8 Motion Type: Motion Type, Consequences, Reflection

<p><a href=”https://vimeo.com/161391009″>Consequences: Motion Type</a> from <a href=”https://vimeo.com/user36144689″>Asma Hasan</a> on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

Reflection:

Critique went great, with Oman chips and cake. Perfect.

And of course we watched each other’s videos too. After watching each others videos we briefly discussed each one. I felt like some worked better than others, especially when it came to the choice of music. In some stories (where I knew the story), the music seemed too happy for the content. In some, a good choice of music really added to the impact that the video had. As mine played I realised that I needed to adjust and increase the volume. What sounded loud in my earphones, or from my laptop speakers, was lost in the large atrium.

Struggles
Most of my difficulties came with the initial set up of trying to understand how to film through paper and then trying to find an interesting way to embody a word, without making it redundant. This is probably one of the reasons why I abandoned the idea of shrinking words like ‘abandoned’ or ‘vulnerable’. The end result captures the concept and feeling, without having it as obvious as changing the scale of the word. Choosing words was a task too. I kept wanted to explain more about the story and was tempted to include a frame where I had ‘I left her’ appear around the time that abandoned appeared. Decided against it, because again, it would let on too much, and really felt cheesy. I like cheesiness sometimes, but not when nothing else is cheesy, for example: in a cheesy bollywood movie, the entire thing is cheesy, so it doesn’t seem as bad…

This came to the problem of how I was going to end the video. It kept feeling like it was ending in an incomplete way with just remorse. Adding something to the end, like an apology felt cheesy, especially if it happened for too long. I probably spent more time picking different rates and length of time at which the words ‘I’m sorry’ showed up than on the rest of the editing.

Learnt
As always, I learnt a lot. Usually, there’s a lot of technical skills that I learn related to software. This time, I did learn a bit more about premier, but more than that I learnt way more about filming and working with light. The importance of syncing movements with audio, and how it’s done, was another learning point.

Conceptually I realised that less is more. Somehow I always end up forgetting that rule, whenever I start a new project. Too much information can make this kind of a video seem predictable and boring, especially if whatever is being shown is redundant. And then there’s the importance of just doing lot’s of different things and taking LOADS of films, because you never know what will end up fitting the final edit. And by doing things, unpredictable effects can just happen.

And?
I will focus more on the loudness of my audio. I adjusted it pretty easily after the critique, just had to pull up the decibel bar. It’s something to remember, because even though I had kept it in my mind, the sound still ended up sounding too low in the hall. So something else to keep in mind is where the video will be played: small room vs big room. Aside from that, I really like working in this way, with the lighting and shadows, it’s highly likely that I’ll use it again.

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4 Football: Final working, critique and Reflection

Instead of combining my gestural drawings with a ball made of string, I decided to make the entire composition out of string.

footballstring004 2

It was while working that I noticed that instead of having a flat composition, I could use the density of string to add to the concept of energy. Areas with more string were areas with more energy = the ball and whichever area the player is going to hit the ball with.

Working with it on photoshop was a bit tricky. I had to figure out a way to have the string on one layer, separate from the background. I wanted to give the client flexibility to change the colours as they needed. Especially they kept saying that they wanted to be able to use the images in their own designs. I tried gradients and the gradient map tool, but neither looked as good as simple, solid colours.

The trick of not being able to mask out the string was solved by using a darker string. I used light blue first:

Screen Shot 2016-03-20 at 6.32.25 PM 2

^ troubles. Another thing that helped was playing with the levels to select the string.

Even after I selected the string separately, I did things like reducing the shadows since the string looked a bit ‘fake’. The texture was different from what I was looking for:

Screen Shot 2016-03-22 at 8.00.02 PM copy

This worked, and gave a brighter colour
Screen Shot 2016-03-22 at 8.02.10 PM copy

Even though selecting the string was made easier with adjusting the levels and using the magic wand (contiguos was unclicked), there were still areas that needed cleaning up:

Screen Shot 2016-03-22 at 8.27.42 PM copy Screen Shot 2016-03-22 at 8.27.56 PM copy
These were the shadows of the string. I masked out areas that were annoying to look at, like textured shadows, or bits that stuck apart from the string and didn’t look a part of it:
Screen Shot 2016-03-22 at 8.28.43 PM copy Screen Shot 2016-03-22 at 8.29.13 PM copy
^
Other than that, I mostly left the areas of shadows.


IMG_0539
Something I had to work with was the tintedness of the work when printing for the critique (as can be seen in the blue version). Printing the work as it was made it print too dark. I made them lighter for the sake of prints. I also made sure to print a version that didn’t follow the brand colours (purple and yellow) as an example of how moving away from the brand colours could look better and more energetic:

Screen Shot 2016-03-27 at 8.44.47 PM copy

Reflection:

Something I struggled with throughout was finding the direction and making it work. I learned that sometimes, the idea that I think is better, isn’t necessarily better for the client. The whole concept of working with a client was difficult itself. When it’s a usual project, I need to create something that I’m convinced with and proud of and that fulfils the requirements set by the professors. When it’s like that, I know when I’ve found the direction and when I’m done (or as close to being done in the time given).

