DesignBlitz Fun

I found this assignment to be fun and interesting. The main obstacle I faced with this assignment was the weather. I had a lot of good ideas for design elements on campus but because it was cold and rainy I really didn’t feel like taking the time to take pictures outside. I did manage to get some pictures outside when it wasn’t completely gross but the rest were when I was limited to my apartment. Here is my DesignBlitz:

Color

For the color concept I took a picture of the sunset at our recreational field during practice. The colors in the sky were so vibrant and brought out the bright green turf that we play on.

Typography

For the typography concept I took a picture of the canvas hanging by our kitchen table that says “home sweet home”. I liked the use of different fonts painted onto this one canvas. The cursive font for the word “sweet” contrasts the block font for the words “home” while conveying sweetness.

Symbol

For the metaphor/symbol concept I took a picture of my clock. I used this picture because my clock symbolizes the time of day. However, my clock is special. I set it so that it is five minutes fast (so that I am never late), therefore it could also symbolize the future (or at least five minutes into the future).

Minimalism

For the minimalism concept I took a picture of the recreational field that myself and my teammates play soccer on because all you need is a field and some goals. Also there is a lot of space that is not filled with anything so it can be used for many activities.

Functionalism

For the form/function/message concept I used a picture of the coffee cart in our kitchen. It’s main function is to make coffee so my roommates and I can wake up in the morning. However, because the canvas hanging above it says “dear coffee, I love you, that is all” it sends the message that we are addicted to coffee.

Balance

For the balance concept I took a picture of the fountain in front of Monroe. The juxtaposition between the water and the brick creates balance along with the symmetry of the two structures.

Rhythm

For the rhythm concept I took a picture of our shower curtain because the pattern on it creates rhythm. I also used this object for rhythm because my roommates and I sing in the shower so it “hears” our singing and captures the rhythm.

Proportion

For the proportion concept I took a picture of my purses. I have a bigger purse for summer and spring and a smaller cross-body bag for fall and winter. Therefore, because they are similar styles but different sizes, they represent proportions well.

Dominance

For the dominance concept I took a picture of the trees outside of our apartment. These trees are planted on a hill next to our apartment and are so tall that they dominate the view from our patio.

The Vignelli Canon

This reading pointed out many things that I have never really thought of when it came to design. I never thought about letters having a design to them but realize that because I am a perfectionist mine follow one of them. I never intentionally followed a design but did unconsciously. That’s pretty cool while also being kind of weird. I also never really thought about different typefaces as well. I usually use Times New Roman because that is what everyone tells you to use. I guess I also follow this one subconsciously as well.

When it comes to semantics, it depends on what I am doing. If it is an assignment for a class that I am designing, I make sure I understand what I am doing in context to the given assignment. If I am designing something for myself or a friend, I make sure I understand what I, or my friend, wants from the design. That being said, I also make sure others can understand my design. Every time I finish an assignment or design I show it to my roommate and make sure she understands what is going on in it. I also have more than enough discipline. Since I am a perfectionist, discipline just comes naturally to me.

After reading about timelessness, I realize that I agreed wholeheartedly with this aspect. If a company pays someone to design a logo for them, they want it to be a timeless logo so it was a good investment. Although following trends is fun, the design of something has to be able to last. Another thing to think about when it comes to timelessness is the fact that the design should also try to be futuristic. This will help the design achieve timelessness. I also agreed with the discussion of the alignment of text. The aligned left text is most used and simplifies reading, the centered alignment is used for, what I call, fancy circumstances, and the justified alignment is most commonly used for textbooks. This is something everyone typically follows because they reciprocate what they have seen. Practically from birth, everything we read is aligned left. Therefore, that is our natural  go-to alignment.

I enjoyed this reading and learned a lot about design principles that I had no idea existed. I was shocked that I actually implement a lot of these principles of design in my everyday life, as well as in this class, without even knowing it.

Alien

Ok, I literally just paused the movie after the title sequence because it was so cool. The way the word “ALIEN” is being spelled out slowly was just mind boggling. I guessed that it said “ALIEN” after the first three lines but it kept me interested, mostly so I could figure out if I was right. The last time I saw this movie was probably when I was in middle school so I remember the basis of the story and what happens but I don’t remember any of the design decisions. Now I will press play and continue watching the movie.

Alien Poster

Well that was a lot creepier than I remember it being. I couldn’t help but notice the entire movie was so dark that I couldn’t see much. The only time it wasn’t dark was in the beginning of the movie when the crew wakes up. everything is lite well but once they get their orders to go to the planet it slowly gets darker and darker. Of course this darkness would help conceal the alien and make the movie more of a thriller. My dad actually read on article to me in middle school about the movie that said the man who designed the alien, designed him backward. He designed the full grown alien first and then thought about how the alien would look younger and then as a baby. I thought that was interesting because the designer of the alien had more control over the design of the alien by starting with the final product. Overall, this movie was designed very well, especially since it was before movies were designed completely using graphic designers on computers.

