Saturday, 31 December 2011

Monday, 19 December 2011

not-for-them: Real life Photoshop

not-for-them: Real life Photoshop: source: flickr

I think this is superb

Merry Christmas :) and a social commentary about Nightmare Before Christmas

Never been a massive fan of Nightmare Before Christmas, but I know that if I draw this and upload it to an art website it will get 100000000000000000000 likes and views because the film has achieved some strange cult status...Why?

This is something I've never understood... but

1) any 'alternative' person feels as if it is almost a pre-prerequisite to like this franchise... because it's vaguely gothic/arty/different/

2) It has been marketed superbly through the years...

The owners of the franchise have undertaken an extensive marketing campaign of these characters across many media. In addition to the Haunted Mansion Holiday at Disneyland featuring the film's characters,"[12] Jack Skellington, Sally, Pajama Jack and the Mayor have been made into Bendies figures,[13] while Jack and Sally even appear in fine art.[14] Moreover, Sally has been made into an action figure and a Halloween costume.[15]

Oddly enough, Jim Edwards actually contends that "Tim Burton's animated movie The Nightmare Before Christmas is really a movie about the marketing business. The movie's lead character, Jack Skellington, the chief marketing officer (CMO) for a successful company decides that his success is boring and he wants the company to have a different business plan.[17]

(The font of all knowledge wikipedia)

Then there was 'nightmare revisited' where they got lots of popular bands from the alternative gothic/rock/ music genre to record the songs from the film. (Marilyn Manson, Amy Lee, Panic at the Disco to name a few)

3)It is about Christmas... and Halloween...that's two massive holidays in one film.

4) It's the only 'dark' Disney film of it's kind (really)... well it's the only one with that dark aesthetic

5) It's a Disney film... so it's had loads of video games, books, toys, plushies, etc

6) It was part of the Kingdom Hearts franchises (Square Enix and Disney... so that's all the Japanese fans sorted).

7) At Halloween at 2 of the disney parks these characters take over the haunted mansion ride.

8)It gets so many mentions on so many social media websites that i don't even know where to begin

So when you think about it... it's no surprize it's so successful... consumerism... what a well oiled machine


Friday, 9 December 2011

Redesigns galore and what about twitter?

After seeing youtube redesigned and facebook redesigned and even gmail redesigned... twitter have decided to give it ago and redesign their presence too. I've heard rumour that it's about being more brand focused...others have said it's in competition with facebook...
(from Hex)

What do I think of this? Well I recently noticed that twitter had made buying off the platform much easier, trying to build in functionalities where you can tweet reply '#buy'

 and the wonders of tweetbots... tweeting everytime a blog gets updated...

Such functionality makes me think... what exactly are twitter going for here?
 I mean twitter (in my mind anyway) was a microblogging site where one could discuss interests and it's a community...secondly... it's a personal thing, it's about what one is doing right now (it asks me everytime I post a tweet).
So... Add more corporate presence won't sell it to me in the slightest... also... I already have facebook... so why would I want a facebookeque interface...

I like twitter... it should stay the way it is

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Hi blog *blows off dust*

Hi blog long time no speak... So I'm going to talk about something that has nothing to do with work (really....) and talk about a new project that's really caught my eye.
A long time back, I spoke about a game called 'Clocktower' (under click and point) It was one of the first survival horror games back in 1995... And it scares the hell out of me... I only just finished it properly this time (and hey... only 3 of my friends died... in this game...that's a result)

So that's the original... then... guess what? they made a new version... and have somehow made it EVEN worse... (I didn't think this was possible... but hey I was proved wrong)
In other gaming news Sonic generations looks fantastic! Can't wait for that <3

Thursday, 6 October 2011

RIP Steve Jobs

I decided I would buy an ipod the other day... after having an extremely disappointing COWON X7 (sounds great...usability-wise impossible). I mean I'm not a fan of the old apple, but I can't argue when it is cheap, so easy to use and the sound quality is good enough.