With the client…I can’t. I wish I could know what they have in mind, but even what they have in mind (players composited in bright energetic lighting) might not be the solution they need (something different). Using the feedback to decide my plan of action took some time. I discussed the feedback with friends and professors and had to decide for myself at the end. *sigh* adult life, deciding for yourself. Anyway…

Immediately after the critique I saw the ‘unripeness'[?] of my work. Mostly it was the comment of how the concept of the ‘focused’ energy could be made clearer if there was more contrast. I wish I had a critique earlier, before the final, so that I could have used that feedback. It would have made a huge difference to the way the images look right now. Seeing as the most successful one is the ‘blue’ one, where there is the most contrast.

If given the time, I would have added less details in other areas and more string in the ‘energetic’ areas to emphasise the concept of ‘this-is-where-the impact-is’. The client also found the shadows distracting. I didn’t see this when working, but I would adjust the work accordingly. I made my PSD files as such, that it would be simple to make the adjustment either way–there are occasions where the shadows would be more appropriate (maybe on a more complex background) and places where they didn’t work (this is a place where it didn’t work). I would have also payed more attention to my choice of colours. Having a series of colours that I’d picked, and a series of colours going with the brand’s colours.

9 Signage: Final decisions and Reflection


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Looking at the past few weeks I noticed that I had learnt much more than I had imagined I would. This could be because I ended up experimenting twice, but apart from that, experimentation became necessary for the most part on almost every step of the process to ensure that few things went wrong. Although things always go wrong, no matter how much you experiment and test. Something I noticed after putting the sign up was that my choice of not completely sticking the felt down let the edges ‘adapt’. They would remain in position, but if someone touched them or wanted to lift them, they could also be bent over.

Critique:
Positive critiques I got were on the typeface that I had created. I used weaving to create a pixelated/bitmap type of typeface. If I think about it, some of it must have been inspired by the research I did for Arduinos. People found it interesting that I created a digital looking typeface using physical materials and the fact the materials being used together itself was unexpected: hence adaptation.

Suggestions for improvement were that I could consider a checkered background for the wooden text, like how weaving tends to look. The wooden base peaked through the edges at the top and bottom, I could trim those down. Some people had problems with the legibility of the type, I could have considered black felt or the green felt I was initially using, to increase the contrast between the background and the type. Or I could have even used darker coloured wood instead of settling for…wood coloured wood that was available in the woodshop. Something Levi had said during critique was that

it’s a dangerous practice to let the design be set for you. A good designer should always ask questions.

Learnt:
I learnt a huge range of skills, more than I had anticipated. These included drilling, using the band saw and laser cutters and working with the laser cutter software. Learning that plywood can be a pain to work with. So, learning about the limitations of different materials in general. Wax cooled faster than anticipated, it didn’t stick well to some surfaces, how quickly and efficiently wax can be melted and through which methods. How to test and the importance of testing whether two materials stick together or not. Quilting, weaving and working with different types of felt were things I touched on.

Apart from learning these technical things, I learnt skills like bargaining…My most important lesson probably came from what I struggled with the most…

Struggles:
Psychological struggles. I struggled mostly with the idea of moving on from one idea to a completely different idea. To be honest, it took me less than a lesson to switch ideas as soon as I realised that the second weaving idea would work better. I must have been hesitant to try something new after I had been trying so hard to make the wax work. I learned that it’s important to be able to move on…and adapt to the situation. If something doesn’t seem to be working, it’s okay to work hard to try and make it work, but it is also a good idea to try something different.

Improvements:
Something I had noticed and that was brought up during the critique was how the background board peaked through the top and bottom edges of the sign. I would trim that out. To work on the legibility of the type I could experiment more with different colours of felt/wood or weaving techniques. I would also like to see if I could cut slits in the wood strips to be able to weave through it with the metal strip.

