Monday 9th Feb
Today we were asked to present our research on the four starting point for Unit 7, I think it was a good study events as I can see how different students concentrate on different areas of design, most of my researches and inspirations are from 2D images or 3D installations, however from the presentation I saw work in film making, moving images and also interactive arts. It was also eye-opening to listen to how other students explain and understand their chosen pieces of works, and the idea of presenting in front of people is a good practice for all of us; being able to communicate is vital for a graphic designer. Another thing I learnt from this presentation is that we should not only look at something just because we like their appearance, we should always be open to all sorts of information, research and explore the stories behind works that might not seem so amazing at first sight.
After the presentation I started thinking about which theme to go for in my Unit 7 project, I think at the moment 'Order' and 'Space' are the two that interest me the most, because I think they are more open comparing to 'Silence', and I would have more control comparing to 'Interact'.
So for tonight I would;
- Look at the artists and work I saw today in the presentation that I think was interesting.
- Start to look at artists whose work relates to 'order' and 'space'
- Work on section 3 of my PPP
Tomorrow morning we will have the Expanding Practices talk from students, tutors and graphic designers, So I research them and prepared some question for those artists;
Tim Meara - How and why did you decide on the locations within that film?
Umberto Giovannini - What do you enjoy the most from wood cut?
- Why woodcut? Have you tried other materials and process?
Matt Wade - On the Kin Webpage it said there are 14 of you, would you say it is a relative big group? and what is good about it?
Benjamin Reichen [Abake] - How did you preserve and protect the work in those public spaces?
Amelia Dimoldenberg - Did you put much weight on after the project?
Tuesday 10th Feb
Expanding Practices talk + Museum & study collection visit
The talking in the morning, I think I have really learnt some valuable points from them, for example, I think Tim Meara's film 'Small Gestures in Bare Rooms' is amazing, not only because the film itself has been well produced, or because Lucian Freud who was famous as an artist but rarely connect with the outside, was in the film, but the amount of research and thoughts Tim has put into it, all the details and settings are there for reasons, I think it reallys shows his passion, and the fact that he could have made a fortune from the film, but he rejected those opportunities just because that was not the purpose of this piece of work... really made me admire.
Highlights of today was the museum & study collection visit, a place in CSM that I have never visited, they have a huge collection of objects, prints and other work, I think it is a good place to explore and to do research in, however to access this facility we need to pre-book appointments. The object I looked at was a piece of jewellry, however it was designed to look like a hand-cuff, but made using leather so it is very luxury and lightweight. The contrast between the appearance and the actual feel of the project is very significant, which inspires me to consider the importance of perception.
Wednesday 11th February
As I have already decided to use 'order' for my starting point, I need to write a proposal basing and relating to order, at the same time allowing me explore things I am interested in, this is very important because Unit 7 is an ongoing self-directed project that we have to engage with.
So for this project, I would start with something that I am interested in at the moment, which is the importance of creating rules and applying constraints during design, this is because I particularly enjoyed one of the previous project in Part 2, when we have to limit and restrict yourself during the designing of your own alphabet, in order to make them looking consistent and to look like a set. However with the constraints we created, we managed to transform and alter the shapes so we can create all 26 letterforms, so for conclusion, I am interested in the transformation within restrictions, and I would like to explore how to make orders more versatile and interesting.
Thursday 12nd Feb
Primary research + PPP Drafting
I started my primary research by looking around school and finding inspiring objects, it is shocking how many details and interesting features that we miss out everyday from ordinary objects around as. I documented them either by a quick drawing or taking photographs, I think being able to document by drawing is an important skill to have, especially when in some gallery or exhibitions cameras are prohibited. Also by physically drawing stuff, I get to understand the appearance of the object more, than photography, as I would need to observe all the details and represent them again.
Feedback from PPP tutorial, I need to add relevant artists into my section 3, that inspire me on my project and will be as a guide for my development, also I need to come up with a title otherwise the theme would be a bit vague.
What I will do:
- Include reference from Jan Maarten Voskuil and William Van Weeghel, the two artist that influenced the most on my decision on selecting the theme.
- Start doing secondary researches and make experiments during reading week.
- start to explore moving images and Flash.
- Make at least one typographic outcome during reading week
Weekend 14-15th Feb
Started my secondary research in the library, I started by looking for keywords that I am interested or think that would link to my project, including 'order', 'evolution', 'transformation', 'rules & guides'......then I realise one way to look for more books is to search for one of the book you find useful, into amazon, it would recommand you other similar books that you might be interested in, I found this quite useful as some of the books does not include your keywords in their title.
