Tag Archives: Assessment

Ground work


After class today I went down to the library to make a start on my essay. I couldn’t find any of the books on the required reading list for writing an essay, so I can only assume someone else got them out before me. That, or I just didn’t see them.

So, I found these books instead, and found them rather helpful for breaking down the process of essay writing. The notes that I made from them are in my folder.

I had hoped to do my essay on something around gender, but any books covering that were about films in general rather than focussing on animation.

Once we are finished doing our animation in Creative Strategies I will venture back down, and narrow my focus on what exactly I want to write about.



General Feedback on the class’ animations:

  • Work with technology not against it
  • Dislikes physical sun and sky
  • Maintain your vision in Maya, if it works on paper it should work in that
  • Test animation on target audience
  • Make sure the presentation works
  • Movie first then breakdown of process
  • Have one video per slide – and go full screen
  • Ask those with more experience for advice
  • Seasons to show long passage of time, night and day for short
  • Use an x-sheet to know what happens on each frame
  • The whole class is a team
  • Eyes are the window to the soul
  • When given feedback work with it, don’t ditch an idea

This is the feedback which we received for our presentation on our 15 second dinosaur animation.

  • Presented well, but turned back on audience
  • Issues with composition, texturing and lighting
  • No sound
  • No real evidence of how research influenced design
  • Nice to see application of the conventions of comedy
  • Have the T-Rex hold the flag e.g. using it’s tail, or hand?
  • Nice rig (all Amy’s work)
  • Hitting rock with tail is a nice sequence
  • Good character design
  • Issues with staging (scene 5)
  • We got a laugh for the first time, it was longer on play-blasted version

Additional feedback from Mike:

  • Titles on the opening scene obscure the characters, fade it out sooner and also have it fade in at the start
  • Horizon line in scene 2 jumps
  • Prolong the shot of the splash in scene 2
  • Parasaurolophus’ arms raise as his head moves, correct this, keep the stationary
  • Have close ups of the parasaurolophus anticipating the rock hitting the T-Rex’s head and the T-Rex’s reaction to being struck on the head (scene 3)
  • Swap scene 4 and 5, so rock attack precedes retaliation
  • Where does the rock the T-Rex tries to throw come from? Insert a shelf or something that it will come from.
  • When throwing a lot of rocks, have camera to the other side, and at the end have the T-Rex looking off towards rock that it will throw with narrowed eyes
  • For failed throw zoom out from bouncing stone to angry face- don’t have it getting angry
  • Have more pull back on the arm prior to throw
  • Cut to face tracking stone’s fall
  • Cut to ripples in water
  • Cut to disheartened face- could end it there
  • There is no real need for the flag scene at the end
  • Maybe should of had something jump out of the water and eat the parasaurolophus or have a pterodactyl swooping down and crying it off
  • The timing is what makes it funny to him

Vogler Presentation

We all read the three chapters, then made notes on them and shared them with one another to ensure nothing was missed before started the presentation. Rachel created a google document for us all to be able to work on the presentation whenever we could.

So, Rachel and I filled most of the information into the powerpoint, simply because we got there before the boys, Aidan then spent most of his time fixing any mistakes we made and ensuring that it was well designed.

Conor did a slide on Joseph Campbell that we clearly copied and pasted. I actually copied and pasted into google and found four sites which had the same information in them, verbatim. Aidan ended up going back into it to fix it, admittedly I found it more amusing than he did.

We then made sure there were good speakers notes for Conor to use, and he was going to print them off so that he could learn them off and practice for Thursday.

Apparently, the presentation ran over in time, the speaker notes were not used, and Conor mainly read off the screen. So we decided that he should present again to try and improve for next time.

Link to presentation : Vogler Presentation

Speaker notes for presentation:

“Slide 1 – Title

Slide 2

A phrase first used by Daniel Garrison Brinton (archaeologist and ethnologist). He studied humans, analysing characteristics of people in relation to others socially and culturally. He introduced the phrase in his book Myths of a New World.

