Here to tear it up.

CWP Presentation

We were also asked to make a presentation, here is mine: http://www.slideshare.net/JamesCartwright/collaborative-work-placement-presentation

For my work placement I first decided to ask around my family if anyone needed anything that could fall under the category of  what we’re supposed to be doing, the answer was a resounding no, however, my mum’s friend has just recently started a fake nail business from home. The gist of it is that people pay to have fake nails to put on. I asked her if she would like an advertising poster made and she said she would greatly appreciate it.

It took me a while to find this placement however, and I had only a week left until the work was to be handed in. This left me having to rush slightly.

My clients name is Deana Massey, and she was incredibly lenient, she didn’t place any time scales on me, nor did she give me any limitations. The only thing she knew she definitely wanted on was the prices, the name of her small business, and a contact number. These were all going on the poster anyway, so it wasn’t a problem.

The first thing I think about when I think of fake nails is women, and rightly so since it is very rare for men to do it. This means that my target audience is basically the female half of the human race. To appeal to their nature, I will try and make the poster as feminine as possible, and pleasing to the eye. This could be a difficult task for me, we’ll see!

I had a vision of a poster that was pink, or with a pink tinge, and had a hand with painted nails somewhere on it that was very visible. The name of the business is “Deana Massey, Nail Technician”, I wanted this to be big and visible also. I had hoped that having these attributes on the poster would attract the eye of passers by. It was difficult to figure out where to put the prices and the contact number though, as I didn’t want the poster to look crowded with numbers and words, as it would be hard to take all this in with a quick glance.

The answer was simple, I decided to make the hand and the name of the business the two centrepieces of the picture, and have the other information along a strip on the bottom of the poster. I feel that I have done this rather effectively. Some things I had to keep in mind is to not make the text so small that it is difficult to read, and I also needed something to make it stand out a bit, so that the reader didn’t over look it. To fix this problem I put a white rectangle over the information and lowered the opacity to around 40% so that the text is still visible, I feel this worked effectively as it isn’t too distracting, but is also difficult to over look.

The main problem throughout this process was communication with my client, I wasn’t sure about the prices so I tried to get in touch with her twice and didn’t receive a response, this meant that I had to take the initiative and find out the prices myself, this also means that I have yet to show her the finished poster. The breakdown in communication has stemmed from the fact that the only way I have to contact her is via Facebook, which isn’t brilliant.

If I were to do this again, the main thing I would do is scout out at least 3 potential clients, and discuss at length with each of them, what the project would entail. I would also find out at least 2 ways of contacting them,  examples these could be via email, mobile, home phone, or even their address.  I would also give myself more time so that I could show them rough drafts of things, this was made difficult in this projects by lack of time, lack of communication, and the fact there wasn’t a draft per se, I just created the picture in one sitting in Adobe Photoshop CS5.

Here is a picture of the finished poster: 

The reason there isn’t a contact number on there is because due to the breakdown in communication, I’m not entirely sure what it is, I’m hoping to rectify this problem as soon as possible though.

I got the picture of the hand from: http://nailsdid.tumblr.com/post/1101762807/up-nails

When creating this picture, I decided that I wanted to use filters, something that I’ve very rarely used in Photoshop before, so this was a learning experience for me. The filter I first decided to choose was the Lighting Effects filter, now I wasn’t entirely sure what to do, but after messing around with all the different settings for 10 minutes I had the gist of it. The first thing to note is there are three different types of lights to choose from, these were Omni, Directional, and Spotlight. Now I knew how Omni and Spotlight lights work, as I had used both of them in 3Ds Max, therefore I decided to stick with them, and I chose Omni. You can then edit the intensity, the exposure (if you want it over or under exposed), and the material plus, some other stuff.

When I first decided on the Omni light, it gave me a brilliant idea to place the light in the fingertips of the hand on the picture, so that it looked like the hand would be holding the light, or generating the light depending on which way the viewer would interpret it. I thought that this was a good idea as people getting their nails done want them to glow, and they want to attract attention to them, so that was bringing out that idea in a different way. I wanted this to be at the forefront of the picture, and everything else to kind of take a back seat, I think I achieved the desired effect.  Here is a screenshot of the work in Adobe Photoshop Cs5: 

EIM Final Piece.

For our EIM final piece, we were told to create an image that disrupts the face, and is also very creative. I feel that I have achieved that.

My idea was to print a picture of myself, and to do a bunch of stuff to it, for example melt parts of it. I then planned on dropping it into Photoshop, cutting it up and placing it all back together in a weird way. I took a picture of myself with the Canon 20D SLR, which is what I used for all these pictures.