So far I found some inspirations and useful books about infographics, patterns and printing techniques.
Plans for reading week;
- read the books I borrowed
- visit at lease two galleries, planning to go to Tate Modern, Whitechapel Gallery and the Barbican.
- explore and experiment with material and process
- go to study support for my PPP
Reading week 16-22nd Feb
During reading week I keep working on my personal project proposal, I went to study support with it and got some very helpful advices, many inspirational artist that I can look up, that is the good thing about talking your ideas through to other as they might have more experience and good suggestions for you.
So I looked up the artist I got from the study support, including Alexander Calder, Sol LeWitt and Song Dong, their work relates to my project and I really admire the way they work, I also went to Tate Modern to see one of Alexander Calder's kinetic work.
the work is hanging on the ceiling in Tate Modern, by physically seeing the work instead of looking at an image online, I have a stronger feel about how there must have been a lot of calculations and arrangements went on in order to keep the structure so balanced; so things that look simple might not actually be that simple to make.
During reading week I also went the the Barbican Centre, I went to see the artist collection, it was not allowed to take pictures in the exhibition...however we managed to sneak some, because one of the artist that I am currently researching is also included in the exhibition, I had the chance to see Sol Lewitt's own collection of photos and work, it shows the artist's own ideas development and personal interests. There are also a lot of photos about the open cube piece so I was really happy to see them.
I have also came up with a title for my PPP - Versatile order, this is because I am really interested in how there are so many rules and orders for everything that we do, however people has the power to always make them versatile; I want to explore more into how things that are constrained still have the ability to transform and evolve.
I experimented some typographic work following the research on Sol Lewitt's work. I was amazed by how versatile a open cube can be, and at some angle they already look like a pattern or a character, however we can still recognise it as a 'open cube', I think this links perfectly to my theme.
In order to create this set of open cube alphabet, I want to create something that would guide and constrain the developement of the letters, so I first created a paper template of a cube structure, and then rotate the cube to find the most suitable direction that would look like a letter, then I draw through the cut outs to form a set of alphabet.
I am quite happy of the outcome, as they still look like lots of open cubes, however they are very readable. I think in the future I should create the lower case for the alphabet.
This website helped me improve my open cube type design into an illustration file.
Tuesday 24th Feb
Kingston University Interview
We have been set a one day project, and today should be the research day and exhibition visiting day, however I am having a interview in Kingston University so I had to push the research to tomorrow, I am planning to go to Saatchi Gallery to see the post pop, because there are a few artist that I know, and one of my favourite artist's work on show. I think for research, selecting the most relevant resources is very important as this would save a lot of money and time, also to get lots of inspirations.
The interview went great, the tutors were amazed by the amount of work we produced over the last few months in foundation cause, I guess sometimes we just have to push ourselves to make and experiment more.
Wednesday 25th Feb
Gallery Visit + One day Project
I went to the Saatchi Gallery and there are a huge variety of exhibits, from the east and west, it was such an interesting experience, and I am happy to see how the Chinese contemporary art has developed since before. I saw one of the piece by Agi Chen, below is the picture, at first I was not very impressed by the print, as it looks quite childish and messy, and I didn't really like the collage, however when I had a closer look, I realise the artist has been representing different cartoon characters using coloured circles, which represent their look, for example Superman would be a red circle, which is the logo and the pants, surround by a bigger blue circle which represent the blue super tight outfit, when there is another smaller black circle within the red circle to represent the hair. I think it is a very interesting way of utilising colour, I have never seen something like this, but it reminds me of Nick Smith's work, who uses the Pantone Swatches to recreate famous paintings.
From those two artists' work I start to think of , are people more sensitive to colours, than only symbols or characters?
So I decided in this one day project, i would use colour to indicate things that are complicated to some people, hopefully the colours would make them easier to recognize. So I want to start with something we are familiar with, so people would understand better; I have chosen to recreate a piece of music, this is because I myself learnt piano for a few years but still finding it quite difficult to read the notes, looking at the music notes on the stave, they just look like dots on 5 lines, I can read them but very slowly, which really slows down my finger reaction. So maybe using colours to indicate the music notes would create a quicker response as colours are very different from each other, so they stands out more from each other, also instead of representing the keyboards using the stave, which for me really look nothing alike, by corresponding the colours on the keyboard as well would make life easier when finding the key for the notes.
For the making of the new music score, I first selected one of my favourite music, made some changes to it so I still get the same tune but the finger works are much simpler, this is for those people who have never learnt piano, so it would be easier for them to practice. I used illustrator to create the whole sheet, the colour selection is just the normal 'rainbow colour', because I think this way the colours are more distinct.
