Week 3 : Promo Video Research

Further Research

I began doing some research into what makes a good promo video, this video below explained a couple important tips for getting started with promo videos and what to expect. The three main takeaways were:

  • Make use of ‘master-shot’ to set your scene/introduce your video. This could be a wide angle shot or a drone shot.
  • Always come prepared for the unexpected on filming day, there will always be curve balls and the key is to be able to adapt in different situations. You may not be able to get all the shots you have envisioned in your head.
  • Use a wide range of different cameras angle and focal ranges so that when the clips are all stitched together they form a story.

Storyboarding

As I was unable to attend our first filming session I spent some time exploring storyboarding techniques. I found a great resource from the award winning director Jodie Foster which shows how to effectively develop a storyboard. Following the steps described in the tutorial I created the following rough storyboard.

https://www.masterclass.com/articles/how-to-make-a-storyboard-for-a-film

Footage Contact Sheet

Below is a contact sheet of the footage my group was able to obtain while I was away.

Week 2 : Location Research

Hamilton Gardens

For this assignment I have decided I would like to explore the Hamilton Gardens as my chosen location. I have chosen this location because it is somewhere I have a lot of childhood memories as I grew up in Hamilton. The Hamilton Gardens displays a wide range of different types of garden designs. Traditional botanic gardens concentrate on plant collections, conservation, research and education, while Hamilton Gardens has the unique concept of showcasing the cultural meaning and context of gardens over the past 4,000 years. The collections of gardens at Hamilton Gardens explore the history, context and meaning of gardens. Each tells a story and offers an insight into a different civilisation. Hamilton Gardens is located alongside the Waikato River. I have chosen to

Location Photographs

These are a collection of photographs I have captured at the Hamilton Gardens, these photos showcase some of the wildlife and nature found with in my location.

Colour Palette

By eye-dropping colours from the photographs seen above, I created a colour palette to display the prominent colours found with in my location. These colours closely resemble a warm spring colour palette. I think these colours perfectly resemble the beauty of nature seen at the Hamilton Gardens and I hope using this palette throughout my film will reinforce this theme.

Adobe Textures

Taking photographs on adobe capture last semester really helped me gain a deeper understanding of my location so I decided this week I would take some photos at the Hamilton Gardens for reference. The textures I captured within my location I found to be quite coarse and sharp, as well as also being natural and earthy. I believe these textures strongly represent the environment of my location. These textures have inspired me to do further research into overlaying similar line graphics over my film.

Video Research

I really enjoyed watching this short film created by TMS Productions. This short film is about someone growing up and moving from Canada to NewYork and comparing a natural environment to a concrete jungle. The way they have incorporated a poem as a voice over worked well as it helps tie together all the footage and really makes you feel like your within his thoughts. The excessive use of time-lapses really gives the viewer the feeling that time is passing by which I think is the desired effect. This film has really helped me understand the importance of the audio in my film as it provides vital context to the footage.

Week 5 : Location Proposal

Location Proposal

Where is my location?

I have chosen my kitchen as my location because its somewhere that is important to me in many ways. I love everything about cooking, but the main thing for me is the element of creativity and satisfaction that comes with creating something from scratch. I also recently started experimenting in food photography, which has quickly become a passion of mine so I think this will make a perfect opportunity to get some experience in something I could potentially see myself wanting to do more of in the future.

What are the conceptual ideas informing my work (5 keywords)?

  • Health & Wellbeing
  • Energy
  • Movement
  • Creativity
  • Inspirational
  • Positivity

Type or style of moving image (title sequence, short movie, experimental, a film poem or a documentary).

My film will be experimental with the aim of learning new camera techniques and skills. Mainly focusing on the aspect of slow motion cinematography, I want to create a table top food reel telling a story about my adventures in the kitchen with creating healthy food. I think taking a poetic approach to this could work well with reinforcing my theme.

What do I want to communicate with my moving image?

I am going to produce a film that tells a story in an exaggerative and dramatic manner; the story of creating delicious healthy food in your own kitchen. I want to display this in a fun and exciting way to inspire others to embrace their creative side in the kitchen.

What are the emotions, messages, hidden meanings, ideas, theories that relate to your work?

The main message I want to portray in my film is the natural beauty in the art of food, I also want the hidden meaning to show that healthy and delicious food is not always complicated or difficult to make and that it all stems from simple fresh ingredients.

 How am I planning to compose my moving image (process)? e.g. camera shots / angles, sequencing, filming, stop motion, drawing, tablet and etc.