Here is the original picture I started with:

To start off with, I found a picture of myself that would be suitable. I then took it into my back garden with: a bucket of water, a sponge, a lighter, a box of matches, the camera I was using, and some tissues. Here is a picture of my set-up:

I then started working on my picture. I started off by dousing the sponge in water, squeezing it until it was only slightly wet, and then I started stroking half of the picture with it. This was to try and make the colours run a little, and to make it a different colour to the other side of the picture. I then set the end of a piece of tissue paper on fire, and held it close to one of my eyes on the picture, this made it look really dark, which was the effect I was looking for. After this I used the charred ends of the tissue papers I used, to kind of paint the left side of my face on the picture. I continued doing little things with the tools I had until I was happy with my image. This is what I came up with: I also found out that by rubbing a sponge across the front of the picture, you can start to see it from the other side of the paper. This picture will make it easier to understand:

I thought this was a really cool effect!

I then took a lot of different pictures of both sides, from varying angles, opened them up in Photoshop and started to crop them. I used a different part of my face from each picture, and in the end this is what I came up with: 

In this post I am going to research artists whose work revolves around painting images of the face. The main thing I will be looking for is creative artists who express the face in an abstract way. Hopefully inspiration will strike me along the way!

The first artist I will be looking at is Philip Gurrey. Philip Gurrey was born in 1984 in York, and he is relatively new on the scene with his first exhibitions being in 2007.  Philips art revolves around him painting the faces of people in strange but very creative ways. This is what he had to say about his work: “I seek to explore the many facets of the human condition through face and figure in paint; pushing away from reality and an illustrative way of working into the oil paints own unique visceral language.” The interview was taken from http://www.dacs.org.uk/studiodacs/profile.html.

Here is some of his work: 

What I like most about Philip Gurrey’s work is how he paints the eyes differently, and the way he makes them stand out the most in his picture. He does this is a way to try and express multiple personalities of a person in one face. Sometimes he will also take two notable famous or noble people from the past, and merge their features to create these sometimes shocking, but innovative paintings.

The second artist I will be researching is Pablo Picasso. Picasso was a huge name in 20th century art, and this is proven by the fact that I know who he is! He was born on the 25th of October 1881 in Italy, but he spent most of his life in France. I will be looking at the cubism era of his art, as these are his paintings of the face that I liked the most.

Picasso developed the style of cube painting along with Georges Braque in around 1909. What the artists did was find objects that interested them, and then took them apart and started look at the shapes of the objects, and seeing how they could use them in their art. They then put the shapes back together in weird and abstract ways. Wikipedia says this about cubist art: “In cubist artworks, objects are broken up, analyzed, and re-assembled in an abstracted form—instead of depicting objects from one viewpoint, the artist depicts the subject from a multitude of viewpoints to represent the subject in a greater context. Often the surfaces intersect at seemingly random angles, removing a coherent sense of depth. The background and object planes interpenetrate one another to create the shallow ambiguous space, one of cubism’s distinct characteristics.” Taken from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cubism . Here is a cubist painting that Picasso painted:

This is a painting of three musicians (I think!), and I really enjoyed it. The way he has portrayed the faces really made me laugh, although I’m not sure if the painting was intended to be humorous. I have taken some inspiration from this work as it gave me the idea to cut up my image and piece it back together in an abstract way.

The third artist I am going to research is Jim Shaw. Jim Shaw is an American artist that lives in Los Angeles, but was born in M.I Midlands, and is represented by the Simon Lee Gallery, located in London. In his paintings he likes to take the human face and distort it, like this:

A common theme in his portraits of the face is disrupting it by cutting  the face into squares or rectangles and to move it all around so that it is jumbled. I like this idea, and I have definitely drawn inspiration from it. Sometimes he does it a large amount so that one half of the face will be barely recognisable, and sometimes he will just simply move an eye. I think that in my final piece, I will cut my image into rectangles and place it back together like this. Another idea is to take rectangles from multiple different pictures and place them together.

My original idea for this assignment was to do a time-lapse. Time-lapses are usually pretty interesting, and if done right they can be brilliant, however if there is one thing I have learnt so far from this course that will stick with me, it is to not go with your first idea straight away. First give it time to mellow, and re-consider it a couple of days later. During the couple of days I decided to think of some more ideas, the second idea I had was to create a short movie with the main theme being around time. I thought of having a bomb ticking down the time ’till it blows up that I could randomly cut to, and I imagined a really dark atmosphere.

