Week 7 – Beats, Loops & MIDI

So for week 7 we learned how to use MIDI. It would be a totally cool concept, only I’m not very musically inclined. So it wasn’t that helpful for me. Still, it’s cool how you can play some notes on an instrument and change the track to any instrument you want.

For the pass/fail assignment, we got to choose a Beastie Boys song and I did Electrify. Honestly, I only used 3 notes of MIDI because I HAD to, but otherwise I wouldn’t have because my musical skills are not even close to being on par. Still, I had a great time doing the song. Listening back now, I wish I’d done more to the song. If I had Pro Tools on my laptop I totally would have but since I don’t, and I live an hour away from Ryerson, I didn’t get as much time on the song as I would have liked to. Still, it was a great learning experience and I’m excited to experiment with new and different tunes

p.s. listen to the song on headphones or surround sound because I panned it

After Effects Artist Statement – Week 13

So I finally completed my After Effects assignment (the one I briefly spoke about on the last few posts). It took me forever… I spent a good five hours on it so that means I spent an hour per second on the clip. Originally I had wanted to film the ring and then slow it down but I didn’t have the proper equipment to do so. Thus I took a few photos of my mother’s wedding band.

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Then, I photoshopped it (and saved it as a .png…I’ve learned well!)Image

Then I took it to After Effects and tried to make it look 3D. The thing is, taking something 2D and making it look 3D is so difficult. Especially something as fine as a ring. And then, making it fall slowly and realistically is even harder. I spent hours moving keyframes, playing with the graphs on After Effects, moving the orientation, spinning it until it turned out the way I wanted it to. I did two different versions of it. One slow, one fast and both had different music. But after showing them to a few people, I was told that the faster one was better. For the music, I took two different tracks and compiled them on pro tools to get the ‘boom boom boom’ and then the soft tinkering music in the background. As for the font, I downloaded a similar font to the ones used in the real movies.

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It’s called ‘Ringbearer’ on dafont. And then I had the words fade in at the very end and this is the result.

 

 

Farewell But Not Goodbye – Week 12

We had our last Digital Media lecture and I know I’m going to miss it the most out of all my other lectures. It was definitely the most interesting. Ironically, I also finished my Motion Graphic today and gosh was it a pain in the ass, I sat down for four hours trying to make a 2D ring look 3D as it falls… I don’t know why I do this to myself. But yeah, that’s pretty much completed I may tweak it here and there tomorrow but otherwise, I’m good to go.

This course has taught me that I am capable of taking the ideas in my head and developing them in real life. And after using after effects, I am so grateful for photoshop and how much simpler it is. I really hope I don’t have to use after effects ever again. I did enjoy photoshop, though, and I’m probably going to pursue that in the future. Editing photos, and making compilations of my own. Photoshop is quite handy – oh and learning about dafont was another great thing that happened to me this semester (so thanks for that).

I’ve learned that even the most complex pictures I find on tumblr are doable and I’m not sure whether this is a good thing or not but when I see professional pictures online… I’m not as impressed anymore because I actually think I can do them, too. BDC192 has taught me to appreciate films, music videos, animations and all other kinds of media so much more. A five second motion graphic was a pain in the ass, I couldn’t imagine making a two hour motion film. When I watch movies, I’ll be paying way more attention to the graphics and the intros and how much work must have been put into them. You really don’t understand until you do it for yourself.

In my first blog post, I talked about wanting to make things from scratch… well guess what younger Shay? You did it! My album cover, motion graphic and even the header of my blog above ^ were all from scratch. So there’s an accomplishment. I’ve also learned that digital media is more than just children’s television graphics… so that’s good too. While I’m no Kyle Cooper yet, I think my work is pretty good and I’ve come a long way.

So thank you Laurie Petrou for showing us the most interesting videos ever – the Bob Dylan ‘Like A Rolling Stone’ video for one blew my mind. And thank you Jamie Waese for actually taking the time to sit down and show me how to turn my ideas into reality. Without you, digital media wouldn’t mean half as much to me.