8 Type Manual: Final Reflection (Portfolio Photos)

[portfolio photos]
TypographyManualFrontCover copy TypographyManualTabs3 copy TypographyManualTabs2 copy TypographyManualTabs1 copy
Front Cover, tabs and Table of contents

TypographyManualbluepage copy TypographyManualhierarchy1 copy
Spreads from the First and Second Section

TypographyManualBinding1 copy
TypographyManualBinding2 copy TypographyManualBinding3 copy TypographyManualBinding4 copy TypographyManualBinding5 copy
Spread from Third section and binding thread

TypographyManualbitmapped2 copy TypographyManualbitmapped1 copy
Fourth Section

TypographyManualLayout1 copy TypographyManualLayout2 copy TypographyManualLayout3 copyTypographyManualnotice1 copy TypographyManualFolio2 copyTypographyManualnotice3 copy TypographyManualnotice2 copy TypographyManualFolio1 copy
Fifth Section

TypographyManualColophon4 copy TypographyManualColophon1 copy TypographyManualColophon2 copy
Colophon

 

I have to say that I began with enjoying and looking forward to this project. Systems and grids sounded like so much structure to me, and I like the sound of that. The problem came later on, when I came to know what a horror systems could be. So painful there was a point while I was working that I googled “I hate typography” just to see what would come up…I was not disappointed:

typography00053

Yet despite all the pain it caused me, I begrudgingly admit that this was my favourite typography project. This sounds so messed up, but really, I like the end result way more than any of my other typography projects I did in Type 1. Even the word project, and I was very pleased with that one.

I used the square root of 5 sequence and Akzidenz Grotesk typefaces regular m for my em square to generate my page size, grid system, gutters and margins. It took me a while but eventually I created a system based on colours and shapes (or tabs). My colour scheme was specific, I chose similar colours, so that it didn’t look outrageous, uncomfortable or intimidating (blue is a calming, non-intrusive colour) but made sure that they were different enough to differentiate between. Apart from that, I had a system for my chapter openers and a system for the rest of my pages. The chapters always open on the recto, have 2 definitions and an illustration and the other spreads have illustrations on the verso and the definitions on the recto (number of definitions ranging between 4-6 per page, on average 5). The exceptions were the last chapter, where definitions were illustrated in a more dynamic way, because the entire chapter was about layouts. I also focused on creating a system that was easy to navigate by all kinds of people. If you want to learn about a certain section of typography, you find that chapter with the colour coded tabs. If you want to find the definition of a specific word you use the alphabetically ordered index.

I ended up learning so many things it’s unreal. I learned things from the continuous research I had to do. I also learned a range of skills that went from using the software (grids, guides, stylesheets, tints), to using the hardware (printers, strings/binding using saddle stitch, learning about signatures), to using my brain (intervals, categorising, illustrations, managing survival). I felt so clever when I figured out why some things printed insanely darker than other objects even when they were both the same colour (I altered the tints). Getting my registration right was also a great feeling.

I know I’ve learnt a lot of useful tricks that will help me in the long term (this was maybe the most useful type project I have done so far because of the steep learning curve?). But, some of the main moments that really stood out to me was understanding the baseline grid and how to use it, understanding the colours and how and why to use them and print them correctly. Learning new information like how ‘leaders are forceful on the eye’ and how using dot leaders isn’t a very professional thing was surprising.

I also know that I’ve struggled a lot, some of the main struggles were simplifying my illustrations. This is something I’ve struggled with for a long time now, since I started this year, which is finding a balance. First my illustrations clashed with my definitions and it was difficult to tell them apart. Next they were differentiable,  but they were too forceful and obnoxiously all over the place. Finding the right balance of dynamism and consistency is difficult.

If I were to fix anything I would cut the creep of the bottom layers more than 1mm away. Mostly, because the critique made me realise that because it was such a tiny sliver, it looked like an unintentional mistake. I would also really want to re print the manual on better paper and adjust my tints some more, I can still see some inconsistencies in the greys on a spread, which shouldn’t happen..

Arduino – Displaying them and Reflection

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^ wiring in progress

Reflection:

Learn:
Looking back at the past few weeks, I realised that we had covered a huge amount of things in a short time. I’m glad I had past experience with wiring and coding using Arduino, otherwise I would’ve struggled with the technical parts instead of focusing on my concepts. I got better at coding (before I’d only known how to change variables), reading and actually understanding the language.

Wiring and using the breadboard was another thing I gained knowledge in. Before, I just followed direct instructions on what to plug into where, during this project I was able to do more independent experiments using online help if needed. What I loved was working with the sensors, to create and interactive experience.

Struggles:
I struggled with the coding many times. I was lucky to have a programmer at home, but even then, there were times when even she couldn’t (or didn’t want to…) help. It was solving the coding problems that gave me so much satisfaction, especially if I solved it without any assistance.

Further ideas:
I would really like to spend more time on working with the ranges, so that it works close to perfectly. I’d also like to work with my spaceship again. Now that I know how to play the dancefloor separately from the character, I should be able to play the stars separately as well. Something I wish we’d covered was outputs other than just the LED matrix. It would be interesting to output music, sounds or motions depending on what is sensed. We could also have had the other output play WITH the animation…e.g.

if a person gets close enough to my sensor, not only does the face become big, but a buzzer or sound also goes off.

