Category Archives: Gareth

Task 2: Devising a Structured Website

Me, Joe peters, Joe Mckeowen, Ryan Manley and Paul Pennington were a group of 5 in undertaking the task of creating the website for our client at Cockington court. The initial plan was to have Me and Joe M. were to create the website, while the rest of the team were to take pictures we could use for the website, and speak to the client about what content they might want on their website.

We designed a few website templates as examples of what kind of thing we could make, as well as finding out what wordpress was capable of.

https://wordpress.com/stats/insights/testsite1813.wordpress.com

Overall the process went quite smoothly, aside from a few communication problems as to who was doing what at certain points.

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Web Report: Task 1

HTML and XHTML

HTML stands for Hyper Text Markup Language. This is the language that is used throughout the world and it is used to create web pages with things such as Javascript and CSS. HTML can be used by web browsers to turn them into a visible and/or audible web page. Extensible Hypertext Markup Language (XHTML) can extend or mirror versions of HTML, XHTML is supported by all major browsers, it is structure that HTML and is defined as an XML application. Some websites can contain “bad” HTML This markup language is built up from many markup tags, here are a few examples:

<strong> = makes the text bold

<I> turns the text inside the tag italic </I>

Here is a more advanced example, demonstrating how a website is built with an image and a title.

<!DOCTYPE html>

<html>

<body>

<h2> Hey! Vsauce, Michael here </h2>

<img src=”pic_Vsauce.jpg” alt=”Vsauce” style=”width:307px;height;174px;”>

</body>

</html>

The result in a web browser would look something like this:

Hey! Vsauce, Michael here

maxresdefault

These HTML documents are described by HTML tags, with each HTML tag present describing a different part of the document.

Cascading Style Sheets

Cascading style sheets (CSS) is a different language within web design that describes the layout and presentation of  a HTML or XHTML document. CSS describes how the features of the website will be rendered on the screen or other media.

Here is an example of a CSS stylesheet:

body {background-color  #d0e4fe;}

h1 {color: green; text-align: centre;}

p {font-family: “Papyrus”; font-size: 20px;}

The structure of a website

When a website is structured the first factors taken into account are the homepage as this is the main page that the audience will first see. Once this page is designed it is used as a basis for all the other pages to be made. Every website has a header, footer and body which helps the users navigate through the website. Titles are essential as they tell the user what they will find on each page, further it makes it the user know what the page has on it if they bookmark it.

Here are a few more complex example of how websites are formed by HTML:

Twitter

<!DOCTYPE html>
<!--[if IE 8]><html class="lt-ie10 ie8" lang="en"><![endif]-->
<!--[if IE 9]><html class="lt-ie10 ie9" lang="en"><![endif]-->
<!--[if gt IE 9]><!--><html lang="en"><!--<![endif]-->
  <head>
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    <meta charset="utf-8">
      <title>Twitter</title>
    <meta http-equiv="X-UA-Compatible" content="IE=9,chrome=1">
    
    
    
    
    
    <script>document.domain='twitter.com'</script>
    
    
    
    
    <meta name="msapplication-TileImage" content="//si0.twimg.com/favicons/win8-tile-144.png"/>
    <meta name="msapplication-TileColor" content="#00aced"/>
    
      <link href="//si0.twimg.com/favicons/favicon.ico" rel="shortcut icon" type="image/x-icon">
    
    
      <meta name="swift-page-name" id="swift-page-name" content="home">
    
        <link rel="canonical" href="https://twitter.com/">
    
    
    <link rel="search" type="application/opensearchdescription+xml" href="/opensearch.xml" title="Twitter">
      <link rel="stylesheet" href="https://twimg0-a.akamaihd.net/a/1357850473/t1/css/t1_core.bundle.css" type="text/css" media="screen">
    
    
          
      <style id="user-style-MemiorsOfBamBam" class="js-user-style">
      
      
      
      
      
      
      
      
      
      a,
      
      
     
      .btn-link,
      .btn-link:focus


2D Starcraft Trailer Evaluation

I have finished my 2D trailer and have now presented it to my peers in the classroom.  After the presentation, my peers shared their opinions on the strengths, and weaknesses of my animation, and how it would compare to industry standards. I have five sheets from peers that have shared their opinions on my animation. The average rating for my animation overall was a 7.5 out of ten. Overall the reception of the trailer was better than I expected, as I wasn’t expecting to create an animation of high quality due to time constraints and lack of experience with after effects. Looking through all of the sheets, here are the most common points that seem to present themselves the most.