Here’s to another 7 semesters in RTA and a future in digital media.

Cheers.

Storyteller – Week 11

So according to Laurie Petrou there are stories everywhere. In fact, I’m supposed to recount three. Well let’s see if she’s right. Currently, I have no stories in mind… I’m going to roam the internet and will let you know in the next paragraph if I stumbled upon anything.

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(source: buzzworthy.mtv)

Okay, don’t laugh… or judge. I just recently downloaded One Direction’s new album, Midnight Memories. And thought of the music video, The Story of My Life. (As if it could get any more relevant than this post.) And even if you don’t like 1D just check out the first minute of the music video, it’s all it takes to understand the story. The boys of One Direction reminisce their pasts by developing old photographs and putting themselves as they are now back into them. The viewer sees just how much things have changed in their lives as they remember their childhoods and families. It’s pretty sweet, actually. So first story, down. Two more to go.

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(source: jalex-moments.tumblr)

Alright, so since grade seven I’ve been a little bit obsessed with a band called All Time Low. Not only is their music super duper rad but they’re just such fun guys. In this video, they directly address fan fiction and even mock a little bit of what is written about them. The band consists of four guys, but the two most popular are Alex Gaskarth and Jack Barakat – and some fans want them together… which is odd since they’re both straight but in their fan fictions, they get to turn All Time Low into anything they want. Their fan fics have actually spread so wide that even the band have seen them. Kudos to that writer, Alex even tells them ‘to keep them coming’. So there’s story number two, Alex and Jack – or rather Jalex’s twisted love story through fan fiction.

(source: pymparticles.tumblr)

(source: pymparticles.tumblr)

So I literally just stumbled upon this on my Tumblr dashboard. This photoshopped piece of brilliance is a story all on its own. The creator, obviously found humour in Eminem’s name that was curiously similar to M&M’s and took a little bit of Darwin’s theory and bam! The evolution of Eminem. Add a title, an author and even a publisher and here you have yourself a little bit of a spoof and a lot of wit and a book that needs no text. They say ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’ well, this book only has a cover yet it tells its own story.

So Laurie was right, there is a story in every corner.

What’s My Type? – Week 10

This week we learned all about font and how big a role it plays in digital media… and if you’re surprised, after reading this you won’t be anymore.

Take Paramore’s album Riot! (by far my favourite album by them)

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This is so cool! After doing my own album cover and looking at this, I’m smacking myself in the face a little. This is such a simple idea. Just take a piece of paper and write the album name all over it in different fonts. It looks great and it’s not hard to do! This album, however wouldn’t be effective if the font wasn’t so… raw. It literally looks like someone grabbed a black coloured pencil and scribbled the word Riot! all over it. Then, for emphasis they took an orange (probably because the lead singer’s hair is bright orange) coloured pencil and wrote the word Riot! in huge letters to really get the point across. When I think of the word riot, I imagine a mess, an attack, disorder. Just using letters and ‘scribbly’ fonts, the album name, Riot, matched my definition perfectly.

Paramore is a pop rock/ alternative rock band so this album cover goes with their ‘rebellious rock image’. They’re also a band that’s catered towards a younger demographic, teenagers and young adults. So this album cover is youthful and messy and goes well with their young and rebellious demographic.

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(source: tumblr)

This image is nothing but font! Like the Riot! album cover. But the font itself is a form of art. It looks as if the words have been painted on the page and the blocky letters compliment the fancy script. Since the colour of the fonts are very similar, it’s aesthetically appealing and easy on the eyes. The colours give the viewer a sense of peace and serenity while the large size really sends the message across. This is a great way to portray a quote because it’s nice to look at and even though it’s all words, it looks beautiful and artistic. I found this image on Tumblr and usually Tumblr users are very artsy and into quotes. The creator of this image was clearly aware of this as they took two major parts of Tumblr, arts and quotes and put them together to create such an effective and popular piece.