The Trickster is a catalyst character who breaks the rules of nature or of the God’s. Sometimes this character is sly and malicious but more often than not, we know these ‘tricksters’ to be foolish and often comedic characters with unintentional actions resulting in positive effects and a resolved story.

In some cultures the idea of ‘Trickster’ and the ‘Cultural Hero’ can be combined. We can see the differences between Greek and Native American folklore.

Greek Mythology: Prometheus was a Titan who stole fire from the Gods to give to humans.

Native America: A coyote or raven (who were seen as spiritual trickster figures)  had stolen fire from Gods.

Slide 3

Carl Jung lived between the 19th and 20th centuries. He was Swiss psychologist who studied into the idea of archetypes and the phrase ‘common unconscious’. By this he refers to the experiences of love, religion, life, struggle, birth, survival, culture… that every individual has stored in their subconscious. These experiences can be recreated in any art form, used and manipulated to generate certain feelings or thoughts towards a character or situation.

Slide 4

The purpose of a Trickster to to apply a comedic approach in bringing a story’s hero as well as an audience back down to earth. The Trickster adds moments of laughter which help tone down the effects of unrelieved tension and suspense which can be emotionally draining.  Their actions promote a healthy change or transformation to the situation or characters by drawing attention the absurdity and forcing us to step back and look at a different perspective.

Here we have just a few other examples of some typical archetypes.

Slide 5

What is it: The Ordinary World in one sense is the place you came from last. In life we pass through a succession of Special Worlds which slowly become ordinary as we get used to them.

Comparison: Compared to the Special World, the Ordinary World may seem boring and calm, but the seeds of excitement and challenge can usually be found there.

Function: The hero’s problems and conflicts are already present in the Ordinary World, waiting to be addressed. So it is a platform for issues to be introduced to the audience, and then the Special world is where they are remedied. For example, Shrek lives alone in his swamp and this is seen as ordinary to him until special circumstances occur.

Slide 6

Im going to use the original and final Harry Potter films opening scenes as reference, notice the similarities as well as the application of theories from the chapter ‘Ordinary World’.

‘Before the Beginning’: storytellers may use ritualised phrases such as “in a land far, far away” to set the tone, the title itself could imply what the story could be about, even the atmosphere could be created prior to viewing a film in the cinema due to promotion or lighting.

‘Title’: could be a multi-level metaphor that is woven throughout the film

‘Opening Scene’: creates the mood and suggest the future direction of the story

‘Prologue’: may give the audience some of the backstory or information that will help ease them into the world

Point of world

‘Contrast’ : heightens the dramatic change when transferred from the ordinary world to the special one e.g. James and The Giant Peach. From live action to stop-motion.

‘Foreshadowing’: is when the ordinary world is used to create a small model of the special one that can hint at impending battles or decisions that will be encountered

‘Introducing dramatic question’: use the original world to pose different about the hero such as their motivations and capabilities, and is used to propel the plot

‘Problems’: the hero will face inner (personal) problems to solve and then encounter outer problems that encapsulates the entire plot.

‘Entrance’: this is what establishes the character to the audience and is when the audience should become invested in the character- regardless of their likeability- they must be RELATABLE e.g. Jack Naylor in Holby City.

Slide 7

The hero


The identification and how the hero is lacking are both important areas that enable the audience to establish a rapport with the hero as they have some depth, commonalities and allows the audience to feel sympathy for hero who feels something missing from their life.

Tragic flaws: commonality in Greek mythology, that heroes have a fatal fault that leads to their destruction despite whatever redeeming qualities. For example, Annabeth Chase has the flaw of hubris (pride) which almost destroys Olympus as she refuses to believe she is mistaken.

Wounded heroes: adds another dimension to the character, but can be subtly alluded to, be it emotional or physical in nature.

Stakes: entices the audience if their will be large consequences for failure.Many scripts fail due to the stakes being too small.

