Tag Archives: arts

Evaluation of Project – Illumina

Standard

For this project we worked in groups.

I was working with Katie Waldock, Clare Haldon and Mark Smith.

As with any team, we each had individual strengths and we tried to utilise this diversity.

My skills lie mainly in design, project conception and testing and so my input fell mainly in the inception stages. as we designed the layout and content of the page, and at the end, when the site required rigorous testing in multiple browsers. I worked in the meantime creating some of the animated Gifs.

Mark is a great organiser and pulled together the folder required for the brief, locating all the information required and setting it out coherently. He also produced some of the graphics, the logo and the About page.

Clare’s expertise lies in Illustrator and so we turned to her for the page’s main graphical layout. She produced the larger vector graphics which formed the basis of our page.

Katie is the coder of the group, having worked in programming previously. She coded the website using Dreamweaver, pulling together everything created by the group.

Our initial research led us to look at various sites. One which stood out was Ben the Bodyguard.

We were impressed by the way the figure appears to walk down the street as the page is scrolled. In face it remains in the middle of the screen, but the impression was one we wanted to use in our website.

After some discussion, we decided to us a tall building, with a glass elevator on the front. We would place a figure in the elevator and as the page scrolled down, the lift would appear to descend the building.

Clare got to work making the building and lift in Illustrator.

building-illuminaOur project required us to produce some animation, so we decided to decorate the building with neon signs, which Mark and I made in Photoshop, animating them into gifs. I produced the clickable signs (the ones which let to other pages)

about-us

Location

Contact

 

and Mark made the static signs.

lips_neon_sign_110-A06-A

neon-cup

neon-girl

only-god-forgives-neonposter

we're-open-neon

In the meantime, Katie produced a couple of animations for two of the windows:

frame-party-window

frame-spy-window

and Clare built a taxi and helicopter for a “spy-getaway” animation we wanted to make to start and finish the page experience.

final-taxihelicopter-animation

 

Mark put a folder together of all the administrative work we needed and made an illuminated sign for the page.

illumina-logo-neon-with-stars_final

 

Gradually, the pieces were coming together and it was mainly down to Katie to write the code and bring it all together.

Owing to illness and work commitments, my input througouht the project was minimal, so I tried to redeem myself a little by testing the site in several browser and offering constructive feedback.

With browsers differing so much in the way they display pages, we found it very difficult to present a website that worked in every one.

The best we found was Safari, which seemed to have fewer glitches than the others. firefox and chrome both had display problems, rendering the whole image too large and off to the right of the page.

The secondary pages, which Mark put together, mostly displayed well, so it was the large images and animations which were causing problems in the web browsers.

The final piece can be seen here.

 

 

 

Website Development

Standard

For my latest project, I am creating a website called The Needle Exchange which is a knitting site for the 21st century featuring alternative, quirky and unusual knitting patterns, how-to videos and a forum for users to interact.

So far, all I have done with the design is plan a home page.

Needle Exchange home

My intention at the moment is to have videos on the home page instructing visitors on the basics of knitting, for those who have never done it before. The “How-To Videos” button will open a page which also has several other videos showing more complex techniques.

The “Home” “Forum and “Contact” buttons are self explanatory, whilst the “Patterns” button will link to a page showing sections of content, navigating the visitor to actual free knitting patterns. (Not knitted doilies, more like handcuffs or vampire plushies.)

I have used a simple, crisp layout and straightforward logo/header in order to make navigation easy. The site will feature a wide range of themes in terms of content, so i wanted to create an interface which does not clash with any of this content.

My decision to place the navigation buttons in the footer is unconventional but I feel it will work (I have seen it done successfully elsewhere) as it is clear and obvious. I am making an “alternative” themed site, so some breaking of “rules” is, I believe in order.

Water Project – The Background Graphics

Standard

Background Graphics

As part of my project “Water: The Source of Life” for the National Geographic website, I need to produce at least 2 background images.

These images will sit behind the main body of the site, so only the left and right edges will be visible most of the time.

I wanted to create something in keeping with the theme of my project – the melting of the polar ice caps and flooding of main continets and capital cities.

I developed header images of five of the biggest cities in the world underwater and added text, but the background images do not need text so they were easier to make.

First Background Image

I combined two images in the first image:

I found a picture of some Arctic Ice

Then added a photograph of some stones under water

By using a layer mask, I created a gradient between the two images.

Here it is with a Screen Grab of the National Geographic website, to see what it could look like.

Second Background Image

I did a similar thing with this background image.

Starting with an image of some an icey terraine.

I added an image of some storm clouds.

Again, by using a gradient mask I combined the two.

I then added a colour wash to bring out the colours.

And added a screen grab to see what it would look like.

I’m quite please with my images and the new techniques I have learned. I just have one more part of my submission to do and that’s Banner Ads, which I’ll cover in my next post.

Image References

Arctic Ice

Stones under Water

National Geographic

Icey Terraine

Storm Clouds

Water Project – The Header Graphics

Standard

Header Graphics for Water: The Source of Life.

I have finally finished the header graphics for my project “Water: The Source of Life.”

Having worked on the images for the headers, I then added text.

I only need two, but I have come up with 5 alternatives:

New York under water, with text added along with National Geographic logo.

This is not one of my favourite images of the five. I don’t think the underwater effect is prominent enough. If I was more skilled in Photoshop, I would have liked to create some decay and texture to the buildings, but this is something I will hopefully learn in the future.

Paris under water with added text and National Geographic logo

This is the first image I created and conversely the one which I have tinkered with more than the others. Again, with better skill I would have liked to create more rusting and decay on the Eiffel Tower. I do like the underwater effect here and the way the city appears to have ‘fallen’ into the rocks.

Rome under water with added text and National Geographic logo.

Although I like the light and water effects here, I’m not sure I’m really happy with the way the buildings have come out. I fiddled (that’s the technical term!) with the  foliage in the foreground to try to create more depth and texture, but I don’t think I was very successful.

I do like the way the title text came out on this one though.

San Francisco under water with added text and National Geographic logo.

I was surprised at how well this one came out. I was lucky with a good image of San Francisco to start with and the water fitted very well with the overall look.

Sydney under water with added text and National Geographic logo.

Although I made this image as an afterthought, having created the others and deciding that I ought to represent Australia too, I actually like this one best of them all.

I like the way the water has affected the buildings and I think it is the most underwater-looking one of the set. I also like the text on this, as it stands out just right.

Image References

Underwater Image 1

Underwater Image 2

New York

Paris

Rome

San Francisco

Sydney

Photoshop CS6 – Adding Texture or Image to Text

Standard

Texturizing Text

It’s easy in CS6 to add a texture or image to text. It used to be a rather complicated process is former versions but those nice people at Adobe have simplified the process for those of us who like our interesting text.

Here’s what to do in easy steps.

1) Open a Photoshop document and use the text tool to write your text. Choose a chunky font so that the image/texture will show up well.

2) Choose your texture and place this on top of your text.

3) Go to the Layers panel and hover the mouse between the image and text layers. Hold down the Alt/Opt key.

4) An angled arrow will appear (not like the one in the picture – I’m just showing where it will be.) This is when you click… and presto! The image and text meld together!

You can move the image around to get it just right.

The layers pallette looks like this:

And there you have it – no complicated masking etc. Remember to hold the Alt/opt key down though, or it will not work!