Month: October 2014

After Effects – Green Screen

In today’s workshop we once again worked with the adobe software, After effects. In this session we were given the tools to create a short green screen sequence, with ourselves involved.

The first step in creating this sequence was to capture a short video in photo booth with a piece of green card in the background. This video simply had to focus around ourselves, unlike examples given in the workshop, I decided to add more movement in the video in the way of me running. I felt this produced a more interesting sequence than just sitting in front of the camera. The next step was to import the video into After Effects and replace the green screen with an image. As I was running, I decided to place an image of a treadmill in the background. As there was plenty of space left on the canvas we were instructed to create a short piece of kinetic typography. Trying to add a comedic level to my green screen, I decided to link my typography with the famous speech in Forest Gump.

Overall, with the small level of experience in green screens I feel I was able to create a very effective and slightly comedic sequence.


Afters Effects Workshop – Kinetic Typography

Screen Shot 2014-10-28 at 15.30.40Today’s workshop was all very new to me in two ways, the first being Adobe After Effects and the second being Kinetic Typography. With a project set the day before to produce a twenty-second sequence involving kinetic typography, this workshop would prove very useful when undergoing this project. The first step to take in After Effects is make a composition, this being the canvas that our text will display on. The next step was to insert the text, one important part to this was to have each word in a separate layer, hereby being able to animate each word. With the text inserted it came down to the creative side of things, being able to display each word in a separate way. In After Effects there are effects such as position, opacity, scale and also the 3D effect were you manipulate the X and Y coordinates of the words. This workshop really gave us the ability to experiment with each affect and see what worked and what didn’t. The workshop gave us further pointers such as easy ease and motion blur, both these helping display each word in a smoother fashion, as a result creating a more professional sequence.

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Animation History Research

Through the years animations has evolved, from the very basics of paper to the multi million dollar crossing films that we see today. Animation can be seen as far back as 1824, when Peter Roget produced his paper ‘The persistence of vision with regard to moving objects’. Roget was one of the first people to look into the theory of ‘afterimage’, the idea that images stay on the humans retina for about a 25th of second after.

One of the first pieces of machinery to produce animation was created by, Dr. Joseph Antoine Plateau and Dr. Simon Rittrer and was name the phenakistoscope. The concept behind this device was when spun the overlapping of the slots and images would create an animated sequence, as seen below.   tumblr_mrcplcnsSa1r9jbwno1_500

More than 40 years later two more inventions helped create a new age in animation, the praxinoscope and kinetoscope. The praxinoscope was soon taken to new levels and used in theatres with the use of a projector, as a result creating a new form of animation that could be easily accessible to audiences. The method of my stop motion watch GIF can be traced back to J. Stuart Blackton in 1906. He would use the simple, but time-consuming technique of filming one face, stopping the film and erasing the face and drawing another, as seen in the video below.

In the 1920,s animation took a big step forward into forming the animation as we known it today. This was thanks to, ‘El Apostol’, the first feature length animated film and also the very important founding of Disney Brothers Cartoon Studio. Walt and Roy Disney created a continuous high standard of animation, best seen in the creation of Micky Mouse. Micky Mouse was first seen in the film ‘Steam Boat Willy’, being the first cartoon based film to have synchronised sound

The hugely successful animated films that we see today would have only been possible with the work of John Whitney. Whitley was considered to be one of the key contributors in the world of computer animation. Computer animation would continue to evolve rapidly. Walt Disney would continue to play their hand in animation and produced Tron, the first film with CG. tron_2

 Less than ten years on animation made the biggest break through yet with the creation Jurassic Park and Toy Story. Jurassic Parking being the first film to use CG to create a realistic living object and Toy Story being the first full length feature film to use CG. Even in these computer animated films there are aspects of techniques used a hundred years before, such as drawings, as depicted in the picture below.



Animation in the past few years has reached a level that would never have seen possible. Films like Avatar or apps on tablets which enable users to animated on the go, have all created an easily accessible and easily enjoyable form of animation and who knows where animation may be in ten or twenty years.


Mosley, J. (2014). Animation History Timeline. [online] Available at: [Accessed 18 Oct. 2014]., (2014). – History of Web Animation timeline. [online] Available at: [Accessed 18 Oct. 2014].

YouTube, (2014). J. Stuart Blackton – Humorous Phases of Funny Faces – 1906. [online] Available at: [Accessed 18 Oct. 2014].