Backstory & Exposition: The backstory is what got the character to the beginning point of the story, the exposition is the way in which the necessary backstory and other information is revealed. Both are hard to do well, but it is better if the audience must become involved and piece together information themselves.

Theme: what is the story about, and what will the audience take away from the experience?

Questioning the journey: look at how other media unfolds a story, create a personal history for you character, create a timeline of events, how is the hero lacking in a capacity, make points of backstory/exposition that the audience needs to know, and do different cultures or genders have different needs to be fulfilled by a story?

Slide 8

Room for overspill if speaking is too long from slide 7

Slide 9

Get the story rolling: what is the catalyst?

Some examples.

Synchronicity: string of coincidences that draw attention to the need for change

Temptation: the allure of a goal that will prompt action from the hero e.g. money

Heralds of change: forces change by posing a question, challenge or statement.

Reconnaissance: could be the villain asking around or checking out the kingdom

Discomfort and disorientation: the call could initially be unappealing but end up better in the long run

Lack or Need: some requirement must be met whether by the hero, or society, prompting action to be taken.

No more options: the normal methods of surviving are no longer sufficient or sustainable, presenting them with the choice of taking action

Multiple Calls: It is possible that Heroes will be called multiple times to face their destiny, if they are reluctant, for example in Percy Jackson and The Lightning Thief, he is told repeatedly that he is the son of a Greek god before he accepts that he will need to go on a quest.

Questioning the Journey: First of examine how other films or stories address the call, think of any calls that you have been given or have gave to someone else, are there any stories out there without a call, would delaying the call make for interesting or where would the ideal placement be and how should it be presented?

Slide 10

In 1949 Joseph Campbell delved into the field of mythology with his book The Hero With a Thousand Faces. This book was made on the pioneering work of German anthropologist (someone who studies humans) Adolph Bastian who’s idea was that myths from all around the world are built up on the same basic principles.

Campbell’s offering was for archetypes to be used with the idea to map out the common underlying structure behind religion & myth. He gave this idea in The Hero With a Thousand Faces, which we are given examples from cultures worldwide throughout history.

Carl Jung, a Swiss psychiatrist named the elementary ideas as “archetypes” which he believed were key elements not only of the unconscious mind, but of a collective one also. In other words, he believed that everyone in the universe is born with the same basic subconscious similar to that of a “hero” a “mentor” or “quest” and shows how people of different languages can still enjoy the same stories.

Slide 11


Maya Assessment Presentation 1

So this was the first presentation that we had to do for Design Discourse 1 that was being assessed.

What needed to be included;

  • Our animations
  • Our storyboards
  • Problems we encountered and how we overcame them
  • Research
  • Reference Videos
  • Principles of animation (we chose to show them in our animations rather than simply talk about them)

Presentation : Maya Presentation


  • Good problem solving
  • Demonstrated response to tutors feedback
  • Good storyboards
  • Showed the Principals of Animation
  • Good reference videos
  • Good examples of independent research

Powerpoint Presentation Speech Notes

Below is the notes which I typed up with Amy’s help to work out what needs to be said in the powerpoint presentation, and a gathering of all our information.

I said slide 1-3, 4-9 was Blayne, Philip didn’t seem comfortable with speaking in presentations so we gave slide 14 to say as it was only one slide and he could get all of what he had to say in one go, Andrew said slides 10-13 and Amy said slide 15-19.

Slide 1

Title : This is our project on David Carson versus Massimo Vignelli. They are both Graphic designers who have very different approaches to the discipline and attitudes towards typography in particular.

Slide 2

History and What designers do

As you can see from the slide, graphic design is available to us in a plethora of ways.

It is rather vague in terms of history, unlike other disciplines such as fashion, which are heavily documented. It is felt that by understanding the past of graphic design, it would help clarify the principle values and generate a better understanding and therefore, greater innovation within the craft. Yet, so far, the past has remained elusive, whilst the need for discovering the past is well documented.

Basically a graphic designer, aims to convey their message to their audience in a comprehensible way through visual displays that stand out.