Thursday 26th Feb
One Day Project Crit + Paper Engineering workshop
Today we had the crit for the one day project, in the morning I could not print my proposal, because for some reason my file was broken, which lead to lots of people do not understand my aim... next time I should really check my files after I put them in my usb stick, also I should manage my time well so I am not in a rush.
For improvement on my one day project, I could make the music for both hand, which right now I only have the right hand for the main tune, I could create the left hand to go with the main tune as well. I could also improve the layout of the sheet, because now when I look at it, it is still a bit confusing as the dots are a bit crowded, I could group them into smaller groups and separate them by columns, so each line is more clear, hopefully people would have more time to react and would make less mistakes.
In the afternoon we had a paper engineering workshop, we had a look at different paper engineering looks, been amazed how powerful a single sheet of paper can be... however I think the workshop link more to the theme space, but it doesn't matter because I am interested about the impact of perception, one of the work I did was pointed out by my tutor saying it looks similar to Ron Kings' typographic work.
- Look at Ron King's typographic work
- practice more paper folding techniques, maybe for packaging. could be for future uses.
Monday 2nd March
From today's progress tutorial I realize, that I should
- research from a wider range of sources including newspaper articles, books, films and exhibitions. be more active in my own project.
- always analyze my own research and work
- do more primary research
- explore more materials and process
What I will do next:
- book a study support
- improve my workflow, by working on the layout and add my own opinions into research and analysis.
- do primary research base on what happens everyday, I will start with documenting my daily routine.
- set myself some more assignments like the one day project.
March 4nd Wednesday
For the last few days I have been recording my own daily routine, and one of my flatmate's daily routine, so I am very familiar with my order of doing things, from this activity I found out that even though most people have a routine of things they do everyday, and the orders are similar, however they are not all the same, for example, I would brush my teeth first thing in the morning after I wake up, before I eat and everything so I don't pollute my food, my flat mate does not brush his teeth until he has eaten breakfast, so he would walk out with a fresh breath. I assume everone did things in a particular order, and they have their very own reasons. I am happy to find this out as my theme is versatile order, so I do want to see as much examples of how this is happening in real life, it is almost like a branch on the tree, there is a general direction, which would represent a day's time, however there are a lot of smaller branches along the way, which symbolise how everyone does things in a different way, different time and different purposes.
March 6th Friday
Study support today we extremely helpful, I got help on how I could write more about my own thought; we discovered a way to 'find out' what I want to say about in my analysis, by recording a conversation bewteen me and someone else, where I explain my purpose for a piece of work, why and how I made if, what could I do for improvements... then I would have to listen to it and select the most relavent information that I would put into my analysis, this is very useful as sometimes I could not decided what to write about. I need to always bear in mind that I am not explaining my project to myself; I will be explaining it to someone that know nothing about this project, in order for them to be able to understand, I need to describe all the thinking process, decision making and evaluations.
I will set myself a few short projects to do:
- look at layouts on publications, or web design, and think about why they are arranged like that? why a big title at the top...?
- look at scanimation as a technique, experiment with it as a moving image
March 8th Sunday
Visit to the '100 Years of Graphic Design' Exhibition
Today I went to the 100 years of graphic design exhibition, to be honest at first I was quite disappointed about the exhibition, because the size of the exhibition is very small, seeing 100 years I was expecting a lot of works and works that are symbolic to every development stage of graphic design, the exhibition is free, but there are not description and information about the work in there, if we want to read about them we need to buy the exhibition catalogue which cost 15 pounds, it would be good if there can be a free handout or a cheaper guide.
However what I got from the exhibition is that I say some amazing graphic design work, almost all items are imagery based, poster and prints, some of the printing techniques and material used are quite new to me, for example using a matt spray on a gloss base, it creates a different effect to normal printing imageries. Those might become useful during the print and image week.
March 9th Monday
Object Week planning
This week is the object week, which should be a good opportunity for us to experiment not only in 2D forms, I am also very happy because this is like my area of interest, to produce tactile works not only flat images. In previous project for typography I have made my alphabet into a stem set, which I really enjoyed doing, so I hope I will do something as exciting for this week. so today I have generated some ideas and also talked to my tutor about the ideas, however I really do think that I didn't come to the lesson prepared enough, I should have researched information about objects and 3D product before today so I could probably come up with more ideas.
So for this week I am either going to take what I made for the one day project, improve and transform it into some sort of 3D outcomes, or I would work with the idea of 'how arranging objects can impact our perceptions.' This is because from the paper engineering workshop I found illusion and how object are placed in different order and arrangement affects what we see.