Part 1

For our third task within the portfolio project, we have been introduced to animation. From the brief we have been invited to take a look into three main aspects of animation. The first of the these aspects will take a brief look into the history behind animation, and in particular the praxinoscope. In task two, we must use our knowledge gained from the praxinoscope and apply it to our own 12 frame digitalized animation. Task three is also on the practical side as it delves into making a short experimental sequence using the technique ‘stop-motion’ animation. Carrying on from the project ‘Temporal Expressions’, the theme cycle will be used again, mainly due to the fact that a lot of animation is a contest cycle. THE PRAXINOSCOPEThe praxinoscope is a device that has been with us for over 130 years now, and constantly something that has been overlooked because of its pure simplicity. The beauty of the praxinoscope is that it goes back to the real roots of animation of using simple individual frames of a motion, the most famous of these being a horse galloping. The process of the praxinoscope is to place a strip of images around the outer ring, mirrors positioned in the centre of the device create the effect of motion once the praxinoscope is spun.

SIK-FLIPZBefore we undertook this task, we were given a very useful workshop seminar on animation. The technical knowledge gained from this seminar would help us when producing our own digitalized animation. The workshop consisted around twelve digital images of an animation walking. It was in Photoshop that we learnt how to organise the separate images into a timeline. Once in a timeline the layers could appear visible and invisible when played in a sequence. With the sequence compete it gave the effect of the animated man walking on the spot, from this we went further and made the man walk off the screen and back. As you can see in the example above, me and my partner Jack decided to make the illusion go further. We realised if we could make the figure walk in cycles, and position him at certain point of the screen, it would give the effect of him wall walking. To further enhance the illusion we used an image of a wall.

 Task 2


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DotsFrom the workshop seminar we jumped straight into making our own twelve frame animation sequence. Being one of my first experiments using this technique I decided to keep it relatively simple. The idea of a bouncing ball, or in my case several bouncing balls, is one that I have seen used before. The bouncing ball approach is one that can have great success due to the fact that it can look very realistic. It was pointed out to us that we should try to make our animation abstract, this being the reason for the multiple balls and the extra colour. The biggest difference from the workshop was that we had to digitalize our twelve frames into a GIF. As you can see in the first image, we digitalized the long strip of paper that we were using when experimenting with a praxinoscope. The first step was to photograph the individual images of each twelve frames. From here I could upload them onto Photoshop and start cropping the individual frames into a more suitable size. I first decided to make my first animation on the website ‘’. The big limitation with this website meant that my animation could only move up and down, making it look far to simple. From this I decided to use the technique gained in the workshop. When using the timeline in Photoshop I was able to create a far more pleasing animation due to the fact that the balls are moving left to right and up and down.

Task 3WatchFor part two of the brief we had to create a short experimental sequence that explored the technique of ‘stop-motion’ animation and/ or pixilation (animation of humans). I decided to use my Ipad as a still camera and to focus my technique around ‘stop-motion’. The main reason for doing this was due to my idea of having a wrist watch moving in a circle. I thought that the concept of a wrist watch moving in a circle linked directly with the cycle theme. The use of a watch further links to the theme as a watch is a never-ending cycle. As I found in the praxinoscope task, the more images you gather will result in a smoother and better quality animation. As a result of this, I did find this animation very tedious, as I ended up taking over 200 images. The results do speak for themselves though as the animation does move in a seamless and smooth way.

Task 4

looking further ahead, I really do feel that this task has fuelled my ambition to create more animation in the future. I especially look forward to the 2D gaming side of animation. Overall though I am slightly disappointed that I didn’t branch out more, pixilation for one being a technique that I regret not looking into, but defiantly something I can be creative with in the future.

Temporal Expressions

Part 1

For our second project we once again focused around the media type photography. Within the brief there were three separate tasks, the first being to create a joiner image in the style of David Hockney, the second and third tasks involve taking creative images while using long and short exposure times. The brief further stated that we should focus our images around the visual theme of ‘cycle’. I did however, find it challenging to focus all these images around this specific theme.


Some research that gave me great inspiration and help when making my joiner image was looking at David Hockney’s, website, One of the main things his work made me realise was the more images the better. When you gather more images you gain the ability to combine the photos to create a more realistic overall image. There were other pointers in his work such as not cropping the photos when editing, his work shows that alignment is a far more important aspect when creating an authentic joiner image.