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This is the DVD cover for The Great Gatsby. The Great Gatsby happens in the 1920’s, a time when everything was big, and beautiful and extravagant. The gold pillars that frame the DVD are proof of the era, so the font of the title, is in the same shape and material as those gold pillars and fits right in as if it was built into the frame. The title is in sans serif but that’s only so that it could fit the rest of the gold, metal around the frame, otherwise it would have probably been serif. Everything is written in the same font for consistency, as you can tell there’s already a lot going on in the cover so the same font keeps everything tidy. Also, the words ‘The’ and ‘Great’ are written within ‘Gatsby’ which is pretty neat – and gives a huge (literally) emphasis to the name.

The font suits the 20s era, is grand and beautiful and is made as if it is part of the frame of the photo. The creators of the DVD did a great job with the title.

There we had three great examples of fonts and different uses for them – all of which were a huge part of the piece and without those fonts… the photo would either be non-existent, or just incomplete.

Before After Effects – Week 9

So for our final assignment we’re making a motion graphic with after effects… in all honesty I’m a little terrified. I’ve just started to learn Photoshop this year so having to take it one step further and get into after effects is intimidating.

But I started brainstorming ideas anyway and initially, I had wanted to do a motion graphic for The Outsiders. I was going to have a sunny field, have a leaf fall off a tree (since it was autumn at the time – ew by the way how gross is winter?) and have the leaf blow in the wind to reveal the title. It sounded great and I was excited to do it… and then posters for The Hobbit started to come out.

I’m going to let you in on a little secret, I’m kind of a huge Lord of the Rings geek. I love the movies and cannot wait to see The Hobbit (especially since Orlando Bloom is back in this one) and that immediately got me thinking about motion graphics for Lord of the Rings. In my head, I envisioned a ring falling to the ground in slow motion and then the title appearing. Sort of like this.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tJU75U6H244

But after talking to Jamie about it, he told me I can’t film a ring because there isn’t a camera available to me that can capture so many stills in a short period of time. So I was left doing a little photo shoot of my mother’s wedding band in my living room so that I could later animate it in after effects. Here’s the photo I chose.

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Then I photoshopped it with my less than stellar skills. And ended up with this.

Ring against black bg

And so this is now what I’m working with. Trying to make this ring fall in a way that looks 3D has been a pain in the ass, I kid you not. And it’s still a working process but I’m determined to get it right.

Here’s to blood, sweat and tears for the next couple of days.

My Album Cover – Week 8

sansari_cdcover

This was my final album cover for MGMT’s Oracular Spectacular. First of all, I’m going to go ahead and let you know that I am a complete photoshop newbie. I have never used it before and I was actually really concerned when I decided to take this project on. But I came up with this idea and dived in.

MGMT’s original album art for Oracular Spectacular is this

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I’ve used it a few blog posts back to talk about colour so you might have seen it before. Since I know MGMT have music that’s mellow and a little on the darker side because they cover topics like death and drugs and living carefree lives, I decided to go ahead with a darker sunset. My original  album art didn’t end up as pink as the one that I uploaded, I had to play with the colour filters on photoshop a little first. Before, it looked like this.

MGMT ALBUM ART circles higher

You can see there are a lot more yellows and blues than pinks and reds. Luckily, that was the easy part when it came to photoshop and nothing I had to ‘google’. I just clicked on the ‘filter’ tab and experimented until I liked the outcome.

On the original album art, you can see that MGMT is written in a funky font. I wanted to do the same thing since they are the focus of the piece, of course. I stuck to photoshop’s preset fonts and chose desdemona. I like the curves of the lines and think they go with everything MGMT stands for. The title of the album, however, I kept simple. In the original, the title isn’t even on the front of the album. So I knew it would be tricky to put it on the image. That’s why I kept it as simple and bland as possible because my picture is already busy as it is.

