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1 1.1 1.2

Define the issues relevant to this study What is meant by budget What is meant by quality

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Production history with focus on budget and quality Create a brief synopsis of the development of cg pipelines Examine the varying types of cg involvement in productions What are the extents of budget in the industry What are the extents of quality in the industry

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Discuss comparisons between specific studios Illustrate points of interest through examples Draw together these points for project guidelines, points may vary depending on the type of project

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Produce a cg short Set goals for quality and budget Set up pipeline following the results of the research Produce the short Evaluate wither the production was under budget and achieved sufficient quality

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Wednesday, 21st of September, 2011. Thoughts on the production (practical project) inspired by a lecture on mind mapping for research topics: One of the issues I have been avoiding has been what the practical project is going to be. Looking at the nature of my subject it seems more than likely that attempting to form a team to work on various stages of a project might be appropriate. Hopefully I will be able to involve other honours students whose research topics would fit well around my own. For example; someone studying the development of a story could produce a concept, someone studying concept art could design the characters and so on. In an ideal world each specific area of research would make up the various stages of a production pipeline. This could prove tricky with all the honors students working simultaneously; the initial work for one project may require the completed work from another. There is also the option of using students from years below who may have some extra time on their hands, the biggest foreseeable problem is with the precedence of their uni work over the honours project. Their commitment and reliability may become compromised part way through the project. The time available for the project limits it to a short production. Creating an easily achievable goal would be a good plan if the final product is to be finished with the quality expected from a professional, or team of professionals. A student finishing the year with a large yet mediocre portfolio is not going to win any contracts against someone with a smaller range of highly polished work. Another consideration worth taking into account while thinking about the practical work is what is my likely future employment. There seems the potential for two paths. One in specialising with something like animation and working up the ranks in a larger studio. The other is working more generally and beginning with smaller studios creating smaller productions but taking responsibility for a larger breadth of production. Even after just writing this the second way seems more exciting and with more potential, I shall not be assembling a team

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Aims & Objectives 2 To examine the value of stages within a pipeline creating cg for film and tv, and to establish an efficient way of creating similar graphics.

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Review production methods and pipeline setups used in the cg industry with particular focus on budget and quality Establish what is meant by ‘budget’ and ‘quality’ Create a brief synopsis of the development of cg pipelines

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Critically analyse and discuss the approaches used by a range of studios Examine the varying types of cg involvement in productions What are the extents of quality and budget in the industry and how are they affected by the pipeline set up

3

Set up the work flow for a cg production in response to the research conducted thus far

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Produce an original cg short using the pipeline produced by this research Set goals for quality and budget Evaluate wither the project succeeded in its goals

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Aims & Objectives 3 To investigate the value of production methods in VFX pipelines, and establish methodologies that enhance quality.

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Review production methods and pipeline setups used in the CG industry with reference to budget and quality.

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Critically analyse and discuss the value of approaches used by a range of studios.

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Design the work flow for a VFX production in response to the research analysis.

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Produce an original CG short testing the pipelines value in creating high quality effects.

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The Art of CG Supervision, conclusions drawn from a blog by Isa Alsup on VFX pipelines.

There are three essential elements to every pipeline that a supervisor must understand and manage effectively: Personnel “comprises the artists and technicians and their skills and personalities”. Tools “which comprises the computer hardware, film recorders, scanners, and other devices together with the software needed to operate them and any other workplace tools, equipment and furniture and facilities --automation and “robots” are tools”. Procedure “comprises the workplace policies, procedures, methods, proprietary techniques, and so forth and embraces the company’s corporate culture” (The supervisor makes up a fourth element, Leadership) Classes of CG pipeline: Production - the practical work, run by the crew (sometimes supervisors), uses graphics software and hardware. “the sequential movement of a shot through the hands of artists and technicians who produce elements and refinements leading to a finished product” Material - progress management of all shots, (not necessary but advisable), run by the coordinators. Uses asset management software or file systems and structural conventions, logging and documentation system (keeping track of what comes in, goes out and hopefully what we still have) “provides a mechanism for the flow of data in and out of the production pipeline, the flow of data between artists and technicians and the archival and retrieval of reusable assets” Approval - series of people a shot has to pass before moving on, (not necessary but advisable), run by the supervisors. Uses collaboration tools, project management software, spreadsheets, databases. “provides interfaces, a historical record and regulates the process of giving direction, clarifying direction and securing approval for the work done in the production pipeline”

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Isa Alsup’s definition of CG pipelines:

1. A VFX pipeline belongs to one of three classes: 1. production (task) primary 2. material (data) secondary 3. approval (meta-data) tertiary 2. A VFX pipeline is comprised of four structural dimensions: 1. leadership 2. personnel 3. tools 4. methods 3.

A VFX pipeline utilises technology but is not the technology

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A VFX pipeline divides a work-flow into separate and meaningful tasks assigned to two or more persons

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VFX pipeline task divisions are determined using a tree of specialisation across the three dimensions

6. The VFX pipeline structural form is dictated by 1. the functional mission, 2. resources available and 3. company culture 7.

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A VFX pipeline is malleable

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Quotes from ‘Digital Production Pipelines’, a Thesis by Dane Edward Bettis. “The purpose of this thesis is to collect, study and share information regarding production pipeline practices, and to derive a conceptual framework, as a first step toward the larger goal of developing an effective theoretical model.” “In conclusion, the researcher found that a CG production pipeline was neither merely process nor product, but rather a set of resources with constraints with the purpose of creating a film. Having collected information from different forms and sources of knowledge, the researcher synthesised these findings to form a case study model of a CG production pipeline. From this model, he created an abstract conceptual definition of the CG pipeline as the use of existing resources and constraints in response to the needs of system users for a particular project at a particular time.” “A digital production pipeline must therefore, by definition, utilise digital computing hardware and software to facilitate human work and collaboration for the over arching purpose of producing content for film. A digital production pipeline is not defined by its structure; its structure is merely a manifestation of its influences. Ideally, chief among these influences would be the needs of the film project, the values of the studio and its management, the inherent strengths of their manpower, and the software/ hardware legacy of the studio.” “A digital production pipeline is not a permanent structure, but rather a malleable set of components which can be arranged and configured, and adapted into new structures as needed. These malleable components are human groups with assigned task domains, and digital hardware and software systems. The human groups are normally referred to as departments or teams. The digital hardware and software systems are operating systems, software tools and applications, networks, processors, and storage. The digital production pipeline is the synergy of these two types of components into adaptable systems and structures for the purpose of producing a film.” (A note: Dane’s thesis does for VFX pipelines what I would eventually aim for this study to achieve in it’s final form concerning broadcast graphic development. But more of that later.)

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Pitch and Crit management 1 A quick explanation of Abertay’s pitch and crit sessions: 4 times throughout the year every student in the ‘Institute of arts media and computer games’ must present all their work to a group of peers led by one, or in the case of others with more luck than I, two 4th years. The idea is for the 4th years and peers to give feedback on the work being presented. Afterwards we must produce a report on our own performance, a questionable practice but one in which I have attempted to remain honest. Reflection on the first session: The group consisted of five students, three second and two third year computer artists. With the smaller group size time management was less of an issue. Another factor that helped in this respect was the joint project between two of the students for their sole module. Providing feedback was slightly more difficult. As this is the beginning of the semester not all of the students have gotten into the work so much. The small amount of presentation material did not afford much to provide feedback on. Most of the advice given focused on planning for future hurdles. For example, one student with a programming background is going into a team next semester with the hopes of working on the art. My advice was to generate enough art to justify that position as the likely hood of being the only person with an ability to program is fairly high unless the work is outsourced. Also to the three second years taking their own developed game concepts into a group that will only produce a single idea - keep in mind they will have to justify why their idea would be a better investment of time and effort. Going into the group development without justifications backing up their own idea is likely to result in it being ditched. The joint animation project had more depth and development creating more opportunities for feedback. I began this with some initial notes on their presentation style then moved into some finer points regarding the planned performances of their characters. Their project had enough substance to draw the rest of the group into discussion with most giving their own contributions. In future sessions I hope to improve on my ability to appraise and identify weak points in projects with more speed. I found myself coming up with ideas for feedback after the conclusion of the session. From my perspective the pitch went well, hopefully the students will provide more practical work in the next presentation from which I can draw an improved understanding of any difficulties they may be facing.

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First presentation Abertay require their honours students to pitch their subject and progress 4 times through out the year. I have written up, almost word for word, my presentations for the benefit or interest of anyone in the same situation. If you’re short on time my 3rd and 4th presentations were applauded for structure and clarity, the 1st and 2nd - not so much. In fact, the slides for the 1st presentation are too painful to even consider printing in this book, they’re online if you fancy a dig. Hi, I am me! My area of research, at a glance, is the processes of production used in creating visual effects. Slightly more specifically, the value of these processes. Before I go more in depth with that description I will introduce myself, how i arrived at this subject and where I intend to go. I have always had in interest in artistic activities and creations alongside an ability in more technical subjects. These traits led me into a BA of architecture which in turn led me to creating 3D models of the designs. Through learning software like Sketch up, autocad and 3DS max I discovered the potential of turning this specific skill set into a career. On completing the BA I moved to a second one in Computer arts. Over the past couple of years here I have developed general skills in CG productions and am using this honours year to focus on visual effects. My aim after graduating is to find work in a smaller studio in which rising up the ranks may come quicker than in a larger studio. The goal is to get to the level of CG supervisor, potentially even VFX supervisor then begin working with larger productions and studios. So far all I have to help me achieve this is some general CG skills and an ability to appreciate the workings of the processes involved. What I need from this honours year is an in-depth understanding of VFX processes and a specialised skill, the one I am aiming at is the particle effects systems in Houdini. My personal aims for the year are similar to most other students; create a portfolio piece that will grab the attention of any future employers and impress them enough to consider hiring me. Alongside this aim I intend to use the research subject as a tool in acquiring a number of industry contacts. The information I gather on efficient pipeline design and techniques could potentially allow me to pass on tips and trick to those in a far more experienced position than myself. With luck this would impress rather than offend.

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The area in which I am focusing my research, as far as I can tell at this point in time, has been well covered but by a secretive group. Fortunately the few authors I have found to have published work have completed reasonably thorough investigations. The first, Isa Alsup, has published a blog of 51 articles aimed at helping CG supervisors design and maintain efficient VFX pipelines. Through his work I found a masters thesis “Digital production pipelines: examining structures and methods in the computer effects industry” by Dane Edward Bettis. In mention the ‘secretive group’ earlier I was referring to any VFX studio trying to remain competitive in the industry. Any advantage they find over others in the form of efficient pipeline setups would be negated were they to publish the information. This leads on to the interest that the study would generate. If successful, it would show ways in which a studio may be able to save money, time or effort. Also it would be relevant knowledge for any person wishing to learn more about VFX pipelines, this could be someone in the industry looking to advance their career, a student or anyone else looking to enter the industry. The main aim of the project is currently worded as ‘To investigate the value of production methods in VFX pipelines, and establish methodologies that enhance quality’. I will run through the objectives to describe the project plan in more detail: 1. ‘Review production methods and pipeline setups used in the CG industry with reference to budget and quality’. In essence, this means research the pipelines used by VFX studios. Before beginning this research I have to define what is meant by quality. The reason for this comes from discrepancies in peoples opinions of what is good and bad. ‘Avatar’, ‘Beowulf ’, ‘The golden compass’ and other films have people taking sides as to whither they are good or not. Even professionals from the VFX industry may be drawn into the disputes claiming seniority through position, but you cannot decide a dispute by comparing personal credentials. A system of proof must be found and followed logically. Once this is done, the research can continue with focus. 2. ‘Critically analyse and discuss the value of approaches used by a range of studios.’ In this part of the project I am looking at the value of processes rather than the cost. The reason is in the disproof of an assumption that may be made without much thought: if you supply more resources for a production, it will achieve a higher level of quality. Using ‘Beowulf ’ as an example again, this film had access to a more resources than ‘Sintel’, a small production that with little resources has managed to achieve a high level of quality. Put differently, this objective in this section is to identify the production processes with the best value in terms of high quality output. 3. ‘Design the pipeline for a VFX production in response to the research analysis.’ This aim is fairly self explanatory. Using the processes identified in the previous objective as achieving the best value, create a pipeline.

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4. ‘Produce an original CG short testing the pipelines value in creating high quality effects.’ Again self explanatory, use the pipeline created in the previous objective to create the practical piece which will be displayed in the Honours exhibition at the end of the year. If it achieves a high level of quality in comparison to the available resources then the study has succeeded in identifying high value processes and techniques. If not, the study will have brought to light some techniques to avoid. Some of the methods I will use to undertake this project: For research I intend to find literature and work through the publications I have found so far. These include; a series of ‘CGW’ journal articles via Abertays ‘SUMMON’, blogs by industry professionals, the masters thesis by Dane Edward Bettis and a series of 200 podcasts by FX guide. I also intend to discuss the topic with industry professionals at events like ‘Scotland Loves Animation’ which is taking place at the end of this week, the 14th of October 2011. For the practical work I will follow online tutorials on specific programs which will be used in the pipeline. I will also attempt to tailor the work flows in each program to follow any findings of the research analysis if they reach this level of detail. To define what the practical work will be I intend to identify and approach any other honours projects that require or will benefit from visual effects. Alternatively I will research studios with whom post graduate work is potentially an option and base practical work on anything they may lack or seem fond of. All the material is posted to the blog as all future material will be. I have organised it to show the progression of different sections of the project and let tutors easily identify their specific area of interest in terms of module deliverables. So, to sum up the whole project in as brief a way as I can currently think of: I intend to find out what makes a good pipeline then try it out!

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First presentation ... the feedback (and my response) A note on the feedback write up: this feedback was written from memory. Its contents may not be accurate to the specific views expressed by the tutors. It is my belief that it does contain the main concepts behind the points made.

The subject is too technology orientated for an arts degree. I believe the end product as a result of this study would satisfy the desire for a more artistic piece - development of concepts and artistic production are part of the process in developing VFX. The research though, admittedly, would have been geared far more towards technical concerns. I do not believe this would have been a disadvantage to myself in terms of technical ability or career potential but I do see how a more artistic focus would fit the nature of this degree and the resources available in studying it.

The project has not been defined well enough, this leaves it open for a large workload, trying to do too much. This would be an issue if the project were to remain as it stands. I have stated that it is my intention to focus the subject into a more specialised area. Although this is an issue I have avoided with the pretence of ‘getting my head into the project’. I can see the advantages to focusing on a specific area and this feedback has fortunately brought to light the problem which I did not realise until now posed such an issue (the problem being my ability to focus the project). In defence of the work done so far: I can safely say that the research conducted so far into the definitions and designs of pipelines has had its clear benefits.

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Placing restrictions is a bad idea - this project is an opportunity to let loose. Due to the nature of this year we are already working with restrictions, developing a project that could draw research from these restrictions would turn this situation into an advantage rather than a hurdle. It was not my aim to further restrict myself on the project, merely to use the restrictions as different examples within which to conduct a test. However, I can also see how studying these restrictions is a restriction in it’s self. Focusing the project towards artistic aims would free up resources towards a more appropriate and enjoyable end product.

Defining quality should be an aim as of its self. This is a point against which I have no defence. Were I to stay with this group of objectives I agree that this should be the case. Merging the current third and fourth objectives would seem an appropriate thing to do. I shall keep in mind the proportion of objectives when the next iteration of the project comes into being.

I still feel this project aiming at the identification of assessing process value and identifying more desirable practices in production would be a valuable study. Although the feedback given has shed light on a different way of focusing the work in a direction I had not considered. As a result the project shall be directed towards these new aims. As an initial thought, which begs further research and development, the pursuit of highly stylized VFX looks a very enticing subject.

// 01 //

// professional practice //

// 27 //


Sunday, 16th of October, 2011. My aim, in light of the recent pitch presentation feedback, is to pursue stylised visual effects. An excellent example of what I mean is Lovetts “Eye of the storm” music video, one of my favorite short films with some absolutely stunning visuals.

I began my foray into stylised production by trying to find an explanation describing what is actually meant by stylised. There seemed no over elaborate descriptions, only this; to “Depict or treat in a mannered and nonrealistic style.”

Alongside this I was collecting together every example I could remember, and finding some more along the way. With a growing bank of examples I split them up into the various techniques that were used for the most prominent visual elements. It began to look as if I would have to choose one topic out of the multiplying options to focus on. Either one technique and the various ways in which it could be applied, or one particular style / aesthetic and the various ways in which it could be achieved. With the latter option appearing the most appropriate I began searching for a style that might define the remainder of my university career.

There are several films I have found through exploring this industry that have stood out for me; ‘The eye of the storm’ for Lovett by soapbox, ‘Welcome to Hoxford’ by Julien Mokrani, ‘Yowie and the Magpie’ by Dylan White, and ‘Codehunters’ by Axis Animation. A common trait that runs through all is their stylisation in one or another direction. I find the first two particularly striking. As they are both based on live action footage I am keen to explore the post production processes involved. If possible, given the subjects being addresses by my peers, I would like to collaborate with another student in producing a short, stylised, film. Ideally I would like to aim for something with a visual style influenced by these first two examples.

// 01 //

// journal //

// 28 //


Aims & Objectives 4 To investigate the effects of stylised visuals in short films, and produce a series of clips to explore changes in viewer experience through differing methods or To investigate how short films can emphasise mood through stylisation, and produce a series of clips exploring the effects of differing techniques.

// 01 //

1

Review the literature and history of stylisation in short films

2

Identify and analyse (trends / techniques) of stylisation (up to current examples) and their effects (on mood)

3

Develop a series of tests (imitating / illustrating) these techniques (to clarify the effectiveness (or effect) of techniques identified in 2)

4

Critically analyse and review these tests

// professional practice //

// 29 //


Tuesday, 25th of October, 2011. The search for literature on visual style. (or defining the specific set of styles I am looking at) Once a reasonable number of stylised films were gathered, a system of organisation, with reference to the quality characterising each style, was devised. The films were grouped under the following labels: Visuals, movement, character design, content, colour, VFX and general. For example; if a production has a severely manipulated colour scheme or restricted pallet it would be grouped under ‘stylised colour’, assuming none of its other properties were more exaggerated. A second possible direction of organisation is that of genre, this option is favoured more by film literature. These two sets of labels are related with certain combinations of the former producing films that fit into the latter categories. In other words, the mixture of elements used in the production of a film will define which genre it will belong to. The list of elements used to categorise the examples in this document is not a complete list. Films referred to in this research as ‘stylised’ are those in which one or more ‘ingredient’ has been pushed to its limit. A well known example is the 2005 film ‘Sin City’. The Colour pallet has been restricted to red, blue, green, yellow and pink. They are used sparsely in order to emphasise a character with the majority of shots in highly contrasting black and white. With the exception of occasional colour the style is comparable to that of Film Noir. Other elements (violence, mystery...) combine to turn the film into an ‘action, crime, thriller’. The use of the visual elements are clearly successful in emphasising the mood. Delving into the origins of this technique would almost certainly provide an interesting study. Perhaps a good starting point to begin tracing back would be in the roots of Film Noir, the ‘hardboiled crime fiction’ emerging during the depression with low key, black and white German expressionist cinematography.