After some ideas developments I have finally decided to make a hanging installation, which the form was originally inspired by Alexander Calder's kinetic objects, I would hang numbers of small components at different places in different layers, when finished the components should form an image that can only be observed at a certain angle, where from other sides it would not look like anything.
To do Today
- visit school shop and buy materials for the components
- look for materials to make the frame of the installation
- find a way to hang them
March 10th Tuesday
Planning for manufacture + experiment materials and structure
In the morning I was still a bit unsure about what I am going to make, how I should make it and what should I make the object with, so I decide to made a plan of experiment for materials and where everything goes.
I decided to use fishing wire to attach to all the components, as it is a rigid string that is not as visible as the other materials that does the same job. I firstly experimented with some cards, just to see if they would hang without distorting the fishing wire, and they worked fine, however I thought the appearance is not very nice and attractive, so I tried mirrored acrylic, because I have a lot of leftovers from previous projects, it then created a nice visual experience, as it reflex light, when movements caused by wind or human, it creates a more floating feel, however mirrored acrylics are very heavy, so I was concerned if I would be able to make a frame that is rigid enough for the components to be hanged in the amount of time left, especially when I will not have time to use any of the workshops. So I bought some mirrored card form the school shop, they did a brilliant job, creating very similar effect as the mirrored acrylics, however they are a lot lighter and easier to manipulate and shape.
The structure turned out working well and fishing wire is very easy to attach to the frame, now a just need to make a mass number of components, attach them onto the wires, I think this would really need patience. I really need to speed up because I have a appointment in Birmingham tomorrow so I would be out all day. and would not really have much time to make the object
March 11 Wednesday
finishing my outcome
today is for me to finish and check the quality of the final outcome, the attaching of those components took a lot longer than I was planned, because at first it was not hard, however followed by the more components hanged, it became harder and harder to place and attach the following ones on the spot that I need them to be in.
March 12th Thursday
Object Week Crit
I was really happy that my work has been approved by tutor, even though it did not really come out as I expected, I could increase the number of components so the imagery is more noticeable, also because the object was just hangging there many of my classmates didn't understand at first and I had to explain and show them the right way to look at it. So this is something that I could work on, from the crit I saw a beautifully folded crane which is made of metal, I have never seen something like that before and I was so impressed that she made the object just in these 2 days, she told me she booked a workshop in archway to do the metal shaping, which I think it is a very brave idea but she made it so well. I have also been suggested one artist whose work looks simillar to mine, and I would be looking the artist up and this might help me develope and improve my object, and hopefully giving me more inspirations of what I would do next.
- research for next week, print week, research different types of printing techniques, also to look at some of the existing works that I like for inspirations.
March 14 Saturday
Research for Print week
research and preparation for print week, I started looking at some examples of screen printing work, I think I will start with my open cube typeface design, and see what outcomes I can obtain.
March 16 monday
Print week - Stencil Screen print
I regret that I did not read the e-mail clearly enough, as we were asked to prepare the stencil for screen printing prior monday, so I had to design and cut out the stencil in the morning and print in the afternoon, this lead to not finishing my print, because i spent a long time deciding and cutting, and the resources are limited, we dont get that much screens so everyone has to queue for print, print week begin, so this is a lesson learnt - always read the e-mail clearly.
March 18 Wednesday
Preparation for woodcut print
Yesterday we were asked to go on an unknow journey and to record what we see, and we will be making the image using the same technique as wood cut, but to save time doing on mount board, so today we were preparing the plate for printing with umberto, I had a few photos that I took yesterday during my first visit to brick lane, however I have chosen one of the picture that I took several years ago when I first came to the UK, because this to me was the most unknow journey and I really like the image. so today I tried to simplify the image, cutting out bits that I don't want to be printed, a slight texture can be added it we only take off the first layer of the board, but the deeper cut ones would be printed nice and clean.
I have experienced difficulties especially when cutting out letters, because at first I did not thought cutting out letters would be so hard, so the letters are still quite small, however when i cut them I just couldn't get a clean edge because it is so tiny and it is hard to carve out fine details.
March 19 Thursday
Wood cut printing + print week crit
This morning we printed our plates in groups with Umberto, different people in the team would had different jobs to do; I was the inking person, at first it was really fun as there was a lot of action involved, however after a few plates I got a bit tired because the roller is very heavy, and I had to go over and over again to make sure each plate has been covered fully with ink. However with the help of everyone, the whole process was really quick and smoothly, and it was a nice opportunity to work and talk with people that I haven't yet known very well. I think this is the power of teamwork.