Slide 3

What is graphic design?

It is there to make a distinction, for example between different companies, and it is also there to inform us, like a leaflet of instructions.

The designs are often emotive and helps to shape how we feel about the world around us.

Slide 4


There are a lot of things to consider when choosing the font you will use.

Text type; old style, transitional and modern, display type, Sans serif and script typefaces

Spacing – letter spacing, word spacing, line spacing

Character structure – the shape of the letters; serif, sans serif, semi serif, counter size

Leading- spacing between lines of type

Headings – do you want visually dynamic (splitting words), mastheads (attention grabbing), drop caps (draw the eye to the start)

Slide 5


He attended San Diego State University, graduating with honours and distinction with a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology.
Carson’s first contact with graphic design was in 1980 at the University of Arizona during a two week graphics course, taught by Jackson Boelts.

1982-87 he was a teacher whilst also being ranked number 9 in the world as a professional surfer.

Main influence was Hanz-Rudolf Lutz, who died in 1998. Lutz was the leader of the Expression Typographique group in Paris, at Studio Hollenstein, producing a range of graphic design. He wrote, illustrated, typeset and produced nine books about visual communication.

Slide 6


Massimo Vignelli was born in Milan, where he studied architecture before coming to America for three years on a fellowship, then returned to kick start the New York branch of Unimark International where he stayed until 1971 when he resigned.

Soon after he set up Vignelli Associates with his wife Lella, which had designed a wide range of products, and earned a number of awards.

He died aged 89 in New York.

Slide 7


Essentially, modernism is the deliberate departure from tradition and the use of innovative forms of expression that distinguish many styles in the arts and literature of the 20th century.

This was mainly due to attitudes in the late 19th century and early 20th century believing that traditional forms were no longer fit for purpose as they were outdated or simply didn’t fit with the new industrialised lifestyle.

Slide 8

Vignelli’s work adhering to modernism

You can see throughout Vignelli’s work that he worked tirelessly to keep his designs as straightforward as possible. There was no extravagant, excessive or abstract artistry involved.

Essentially, his work is on the better side of Carson’s view point as it is “simple and clean and powerful’ rather than “simple and clean and boring”.

His method of working earned him clients over many states of America and throughout Europe, ranging from companies wanting their packaging redesigned to interior design to book design.

Using his style and ethos, Vignelli Associates is still running strong today.

Slide 9

American Airlines

In 1967 he was tasked to redesign the American Airlines logo, so it lasted for an incredible 46 years, only changing due to a new chapter in business history for the emergence of a new plane and recovering from bankruptcy.

The design was simple and self-explanatory. That is why it was so successful.

Slide 10

Subway map

The image to the right is the map which Vignelli and his colleges at Unimark designed.

Unfortunately the original map was abandoned after a few years due to the inaccurate representation of the above layout on New York, for example, Central Park was the wrong shape.

That was not Vignelli’s focus. His aim was to give travellers on the New York Subway a coherent reference of when and where they could change trains, not to help with the street navigation.

Eventually though, the map was revived as an online resource available to the subway users.

Slide 11

The Stendig Calendar

Now published every year from 1966, it is a permanent fixture in American culture. It also has two other versions, the Nava calendar requires you to turn the page everyday whilst the Wild Places calendar unfolds like a book. They work because they are simple, they provide a basic function and aren’t overloaded by unnecessary features. The typography reflects the uncomplicated nature of the calendar’s as the characters are sans serif and of such a size that no other words are necessary.

Slide 12

Other work

Aside from the many, many, things that Vignelli did in his life related to graphic design in a commercial manner, he also did many things to help further the education of aspiring designers through lecturing and teaching internationally, even holding a summer programme at Harvard for over a decade before his passing.

He had his work toured in Europe, been the focal point of two feature length television programmes, and was also the president of the Alliance Graphique Internationale (AGI) and the American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA), and a vice president of The Architectural League.