After doing research in to table top food reels I have decided I am going to experiment with shooting in slow motion (~180fps) which would allow me to slow the film down 7x normal play speed. I think this effect will be much more dramatic and entertaining for the viewers than at normal speed. Shooting slow motion will allow me to capture the finer movements much more clearly in my shots, while retaining a cinematic feel when played back at 24 fps. I am going to experiment with a wide range of shots including close ups, extreme close ups, birds eye view, dolly ect. My main focus will be keeping it primarily close ups not showing the additional surroundings but still giving the viewer the sense that they are fully immersed within my chosen location. I also am going to experiment with using a skater dolly as I think this will come in handy with getting steady movement shots. I am going to get a range of footage showing textures, typography, food preparation, cooking, eating ect. Being that I will be predominantly shooting static objects, experimenting with movement within shots is going to be vital to capture to bring the objects to life. Another technique I wish to explore to bring some of the static content to life is stop motion, to give the impression the objects are moving or meals are making themselves. I really like the effect of transitioning from video to stop motion then back to a video though I think it will be hard to form a seamless transition like I have seen in some examples but I would like to attempt this. I have chosen not to feature someone’s entire body in the film because I think it will help better communicate the idea being close up and the feeling of being immersed in the art of food creation. I do however plan to get shots of someones hands preparing the food, eating food, ect.

How am I planning to use graphic language to communicate my ideas? e.g. textures, type, illustrations, etc.

At this stage I am planning to keep the text and graphics in my film to a minimum and only include them in the intro and outro of my film. However, I may decide to add animated text if I think my footage doesn’t communicate my message clearly. Keeping in mind our film needs to be 5 minutes I may need to add an element such as animated text or motion graphics to keep it interesting but at this stage I am hoping my footage will speak for itself.

Colour grading:

I am going to take a realistic natural approach with colour grading my footage but I think increasing the colour saturation will be important to really make the fresh vibrant colours ‘pop’. However I am also going to experiment with using a blue/ cyan hue to give a subtle sense of calmness which I think will complement the slow motion footage well and ease the chaos of motion in the film.

Use of graphic elements (any patterns / lines / textures / etc)

At this stage I am not sure how additional graphic elements will work with my theme but I think incorporating motion graphics is something I would like to explore as it is a effective way to emphasise what is important in my footage and could add another design element to my film. I think I could incorporate some subtle graphics that relate to cooking that don’t distract from the main subject. Also possibly incorporating some of the textures I have taken with Adobe Capture could be something interesting to explore.

Use of typography:

At this stage I plan to have very minimal text throughout my film as I want my footage of the food to speak for itself and let the audience understand the story through cinematic techniques. I hope to compensate for this lack of typography in my title and credits sequence.

Inspiring Designers / Filmmakers

Cris Bilbao

In this reel I really like the use of black backdrops which contrasts extremely well with the bright colors of the vegetables, makes a nice sharp image thats easy for the viewers eye to follow. I also like her use of underwater shots, I am not sure how they are achieved but I think capturing the submersion in slow motion shows a lot of movement in the water that is often unseen with the naked eye. I also like the use of variable speeds when things are in the air, they are sped up and then slowed right down at the peak right before they begin to fall back down, this allows the viewers a short moment to appreciate the subject of the video.

Jurek Dytkiewicz

I really like Jureks approach to capturing liquids in slow motion as it is such a smooth motion that is often missed by the naked eye and is very satisfying to watch. A lot of the angles used really allow the viewer to immerse themselves into the food as they’re taken from interest angles including a worms eye view with food being drop down and from a ground level view where it appear we are in the pan. Also another good use of varying speeds to highlight mesmerising movements of the food and water.

Anselm Hartmann

I think the director has taken a slightly more simple approach with this video by reducing the amount of action in the clips, this gives the video a more calming effect as its not as chaotic with food flying all over the place. This video also is the first in my analysis that incorporates some human movement as can be seen with the tossing of the flour and kneading the dough., this can help the film become a bit more personal could be helpful to convey my message of creating delicious healthy food being achievable by all.

Moodboard

Below is a moodboard including a series of photographs I took for a previous project. I will use these stills as inspiration for the content and camera angles for my video. The main reason I will use these photographs as inspiration as I know these are scenes I am capable of producing in my own home with the equipment I have. I think bringing scenes like these too life through the use of videography will be effective for the film I’m trying to create.

