Looking back over this experimental project I’ve learned a lot of new skills which I am sure I will continue to broaden and utilize in the future. Although challenging at times, I’ve found it very enjoyable and a great way to explore new ideas and themes within my work.
I particularly liked working with Luke Monet as he is very easy to work with and comes up with some very innovative ideas which were very interesting to work on. It also enabled me to challenge my coding skills by doing something I had never done before.
I also liked animating by hand and doing walk cycle test sketches as it was a great way to enhance my animation skills in general and further understand the motion of animals and characters. Learning about Blender and motion capture was also very useful and greatly broadens my knowledge base within animation.
I am slightly disappointed that I run out of time on this project to explore and acheive all of the plans I had, however through this I now have projects that I will work on in the future, such as my neon logo sign, in order to enhance my portfolio.
I began working on kinetic typography using After Effects to create the video.The audio clip we were given was part of the trailer for the film Gravity.
The first thing I considered was the font to be used. I decided to use only two fonts, not only to create consitency throughout the video, but also to differenttiate between the two voices. Below is a test I did with type. Although the first typeface was quite effective as being bold it emphasizes the urgency of the voice, the second typeface I used was far less legible and I changed it in the final version. I initially chose it as it looked “computery” as it was based off early computer fonts (the voice it matches is the mission control contacting the astronaut) I also tested the timing during this test, and I turned off the sound to fully check if the speed the text appeared allowed it to be legible.
Here’s the final result. I found the voice clip very hard to work with as there was not much dialogue and what was said was very repetitive short sentences. The background audio also muffled some of the sound, especially of the mission controller and I tried to replicate this by blurring his text. I made this increase at the piece went on the symbolise the astronaut feeling more and more scared and lost. I decided not to use much camera movement as I personally dislike this effect, though in hindsight some camera motion might have added more value to my work.
I found the end of the piece particularly troublesome as there was not enough clearly dialogue to animate which left the last line “hanging” on the screen too long. As an attempt to rectify this I added an effect to make it zoom into the camera, however this looks somewhat cheesy and lasts for far too long. Perhaps a fade to white or black would have been more effective but again it the effect is quite over used and is by now quite cliche. If given more time I would like to look into animating simulated jitter and wobble to add something tintereting to the last line of text as it is on the screen for so long.
The end results were quite simple as I have not worked with After Effects before and the process was very time consuming. If I were to do the project again, knowing what I know now I would probably add some more effects to the text, such as to simulate screen static and some more complex movement to the text. I would also pick a different audio clip to work with. I would probably pick some audio from a speech, audiobook or monolgue as it would be far easier to animate a longer piece of prose and visualising metaphors and turns of phrase would be quite interesting to work with.
Here is montages of the full alphabet. I found that putting the letters into black and white helps some of the forms be shown more clearly, as there are distracting colours in some of them, however others become more obscure. However unfortunately this makes the letter S stand out far more as the letter is formed using a white tone rather than a black or a grey.
If I were to do this project again I would visit more locations, such as a city, as there would be a wider range of structures to photograph. One area I could explore would be using a theme to tie the photographs together.
Type the Sky by Lisa Rienermann
An example of this would be this semester project by typography student Lisa Rienermann. She uses the negative space in-between buildings to form the letterforms which is effective as the sky gives a commonality of tone through the photographs. The forms are also quite similar, being all very geometric as a result of man-made architecture.
Adapting this premise for my own work I would like to explore finding letter forms formed by lines and negative space from trees. I think that some of these pictures are the most effective in my original work and exploring this further would be rewarding.
A downside to recreate a project like this is that it would be very time consuming, as well as nigh impossible to find all the letterforms. Rienermann admits herself that some images were Photoshopped in order to create the more challenging letterforms. It would also be useful to explore more locations to fully explore the concept, a visit to the New Forest would be ideal.
Interview with Lisa Rienermann to be found here:
Boris., 2007. Type the sky / Semesterarbeit von Lisa Rienermann, Uni Duisburg-Essen [Accessed online] Available from: http://www.slanted.de/node/1361 [Accessed 27.2.14]