// 01 //

// journal //

// 30 //


video inspiration list arranged by stylisation STYLISED VISUALS // ‘Codehunters’ by Axis // ‘Yowie and the magpie’ by Dylan White // ‘The curious fate of humankind’ by Laura Sicouri // ‘Fubar’ by The foundry // ‘The back water gospel’ by The animation workshop // ‘Eye of the storm’ by Soapbox films // ‘Welcome to Hoxford, the fan film’ by Julien Mokrani // ‘Nuit Blanche’ by Spy films // ‘The invention of love’ by Andrey Shushkov // ‘Tar boy’ by James Lee // ‘The silence beneath the bark’ by Joanna Lurie // ‘The tail of the three brothers’ by Axis // ‘Dragon’ suckerpunch short by Axis // ‘Trenches’ suckerpunch short by Axis // ‘Feudal’ suckerpunch short by Axis // ‘Distant planet’ suckerpunch short by Axis // ‘Gets you back to you’ twinnings advert by ... // ‘Sayonara’ by Eric Baits // ‘The legend of the scarecrow’ by ... // ‘Rejected’ by Don Hertzfeldt // ‘Hold me’ by Kristofer Strom // ‘Alois Nebel’ by Negativ // ‘Follow the Sun’ by MK12 // ‘Back to the start’ by Johnny Kelly // ‘Some hungry guy’ by Jascha // ‘The Schwarzenegger trilogy’ by Brainbow // ‘16 bit Dinosaurs’ by Kristofer Strom // ‘Gulp’ by Aardman // ‘Somebody new’ by Anders Hellman // ‘L.A. Noire’ by Rockstar Games // ‘Pretty, dead’ by Jeff Scher // ‘Puma.Peace’ by Bill Porter // ‘Wanderland’ by Kristof Luyckx // ‘Bronte’ by Mechanical apple // ‘Barbzilla’ by Damn good kids // ‘On the motorway’ by Jul & Mat // ‘Hello, I like espresso’ by Vincent Lammers // ‘Pencilhead’ by Qwaqa // ‘Shobby Shobby Do Yah’ by Czarek Kwasny // ‘Shake ya boogie’ by Czarek Kwasny // ‘The orchestra of cars’ by Czarek Kwasny // ‘Gawper’ by a Large Evil Corporation // ‘Daybreak’ by Kevin Couture // ‘Philosophy’ by Uniform // ‘Two fingers’ by Romantic child studios // ‘poo’ by Polarity // ‘Snail gate’ by Slurp TV // ‘Common sense’ by Hannes Johannes // ‘Japan relief red cross’ by Studio verve // ‘Series Mania’ by Raf indi pixel pusher // ‘Kill your co-workers’ by Flying Lotus (Cinema 4d model downloads) // ‘Kraak & Smaak’ by Wearewill // ‘In a beautiful place out in the country’ by Neil Krug // ‘Adobe photoshop cook’ by Lait Noir // ‘All ways’ by Color chart // ‘The game’ by big active // ‘Strange arrangments’ by weare17 // ‘woos’ by petpunk // ‘Lemon tree’ by Gentelman scholar // ‘Do the world a favor’ by Tendril // ‘Make it better’ by Clim // ‘The art of drowning’ by Diego Maclean // ‘Zoos of berlin’ by Pomp&clout // ‘Billy brown’s coupe’ by Ryan Kothe // ‘Little boat race’ by Ryan Kothe // ‘Loose fit’ by Abbie stephens // STYLISED MOVMENT // Theros’ by ... // ‘Playgrounds’ opening titles by Onesize // ‘Pop culture’ by Madeon // ‘Death of a phone book’ by cinema iloobia // ‘Illuminating moments’ by Martim Monica // ‘Teledysk’ by ... // Stylised Character design // ‘Zero’ by Christopher Kezelos // ‘The passenger’ by Chris Jones // ‘Sebastians Voodoo’ by Joaquin Baldwin // ‘The dangers of fame’ by ... // ‘Hold the line’ by Sem assink // ‘Fallen art’ by Tomek Baginski // ‘Le cafe’ by ... // ‘The lost thing’ by Shaun Tan // ‘Even pigeons go to heaven’ by Samuel Tourneux // ‘Alma’ by Rodrigo Blaas // ‘Defective Detective’ by ... // ‘Dragon boy’ by Lisa Allen, Bernie Warman and Shaofu Zhang // ‘Perfeito’ by Mauricio Bartok // ‘Crained’ by Merlin // Crossingham and Will Beacher // ‘Origins’ by Robert Showalter // ‘Zeleno Drom’ by Artfx // ‘T4 idents’ by Double g Studios // Stylised Content // ‘I Need Nothing - a nearly usless odyssey’ by Caoceito // ‘Die Vogel: Fratzengulasch’ by Katharina Duve & Timo Schierhorn // ‘Assimilation’ by Takuya Hosogane //

// 01 //

// concept development //

// 31 //


‘Don’t hug me i’m scared’ by This is it // ‘Worn out’ by Ryan Kothe // ‘Teebs “Moments”’ by Paul Trillo // ‘Deux Mille Onze’ by Cumulus Collectif // ‘We got more’ by Cyriak Harris // ‘Motherless Brooklyn’ by Remy Le Rumeur // ‘Missing’ by Guanaco // ‘2010 / 2011 Motion Design reel’ by Barton Damer // ‘Come fly with us’ by David Hendrix // ‘Reel 2011’ by Jacob Plumridge // ‘Art of Antoni Tudisco’ by Antoni Tudisco // ‘Sephora sensorium - the lucid dream of creation’ by the D4D // ‘Polish Girl’ by The creators project // ‘CMYK08 showreel 2011’ by CMYK08 // ‘Recent works’ by Bianca Chang // ‘2011 Montage’ by Chris Kelly // ‘Wild Montage’ by The Wilderness // ‘Mini rocketman concept’ by Post Panic // ‘Short film festival’ by Dumais // ‘Triangle’ by Onur Senturk // ‘Offf 2011 year zero’ by Onur Senturk // ‘Nokta.’ by Onur Senturk // ‘Emotions leak’ by Joao Unzer // ‘Vancity project’ by Elizabeth Trevino // ‘Droid 3 - Loading content’ by Justin young // ‘MTV rocks! - ident compilation’ by Post panic // ‘Dynamite’ by superelectric // ‘Enzymes’ by Neue // ‘Smog demoreel 2009’ by Sebastien Abes // ‘Sessao Kids promo’ by Beeld.motion // Stylised Colour // ‘The Tell Tail’ by Upper First // ‘Han Kjobenhavn’ by Han Kjobenhavn // ‘Rotting Hill’ by Media Design School // ‘True loves’ by Young Replicant // ‘Say say say’ by Lars Andheim // ‘Fantasy feat. Ruckazoid’ by Tony Frontal // ‘10-07-11’ by Matt Wiebe ‘Festival de antigua’ tv spot by Magnetico // ‘Youth Lagoon’ by Tyler T Williams // ‘Espresso, intelligentsia’ by the D4D // ‘Syphon, intelligentsia’ by the D4D // ‘Cappuccino, intelligentsia’ by the D4D // ‘No sympathy for vegetarians’ by the D4D // ‘It’s raw. It’s primeval. It’s steak tartare’ by the D4D // ‘I see steaks in my sleep’ by the D4D // ‘TedxOxford promotional’ by DMI productions // ‘Autoerotique’ by Miles Jay and Derek Blais // ‘Will Do’ by Dugan O’Neal // ‘This Isreal’ by Matthew Brown // ‘be coke’ by We Make Art // ‘Stopmotion’ by Polarity // ‘Charlie bit me finger - the horror’ by Jeff Chan // ‘Pull bear’ by Kozva Rigaud // ‘Video violence’ by iamvideoviolence // ‘Release the freq’ by Kim Holm // Stylised VFX // ‘Is tropical’ by El Nino // General // ‘Loom’ by Polynoid // ‘Visualising Isam’ by Leviathan // Media and entertainment showreel 2008 by Autodesk // 2008 Showreel by Autodesk // The best of the best showreel 2009 by Autodesk // 2009 Animation showreel by Autodesk // ‘Pixels’ by Patrick Jean // ‘Shapeshifter’ by Charlex // ‘The third and the seventh’ by Alex Romain // ‘Do I have power’ by Carlos De Carvalho // ‘Unleash your fingers’ by Labandeoriginal and Motionfanclub // Science channel rebrand by Imaginary forces // ‘Dynamic blooms’ by Tell No One // ‘World builder’ by BranitVFX // ‘Oxygen’ by Christopher Hendryx // ‘Reach’ by Luke Randall // ‘Pigeon: impossible’ by Lucas Martell // ‘Get out’ by ... // ‘Artificial paradice, inc’ by Condor // ‘Everything (ep. 19)’ by Danny Jelinek // ‘Everything (ep. 18)’ by Danny Jelinek // ‘Everything (ep. 17)’ by Danny Jelinek // ‘Everything (ep. 16)’ by Danny Jelinek // ‘Everything (ep. 15)’ by Danny Jelinek // ‘Everything (ep. 14)’ by Danny Jelinek // ‘Everything (ep. 13)’ by Danny Jelinek // ‘Everything (ep. 12)’ by Danny Jelinek // ‘Everything (ep. 11)’ by Danny Jelinek // ‘Everything (ep. 10)’ by Danny Jelinek // ‘Everything (ep. 9)’ by Danny Jelinek // ‘Everything (ep. 8)’ by Danny Jelinek // ‘Everything (ep. 7)’ by Danny Jelinek // ‘Everything (ep. 6)’ by Danny Jelinek // ‘Everything (ep. 5) In 3d!’ by Danny Jelinek // ‘Everything (ep. 4)’ by Danny Jelinek // ‘Everything (ep. 3)’ by Danny Jelinek // ‘Everything (ep. 2)’ by Danny Jelinek // ‘Everything (ep. 1)’ by Danny Jelinek // ‘Showreel11’ by Fredric Frustenbach // ‘Breckfast interrputed’ by Bruton Stroube Studios // ‘Light house’ by Ben Dickinson // ‘Dogboarding’ by Daniels // ‘idN 100th issue’ by Paul Cayrol //

// 01 //

// concept development //

// 32 //


‘The art of flight trailer’ by Brain farm // ‘Teddy’ by Jonathan Gurvit //‘Mens fall/winter’ by Nowness // ‘Tune yards bizness’ by Mimi cave // ‘MTV Australia to 50’ by Maxim Zhestkov // ‘I have PSD’ by Hyperakt // ‘I know’ by david lynch // ‘Home’ by Pomp&clout // ‘woo boost’ by Pomp&clout // The strange things people do // ‘Design-Generation XXVI’ by Design-Generation // ‘Design-Generation XXV’ by Design-Generation // ‘Design-Generation XXIV’ by Design-Generation // ‘Design-Generation XXIII’ by Design-Generation // ‘Design-Generation XXII’ by Design-Generation // ‘Design-Generation XXI’ by Design-Generation // ‘Design-Generation XX’ by Design-Generation // ‘Design-Generation XIX’ by Design-Generation // ‘Design-Generation XVIII’ by Design-Generation // ‘Design-Generation XVII’ by Design-Generation // ‘Design-Generation XVI’ by Design-Generation // ‘Design-Generation XV’ by Design-Generation // ‘Design-Generation XIV’ by Design-Generation // ‘Design-Generation XIII’ by Design-Generation // ‘Design-Generation XII’ by Design-Generation // ‘Design-Generation XI’ by Design-Generation // ‘Design-Generation X’ by Design-Generation // ‘Design-Generation IX’ by Design-Generation // ‘Design-Generation VIII’ by Design-Generation // ‘Design-Generation VII’ by Design-Generation // ‘Design-Generation VI’ by Design-Generation // ‘Design-Generation V’ by Design-Generation // ‘Design-Generation IV’ by Design-Generation // ‘Design-Generation III’ by Design-Generation // ‘Design-Generation II’ by Design-Generation // ‘Design-Generation I’ by Design-Generation //

// 01 //

// concept development //

// 33 //


Aims &

Objectives 5

To investigate how the visual design and style of short films can impact on spectator interpretation of mood

// 01 //

// professional practice //

// 34 //


1 1.1 1.1.1 1.1.2 1.1.3 1.1.4 1.1.5 1.2 1.2.1

Review and evaluate existing literature on visual style and design in short films. Research Diary Review literature to form a brief history of stylised short films Review literature to identify trends of visual style Review literature to identify uses of visual style that have significant effect on the audiences interpretation of mood Reflect on literature and discuss the most prominent / successful styles of visual design Write a review of the literature for the dissertation visualisation Collect example frames of stylised short films

2 2.1 2.1.1 2.1.2 2.1.3 2.1.4

Critically analyse existing short films with a strong visual style Sketch book Obtain and view the examples of stylised short films identified in 1.1.3 Select specific scenes within the short films where the visual style strongly impacts the mood, add stills with annotations to the blog Analyse and discuss the ways in which each scene impacts mood Write a critical evaluation of the impact visual design has on interpreted mood within the context of the examples used and research from the first objective

3 3.1 3.1.1 3.1.2 3.1.3 3.1.4 3.1.5 3.1.6 3.1.7

Conduct practice based research and critically discuss the results. Media tests Create illustrations depicting the style each test will be aiming for Storyboard each test to match visual design and mood Develop / research appropriate techniques required to produce each test Produce documentation detailing the processes used to achieve each style Critically analyse the effect of each style on interpretation of mood Produce documentation detailing the influence each style had on the interpretation of mood. Write an account of the process and how the visual style of each test influenced the interpretation of mood

4 4.1 4.1.1 4.1.2 4.1.3 4.1.4 4.1.5 4.1.6 4.1.7 4.1.8

Create and critically evaluate a stylised short film Practical Identify the most influential visual style on mood interpretation Refine the processes used to produce the style Produce / refine an appropriate storyboard to match the mood and visual design Produce an animatic, send to audio Prepare the scene for animation Animate the scene Render and edit the short Write a critical evaluation of the short for the dissertation

// 01 //

// professional practice //

// 35 //


;

// 01 //

// october //

// 36 //


02 november

// 02 //

// november //

// 37 //


9 Superb Shorts for Serious Study ‘Eye of the storm’: http://vimeo.com/19659763 The story of an individual making his way through a time of life in which travelling towards the ‘eye of the storm’ is the path he must take. But, before doing so he must let go of the past and inner demons. The story is a metaphor, the ship - his life, the dragon - his inner demons, the box - his past, the storm - conflict. A modern take on steam punk with extensive post production by Oddball animation.

‘Welcome to hoxford’: http://vimeo.com/29832031 Official synopsis: “Raymond Delgado is no ordinary prisoner... On a good day he’ll take the time to tell you he’s the son of Zeus before he tears out your jugular. On a bad day, you won’t even have a moment to call out for help. After a yet another “incident” Raymond has been transferred to Hoxford, a correctional facility and mental institution known for its radical methods. At Hoxford, Raymond’s not the only predator... Come nightfall, under a full moon, bloodcurdling screams pierce through the darkness of the prison courtyard. It’s hunting hour! As the other Hoxford prisoners huddle in the obscurity of their prison cells trembling in fright, Ray cracks a smile. He thrives on confrontation. Lock a human beast in a cage with a legendary monster and, in your opinion... Who will devour? And who will be devoured?” A dark tale created by Julien Mokrani, another heavily stylised colour palette live action piece.

// 02 //

// Research Methods & Dissertation //

// 38 //


‘Code hunters’: http://vimeo.com/7432584 Created by Ben Hibon and Axis Animation this is a fully cg 3D short in which the style comes through most in the texturing. A band of outsiders / renegades come together fighting an organisation, past that basic understanding there is not much other than some kind of super-being is brought together as a result of the actions taken by the characters.

‘Yowie and the magpie’: http://vimeo.com/5606014 “A supernatural monster tale, set amid the rocky outcrops and dusty spinifex of the Australian outback. It documents the downfall of one man and his nemesis: the abominable apeman of aboriginal folklore, Yowie.” Dylan white, the designer and director. A 4 minute 2D animation; colours moving over a textured background give it a unique look that really must be seen.

‘The backwater gospel’: http://vimeo.com/17914974 “The Backwater Gospel is the bachelor projects of eight students at The Animation Workshop. It’s an animated short about a small, isolated community in the Dust Bowl of the 1930’s, a minister hell-bent on ruling his flock and an undertaker who always precedes death.” Check out the production blog: http://backwatergospel.blogspot.com/

// 02 //

// Research Methods & Dissertation //

// 39 //


‘Do I have power’: http://vimeo.com/28826615 A fantastic music video for the band ‘Timber timber’. A young boy playing outside exacting his power over the small creatures of nature, the tables are turned when they exact their own power of superior numbers. A 2D animation with restricted colour palette.

‘The invention of love’: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PTdzCAGH3lU A romance blossoming alongside a harmony of nature and machinery that becomes doomed as nature looses out to a mechanical world. Another 2D short it uses a style reminiscent of shadow puppetry. The colour palette changes slowly reflecting the context and mood.

// 02 //

// Research Methods & Dissertation //

// 40 //


‘Tarboy’: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ACHVwA1D8fE A short flash animation depicting a story of oppression and a heroes rebellion that ultimately fails, but not completely.

‘Fubar’: http://vimeo.com/27192954 “Fubar is an epic story of an on-going political war told in an alternate reality with cat and dogs. Two factions who have been at war with each other for centuries finally come to an agreement for a form of peace, but there are certain higher political powers which would do anything to prevent this historic event from happening. Using Visual Effects and Animation to push the Motion Comics cinema genre to the next level. The Film uses digital photography shot over several months which are then projected onto geometry and other depth techniques powered inside The Foundry’s Nuke X Compositing tool. Every single shot was created inside nukes 3D compositing environment as a sandbox environment.”

// 02 //

// Research Methods & Dissertation //

// 41 //


Tuesday, 4th of November, 2011. Meeting with Gregor: The third project iteration! Today I have had a long overdue meeting with my tutor, Gregor. Here are the topics we covered: 1

My strengths - VFX, graphics, set design (based on my past experience studying architecture). Graphics and VFX are the two I will be looking to develop as they seem more desirable and enjoyable as far as a future career is concerned.

2

Skill gaps in the industry - match moving (lighting, particle effects, compositing). These are the kind of things that I should be looking to have in my showreel.

3

Possible new aim for the project - characterising corporate identity in short cg productions (Coca-Cola and Irn-Bru are good examples). Focus on the atmosphere, brainstorm on word choice. Keep away from steering the project towards purely advertising or technical study. Potentially look into the believability of depth in stereoscopic production - making it comfort able to watch.

4

Project aims - around 4 short productions showcasing my strengths using either fictional or real companies (look into competitions, e.g. estings for e4, red bull canimations, mofilm‌)

5

Look into internship schemes being run by studios after graduation alongside jobs, there may be some good opportunities to be had.

Rough draft of new objectives: 1

research stings / adverts / shorts which effectively convey the personality of a company

2

Analyse the devices used to characterise / create the desired atmosphere in the sting / advert / short

3

create a series of media tests

4

create 4 stings / adverts / shorts which effectively convey the personality of a company

// 02 //

// journal //

// 42 //


logo reveals After the meeting with my tutor, Gregor, I began collecting together examples of logo reveals - specifically of interest were those used by motion picture companies. What drew me to this subject was the short time frame of each piece and the use, in almost every one, of motion graphics. My hope was to produce several examples of my own which could be highly finished due to their smaller length. Among the great many examples I looked into was the Universal Logo, this had the richest history I came across and, interestingly, serves as a kind of commentary or indicator as to the interests and goings on of society. Along side the constantly developing iterations are the unique productions of the logo designed to reflect the visuals of certain films that it would be proceeding. The universal Logo development The studio’s logo clip playing in the moments before a film performs two main tasks. First, it sets up the film, for those of us (most of us) who regularly watch movies the idents of bigger studios will hold a certain nostalgia being associated with the anticipation of a good thing. Secondly they provide a glimpse of the studio and its projected identity. The development of the universal logo begins in 1914 with a static image accompanied by music appropriate to the film it precedes. The plane appears in the mid 20s and ‘the classic’ ident in the late 20s. By the late 30s Universal had some big names deserving a glitzy revamp. The end of the wars and beginning of the baby boomers brought around an ident geared towards suburbia, “visual and auditory oatmeal” - TDYLF. This lasted until the early 60s, space travel and the grown up boomer kids brought about another revamp which zooms through stars towards earth and the re-brand. The 75th anniversary brought about another, near planet, version for the 90s. Finally we reach the final version, one that comes across as a far more epic and grand introduction to what ever fantastic entertainment lies beyond. The other examples I brought together with the intention of studying: Coca-cola birds nest Olympic commercial // Coke GTA // Coke Christmas trucks // Coke giant vending machine (friends machine) // Coke Hard times (simpsons) // Coke happiness factory // Irn-bru snowman // Irn-bru Butcher // Cadburyes eyebrow dancing // Muller Wunderfull stuff 2011 // Apple 1984 // Ipod shuffle // Guinness surfer (horses in the waves) // Guinness evolution // Adidas by Spike Jonze // Mousetrap rocky // Citeron “Alive with technology” dancing robot // 20th century fox // disney pixar // Columbia pictures // Dreamworks // Warner bros // Focus features // Regency enterprises // Lions gate / millennium films // Icon entertainment // HBO // New line home entertainment // Pathe pictures // the Weinstein company // Bad robot logo // Spyglass entertainment // village roadshow // Touchstone pictures // BBC cambridge folk festival sting // Portabello film feastival // Swn feastival // e4 idents //

// 02 //

// Research Methods & Dissertation //

// 43 //


Stop Motion candle media test This is the first of a series of media tests undertaken to expand my ‘toolset’. It also served as an escape from developing the research question which I had been focusing on solidly for almost 2 months by this stage.

The whole process took around 10 hours, most of this time waiting for the wax to melt. For the swipe beginning at 15 seconds I took one photo every 5 minutes and lit a new row every half an hour. Next I took a series of photos while gradually moving a desk light into position. Finally, for the wax solidifying, I took a photo every minute and put out a row every 5 minutes. If I were to repeat this experiment I would decrease the amount of time between lighting rows for the melting phase and have an another light source. Also a larger collection of candles would allow more detailed less jerky patterns. I am happy with the timing of the final phase (solidifying wax).

// 02 //

// pre-production //

// 44 //


Audio Candles

I melted three candles together, lit them, then took 1 photo a minute. Combined the images in After Effects and used a preset written by Satya Meka on ae.tutsplus.com to extract key frames from an audio spectrum. I then used expressions to link the frame number of the candle comps to the relevant frequency of audio. The preset by Satya creates keys from the colour levels in a determined area of an already rendered spectrum, another approach would have been to use trapcode sound keys which, as far as I can tell, can create keys directly from audio. This second method may have potentially been less temperamental but the first method is free therefor I was willing to put up with a few quirks.

// 02 //

// pre-production //

// 45 //


Media test: audio particles I decided to take the techniques learnt from the previous media tests and run with them. Using music by Lewis Cook, soundcloud.com/yahweh-1, a friend of a friend, I produced this media test. A rough description of how I created it: Created an audio spectrum and placed null objects over the frequencies affected by the beats of the music. Applied Satya Mekas preset to the null objects (this reads the alpha data of the pixels covered by the null object but only in the spectrum layer). In a new solid add the ‘wave world’ effect. In Satya’s tutorial he linked the amplitude and frequency to the final output of the null object preset but I preferred to link amplitude and contrast. This produced a stepping effect in the waves so I applied a ‘fast blur’ before creating the ‘cc ball action’ effect. The twist property was set to brightness (meaning the particles will react to the wave pattern below) and the rest of the settings are animated depending on the desired effect. The second part (fading in just after 30 seconds) has a base of ‘fractal noise’ with the first ‘pixels’ preset. Again the twist of the ‘cc ball action’ is set to brightness and the rest of the settings tweaked and animated according to desire. Over both sets I applied ‘Tritone’ and ‘glow’ for the final look.