What are the strengths?

  • The sounds enhance the trailer, and carried it well
  • The animation goes well with the live action footage, there is a nice transition in the live action scene
  • The effects are cool and they suit the genre.
  • The music was excellent and timed with the end title well.
  • This animation was well presented and the theme and story behind it was interesting throughout

What are the weaknesses?

  • The sound is too sudden in some places, and could be unexpected or make people jump
  • Graphics on some of the assets are blurry, resized, and inconsistent in their graphical style.
  • The animation has several white flashes which could be inappropriate to watch for any viewers with epilepsy

How could they have improved ?

  • The length of the transitions could have been shortened to save time
  • I should darken the flashes to make the trailer more suitable for viewers with epilepsy or at least add on a warning at the start of the trailer.
  • Create higher resolution assets that look less blurry and distorted.
  • Could have better volume control and timing of animation segments. (shorten length of transitions)

These are all of the main points that have been raised by my peers. I am glad that some of these have appeared, as there are a lot of strengths and weaknesses that I did not notice myself when creating the trailer. This feedback has really allowed me to see problems that were invisible to me despite watching it back several times.

The fact that the sounds were praised was a surprise to me as I had no idea they would be received so well, since they were created by recording simple noises that can easily be created around the household. I also didn’t think that the presentation and context would be received as well by the audience either. I always knew that I wanted my trailer to be more of a story based teaser than a gameplay focused trailer. Unfortunately I planned to do more with this and could have possibly improved the trailer even further, I wanted to have more live action scenes in which the three races are amassing their forces and preparing for battle. I didn’t get to add this in the end however, as when I put my finished compositions together, the end result was a minute long and too long to extend, I also wanted visually appealing scenes to take priority over scenes that could have seemed a bit inactive and more boring to look at.

Most of the negatives that were brought up I had no idea about, apart from some of the blurry graphics, by the time I saw this as a problem, I didn’t have time to change it though, so I just had to create the best animation possible with the time and assets that I had. Since this was one of the most common criticisms of my animation, I will make sure that I get the resolution correct and make sure things are resized properly when it comes to future endeavours with Photoshop. I did not think that the flashing white lights would be a problem at the time, it just never occurred to me. So it is fortunate that people have pointed it out so that I can remember to include it if necessary in the future. Volume is another key criticism, which I will make sure that I control the volume better in the future by lowering the decibels in audacity.

I am happy with the outcome of this assessment as I know that all of the criticisms of the trailer can be easily fixed, I am glad that my peers would consider this worthy of industry standard if I improved and fixed it in some places.

Motion Graphics Storyboard

For my 2D animation sequence, I want to combine a real environment with the 2D models from the original StarCraft game released in 1998 to create a trailer that appeals to the fans of the original game, while appealing to the newer generation that may be fans of sci-fi or strategy.

  1. I want to showcase the 3 different factions in the game. Terran, Zerg, and Protoss. These factions quite iconic especially to those that have played the game. and a key component of the gameplay. I want to show all of the armies massing and preparing to attack each other as a sort of build up to the action in the trailer. To do this I would like to start the trailer with a person running through a rural area in first person to create suspense, I would then have the cameraman stumble and stop when he sees a Protoss capital ship breaking through the clouds in the sky. I want to make the ship very large in proportion to real life, as this complements the way they are portrayed in the game. The ship will be slowly moving through the clouds. I am thinking of using the transparency tool to make it look like it is high up in the air and to put the emphasis on it’s size. I also want to showcase the Protoss units massing on the ground by taking the units in 2D from the original game and animating them to look like they are marching across the field.mouldy old pic 5