I'm truly very sad to hear about Mister Jobs. My boss was telling me the other day how he would take an ipod... and look at it... but then take some headphones... put them in... and then say 'the click didn't sound right when I plugged them in... Change it'

Such a perfectionist in just one aspect of product design shows in the high levels of quality products that apple have created and can be proud of.

I'd like to take a quote from his Stanford speech, a little dramatic, but the message is good:

"Remembering that I'll be dead soon is the most important tool I've ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure – these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart."

RIP Steve Jobs 

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Illustrator day and amazing new Wacom product

So... I've had a fun day on illustrator... haven't been on it for a bit so I decided to have some fun with it: betcred was a brief... I kind of enjoyed it actually :)

swirls... and brushes..

I made my own RSS feed icon (seriously... the tutorial was really good!)

bendy lines

this logo... although it is pretty cool it took ages... 

I used illustrators scribble function... I'm in love with it

Then finally some more swirls ...

Yeah I was having fun with swirls... but can you blame me really? Photoshop + Illustrator is brill... I mean you could do some of this stuff in Photoshop but to the honest stuff like 'the scribbler' in Illustrator just make everything so much easier... except that ladybird.... that took ages...Photoshop would have been a better move...

Ah well in other news 

WAAAAAA AMAZING I WANT ONE SO BADLY  = 3 = Imagine just how helpful it could be....

one problem with it though....

Edit>> Undo? I don't think so... You better get good at drawing perfectly first time...

Thursday, 25 August 2011

Bye bye Steve Jobs

Even though I'm not a massive fan of Apple products. It seemed inappropriate for me to not blog about him, bearing in mind this is a New Media graduate blog.
I found a link to a really interesting article here.
As the article says, Apple stuff is accessible... and Steve Jobs does seem to possess some form of Midas touch. Now...even for someone who doesn't like Apple... I can see how usability was always at the forefront of Apple products, accessibility has stretched into common website principles that we all abide by today.
So farewell Steve Jobs, the future of Apple will be an interesting one, although saying that... he is only one man... and many work at apple.

I have a QR code

Want to check out my website? you go right ahead! :D

Saturday, 20 August 2011

Adding stuff to site and Adobe Edge

So I had a go on this 'Adobe Edge' that I downloaded not so long ago... it was pretty fun, I enjoyed it, but it seems, to me not to dissimilar to a poor man's flash built in HTML5 and with some Javascript. Apparently it's aimed at 'designers who don't want to code'. 
Now I'm not one to knock stuff like this usually, but I can't help but feel it's going to be a bit of a cop out with a horrendous price tag... the trial will run for a while... who knows, maybe after a bit more time I'll change my mind? 

Saturday, 13 August 2011

Comic started! And interviews :S

So I decided that one of my new years resolutions was to start drawing this comic... and the only way I can do that is by practising using my wacom tablet... and ughhhh.... it's so hard...
In other news... I've been getting into this twitter hash tagging stuff for Operation Cup of Tea... that was really fun actually I quite enjoyed it

Yeah that's right operation cup of tea. In other news I've been learning Javascript and it's not as bad as I thought it's like coldfusion and actionscript all over again... been looking at adobe edge and (meh... it's okay, but the beta is a bit odd :S)

and I've been doing some bits and pieces for interviews... we'll have to wait and see about that... the joys of inline CSS... I haven't done it for ages!

Sunday, 7 August 2011

Business Card

It's tiny... but this is the design idea for my card. I think it's quite groovy :)

Friday, 5 August 2011

Illustrator time! And the wonders of it!

Yeah.... so I've been having a mess in Illustrator for the first time ever and I love it! It's a great program... if only I'd been able to use it for information design... but still.... great piece of software, hope to make some more stuff in it soon!

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Yes! Success in parts! Interviews, Javascript, Finished Websites and Terrible drawing

So the Survive Miva website has been finished and completed! I'm pretty please that the client likes it :), played at a gig and had a grand old time

Anyway... back to normal stuff... I have job interviews coming up! This is certainly a good development! I've also been reading up on the good old Javascript it isn't as nightmarish as I had imagined.