// 02 //

// pre-production //

// 46 //


Aims & Objectives 6

To investigate the portrayal of concepts in motion graphics through the use of visual language and design, and to explore how these techniques can be applied in creating a short production.

// 02 //

1.

Review and evaluate literature on motion design (discussing narrative techniques)

2.

Investigate and analyse examples of motion design (that convey a specific concept)

3.

Conduct practice based research exploring the portrayal of concepts through motion design.

4.

Create and critically evaluate a short production in response to the research conducted.

// professional practice //

// 47 //


Pitch and Crit management 2

Slightly different bunch of people this time. Unfortunately the other 4th year didn’t make it leaving the group to me. From the presentations 4 weeks ago there has been varied progress. The most significant advice I was able to give was to bring to their attention the pending deadlines and inevitable build up of work. With much of the work moving into production the more technical issues are coming to light. This is a tricky area to advise without more specialist knowledge, especially when the problem areas are in coding games and my focus is on animation and films. I was, however, in a position to point out areas in which more information could be found. These came in the form of other works which I have come across as a direct result of honours research and pointing out other honours students work where there research would be relevant to the younger students. My parting shot of advice, which is a given and one I will likely repeat to anyone, was to keep an eye on the future. This is more specifically for the third years who will be beginning their own honours project next year, the significance of this study on future career opportunities I doubt will be lost on anyone reading this far into whatever this is.

// 02 //

// professional practice //

// 48 //


second presentation

A post presentation write up (As in, very post, like, 3 months post) After the development of the 6th Aims and Objectives I brought together this presentation with research conducted over 4 days. The following are the interesting points from that talk: After a quick introduction of myself, a formality, I introduced the new topic area: Motion Graphics. Having had this pointed out as a strength in my portfolio it seemed a logical area to pursue in research, and so the Aims and Objectives were developed. An example of what I meant by portraying a ‘concept’ through visual language in motion graphics is the Amnesty International 50 years anniversary short by Carlos Lascano. The short explores the history of the organisation and some key events it has influenced. The central idea surrounds a rose representing freedom, it is passed on through each event playing out in a dark world against a wall which cuts it off from an ideal, utopian existence. After explaining the objectives and structure of the proposed research I went on to mention some further examples that could form a series of case studies: Norten “Stuff Anthem” by Psyop // Twinings “Getting you back to you” by Psyop // Gates foundation - g20 summit by gentleman scholar // “The murf ” rendezvous by Scott Benson // “In your arms” , Kinna Grannis by Greg Jardin // Youtube intros by Original3MEDIA and TrooperFX //

// 02 //

// professional practice //

// 49 //


second presentation ... the feedback A brief round up of the advice: Change ‘concept’ for a more defined, specific thing // Replace ‘visual language’, ‘design’ and ‘narrative techniques’ with mechanisms by which the ‘concept’ is delivered // Identify the variables in these mechanisms and develop criteria from which my work and the work in case studies may be judged.

More in depth: This presentation was far more successful than the last. The main topic of feedback was to focus the project, but not to the same extent as the first presentation feedback where the results of focusing would entirely change the subject matter. In this case it was pointed out that having ‘visual language’, ‘design’ and ‘narrative techniques’ in the wording of the aims and objectives along with the word ‘concept’ was too vague. The case studies I am continuing to research should help to identify some specific mechanisms by which ‘concepts’ are portrayed. These should allow a defined identification of variables which in turn will allow the development of assessment criteria. I think specifying the type of concept being portrayed will be my first priority and intend to discuss how to whittle down the other three with my supervisor. Possible replacements of concept, to clarify what was meant, would be ‘corporate image’, ‘ethical message’ or ‘artistic identity’ amongst many others. I was advised to clarify these issues before continuing with any more media tests as they will inform the type of tests I produce. This makes sense but I fear it will be near impossible to stop myself playing with different techniques when the chance arises. I also have this (seemingly inbuilt) tendency (as an artist) to reverse engineer projects. Fortunately the honours project is flexible enough in it’s constraints to allow the media tests of the third objective to inform the development of the main aim. As a result I intend to develop both simultaneously. From listening into the feedback for other projects I have managed to gain some more general advice which seems to be given across the board. The buzz words of this week seems to be ‘criteria for assessment’ with one of the tutors describing this element as more important than methodology as the methodology is generally quiet apparent, although it would be a mistake not to write up a decent, well thought out methodology. The criteria I will be using to asses my own work and evaluate the work of case studies will hopefully become apparent with further research.

// 02 //

// professional practice //

// 50 //


Aims & Objectives 7 To investigate how the marketing goals of a television channel or network drives the design of its branding, and to demonstrate the development and production of its visual identity 1 1.1 1.1.1 1.1.2 1.1.3 1.1.4 1.1.5

Review and evaluate literature on motion design Literature Review Review literature to identify the basic theories and values of graphic design Review literature on branding and logo design Review literature on motion design Reflect on the literature, discuss and identify criteria for analysis of visual identity. Write a review of the literature for the dissertation

2 2.1 2.1.1 2.1.2 2.1.3 2.1.4

Investigate and analyse examples of visual identity in motion design Research Diary Identify a series of examples relevant to the area of study Collect relevant literature discussing each case Examine the literature identifying methods used to create visual identity Write a critical analysis of the case studies and how they portrayed visual identity

3 3.1 3.1.1 3.1.2 3.1.3 3.1.4

Conduct practice based research in the creation of visual identity Media Tests Experiment with the use and creation of various styles and techniques in motion design Prepare a series of identities to be used as subjects for the media tests Develop a visual presentation of the most appropriate identities through experiments in motion design Produce documentation reflecting on the media tests, their production processes and their results

4 4.1 4.1.1 4.1.2 4.1.3 4.1.4 4.1.5 4.1.6 4.1.7 4.1.8 4.1.9 4.1.10 4.1.11

Create and critically evaluate a visual identity through motion graphics Practice Prepare a fictional client with background and marketing aims Gather information on the client Analyse the information Set the objectives for the visual identity / product Define the approach Generate ideas Evaluate and refine ideas Develop the most appropriate idea Produce a visual identity Write a critical evaluation of the mini-short for the dissertation (if time permits) repeat 4.1.2 through 4.1.10

// 02 //

// professional practice //

// 51 //


Sunday, 27th of November, 2011.

Having now conducted a substantial amount of research since the 2nd presentation, here are some of my thought inspired from the reading: I am looking at the creation of a product that does not fall to the demands of the current fashion or waver in the face of a clients pre-conceived vision of design based on what their competitors are doing. Although there is a constant stream of books, articles and comments by designers and writers on how to achieve this goal, much work still falls into an ageing state.  It is my aim to look at the process of creation objectively.  It may be that there is a specific set of practices or methodologies that consistently result in the creation of timeless content.  There is also the chance that their is not the scope within our current understanding of graphics to define a ‘winning’ technique.  It is my gut instinct that what many are looking for lies in the most obvious places; hard work and a relevant focus - that is to say, do not get distracted to excess, a little distraction is a good thing.

// 02 //

// journal //

// 52 //


media test: triangle spiral Influenced by this tutorial on ae tuts + : http://ae.tutsplus.com/tutorials/ motion-graphics/create-a-geometric-color-explosion/ Using mostly the same techniques, I added a few more iterations with rotation and scale creating the spiral effect. A line of triangles created in illustrator is the base, with more time and development of a concept idea this has potential to produce some very complex effects from a simple technique.

// 02 //

// pre-production //

// 53 //


Wednesday, 30th of November, 2011.

Further thoughts from the research The more research I commit to discovering an order in the application of ‘forms and codes’ in visual language the more implausible a single collated document becomes. As in any creative pursuit there are clear sets of tools and theories but an infinitely variable manner in which they may be combined.  Herein lies the value of the designer, the sum of his experiences filtered by the requirements of a project into an idea that will be expanded and refined, creating a solution unique to that designer.   Throughout literature on design there seems to be a consensus that the success of a project is paralleled, within reason, by the number of solutions produced in the conceptual stage.  Our current era of mass iteration, facilitated by growing computational abilities, brings with it the necessity for a designer to posses editorial talent.  Without this talent, any idea of worth will be lost amongst its mediocre alternatives save the selection of chance.

// 02 //

// journal //

// 54 //


Exposition Report In an effort to avoid disorganisation in the preparation of the final exposition we have been asked to consider our ideas for its design. This consideration is required to have a basis in research of other expositions as well as show awareness of how a design could innovate and move beyond what is considered ‘normal’ for a show. This has been a strange exercise from which, personally, I have not gained value. A minimal design has been my intention from the start - focus should be on the content, if this is eclipsed by the design of the exposition then something is askew. In conducting research on this topic it was found that there is almost too much to bring together into a short study. Focusing primarily on practical exhibitions that show their process alongside the finished artefact helped narrow down the information, in other words, focusing on expositions rather than exhibitions. One of the first examples that comes to mind was the fifth year Architectural degree show in Edinburgh College of Art at the end of the 2010/11 educational year (as you may have guessed, my old class mates). Colour scheme, exhibition style, font, physical items on show; everything was tailored to match the designs which in turn strongly reflected the concepts. This is a recurring theme through all the varying projects on show. The clean, sharp edged proposal for a car factory is reflected in the well ordered, minimal presentation style whereas, just around the corner, the warming, intricate, and rich content of a food market is complemented by herbs and spices with tactile materials binding design documents. In stark contrast to these two, further along the studio, is a controversial concept dealing with the presentation of jewish wartime art alongside that of the nazis. The design and exhibition space convey a sharp clash with highly contrasting colours, rough materials (including rusted barbed wire) and degraded paper on which the details are laid out. In thinking about the requirements for this honours project there is a temptation to go wild with the construction of its exposition, one of the ideas that wandered through my head was to create a mini living room. The roots of this concept lie in the area of my study being broadcast design therefor the viewers home is the natural place of presentation. The impracticalities could be solved by flattening the ‘room’ onto the walls of the exposition as a picture. The problem would then lie in achieving an atmosphere of quality, something that would be near impossible given the constraints of time and space. At this point I feel very strongly that taking a leaf from Mies van der Rohes book would help lead to the most relevant and successful solution. “God is in the details” and “less is more”, these may be over used quotes but I believe they are so for a good reason. In order to achieve a presentation guided by these principles I will follow a similar line of thought to Le Corbusier’s statement “A house is a machine for living”. I intend to treat the exposition as a machine for portraying content. Using the same process as Mies “to subtract and distill” until left with “almost nothing” the presentations concept shall reflect some of the modernist ideals of the ‘interwar years’ in which “There would be no applied ornament anywhere”. Only that which is necessary shall be included.

// 02 //

// professional practice //

// 55 //


Even this, my submitted exposition design, has more detail than required. The actual show should be more minimal

// 02 //

// professional practice //

// 56 //


// 57 //


;

// 02 //

// november //

// 58 //


03 december

// 03 //

// december //

// 59 //


Thursday, 1sr of December, 2011.

Katherine McCoy - “too often our [design] graduates and their work emerge as charming mannequins, voiceless mouthpieces for the messages of ventriloquist clients.  Let us instead give designers their voices so they may participate and contribute more fully in the world around them.” Reading this quote has brought to light a realisation of a subject mentioned fairly regularly throughout the research.  In creating design, before the designer has even met the client or seen the project it seems that he must decide what his aim is between changing the world or satisfying the client.  This feels like a generalisation but it at least shows that the designers personal aims will have a strong bearing on the project.  I am sure it would be an advantage to know and be clear on your aims before embarking on any new proposal.  There may come a time when these aims will have to be set aside in order to survive as a creative force.  This could be portrayed as a sign of weakness in the resolve of the designer but in opposition it would be a show of foolishness to force ideals through where they may result in the failure of a piece.  The idiom “live to fight another day” comes to mind.

// 03 //

// journal //

// 60 //


Media tes

t: primar y

tro

in symbols

A short exercise in design and motion graphics. My only aim was to create something interesting using purely basic shapes; squares, circles, and triangles. The result was produced in After Effects with shape layers.

// 03 //

// pre-production //

// 61 //


project proposal

AG1064A: Professional Practice – Project Proposal Project Title: (The Design of) Broadcast Identity Proposer: Iain J McCallum Programme: BA Computer Arts (Hons) Specialism(s): Motion design

// 03 //

// professional practice //

// 62 //


Abstract

There are more than 7200 television channels broadcast in europe alone, and a further 1400 available. World wide the total number ranges from 15000 into the ‘millions’. This drives a need for each station or network to step out from the crowd and draw in an audience already buried under a deluge of media. Creative brilliance is therefor a requirement in the realisation of channel design, new program packaging, promotion clips and advertising concepts. This study will focus on describing a rout through which the goals of a channel can be developed into a visual identity that set it apart from the competition. Research into motion design, branding and graphic design will inform a practice based approach with the full production of a visual identity being the final aim.

// 03 //

// professional practice //

// 63 //


Project Aim and Objectives (7)

To investigate how the marketing goals of a television channel or network drives the design of its branding, and to demonstrate the development and production of its visual identity The objectives are as follows:

// 03 //

1

Review and evaluate literature on motion design

2

Investigate and analyse examples of motion design

3

Conduct practice based research in the creation of visual identity

4

Create and critically evaluate a visual identity through motion graphics

// professional practice //

// 64 //


rationaLE

With an unbelievable number of television channels broadcasting around the world, there is no shortage of demand for design studios to create, revise or reinvent visual identities. The processes each studio uses in its work flow will differ hugely but still share certain fundamental elements. This journey from the character and goals of the client to the finished product can be a testing one but one which every creative must undertake. It is hoped that this study will help facilitate an in-depth understanding of the process by which the visual language of identity is created. For practitioners in the business of producing identities this knowledge is essential. It is the key to ensuring the design communicates exactly what is required of it. Too many fall into the trap where by “The form [is] dictated by the machine, and so, surprisingly, [is] some of the content” (Kyle Cooper, 2006). In other words the work fails in its goal of communicating an identity and instead advertises a mastery of design software. But, holding onto and staying true to the goals of the work through development and creation can result in a design that transcends the fashion of the moment and becomes a message that will not fade with time. There are others who have collected and analysed information on similar topics. Mark Oldach authored the book ‘Creativity for graphic designers’ outlining processes of development which include many methods relevant in designing broadcast identity. Other valuable sources of information are ‘Motion by Design’ by several authors and ‘Showreel.01’ by Bjoern Bartholdy which both outline a number of case studies on design practices working through several disciplines. Finally there are the multitude of authors describing rules, theories, laws and ideas in the creation of graphic design within which motion deign has its origins and can there for draw from for creative guidance.

// 03 //

// professional practice //

// 65 //


Project Methodology In order to achieve the objectives listed above, a practice-based methodology shall be deployed. This shall focus on the development and production of visual identity in broadcast through practice-based methods, leading to the production of graphic development, motion design tests and finally a completed visual identity. A progress diary shall be maintained through out the extent of the project documenting activities undertaken by the project proposer. The diary shall collect all research and practice based development in the form of an online blog. This blog shall include a detailed breakdown and presentation of the various elements that make up the body of the honours project. A literature review shall be produced in order to document the proposers investigation into existing sources of relevant information. This shall focus primarily on graphic, motion and broadcast design. The review shall be complimented by visualisation techniques such as mind mapping and graphic portrayals of information demonstrating the proposers understanding of the subject. A research diary shall be kept in order to document the proposers examination of case studies. These shall focus primarily on visual identities developed for television networks and channels. The diary shall also document the analysis of each study. Practice based media tests shall be conducted. These media tests shall experiment with techniques in the creation of motion graphics in various styles. They shall also experiment with design choices identified in both the literature review and research diary. A collection of the media tests shall be produced alongside documentation of their analysis. The design and production of a final visual identity for a broadcast entity shall be used as a research method. This piece shall encapsulate all of the major findings of the research exhibited as a fully developed piece of motion design portraying a visual identity. As the methodology is practice-based drawing entirely upon arts practice methods, it is important that all materials are accurately and efficiently documented, and that transparency of process and analysis is achieved.

// 03 //

// professional practice //

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Outcomes and Deliverables The following deliverables shall be provided as evidence of having achieved the four objectives: 1.1 Literature Review Online diary documenting the research activities undertaken for the first objective Document reviewing the literature researched. 2.1 Research Diary Online diary documenting the research activities undertaken for the second objective Document critically analysing the case studies and their methods in creating visual identities. 3.1 Media Tests The media and project files used to create each test. The collection of finished media tests. Document reflecting on the processes and results for each of the media tests undertaken. 4.1 Practice Online sketchbook and notes showing background information and analysis of the ‘client’ Online sketchbook and notes showing development of the visual identity. The completed motion graphic piece showing a visual identity Document critically evaluating the final piece. Much of the work produced as a result of the five methods shall be incorporated into the end of year exposition. The exposition will showcase the entirety of the research process, clearly communicating how the end artefact was achieved.  Additionally, the dissertation shall communicate the result of the literature review, the development of methodology, and the research findings.

// 03 //

// professional practice //

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Expertise and Experience of Project Proposer

The project proposer has approximately 2 years experience working with Autodesk Maya and 6 years working with Adobe Creative Suite. In particular, the proposer has a thorough understanding of production processes and the principles of animation. Previously, the proposer completed short films as part of university coursework, and has some experience producing scenes for external projects. However, it has been identified that the proposed will require more in-depth knowledge of VFX in Houdini, compositing in Autodesk Flame and motion graphic creating in Cinema 4D. As such, as part of the project, the proposer shall aim to develop his skills in these areas. This work shall be carried out predominantly in semester 1, in preparation for the honours project module in semester 2. Additionally, it has been identified that the proposer currently has a limited knowledge and understanding of motion graphics and graphic design. As such, it is crucial that the proposer engages with the literature in history, development, and making of graphics early in semester 1. This will feed into the literature review and dissertation as well as underpin good production practice.

// 03 //

// professional practice //

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Timetable The timetable shall be followed from early-November 2011 until May 2012, and shall result in the creation of the project artefact and dissertation. See ‘Timetable.pdf ’ alongside this file.

// 03 //

Objective

Start date

Duration (days)

1.1 1.1.1 1.1.2 1.1.3 1.1.4 1.1.5

16/11/11 16/11/11 18/11/11 20/11/11 27/12/11 07/12/11

41 07 07 07 10 20

27/12/11 23/11/11 25/11/11 27/11/11 07/12/11 27/12/11

2.1 2.1.1 2.1.2 2.1.3 2.1.4

16/11/11 16/11/11 26/11/11 03/12/11 13/12/11

47 10 07 10 20

02/01/12 26/11/11 03/12/11 13/12/11 02/01/12

3.1 3.1.1 3.1.2 3.1.3 3.1.4

11/11/11 11/11/11 09/12/11 14.12.11 13/01/12

83 29 05 30 20

02/02/12 10/12/11 14/12/11 13/01/12 02/02/12

4.1 4.1.1 4.1.2 4.1.3 4.1.4 4.1.5 4.1.6 4.1.7 4.1.8 4.1.9 4.1.10 4.1.11

14/12/11 14/12/11 14/12/11 13/01/12 23/01/12 28/01/12 02/02/12 17/02/12 21/02/12 12/03/12 04/01/12 03/01/12

128 20 30 10 05 05 15 04 20 20 15 50

20/04/12 03/01/12 13/01/12 23/01/12 28/01/12 02/02/12 17/01/12 21/02/12 12/03/12 01/04/12 16/04/12 20/04/12

// professional practice //

End date

// 69 //


pROJECT MAP // 03 //

// 70 //


GANTT CHART // 03 //

// 71 //


media test: shatter

This is the result of looking into and messing around with a few of the effects within After Effects. No real concept behind it, just gaining a little experience for the future. A few issues with this test. Banding in the background, slight jumps in the movements of the shards - for the life of me I can’t find out what’s doing it! The writing pops in too harshly, entirely my bad there. On the other hand, I found that combining several versions of the shattered text for different sized shards was particularly effective in giving it a little more ‘realism’. Techniques from this tutorial were experimented with: http://ae.tutsplus.com/tutorials/motion-graphics/shattering-fusion-logo-reveal/

// 03 //

// pre-production //

// 72 //


media test: generic news This test was created from two tutorials. I was quite fortunate in finding them considering the project, at this point, was looking specifically into the construction and challenges of channel identity, and therefor the graphics packages that go along with it: The first in a three part series, this one only covers the background and a rotating cube (to be added later) Learned a lot about looping work in this tutorial. http://ae.tutsplus.com/tutorials/motion-graphics/building-broadcast-news-style-graphicspart-1/ Building a compass from shapes in after effects, the repeater function was the big find here. http://ae.tutsplus.com/tutorials/motion-graphics/quicktip-find-your-way-with-shapes-andmodifiers/

// 03 //

// pre-production //

// 73 //


Monday, 12th of December, 2011.

Meeting with gregor in which I ran through everything to date including the proposal, this is his feedback: Identify the case studies Decide on the media tests - what are the practical projects going to be and storyboard them out very soon. Look into ident competitions (e4’s estings + sky’s skyart), the competition guidelines could help to inform on issues faced. Use research to identify issues, each constraint creates a decision and therefore an issue. Use those issues to identify case studies.

// 03 //

// journal //

// 74 //


Aims & Objectives 8

What are the issues faced by creatives in the development of motion graphics for broadcast identity, and how might they, where possible, be overcome?

