Friday, 27 November 2009

Optimistic Scheduler - Evaluation

It turns out that I'm one of the dreaded optimistic schedulers, I enthusiastically plan out my work and give myself deadlines yet I never meet them, this has become clearly apparant during this project. My indecisivness at the start of this project was my ultimate downfall, I really spent too much time trying to decide what to do, and not only that, after I did figure out my ideas I ended up changing it again around the 3rd week of term. Every decision I made I felt was for the best but in the end turned out to cause many problems. The biggest problem I encountered whilst doing this project was a technical problem with my Macbook Pro which caused me to lose a lot of my work, this happened just under 2 weeks before the deadline. This set back did'nt actually bother me too much because I was quickly inspired to do my earlier ideas in a new style. The problem here was that I had very limited time to get the work done, especially alongside the Post Production project.

In the end I only managed to do 2 Idents, after my Mac messed up I was hoping that i might be able to get at least 3 idents made, but as I said before, I'm an optimistic scheduler and never seem to reach my targets. The idents themselves i felt were made to a satisfactory standard, Ifelt that thy are a bit too basic in their execution and seem a little too simple and don't include enough elements. I wish that I could start from the beginning of term again but this time know exactly what I wanted to do, then I woul've been able to animate the idents to a much higher standard instead of just changing the positions of layers in After Effects, I would also have been able to make at least 2-3 more idents than I already have.

I have to admit that I feel this project was a bit of a failure for me which is thanks to my bad decisions. The main lesson I learnt is to stick to my initial idea if it is within my capabilities and not to change it after a few weeks, also to keep my work backed up on an external hard drive is essential. As well as lessons about my work process, I also learnt many technical skills in After Effects about compositing different layers and footage which is very important for the post production process, especially in the 3rd year when we make our movies.

Second Ident

Here's my second ident, I was kinda disappointed with it to be honest. The pressure of deadlines was starting to get to me and things started to go wrong with the keyframes and such. Anyway, here it is. Stay tuned for my next post.

First Ident

So here's my first Ident, it's not got the final polish that I would've liked it to have, but the time constraints have meant that if I spend too much time on one piece, then I will not have the time to do any other idents, at least to a decent level of presentation. I will evaluate my work properly in a later post.

More Progress

Here's some more of my drawings that I did for my idents, the images here are a mixture of pics that I will be using for my 1st and 2nd idents. They are currently in there unprepared stage and don't represent the quality of what will be in the idents.

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Quick Animation

My first ident is going to include a bit of traditional 2D animation, I thought the best way to do this would be in the application Toon Boom Studio Pro. The program itself is pretty easy to use and doesn't require a lot of time to learn. The animation I made for it is a lot more basic and unrefined than I would have initially liked to have included in my ident, but because of all the technical problems I've had and the lack of time I now have, I'll just have to make do with what I have.

The animation will be added into after effects and will be viewable through a window in a rocket ship. The thing I'm most concerned with is tracking the footage with the rocket ship, tracking is a technique i'm not overly familiar with in After Effects but I'm confident I can do it.


So here's some images that are gonna be in be 1st ident, they need to be put into Adobe Photoshop and prepared before they can be imported into Adobe After Effects for the final animation. The preparation includes, cropping the images, adjusting the gamma levels and brightness and contrast. The images themselves are basic in appearance which represents the childs notebook doodles which relates the educational programs run by the Science Museum.

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Plane Pics

Howdy partner, so here's a few pics from my collection of research that i thought I'd share. They are of a variety of planes from different time periods, they are useful for me because one of my idents will explore the advancement of aircraft over the last century. One of the main exhibitions at the science museum is the 'Aviation Hall' which has a wide selection of aircraft from the beginning of their production all the way up to the last few years, the exhibition is very popular and gets a lot of foot traffic from people exiting the imax cinema. Anyways, the ident will literally show the planes evolving as they fly through the sky, however I wont have the time to do anything too advanced so there will be clouds that cover the parts where the plane changes into a more advanced one.

Sunday, 22 November 2009

Slight Change + Bit of Research

So far for this project there has been many changes and I can assure you that this is the last one. My previous post said that I was going to attempt to learn flash and use it for my idents, however I have come to realise that it will not be as easy as that as I am failing to get to grips with the software, and with the hours ticking by to the deadline on Friday I've decided to do the animation in Photoshop because I am very comfortable using that program. The good thing about the style in which I'm animating means that I don't have to worry too much about correct proportions for the objects I draw because the whole idea of my idents is to represent the children who visit the science museum for educational school trips and such who would have messy notebooks filled with doodles and scribbles.