I think my print come out quite well, most parts have turned out to be how I planned, only the text bits didn’t turn well, because at first I didn’t know how hard it is to carve such small texts. So maybe next time when I am doing similar things I should do a small test piece first to see how it would look like. I think I really enjoyed this process and I really like the look of the final outcome, so I am willing to do it again; because after seeing what other students have done made me realize how versatile printing techniques can be, either complicated or a simplicity style.
In the afternoon we were experimenting different textures that we can print with different surfaces and material, which also include objects such as vegetables. However because I bought my items on Monday, and thinking it was only for that day so I did not bring my vegetables today…I can only experiment with what I got with me, it is important next time I bring everything that is asked for the lesson to make sure I have enough to do. The printing process was a mess, because there are so many students but such little spaces, it is so easy to spilt ink everywhere yet they are quite hard to clean up. So it is very important that everyone take care of their own work as well as others’ works, we all need to be responsible and not only care about ourselves, also to look out for others so their work don't get ruined.
- research for image week
- start planning for the 2 week easter holiday
- review what I have done so far and think about the direction I am now on, comparing to the beginning of the term.
March 21 Saturday
Research and preparation for Image week
Today I was doing some research for next week, I had a look at some books on poster designs, I researched on the internet some CD cover designs, because they are a bit like book cover designs, but with more freedom, I also looked at some artist on the internet who work with funky collages and image making. I think in order to create a successful piece of graphic communication image, first I need to choose and decide on an issue to talk about, as it is not only about looking nice, I really want to be about to express information through work I create, however at the moment I am not capable of doing that, so what I really should do is to read more books, keep up to date with the news and what is happening around the world, also to always look at how other artist and graphic designers react and respond to big issues, hopefully my skills would build up gradually.
March 22 Sunday
Today I had a look at what I have done so far and how my project has developed since the beginning, I must say that I have deviated from my starting point, before I was looking at how variations happen within restrictions and how to showcase these variations, however now I am more interested in how people observe restrictions and rules. I guess this is quite good as through all the developments I have done, before I was really restricting myself in typography, whereas now it is more open so that I could explore more possibilities.
March 23 Monday
Image Week + Photoshop workshop
This week is image week. We started by looking at various book cover designers, Graphic designers illustrators and set designers. I think the activity was very useful because we got to see some great designs, also it was eye-opening to see how artist take different approaches in their design.
Then we had a chance to learn some basic photoshop image making skills, which I think is a good starting point to get us started, it is amazing how much we can do using computer softwares, I am quite interested in using digital to help me during designing, but I need to work on that because I am still very unfamiliar with the softwares, if I get more used to them I should be able to work with it more efficiently and effectively. So I hope during this week I can experiment a few different effects using photoshop, not only to make some images, also to get used to the software itself. Another important thing I learnt from the workshop is that we should all start to build up a file and collect as much materials as possible, including figures, sceneries, textures and others, as they might become useful oneday.
I am also quite interested in moving images, I have tried stop frame animation, which I liked and hoping to develop further, also during this week I want to try out some collage, using my imaginations and to produce something quickly, but this should not take too much of my time.
However my ambition for this week is to learn how to produce scanimations, it is a state-of-the-art six-phase animation process that combines the “persistence of vision” principle with a striped acetate overlay to give the illusion of movement. I want to do this because I was fascinated of the fact that it is an animation technique, which is fully relied on human movements and vision, and the visual effect is so nice however it has only been used in cards, I want to explore the potential of this technique, may be using it on packaging, poster or instruction.
To do :
- research more scanimation tutorials, because there is very few online, I might have to physically experiment.
- if not enough online, go to the library to have a look at the actual books so I might figure it out.
- collect some different materials for collage
- start experimenting effects on photoshop
March 24-25 Tuesday + Wednesday
working on scanimation + photoshop experiments
Today I was working in the library trying to figure out the ‘secret’ of scanimation, I went to the library to look at the ‘Gallop!’ books, each page contains one image, that is either in the motion of rotation, or horizontal and vertical movements. I got so attracted by this image making technique, it is so cleverly made, however, it really hasn't been commonly used; in fact there are very few resources and products relating to scanimation comparing to other moving image techniques.
Due to there is not many tutorials online for scanimation, I had to be experimental; I went to the print workspace to make the bars, which I would move manually in order for the scanimations to work, that was just simple bars of 6mm with 1mm in between printed on acetate. For printing onto own material, I would always go to the third floor in the future, as the ones in digital media studio and around school always break and takes money from my account, going straight to the print station would save time and money.