// 03 //

1.

Review and evaluate literature on graphic design and design theories

2.

Investigate and analyse examples of visual identity in motion design

3.

Conduct practice based research in the creation of visual identity

4.

Create and critically evaluate a visual identity through motion graphics

// professional practice //

// 75 //


research proposal 1st draft feedback 1

Perhaps your abstract could be more specific on the method you will use to carry out the research

2

Perhaps include some graphics or pictures for interest?

3

You are tending to just keep mentioning a load of reference material and commenting on it. Use the material to construct your own argument or case.

4

The impression at times is that your method will be to read a lot of stuff and expect some kind of idea to emerge

5

Explain your methods - if you are doing a case study then explain why you chose this and what you are looking for.

6

Be more explicit about the methods - you mention media tests which sound important but you simply cast them as a style of practice led research. This is equivalent to saying “I’m going to do a bit of quantitative research”

a summary of the feedback: Find conflict in the subject. Explain latter research material in more detail, how it will inform the development of ideas. Case studies - select and justify. Media tests - explain their role and justify

I feel I am being sucked into this world of hazy academic research, requirements and formalities. Before this is over I fear I must descend yet further. But alas, this is the price, it would seem, for a few words printed on a single sheet of paper, read momentarily by any potential employer if curiosity some how manages to draw his or her attention to a written document as opposed to a bright and flamboyant reel. And even then, that’s assuming you arn’t freelancing or self employed, or in fact employed at all in any creative industry! Remind me, how much importance does this degree actually hold?

// 03 //

// Research Methods & Dissertation //

// 76 //


(The Design of) Broadcast Identity Research Proposal

Iain J McCallum

// 03 //

// Research Methods & Dissertation //

// 77 //


Abstract There are more than 7200 television channels broadcast in europe alone, and a further 1400 available. World wide the total number ranges from 15000 into the ‘millions’. This drives a need for each station or network to step out from the crowd and draw in an audience already buried under a deluge of media. Creative brilliance is therefore a requirement of channel design, program packaging, promotion clips and advertising concepts. This study will focus on describing the development of successful identity design and the challenges that stand in its way. Research into broadcast, graphic design and design theories will form an academic context in which the effectiveness of visual identity can be judged. Key production issues will be identified through a series of case studies whose work will be contrasted with the theories found in literature. The research will then identify and examine solutions through the practical application of media tests. It is hoped that a final project will demonstrate a solution to production issues which have to be resolved for any studio to survive in the broadcast industry.

// 03 //

// Research Methods & Dissertation //

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contents

Abstract . . Introduction . . The research question . The literature review . The research method . Significance of study .

// 03 //

. . . . . .

. . . . . .

. . . . . .

. . . . . .

. . . . . .

// Research Methods & Dissertation //

74 76 77 78 83 86

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introduction

The area of this study is broadcast design. Its focus: the use of motion graphics in portraying a visual identity. To gain a thorough understanding of this subject and its context one must examine the roots from which it has grown. From the first basic symbols; circle, cross, triangle and square through the Roman empires “first nationalistic logo” (Gregory Thomas (2000)) and Procter & Gambles move to become “one of the first companies to capitalise on the use of trademarks” (Gregory Thomas (2000)). We have developed our obsession with visual symbology and graphics to the point where it is “the most universal of all the arts” (Quentin Newark (2002)). Its uses range from the first known forms of communication to decoration, explanation of practically anything and identification of almost everything. “For centuries man has labelled himself, has created an identity within which he can live and be known as he would like to be known. It is not a new phenomenon, but rather an ancient ritual, designed to express the differences between one group of humans and another.” (Edward Booth (1980)) The introduction of cinema, followed by television, brought with it the opportunity to add motion to graphics. It would be impossible not to mention Saul Bass at this point with his innovative, and legendary, title sequences for nearly 60 films from Otto Premingers Carmen Jones (1954) to Martin Scorseses Casino (1995). Other designers, including Martin Lambie-Nairn and Harry Marks, have made a name for themselves creating broadcast motion graphic design and playing key roles in the introduction of computers to the development process. Today there is constant demand in packaging, branding, re- branding and design for thousands, or tens of thousands, of shows, channels and networks worldwide. The aim in conducting research of this subject is to identify the issues faced by creatives in developing these visual identities and to explore effective methods in working out solutions.

// 03 //

// Research Methods & Dissertation //

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The research question (aims and objectives 8) “What are the issues faced by creatives in the development of motion graphics for broadcast identity, and how might they, where possible, be overcome?� To answer this question an examination of the literary context must be conducted alongside a study of the practical implications. The following objectives are believed to be an effective way to break down the research question into achievable tasks. 1.0 Review and evaluate literature on graphic design and design theories 2.0 Investigate and analyse examples of visual identity in motion design 3.0 Conduct practice based research in the creation of visual identity 4.0 Create and critically evaluate a visual identity through motion graphics The initial two objectives reflect each other in what they are helping to answer. Both seek to develop an understanding of the subject through context which will also provide criteria for the analysis of design. The first is concerned with literature in the history and theories of design while the second will deal with a series of case studies. They will also identify both practical and theoretical issues faced by creatives alongside potential solutions. The third objective concerns the practical implications of any issues and will analyse identified solutions through media tests. These are divided into two groups; technical application and design development. The first addresses practical problems while the second tests theoretical solutions in design development. The final objective serves as an extension of the third in demonstrating its findings through the development of a full visual identity.

// 03 //

// Research Methods & Dissertation //

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The literature review

This research, being focused on a visual development of identity in motion design, is effectively based on the principles and theories of graphic design. As motion design can be visualised as graphic design with the added dimension of time, the literature of graphic deign forms a significant portion of the resources. ‘Graphic design’, the broadly reaching term currently used to describe a vast array of work was first coined in 1922 by ‘William Addison Dwiggins’. His view of the role played by the graphic designer was somewhat constricted in comparison to our modern understanding. ‘Super-printing’ was an alternative term he occasionally used. “The printing designers whole duty is to make clear presentation of the message - to get the important statements forward and the minor parts placed so that they will not be overlooked.” (Quentin Newark (2002)) He is describing the specific discipline of layout. The main aim of this, in his view, was to get the message across in the most efficient and effective way. His approach, developed through a career of commercial messages, contrasted that of Francis Meynell, a poet and printer who dealt with literature including Shakespeare. In a piece entitled ‘With twenty-six soldiers of lead I have conquered the world’ Meynells aesthetic leaning is reflected. “All the heights and depths and breadths of tangible and natural things - landscapes, sunsets, the scent of hay, the hum of bees, the beauty of which belongs to eyelids (and is falsely ascribed to eyes); all the immeasurable emotions and motions of the human mind, to which there seems no bound; ugly and terrible and mysterious thoughts and things, as well as beautiful - are all compassed, restrained, ordered in a trifling jumble of letters. Twenty-six signs!” (Quentin Newark (2002)) The opinions of these two men represent “the poles between which the graphic designer must choose a position.” (Quentin Newark (2002)). Function versus Aesthetic, an opposition of design philosophies which applies universally to any kind of creative endeavour. This conflict has generated the more recognisable phrase, now an overused cliché; ‘form follows function’, derived from Louis Sullivans statement in 1896 of “form ever follows function”.

// 03 //

// Research Methods & Dissertation //

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This effectively became a motto of modernist architecture in the 20th century alongside ‘less is more’ as decorative design saw its demise in the face of Bauhaus philosophy. After a time modernism gave way to postmodernism, a reaction against impersonal blandness in favour of personal expression and variety. Now, in the wake of globalisation, the tide is turning again with a ‘modern’ take on ‘modernism’. Currently the most visible and influential force is Apple with a design philosophy being driven by Jonathan Ives and his aim to refine until there can be no more refinements. This ebb and flow of trends between form and function is felt across everything touched by design but does not dictate the choices made by every designer. If these movements could dictate choice they would have no opposition and therefore no development. In design there is always a choice and therefore an issue to be dealt with, assuming the creative is aware of, and considering, his or her design philosophies. In attempting to understand and apply the philosophies and theories of design, much of the literature and lines of thought can be off-putting in their complexity. This is especially true of aesthetics in the writing of Immanuel Kant. Without a basic understanding of his philosophical project and its aims it would not be possible to understand his aesthetic theories. His project can be summed up as “trying to establish a transcendental critique of the nature and possibilities of mental life in general”. Mental life here is ‘thinking’ and the transcendental critique is an analysis of the necessary elements and principles of how ‘thinking’ works or how it plays out in life through such things as our will or desires, aspirations or reasoning. Kant is a heavily methodological philosopher and addresses the subject of aesthetics in a deeply technical way. This produces results so abstract and obscure as to be imposingly difficult to follow or relate to. His theory of beauty comprises of ‘four moments’; quality, quantity, relation and modality. The ‘quality’ of beauty is a question of how it is held in the mind, how is the thought of beauty what it is. Kant describes it as a subjective experience that is also universal. When we find an object beautiful, it is our own experience in which we find this beauty. But when we think of this object we think of it being beautiful in a general sense. The quantity of beauty is how the thought is distinguished from other thoughts in the mind. This relates to the way in which it is universally subjective. Beauty is not the thought of an object, it is a sense that purveys through objects. An object is not beauty but it can be beautiful. The relation of beauty is the question of which part of the mind is this feeling related to. Most ‘things’ in the mind are what they are because they can be conceptually linked to other ‘things’, for example: movement is the orientation or position of one object changing relative to another. Beauty is different in that the existence of beauty is generated by something being beautiful. In Kants words it has a ‘purposive purposelessness’.

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Finally the modality of beauty describes the way in which it is a reflection of our senses upon themselves creating new set of possibilities, meanings and desires. To truly understand Kants aesthetic theories and philosophical aims would require an in depth study and analysis for which this project does not have enough scope although it is wise to take note of the impact Kant has had on design theory. In the early 20th century the Gestalt school of thought sought to deconstruct the perception of objects into its elemental parts. The work of Kurt Kuffka, Max Wertheimer and Wolfgang Kohler was a step towards the practical application of aesthetic philosophy. The findings of the ‘Gestaltists’ were organised into five laws for use in design by John W Cataldo who sought to “provide the graphic designer with a reliable psychological basis for the spatial organisation of graphic information.” These laws set out clear definitions of the elements in design and the effects of their application, an attractive alternative to working through aesthetic philosophies. They are, briefly, as follows. The first law: equilibrium. It describes the tendency of cognitive processes to simplify the perception of an object. Moving its constituent parts towards an equilibrium. It is similar to the second law of thermodynamics with objects tending towards a state of higher entropy.

The second law: closure. If a graphic figure is left incomplete, there is a desire to close it. This stems from closed areas as having a higher perceived stability. Incomplete or broken graphics portray instability, even hostility.

The third law: continuation. A straight line can appear to extend past its physical constraints and a curve can form the image of a circle where one is not drawn. A common employment of this concept is the dotted line. It is also related to the stroboscopic effect of animation.

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// Research Methods & Dissertation //

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The fourth law: similarity. What is perceived by the eye is constantly organised into patterns. Objects of similar size, shape, colour and direction will be grouped as one entity. This law is closely related to the fifth.

The fifth law: proximity. When objects are arranged in close proximity they will, again, be grouped as one entity. This law draws from a general gestalt principle that the character of an object is partially dependant on its surrounding field or context.

// 03 //

// Research Methods & Dissertation //

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One modern philosopher of aesthetics, Denis Dutton, presented a view of aesthetics that is simplified yet further in a talk entitled ‘A Darwinian Theory of Beauty’. He gives a very compelling reasoning behind why some things are more visually desirable than others, summing up with the statement: “we find beauty in something done well” (Dutton (2010)). Today there appears a misconception that the mastery of software is in its self a mastery of graphic design. Technical advances have overtaken and are leaving behind the basics of design; shape, line, colour and typography. “The computer has revolutionised the design process. It has made the act of designing easier, and in many ways it has improved the way we design things. Yet in other respects it has made design more formulaic, and it has standardised the act of designing” (Adrian Shaughnessy(2005)) The seemingly limitless potential of technology and the problems which accompany it increase the need for an understanding of design fundamentals. “The availability of technology and the advances in imaging and production techniques will not cover up what is essentially a bad design” (Alan Hashimoto(2007)) Every subject mentioned in this proposal, and more, make up a landscape through which a creative must make his way. A designer must also, considering the convergence of technology and design tools, “command a baffling array of professional abilities that include, among others, the typographic chops of a print designer, the motion and timing smarts of an animator, the stylistic rendering talents of an illustrator, the narrative skills of a writer or editor, the music sensibilities of a composer and the cinematic and live action directing abilities of a film maker.” (Kyle Cooper (2006)) A second implication of this convergence is in the format of the design product. It must possess a flexibility that will allow cross platform application. These challenges constantly test a studios ability and are becoming an increasingly crucial factor in its success.

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// Research Methods & Dissertation //

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The research method RESEARCH DESIGN (the sources, areas of knowledge) n order to more effectively identify the issues facing designers it has been deemed appropriate to divide them between the theoretical and practical. These two types require their own forms of research. Being a relatively new art form there is only a small amount of writing on the theory of motion and broadcast design. In order to form a theoretical context, information will be drawn from the literature of graphic design as this is where the subjects of interest have their roots. As for the practical issues, a series of case studies, listed in the following section, will be conducted. In depth studies will specifically concern broadcast identity. Further small studies in a variety of motion graphic projects will outline a broader context. STRATEGY AND FRAMEWORK (how this collection of knowledge will be tackled, the order and technique) From a general assessment of graphic design already conducted, further study of the following areas has been identified as a requirement for the completion of the proposed research: aesthetics, function, perception, primary elements, colour theory, typography, layout and development. The base of knowledge created by this investigation will form an essential structure within which the review of case studies can be effectively understood. The following channels and networks have been selected to describe a wide range of motion design projects portraying broadcast identity: ‘BBC One’ (UK) Channel 4 (UK) FOX cable networks ‘FUEL TV’ (USA) KI.KA (Germany) PLUG TV (Belgium) REELZCHANNEL (USA) SUNDANCE CHANNEL (USA) motionographer.com will be used alongside similar websites as a source of information on the wider context mentioned in the concluding statement of the previous section. This will allow crucial insight into challenges faced by studios and the approaches used in overcoming them.

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In order to create a framework within which to organise this research, the previously identified objectives have been split into to following sub-sections: 1 1.1 1.1.1 1.1.2 1.1.3 1.1.4 1.1.5

Review and evaluate literature on motion design Literature Review Review literature to identify the theories and values of graphic design Asses the relevance of these theories for use in motion graphics Conflict / issues Criteria for analysis Review

2 2.1 2.1.1 2.1.2 2.1.3 2.1.4 2.1.5

Investigate and analyse examples of visual identity in motion design Research Diary Identify a series of examples relevant to the area of study Collect relevant literature discussing each case Identify the practical challenges faced in each example Analyse the approaches used to overcome any issues Write a review of the case studies.

3 3.1 3.1.1 3.1.2 3.1.3 3.1.4

Conduct practice based research in the creation of visual identity Media Tests Experiment with a variety of techniques and styles in motion graphic design Prepare a series of identities to be used as subjects for the media tests Develop identities for those which pose issues identified in the research Produce documentation reflecting on the media tests and their issues

4 Create a full visual identity through motion graphics 4.1 Practice 4.1.1 Prepare a client with background and marketing aims 4.1.2 Gather information on the client 4.1.3 Analyse the information 4.1.4 Set the objectives for the visual identity / product 4.1.5 Define the approach identifying potential issues 4.1.6 Generate ideas 4.1.7 Evaluate and refine ideas to deal with identified issues 4.1.8 Develop the most appropriate idea 4.1.9 Produce a visual identity 4.1.10 Write a critical evaluation of the identity for the dissertation 4.1.11 (if time permits) repeat 4.1.2 through 4.1.10

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DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS The data for this research project will be collected through two different methods; literature review and case studies. The literature review, concerning the theories and philosophies of graphic design, will primarily source information from published texts which have been through rigorous review. The case studies will be based around interviews and retrospective documents. It must be noted that these will be biased in varying ways but are still an invaluable source of insight into the creative and practical processes. Analysis of these two methods will initially take the form of a written review in which conflicts and challenges will be evaluated against their impact and relevance to broadcast identity. Further analysis will be conducted through media tests, each of which will focus on a particular issue or technical process. Review of the media tests will inform the development of conceptual and production methodologies to be employed in the final production.

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Significance of study

With an unbelievable number of television channels broadcasting around the world, there is no shortage of demand for design studios to create, revise or reinvent visual identities. This demand has driven an ever accelerating development of the tools and methods available to creatives. These advances have begun to blur the lines between what were once clearly defined and separate disciplines. A designer can be expected to create illustrated artwork alongside an animated production or a tailored typeface and visual effects within the same design package. What makes this even more prevalent is the ability to create all these products from a single workstation. The result is a necessity to re-evaluate the challenges faced by a designer in this new cross-disciplined world. It is hoped that this study will help facilitate an in-depth understanding of the processes and challenges in creating visual identity. For practitioners in the business of producing identities this knowledge is essential. It is the key to ensuring the design is able to communicate exactly what is required of it. With the interdisciplinary nature of many design studios and individuals any revelation by this study will hold relevance in projects out with the specific area of focus. This allows the study to hold adequate significance to justify its existence.

// 03 //

// Research Methods & Dissertation //

// 90 //


media test: motion tracking This test is as simple as it sounds, trying out the tracking ability of After Effects. I have taken some 2d tracking data and added in some tweaks to make it appear to follow the camera in 3d space.

// 03 //

// pre-production //

// 91 //


Monday, 26th of December, 2011.

Through the re-drafting of the research proposal its subject has slowly swung from a study of the design and production process to a study that aims to identify the issues faced by creatives through these processes. This should give the study an ability to conclusively answer the aim.  It’s a small shift but one which should not be forgotten, this may even justify redrafting the professional practice literature if it is to be re-assessed at the conclusion of the project.

// 03 //

// journal //

// 92 //


Wednesday, 28th of December, 2011.

Through researching an array of design disciplines in books, internet sources and interviews I have come to realise a fairly blatant fact. Some design professionals and students create an austere front that portrays design as a complex an intimidatingly ‘special’ entity, sometimes actively sometimes subconsciously.  Harsh judgments can be passed deeming objects as just simply ‘bad’ which, in a different light or differing opinion, can be ‘good’.  These objects are the results of well meaning endeavours or the endeavours themselves.  This covers all creative elements in life and can even extend from within the person looking upon this seemingly impregnable set of skills.  To that person, or any others who may have been brushed off by a ‘designer’: Ignore dismissive judgment, it is false and unfounded, but do take on serious criticism.

// 03 //

// journal //

// 93 //


;

// 03 //

// december //

// 94 //


04 january

// 04 //

// january //

// 95 //


media test: abstraction Using a camera as a focus and following some of the practices and principles lined out by Alan Hashimoto in his book ‘Visual Design Fundamentals, A Digital Approach’ I have taken a complex visual form and found a simple abstract. The development is shown below in two stages.  The first is a search for what makes up the form of the camera and potential routs for simplification.  The second has taken one of the original concepts and developed it.

// 04 //

// pre-production //

// 96 //


media test: light box Considering the appearance of photography in some motion graphic pieces I thought it appropriate to look into some photography and lighting for objects. Here I have set up a small DIY light box and played with combining images of different exposures. I cut out the panels of two ring binders and taped white material over the holes.  These serve to soften the light and shadows.  A white sheet of paper formed the back drop, taped at the top and allowed to lie loose under whatever may be photographed.

// 04 //

// pre-production //

// 97 //


media test: insurance map Having seen this technique applied with great success through various projects posted in the Abduzeedo design blog I decided to have a go. Taking an old insurance map logo, this would work for almost any graphic, I traced the lines with Illustrator, imported the vectors into maya, and used them as a base for the 3D model. This process would be especially effective for logos and possibly mechanical models.

// 04 //

// pre-production //

// 98 //


media test: lego font This test began as a little fun, making shapes with lego men. Once every letter had been posed I moved onto creating a vector version. With a lego man at hand I began sketching outlines of the shapes before bringing them into a font creation tool. Placing a grid over the photos and sketch allowed for a closer approximation of the proportions. After finding a satisfying scale and line thickness I created lego men and a few poses and quickly tried them out in a text preview. As the design stands they are far too complicated and detailed to be used effectively.  The image based lego men font was far more effective but more as a comic one off font, not for regular use.  It is clear that this media test is facing its end.  There is the possible rout of simplifying the shapes through abstraction before bringing them back into text which may be the final push of this particular project.

