Exhibition layout & Animation

Once we were happy with our project, we then had to start creating a layout for the exhibition ( keeping the app and card game separate).  We decided to keep each page as simple as possible and leave plenty of negative space so that the work is communicated effectively and clearly. However, we faced some problems whilst printing our ephemera. We started to notice that the colours on some of the boards were too light and mistakes were starting to show in our designs.

After printing out our game cards, the writing displayed on our yellow set wasn’t very visible so we decided to change the colour and make the writing noticeable. We changed the colour to purple so that the bright colour will help catch your attention, work effectively to communicate the facts written on them and go well with the rest of the set. We also discussed with our tutor about how we could go about sorting our layout, he recommended that we condense the work into three pages for each piece. I thought that the changes worked really well and made our work look effective once it was all hung up. We kept the layout minimal and even considered the colour of the pins and clips we used to hold the work in its place.

I really enjoyed being able to bring all the work from our project together and see how our ideas have developed over the past weeks. Considering that some of our group members were unable to come in, as a pair, I think we have worked really well to create two successful pieces of ephemera, that work really well alongside our animation. Personally I wouldn’t change anything with our ephemera, however I would like to see how it could be developed on a bigger scale. On the other hand, after watching our animation on the screen it made me think of how we could have changed some of the scenes, for example we could have removed the end scene with the grave stones and  have our ‘Butt head ‘ title pop up without anything behind it. This would help draw the audience’s attention to the title,  making it easier to read.

I have learnt many new skills from this project which I will be able to develop  throughout my time in University and after. I have learnt how important collaboration is whilst undertaking a project as big as this in such short time , because you are able to brainstorm ideas and create really effective work on a much bigger scale. However It is also important to consider that not everyone in the group will pull their weight or turn up, so sometimes I will have to challenge and push myself even more.

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Final completed Animation

Ephemera

App

The aim of the app is to help children understand the effects of smoking. When you play the game you start on level 1 and work your way up to level 20. On the first level you have 9 cards, you then have to tap the cards until you match a pair. If you match a pair successfully the character  you have pressed will pop up and a message will appear, for example “Good Job! You matched two healthy teeth”. However if you match an organ with a cigarette character, the deteriorated version of that organ will pop up with a fact, for example ” Oh dear! smoking is bad for your heart”.

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Once we had sorted the plan for our app, I started creating the app showing what it would look like once it’s opened. I decided to use really light colours so that the app will correspond with the animation. I have also used the ‘Butt head’ logo for the back of the cards and the different colours from the animation on the back. Each character has its own colour to make them stand out. As well as this I have also placed a blurred colour behind the character that pops up once you have matched two cards, if it’s a healthy organ a bold colour will show but if it’s an unhealthy organ a darker colour will show. Once you reach level 2 the cards will double, making it harder to make a match on every level.

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I am very happy with how the plan had turned out. I think that it corresponds really well with the animation and our playing cards. I believe that the game is communicated really well and will work well with our target audience. If we were to create the app, then we would include different levels up to level 20.

The app will also include instructions on how to play the game, quirky sounds as the images spin around and pop up. I think it will also be a good idea to include the same tune used in our the animation playing throughout the game, so that the children can keep focused on the screen. Having a recognisable sound will also be very effective for brand identity.

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The app will also be available on mobile phones.

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We decided we needed to have an icon that would be displayed in the app store. One of my group members decided to start creating the icon and this was his outcome. To be able to fit the title on an icon he has taken the two starting letters using the same style, so that the app is still recognisable without it being written out fully.

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Ephemera

As a part of our Design as Activism brief we were asked to have a piece of digital and printed ephemera. We decided to brainstorm a couple of ideas that would correspond well with our animation. We came up with the idea to create an app that would help children understand the effects of smoking and possibly a comic strip or pack of cards.  We are going to create the plan for an app, show it’s possibilities and how it will help children understand the effects of smoking. We will also use the comic strip or cards to communicate different facts.