2. I would then cut to black and fade into the next race to be shown which is the Zerg. Since this race puts the emphasis on strength in numbers in the game, I would like to reflect that in the sequence by animated multiple characters at once to make the army look powerful. They will move around more quickly, so I have considered using something such as the wiggle tool or another effect to make them look more active.mouldy old pic 2

3. I will repeat the transition and cut to black, and show the third and final race, Terran. This is the human race in the game and I would like to animate the marines on the ground to make them appear to be much more human and relatable in this scene. This race also has large ships at it’s disposal and I will use a similar technique to with the opacity to exaggerate their distance and size.

mouldy old pic 4

4. I will cut to black one more time and then follow up with a payoff towards the end of the trailer by having the three armies clashing across a battlefield. This 2D battle scene will be in a top down perspective. Since this is how the game is presented, using this perspective will make the trailer look much more reminiscent of the gameplay. To capitalise on this, I will also include the game’s HUD to make it look more like actual gameplay footage, but in a real life environment.

mouldy old pic 1

To finish off the sequence, the scene will cut to black and present the game title to show the end of the trailer. I will likely make the shine in using one of the after effects presets, and fade away as if it is warping in and out, to suit the theme of the game, I will also add stars flying through in the background using  the star burst preset.

Screen Shot 2016-06-29 at 12.02.06

 

 

 

 

Animation Production Essay

Early Forms of animation

The earliest forms of animation were attempts to capture the phenomenon of motion through numerous pictures such as cave paintings, which clearly attempted to convey the perception of motion.

lions

Here is another example of one of the earliest forms of animation. It is an earthen goblet discovered at the site of the 5,200-year-old Burnt City in southeastern Iran. It could possibly be one of the world’s oldest examples of animation, showing a creature jumping up to eat a tree.

250px-Vase_animation2015-03-18_233209

Animation developed more in the 19th century with the introduction of these devices:

  • Phenakistoscope (1832) – A disk with a series of images that animates by spinning rapidly.

phenakistoscope-3

  • Zoetrope (1834) -a cylindrical spinning device with several frames of animation printed on a paper strip placed around the interior circumference, the observer looks through a vertical slit and sees each individual frame.

giphy.gif

  • Praxinoscope (1877) – Animation created by drawing on the transparent strips.

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  • Flip Book (1868) – A small book with springy pages, each page having a series of images creating an animation.

giphy.gif

the first film recorded on standard picture film that included animated sequences was the 1900 Enchanted Drawing.

During the 1910’s the production of animated “cartoons” became increasingly popular, it became an industry of its own and was shown in theatres. These cartoons were the leading type of animation for several years until the introduction of computer animation in the 1960s, here is an example of one of the first computer animations.

Computer animation lead the charge even until the present day, as computer animation produces the most efficient results in the shortest amount of time and was widely used in the film industry, it can also create much more realistic animations than an older type of animation such as a flip book or cartoon.

 Examples of the different uses / applications for animation

Film

Animation is widely used in the film industry, which makes sense, as it emerged from the film industry in the first place. For example, Star wars episode IV: A new hope (1977) used Used an animated 3D wire-frame graphic for the trench run briefing sequence, Toy Story (1995) was the first feature-length film to use computer generated imagery (CGI) exclusively without any scenes from real life. Fast and Furious 7 (2015) had the first use of motion capture in the recreation of a deceased actor (Paul Walker). Animation has proved to be very successful in the industry, as Toy story 3 (2010) was the first CGI feature-length movie to gross more than $1,000,000,000.