// 04 //

// pre-production //

// 99 //


media test: typography My first forays into Typography, extended play. These fonts only cater for upper case. With time lower case and punctuation could be added.  In jumping straight in and producing these fonts some fairly large design issues were discovered. First and foremost - the legibility of text in these examples is not great, they would be more suited to a short title in which the extra detail would not create excessive confusion. The online program, fontstruct, only has a limited set of blocks which can be used to ‘colour in’ a grid for each letter.  ‘Fontstruct’, although limiting, provides a fantastically intuitive tool for an introduction to typography.  There were issues created by the confines of block type and grid.  to overcome these would mean to purchase or source and install free software geared specifically towards the production of type.  These more flexible programmes would allow for more subtle errors in design unless the creator creates a set of rules governing the elements that go into typography, this in it’s self would require a knowledge of letterform anatomy. This document effectively describes the various parts of letterforms: http://www.jednet.co.uk/type/letterforms.pdf Some basic rules in typography design:  http://designshack.net/articles/typography/8-rules-for-creating-effective-typography Keeping up to date with typography:  http://ilovetypography.com

// 04 //

// pre-production //

// 100 //


media test(s): a little photography

// 04 //

// pre-production //

// 101 //


// 04 //

// pre-production //

// 102 //


// 04 //

// pre-production //

// 103 //


// 04 //

// pre-production //

// 104 //


Monday, 16th of January, 2012. Up until this point the project has been aimed towards the development of a full channel or network identity. The reason for this undertaking was to identify and propose possible solutions to the design problems faced by an individual or studio engaged in a similar activity, specifically within the use of motion graphics.  There are two points of justification for this area of interest.  The first and foremost is my intention to find employment creating motion design for the broadcast industry.  The second concerns the recent combination of various design disciplines into one as a result of the computers ability to preform a multitude of specialised tasks. To restrain the project scope and focus the production aim to something more suited to my personal requirements I have tweaked the subject.  Instead of a full channel identity I will look purely at channel idents from which a full identity can be extrapolated.  In effect this will form an exercise in branding with motion graphics.  For consistency each ident produced will aim to fill 10 seconds.  As for the question being asked it seems to be lying somewhere between the following two: ‘What are the issues faced in portraying the identity of a channel in a 10 second motion graphic.’ And: ‘How is the identity of a channel portrayed in a 10 second motion graphic, what issues are faced and how might they be overcome.’ The form of the project will remain the same.  Academic research will inform the theoretical underpinnings of design while media testing will explore the practical production and implementation of design theories.

// 04 //

// journal //

// 105 //


Business cards Recently I came across a simple card design holding only the company name and their web site.  This was featured somewhere in the Abduzeedo blog - unfortunately I have lost the specific post but have found an alternative one discussing various designs.  The first in this post is another web site only card: http://www.thedesignwork.com/a-showcase-of-typographyin-business-card-design/ The design was applauded for simplicity holding only the information that counted.  It explained that it is unlikely anyone will enjoy typing in an e-mail or plugging in a telephone number (admittedly small tasks but annoying in quantity).  Currently, and specifically within creative industries, an online portfolio or reel will be the first stop of any prospective employers; if the work is impressive a link or contact on the site is far more preferable to going back to a card and manually entering details.  With these things in mind I began the design process, as I am not a company it seemed appropriate to include ‘motion designer’ along side my name and site.

// 04 //

// professional practice //

// 106 //


Monday, 23rd of January, 2012.

I have reached a point in the project in which ‘the done thing’ would be to write up the media tests, the case studies, the research and begin work on the final piece. Instead I find myself striding away from the seemingly desirable ‘first’ classification and towards a healthier portfolio and future career. The grades are in, from some submissions, and they are all holding at ‘B’, ah 4chan. This specifically doesn’t dissuade me from academic aims - it’s more a combination of professional requirements and small points in the feedback. “The impression at times is that your method will be to read a lot of stuff and expect some kind of idea to emerge” …Honestly, yes. That is my intention. Every single example of creativity I have ever come across has origins in the creators past experiences. These past experiences are held as memories, a memory is a personal interpretation of an experience. ‘Reading’ is the act of interpreting a ‘thing’, that ‘thing’ can be anything. With regards to this project my stated aims are to read theories of graphic design, accounts of broadcast productions and the context of ‘clients’ for media tests from which the designs for their motion graphic idents will be built. Put simply - to read a lot of stuff and expect some kind of idea to emerge.

// 04 //

// journal //

// 107 //


media test: CUbe I downloaded and used this shader for the green luminescent material: http://www.creativecrash.com/ maya/downloads/shaders/c/glowinthedark After a few tweaks the render went ahead with mental ray using the ‘production motion blur’ setting. There are a couple of faults but i’m growing to like them. The first - the power was knocked out during the render, after this happened I found a few settings had not been saved. After a rough approximation of the settings I re-rendered a few frames and faded between the two sets - this fade happens around 11 seconds in, clearest in the reflected light in the lower left cubes. The second fault - for an unknown reason the incandescence / luminosity flickers throughout the video, this gives a strange rough quality to the lighting uncommon for digital renders - so I am keeping it. This render was combined with a zDepth pass in After effects alongside some 2D graphics. This was the most complex undertaking to date and I feel one of the last with out a solid concept to base the design on.

// 04 //

// pre-production //

// 108 //


Wednesday, 25th of January, 2012.

A focus of intent. During a wee chat with some friends about honours things, an idea was talked about that took hold. Within the case studies (apparently not such a good term to use) I am looking for general issues faced by the designers and how they overcame them.  This could be within any element - typography / shape / colour.  Focusing on one element would help give clear direction to the study, after creating the diagram below, one stood out - ‘The principles of animation’.  I intend to discuss this with my tutor but it seems that focusing on this would be a good idea, if a tricky one to gather material on.  I will have to search for 10 second Idents that clearly use these principles and those that do not.  I will also have to find interviews or personal accounts that discuss these issues specifically. ... ‘To examine the use of the ‘Principles of Animation’ in motion graphics, ...to demonstrate the significance of their use for a successful design...’

// 04 //

// journal //

// 109 //


joy ride Joyride - A broadcast design agency with an eclectic range of talents. Their vimeo channel provides some great insight into the thinking behind their designs, here is their channel address: vimeo.com/user8111994

“For the second time in the last 2 years, the on-air marketing team at History has asked us to redesign the look and feel of the network gfx package. The main task was to evolve the strength of the current logo and tagline “Made Every Day”, and make the arrow (aka Propel) a bigger player. Other initiatives were to brighten up the tone/color palette, and create a sense of place and destination to showcase all the personalities from their hit series. To reinforce the tagline, we added the word MADE into the channel’s new tune-in language. For example, Ice Road Truckers is “Made Every Friday at 9”. In addition, we created a new set of ID’s and promo buttons that feature the tagline as a standalone 3d element. Lastly, green screen footage of the series’ personalities will be added to the networks navigational elements where they will be speaking directly to the viewers about making history every day. In developing the new package, we were responsible for creating a gfx bucket system for various requirements and programming types. History’s diverse grouping of shows and promotion include personality and non-personality driven series, feature films, specials, big events, marathons & stunts, web, consumer products, and On-Air navigation in both the US and Internationally. After the Domestic package was delivered, we were tasked with conforming AE Kits & Animations to International standards, including Latin America, Germany, England, Italy, Spain, Korea, Japan, Southeast Asia, Israel, Turkey, Australia, and New Zealand.”

// 04 //

// Research Methods & Dissertation //

// 110 //


Saturday, 28th of January, 2012.

First professional animation contract!! Every piece of work I have produced has been posted online in my blog and on vimeo / youtube. With each new project I am aiming to produce something that is better than the last and also matches the standard of other professional work. A great place to see this other work is on LinkedIn in the group pages. Jobs are posted every day followed by a flurry of links to showreels - really handy for judging the competition and your own level. A few days ago I had an e-mail out the blue from ‘Underdogs’, an animation studio in estonia, asking about collaborating on the short film ‘Burn to Shine’. They had seen my work on Vimeo and were impressed, this is providing a nice little justification for working towards portfolio improvement rather than research aims. My job is to clean up + exaggerate movement from motion capture for the characters. $30 a shot, really low budget but worth it for the experience. I have 2 days to learn a new program (Softimage) and complete the first shot. Bring it on! As a result of this, work on the honours project is getting shelved for now, as important as it may be - this project, the experience and the credit far outweighs university. All I’ve got to do now is not screw up!

// 04 //

// journal //

// 111 //


;

// 04 //

// january //

// 112 //


05 February

// 05 //

// february //

// 113 //


Thursday, 2nd of February, 2012. A small rant about the mistakes of my first ‘professional’ animation contract. Advice to anyone in any kind of creative pursuit - charge by the hour. Always, always, charge by the hour. I accepted an insanely low rate ($30 a scene) for this first project as it is my first project and I have no real previous experience. But, how ever low the pay is - it is still infinitely higher than any material rewards from the university, and it’s industry experience. This though, has been taken to a level of insanity I could not have dreamt of. 5 days in, around 60 hours of work, and 5 shots being very cheekily squeezed out the one scene - $30. Even through this, I’m sorry honours project but the contract trounces you! It has taught me more in 5 days than any university module has in a year. The time and workload has been to do with learning a new software which I am greatfull for, one more thing for the cv! There have been multiple issues with the work - the shots weren’t clearly defined allowing them (the clients) to tweak their requirements. The rigs has been difficult - were I a seasoned professional many of the issues could have been foreseen and avoided in the animation process. I am not, problems occurred, and due to time and budget constraints it would be impractical to re-animate the scene (which would be the much wiser option). Next time - I intend on pushing for the following things: 1. Pay by the hour (with the understanding that things will always take longer than expected) 2. Clearly defined requirements (Exactly what is wanted from the performance and every camera angle) 3. Good character rigs to work with (bad rig = awkward animation) Also watch out for motion capture - I imagine if the capturing system and actor are good then there will be less issues and life will be dandy! In my first experience I have encountered bad data, someone else’s bad work over the top, some very questionable performances and no reference footage (This would help a lot). To add to this I was asked to leave the mobcap keyframes alone. At the beginning of the project I was ok with this - I didn’t really know better. Now at the end they are asking me to clear up some jerks and jitters here and there. This initially confused me - I didn’t do that, where are these weird jumps coming from? You got it - the mocap keyframes. Instead of deleting these it is apparently more desirable to have someone fight the animation with their own animation. This is where I am now - writing in frustration but still glad of the opportunity!

// 05 //

// journal //

// 114 //


aims and objectives 9

Aim: To examine the techniques used by creatives in the development of motion graphics for broadcast identity, and to demonstrate the application of those methods in design. 1. Review and evaluate literature on graphic design and design theories 2. Investigate and analyse examples of visual identity in motion design 3. Conduct practice based research in the creation of visual identity 4. Create and critically evaluate a visual identity through motion graphics

// 05 //

// professional practice //

// 115 //


pitch and crit managment 3

For this third ‘pitch and crit session’ I was supervising a different group of individuals. Over all this was a much more comfortable group with all those present providing feedback.  This was due to the members having more outgoing attitudes and a good collection of concepts to present.  Either by chance or good preparation on the parts of those presenting we ran almost perfectly to time.  These circumstances allowed me to concentrate on giving valuable feedback without the worry of timekeeping and encouraging others to come forward with opinions. Of the general advice I gave; the most important, in my opinion, was the importance of maintaining an online portfolio in order to help with landing future opportunities.  The following are a few more points of advice given through the session:  - Don’t bite off more than you can chew.  - It’s better to keep a project small but polished  - If possible outsource work in order to concentrate on key elements in production.  - If you don’t use maya it would be worth learning to get the most out of this course.  - For animators, look up the 11 second club and take part, also check the crit videos  - Check out the 4th years projects for potential collaboration opportunities.  - When attempting an ambition project, keep deadlines and have a backup plan.  - Find reference and inspiration from dissimilar projects, it’ll keep your ideas fresh  - Abduzeedo is one example of an excellent resource for inspiration.  - Make sure you can produce work in a variety of styles, versatility = employability.  - When working in the style of an artist make sure you consider the underlying concepts and not just the surface appearance.

// 05 //

// professional practice //

// 116 //


third presentation Write up (2 weeks post presentation) My subject is motion graphics, my aim is to create network idents. Some examples you may recognise are the BBC ONE circle clips (hippos swimming in a circle, the view of bikers from above forming a circular rainbow), the comical e4 clips with their distinct purple, and the channel 4 logo in various guises but always the same 9 blocks. A brief summery of the projects development so far: My interest is in VFX and animation, this led to the first project iteration - the value of VFX pipelines. Deemed to technical for an arts degree I moved onto the second iteration: Style and visual language in short films. This was too vague so I focused on motion graphics and broadcast design which evolved into the current aims and objectives. The research: The proposal was, in essence, a short history and introduction to graphic design (as it is the basis for motion design). My feedback was to clarify broadcast design as the subject and develop more of an analysis. With this in mind My next step is to develop a framework for analysis which I shall apply to the case studies. The practical work: This is planned in two stages, the first is a varied series of experiments designed to increase my set of tools and techniques which shall be used in realising the second stage. This second stage will be the design and development of network idents for three fictional channels. The first practical stage; a run through of each media test. The second practical stage; the three channels are currently undeveloped. So far the ideas are: a technology and innovation channel, a music channel, and a comedy channel. Each has a rooster of programmes. These channel identities shall be developed once the case studies have been completed - this shall give a solid foundation of knowledge on which to build the fictional channels. This is where the project is currently at.

// 05 //

// professional practice //

// 117 //


third presentation... the feedback

That turned into one of my most successful presentations to date. Received compliments (from the tutors) on presentation structure and clarity, the direction and progress of the project, and the clear way in which the research subject has driven both the practical work and the overall architecture of my efforts.   During the presentation I mentioned some small experiments into typography had opened my eyes to the scale of that particular subject and, as a result, lead me to acknowledge that the scope of my own project would not be able to take in typography as a sub-section.  To the contrary - I was encouraged to incorporate more experiments into typography and movement.  Not to undertake a study of typography and all it embodies, just to get more of a feel in the context of motion graphics.

// 05 //

// professional practice //

// 118 //


framework for analysis The framework I have developed considers 6 elements in the design of motion graphics. LAYOUT or Cinematography This considers various qualities; balance, symmetry, underlying grids or graphic rules including shape and texture. When analysing motion graphics the variation through time must also be considered.  After analysis a conclusion shall be drawn as to whither the layout of each piece is appropriate. DELIVERY  (Narrative) This will asses how appropriate the perceived tone of voice is in conveying the message.  Does the piece have a loud, shouting voice or deliver it in a calm and concise manner.  The speed of information will also be assessed in considering how well the target audience has been considered in the design. HIERARCHY Some elements in a design will be perceived as more important due to the importance placed on them through colour, contrast shape or various other means.  This section of the framework asks which parts are most prominent, why, and how they have been made so.  Additionally the relationship between text and image, whither it be in conflict or balanced, will be assessed. FORM vs FUNCTION  Every piece of design must consider these opposites.  This section assesses whither the designs intent is to effectively communicate a message or to be purely fashionable.  COLOUR This section will ask several questions concerning the use of colour in a piece.  Are the colours harmonious or contrasting?  Have a warm, cool or complimentary scheme been used?  For what reason has the colour scheme been chosen?  Is that choice appropriate? TYPOGRAPHY This will comprise of only a brief look at the typography of each piece as an in depth exploration of the fonts used would merit an entire study of its own.  The readability and clarity of the type will be assessed.  It will be noted if the type has an individual style or a generic one.  Finally the suitability of the font will be discussed.

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media test: pointless, kinetic typography

// 05 //

// pre-production //

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Saturday, 11th of February, 2012.

Throughout the rest of February I conducted research on the 7 channels selected as case studies. The results of those studies have been printed in the dissertation section towards the end of the book.

// 05 //

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Monday, 27th of February, 2012.

Beginning the final projects. I have a sound designer on board (Matt West), the plan is for these three idents to help both our portfolios. After a few days of thinking about the type of work that would work well we came up with three themes: Tension, Pulse and Time Warp. It is now my job to come up with a treatment for each that give the appearance of having been developed from three channel ideas. Truth be told, I shall be reverse engineering the channel profiles to fit these ideas then creating a design development to take in both the ident theme and channel profile. A little cheeky but worth it for the opportunity.

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// 123 //


;

// 05 //

// february //

// 124 //


06 march

// 06 //

// march //

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Friday, 2nd of March, 2012.

Meeting with Gregor, several things were discussed in the meeting, this is the outcome: Condense the literature review from the proposal for the dissertation, include only the relevant information. Find a methodology in the literature and add it to the dissertation lit review. Make the channels more diverse (by this time I had developed a preliminary description for each of the three channel identities). Add a new framework for analysis and it’s results for the case studies in the appendices - reference them in the case studies. Use the frame to analyse and explain the development of the 3 channels. Take out the A&O explanation, just explain in the introduction. (rewrite the in-depth A&O as part of the intro).

// 06 //

// journal //

// 126 //


arisen - the channel + practical dev, not final ARISEN is a channel dedicated to unveiling truth behind controversial issues, activities and events throughout the world. It creates a platform from which the voices of ordinary and independent people can be herd, specifically those directly affected by the subject under discussion. ARISEN aims to remain un-influenced by differing viewpoints and to present a non-biased outlet of information so that viewers may form their own opinions free from pre-conceptions. It is comparable to a news channel but delves deeper through a programming slate of documentaries, short (factual) films, educational and discussion shows. The audience is primarily made up by well educated, open minded individuals between the ages of 20 and 49 although suitable for anyone with an interest in the current and controversial who is willing to hear more than one side to a story. Reason for the name: ‘Arisen’ was chosen as a name to represent a hope that a sometimes blurred truth will always become apparent.

// 06 //

// pre-production //

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ARISEN LOGO As this study is focusing on the development and design of Idents and not logos, a small amount of time will be spent searching for appropriate fonts for each channel, the use of which will form the logos. The requirements for the Arisen typeface are; clarity, simplicity and minimalism. Sharp edges, as opposed to curved ends, are also preferable as they give the type a more serious air. The selections above were chosen for their clarity and are predominantly san-serif. The darker fonts made it further through the selection process. Although there were specific aims in collecting the pool of fonts, the selection from this group was largely based on intuition. The two inverted choices made the final round as they both posses some of the required aesthetic. A further search reviled MuseoSans-100 which combines the structure of the lower typeface and the stroke of the upper typeface giving it an appropriate appearance to be used as the final Arisen logo.

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// pre-production //

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ARISEN IDENT The sensitivity / controversy / emotional impact of issues covered by the programming in ARISEN is reflected by the central theme of tension through out the graphic packaging. The ident will create a sense of focus and rising intensity as a metaphor of the channels subject. Colour may be used minimally to represent truth but it should be kept in mind that the majority of the branding is restrained to black and white in order to convey the clarity and straight forward ethos of the way events and issues are covered.

// 06 //

// pre-production //

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mondo - the channel + practical dev, not final MONDO is a channel dedicated to the ‘epic’. Action / adventure, science fiction, fantasy, extreme sports - be it a series, film or live event: Mondo will showcase anything that has ‘huge’ effects, story or achievement.  Drawing together a surreal mix from blockbusters to viral independent ‘web film’, behind the scenes stories, and ground breaking events Mondo provides a constant ‘wow’ to it’s target audience of 20 to 30 year olds, predominantly men. 

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// pre-production //

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MONDO LOGO The font for Mondo is required to portray a channel with big intentions - it’s content bold and uncompromising.  Typefaces with straight edges, angles, and thick, bold letterforms have been considered.  The chosen font is one of the few that completely eliminate the use of curves.  Angles and straight lines give it an uncompromising nature suited to the ‘personality’ of Mondo.  The initial letter form for the capital ‘M’ fills the vast majority of it’s occupied space with black increasing it’s impact.  This also gives the opportunity to use the ‘M’ alone for branding.  An added benefit to ‘ChipKnip’, the final font choice, are the segmented letterforms which allude to several desirable qualities; easier recognition from a more unique set of shapes, opportunity to experiment with the placement and animation of those shapes through motion graphics, and a more technical or mechanical nature often associated with graphics created for content holding predominantly male audiences.

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MONDO IDENT Must portray a sense of the ‘epic’ through scale, speed or any other means necessary. It must convey the character of the channel within a few seconds to capture any viewer flicking through. The use of slow motion will feature heavily in the ident as warping time has the ability to, and is often employed to, turn some of the most simple and accepted day to day actions into spectacles of wonder.

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// pre-production //

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pulse - the channel + practical dev, not final PULSE is an entertainment channel focusing on the playful side of life with a streak of daring. Shorter programming tending towards 10 and 20 minute shows invigorate the channels schedule and fit the culture of todays fast moving youth.  Series, reality, game, and award shows are mixed in with entertainment news and reviews.  It’s lighthearted and silly nature stands in contrast to an increasingly busy and stressful world.  The target audience is primarily the younger generation: 15 to 24 year olds. The name was chosen for it’s strong visual and metaphorical connotations.

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// pre-production //

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PULSE LOGO Slight imperfections were not specific qualities searched for but their addition gives an unforeseen quality to the non-serious nature; perfection is not a requirement here, just fun. Negative fonts, using an outline, are set apart from the normal. They are used rarely in day to day life and as a result are viewed as something different. This helps towards the ‘trendy’ nature. Although many of the fonts brought into the selection pool were chosen due to their lack of angles with an aim to show playfulness, this was found to give of a little too much immaturity when combined with an outline. The angles in the final font are balanced with the longer curves to create a playful feel that holds on to a little respectability bringing it into the age range of the target audience. The Pulse typeface is required to portray a playful non-serious feeling in a ‘trendy’ manner that would appeal to the younger target audience of 15 to 24 year olds.

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PULSE IDENT Vivid colours and shapes should ‘pulse’ from within the logo or as a result of it’s movements. This sends a very literal and clear message of the role Pulse plays in bringing together and showcasing lighthearted and playful entertainment. Each pulse expands a different nature, through colours / shapes / movement or texture.  This quick changing through variety is reflective of the fast moving schedule.  Simple characters will inhabit this dynamic landscape based on specific areas of the logo’s structure, after several of these mini graphic expansions a revile may show the whole logo spattered with colour and detail.  It is likely that a mix of 2D and 3D techniques will be employed.

