Animating Ads – After Effects

  • Square aspect ratio for social media marketing
  • Creating assets in photoshop (product image) and illustrator (stars) before hand meaning after effects only needs to be used for keyframe animation
  • Easing and motion blur to make the movements feel more natural and easier to watch
  • I started with a sketch to get the initial idea on to paper, I find this helps even with simple animations

IMG_20200220_104534 copy

Screenshot 2020-03-07 at 23.05.21

5STAR reviews video


Colours and Text and More Colours

font used: Plump

I had recently seen an offset shadow on text that had a transparent gap between the text and its shadow. I decided to  attempt his effect by adding a stroke to the the text and then subtracting that stroke from the shadow. (I also added a small blur on the shadow layer as the edges of the selection weren’t anti-aliased and adding a blur was easier than going back in my history).

I added a grunge texture to the background and overlayed it and finished by adding  a hue and saturation adjustment to the background and shifting it to quickly experiment with different colours. just for kicks I  inverted the whole thing and tried a few that way.

Color pallet for the letters on adobe color

Dashboard CV for iPad screen

After reading the brief for this assignment I knew I wanted to focus on the presentation of my different software skills and so this was the focus of my sketching stage.

In my sketches I focused on showing not only my ability to use use certain applications but also the relationships and crossovers between these applications.

iPad – 1iPad – 2iPad – 3In my wireframes I focused on laying out everything a potential employer might want to see. I used a scrollable design that I feel allows the user to focus on one piece of content at once. I also tried a menu design integrated into the top bar that drops down using an arrow. I saw this as a good opportunity to try the adobe Xd beta software as it has recently been released on windows.

I wasn’t entirely happy with the software skills section of the wireframe so I expanded on one of my ideas that had them displayed separately as well as styled separately to fit their theme. The resulting paper design will be used in place in my final design.

Final Designs:


The colour pallet I used was inspired by another portfolio site I found which simply used pastel colours similar to the red and yellow i’ve used here. The icons used in the hobbies and interests section are from
When placing the icons I tried experimenting by having them not centred or slightly off the yellow backgrounds. I think if they are all like this the effect works well.

colour palet ipad dashboard

Blog 8: Horror Films

Horror isn’t really the genre I would go for personally, unlike a lot of people I know I don’t enjoy being scared while watching a film and can’t see myself enjoying a horror film much less rating my favourite ones. So thankfully the lecture from Victoria McCollum was less about specific films and more on the subject of horror as a film genre. The topics she discussed were things I would have never even considered myself like the effect 9/11 had on the horror genre as well as its history and how it evolved to suit audiences preferences throughout the years.

Victorian also talked a lot about post 9/11 stuff and it’s effect on horror films, an example of which is the beheading of the statue of liberty in the movie cloverfield as well as bush and post 9/11 patriotism and how the patriotism act was basically a do-whatever-we-want-and-get-away-with-it pass.

I learned that horror films, much like any other genre of film, can have underlying messages and hidden themes and often draw on inspiration from real world issues that are occurring arounds the time the movie is made for example vampires becoming a popular film plot around the time of the aids crisis and as I mentioned before, USA and freedom being threatened by invaders in the form of aliens in movies like cloverfield.

“If movies are the dreams of the mass culture then horror films are the nightmares” – Stephen King, Danse Macabre

If i’m speaking honestly I’ll probably reiterate here that I’m not a horror fan although I can appreciate what they’ve done for the movie industry mostly in form of the developments made in makeup and prosthetics based effects because the more you can do in-camera the better. I great example of this is John Carpenter’s The Thing and its effects work by Rob Bottin ,I haven’t seen the film, only learned about it from other sources.

Blog 7: Exhibition and getting your work seen

When Prof. Paul Moore first said the word exhibition at the start of class thanks to work assosiation I immediately pictured a white room with paintings in it as I’m sure a lot of the people in the room did  at that very moment. I simply remembered going to a few art exhibitions like these with my mother as part of an assignment for my GCSE art project.
Prof. Moore then went on to explain that there are in fact many different ways of getting your work seen such as public exhibitions and the online space is a huge factor nowadays, that made me realise that I’ve seen a lot of these other kinds of exhibitions in the news and on social media websites only I’ve never seen them first hand.

Something else that was discussed in class and something I’ve never really thought about before is that choosing where something is displayed or exhibited is extremely important for instance there’s no use putting a large interactive sculpture in a small room against a wall behind red ropes, it needs to be somewhere that suits its design like in a public place or even outside. The way in which a piece is displayed can both enhance it but on the other hand it could detract from the experience. A good example that Prof. Moore gave was the AᗺBA museum in Stockholm whose motto is “Walk in. Dance out.” the curators there have played on the fact that AᗺBA are kind of gimmicky and tailored this museum to be less of a traditional white walls and paintings affair and more of a fun for all the family event, they have stages where you can stand against a green screen and sing with a holographic version of the group as well as touch screens everywhere. And when you leave you can get a digital copy of your time there as all the exhibitions are filmed. Another example was the ls_5professor’s own work, his piece on Lough Neagh on which he collaborated with Jem Finer, he called it site specific work because for the art installation to work it had to be on the shore of the lough ie. the location of the art enhanced the art.