Slide 13


Carson isn’t fondly regarded in the graphic design community as he does not really adhere to fundamental principals as it can often be difficult to derive the message of the design. Another graphic designer who was rather infamous in the early 90 was Tibor Kalman who worked with Stefan Sagmeister and they shared the view ‘that design cannot be neutral’ but an ‘active ingredient’ – meaning it should be provocative, it should make people take notice, it should make a difference.

Carson said ‘don’t confuse legibility with communication, just because something is legible doesn’t mean it communicates’ whereas Vignelli “it’s good for everything’ as it has ‘better legibility’ in reference to Helvetica.

Slide 14


His friend, Jackson Boelts, helped him take the first steps into the world of graphic design. Boelts’ key work themes are landscapes, the human figure, metaphorical landscapes and the many meanings of code. Although he’s a watercolour painter, you can see his influence on Carson. His work shows that he’s not afraid to abstract and distort form to express emotions in a piece.The use of red, blue and green in the one character creates a bright, almost jarring, contrast to the black and white background of the image. The colour drips down the page from the feet and allows it to be on the same page level as the I. The type is being distorted as the character drags it’s end away by some kind of pulley, Boelts is creating a real scenario for the distortion in his image and so creates a grounding in the image that prevents it from being too strange.

His first great influence, was the teacher of the course he took in Switzerland. Hans-Rudolf Lutz experimented heavily with typography so may have influenced Carson further to take this route, as he was one of the first graphic design artists he was properly exposed to.

The words printed in white on the right hand side are set between the line of separation of the green and white space, this makes the plain text a little more interesting compositionally than if it were just on the line. The same words are repeated on the left page, running horizontally down and with slight negative leading in some parts, they’re in alternating bold and normal styles down the columns and all this makes words that would be perfectly legible in normal format increasingly difficult to read. It looks like an eye test at an optometrist’s. However, Lutz is enticing the viewer to look further into the page and to spend time figuring out what it says, thus creating interest in the brochure.

Slide 15


This article is a fantastic example of how controversial Carson can be. When working at Ray Gun magazine he had to read an article on the musician Bryan Ferry, which he found so boring, and so unworthy of reading that he decided to put it in zapf dingbat. (A copy of the article was printed at the back of the magazine was available in a legible font.)

The obscure typography and use of grey tones help to reflect the bland and obscure nature of the article. Most people would find the article not worth reading since they would have to search for the legible version, and the tones send out a signal of monotony and insipid.

Slide 16

Raygun cover

The white text on the cover is in complete contrast to the black background which emphasises how the type is displayed. The font size varies throughout the words and letters are positioned at different heights to those in the same word. While you can still read the top sections, as you progress downwards Carson may have removed some letters as it doesn’t make sense anymore. However, the magazine title and subject of the main article, Alice In Chains, are clear which allows us to have our eye caught by the important info and for the rest of the text to be an expression of the feeling Carson may have got from the music.

Slide 17


This is a very complex image, it has a high contrast colour palette of both bright warm and cool colours which could have been very distracting. However, a pale yellow ties the large expanses between different colours together whilst breaking sections up and prevents a huge level of direct background contact between them, stopping the image from being too overwhelming. There are some letters in lines across the image but they’re cut through or faded out so they are nearly illegible, it prevents the viewer from getting distracted and allows to focus on the perfectly readable Quicksilver logo which is the main creation point of the poster.

Slide 18

Urban Artists

He’s influenced by surf culture and his environment, the artistic culture of Southern California really shines through in his work and is hugely responsible for the style of his work that earned him the name of ‘Godfather of Grunge’.

Slide 19


Slide 20


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It became apparent that when we rehearsed the powerpoint, we had too much to say in the time frame, so we said that we would cut down the information ourselves and see what we could get in to the twenty seconds.

Unfortunately, some people found it hard to cut it down so our slides ran over and I forgot what I was saying, but overall it was alright and we got the general gist across.

I also shared the powerpoint with the other members in the class with the presenter notes available so they can get any information missed out.