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a&o 10 1. Review and evaluate literature on graphic design and design theories Why: Motion graphics has it’s roots in graphic design.  Understanding these theories is a necessity for the coming analysis stages.  It also stands in for the lack of design theory based on motion graphics, being a newer medium there is not the same depth of knowledge available. How: This is initially covered in the research proposal.  The literature review section serves as an introduction to graphic design and the various types of thinking, some example guidelines developed from theory, and styles over the past hundred or so years.  In the dissertation further research focuses on motion graphics and broadcast design completing an introductory journey from primary symbols to the case studies in the next section.

2. Investigate and analyse examples of motion graphics in channel idents Why: Up to this point there is only an explanation of the theories and historical context for motion graphics.  This section will ground the theoretical discussion in reality with examples showing how design is applied in a practical scenario. How: Seven channels have been selected, two generic national ones, two aimed at youth culture - one US and the other EU, a children’s channel, and two specialist focus channels.  The study of these examples provides insight into various approaches to channel design.  The knowledge gained in developing this section is invaluable in it’s application to the final practice stage of the honours project, both in developing bespoke idents and in creating fictional channel identities within which to place the idents.

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3. Conduct practice based research in the techniques used to create motion graphics. Why: Both the preceding sections concentrate on conceptual design, from theories to practical development.  The final requirement for a designer is technical knowledge.  This is essential in realising a design concept, without this knowledge there would be not physical product. How: A designer with a larger toolset will not be forced to compromise as much as the man with a smaller set.  As a result, this section will explore a large range of techniques through a number of media tests.  Each test will contribute a new skill and technique which may be used in the final section.  Typography, stop motion, photography, particle effects, motion tracking and illustration are some of the areas covered.

4. Create and critically evaluate a broadcast ident using motion graphics and its associated techniques Why: This is the focus point for each of the three preceding sections.  The theory informs the concept, the case studies inform it’s development and the media tests inform it’s realisation.  The results will stand as an exhibition of the combined knowledge and understanding gained from this project. How: Three broadcast identities have been developed to allow a variation in approaches, this should also provide evidence to the versatility of the studies conclusions.  With these three identities in place idents will be produced for each, driven by the three sections.  These idents are the showcase pieces, the final conclusions.

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pitch and crit management 4

Of the four pitch and crit management sessions this was the smoothest. There were those who had not achieved as much as would be expected and will likely face an intense last minute ‘crunch time’.  This was pointed out but, as is so common, learning it the hard way will make it stick.  Generally though all the work that had been completed so far has been developed on strong concepts and good preparation.  One had difficulty with the base concept for a module who’s brief is unrealistically open and undefined, after running through some quick ideas they seemed confident with a more defined direction.  No student in my group stuck out above the others, nor below.  If anything, we ran slightly quicker than was expected.

// 06 //

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fourth presentation This presentation followed virtually the same layout as the last due to it’s success. This is a summary of how it ran: This project, in essence, is a study into creating broadcast idents.  Some examples of these to clarify: the BBC One circular idents and the Channel 4 9 block logo idents.  To give a little context I’ll briefly describe the development stages of the subject area.   My interest is in animation and VFX, this led to the first ‘aim’ looking at the value of the link between the two and the workings of production pipelines.  I presented this at the first crit and the feedback given was that this was too technical a subject for an arts degree.  So it changed to ‘Stylisation in short films’ specifically looking at it’s effect on mood.  At the next crit this was described as too general.  I focused on commercial idents, eventually on broadcast design and channel idents. to more clearly define the area I concentrated on the use of motion graphics in channel idents.  This was presented at the last crit and received high praise.  The aims and objectives can be split into 2 sections, the initial theoretical research followed by practical research and application of theory.  The research proposal gave an introduction to graphic design as the root of motion graphics.  The feedback mad two big points.  1, it needs a more analytical feel, it is currently just a review.  2, the focus of broadcast design needs to be clear, it is easy to forget that this is the specific subject.  As a result I developed a framework for analysis and applied it to the 7 selected case studies.  This framework was based on graphic rules, like those of the gestalt theorists, which each channel proceeded to break in their own way.  The next stage of research is concentrating on motion design and broadcast, it is hoped that this will help inform a second, more conceptual, framework for analysis. The second half of the project is the practice based activities.  The third objective concerned the media tests, each on aims to increase the toolset which may be employed in realising the final pieces.  Each media test furthers a specific area of practical knowledge.  Every objective up to this point contributes to the final piece, which is an objective in itself. Three fictional channels have been developed for which motion graphic idents will be produced.  Each has a defined identity and target audience.  These two elements will be used to drive the separate designs using techniques and conceptual practices identified through the project’s research.  The introduction to graphic design lays out the ground rules.  The exploration of motion graphics and broadcast design takes these rules into account regarding the studies focus.  The case studies inform the development of the fictional identities and their target markets.  They also portray the ground rules of graphic design being broken and warped.  Finally the media tests provide the technical means with which to finally realise the fictional idents.  Every element comes together in a manner reminiscent to the development of a designer or studios lifespan.  Learning, specialisation, career development, confidence inspiring innovation, technical mastery.  This may not be the description on one lifespan but more a process that repeats.

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fourth presentation... the feedback In future presentations and publications make sure the target market is clarified and defined - it is important, everything in the design is aimed at them. Motion graphics and broadcasting are new areas, with design professionals coming from established graphic design backgrounds they are well versed in design rules and have the confidence to break them. Maybe show examples of people breaking rules This also means that in this world in which the rules are constantly being broken I must develop and clarify my own set of guidelines, my own set of conceptual theories. Rules for motion graphics may not even be out there, they may not have had the chance to form in this community of confident designers. 7 case studies is quite a large number, the variety identified may make further conclusions more difficult. Create a link between the framework’s development and the development of the 3 channels. Make sure their is a clear connection between what is found through the case studies and the channels identities + the ident development. My research area is a very large and blurred one. Maybe create a mini motion graphic explaining it. Due to the increasing crossing / blurring of roles between disciplines it is also becoming less practical to define a specific area to research. Keep in mind that research never ends, it always continues off in one or another direction.

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;

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// march //

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07 april

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// april //

// 143 //


Tuesday, 3rd of April, 2012. Meeting with Gregor Take elements from the condensed histories of the various disciplines that go into the development / birth of motion graphics. Use those criteria to assess the case studies / talk about the case studies. Use the criteria to review my own work + identify how well it preforms / what would be necessary to include in future designs / how could these designs be changed.  Use these reviews as the conclusion. (current conclusion may be more appropriate to be kept in the appendices. 12 principles of animation become more important. What are the principles from film? Mondo - have the grid persist through + tag line Arisen - have video clips on the surfaces of the shards, when brought together have some kind of shudder. How clear are the functions of the different channels from the idents?  If a random saw them what would they think? what could they draw form the ident? Apply the principles of animation to the case studies… maybe.  definitely apply them to my stuff. Bring together the different criteria as a set of values by which the quality of motion graphics / an ident can be assessed.

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dissertation

(An introduction to) Broadcast Graphics

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Abstract

Broadcast design, specifically motion graphics for broadcast, is a young industry built on younger disciplines. In comparison to other creative occupations, this area suffers a distinct lack of published material. This project will inform an understanding of the industry as a whole; it’s origins, current state, and a potential path for development. These areas of study will also inform the proposal of guidelines intended to enhance creative development of motion graphics. In order to full fill this aim, research into the history of graphic design, animation, and film has been conducted and presented along with studies of broadcast studios and channel identities. The author concludes with a summary of the developed guidelines and a prediction for the industry’s future that will transform the interaction between creatives and their clients.

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Contents

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142

Introduction

143 146

Past A condensed introduction to graphic design A condensed introduction to film and animation

148 152 154

Present Guidelines development Guidelines summary

155

Future

157 158 160 168

Appendices A Aims and Objectives B Principles of animation C Review of 7 existing channels D Review of 3 developed idents

171

Bibliography

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Introduction There are more than 7200 television channels broadcast in europe alone, and a further 1400 available. World wide the estimated number of existing channels ranges from 15000 into the ‘millions’. This drives a need for each station or network to step out from the crowd and draw in an audience already buried under a deluge of media. Creative brilliance is therefore a requirement of channel design, program packaging, promotion clips, and advertising concepts. In comparison to the disciplines of “classic” design the area between contemporary film and television design occupies a gap in the publishing market. Few literary resources are dedicated to the subject and those that are tend towards specific individuals who are of great influence but do not represent a fair cross section of the industry. This lack of literature is understandable when the age of the industry is taken into consideration. Television broadcast began in the 1930s with John Logie Baird’s transmission from the Epsom Derby. Motion graphic design began it’s popularity in the 1950s with title sequences by Saul Bass. Finally broadcast design took hold in the 1980s with Channel 4’s Ident by Lambie-Nairn giving the discipline only 3 decades to develop. In comparison, the cinema is almost a century older and yet Film Studies after nearly 40 years of development as a subject is still a fragile one. So much so that in 2002 an essay by Lisa Cartwright, a tutor of film studies at the University of Rochester, was published in The Visual Culture Reader (Mirzoeff (2002)) discussing the vagueness of the subject and even questions it’s title. Broadcast design, therefor, is still in it’s youth. Free of constraining traditions it is a fast paced industry demanding equally quick development of high quality work. In this age of networking, trends flare with unbelievable speed giving rise to constantly fresh and new concepts where anything goes and nothing is taboo. Specialised channels are targeting increasingly defined markets generating an abundance of artistic directions, even the most mundane subjects are presented in an engaging and entertaining manner. “TV Design is creation at the highest level” (Bartholdy (Showreel.01)) This study looks to facilitate an understanding of motion graphics within broadcast media and to construct an initial set of creative guidelines to help guide the creative process of any motion designer.  To do this, research has been conducted and presented in three areas: past, present and future (see Appendix A for an explanation of the aims and objectives).  With very little in the way of history, the ‘past’ chapter will focus on a condensed introduction to the disciplines from which motion graphics has grown: graphic design, animation and film. These introductions will be based on literary research of each industries published history.  The ‘present’ chapter shall address the studios of today and form a proposal for creative guidelines.  Qualitative study of current studios and examples of broadcast design using these guidelines shall inform a solid understanding of the productions and provide opportunity to develop the proposal.  With this introductory understanding of the industry and the practice of motion design the final ‘future’ chapter shall look to a prediction of possible advances or changes the motion designer is likely to face in the coming years.

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past A CONDENSED INTRODUCTION TO GRAPHIC DESIGN “For centuries man has labelled himself, has created an identity within which he can live and be known as he would like to be known. It is not a new phenomenon, but rather an ancient ritual, designed to express the differences between one group of humans and another.” (Booth (1980)) From the first basic symbols; circle, cross, triangle and square through the Roman empires first nationalistic logo and Procter & Gambles initial move to utilise trademarks for commercial gain. We have developed our obsession with visual symbology and graphics to the point where it is “the most universal of all the arts” (Newark (2002)). Its uses range from the first known forms of communication to decoration, explanation of practically anything and identification of almost everything. As a result, graphics, symbols and the use of colour have been discussed, studied, analysed and employed for as long as there has been a record of history. This constant attention has distilled a hugely complex subject into a series of simple elements; line, shape, colour, texture, layout, and typography. The specific make up of these elements does vary depending on opinion but each view is essentially very similar if not the same. In which ever form they come or are presented, they now make up the study of graphic design. ‘Graphic design’, the broadly reaching term currently used to describe a vast array of work was first coined in 1922 by William Addison Dwiggins. His view of the role played by the graphic designer was somewhat constricted in comparison to our modern understanding. ‘Super-printing’ was an alternative term he occasionally used. “The printing designers whole duty is to make clear presentation of the message - to get the important statements forward and the minor parts placed so that they will not be overlooked.” (Newark (2002)) He is describing the specific discipline of layout. The main aim of this, in his view, was to get the message across in the most efficient and effective way. This aim holds true to this day and is especially important in the development of motion graphics. Every element designed for broadcast must come from a consideration of the target audience and how they will perceive the message. Dwiggins approach, developed through a career of commercial messages, contrasted that of Francis Meynell, a poet and printer who dealt with literature including Shakespeare. In a piece entitled ‘With twenty-six soldiers of lead I have conquered the world’ Meynells aesthetic leaning is reflected alongside an indication of the importance typography has within design. “All the heights and depths and breadths of tangible and natural things - landscapes, sunsets, the scent of hay, the hum of bees, the beauty of which belongs to eyelids (and is falsely ascribed to eyes); all the immeasurable emotions and motions of the human mind, to which there seems no bound; ugly and terrible and mysterious thoughts and things, as well as beautiful - are all compassed, restrained, ordered in a trifling jumble of letters. Twenty-six signs!” (Newark (2002))

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The opinions of these two men represent “the poles between which the graphic designer must choose a position.” (Newark (2002)). Function versus Aesthetic, an opposition of design philosophies which applies universally to any kind of creative endeavour. This conflict has generated the more recognisable phrase, now an overused cliché; ‘form follows function’, derived from Louis Sullivans statement in 1896 of “form ever follows function”. Today we can see an interesting implication of function against aesthetic in the design of two types of networks. On one hand larger generic channels like ‘BBC One’ and ‘Channel 4’ have no defined audience or content. They aim to please all with a wide range of excellence. The result is an array of abstract almost vague graphics forming their visual language. With such diversity of function the form has no clear target or starting point. On the other hand are specialist channels catering for very specific audiences with tightly controlled content. A clear form generates a clear message as seen in the graphics of those like ‘Reelzchannel’ and ‘FuelTV’. When considering the perceived message of graphics it is important to note a development of the early 20th century by the Gestalt school of thought. This group sought to deconstruct the perception of objects into its elemental parts. The work of Kurt Kuffka, Max Wertheimer and Wolfgang Kohler was a step towards the practical application of aesthetic philosophy. The findings of the ‘Gestaltists’ were organised into five laws for use in design by John W Cataldo who sought to “provide the graphic designer with a reliable psychological basis for the spatial organisation of graphic information” (Graham (2008)). These laws set out clear definitions of the elements in design and the effects of their application, an attractive alternative to working through aesthetic philosophies. They are, briefly, as follows.

The first law: equilibrium. It describes the tendency of cognitive processes to simplify the perception of an object. Moving its constituent parts towards an equilibrium. It is similar to the second law of thermodynamics with objects tending towards a state of higher entropy.

The second law: closure. If a graphic figure is left incomplete, there is a desire to close it. This stems from closed areas as having a higher perceived stability. Incomplete or broken graphics portray instability, even hostility.

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The third law: continuation. A straight line can appear to extend past its physical constraints and a curve can form the image of a circle where one is not drawn. A common employment of this concept is the dotted line. It is also related to the stroboscopic effect of animation.

The fourth law: similarity. What is perceived by the eye is constantly organised into patterns. Objects of similar size, shape, colour and direction will be grouped as one entity. This law is closely related to the fifth.

The fifth law: proximity. When objects are arranged in close proximity they will, again, be grouped as one entity. This law draws from a general gestalt principle that the character of an object is partially dependant on its surrounding field or context.

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Throughout the twentieth century an ebb and flow between form and function has characterised design movements. The decorative design of Art Nouveau preceded Bauhaus philosophy. After a time modernism gave way to postmodernism, a reaction against impersonal blandness in favour of personal expression and variety. Now, in the wake of globalisation, the tide is turning again with a ‘modern’ take on ‘modernism’. Currently the most visible and influential force is Apple with a design philosophy being driven by Jonathan Ives and his aim to refine until there can be no more refinements. Finally, there are those that believe the future lies with more evolved and complex design that shall reflect the increasing awareness and education of audiences. Which ever direction is taken by the development of graphic design, it seems, the progression of motion graphics will be so tightly interlinked through today’s ‘convergence of media’ as to be almost one and the same. A CONDENSED INTRODUCTION TO FILM AND ANIMATION The 19th century saw the development of many basic instruments that played with movement and, in a loose sense, animation. Zoetropes, magic lanterns, flip books and other similar innovations were the initial players. The content was predominantly hand drawn simple shapes, eyes moving to watch an object float across the view or a bouncing ball. With photography also making it’s appearance the combination of the two in experiments was inevitable. Most examples of ‘moving images’ were looping scenes, their length increasing up to Edison’s Kinetoscope which held 20 seconds of film. The development of these looped presentations was cut short when photography became motorised allowing longer narratives. It is at this point that film and animation splits, or rather - hand crafted techniques were seen as an inferior technique and disregarded. “Twentieth century animation became a depose try for nineteenth-century moving image techniques left behind by cinema.” (Mirzoeff (2002)) This divide defined the characteristics of film and animation throughout the 20th century. Animation was a purely fictional medium and made no attempt to move outside this definition. Film on the other hand was seen as a presentation of the ‘real’, as Jean-luc Godard said “truth 24 frames per second” (Manovich (1995)). Every effort in cinema was geared towards removing any hint of production techniques that would betray deviation from ‘reality’. Animation developed into an art of character performance. Gertie the dinosaur, a 1914 animated show by Winsor McCay, is one of the earliest examples of a character the audience can empathise with. Of course it is here that Walt Disney makes his appearance, through his career he takes animated characters from small sideline entertainment to the red carpet with followings that could rival the top hollywood stars. Perhaps the most important and relevant contribution of animation from this period is the development of the ‘Twelve Principles of Animation’. This is a conceptual tool set specifically for character performance but it’s relevance to any animation makes it a required element to consider in the analysis of motion graphics.

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As mentioned before, film developed around the idea of accurately recording and presenting reality. But, as would be expected of any statement, there was opposition to this view by those who saw film as an art form. In an academic context, film studies began importing applicable ideas from disciplines such as literature, linguistics and psychology. The subject continues to grow and evolve up to the present day. Both disciplines independently developed techniques and tools to improve quality, speed of production and costs. Any new form of technology or innovation was gladly incorporated leading to the 1990s shift towards computer media. By this time the scale of film effects had begun to reflect in the success of a spin-off ‘mini-genre’ of short ‘The making of…’ documentaries. Clearly portraying the extent to which the ‘truth’ in cinema is manipulated was no longer a thing to be avoided, instead it was a source of pride for the studios. It is also through this shift that the division between film and animation vanished. Live action film became as much a raw material and hand drawn characters, both requiring refinement in post production along with painting, image processing, 2D animation, 3D animation and compositing. Animators and cinematographers again share common ground. “Bourn from animation, cinema pushed animation to its boundary, only to become one particular case of animation in the end.” (Mirzoeff (2002)) It is from this convergence of disciplines that motion graphics began to take on momentum, almost as a spin off from effects developed for use in blockbusters.

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Present Today there appears a misconception that the mastery of software is in its self a mastery of graphic and motion design. Technical advances have overtaken and are leaving behind the basics of shape, line, colour and typography. “The computer has revolutionised the design process. It has made the act of designing easier, and in many ways it has improved the way we design things. Yet in other respects it has made design more formulaic, and it has standardised the act of designing” (Shaughnessy (2005)) The seemingly limitless potential of technology and the problems which accompany it increase the need for an understanding of design fundamentals. “The availability of technology and the advances in imaging and production techniques will not cover up what is essentially a bad design” (Hashimoto (2007)) Every design discipline, from the classical to the modern, makes up a landscape through which a creative must make his way. A designer working in the broadcast industry must also, considering the convergence of technology and design tools, “command a baffling array of professional abilities that include, among others, the typographic chops of a print designer, the motion and timing smarts of an animator, the stylistic rendering talents of an illustrator, the narrative skills of a writer or editor, the music sensibilities of a composer and the cinematic and live action directing abilities of a film maker.” (Cooper (2006)) A second implication of this convergence is in the format of the design product. It must possess a flexibility that will allow cross platform application. These challenges constantly test a studios ability and are becoming an increasingly crucial factor in its success. As a result, broadcast and motion graphic studios boast ever more diverse collections of creative talent. Designer / Director studios are becoming increasingly common. They hold an advantage of knowing what is not only achievable but whither the creation of an effect is more economical in production or post-production. Also, the breath of talent now contained within studios and their creative networks removes many constraints on the availability of technical skills. It is clear that the expansion of both a studio’s and individual’s creative skill set is a direct result of technological advance. This progression heralds many implications, not least of which is an increasingly savvy audience demanding higher quality broadcast material. The challenge of motion design now, more than ever before, almost solely lies in the conceptual development. This involves making a series of choices that will lead to a target audience perceiving the intended message. For a motion or broadcast designer it is these choices, faced on a daily basis, that will define the success or failure of a career. Through out the literature review conducted for this project, no single document was found to outline these choices or the skills required by motion designers. Is it the intention of this dissertation to satisfy that need and propose an initial overview of guidelines for motion design. These have been drawn from the historical review of the disciplines from which the industry has grown, primarily animation and graphic design. It is hoped that they shall help inform and analyse the decisions made by motion designers in the development of a design.