One of my group members decided to create a poster for our app to help us get an idea of what its cover would look like. However due to lack of communication between the group  we are unclear as to how the idea behind the app will turn out, but the more we meet up as a group we will be able to discuss and develop our different ideas. On the other hand we have discussed via social media that our app would be called ‘Tarnish’, which we thought was quite quirky and went well with what we are trying to communicate. However the more we discussed the name it became clear that we weren’t really considering our target audience, as ‘Tarnish’ might be difficult for this particular age group to understand. I think that the poster is visually pleasing and definitely gives you the idea that this is an app made for children. However I do think that we need to discuss and sketch some more ideas as a group so that we aren’t rushing into using just one design.

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Tarnish’ poster created by one group member.

Another name which we decided on was ‘ButtHeads’. We thought that it went well with our project and left us plenty of ways to play around with the logo, it’s entertaining, and will definitely be more appealing to children.

After meeting up on Friday we decided to do some research into children’s comic strips and how we could go about creating one that would communicate the dangers of smoking to children. We thought that this would be a fun and educational way to communicate our message.  We also discussed the possibility of creating a comic that could be coloured in by children, so that they are able to gain a better understanding of why they shouldn’t smoke.

One of my group members found a humorous comic that we believed went really well with what we are hoping to create. The company have created a funny break up scenario using the figures from Ikea’s instructions. I really like the simplicity of this poster and believe that this type of style would work really well with our animated characters.

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I was then inspired to create a set of cards, that could be given out to children. The cards would have the outline of each character from the animation and would each have a fact about how smoking affects the body. As a group we have decided that I will start creating the cards. I have decided to leave the characters without any colour so that children would be able to colour them in. I am also going to find facts about the organs and place them on the back of each card, for example if I have the ‘lung’ character on the front, there will be a  fact about how smoking affects your lungs written on the back.

After taking our characters from the animation and re-creating them so only the outlines were visible,  I then did some further research into the effects of smoking on the body.  I have picked the facts that I thought children would find most interesting  and simplified the language so that children have a better chance of understanding its content.

Throughout this project we have decided to use the Dalton Maag font, ‘Objeckiv Mk2’ in Bold.  We have used this font at the start of our Animation  and then throughout our printed ephemera. I think that this typeface works really well with this project because it’s simple and bold, which makes it easy to read.  Keeping in mind that our target audience is children around the age of 9 and 10 we want to keep everything as simple as possible so we can successfully communicate our message.

Overall I am very happy with how the cards have been designed.  I believe I have incorporated my group’s ideas and made sure that the cards are simple, and communicate our facts in a clear and fun way. I am also happy with the amount of negative space that is left on the cards, I think that this will help the children to focus on the facts and hopefully understand their content. However I do still have time to improve the cards, possibly correcting some type layout errors so that they all look the same and are typographically pleasing. We have also decided to include the download link for our app on each card, so that every part of our project links together in some way.

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Instead of creating factual cards we have decided to turn them into an interactive card game, suitable for our target audience (children age 7-10). The point of the game is to match up all of the coloured cards to reveal the fact about that organ after being affected by smoking. On Photoshop I designed the shape and colour of the cards, and split each set into different colours. As well as changing the game we have decided to change the content. I have simplified the text even more so that all of the facts are communicated clearly and at the end of every fact I have included our project name, “Don’t be a butt head!”.

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I have also created a set of orange cards that will represent the cigarette characters, these will be used in the game to show how the cigarettes can affect that particular organ. I started off by using a light orange colour so that it went with the rest of the set, however after discussing with the group we decided it would be best to use darker orange to make the cigarette stand out and show that it’s bad. On every card I have used a light gradient to make the different illustrations stand out. However on the darker set of cards I decided to use a dark gradient to make it obvious that the cigarette is bad!

After creating the cards and the second piece of ephemera, I decided it would be necessary to create a card that would be a front cover to the set. I decided to use the same layout that shows when you open our app so that there is a clear connection to each piece of our ephemera.

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Animating

After creating our characters on Illustrator we decided to start animating. We had decided to split the animation so that everyone has to create 15 seconds each. I definitely found the animating to be quite challenging as I have never used After effects before my tutorial on Tuesday. However the more I have used the programme the better I have become at understanding the different settings, as I continue to play around I hope to gain more confidence whilst animating in the future.