Audio Storytelling

Overall, I have enjoyed combining different sounds to create a story. I’m not accustomed to using, or just hearing, audio since I watch a lot of TV and movies. Audio really is the basic building block for any type of animated storytelling.

After listening to “Moon Graffiti” I felt like I was on the moon with them, in my own suit, listening to them exchange dialogue. The audio in this story was crucial because it needed to sound like astronauts in space or the illusion would have been shattered. The sound effects made this story believable, which is crazy since it didn’t actually happen. I love the crash scene because I didn’t expect it and it sounds real. I like that after the crash it cut to President Nixon’s speech which served as the narrative for the listeners. They included the introduction to the podcast after introducing the crash which was amazing because then the listeners had some background before the podcast was properly introduced. Since their voices were clear while they were in the shuttle, the muffling of them when they are in their suits provides a good contrast and allows the listeners to transition themselves with, or follow, the story. The ominous music as they open the shuttle to exit it was perfect. They are welcoming death at their door as they are exiting the shuttle and the audio portrayed that.

The reading Alien: Audio-Biomechanics was very interesting for me because I am a huge fan of the movie. I like how it discusses realism through audio. I never thought about this before but sometimes sounds that we think happen naturally during filming are actually added in post-production. The addition of these sounds simulates reality in the work. Depending on what sounds are added, the creation of something that is not in the scene can happen. For example, the rumble of an engine while the person in the scene is getting closer to the engine room. The engine is not in the shot, but there are clues through what we hear that it is running and the person in the shot is getting closer to it. Most people like the background music that plays during a scene, or during a story, though since it can set the tone for the piece. If you want to portray something happy, have a happy song or tune playing in the background. If something scary is going on, play a scary song to add creepiness to our story. This is crucial for horror films and stories because it lets the listener know that something is coming, which creates suspense. This is also crucial for the jump-scare in horror movies. There is always a blast of scary music when the ghost/zombie/killer/etc. jump out at the main character. This is meant to overwhelm your senses in order to frighten you more. Overall, audio is a very important part of storytelling and if enough of these guidelines are followed, anyone can create a masterpiece of emotion.

Radio Show Ideas

Thinking of ideas for a radio show was ruff. I’m confident that when I’m in a group and we are bouncing ideas off of each other more will come but for now I have the following ideas:

  • Tales from the Crypt (radio show version) – I had thoroughly enjoyed reading the comics and thought that introducing the same, or different, stories in audio format would be fun. I googled an audio version of Tales from the Crypt and found out that there was actually a radio show based on the comics that ran for 8 episodes in 2000.
  • Turning a famous movie scene into a horror scene – I had originally thought that picking a Rom-Com scene and making it scary would be fun but then I thought, why not use a scene from any movie from any genre (except from the horror genre, of course)
  • Everyone in the group improvises a ghost story – I always loved telling ghost stories around the campfire when I was little, mostly because everyone’s faces looked funny when they held the flashlight up to them. I wanted to bring that element to radio but wasn’t sure how to do it. I decided that doing a round-robin of everyone in the group reading ghost stories, or making one up, would be just as fun.

The “Last Laugh” You Will Ever Hear

After reading the “Last Laugh” I knew I wanted to do the first page of the comic. I loved the idea of setting the scene and mood of the work. Here is some context for my sound effects ideas.

Last Laugh Title Page

I would start with the Tales of the Crypt Cryptkeeper’s laugh and then a deep male voice introducing the comic.

There would be no background music throughout the whole scene because Ernie Ceely is waiting in a doctor’s office, which is sterile, so I want the audio to feel sterile. While Ernie is waiting for the doctor, there should be sound effects of someone shifting around in a chair, a silent chuckle and then soft whimper of pain. Then someone opens a door, a man enters the room, and then the door closes. The dialogue begins. There is walking and a door opens and closes again as Ernie and the doctor enter the examination room. The dialogue continues. There is rustling of clothing as Ernie takes his jacket off and the doctor rolls up his sleeves and then Ernie sits down on the exam table. For this scene I wanted to create a serious atmosphere because Ernie’s pain is serious which juxtaposes his funny personality and the pranks he plays later on in the story.

Cinematography is More Than Entertainment

For this assignment, I had to watch a horror movie and find elements of emotion in stills from the movie. I decided to watch The Ring because it was the first horror movie I ever saw and thought it would be easier to dissect it since I have seen it many times. I also wanted to watch it because I suggested that we use this movie in our class at the beginning of the semester because it is an excellent horror film.

I chose the scene when Rachel is watching a video about Samara Morgan, the deceased girl who kills anyone that watches the tape, when she was in a mental hospital. I liked this scene because there is a lighthouse that shines through the window behind Rachel and illuminates the background about once every minute.

Here is when the background is shown and the lighthouse is pointed away from the house.

The Ring 1

Here is when the background is illuminated and the old man, whose house Rachel is in, appears in the background.