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The first set of elements to consider have been drawn from the film industry and cover the underlying concepts of narrative and presentation in a motion graphic piece. As a result, film criticism seems a natural starting point for the development of guideline criteria. The advice published by Dwight Macdonald in “Dwight Macdonald on Movies” has been selected for inclusion as, in the opinion of Bernard F. Dick, “Macdonald’s guidelines are among the best that a contemporary critic can offer a student of film” (Dick (1998)). They are as follows. “(1) Are the characters consistent, and in fact are there characters at all? (2) Is it true to life? (3) Is the photography Cliche, or is it adapted to the particular film and therefore original? (4) Do the parts go together; do they add up to something; is there a rhythm established so that there is form, shape, climax, building up tension and exploding it? (5) Is there a mind behind it; is there a feeling that a single intelligence has imposed his own view on the material?” (Macdonald (1969)) As is true of any set of guidelines these may not be applicable to every example under analysis or development. Particularly, in this case, the second question which Macdonald goes on to highlight as being frequently redundant. The second set of considerations come from graphic design and are concerned with the perception and appearance of visual elements. The specific elements under scrutiny at this point are colour, line, shape, texture, layout, and typography. A detailed study in their perception, mentioned earlier, has been conducted and formed into a series of laws by thinkers within the Gestalt school of thought, specifically John W Cataldo. These laws describe the influence of visual elements with reference to equilibrium, closure, continuation, similarity, and proximity. The third and final set of elements are the 12 basic principles of animation developed by Walt Disney’s ‘Nine Old Men’. Their aim is to aid in the creation of a more believable animated performance and, although not a necessity for every animator to know, are extremely effective in their function. The principles are laid out with the details paraphrased from Frank Thomas & Ollie Johnston’s “Illusion of Life” in Appendix B. In brief they are as follows; squash and stretch, anticipation, staging, straight ahead action and pose to pose, follow through and overlapping action, slow in and slow out, arcs, secondary action, timing, exaggeration, solid drawing, and appeal. Additionally to these three ‘sets’, and this particular quality is one of importance for every piece of design: the overall impression. From a new viewers point of view, what information might be perceived from the motion graphic? The analysis of this quality is a skill, or habit, required of every designer universally. It is the ability to step back and remove one’s self from the details of work to take in the thing as a whole.

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Two more elements that must be taken into account but cannot be covered in the scope of this study are the quality of rendering and the sound, both music composition and effects. The quality of rendering is a matter of talent and practice. It’s judgment is up to the individual and is a discussion best held in a philosophical and psychological context. Although, the conclusions may be best summed up in a quote from Denis Dutton, a modern philosopher of aesthetics, “We find beauty in something done well”. The musical composition and sound design of a motion graphic piece is a subject beyond the expertise of the author. It must be noted that this subject is not one of little importance. In the creation of motion graphics the sound design is deserving of attention and development at least equal to that of visual design. With these values in mind, seven channels have been selected; two generic national ones, two aimed at youth culture - one US and the other EU, a children’s channel, and two specialist focus channels. The study of these examples provides insight into various approaches to broadcast design. These examples should also highlight any areas in which there can be improvement in structure or definition. The full analysis of each channel can be seen in appendix C. Throughout these studies several examples of approaches to broadcast design have been explored. BBC One, Channel 4 and Sundance are all tending towards an abstract and fairly clean look while Plug, Fuel and KI.KA have opted for a busy, loud and colourful approach.  Additionally Fuel has grounded itself with a raw, handmade aesthetic. Finally ReelzChannel has taken a more literal approach made possible by its specialist nature. The common factor across all seven channels and their design philosophies is the concept lying at the core of their visual identity.  They have chosen not to use a strict set of rules to govern or restrict inappropriate use of colour, line, shape, texture, narrative or other purely visual elements.  Instead, the channels have opted to create their own sets of loose guidelines to be followed by the creatives. These guidelines, although generally of a conceptual nature, help keep a sense of unity through the visual solutions, but it seems the ‘personality’ of each channel has a more powerful effect in playing this role. With a clearly defined set of values and aims followed by a network, the creative can find an appropriate mood, tone and concept for each design. From there the correct visual choices should become more apparent.  This may seem an abstract concept without much baring on the physical process of design and development but has been clearly applied to each of these seven channels and contributes to their success. Of course, there are examples of practical graphic rules employed through some of the visual languages.  The circle is almost always present within the BBC One idents, Channel 4 uses its bespoke typeface almost exclusively and KI.KA does tend to stick with it’s colour system.  These rules certainly play a big role in achieving a recognisable language but they are not the defining structure, each rule can be broken so long as the result holds true to the fundamental values of the channel.

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It should be noted that these examples of motion graphics in broadcast design are of the highest calibre. The creatives involved in their development have the experience and confidence to proceed without a generic set of guidelines, as proposed in this dissertation. Instead, it is suggested that the main beneficiaries would be those without such extensive knowledge and skill. As for the guidelines themselves, the second set derived from graphic design are the most consistently applicable and relevant. The first set, from film theory, are also of great use although a greater level of interpretation is required. Finally, the third set of animation principles are almost ignored in the discussion of motion design. Although, they still remain a key element of success. Their lack of visibility is a sign of the skill with which they have been applied. Further experimentation on the application of these theories and also in practical techniques of motion design have been conducted in parallel with the research and writing for this dissertation. The results of those efforts have taken the form of three broadcast motion graphics. Each is based on a fictional channel described in ‘The end of baba’ (McCallum (2012)) pages 122 - 130. Briefly the channels are as follows: 1. Mondo is a channel dedicated to the ‘epic’. Action / adventure, science fiction, fantasy, extreme sports - be it a series, film or live event: Mondo will showcase anything that has ‘huge’ effects, story or achievement.  Drawing together a surreal mix from blockbusters to viral independent ‘web film’, behind the scenes stories, and ground breaking events Mondo provides a constant ‘wow’ to it’s target audience of 20 to 30 year olds, predominantly men.  2. Arisen is a channel dedicated to unveiling truth behind controversial issues, activities and events throughout the world. It creates a platform from which the voices of ordinary and independent people can be herd, specifically those directly affected by the subject under discussion. ARISEN aims to remain un-influenced by differing viewpoints and to present a non-biased outlet of information so that viewers may form their own opinions free from pre-conceptions. It is comparable to a news channel but delves deeper through a programming slate of documentaries, short (factual) films, educational and discussion shows. The audience is primarily made up by well educated, open minded individuals between the ages of 20 and 49 although suitable for anyone with an interest in the current and controversial who is willing to hear more than one side to a story. 3. Pulse is an entertainment channel focusing on the playful side of life with a streak of daring.  Shorter programming tending towards 10 and 20 minute shows invigorate the channels schedule and fit the culture of todays fast moving youth.  Series, reality, game, and award shows are mixed in with entertainment news and reviews.  It’s lighthearted and silly nature stands in contrast to an increasingly busy and stressful world.  The target audience is primarily the younger generation: 15 to 24 year olds. The motion graphics have also been reviewed using the proposed guidelines, the reviews can be seen in appendix D.

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Review and development of the guidelines Having tested the proposed guidelines extensively, the application of the first set of criteria, from film, has turned out the be influenced by several factors outside film theory. First: as they are geared towards dealing with the underlying concept and not the appearance or practical technique of motion graphic design, their application has suffered a slight influence from the authors general design background. Second: due to this being the area with which the author has the least experience, it is possible that they are not the most effective or appropriate criteria to develop, from film theory, for the analysis of motion design. It is this area that would benefit most from future development of these guidelines. Within the context of this study, the final development of the guidelines and the film theory devices shall be converged with general conceptual design considerations including those from the graphic design set. These guidelines, in order to be effective, must be discussed with two factors that should be at the origin of every design. The first: what is the message? The second: Who are the target audience? Overall impression - form vs function. This stands apart and above the other elements individually. Initially considered an ‘extra’ element, the practical design exercise of the three channels have highlighted it’s importance in the analysis of motion graphics. The overall impression is the sum of all elements. Depending on personal preference it may be considered first or last when employing these guidelines. Which ever order, it seems that a suitable structure by which to build an opinion of the whole would be to consider it’s form and, or versus, it’s function. In the authors belief, it should be the designers aim to satisfy function before form. If, in watching a design, an audience can perceive the intended message the design has succeeded in fulfilling it’s function. This does not, however, deny it the possibility of achieving beauty in it’s form - this is the central challenge of design. If a broadcast graphic fulfils a function but to the detriment of it’s form it is clearly of less value than one that achieves both. Alternatively, if a graphic is perceived as beautiful but fulfils no function, it cannot hold the same value as the one that delivers both. Although the history of design and popular belief place form and function as opponents, they should in fact be seen as simultaneous goals to be strived for. Delivery / narrative This element seems to have the most impact on the overall impression. For the concept or message to be clear, it must be told in a way that makes sense. In order to evaluate this, elements form the initial set of film theory devices will be employed. Do the parts go together? In coming together, do they add up to something or establish a rhythm or recognisable development? Is there a feeling of unity or are the parts disjointed and confused?

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Hierarchy This element, although not directly drawn from film theory, is related. In considering which parts of a motion graphic design appear to hold the most importance or influence on perception, one must consider both their visual appearance and impact on narrative. Do the key parts of the design, if their are any, hold the most prominent places both visually and in the narrative? Layout or cinematography This element is perhaps the clearest overlap of disciplines. It draws from the initial set of film theory elements in that the photography and cinematography is considered and also comes from the very early definition of graphic design through layout. Considerations such as the balance of contrast, focal points, angle, movement and order of perception (similar to hierarchy and narrative - the path taken by a viewers eye as a design is perceived) must be taken into account. The following elements have been derived purely from graphic design, although some may also be relevant in other disciplines, their origin is from graphics in the early development of symbols. As such it may be more efficient to consider them as a single element in the analysis of motion graphics. In this proposal of guidelines they shall be gathered under the term ‘visual language’. They are as follows: line, shape, colour, texture and typography. The Gestalt laws and an understanding of colour theory would facilitate an effective application of this element. After future research on film theory, this would be the next most beneficial area for further research and development. A full analysis of their individual components, influences and related theories could form the structure for several studies of this type. Finally, the last element of the guidelines: Animation. While reviewing the three channels developed for this study it was found that when considering the animated properties, the 12 principles do not necessarily apply. Although motion graphics, by their very nature, employ movement, it is often abstract in form. As are the graphic elements. Movement is either procedural or highly stylised. Only occasionally are characters involved in a design. After taking this into account only one of the principles appears to apply universally: slow-in and slow-out. Without it a motion graphic would appear lifeless and mechanical, occasionally this may be desirable but it would be advisable to first understand the rule before breaking it. The other 11 principles will aid in effective animation but only take on their true value and importance if a design includes a character of any kind, not necessarily human or animal but anything that portrays a personality or intelligence. As a result of this prerequisite it must first be asked, when analysing a design, if any element has personality or intelligence. If so, then the principles of animation and their application, or lack of, must be discussed or considered.

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Guidelines summary

These are the proposed criteria for assessment of motion graphics: How do the following elements contribute to the target markets perception of the designs message? 1. Overall impression 2. Delivery 3. Hierarchy 4. Layout 5. Visual language 6. If applicable, the principles of animation. Now that the proposal of these guidelines, based in research of the past and review of the present, has been brought together. It is only natural that to consider any direction in which they may be developed, a loose prediction for the future of the industry must be hypothesised.

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Future With the combined availability and capability of software, hardware, and computing power, there is virtually no limit on what a designer can create for on-screen presentation. This removes any practical limitations for the creation of a design leaving only the brief as a set of conceptual guidelines. Additionally, and perhaps more importantly, the number of people with access to high level tools has now increased dramatically. Anyone with artistic ability, even those who somewhat lack it, can create virtual products and designs comparable to a long-standing professional. Finally the global network connecting these individuals allows a new effect, or movement, to begin taking hold. This phenomenon has been termed ‘crowdsourcing’ by Jeff Howe with his article “The Rise of Crowdsourcing” for Wired magazine in June 2006. Crowdsourcing is an online, and occasionally offline, distribution of problem solving and production to an undefined public. Outsourcing, although similar, differs in that it distributes to a specific entity. A web site like iStockphoto can be considered a form of crowdsourcing. Users may upload photos, videos or audio files to be bought and used almost anywhere without royalties for an incredibly small fee. This type of organisation was the next logical step from user-generated content sites and is partially responsible for swinging the market away from professional stock media portfolios. The next step has an even greater potential of affecting creative professionals and the way studios work. InnoCentive is described as ‘the research world’s version of iStockphoto’. Corporate R&D departments may post a problem that needs to be solved. This makes it available to any individual of the general public. Anyone with an interest is invited to find a solution. With this particular example fairly substantial rewards, usually between $10,000 and $100,000, are offered for the most successful entries. R&D costs are driven down and the number of researchers increases by several orders of magnitude. This example should make clear the possibilities of crowdsourcing for a broadcaster or motion graphic studio. With the example set by InnoCentive a crowdsourcing broadcast design studio does not seem such a far flung idea. Fore runners of it’s existence have been design competitions held by the likes of e4 or SkyArts. These events result in a pool of completed entries only as adventurous or complex as each competitor. To harness the latent talent throughout the ‘crowd’ for a single purpose as opposed to playing the crowd against it’s self would generate results far greater then any individual could achieve. Enter ‘The New Kind’ a sci-fi web series airing in August 2012, in production at the time of writing this dissertation. Peter Hyoguchi, the creator, has gathered some of the formidable talent behind films such as Star Wars, Avater and Hugo. These pros supervise the work created by a ‘crowd’ of anime enthusiasts. Since the project entered production a year ago, the spring of 2011, roughly $1 million of assets have been created free of charge. Being a web series the show is also planned to be free to air. Money will be made by charging $1 to watch an episode a week ahead of schedule.

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Future conclusion Given the enormous savings offered by such a production model it is hard to see any other ways in which not only the broadcast design industry will proceed but many other industries able to utilise ‘the crowd’. The concluding statement of Jeff Howe’s article gives a perspective on just how much cheaper crowdsourcing actually is. “Gupta turns his laptop around to show me a flowchart on his screen. “This is what we were paying $2,000 for. But this one,” he says, “was authored by one of our Turkers [a crowd sourced employee].” I asked how much he paid. His answer: “Five dollars.” (Howe (2006))

Final thoughts It remains to be seen how and even if this future could affect the development of the guidelines set out here. What would seem apparent is their increased importance in a world more susceptible to the fragmentation of design studios. These are considerations to be taken up by any who would seek to use and improve what has been proposed. A possible experiment in which further understanding of each section, and it’s importance, within the guidelines may be pursued would be for artists from the root disciplines to design and create their own motion graphic pieces. A grounded understanding of one rule set may turn out to hold more relevance than another in the success of motion design. This type of experiment may also prove fruitful in further clarification of an appropriate contribution form film theory. As mentioned earlier; film theory followed by the visual language would be the next logical areas for continuing research regarding their application to motion design. Whichever direction future progression takes, it is hoped that the contribution of this study will aid the creative development of any interested individuals and therefor, in a small way, the industry as a whole.

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Appendix A

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Explanation of the aims and objectives 1. Review and evaluate literature on graphic design and design theories Motion graphics has it’s roots in graphic design, animation and film. Understanding their theories is a necessity for the analysis stages and also for an understanding of motion design as a discipline. It also stands in for the lack of design theory based on motion graphics, being a newer medium there is not the same depth of knowledge available. This is initially covered in the research proposal. The ‘Past’ chapter of the dissertation serves as an introduction to graphic design, film and animation. 2. Investigate and analyse examples of motion graphics in broadcast design. Up to this point there is only an explanation of the theories and historical context for motion graphics. This section will ground the theoretical discussion in reality with examples showing how design is applied in a practical scenario. Seven channels have been selected, two generic national ones, two aimed at youth culture - one US and the other EU, a children’s channel, and two specialist focus channels. The study of these examples provides insight into various approaches to broadcast design. The knowledge gained in developing this section is invaluable in it’s application to the final practice stage of the honours project, both in developing bespoke idents and in creating fictional channel identities within which to place the idents. 3. Conduct practice based research in the techniques used to create motion graphics. Both the preceding sections concentrate on conceptual design, from theories to practical development. The final requirement for a designer is technical knowledge. This is essential in realising a design concept, without this knowledge there would be not physical product. A designer with a larger toolset will not be forced to compromise as much as the man with a smaller set. As a result, this section will explore a large range of techniques through a number of media tests. Each test will contribute a new skill and technique which may be used in the final section. Typography, stop motion, photography, particle effects, motion tracking and illustration are some of the areas covered. 4. Create and critically evaluate a broadcast ident using motion graphics and its associated techniques This is the focus point for each of the three preceding sections. The theory informs the concept, the case studies inform it’s development and the media tests inform it’s realisation. The results will stand as an exhibition of the combined knowledge and understanding gained from this project. Three broadcast identities have been developed to allow a variation in approaches (See Appendix B for the three channel descriptions). With these three identities in place idents will be produced for each, driven by the three sections. These idents are the final showcase pieces.

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Appendix b

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The 12 principles of animation 1 Squash and stretch Think of a bouncing ball, when it is impacting the floor it compresses or squashes, just as it leave the floor (it’s fastest moment of travelling) it can be interpreted to stretch. This increases the sense of weight and movement.  It is important, with realistic animation, that the object retains it’s volume. 2 Anticipation A kind of pre-movement.  Imagine throwing a ball, you first reach back with your arm before launching the ball.  Before you jump you will first bend your knees.  These movements build anticipation of an intended movement.  3 Staging Similar to layout in graphic design.  The purpose of staging is to direct attention to a desired area of a scene, this will show the audience what to pay attention to and can be useful in making sure a subtle but important detail is not missed. 4 Straight ahead action and pose to pose These are two different techniques in producing the frames of animation.  Straight ahead entails drawing out the frames in order, this is more difficult but creates fluid movement more appropriate for action scenes with dynamic movement.  Pose to pose involves setting up specific poses and is more suited to emotional scenes.  With the introduction of computers, pose to pose is used throughout as is gives further advantage for planning, composition and organisation. 5 Follow through and overlapping action This refers to the variety of movement throughout a characters body.  Different limbs are likely to move at different rates and different times.  If a character sits down his hips will finish their movement first followed by the torso, shoulders then arms.  This principle also refers to the movement of cloths, if loose they will take a frame or two to catch up with the characters movements. 6 Slow in and slow out If you imagine dropping a ball, initially it’s movement will be slow and accelerate towards the ground.  between bouncing and the top of it’s bounce this change of speed will be inverted, initially fast and slowing to the top of the bounce.  This applies to most movement and creates more realistic motion when applied to a character.

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7 Arcs Most (natural) objects tend to follow a arc in their movement. projectiles will be affected by gravity.  limbs are attached to joints around which they rotate.  The faster the object the wider the arc and vice versa. 8 Secondary Action A movement that is not part of the main action.  This give more life, detail and interest to a scene.  It is also important to ensure the secondary action emphasises the main movement rather than distract from it. 9 Timing Similar to slow in and slow out but taking into account the emotion or mood of the scene and what is trying to be portrayed by an action.  A crazed, hyperactive chipmunk may have short, fast erratic movement whereas a chilled out turtle will have slower more fluid movement. 10 Exaggeration A tool for emphasising a scene.  Were animation to follow reality directly it could come across as dull, emphasising the speed, path or squash and stretch within movement will remedy this.  It is important to keep exaggerations proportional to each other to avoid confusion. 11 Solid drawing This covers several concepts.  First, in classical animation, the animators ability to draw.  Specifically the ability to understand three dimensions and the consistency of volume when moving through the third dimension.  This also covers ‘twinning’ - the effect of both sides of the body mirroring each other, either in movement or appearance (this is generally a bad thing).  It has been noted that although animators working in a digital environment will benefit greatly from an understanding and ability to animate classically. 12 Appeal This is the interest a character hold for the audience, akin to charisma.  Readable faces and poses will allow the audience to understand the character and interest will grow (assuming the character has a well constructed personality).

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Appendix C Review of the 7 existing channels

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Fuel TV - be the trend Aimed predominantly at a young male audience Fuel TV is the broadcast equivalent (or extension) of a teenage boys bedroom wall; posters, art, girls and other forms of self expression plastered everywhere. As a part of the channels ethos young talent is given opportunities both in front and behind the camera. The aim of this exercise is to discover new artists, designers and athletes and bring their passion for their own specific culture into the production process and visual aesthetic. One of the main concerns of the team behind the channel is retaining a ‘trendy’ image, a big pitfall they must avoid would be the perception that the channel has become a ‘sell-out’. To avoid this pit fall and achieve their aim the programming and design must embody the specific culture they are broadcasting without giving the appearance of a marketing-plan driven by profit and viewing figures.  They must portray a passion and dedication to being a part of the culture rather than a description of it. One of the pearls in targeting a trend orientated market is the risk of your audience turning on you. The youth of today is tuned in to an extent beyond anything their parents could have imagined. As a result, they can be quick to move on and avoid anything that becomes labeled as ‘lame’. A study of Fuel’s design has reviled that there are no set rules by which the graphics are brought together, instead there is more of an intellectual aesthetic that is followed.  At times tough, ‘official fonts’ are used but these only seem to appear when part of a graphic element that also contains the FuelTV logo.  Rather than a strict rule set by the channel, this is most likely a result of what might be considered ‘good design’, the use of a recognisable logo and typeface throughout creates a visual unity within specific elements. The graphics are influenced largely by street art and generally have a raw appearance giving rise to the thought that these visuals could have been produced by fellow ‘free-thinking’ viewers.  This is intended to reflect a DIY attitude prevalent through many of the sub-cultures covered by the content of their shows.  Not all the viewers will aspire to the same visual aesthetic, but they will mostly share a desire for ‘freedom of expression’.  FuelTV organises itself as an environment in which this expression can take place, it’s rough and whacky approach contrasts the slick and sophisticated graphics of many other stations. This air of being ‘alternative’ will act as a strong force of attraction to their target group. The visual aesthetic of FuelTV is the most diverse of the case studies.  A brilliant example of this is there ‘Signature Series, of 100’.  100 collaborators, artists, athletes and anyone willing to be creative, designed and produced (with the help of the broadcasters in-house team if necessary) an ident for the channel.  The only rule to be followed: ‘there are no rules’.  As a result there are opposite extremes of almost every graphic element throughout the channels design, an approach that appears to be working well. The lesson, it seems, to be learned from Fuel TV is design to become a part of your audience and their environment rather than an addition to it.