All of my photos were taken with a DSLR camera at Lake Wilcox in Richmond Hill. I used four different images in the cover art to make a transition from day to night. So basically, I stayed at Lake Wlicox for two hours and snapped a picture every fifteen minutes as the sunset. It was cold but I had my friend there and a good playlist on my phone to keep me occupied!

These are a few of the pictures I took.

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The reason why the photos aren’t at exactly the same angle is because we didn’t have the piece of the tripod that attached the camera to it (fail) and we ended up tying the camera onto the tripod with our hair elastics…

I experimented with the size of the circles MGMT is written across, and also with the size of the fonts. I made so many different versions and sent them to at least three friends asking which one they liked best.

MGMT ALBUM ART smallerMGMT ALBUM ARTMGMT ALBUM ART bigger

I used the two circles, by the way, because I thought they went with the whole ‘oracular spectacular’ title. I imagined them as two moons overlapping against each other. To suit MGMT’s psychedelic style a little better, I had my transition from day to night go diagonally so it would be even stranger than the time-lapse photos you see that go vertically.

Like this

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(source: jam3sh.wordpress)

I originally wanted to do the Toronto skyline (like the photo above only at Centre Island to have the lake in it) but MGMT is American and it wouldn’t have made sense for their album to have Toronto on the cover.

So this was my work and I’m proud of it and think the time and effort paid off! In class I got good criticsm only someone pointed out that my lake was a little lopsided – oops. The reason for that is because of my use of elastics to hold the camera down due to the missing tripod piece. But again, MGMT is a little funky and I think their album can pull off a lopsided lake! I was also told that it may have been a good idea to move the ‘oracular spectacular’ title lower. That is interesting but I did have it down there while creating the cover and thought it looked better on the top with the MGMT title.

That’s all! Hope I did MGMT justice.

CRAP! – Week 6

Here’s a bunch of CRAP I found online!

C- ontrast

R- epetition

A – lignment

P – roximity

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(source: tumblr)

This first photo is the CAP of CRAP. Contrast wise, there’s a sunset (or sunrise) in the background so the sky is light, whereas the earth is very dark and shadowed. For this reason, the model’s hands are positioned on the sky so that the symbol can be seen. The contrast gives emphasis to the sign L.A in the photo.
The alignment in the photo is the model’s fingers and how he used them to spell L.A. The letters are also aligned parallel to the Earth and make the photo seem tidier and simple. Sometimes simplicity is the best thing that could happen to a picture.
The proximity is, of course, the model’s hands against the world below. He looks much bigger than the city beneath him but that’s only because he is standing on a hill or a building so the camera can make him seem ‘larger than life’ and thus, making the message just as big.

CRAP brings the image to life. Without the proximity, the photo would seem way too messy if he were on the same level as the city. The contrast keeps the image simple yet nice to look at while the alignment keeps the whole thing balanced and tidy.

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(source: tumblr)

This photo is completely CRAP!

Sunsets (or sunrises) are really popular in photography, huh? I can see why, though. They really give the photo an effective contrast. The way the photo becomes darker as it goes down. It gives the whole image a calm and soothing tone. The model’s light hair against the dark planks of wood is also an example of contrast. It makes her stand out in the picture so that the viewer’s focus is immediately drawn to her.

The fences and the line of wood are repetition. The repetition keeps the photo simple because you have minimal factors that make up the photo, those factors are just multiplied. Repetition keeps the photo easy to look at, otherwise it could become overwhelming if there were a lot of different objects in the image.

Alignment is the leading lines of the bridge stretching out all the way to the sunset. The model is right in the centre of those leading lines. This creates a story. It’s not just a picture with a girl in it anymore. Now it’s more than that, thanks to the alignment. It makes you wonder if the girl is on a journey. Perhaps it’s a metaphor that she has a long road ahead of her. Or that she wants to head out to the sunset and never look back.