Anyway, on to the next project.... Petite....

Sunday, 24 July 2011

Happy Birthday Talking Clock!

Quite an achievement for something so old to still be used so often and celebrated....
On the third stroke the time will be.....

Friday, 22 July 2011

More webdesign

So I've been working hard on the old web design lately this is the original site of a charity I'm working on
Here is the update I did last year
 Here is the new version with some added graphics and stuff, and a search bar
And here are the final touches to the Miss Val site :)

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Website development

So I am working on a website at the more for a client... I started this three years ago as an informal project... she didn't particularly need it... So this was the first year attempt
Gaaaaa.... I just thought it was horrible... I mean those colours are like criminal and the design is totally weird...I talked to the client about it ... and in my second year it changed a little...

I think there was definitely  an improvement, thanks to the graphic on the side... provided by my friend Miss Gibson... :D... but still there was far too much colour and all the alignment of the text is off...and some of those fonts are a bit ikky.
This is the version I'm working on at the moment... I think it's a lot better... the website has a strict 3 colour rule... I redesigned the header and just made it all simpler... the back stage code on this one is just about acceptable... the first two... were a nightmare...

New website

So here it is in development
I can't express my joy at how much better it is than the old one which is below

It just looks more professional. :) 

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Long time no see blog

Well now that the degree is out of the way, this blog will probably change in terms of content. The good news is that all the effort paid off for Faustus and I got a 72% for project overall which I'm very happy with. Also, I had a charming degree ceremony to top it all off.

Tada! So... now what? Well aside from looking for jobs, I'm hoping to crack on with the drawing and now I'm making my own website. That is all really... I went to Paris and that was fantastic.
Will hopefully make this into a new media, media probing, games and web examination thing, with a lot of stuff about new media related things, it will probably also contain a lot of drawings.

Sunday, 8 May 2011

About accessibility... different things for different people

So I came to a conclusion when listening to the lecture I attended on HTML5.
One of the speakers made a comment regarding accessibility in general:
'It doesn't have to be exactly the same, it just has to convey the same meaning... essentially... people shouldn't be missing out on anything...'
I've decided to take this approach with some of the interactive subtitling... the VO's whilst being long, don't really need to be subtitled to the letter, I just wanted to mix it up a bit, without discounting people who can't see the screen, they get the VO, people who don't want sound get the subtitles, everyone's happy. .. i'm close to finishing now... exciting times!

Friday, 6 May 2011

Resolve every problem?

Well I'm pretty close, I'm not going to lie, It's going to require a weekend of major power, but I think even the 'unfixable' issues can be fixed (it may involve some cheating and stuff), but generally... the code might even work!
Good times.

Monday, 2 May 2011

Subs on and off? Can do that... Int on and off? Can do that (Shame about the random problems)

Although the weird mask problems are carry on and there is some random stopping in the last scene, I've got the subs on and off working, the int on and off working, and know how to do the sound on and off, after that I've done all the stuff I can do alone (to be honest by then I won't have much left to do :D)

Sunday, 1 May 2011

Even closer... but weird problems...

So... I was so close to getting all the timing for all the scenes done for today... and yet... the last scene... seems to freeze mid way for no reason, there is no code... I really don't get it...
Another weird problem is that my masks were working fine except today they decided not to work at all..
Why? I don't know...

Friday, 29 April 2011

Getting near the end... and testing is useful!

This was the thing that testers wanted the most... a sub scene selection thing.... Gosh it took a surprizingly long amount of time let me tell you... my list is now

1) picture timing
2) sub timing
3) turning sound and int on and off....

but effective... nearly done 0_o... it's been so long and there have been so many problems... now I just can't wait to finish it now.

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

The mother of all breakthroughs....