Then I worked on generating the base image for the scanimation, which takes quite a long time because I had to keep looking at how the book has done and do it step by step on photoshop. Because it was a whole new technique for me, I could only do 1 image at the end of the day, which should be a rotating star shape, however it does not work fully as I might have done the measurement wrong, but I kept working on it when I got back home so at the end I got the image made.
I have also done some experiment for typography in photoshop, I made one realistic looking neon for my name, following a tutorial I found online, I realize how much we can do with photoshop and with the help of digital equipments, it saves me the time to construct my word using real neon; however still giving me the idea and look of it, everything look so real as there are wires behind the neon lights. For the rest of the week I should make more of them when I have time, because not only I can learn to create different amazing effects, I can get more used to the softwares which will be a great help for me in the future.
- make a better scanimation image for the crit on Thursday
- keep working on photoshop experiments
March 25 Thursday
Today we had group tutorials, so we have been put into group of around 8 student and we had a chance to explain what we are doing and listen to what others are doing. I think that was really useful, because we all got feedback on our own projects before the Easter break, so we can make improvements and generate new ideas during easter, also being able to see what other people are working on gives us an idea of what stage we are currently on and if they have valuable points that we didn’t realize before. I found lots of my classmates have very interesting ideas and plans, but I got confused a few times on how their project is linking to the theme, so I really need to ensure this is clear in my own work.
After the tutorial, as my tutor pointed out on most of our projects, I started to think about what I want to communicate through my work, how would the work created be useful and not meaningless. So I think I really need to think about this during the break.
To do over Easter
- read and familiarize myself to the criterial again so I know what I am lacking
- keep sketchbook and workflow up to date
- take photos during my trips within in the 2 week break
- Oldie film project
- researching artist seeking inspirations and works that I am interested in
- keep working on scanimations, and maybe other moving image techniques
- think about applications of scanimations, be brave and experimental
- collect all the work done for Unit 7 and put together a portfolio of work
March 30 - April 12
Day 1-4 trip to Plymouth, Penzance, St Ives and Lands end, shooting the video for the Oldie film project, as I have left the city and now in the seaside area, I am able to collect some different views, so I recorded the waves during tide for the ‘move’ video, both the movement with the sound are impossible to shoot in London so I am really pleased with it.
Day 5-9 doing work at home, I was finishing off the experiments that I started but could not finish during the image week, so I tried more lino cutting and printing, also by teaching one of my friend in Kingston University the lino cut skills I now think that I am more familiar with it, we did some prints together for his final show, which is to lino cut and print lots of portraits of people, which was a good opportunity for me to see what people are doing not only in my school, also improved my skills for both the image making and the ability to draw portraits, lino printing is one of the technique I really enjoy, but I am not planning to use it for my final pieces, so for now he will be continuing working on that, and I will have to move onto my own projects. I need to make sure I get some experiments and results, also make sure that workflow and sketchbooks are up to dates.
Day 10-12 Trip to Manchester and Yorkshire, I am hoping to get another video shot there, as I want something different from what we get in London, but however I haven't really found anything to shoot.. so it was 3 days of relaxation…
Day 13, 14 work at home, complete all unfinished work, gather material for portfolio mounting, also to prepare for the progress tutorial on Monday. I have made some good scanimation results that I quite like and am hoping to show my tutor on Monday, I am now able to make basic movement and symbols and signages using scanimations, however as I am still not very familiar with it each one still takes me quite a long time, so I am hoping to find a way which would speed up the process however allowing me to get good results. I am aware that from next week on I will have to be fully engaged with my final project, and at the same time working on the project statement and any unfinished outcomes, so I need to make sure I get as much done before holiday ends, at the moment I think my portfolio is still quite weak, because I have only got a few pages, hopefully by the time I modified some of my outcomes I will be able to add them in.
April 13th Monday
I have to admit I was not fully prepared for today.. because I failed again printing onto acetate, and I didn't bring my laptop so I could not show Clare the images I have made, however during todays progress tutorial I got some valuable feedbacks; Clare thinks that I am working on a very complicated image making process, so I really need to consider the format of the outcome, and if I would have enough time to make them, should I make it as a poster? a publication? or a video? I was thinking a video of me flipping through a collection of scanimaitons I made so the audience would be able to see, but Clare suggested that it might be better if the audience can actually interact with my outcome, whatever format it will be, and I think this is a really good idea and I was considering about it as well, I was worried that the audience might not be able to place the frames correctly which would affect the result, however I can do both a video and also submitting the product so the audience can touch them and interact with them.