Part 2Joiner image

The first image I produced was a joiner image. It was when making this image that I struggled to stick to the visual theme of ‘cycle’. The main reason for this was due to the issue of not being able to source images that both related to the theme ‘cycle’ and also the image type. When out on location I felt my lack of experience in making joiner images hindered my photography’s eye. As a result of this I knew I would have to scrap the visual theme in order to source a joiner image. One idea that first came to mind was to use my pin board in my apartment. The advantages of using the pin board are that I can get as close to the board as I want and need to. Having such great flexibility meant that I could take more images than needed and therefore be able to experiment when editing.

When discussing the brief in our seminar it was stated that we could add to this task by doing a time-lapse. Time-lapses are something that I find very intriguing, they have the ability to distort time by compacting a couple of hours into just a few minutes. The best way I figured to stick to the theme ‘cycle’ was to focus my time-lapse around the environment. The environment is a contest cycle, for example summer, autumn and winter and the water cycle. The water cycle links directly into my time-lapse which focuses around the contested movement of clouds. Being a cloudy day, my time-lapse does a great job of showing the long movement of clouds in a short period of time. I further feel that audiences will be really intrigued by this time-lapse as it will make them realise just how much the world evolves and moves around them.

Part 3

Parts two and three of the brief involved taking long and short exposure images. In previous photography tasks I had been using an app on my Ipad, high quality exposure images though, require technology more enhanced than my Ipad. To capture more professional quality images I teamed up with a fellow seminar member, Tim, who had a Canon 550d. Just like the time-lapse video our exposure images had to evolve around the theme ‘cycle’. I decided to carry on using the contest cycle of the environment, and there was no better place that the beach. The beach shows one of the best environment cycles as a result of the tide coming in and out.


I feel that these two images above really capture the essence of the short exposure. As I learnt went doing the alphabet task, a huge part of photography is being in the right place at the right time. Luckily for me and Tim a couple of pesky seagulls were intrigued when we starting throwing pebbles into the sea. We realised that if we could capture them flying then it would create a great effect of their wings in mid flap. Short exposure captures further things that the eye possibly couldn’t, for example the splash of the sea from a wave. One of the great things about the seaside is that it brings out your inner child. The best example of this being skimming stones. While doing research I remembered how short exposure captures the smaller splashes in the movement of water. With the two of these combined, I feel that the short exposure has done an amazing job of capturing the split second that the pebble collides with the sea. For me the minute splashes are a great way of showing how the human eye can miss a huge amount of activity.

Editing Comp

One of the things that hindered me and Tim the most was the weather. This disadvantage is best shown in the two images above, the image on the left being the unedited version. The image still clearly shows the short exposure of the splash of water, but lacks any depth in colour. When editing, it was only until I changed aspects like contrast, saturation, definition and highlights that the image gained quality and also colour.



For our next set of images we focused around the long exposure concept of motion blur. The concept of motion blur is one that is far simpler than short exposure. With short exposure you may have to be more persistent and wait for the perfect moment, but with motion blur you have to simply fiddle around with the camera settings until you find the perfect effect. With my two examples it was a case of the camera being in a fixed position and then myself running across the pan. I feel that they have both worked very well, especially in the bottom example, the effect of me stretching across the whole frame gives it a very abstract look.

Part 4

Due to slight constraints this task has frustrated me. One of these constraints being the weather, mother-nature was against us for the whole week, any shoot on location was always going to hinder the quality of our photos. I further feel that the theme ‘cycle’ limited our field of view. Butting these aside though this task has fuelled my passion to carry this task further as I defiantly would like to work around a theme of cars, sport and night-time

Coming into this project I had previously not had much experience with any of  these three tasks. Having now finished these tasks, I feel I have gained more experience, technical know-how and most encouragingly more passion.


Hockney, D., 1986. Pearblossom Highway [online]. Available at [13th October 2014]

Alphabet Photography Task

Part 1

For our first project within the portfolio brief we have been set the task of taking photos of naturally occurring shapes which resemble letters from the alphabet. The brief stated that we should consider working to a visual theme, I thought this would be best as it would hopefully create a continuity within my photos. Working in pairs me and Jack decided to focus our theme around the idea of construction. With three or four new structures being built-in the heart of Bournemouth, we hoped construction would give us ample of opportunities to capture the full twenty-six letters. Little did we know how letters like ‘G’ and ‘P’ would prove to be so hard to find.