Television

Television and film are two very similar types of media as they are both non-interactive forms of content that are viewed by the user, the main difference between the two is the length. This means that the use of animation between the two platforms are quite similar, there are quite a few variations of animation used in this field, for example, ‘Spongebob Squarepants’ is made using a software called ‘toon boom’ animate, which is a program similar to ‘Adobe Flash’. Another animated programme ‘South Park’ was initially a stop motion animation created by using cardboard cut-out models to create the environment and characters in 1997. The creators then switched to computer technology to animate the rest of show by scanning and redrawing the models in CorelDRAW and importing them into PowerAnimator. Some programmes on television use 3D animation, ‘Star Wars: The Clone Wars’ was animated using the 3D software Maya.

 

Advertisement

Animation in advertisement is a newer form of advertisement, but it is seen more and more often in modern society. For example, ‘Comparethemeerkat.com’ was a very successful marketing campaign used to promote ‘Compare the market’ by using lovable meerkat characters that are completely computer generated and animated in 3D. ‘Fanta’ has more recently resorted to using 3D environments and characters to advertise their product also’. Companies such as ‘Kelloggs’ also has used 2D animated characters for a long time in a mixture of live action trailers and 2D environments to promote their products. Animation is also used in trailers and other advertisements to create text, Animated text can also be used for company logos.

Games

Computer gaming uses animation too. Although there are different graphical styles, all games are animated. Animation is important in gaming because as an interactive form of media, animation often determines the quality of the user’s experience with the product. Animation is also key to the player’s performance, in a game such as Skyrim, a heavy two handed weapon has a longer attack animation than a smaller sword. This helps give the player a sense of weight with their weapons, this and the physics engine are used to create a more realistic experience.

 

 Current trends in animation

The animation industry has changed alot over the past few years as technology continues to develop. One trend in animation is the gradual improvement in computer software and hardware. As a result, high end 3D is now more accessible, as it used to be only be the preserve of big budget commercials and films.  Photorealistic animation and rendering techniques are being more frequently used in order to create very realistic and high quality animations.

But as some softwares are on the rise, other animation techniques are declining as a result. Adobe’s Flash is a 2D animation software that relies on the keyframes and drawings that the user creates. This software is slowly being phased out of the animation industry not only due to the rise of higher quality programs, but also due to the holes in flash’s security that have been causing companies some problems. For example, Amazon has banned Flash ads from appearing on its ad platform across its sites. Amazon is not the biggest advertising platform, but it is one of the first big name ones to adopt such a policy. As flash is an older software, it is also causes headaches as it has a reputation for slowing down computers and draining battery life of laptops very quickly. As Adobe flash dies of old age, it is slowly being replaced by alternatives such as Microsoft Silverlight, which is less popular than flash as not many sites use it, but it’s numbers are rising as flash is on the decline. Another trend in animation, although it has been around for a while, is the consistency of augmented live action animation. Another popular trend within recent animation is tangibility. The use of tangible physical materials and human interaction which allows a wide range of subjects to appear familiar and appealing to a wide audience.

A second film that uses tangibility is the TV advert for Twinings tea. Created entirely with paper craft and stop motion animation, over 100,000 tea bags and 50 different paper folding styles were used. The central character is shot using a frame-by-frame photography technique known as ‘pixilation’.

Software used for producing modern animation

There is a range of different software used for animation, the software that is used will often depend on the intended type of animation the user is attempting to create. For a 3D animation, the animator will likely lean towards software such as Cinema 4D, Maya, Blender, Zbrush and 3DS max ect. These programs are often used for 3D modelling, but they can create animations too through the use of frames and rendering. However, if the animator is looking to create a 2D more cartoonish animation, they might want to consider software such as Adobe Flash, Pivot Stickfigure Animation, Goanimate, or Adobe after effects. All of these softwares are quite similar, as they all have in common the reliance on keyframes and what the animator puts into each frame. These softwares are the more commonly used in the creation of modern animation, as they can create animations in almost any graphic style efficiently, including the more modern photorealistic styles. Another method that is still enjoyed in the modern day is stop-motion animation, although you may see less of this animation style due to it taking alot of time and effort, especially with clay-mation, it is one of the more simple methods to learn though, although it is a very time consuming process, which may be why you see less of this animation type in modern animation.