The Ring 2

I like this scene because it incorporates a few different elements all in one scene. There is, of course, lighting in this scene with the moments of darkness in the background contrasted with the moments of light. This scene also plays a lot with foreground and background. For all of the moments that the old man is not in the background the focus is on Rachel in the foreground but once the old man appears in the background, the focus shifts to him and the rest of the background. This shift in focus is meant to surprise the audience when the old man appears. This scene also incorporates the use of moment. The old man is absent for most of the scene but appears at the right moment in the scene, right before he attacks Rachel. This evokes fear in the audience and the uncertainty of his motives leaves the audience wondering what will happen to Rachel.

I also chose the cursed video from this movie for multiple reasons.

This video was shot in black and white whereas the rest of the movie is in color, therefore it provides a lot of contrast due to the lack of use of color. I also noticed that the perspective changes a lot in the video. Most of the video is shot at normal head height but some scenes are shot looking down at the subject. This makes the viewer feel as though they are actually looking down on the subject.

This last still is from the scene when Rachel is out on her balcony watching others living near her live their lives as if nothing bad could ever happen, when she knows she is going to die soon.

The Ring 8

I like this particular still because the camera panned from window to window but stopped on this one for a second or two before it kept panning over. This still has balance. The two uninhabited apartments are diagonal from each other. However, the two inhabited apartments are also diagonal from each other. This creates balance which promotes calmness in the viewer, just as Rachel wants to feel. I also like this still because it uses framing. The frames around the windows lead the eye in towards what is inside each window. This effect also helps with balancing the still.

Visual Storytelling

I would not call myself a photographer, I am more like a tourist when I have a camera. I am either taking pictures to help me remember the places that I have been to or I am taking selfies with my friends and family to remember the experiences that we shared together. I never think about conveying an effect in a picture, I just like to take pictures of things that I want to remember. I also don’t take as many pictures since the main camera on my phone broke so I can only take pictures with the front-facing camera. It’s frustrating asking friends to take a picture and then send it to me or carrying around a camera in order to take pictures, but as soon as I get a new phone I will be taking more pictures.

I actually like photographing the railroad tracks that are near my house. I never even noticed it but I used the line technique while taking the pictures. I just liked the way my eye was drawn to the tracks and followed them. I have never thought about it before, but I actually do take a lot of pictures that are from different perspectives, especially while pointing the lens up in the air. I have thought about buying a heavy duty camera with different lenses and teaching myself photography and how to use it properly, but I don’t have the funds to do it at the moment. Once I got a heavy duty camera, I would like to work on spending time taking pictures and getting the image I want instead of rapidly clicking the shutter button.

Paranormal Teammate

My name is Brittany Raze and I used to play on the club soccer team at the University of Mary Washington. I played until my tragic death over the summer. However, I am back as a ghost. Only my teammates can see me, which is why it looks weird when we take pictures together. For example:

Paranormal

You see, to my fellow teammates I am there in the room with them, but if anyone else looks at this picture, I am not there. I am only a smudge or glare from a light. I don’t haunt anyone, I just want to live out the rest of my college days with my team and make memories with the girls that I consider my second family, and then I will be on my way.

I enjoyed this assignment mostly because every time I look at this picture I think I look like a legitimate ghost because of how the lighting flushes me out. It also doesn’t help that my friend Chelsea is tanner than me so I look even more ghostly. Oh well, I had a good laugh with this one and stretched the paranormal element a bit which is why I added in the background story. Although I don’t find this image scary, not even a little bit, I do consider a ghost to be a figure that is either super white or super faint, so I do think this image fits the criteria pretty well.

Photoblitz Fun

This assignment was super fun but also kind of difficult. I found it exciting because I was literally running around my apartment taking pictures and checking things off on my laptop. I found it difficult because I had to run to the University Center for one of the pictures and then run back, which took about 7 minutes. Another difficulty I faced was I had to use my roommate’s phone to take the pictures because my phone’s camera doesn’t work. However, I completed it with 3 minutes to spare and love all of the pictures I took. You can see My Photoblitz here in a Flickr album and the following list consists of the photo ideas I had to take.

  1. Create a self-portrait, without your face, that identifies you.
  2. Make an artistic close-up of an ear-human, animal, whatever.
  3. Change perspective! Look up and take a photo of what’s going on in the sky.
  4. Take a picture of construction.
  5. Make a photo containing or suggesting fire and/or smoke.
  6. Make a photo that represents the passage of time.
  7. Make a photo that freezes or isolates the motion of an object.

The first picture was to mark the starting time, which was 3:00pm, and layout the tasks I had to do. The second picture was a selfie I took holding my soccer cleats in front of my face because soccer is my life and I have played for 15 years now. The third picture was a close-up of my roommate’s ear because I love all of the piercings she has, especially what we call her “pirate hoop”. The fourth picture was a picture of the sky from the balcony of my apartment. The fifth picture was of the continuing construction at the University Center, orange cones and all. The sixth picture was of our stove top because it suggests fire to heat the food and smoke when we occasionally burn our food. The seventh picture was of my watch because it shows the passage of time as I look at it throughout the day. The eighth picture was of my avengers ball that my roommate threw in my room. Finally, the last picture was of the time I got all of my pictures taken, which was 3:17pm, with all of the photo ideas checked off.