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The brief stated that we should look at some historical research for inspiration. One site that proved to be very useful was The site features a search bar where words will be created from natural objects, for example in this image the word being ‘Bournemouth’. This site gave me great inspiration when going into Bournemouth as I knew the possibilities were endless.

Part 2

Alphabet Collage

The first image I created was a poster of the whole alphabet. One aspect that I am very satisfied with is that we were able to capture the entire alphabet. In doing so though, we did have to slightly stray away from our original theme of construction. Letters such ‘M’ and ‘W’ simply just couldn’t be sourced while located around construction sites. However I do feel our minor failures were overshadowed by big success. Good examples of this can be seen in letters such as ‘D’, ‘H’, ‘N’, ‘O’, ‘T’ and my personnel favourite ‘Y’. All of these letters have clear direct links to our theme. Construction further helped us when looking for letters with more straight lines. Scaffolding for example proved very helpful when trying to find ‘K’ and ‘N’.

Alphabet Task Name

In my next piece I decided to focused around the concept of arranging the letters to create a word, in this case to form my name. At first I thought this concept would create a unique and abstract look at forming words. In reality though I feel it looks plain, simple and lacks any quality. To improve this piece I tried to integrate my name into some form of media, social media being one. An interesting idea I explored was using this piece and having it as my name on my Facebook profile page. This idea would massively improve the depth, purpose and further increase how abstract the piece is.


For my third design I decided to do some editing in Iphoto. The beauty of editing is that you can experiment with so many tools and effects. One of my first ideas was to change the photos to black and white, doing so created a nice retro feel but also meant they lacked continuity. It was only until I adjusted things like saturation, contrast and definition that the collage was able to gain continuity. The best example of this can be seen in the letter ‘W’. When changing the contrast it gave an immediate effect of making the lights standout from the bush.

Alphabet Task B&WOne part of the brief that intrigued me was that of having to call upon our photographs eye. I feel I have best demonstrated this in the image below. One aspect that I feel dominates this image is lines. The lines in the steps, the letter ‘F’ and also the door in the background all combine to leading the viewer’s eye to top right hand corner of the image. The objects in the image further create a hard and strong texture. The way this is done is through the steel in the railing, the concrete in the steps and the bricks. With all this, the image comes across as very structurally sound.

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Part 3

Having now completed this project I feel it has given me a great insight into how a photographer can see the little things in a big picture. It’s funny how I find myself out and about and see objects and think, that could have been a better ‘R’  or ‘P’, but that’s just a classic of photography and being in the right place at the right time. Although me and Jack were very enthusiastic with the theme, I do feel it constricted use slightly. It would have been great fun to have no boundaries, therefore being to use all object in sight.

Overall I feel me and Jack did a great job while sticking to brief.I hope to further work on this task in future, possibly linking it with another digital media type such as animation.


Bibliography –

WISE, M.,2007. Alphabet Photography UK [online]. Available from: [October 5 2014]

Introduction to Programming

During my three years studying Digital Media Design I will encounter new and exciting forms of  designing materials within the media. The first of these being programming. The idea of programming is one that at first filled me with slight trepidation but also the excitement of endless creativity. After just one seminar though my trepidation has been blown aside and my imagination taken to new highs.

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The concept of programming has many misconception, some of which I thought were true. The idea that a programmer must be good at maths is something that has been linked to programming due to the high level of coding and formulas. It came as a great relief to me that this idea is in fact not true and by no stretch of the imagination. The beauty of programming is that you can simply create a formula or code to work out any mathematic problem, for example ‘int a = 50 + 5; // Sets ‘a’ to 55′. This is great example as it shows how the code adds 50+5 together instead of the programmer having to do so.

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When being introduced to a new programme within the media the most useful information to gain can be the programmes slang. Two examples of this are IDE (integrated development environment) and variables. An IDE is the actual program itself, in this case being ‘Processing’ and variables are the building blocks of the program. An example of a variable can be seen in the screenshot above. The variable ‘size(600, 300);’ sets the size of the program, 600 being the width and 300 being the height. Adding multiple variables like size and background will result in the overall finish of the program.

Overall I am very excited about expanding my knowledge of programming and looking for to using my imagination and creativity to create professional standard products.