So now... when I test the entire movie the whole thing works... all the sound is working fine, subtitles are pretty much working... one the list of things so do now we have:
1) Finializing picture timing
2) Finializing subtitles
3) Sound and Int on/off button
4)Mute button
5)Play/pause in menu

Oh... and got mail back from the BBC saying I'm in the talent pool.... and all my testing back

good day? yes I think so

Friday, 22 April 2011

Building and cutting back

So... I've managed to animate most of the stuff now, I need to time it, but all the images are in the Flash. I've had to take time out for a while because of illness (which is sad). But things are getting better, I just need to program some buttons in and sort some sounds out. Then it's the interactive stuff.
Now about subtitles on and off and sounds on and off. I think I need to build it first... after that, I need to sort on and off things. There just hasn't been enough time to do every thing I wanted to the quality I wanted T_T. Luckily I'm getting some help with code... so things should come together soon. I'm waiting for some testing to come back still, so far people have been impressed.

Friday, 15 April 2011

Kicked off the first round of testing!

The first test file has been sent off...
Can someone remind me why I built something in Flash again?

Other modules, Subtitles and Survey

Well, hello everyone! I've nearly built the demo now, some people have played it already though (thank goodness it's been eating away at my time like I don't know what!). So that will be sent off to some of the other users soon, just to see if they agree with the changes made. Another thing that has come through on testing, which I found interesting was from one of my testers, who explained that many games and interactive things he'd been on reccently had subtitles on them as standard, he explained that most puzzle based games and any games with cut scenes will include subtitles, not necessarily because it's difficult to hear or not hear, but because some people will play with the sound off, not because they can't hear. Although this is for people who don't like to read he said he doesn't like reading, but he sometimes plays games with the sound off.
Firstly, I was kind of upset with this discovery, but now I think about it, it might be better to keep the subtitles on, it does have a lot of cutscenes, and having subtitles on doesn't really detract from the animation and interactive parts as they are all inside a self contained movie section anyway. With this in mind I've decided to constantly have the subtitles on the screen, they don't detract from the main thing and sometimes it's prefered to have them on.

 And finally, if anyone feels the need to do an information design survey then here it is :)

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

About menus and stuff

So when thinking about accessibiltiy, one thing came to mind, although a lot of users wanted a pause and play and back to main menu when you pressed a button, when I thought about it, it would be much better if these things were on screen throughtout the experience, because if not, it'll break the dvdseque experience

I think this looks fairly good, I'm going to build the first part and crack the testing out by the end of the week (providing all goes well on the coding front).

Monday, 11 April 2011

Thursday, 7 April 2011

This is what a finished shot looks like


So here is a final still to have a look at, notice the darkness of the shot? It makes sense really, not all of it will be this dark of course, but for the beginning bit it's appropriate... and the colour looks fairly good, I also added the paper texture. I only have 20 left to colour and then tecture and words and then they can all go in the flash... I'm so excited!

Monday, 4 April 2011

41 to go 54 done

Wow... I'm impressed...

Faustus looks better in colour than I thought he would.
I'm generally quite impressed with the quality of the drawing and colouring, it's held up quite well. You'd be surprized what a lot of effort can do. I'm thinking of having a week blitzing project (In the free time that I have) I can't really do work on the others as I don't have books for them, so it makes sense that I get as much project done as I can (of course there are family considerations at this point too)

Wednesday, 30 March 2011

colouring in drawings...

So this is the magical process of colouring in (Sarah style). Now I'm aware that this isn't quite as perfect as some colourers... I think that it's fair to say that I have 95 of them... so I better not get too bogged down with detail and they look okay... right?
 8 of 21 That I've done so far... In two days! Good productivity...All I need to do once I've coloured them is add texture (and text on some) and they are done... I might actually be able to finish this project in 2 weeks time... that would be exciting...
Like last time, I'm colouring in rushes so things stay consistent... and like last time, Mephilstopheles is first, partly because his colours are more vibrant and secondly because he's easier to colour, I thought it'd be good to do him first to get into the swing of things...
Also expect a post with concept art by me and other artists soon! I've got some of them already... they look amazing... they are going to be used as easter eggs.