Part of the story is told through proximity. Since the girl is at the very front while the bridge draws on, you can assume that she’s at the beginning of her journey. The girl has just decided she wants change in her life. All this is told through proximity and alignment. Since the model is so closely focused, the image looks really cool – almost 3D. Her ponytail looks like it’s popping out of the screen. The proximity adds that effect to the photo.

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(source: tumblr)

The contrast in this photo is the levels between the surface of the water. Darker blues on the top and lighter in the bottom. The contrast easily allows the viewer to see the elephant’s body in the ocean which is really cool. The photo wouldn’t look half as good if you couldn’t see the elephant beneath the surface.

The alignment of the photo is also neat because it looks like the cloud is floating just above the water. And the ground is only a few feet below the surface of the ocean. The photographer was able to bring air, earth and water very close to each other. The proximity and the alignment work together to make the image look surreal. Without the alignment and proximity of these elements, the image wouldn’t carry the same appeal. It would just be an elephant taking a swim.

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(source: feminspire)

The CRAP principals of this photograph go hand in hand with what the show (The Vampire Diaries) is all about. Contrast for one, is evident. The girl (Nina Dobrev) is the lead actress of the show. In the first few seasons, she was the innocent human while the men in the back (Ian Somerhalder and Paul Wesley) were vampires. Her face is lit up, her skin is clear and the spotlight is on her. It makes sense because she’s the main character of the show and also compared to the brothers, she’s the good, pure, human. The brothers, on the other hand, are very dark in contrast compared to her. What’s interesting is that there’s a little bit of light being shed on the man on the right, (Wesley). In the show, he is considered the ‘good’ brother. The one who has a conscience. For this reason, more light is being shed on him than on the man on the left (Somerhalder) who is completely in the dark.

The three actors are all dressed in black clothes, which is repetition as well as contrast. The black clothes make their skin stand out and the black background adds to that effect. Without the darkness surrounding them, the light being shed on the actors and the difference in intensity and contrast wouldn’t be as noticeable. The black clothes also keep the photograph consistent and tidy so the viewer isn’t overwhelmed by colours and can focus on the main focus of the picture – the faces.

The alignment and proximity of the image are connected to how the three actors are positioned. Dobrev is placed in the middle and slightly closer than the boys. This is because she is the main character of the show and also because she has features that oppose the brothers. Her skin is clear, while they have bloody faces and eyes. The two brothers play equally important parts in the show, that’s why they are standing at the same level and why they are positioned right next to Dobrev.

CRAP allows this TV poster to come to life. Even if the viewer of the image hasn’t seen the show before they can get a good idea of what it’s about. Two deadly lead actors and one innocent lead actress, caught in between the men. The light and contrast immediately let the viewer know that there’s a conflict between good and evil on the show.

CRAP brings images to life. When a photographer takes the principals of CRAP into consideration, their photos have so much more depth to them. Just like The Vampire Diaries photo, CRAP can give viewers a good idea of what a certain show, album, movie, etc. is all about. After all, pictures speak a thousand words. It’s better those words convey exactly the meaning you want to give your audience!

That’s it for this week.

Blogger’s Choice! – Week 5

It’s like the Sadie Hawkins Dance of blogs! I choose the topic! Maybe that isn’t the best of metaphors, but I’m still proud of myself.

Anyway, I was roaming Facebook tonight instead of studying for my listening test tomorrow – oops. And I happened to stumble upon a wonderful link that someone shared. I thought I’d share a few of the pictures with you! Basically, the website (which I will link at the end) had these amazing before and after photos of girls who have photoshopped themselves. And as ridiculous, superficial and sad as the concept really is, it was super fun to look at. 