As a group we decided that I was going to animate the happy bit of the animation, right at the start of the narrative, where all of the characters are playing in the sand box. After importing the different body parts I was able to create new compositions for each organ. I decided it would be fun to have each organ making a different movement.

I started animating the tooth because this seemed like the easiest. I decided that the tooth was going to stand still but his eyes would be moving, so using the position tool I moved the white dots in the eyes to create a rolling movement. I also wanted to make it quite humorous so I decided to create the eyes so that they were going separate ways. Once I was happy with the tooth I saved it and added it to the main composition where all the organs will eventually be placed.

I then moved on to creating the brain, using the same process as before I used the different tools to have the brain bopping up and down on the spot. I decided that this action suited this character as it was designed with having only legs and thought it was appropriate because the human brain wouldn’t move as much as other organs. I also positioned the brain’s eyes and mouth so that they were moving at the same time as the body.

I wanted to create the lungs like twins and wanted them to be doing the same actions. Instead of creating them moving in different directions I thought it would be a good idea to have them both bumping into each other. I then moved on to animating the heart, moving its arms and legs up and down as if the character is jumping on the spot.

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Once I had completed the characters, I created a new composition, where I put all of the characters together on the original background. I moved the characters around the page so that they weren’t too separated, making sure the others in my group agreed with my decision. I am happy with what I have created, however I do believe there is room to improve. Personally I think that sound would really bring the animation together, so that is something we will discuss once all of the animations are put together.

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After finishing the animation I decided to ask one of my peers for a second opinion. She pointed out that some of the details, for example the smile on the brain character stood out to her more than some the other details, and she suggested that I change the size and width of the mouth. I agreed with what she suggested and changed the mouth on Adobe Illustrator. I think it’s important to consider every little detail whilst animating so that nothing drags attention away from the image as a whole.

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Whilst we started to put all of our animations together one of my group members thought we should adjust some of the characters and include different actions, for example we are going to create one of the characters so that it’s kicking a ball off screen. He has also changed the background slightly so that the colours are lighter and has added a tree to make the scene more exciting.

 

Narrative & Character creating

Today we had another discussion with our lecturer about our project so far. We have decided to continue to  create an animation with children as our main target audience and we have decided to come up with a bunch of quirky little characters to communicate our message.

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The animation will start off showing the title of our project, showing the green and blue background. The screen will then show four of our animated characters, all of them will be organs of the human body. The different animations will be moving in their spot, as if they are playing in a sand box. Our ‘smoke monster’ animation will then appear at the side of the screen, holding a cigarette in his hand, whilst the other characters continue to play in the background. We are then going to animate the cigarette being thrown into the sandbox by the monster and the screen will gradually fill up with grey smoke. The happy characters will then be hidden behind the cloud of smoke, and when it rises it will reveal all the organs dying from the smoke. Each character  will show the side effect of smoking on that particular organ.

We decided to create a bunch of unique animations using Illustrator. Using the paint tool we created our characters, using bright colours and bold features. We wanted to create two sides to the animations, we created a pair of lungs, a heart, brain and a tooth. We decided to add small details to the characters to help make our animation more authentic. I had the idea to add a white dot in each of the characters eyes, so that when it came to animating we could move the white dots so that they look like they’re looking around. Another group member came up with the idea of adding small dots to the characters so that they look slightly more fun and unique.  As well as creating characters we also decided to create some gravestones to add to the end of the animation, also using the dots for extra detail.

Overall I am happy with the characters so far because they all have potential to become quirky animations, and there are so many ways we can play around with them. Keeping in mind that this is an animation  for children, it is also really exciting to have created our own characters that will be fun to watch  but also communicate our message about the dangers of smoking.

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Design as activism project

Anti Smoking

BRAINSTORMING IDEAS

To come up with an interesting idea we started right at the beginning, sharing our interests with the group and anything that stood out to us that was happening in the world today. As students we found that social smoking was something we come across everyday, so we started to brainstorm on how it affects us and how we could approach making a campaign around it. We discovered that there were two main ways we could go, the first would be to target the older generation and how smoking doesn’t just affect them but their families too. The second approach would be to target children, showing them the effects of smoking on their organs and how bad it is for your health.

