Working Things Out.
Good way to work when you collaborate-turn the mac suite wall into your sketchbook. Chuck everything onto it, that way ideas and thoughts aren’t hidden in your sketchbook but available for both of you to see, even if the other person isn’t there. So things get added all the time as the project/manifesto moves from research through to production and experiments. We both still have sketchbooks but mine is mainly for notes, technical stuff or for anything that pops into my head at 2am in the morning whilst watching ‘Predator’ for the 20th time, which I did the other night.
Also the wallplanner….ticking the days away.
Jacques Derrida, big in the 90s.
Other than storyboards, not a great deal has been added to the wall over the past week. Most of the other things that we questioned early on are now ironed out. But it is still nice to look over and see our initial ideas when we first started getting our thoughts down.
Ephemera-Background Patterns & Textures
Looking for a variety of different backgrounds for the slides, I’ve had these knocking about for a few years after spotting a book full of them in a charity bookshop. Ok this is self indulgent, but I really dont care because I simply think they are beautiful to look at…
Great to use metaphorically in designs as well. They can be interpreted in a tone of different ways
Just a quick clip to show how the production of the film works.
We have begun to catagorise different methods of creating movement using the OHP and acetates.
Flip - Acetate is fixed on one side and is allowed to fall onto the OHP by the force of gravity.
Fold - As above but you hold the acetate and almost like a page turning you hold it and guide/drop it to the OHP.
Drop - Hold the acetate close to the lens, this completely blurs it to the point of invisibility. As you hold and drop it onto the OHP, it slowly comes into focus.
Slide - The acetate is already at the same level as the OHP surface and is slid into position. This can be from top, bottom, left, right.
Clean - The OHP is focused sharply.
Dirty - Manually alter the OHP focus so that it is out of focus.
Both Clean & Dirty can go from one to another, so if you want it to go Clean to Dirty it goes from being in focus to being out of focus.
Free - The acetates aren’t fixed by masking tape to the OHP which allows for random movement as you perform a movement such as a Flip. As in 'Hey Huw, lets do that as a free flip and this time make it dirty'
Fixed - The acetates are secured by tape, this means the registration should be exact when folded/flipped onto the surface of the OHP.
Transition - What happens between each scene-again this has a number of categories. I’ll go into these later.
Well you will be thinking it all seems a bit a geeky and you wouldn’t be wrong.
The what’s what of acetate animation jargon.
Getting the timing right and actually controlling the acetates themselves is really quite tickety, you can only control them up to a certain point, so chance plays a big role in how everything turns outs.
8vo has come to be quite a big influence over the course of this project, maybe not so much in terms of aesthetics, but their methodologies and almost tenacious nature towards detail is something I can relate to.
8vo did not use extensive visual metaphors in their designs, which is something we are doing alot. In that regards, 8vo’s designs were very modernist, no fuss, straight to the point. But some of the work they produced was quite experimental, or even post modern to some degree, which makes for quite a combination, very Wolfgang Weingart. And regrades of how experimental their designs are, legibility is always at the centre of it.
I Would recommend their very insightful book 'On the outside' to any designer.
Test Stills from today.
Just having a quick test with the ohp to check sizes and areas that are obscured by the ohp as we alter focus & size of image projected.
Nice opportunity to mix and match acetates. We have found that some of the best combinations are those that weren’t original intended for each other.
Research-FUSE MAGAZINE 1991.
Suppose this is what kick started our NMP.
Fuse was the brainchild of Neville Brody and Jon Wozencroft in 1991, heralded as a ground-breaking publication that took design and typography into radically new and unforeseen spaces. It celebrated new technologies emerging and allowed designers to be highly experimental. The major influence of its revolutionary and experimental approach to typographic language reverberates still, and today—twenty years after its launch—the explorations carried out by some of the most famous and influential names in the industry stand out as futuristic and ahead of their time. On the other hand it could be argued that these are just the results of vain and self absorbed designers-just designing for designs sake. Fuse did have its critics, notably Stephen Heller in 94 with his rant over ‘ugly design, LushUS as an “affront” to typographic standards that “simply contributes to the perpetuation of bad design.”
Taking the alphabet as its base, and enabled by the advent of digital design, FUSE became a laboratory for new ideas and risks, as well as a hothouse of new thinking. Published over twenty editions, each issue was themed and included both fonts and posters by specially-commissioned collaborators.
So as a starting point for us FUSE seems a good model. Experimental, using typography, something we were both very keen to do. So it almost came down to a list of things or themes we wanted to explore…
We really both wanted to do something graphic, but not commercial.
Allow us to voice our opinion.
Comment on the current state of our culture and more specifically our visual culture.
Avoid digital but still create motion.
Learn new techniques away from the world of ADOBE and APPLE.
Be confrontational and do not conform to the norm.
It quickly became apparent we were in effect writing our MANIFESTO-a series of statements and rules that would control whatever we did during this last brief….
Want to know more about FUSE…
Steven Heller rants here…
I find it strange that Heller expressed himself in the way that he did. And the essay, ironic or not, has gained quite the cult status . Any discussion about deconstructive typography is almost guaranteed to reference Cult of the Ugly. The way i see it, Cult of the Ugly holds very little or no critical thoughts for the readers about the typographic movement, just as Simon puts it, Its a rant about Heller’s personal issues with how typographic design was evolving at the time. It has denial written all over it.
Heller also either worked with or was in the creative circles of quite a lot of the designers that he named and shamed in Cult of the Ugly, which comes across as quite hypercritical on his part. That being said, Heller does write some good stuff.