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Plug TV - a sense of fun

Plug TV is a channel aimed at predominantly male 15 to 34 year olds, and aims to be a generic, slightly crazy, alternative to other channels. The programming is made up with cult films, series and music shows in an attempt to draw in an audience looking for something a little different and sometimes controversial. The design philosophy is loud and fun, a result of confidence in the founding team by the owners, the RTL group.  RTL is one of the worlds largest broadcast production companies through ownership of a great number of smaller organisations, some of the more recognisable shows they are responsible for are ‘The X Factor’, ‘Pop idol’ and ‘The bill’.  The whacky design aesthetic of Plug TV is surprising when considering that the RTL group is an organisation driven by profit. The visual design of the station forms a universe with a diverse range of characters and graphic environments which interact in small humorous scenarios. These create more of an attachment to the channel, a viewer can feel empathy to the characters as opposed to graphic shapes used by other networks.  As the content evolves so does this surreal world.  In a similar way to Fuel TV the visual style is defined by an abstract concept, rather than a set of graphic rules, which allows for an incredible variety and constant innovation.  The similarities do not end there, each have an almost identical target audience and cultural awareness although separated by the Atlantic.  This provides an interesting comparison of approaches between a US and EU broadcaster.  Fuel has opted for an aesthetic based on ‘freedom of expression’ that comes across as taking itself slightly more seriously than Plug which characterises itself as ‘deranged’, ‘cuckoo’ and ‘nuts’.  Interestingly the baseline ‘Complement PLUG’ translates as ‘Completely PLUG’ and aims at creating a phrase that effectively means ‘Completely nuts’.  The design studios sense of fun comes through strongly in their designs making it hard not to love what they produce, “After all, everybody has a twisted side.” (Bartholdy (2007)) - Sven Mastbooms (Creative director of seven)

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KI.KA - divide and conquer KI.KA is a German public service children’s channel with an aim to inform, educate and entertain. Thanks to the combined input of ARD (a joint organisation of germany’s public service broadcasters) and ZDF (an independent public broadcaster) the channel boasts some very high quality and varied programming.   The visual aesthetic is built on a very simple idea - collage.  Objects from daily life are used but not the stereotypical things associated with children.  The creatives try to be surprising in their choice with an aim to inspire the imagination of viewers.  This works with the channels aim to inspire self-confidence and positive values in the young audience. Social, emotional, and cognitive development is encouraged - not brand awareness or products. The programming is aimed at an audience of rapidly developing youngsters.  To deal with the speed at which kids ‘grow up’ the target audience has been divided into three categories:  pre-school, school age and pre-teen.  Each has it’s own variation of the KI.KA aesthetic broadcast at specific times.  As a viewer matures they will progress from one section to another allowing the channel to be a part of their lives for longer. The youngest ‘pre-school’ programmes have a very simple and paced mode of address mainly presented in a light yellow and sunny colour scheme.  School age graphics are based on a blue pallet.  Pre-teen idents and presentation move into bright pink and also play with more action and humour. The colour scheme appears typical of design aimed at children - bright and vivid.  Although the use of collage brings together much variation through the graphics there is always one clearly dominant colour.  This is not necessarily always one of the colours specified for each of the three age groups, further variation seems to be acceptable within the design remit. Amongst this colour graded collage the information must be clear and concise for children to understand. This is achieved with large font size and highly contrasting colours used in the writing. The typography reflects the collage aesthetic with a ransom not effect that tends to restrict variation within soft sans-serif fonts. The design is clearly taken seriously with the involvement of research institutions and studies to inform and back up the choices made.  As a result the design philosophy is a successful one, and has been proven so. Their logo, even amongst pre-reading age children, is easily identifiable.  Taking heed from scientific research is evidently a logical thing to do.

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REELZ channel - simplicity specialised

ReelzChannel is a specialist broadcast about movies but does not show any movies. Instead it’s content is made up from the world surrounding film production; behind the scenes, reviews, interviews etc.  Their target audience are adults, 18 to 49 year olds, who enjoy films and are interested in further knowledge on the subject. In the past century movies have grown to become an integral part of our culture and lives. They provide a conversational platform with which individuals can connect, share and debate interests and experiences. Reelz provides further insight to this ‘platform’ and so is a source of natural interest for many. The design aesthetic is a fairly simple and clean one.  Superfluous elements are eliminated leaving only that which contributes information or emotion. There are no 3D graphics and very little in the way of textures of patterns.  The shapes are simple and the colours are bold.  Sharp, highly contrasting sansserif fonts are used throughout the graphics in keeping with the main logo although, as with any rule, there are occasional exceptions.  The over all effect this builds is a simple, clean and fairly loud one. This strict adherence to simplicity creates an environment within which design development must be accompanied by complex and creative thought processes, otherwise the design runs a risk of being catastrophically dull. For Reelz this is avoided with idents tend to take film clichés and give them a ironic twists or play with them in a visually entertaining way. Being a specialist channel there is more of a defined message or identity that much be conveyed.  Films and ‘the movie business’ form a clear focus throughout the graphics.  For general channels with a larger target audience there is less definition as shall be seen through some of the following studies.

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Sundance Channel - distinct clarity

The Sundance Channel is a spin off from the Sundance films festival and holds the same values although a separate organisation. Entries to the festival are usually included in the programming of the channel alongside a diverse collection of films, documentaries and original shows.   Sundance provides a platform for independent creative voices and looks to show the challenging and the unconventional.  The tag line running through many of the idents is ‘For a change’.  The audience is less defined than other channels but are described as sophisticated: “We think that they are open to arresting, innovative communication on all levels, including design.” (Bartholdy (2007)) - Sarah Barnett (SVP Branding, OnAir & Creative Services, Sundance Channel). The channels design is very clean, free from clutter, predominantly 2D with occasional 3D manipulations giving further depth. Most of the design and production is undertaken by the small in-house creative agency with larger outside studios pitching for the bigger projects.   The design team, in looking for an authentic way for design to work, has a very minimal use of shapes.  Plain blocks of colour form strings across the screen, occasionally one of these blocks frames a key image or piece of footage.  There is a sub section within the overall graphics package dedicated to environmental programs.  This uses, unsurprisingly, green as its key colour with illustrations of plant life growing out from footage of built objects.  Interestingly, although most other channels seek ways of standing out, this is the only channel, of these case studies, that uses a serif font in its logo.  A very small detail that does set it apart. As is shown by the overall aesthetic of this channel, sometimes the simplest form of communication can be the most effective.

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BBC One - Going in circles BBC One is the flagship channel of the BBC, it aims to creatively enrich the lives of the public through entertainment, education and information. They have six public purposes set out in a Royal Charter; “sustaining citizenship and civil society, promoting education and learning, stimulating creativity and cultural excellence, representing the UK, it’s nations, regions and communities, bringing the UK to the world and the world to the UK, delivering to the public the benefit of emerging communications technologies and services.” (BBC (2012)) The channel provides individual services for Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and England - the visual identity is virtually identical through each service save the name of the country below the main BBC logo. Since the first broadcast motion graphics began appearing in the 50s BBC One has been using the circle as it’s central emblem. This has an almost endless list of connotations being the most prominent of the primary shapes.  An appropriate choice for the oldest channel within Britain. In the context of the BBC design it is used to represent ‘togetherness’. This refers to bringing families together as well as the British public and extends to all who may be a part of it’s audience. In terms of the graphics, everything comes together around the circle and in many cases all the elements become the circle. Generally these elements are live action, or photo real effects, of people in surreal situations that form the circle. Occasionally animals are also involved. These bizarre scenarios must interconnect the widely varying material broadcast by the channel and so do not refer to any specific mood, genre or subject. The circle and logo are the only consistent elements along with connotations of collaboration and ‘togetherness’. In 2006 BBC One had its own font developed by ‘Fontsmith’.  This gives an almost subliminal recognition of BBC One graphics even without specific branding.  The most notable point about the typeface is the circular nature of the ‘o’ exterior which reflects the circle theme running through almost every ident design.  A very powerful sense of recognition is achieved when this is combined with the red signature colour of BBC One.  Add a circle in any guise and the three block BBC logo and the elements making up the visual language are complete.  This is one of the simplest and most effective graphic strategies employed by any broadcaster.

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Channel 4 Channel 4 is a publicly owned UK broadcaster but does not receive a share of the licence fee like the BBC. It’s primary purpose is the fulfilment of it’s public service remit:  “The provision of a broad range of high quality and diverse programming which, in particular: a) demonstrates innovation, experiment and creativity in the form of content and programmes; b) appeals to the tastes and interests of a culturally diverse society; c) makes a significant contribution to meeting the need for the licensed public channels to include programmes of an educational nature and other programmes of educative value; and d) exhibits a distinctive character.” (Channel 4 (2003)).   Over 300 production companies receive commissions from the channel, a far greater number than any other british broadcaster including the whole of the BBC.  There are several channels broadcasting alongside the flagship service, E4, More4, FilmFour, and 4Music all of which are now free to air. In a similar way to the programming, the graphic packaging for the channel is produced by a great number of different studios.  This creates a diverse range of styles and ideas to satisfy the huge scope of the target audience.  The remit, several design guidelines and history of the channel play important roles in keeping a unified appearance to the range of idents. Unity is also held onto through the supervision of outsourced work by some core talent that has worked with the channel over an extended period of time. These are the creatives behind the current design which splits the logo in two referring to the channels ability to present many perspectives on any issue. Like BBC One, Channel 4 has has it’s own font created and tends to stick with a limited range of colours.  The most recognisable feature is the 9 block ‘4’ icon designed by lambie-nairn in 1982.  This has become a design icon that has stood the test of time with its core concept left intact even through 30 years of the channels development. The design of the channel, unlike many other business organisations, does not under go large overhauls of it’s image. Instead there is a gradual evolution of the graphic elements, always guided by the remit but changing as the content and demands of the audience change. With the reliability of channel 4’s popularity and the unchanged core logo the most powerful tool for the designers is the brands recognition.

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Appendix D

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mondo - the ident

The concept: The first of the three Idents, Mondo is attempting to portray a sense of something ‘epic’. It moves from an eclipsing planet to a ball of energy that bursts out in the Mondo logo. The initial plan was to have the logo physically burst out the sphere but technical limitations forced a compromise with the flair effect. The review: Is the concept consistently portrayed? The concept is apparent throughout the various phases although these phases may be too many in number which leads onto the second consideration: Does it have form / rhythm / clear development in the story? As the designer I find the story and it’s development are clear. A huge dormant mass is energised allowing it to full fill it’s potential: Mondo. To anyone attempting to decipher this I feel it could become apparent but to the casual viewer this may only come as a subconscious realisation. To return to the first point, the feeling of ‘epic’ may have been better portrayed in a slower single shot. Cliche or original? Cliche; the eclipse, the flair, the tag line ‘larger than life’. Does it have unity? This is an element that has been more successful through the design, dark bold shapes against light have been used throughout alongside a controlled colour scheme. Colour: Built as a predominantly black and white piece red has been chosen as a tint over the active elements. This is intended to portray one of the more obvious connotations of the colour; passion. Line and Shape: Have been kept bold. Initially everything is curved (the planet, the wisps of energy escaping the light ball, and the path taken by the sparks.) Once the energy ball impacts the sphere it is reviled to be made up with cubes, after the flair the logo is also reviled to be bold and angular in nature. Of the final considerations, texture and animation are less of a concern in this example. Everything is silhouetted, and the movement is smooth and minimal. The typography has been discussed in detail as part of the logo development.

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arisen - the ident

The concept: The shards coming together are reflective of the channels intent to portray differing opinions on controversial subjects. They also represent the diversity of subjects covered. The projection of news footage onto their surfaces is intended to clarify both these concepts and the channels identity as a source of ‘news’ although I use the term loosely as current affairs are not the channels only focus. The review: Is the concept consistently portrayed? As this ident has a much more minimal concept it is safe to say that their is consistency and unity throughout. This also serves to give a clear story for the idents narrative: things coming together. Again their seems to be elements of cliche here with the use of old, publicly available, footage. Colour: The only colour shown is in the footage projections. They are also the source of more frantic movement which identifies those parts as the important elements until the final logo dominates the screen. Line and shape: These have been kept as clean and sharp as possible to aid in the perception of clarity from the ident. The acuteness of the angles is also representative of the highly emotional content. Texture: A very subtle texture has been added with the intention of aiding aesthetic interest. Reflections on the surface show it’s imperfections and add a slight air of realism. With this in mind an HDRI lighting map has also been used instead of manually setting up lights. This gives a more realistically lit scene. Again the movement throughout this piece is smooth and minimal, the direction and spin of the shards is procedural leaving the layout to be determined by camera angles. These angles give various views of the shards again reflecting the channels aim of representing all sides to any conflict.

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pulse - the ident

The concept: In contrast to the previous two idents and channels, Pulse has a far more light hearted outlook. It’s variety of programming and less serious content is represented as an explosion of colours over the screen. The idea begins with a character in a blank, boring, plain environment. The arrival of Pulse gives him (or her) such excitement and joy as to explode with ‘emotion’. The review: Unity and consistency are easily kept throughout this single shot piece, the least visually complex of the three. This is also, probably, the most original of the three mainly due to the character exploding as having the potential to be seen as ‘inappropriate’ in our hyper-sensitive public domain. Colour: A highly vibrant and diverse collection of colours attempt to make it more visually stimulating and attention grabbing. The rest of the graphic elements are most applicable to the logo which has been discussed in the development of the channels identity. This is the only ident with a character and so the use of the principles of animation are more applicable. Most apparent is the use of ‘slow in’, and ‘squash and stretch’ but as will be mentioned in the dissertation these principles only become interesting points when one or more has been broken, either by accident or intentionally.

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Bibliography

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Bibliography Austin, Tricia & Doust, Richard. 2007. New Media Design. London: Laurence King Publishing Ltd Bartholdy, Bjoern. 2007. Broadcast Design. Cologne:Daab gmbh Bartholdy, Bjoern. 2007. Showreel.01 53 Projects on Audiovisual Design. Cologne:Daab gmbh BBC. 2012. Public Purposes. [online]. bbc.co.uk. Available from: http://www.bbc.co.uk/aboutthebbc/ insidethebbc/whoweare/publicpurposes/ [Accessed 11th February 2012] Booth, Edward. 1980. The Language of Graphics. London: Thames and Hudson Brebham, D. 2008. Crowdsourcing as a Model for Problem Solving. [online]. clickadvisor.com. Available from: http://www.clickadvisor.com/downloads/Brabham_Crowdsourcing_Problem_Solving.pdf [Accessed 25th March 2012] Broadcast Design Association. 2011. [online]. Available from: http://www.promaxbda.org/home [Accessed 26th March 2012] Burnham, Douglas. 2005. Kant’s aesthetics. [online] iep.utm.edu Available from: http://www.iep.utm. edu/kantaest [Accessed 22 December 2011]. Cabarga, Leslie. 1999. The Designers Guide to Colour Combinations. Ohio: North Light Books Channel 4. 2003. Channel 4’s Remit. [online]. Channel4.com. Available from: http://www.channel4. com/info/corporate/about/channel-4s-remit [Accessed 21st February 2012]. Cone, Justin. 2011. Psyop: Norton “Stuff anthem”. [Online] Motionographer.com Avaliable from: http:// motionographer.com/2011/09/12/psyop-norton-stuff-anthem/ [Accessed 6 November 2011] Cooper, Pat & Dancyger ,Ken. 2005. Writing the Short Film. 3rd Ed. London: Elsevier Focal Press Curran, Steven. 2000. Motion Graphics: Graphic Design for Broadcast and Film. Massachusetts: Rockport Dick, Bernard F. 1998. Anatomy of Film. 3rd Ed. New York: St. Martin’s Press

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Drate, Spencer, Robbins, David, Salavetz, Judith. 2006. Motion by Design. London: Laurence King Publishing Ltd Gordon, Bob & Gordon, Maggie. 2002. The complete guide to Digital Graphic Design. London: Thames and Hudson Hart, H. 2012. Crowdsourced Movie Studio Creates a Bold New Kind of Sci-Fi Series. [online]. Wired.com. Available from: http://www.wired.com/underwire/2012/03/the-new-kind-animeseries/#more-95796 [Accessed 25th March 2012] Hashimoto, Alan. 2007. Visual Design Fundamentals, A Digital Approach. Boston: Charles River Media Higa, Michelle. 2011. Scott Benson: Rendezvous “The Murf ” Interview. [Online] Available from: http:// motionographer.com/features/scott-benson-rendezvous-the-murph-interview/ [Accessed 6 November 2011] Hollis, Richard. 2001. Graphic Design, a concise history. Rev Ed. London: Thames and Hudson Howe, J. 2006. The Rise of Crowdsourcing. [online]. Wired.com. Available from: http://www.wired.com/ wired/archive/14.06/crowds.html [Accessed 25th March 2012] Hyoguchi, P. 2011. The New Kind series. [online]. Facebook.com. Available from: http://www.facebook. com/pages/THE-NEW-KIND-series/246243672095519 [Accessed 25th March 2012] Hyoguchi, P. 2011. The New Kind. [online]. Kickstarter.com. Available from http://www.kickstarter. com/projects/729054704/the-new-kind?ref=live [Accessed 25th March 2012] Ichenor, Seth. 2011. Kant’s Aesthetics 2 - The Four Moments of Aesthetic Judgment. [Online]. YouTube. Avalible from: http://youtu.be/qx2gYh9Qt0A [Accessed 22 December 2011] Jury, David. 2002. About Face. Switzerland: RotoVision SA Kolker, Robert. 2006. Film, Form & Culture. 3rd Ed. New York: McGraw-Hill Koren, Leonard & Meckler, R. Wippo. 1989. Graphic Design Cookbook. San Francisco: Chronicle Books Krause, Jim. 2000. Idea Index. Ohio: North Light Books

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Kress, Gunter & Leeuwen, Theo. 1996. Reading images, The Grammar of Visual Design. London: Routledge Landa, Robin. 1998. Thinking Creatively, new ways to unlock your visual imagination. Ohio: North Light Books Lupton, Ellen & Miller Abbott. 1999. Design Writing Research, writing on graphic design. New York: Phaidon Press Inc. Macdonald, Dwight. 1969. Dwight Macdonald on Movies. New Jersy: Prentice-hall Manovich, L. 1995. What is Digital Cinema? [online]. manovich.net. Available from: http://manovich. net/TEXT/digital-cinema.html [Accessed 27th March 2012] McCallum, Iain. 2012. The end of baba. UK: Blurb Mirzoeff, N. 2002. The visual culture reader. 2nd ed. London: Routledge Monguzzi, Bruno. 1998. A designer’s perspective. Baltimore: The Fine Arts Gallery Motionographer.com Available from: http://motionographer.com/features/scott-benson-rendezvousthe-murph-interview/ [Accessed 6 November 2011]. Newark, Quentin. 2002. What is Graphic Design? Switzerland: RotoVision SA Oldach, Mark. 1995. Creativity for graphic designers. Ohio: North Light Books Ranciere, Jacques. 2004. Aesthetics and its discontents. Cambridge: Polity Press Rawsthorn, A. 2009. The Demise of ‘Form Follows Function’. [online] nytimes.com. Available from: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/01/arts/01iht-DESIGN1.html?pagewanted=all [Accessed 25th March 2012] Redhead, David. 2004. Electronic dreams, designing for the digital age. London: V&A Publications Ritchie, Ian. 2005. Design Choice: Channel 4 Idents. Marketing (London). 09/07/2005. pp. 13 Shaughnessy, Adrian. 2005. How to be a graphic designer without loosing your soul. United Kingdom: Laurence Publishing Ltd

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Sheridan, Sherri. 2004. Developing Digital Short Films. US: Pearson Education Silver, Lisa. 2001. Logo Design that Works, Secrets for Successful Logo Design. Massachusetts: Rockport Publishers, Inc. Staff. 2011. [Interview] Making “Amnesty international: 50 years�. [online] Motionographer.com Available from: http://motionographer.com/features/interview-making-amnesty-international-50-years/ [Accessed 6 November 2011]. Thill, S. 2009. 10 DC Comics Characters Deserving a Mass Makeover. [online]. Wired.com. Available from: http://www.wired.com/underwire/tag/mass-animation/ [Accessed 25th March 2012] Thomas, Gregory. 2000. How to Design Logos, Symbols & Icons. Ohio: How Design Books Wildbur, Peter and Burke, Michael. 1998. Information Graphics, Innovative Solutions in Contemporary Design. London: Thames and Hudson

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Conclusion I can’t be sure how relevant this last hurrah will be to you unless in a position like mine in which there is an almost unbelievable freedom of choice regarding the subject: An honours study is not about being at the cutting edge, finding something new, or posing a question in a way never done before. Be unique and different in a subject only if you already are, otherwise - figure out where you want to work afterwards then study that specific subject. You could look into the techniques or processes involved, the application of basic theory or how designs / products cater for the target audience. The specifics are up to you to figure out. The key element, for a creative person, is to come out the other end with a portfolio that proves your skill, flexibility and ability to actually sit down and create. This means having a solid collection of work (yep, a collection! Not just one piece unless it’s mind blowing - and that’s hard). So that’s it! That’s my big finaly. The end of, I think, 19 years of formal education... sweet!

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The End of BABA  

An honours year in motion design. My work and diary.

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