- make a plan for the next two weeks
- experiment complex movements
April 14 Tuesday
Researching + Testing more complicated movements
Today I was doing research on scanimations and optical illusion applications, interestingly I have not found many things like what I am doing, most on the internet that I see are scanimaiton cards or birthday cards or very few packaging, but I am not sure if this is a good thing; as less there are out there, the less information on how to make them well I can get, which I am already experiencing now, because no one knows how to make them and how they work, it is so hard to get any help from others…also, no tutorials dealing with my problems online. Today I was also trying out some more complicated movements, and I took me so long to work out, and some of the problems I just can’t solve, so many times that I doubt if I should continue working on this or maybe drop this and start something new, as the longer I hesitate the less time I will have to actually make my final project.
April 15th Wednesday
working at home
I have finally decided not to give up on what I have already done; theres people who have done things like this, there no reason that I can’t do it, and also I am still so interested and fascinated about this technique that I think about it all the time even when I am showering, however the main reason is that I found a very helpful video on youtube, the uploader was doing something very similar to scanimation but he calls it optical illusion moving images, and there is a part explaining how to make the perfect bars for those images basing on the number of frames, I tried and it works! this is a huge discover because now the movements that I make are more accurate and smooth.
April 16th Thursday
Again from today’s group tutorial I got to see other peers’ work so far, I am glad that my final project is moving at a average speed; however I need to add more into my portfolio as many people have a very thick one, I am very happy that during today’s group tutorial I got some good feedbacks, which is a real motivation, everyone in my group understood what I am doing and think it is an interesting project, Chris suggested me that since we still have 10 days, which is quite a long time, I should think about more applications using sanimation in order to improve, not to limit my self in just a 2D poster, maybe looking signages that can be used in different areas, for example train stations, toilets and others, also considering who is my target audience.
April 11-12th Weekend
Animated instruction making
I gathered some ideas of where I can using scanimations to help people, so I was looking at signages such as ‘no smoking’, ‘wet floor’, however I think it is really hard to really use it, it is possible to make, but as this outcome would have to involved people moving the bars in order for the moving images to show, it is near impossible to happen when using them as signages. However it was good experiments working with different applications. So I have decided, as I have done some questionnaires about instructions, where most people find instructions with both images and text work the best, and are the most easy to follow and understand, I am thinking of designing an instruction with only images, without text, however people would follow it easily as the instruction would be in scanimaion, so it is movable.
April 20th Monday
I was sick during Sunday and this morning so I missed the lesson to day, I have to make sure that I catch up with everything and make sure that I am health as this is the most important time. I started making my optical illusion instruction, I have decided to make instructions for a selection of origami, which includes paper heart, paper frog and a paper swan, however I know that is a lot of work so I am not sure if I can do all three, hopefully I would, I really need to plan my time carefully. So today since I am at home I can sit down and really concentrate and start working, today I am working on the origami heart. I have videoed my self folding the paper heart first, then I separated the video into different parts of the folding process, so each movement during the creation of the heart would be a different move in the scanimation, so for the heart I have separated them into 6 groups of movements, this would become a step-by-step animated instruction of how to make a heart.
April 22nd Wednesday
print+prepare for last tutorial
Today I went to kings cross to print what I have down so far and also outstanding outcomes for my portfolio so that I can bring them to class for the last chance for feedback. During printing, lots of problems came up, first was because the color settings are different, which result the outcomes as the size of my bars can not match up with the images, this means the movement will be very messy and not smooth at all, make not even recognizable, I have kept them all in my sketchbook as experiments and test, so I have to change the settings so that the school computers would be able to process and print them, today I have also went to the school shop to see what is available for me to print my images on, I am still deciding if I am going to use the inkjet matte paper or just the copier paper, as they are really good quality as well, however I would do a prototype of both later to see and to record in my sketchbooks. I have also decided to bind them myself because we had the book binding workshop and it would create a professional finish.
- finishing up the instructions
- design a cover for my instructions
- print them
- bind them
April 23rd Thursday
Last group tutorial
Today was the last taught day and the last opportunity to get any feedback from tutors and peers before submitting all our works for unit 7, I am glad that everyone understands my idea and quite like the way I am working on for it, I just need to consider a packaging and the security of the components in my work, the group suggested me to tie the component with some fishing wire onto the booklets so people won’t take them away, this is something I need to really think about because I personally think it would be the best it the component is just loose and being able to trust the audience will not take it, but it is always good to be prepared if such things happens. However by now I still haven't got a completely finished outcome so I really need to start working on that because the learning zone will not be open this weekend and the print station will only be open until 4pm on Saturday. So I have made a very detailed plan of what I need to do, what I need to buy and who I need to see. After the tutorial we sat with other peers in the group and had a look at everyones’ workflow pages, which I realize I still have some work in my information file that I haven’t yet analyzed, I have to make sure I do this before Tuesday, the sooner the better as I will never know if anything happens I would still have time to deal with them. I need to make sure that I finish everything tonight and tomorrow I will be going to Kings cross to print my booklets, and to be honest for the printing system in school, it would take a whole day.