Here are a few of my favourite ones:

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Perhaps I find these photos so fascinating because I am just PhotoShop newbie. But they are so cool! I mean the way the girl made herself look like she’d lost twenty pounds! Or the addition of makeup and how real it looks! Maybe it’s the way she made it look like she’d gotten a boob job. It’s just such a fascinating application and after seeing these photos, I’m more eager than ever to get my hands dirty with PhotoShop. 

These photos are also a great representation of the media nowadays and how corrupted it has become. What’s real anymore? With the invention of things like PhotoShop and Instagram filters, nothing is really what it seems. This is both unsettling and incredible. What a world media has become! I’m excited to become more involved and educated in it.

Goal by the end of this course: Be able to PhotoShop a photograph half as well as the ones above.

Wish me luck!

 

Website link: http://funnie.st/294335/photoshop-girls-before-after/1/

Colour! – Week 4

Image For those of you who aren’t familiar with the fashion world (or Tumblr). This is a photo of Cara Delevigne, a supermodel. I chose this picture to show a great example of colour because it has bursts of bright colours that really make her stand out. Her red lipstick for example really brings out the shape of her lips. The bright blue pool in the background gives the image a very cool tone, making the viewer feel relaxed and content. This picture was used for a brief biography on Cara Delevigne and to introduce her first recorded song. I think the producer did a great job with choosing the colours because it gives her a very light, poppy image and goes with the genre of her music. The colours make me think of spring or summer so I can imagine that her single will be very youthful and fun and not overly heavy. MGMT-mgmt-20941098-1417-1417 The following picture is MGMT’s album cover for Oracular Spectacular. The colours chosen in this photo are very mellow. The sunset for example has purples and blues versus yellows and oranges. This gives me, as the audience, the impression that their music will be calm but with a darker appeal instead of a more joyful one. Since the producer has chosen a light to dark image with the sunset instead of a sunrise, it gives the idea that the album is for an older audience. The cooler tones of the colours also make the viewer feel relaxed and more ‘chill’ so they will probably be anticipating that kind of music when diving into MGMT’s album. tumblr_mo717iQflH1ryo5c1o1_500   The second I saw this image on Tumblr, it made me think of summer! And now that I’m paying more attention, I realize that it’s not just because of the ice cream. The colour of the girl’s nails is hot pink. A very warm, and bright colour just like the summer time. Even the outline of the ice cream is pink so the image is really tuning into bright colours to bring out the feeling of the warm season. And the sprinkles are an extra burst of bright, rainbow colours which make the picture fun to look at. The producer of the image did a great job at making their audience feel warm and happy, and to welcome summer – or crave summer. tumblr_m94khnrnjA1rtyf5io1_500   This is another picture I found on Tumblr and while it isn’t an official ‘Vans’ advertisement, it most definitely could be. The reason I say this is because Vans is a company heavily based on skateboarding. And while I don’t want to jump into stereotypes, the advertising world certainly does. That’s why the emphasis of blue on the hat is so great. Generally, the colour blue is associated with boys (again another stereotype but it’s true) and boys tend to be more into skateboarding. So this picture will catch their eye and chances are some of them will be skateboarders. The repetition of blue in the plaid shirt also adds on the the effect. By using greys and beiges for the background, the producer was really able to draw emphasis to their model. The colour of the model’s clothes and hat stand out against the plain background. Since the blue is more electric and bright, it makes the viewer feel excited, maybe even eager to go out, grab their deck and skateboard.

So this week, I started to put more meaning into colour than I used to. Before, when I looked at a picture on Tumblr, I would just skim over it and reblog it if I thought it looked nice. Now, I see a whole new side to the photograph. Why the producer chose the colours they did, either to express their feelings towards a season or a brand or a person. Which colours can make viewers feel relaxed or excited or warm. While, I realized that colour was a big part of photography I never sat down to analyze it and now that I have, I can see why colour is so important to a photographer. It can change the meaning and mood of a picture completely.

Looking at ads on the subway and pictures on Tumblr is going to be such a new experience for me from now on.

Till next week!