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Significance of Info – The Masks

After briefly speaking to David today, he reminded me that I still had almost a week to continue to develop and add to my project, so I have decided that rather than leaving the film as it is, I will include my mask idea. As David said, the strength and beauty is in the detail.

As I was worried that by adding more film clips in, it would mess with my timing of the videos and the background music so far, I decided that I could simply green screen over the clips I already had, without ruining the films fabrication. I decided to go ahead with my Donald Trump full-face mask concept, as I felt that this was simple but the most effective.

To make the masks, I used Photoshop to simply edit images of Trump so that it was just his face and then inserted them into InDesign on A3 size paper, then exported to PDF. I measured what size my own face was, so that I could use it as a rough guide to get the masks to the correct size. I printed a grayscale prototype to see if they worked and then from the prototype, I was able to adjust the mask sizes on screen accordingly. I printed the final masks onto thick card so that they would be more sturdy and reliable and then cut them out using a scalpel. The next stop was to create some sticks to hold the masks up to your face with – they needed to be sturdy enough to hold the weight of my Trump masks without flopping over. For the sake of ‘waste not, want not’, I re-used the left over card that I had cut the masks from – I cut several strips which I then stacked together and fasted thoroughly with white masking tape. It did the job perfectly. Rather than tape the sticks to the masks, I have decided to leave them separate for the time being, as I could use a reusable adhesive, such as Blu-tack, to attach them on instead as this would leave them adjustable.

The most tricky part of the mask-making process was the printing of them. Due to the fact that I was printing onto card, rather than normal paper, all of the printer’s settings had to be changed. Because I was feeding in my own printing surface, I had to get inside ‘the printer’s brain’ and tell it not to take the A3 paper out of the tray it normally would, but to instead take it from the manual feed tray which flipped out from the side of the machine. As well as changing the paper tray, I had to also program in to the machine that the paper was in fact card, so I had to tell it the weight of it. It was much more complicated than I had initially expected, but after several trial and error attempts, I managed it with some help from the IT staff. It was useful going through these difficulties actually, because I did not previously know that the printers on the university campus were so extremely versatile – among the paper settings, you could even print onto such things as, tracing paper and recycled paper.

After deciding to use the green screen, I paid a visit to Neil Pedder, who specialises in video editing – he gave me a lesson on the basics of Adobe Premiere Pro, which is the software that I would need to use to edit together green screen film.

Field begins

Tuesday 18th, was our first day of field, ‘Publish’ with Ray Nicklin.

We were set two tasks to complete by and present on Thursday (tomorrow): the first of which was to create a photostory, and the second was a research task.

Photostory

After being put into small groups, mixed with students from other courses in CSAD, we were given the task of creating a three-volume, small format photostory. We were told to pick one object and then compose a story around it.

At first, my group chose a mug as our object, but after struggling to make three volumes with this as a character, and Ray suggesting that perhaps a mug was ‘a bit boring’, we changed to a new and better object… an egg. The story that we decided on behind the egg is that, the egg is trying to decide whether to be boiled, fried or scrambled, so each volume shows the process of each of these.

As there was only two of us in my group, a girl from textiles named Kayah, and myself, we began by creating a storyboard to plan out what we wanted on each page of our photostory. We wrote a list as well so we knew exactly what we would need to take photos of. Because we had chosen an object that was unavailable for us to get our hands on in university, we had to take the photos we needed from home. We both agreed to capture all of the photographs ourselves, meaning when it came round to picking the photos to put onto the pages, we had a choice and could pick the best version. Below are some examples of images that we took between us:

After taking and choosing the photos, I edited them all in Photoshop and posterized them all in order to give them a cartoon-like look to them, before putting them all together on Indesign. I added text to only two pages in each booklet – the front cover and the back cover. We wanted to keep a simple effect throughout the booklets, so have used large images, filling the full pages and in some cases as double page spreads. I have tried to experiment in some places too by using a tiled image effect on some pages using miniature thumbnails. I have also added minimal text in a newspaper-style typeface.

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Today we did a black and white practice print of our booklet, but discovered that we had not arranged the images correctly on the templates. We immediately fixed this by rearranging the images and flipping some of them vertically. On our second printing – it worked!

I used a scalpel and metal rule to cute the edges off of the printed pieces, then Kayah folded them in the right way. A final slit in the middle of the now folded paper meant we could fold and push them together into the 8-page booklet form.

I am really happy with our final outcomes of our mini photostory booklets. Below are some photos of our booklets all together and an example of one volume in particular.

Research

For the research task that we were set, each group was given  different decade to look into and we then had to create a 6 minute presentation about the history of magazines during your given decade. My group was given the 1940s.

Both Kayah and I, researched the decade and found plenty of useful information to write about the era in our presentation, alongside a range of visual examples. The most interesting thing that I discovered from my research was that a lot of magazines and editorials from the 1940s are in aid of promoting the efforts of WWII. We discovered a variety of magazines that were around throughout the decade, including:  Seventeen (which is still a popular magazine today), View, LIFE, Look and Star Weekly. Below is the presentation that we put together and then presented in front of the class. From the feedback we received from Ray and everyone, we seem to have covered the decade well and included all the key areas of magazine design at the time.