The only things wrong with this is that I didn’t have a high quality camera to record the film on, and I had no previous experience of making a film. I started to think of things that I enjoy doing that I could use. After a week or so I decided upon making a video game montage. I have some small previous experience in this, as I got into editing a couple of years ago and made a few montages.

In preparation I started looking at some tutorials, and I came across a brilliant website called Video CoPilot, this website had over a hundred brilliant tutorials for Adobe After Effects. Here are a couple I looked at, I’m not sure how to embed the actual videos, so I’ll link to the pages:

http://www.videocopilot.net/tutorials/galactic_orb/

http://www.videocopilot.net/tutorials/lightning_strike/

Although there isn’t really a way you can incorporate them into an FPS montage, these videos were still really useful as I got to watch a professionals workflow in AAE, and I definitely learnt some new stuff.

The game I am going to create my montage of is Halo Reach. I’ve loved the Halo series ever since I first played it, so it was logical choice for me.

The first thing I had to decide about my montage was what music to use. I wanted the music to be fast paced, and to have a lot of points that I could sync the music too. I also wanted the song to be about time in a way. After a couple of hours of listening to my iTunes library, I came up with two candidates from my two favourite bands.

In the end I chose the first song, as I thought it fitted the criteria more.

After listening to the song a few times, I could see the video forming my mind, I could see the major sync points, places where I wanted effects, that sort of thing.

The programs I decided upon using to create my video were Sony Vegas, and Adobe After Effects. SVE will be mainly for slowing down and speeding up parts of the video, for cutting clips, and may be used for some small effects. Once I have everything in place in Vegas, I will render out small clips where I want effects and import them into AAE, once I’m done adding effects in there, I will then render the clip again and place it back in Vegas.

I had some problems with this at first, as the clips I had to use were .wmv files. These were fine to open on vegas, but when I tried to open them in AAE it wouldn’t work. My solution to this was to render the clips as .avi files in Sony Vegas, and this fixed the problem, partially anyway. The new problem was trying keep as much quality as possible, as when I first tried this a lot of quality was lost. I adjusted the settings and if I rendered them with the template HDV 720-30p intermediate, then there was minimal quality loss.

Here are some screenshots I took while making the video:

When I completed the first render, I watch the video back about 10 times. And then returned a day later and watched it again. After a day the flaws in the video were still there, so I put it back into SVE and AAE, and started tweaking it until it was satisfactory. When I was finally satisfied, I had rendering problems. My computer wasn’t capable of rendering out the complete video in one go any more, I was stumped for a while. I tried restarting it and closing every other program but it wasn’t having any of it. I overcame this problem by rendering it out in two halves, and then putting those two halves together again in SVE and rendering it as a complete package.

The problems didn’t end there though, no! When I attempted to upload the video to Youtube, it let me wait for two hours thinking it was uploading, and then kindly informed me at the end that it had failed to convert the file. Another unsuccessful attempt later and I was pulling my hair out. After some contemplation, I re-rendered the video as a .wmv (much smaller file size, not as great quality) and that seems to have done the trick.

Here is my video:

One last screenshot of me working in After Effects using the light rays effect:

The Storyboard challenge was to select a scene from a film, and to create a storyboard from it. Storyboards are usually created during the pre-production of a film, so that the director and producers can have a quick look at how the film is going to pan out, and can make decisions on camera angles, character movement, character placement and that sort of thing. This makes actually filming your movie much easier, as you have a guideline to work from.

My initial ideas for this were to take a scene from one of my favourite comedy films, and create a storyboard from that, however there wasn’t  a scene that stood out to me. Then I decided to widen the scope of my thinking to encompass all genres, and to think of my favourite scenes of all time.

There was, of course, only one winner:

This is pretty much my favourite scene of all time! It’s epic, and I love the Lord Of The Rings books and films.

There was one problem however, I really fail at drawing, and this scene is really difficult to draw, especially the Balrog. To make up for my lack of drawing skills, I tried to put as much detail as I could into my annotations of the storyboards. Hopefully they are at least good enough so you can tell what is going on, and my annotations make up for the rest.

The feature of our lesson today was internet memes. What is an internet meme you ask? An internet meme is something out of the ordinary that spreads like wildfire on the internet. Internet memes can often also transfer over to real life.

Here are some examples:

This meme was so popular that South Park recreated it in their show.

As part of the challenge, I’m either going to make a compilation video of my five favourite memes, or create a poster.

In the end I decided on a poster, and here it is:Originally I started making a video, but by the time it was halfway completed, I wasn’t enjoying it, and I thought it looked tacky.

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