One last thing. This ‘ugly’ way of designing has more honestly and integrity than a lot of the clean, clarified, modernist design that you will see in society today. I cant remember where this quote is from, but I echo the words spoken.
Instead of buying into the fabricated singular narrative of modernism that would lead us all to an imagined better world, these designers were dealing with the world as it really was; fragmented, ironic, chaotic, humorous, ambiguous, and with room for many individual voices to be heard.
Looking at different transitions and effects for our film-taking apart the opening credits of the conjuring to give us an idea how we should approach the production of our piece.
Transition 1 Fade in from Black 1sec.
Transition 2 Fade out to Black
Transition 3 Fade to black then negative acetate flip
Transition 4. Quick cut to next slide. Acetate half present on ohp them pushed into full view
Transition 5-acetate slight turn 30degrees then quick cut.
Transition 6-Artwork present, acetate flips from right to left.
Transition 7-Artwork goes bit of focus/opacity. Next slide has a split second drop and comes into focus/opacity and repositioned. Cut to black.
Transition 8- from black, artwork out of focus into focus. Artwork flips from left to right. Close up or cropped.
Transition 9- Goes to white, artwork previously becomes slightly visible. Next artwork drops down/placed over. Use of still frames? 2 More artwork acetates over the top as a flip-each time the original artwork becomes more obscured/faded. Artwork goes darker.
Transition 10-artwork fades/artwork merges with next slide, which is a quick flip from right to left.
Throughout, the darkness/light changes atmospherically.
Transition 10. Acetate is flipped over-slight dark shadow on left- some transitions are in motion when the scene begins.
Transition 11-really quick pull that creates motion (1frame!) quick cut to next scene.
Artwork has been positioned but has movement. Turns through 45degress motion blur-then stops. Then quick cut to next scene.
Transition 12-Artwork drops in slightly (transition has already begun-has motion blur) was this filmed in reverse. Acetate lifted off sporadically, creates out of focus. Clean quick cut.
Transition 13. Inverted, artwork is in place but is then re-positioned. Clean cut to white/ohp
Transition 14. Two acetates fold (hand) onto ohp from left to right.
Transition 15. Inverted artwork folded from top to bottom, previous artwork blurs and fades.
Transition 16. Quick cut-close up. Then even closer. Then out to reveal duplicate (?) image on same artwork? As one image moves slightly.
Transition 17. Fold from left to right, doll image underneath fades to white/out of focus-has a mask been used? Right hand side image is left in view. Quick clean cut.
Transition 18. In motion already-subtle. Two slides of artwork are taken away to reveal the image beneath.
You really get to appreciates how much work goes into these things, and in this case the more subtle effects give the whole title it’s atmosphere and presence, which in some cases, we are also tying to also capture.
Going to include subliminal messages within our work-this came about after viewing the Conjuring frame by frame (huws dedication is truly a thing to behold…and a bit worrying).
Here is the screen grabs that show the cross turning upside down, unnoticeable unless you view it frame by frame.
The devil is in the detail.
Nice typographic layout. Something similar could easily translate over to the acetate work we are doing now.
_General update and so on
Don’t really like do this, but who does? Anyway, I guess it’s good to get things down to see where we are at which helps to keep focused as we have, what, 14 weeks to do this project? So it is quite easy to lose track of stuff and sway off course a little.
Where to start? Well we have been mainly working on acetate designs, which has gone pretty darn well, so no real problems to report there, things are coming along nicely.
The issues we have at the moment are getting all of the ‘editorial content’ (don’t know what else to call it) boxed off, making some sort of narrative out of it and working more on the acetate transitions between shots. So the next thing for me to do is to finish off the introduction to the manifesto and start cracking on with the 3 other ‘sub themes’ which each of the animations will be based around. Form follows content… most of the time.
In no order
14.1 > mis/disinformation
14.2 > neomania?
14.3 > ?
We are definitely doing diss/misinformation, but everything else is not set in stone, which is a good thing, we are keeping things open.
As for storyboards, I don’t think they will help us much with this project as everything changes when we start putting the designs on the projector. But we still need structure, points to cover and quotes and parts of the Manifestos to cherry pick.
As for the acetate transitions, I think storyboards will help us out a little more then. The transitions are where the main bulk of animation will be coming from, so they need to play off and aid what the designers are saying, so I will be thinking more about that in the weeks to come. But that is not so say we have no ideas for transitions, we actually have come up with some great ideas, we just need to get it all down and in some coherent order. But like with any good plan/storyboard, it will change and develop. A lot of the transitions that we are happiest with up until this point have been pretty spontaneous. That and mistakes. So structure isn’t the be all and end all.
But we are happy with the progress we have made, so things aren’t looking bad at all
These just started out as a general play around, but we are now going to print and develop them further to see how they turn out.
The headline has been heavily obscured and cut into buy the typographic grid, and just like how i have applied the grid in these designs, morden advertising and its tenacity to blindly connect with its audience just ends up distorting and obscuring its communicational devices.
The illustrations of the hands are there to reference to the more physical, human approach to the way we are designing for this project.
Mainly graphic designers have abandoned integrity, mistaking status for significance.
Great example of layers without using digital techniques
Inverted with added light and altered saturation and vibrance to give the transition a little more atmosphere, which the original lacked.
One of my personal favourites. The small wait and slow jerky revile of the type adds a little mystery and suspense to the transition.
Mistake was made, then corrected. Makes for a quick and snappy transition.