April 24th Friday
Printing my publication In school
So last night I have finished all the images that will be used in my publication, today I went to school to try and print them, I first tried to print on Adobe Indesign in the learning zone, again due to the different settings on different computers, the printing took a long time to prepare, and sadly they do not work, I have tried both printing straight from Indesign, Export as a pdf file and print with Preview, also tried to print with Acrobat, however booklet printing reduce the image size slightly automatically and I am not able to prevent this happening, neither can the staff in the learning zone (nor the staff form Print station), sometimes when problems occur and you are on you own. So I then decided to print in the print station by manually feeding the paper into the printer in order for it to be printed both sides at the right place with the right size. Because the images can not be reduced in size otherwise the animation will not work due to the size difference to the black bars. I had to buy all the material needed in the school shop before hand as it will be closed during weekends, also by buying a few more extra pages incase printing errors is crucial, as last time during my zine project I had to change my design slightly as I have run out of paper, always being well prepared.
So after a few trials usings the printers I have figured out how each printer print (printer 1 and 2 prints different to printer 3), I like using printer 3 as it is less confusing when feeding the paper again to be printed double sided, however sometimes I had to use 1 or 2 because there were quite a lot of people printing and I can not waste my time. Finally after I have printed all the pages, I then need to bind them, I simply blinded them with 2 staples in the middle, however I should have been more careful when doing this as when I put the 3 booklets together I realise that the position of the staplers differs on each booklet... I should have made them neater but I was rushing, this shows that I still failed to manage my time according strictly to my plan. But overall I feel quite satisfied with my final outcome as it was quite an ambitious challenge to me, and to be honest I did suffer a lot during the process. I will evaluate my outcome and my study during of unit 7 later as I need to finish my product and portfolio to the best I can do. I made a sleeve for the 3 booklets, which also has a piece of black bars included in the packaging, so when people take out the booklets, following the movements the animation on the cover of each booklets will be revealed.
Prepare for Deadline + Final evaluation
At the beginning of Unit 7 I decided to look at artists whose work explores the possibilities within constrains and how they kept the consistency within transformations, however during weeks of developments where I did researches that inspired and shaped my thinking, my interest has been led onto visual impacts, which is quite a different direction; continued with more researches in depth, experiments and tutorials, I have developed a number of works exploring human optical illusions, at last for my final outcome I was exploring how to utilize optical illusions, I experimented several ways that they can possibly be used and produced a final product of a set of scanimation animated instructions.
I think the two major factors that influenced me and my project were researches and feedbacks from others. To me they are like eye-openers. Through researches I am in a position to learn new skills, seeking inspirations and also finding solutions when difficulties occur. Feedbacks from tutors and classmates are the best way to see how successful your work has been at communicating, and they might have different points of view that you have never thought about but would really contribute to improving your work.
I would say the biggest breakthroughs during this project is that I have finally learnt how to develop my own project, because at the start I found it really hard to set myself tasks instead of being given a project briefs that I need to produce and achieve, but now I am more capable of thinking about developments and processes, which would keep me motivated, also I have learnt not to think too much of what I will do at the end, because at the very first few weeks, I limited myself a lot because I was always thinking of what to do for my final outcome, I started off by working on a typeface design, and then for a long time I just couldn’t get my mind out of typography, even when I have already run out of interest and ideas, which cost me lots of time and energy as I felt very lost for a while. However, now I understand that sometimes it is good to put some of the old ideas to a side and start with something new. Always staying engaged is the key to make a successful outcome and interest is what will keep you engaged. You can always go back to projects that weren't successful when you have more ideas and skills to improve it. So if I were to start my project again I wouldn't worry about the final outcome at all, I would plan my time carefully to ensure that I concentrate more on experiments such as trying out new techniques or testing more than one materials before I make an outcome, because I think this is what I am lacking in my work and might have been the reasons why some of the work did not came out the best it could have been.
I don’t think my final outcome answers or achieve what I originally set out, however I am really happy that during the course I have experienced self-directed projects that I hated, but also had the opportunity to finally work on a project that I have always been very interested in.