We had the idea to create an animation of a Polaroid picture showing a significant life event burning away. The animation would start off slowly, showing the intensity of the burning and then it would reverse the whole process quickly showing you that it is possible to save those important moments by not smoking. This idea quickly developed into the idea of smoke as a metaphor and how your body is damaged over time. As a group we decided that this would be a good idea as it’s more of an encouraging than discouraging force.

Another idea we had that I thought was very successful ,was the idea of having an important life event being filmed, for example a wedding video and the screen would gradually fill with smoke, the sounds would become more distorted the colours would darken and everything would become dark and hard to watch. The smoke would represent how smoking blinds you from what’s important in life and makes your future more uncertain. To go with this idea we could have a set of posters that would include a distorted text, possibly covered in smoke, making it hard to read.

Another idea for our ephemera was to have a handmade cigarette box, that would have encouraging messages from previous smokers inside. The box would be labelled with the message ‘You are not alone’, sharing other people’s experiences, explaining how hard it can be to quit. However, after discussing our ideas with our tutor they started to sound really predictable and as a group we decided that it’s important to take a different approach.

We then started to discuss how we could go about creating an anti smoking campaign, to show children the effects of smoking on the body/lifestyle.  I really liked this idea  as it’s different to most smoking adverts that target people who are already smoking. I think it will be interesting to teach children about the effects because they grow up understanding what smoking can do. According to the Cancer Research UK website, 3% of children under the age of 16 regularly smoke in the UK, 18% have said that they have tried smoking and 40% of them have said they are regular smokers who began smoking before age 16.

For the animation we had an idea to create  colourful animated organs, each organ would have a happy expression on their face. We would then design grey smoke bubbles gradually travelling through the body, turning the colourful organs grey and black as they passed. The  organs’ expressions would then become sad and some of them could be melting away or shrinking.

 

How does smoking affect the body 

I decided to do some research into the effects smoking has on different parts of the body. I took into consideration that this would be an animation for children, so I’ve narrowed it down and picked out the less graphic matters that would be less sensitive to them.

  • Mouth and Throat – Stained teeth, Bad breath.
  • Bones – Makes them weak and brittle.
  • Lungs – Low immune system, destruction of the tissue (turning black and shrivelling), heavy breathing, less active.
  • Brain – Bulging blood vessels.
  • Circulation – Makes your blood thicker, increases blood clots, increases your blood pressure and heart rate, narrows your arteries reducing the amount of oxygen reaching your organs.
  • Heart – heart attacks, blood clots.
  • Stomach – ulcers, weakens the muscle, acid can travel the wrong way, facial wrinkling around the eyes and mouth, yellow/grey complexion, yellow nails, hollow cheeks.

Information from NHS website.

 

‘My Uncle Tom’- Presentation

This morning all the Graphics, Illustration and Animation students got together to present their group projects. We all had time to set up our work before having a brief introduction to what key points they wanted to see in our presentation. We were told that it is important to be able to communicate the story behind our work and the design process.

Sketch book

We completed the project by putting all of our best works into a handmade sketch book, the pages varied in size, style and colour. The use of mixed media works really well to show  our own personalities and styles, as well as making it visually interesting. It was important to show the process of our work, leading up to our final piece. The idea behind using stitch was to show how not all of the work has to be created using perfect straight lines. Using stitch allows you to create something slightly more imperfect, sometimes you’re not sure what the final outcome will look like.

 

The posters

We had the idea of creating two typographic posters and two illustrative posters. However due to the lack of communication and meeting up in university, the final pieces were different to how we had imagined them. However our different personalities are shown in the work even though there isn’t a clear connection to the four posters. I feel that  we should have created the work together and not separately.

Presentation

Overall the presentation was quite successful as we worked together to sell the work to the audience and included the history behind each piece of work. We were all able to show our personalities and take pride in our final pieces. However sometimes we struggled to communicate and found it hard to explain different ideas and opinions. There was a strong divide in our opinions at times, which we could have overcome if we  had practiced presenting it beforehand.. For group presentations in the future I will definitely make sure that everyone understands each other so that the information is communicated effectively and clearly.