I have a vague recollection of the exhibition I mentioned before that I had to visit for a school project, it was in the ulster museum and it consisted of large white rooms with painting hung in them that were just squares of colour layered on thick with oil paints. I had absolutely no idea what to make of it and there was a video playing in one corner that showed the guy creating one of these pieces of “art”, he would slap on the oil paint the scrape a tiny bit off and replace it it with more of the same colour. This all went right over my head and to this day I’m  just as oblivious; the point I’m making is that art isn’t for everyone. I would rather see an interactive installation of some sort like the things that you stand on and they light up or make a sound or waving your arms makes projected image move.

wall clock art, source at the end

While doing some googling for this blog I found an article about a video in which someone put a print from ikea in the museum of modern art in Arnhem in the Netherlands. He then asks visitors to look at it and talk to him about it and most of them describe it in a way that only someone who would visit a museum of modern art would. And while it was meant as a joke is kind of shows how location influences someone’s perception of a piece, had they see the print in ikea they probably wouldn’t have given it a second glance but because it was in an important art exhibition one guy said 2.5 million would be a good price for it.

The cool wall clock is in the Ham Yard hotel in London, here’s a longer video of it. I think this is an example of an interesting piece of art because while it might have a deeper meaning like something to do with our perception of time it’s also something you could watch for ages without getting bored.

More of the Data that’s BIG

This week’s blog put me in a bit of a difficult position because I more or less expended all my own thoughts about big data in last week’s blog post, and then Prof. Paul Moore goes and talks about more of the big data this week.

But anyway, we begun this week’s lecture by watching the TED talk The Birth of a Word by Deb roy. It’s about how he captured video of his son development from birth throughout the three years of his life using cameras and microphones installed in the ceilings of all the rooms in his home. Of course capturing his son’s development was the easy part, all of the footage then had to be analysed, he says in the talk that this amounted to 90,000 video and 140,000 hours of audio all of which added up to 200 terabytes of data. They used software to track movement of individuals as well as identify speech. From there they used this data to generate what he called ‘space time worms’, a way of visualising everyday life along the plane of time, something which found to be very interesting because I mentioned in last week’s blog about taking the data that people generate with the wearables and mobile devices and relating it to what they are actually doing in the real word. Roy has a very unique opportunity to visualise and learn from his very actions and habits when it comes to his interaction with his son.

Then they took it one step further and modified the fisheye images from the cameras and used projection mapping to overlay these images onto a 3D model of their home, effectively producing a ‘3D’ tourable video model of their environment although the video was still only 2D so the effect wasn’t fully realised I don’t think. On a side note this part in the talk really reminded me of the film Deja Vu with Denzel Washington where they discover a way to visualise the past in 3D and they use it to solve crimes.

After mapping out the videos from each room the analysed data could then be correlated with it in interesting ways, one of which was they took all of the words that the child learned and highlighted that word in all the transcripts. Because the software had not only transcribed all of the audio but also the location in the house that it had been said this data could be represented visually as what he called wordscapes. The one shown here is the the wordscape for ‘water’ and the place with the highest concentration of this word is in the kitchen as you might expect similarly the wordscape for ‘bye’ had the highest peaks around the front door and entrance hall.wordscape_TEDtalk

Deb then went on to demonstrate how using these same kinds of data analysis techniques on other things like twitter and major news event uncovered valuable insights into audience interactions and social media influences. This included more 3D visualisations.TV_audience_interaction_TEDtalk
This graphic shows the social media users on top and the tv content below with all the lines representing the interactions between the two.

I think the research that Deb and his team are doing now at MIT is the precursor to how companies like IBM and google will look at the data everyone generates in the future.

Another valid point raised in class was to do with the internet of things and that was that you can’t really fully opt-out of it as it’s something that’s being built up as a kind of infrastructure around us all, the world is becoming more connected every day. I agree with all of this but am also interested to see if there will come a limit to how ‘integrated’ everyday people will want to be.

Google glass was also mentioned and this reminded me of a few videos by filmmaker and entrepreneur Casey Neistat because not only was the Explorer edition of google glass quite large and unsightly, earning early adopters the moniker of ‘glasshole’, it was quite impractical in that the display was an ever present prism in the top right of the wearer’s field of view. But apparently project has been reeled back in by the google lab dwellers with the promise that it hasn’t been abandoned just yet.

Plus a bonus google glass video by from Casey.