The most common subject people seem to associate with the Science Museum is the 'Space' exhibit which more often than not is considered the main attraction, there are many times when I myself mistakingly call the museum the Space Museum, but other exhibits also include 'Medicine and Biology', 'Transport', 'Environment', 'Engineering' and 'Communications and Computing' amongst many others. My idents will not be able to cover all of the exhibits on display at the museum so I will use the most recognisable ones because they are the ones people associate with the museums image. I'll do one ident which incorporates elements from each of the most popular exhibits and then a few idents focusing on a single exhibit each.

Saturday, 21 November 2009

What Needs To Be Done

Okay, first and foremost I have to say what I've learnt in the last few days, it's an incredibly important lesson and one that everyone should take note of, and that is to make sure you back up your work and files on an external hard drive or usb, otherwise if for some unknown reason your laptop decides to die on you, you will still at least have your work which can be completed on another computer. I unfortunately learnt this the hard way regardless of the fact we were constantly told to back up our work last year, at least I didn't lose my post production stuff, I gotta be thankful for that.

So here's what needs to be done to complete this project:
-I need a crash course in Adobe Flash (I never used it before)
-Need some storyboards and sketches
-Need to animate in Adobe Flash
-Hand in work before deadline

I reckon that I have just about enough time to pull his off before Friday 27 November if I work around 8-10 hours each day until then (i've been working these hours for the last week so I think I can handle it). I also don't have to do loads of research because I still have all the stuff from before I changed my idea a month ago.

Anyway, hopefully things will turn out ok and I'll update this blog later today with some sketches and storyboards, and if things go really well i may be able to start animating in Flash later tonight or sometime tomorrow morning. Wish me luck XD

Getting Frustrated!!

Yo, so this term things were starting to go well, it actually looked like I would finish my work the week before deadline (which is a 1st for me), but just like all good things, it came to an end. My Macbook Pro thought it would be funny to suddenly malfunction and mess everything up for me, basically the application 'Finder' is no longer working so I cant access my documents and folders, not only that, all the stuff I had on my desktop disappeared which included all my resources for this project which mainly consisted of archive footage of the 1st and 2nd world wars. The annoying thing is that it took just over a week to download that footage and I dont have time to re-download it, also i only managed to recover 1 file from this project which was an early After Effects test for my 1st Ident which is now pretty much useless.

So here I am, on Saturday 21st November, 6 days from the deadline with pretty much nothing to show for 2 months worth of project time, and am I worried??? Not at all :)

I have luckily figured out an amazing plan of action which should ensure that I produce some competent looking work which meets the specifications of the brief within the next 6 days. Although for this to happen I'm gonna have to return back to my initial idea of doing idents for the Science Museum, the difference is this time I have thought of a brand new angle/style in which to represent the museum.

I have to thank the wonderful Emma Wyton for showing me the following video, otherwise I wouldn't know what to do at the current stage I'm at. The video is done in a style which I would like to replicate, the lined paper background can be used to give a notebook/educational feel to idents and simple animation done in flash can almost pass for doodles that would be done by a schoolkid, this relates to the museums theme of education. So heres the video which has inspired me not to give up on the project and to continue giving it all my effort.

Saturday, 14 November 2009


When I decided to make my idents for the Imperial War Museum the first thing that came into my head was the colour pallette I would use; I instantly knew that I wanted it to be very limited in colour so it would show some of the grittyness of previous wars. After doing some general research for the project I came across some propaganda posters from the 1st two world wars; the colours featured on them are a mixture of red, brown and yellow tones which at the time of making was all that was available to printers. After seeing the posters i decided that it would be cool for my idents to have a similar colour scheme which could be mixed with archive footage from the wars. I am also aware that the second poster below is an American one, however the colour is what is important here.

Thursday, 12 November 2009


whoa...long time no update!! so here's a quick rundown of whats happened in the last 2-3 weeks.

First off I decided that my initial idea of doing the idents for the Science Museum was no good for the sole reason of me not having the skills to pull off something that would truly represent what the museum is about. So instead I am now doing the Imperial War Museum, why? because I feel I will be able to create some competent looking idents for it, also I have a great interest in the military history of Great Britain so it will keep me interested in the work.

Secondly everything in my house that requires electricity to work had decided to mutiny against me and refuse to work; meaning that a very tempermental internet connection and a scanner that refuses to scan has started to impede my work progress, but not to worry, I will prevail!!

So now that things are getting sorted out and bits and pieces are now coming together, I will upload (within the next few days) the work i have done so far, that should give you all something to look forward to.
Until next time :)