Bean Bag: Week 3 (and a half) + Final reflections

We took the glued parts (eyes) to Abdul Kader (tailor in Fashion Design) so that he could stitch the black parts of the eye on it and stitch them together. He told us to cut and  glue the black bits of eyes where we wanted to on the fabric, so that he could just stitch over it:

stitchingplusheyeballsoftball
^
 We left the cutouts on his table when he wasn’t available at the same time as us and left a thank you note. We should have also written a note reminding him what was needed because he’d forgotten and unfortunately had to reopen the stitches and restitch the cuts.

We went and got the eyes stuffed as soon as we got the chance (at the upholsterers place). They weren’t as round as we’d imagined, but we didn’t get it stuffed extra because then it could get heavy and lose it’s softness.

Next came attaching magnets onto the bean bag. We had to drop that step because the eyeballs had become too heavy, and the magnets didn’t hold. We also found that most people that walked into the room were more interested in tossing the eyes around, instead of placing them on the bag.

The final step was to get the cover over the lining part and fill it some more. And we were done.


Final Result!
interactiveblobbeanbag interactiveblobbeanbaguser

The blob turned out to be far larger than we imagined. It was also a much larger success with the people than we’d anticipated. Because of it’s huge size, sitting on it felt like sitting on a cloud, and then getting hugged by the cloud, because it would fluff up on the sides. The critique made me see the ‘product’ potential of the bean bag. We’d made it for a very personal purpose, to fulfil our own wants, but then a lot of people said they were interested in buying it.  It now is a multi-people, interactive, playful beanbag/bed. Something very 3jeeb!

I entered this project thinking that I’d be learning a lot about sewing. Instead I learnt a lot about driving in rush hour in here.
I also learnt a lot about keeping tailors/people–you’re–relying–on on their toes to get the job done in time.
No matter how much planning and testing we’d done with the magnets, at the end of the project they didn’t hold. Some things just can’t be 100% tested.
I also learned that answers can come from the most unexpected of places (knowing where to buy eps beads from the upholsterer and not anyone in university).
I learned useful skills like breaking magnets and cutting fabric…and making a mess effectively filling eps beads into something.

Most of my struggles were to do with the amount of time that was spent in getting materials and navigating around the country to get those. Making decisions wasn’t very difficult since the physicality of our object guided a lot of the decisions, even the concept.

Making decisions was also simple because of the collaboration. Luckily for my indecisive self, Amreen is a quick-thinker and was able to make a lot of on the spot decisions. Other than that, working on a decision/solution together got us to a good answer, quickly (two brains deciding). The collaboration went smoothly. The only times things got a bit tense was when one of us simply wouldn’t understand what on earth the other was explaining. But somehow we were able to get our ideas across to each other (repeating the same thing again and again in kind of different ways). It works.

The only thing I’d like to ‘fix’/improve about the bean bag is how the eyes have a potential to get lost and don’t really have a secure ‘resting place’ when the bag isn’t in use (on top of the bag isn’t secure). Perhaps we could’ve designed a zip system where the eyes could be stored inside the bag or in a pouch on the outside? Although, opening the zip and storing inside could still work. But then that’s not as cool as the magnets would’ve looked (if they’d worked). I really wish I could find and try stronger magnets

Poster: Final reflections

Typographyposterkhalilgibrantheprophet00021 copy

PRINTOUT IMAGE (natural sunny lighting [yellow tinge]) (artificial white light coming soon…):
IMG_7176 copy.JPG

Once it had printed I immediately saw things that I would change to make improvements.  I could have made my paragraph size slightly larger. And the colour of the blue text on the white scarf should have been darker, mostly because the blue was fading and getting illegible on the shadows of the folds. And I realised that if I did this then I would probably also increase the size of my sentence (doing that would be less simple since I was fitting my sentence in such a restricted space – it’s entire placement might need changing).

Other than that I feel like despite this project being super short I did learn something. Mostly it was how I shouldn’t do overkill by hooking the hook. And then how different posters require different solutions (I got this by looking at my work and my peers’ works). Some looked better with a box behind text, some didn’t need any box, mine needed an organic kind of background. I also need to remember that text needs breathing space. I noticed that I often restrict the framing box too much. Another thing I should remember is that I should test more than once. If I had tested just once more, before doing the final, then I would’ve noticed all the things that needed improving. I later (during the critique) also learned that the type in the image didn’t need to match the type of the sentences as paragraphs.

Things I struggled with…making the fabric photographed weeks later, look like it was integrated with the image. And then showing up text on a textured background. I never realised that it would be so difficult to make text look legible. I found composing and placements difficult too. throughout the process I switched between using intervals in the image to the rule of 3rds and by the end of it, still wasn’t sure of myself. It was only at the end where I created a grid (like what I did for sentences and paragraphs) that I felt that the quadrants worked better. And remembered that I had the liberty to break my own rule slightly if necessary. Colour choices weren’t easy for two reasons; the colour needed to look good/complement the image and overall composition AS WELL as being legible.