Slow Motion Test (170fps)

This is the first quick test I did shooting at 170fps. I think by increasing the aperture I will be able to get a slightly clearer result as my aperture was set to 2.8f. I also think shooting at 240fps could be more effective. However my camera can only shoot to 170fps in full HD but I still think it will be beneficial to experiment with both frame rates. Keeping in mind that I want all my footage of the same quality so it maybe best to shoot in one frame rate but I will experiment with this

Timeline Of Completion

The first step I will take during the mid-semester break is to create a detailed storyboard and a list of all the possible shots I could experiment with, this is going to be vital in the planning of my film. Next I will choose some potential audio/soundtracks, its crucial the audio track fits well with my footage so I think working around the audio but not confirming it right away will increase the effect of the overall film. I think experimenting with different shots and angles is going to be the biggest time consumer so realistically I want at least 3-4 weeks filming which leaves me 2 weeks for post-production which I personally think is the amount of time I will need for it not to be a rushed job. Another time consuming factor will be preparing the food, as I’ve done some food photography before I know the amount of time that goes in the preparation and staging so it won’t be easy. After the break I would like to have the majority of my footage ready for post-production, I understand I may need to collect more footage further through this process if I feel something is missing. So setting this goal will allow me to have plenty of time to reshoot if need be.

Below is a proposed timeline for my film:

(Timeline does not include work to do over the break)

Week 5 : Filtering Footage

Compiled Group Footage Video

This week I spent a lot of time filtering through our footage and finding the footage that is of high enough quality for our video. We each contributed to a shared folder which contained clips we thought would be suitable for our promo video. Once everyone had made their contributions to this shared folder, I decided to compile all the clips together into a sequence. The reason I did this was to give us an idea of how much “usable” footage we had and also to familiarise myself with Adobe Premiere Pro before we start creating our video. I also took the opportunity to touch up some of the clips in the compiled footage by cropping, scaling or rotating them. Some of these clips also required color correcting as they were over either under or over exposed. I then took this a step further by learning how to color grade by adjusting the exposure, shadows, contrast and highlight so each clip transitioned smoothly. I then uploaded this video to Youtube to share with the group.

Colour Correction

Below are some before and after stills showing the outcome of my colour correction process.

Compiled Footage Video

The next day after uploading the compiled footage video to Youtube our group decided it would be best if we split up and worked on individual projects given the current working environment due to Covid-19. This meant instead of produce a 5 minute video we were reduced to 1:00 – 1:30 minute, this meant that I had to filter through the footage once more to narrow down what I want to feature in my short promo.

At this point I uploaded all our footage to Youtube for others in the class to use. As we were unable to go out and do more filming this allowed us to get a wider variety of shots from other groups.

Further Filtering (My Groups Footage)

Below are the thumbnails for the videos our group took I decided I wanted to feature in my film.

Footage Collection (Other Groups Footage)

Below are the thumbnails for videos done by other groups that I have would like to feature in my film, of course giving credit to the videographer.

Story Boarding

Below is a story board containing the footage that I have chosen will feature in my video. I have decided my video will start with a drone shot to establish the location and environment of the University. There will then be some short nature/outdoor shots that will be synced with the music. The video will then transition to show the people on the campus starting with a timelapse to show the liveliness of the environment. The still shots in the middle of the video will be overlaid with graphics containing statistics about the University. The video will fade out to credits from another drone shot tracking out from the campus.

Music Selection

When it came to finding a soundtrack for my video I wasn’t sure where to look for free licensed music, with a quick Google search I found Youtube’s audio library. I wanted something inspiration but not mellow so I set the filter to inspirational and started working my way through. Using my pre compiled footage on Youtube I would play the audio and my footage at the same time to get an idea of how it would flow. It didn’t take me long to stumble across an electronic piece by Corban Kites called Birds. I liked the beat and the sudden change in notes I found to make great transition points for my footage.

Title Sequence

For my title sequence I wanted to display the AUT logo in white with a black background (like below) but I wanted to display it in a way I could explore the use of simple animation.

I decided I would have the ‘AUT’ part of the logo fade in and have ‘university’ appear to be typed out underneath. First I found a tutorial to show me how to have the logo fade in which turned out to be quite easy following along with the video below.

Next I needed to make it look like the letters in ‘university’ were being typed, I found the following tutorial which basically involved each letter becoming visible once at a time.

Taking inspiration from the video below I wanted to create a line animation which revealed my text. There wasn’t an exact example on how to do this in the video so I had to adapt one of his to suit my needs.

Final Intro Sequence

Hyper lapse Effect

Inspired by one of the AUT promotional videos I discovered during my research I wanted to incorporate a timelapse or hyperlapse to show a lively atmosphere in the campus. Unfortunately not being able to go back to campus and shoot prevented me from making my own so I decided to try and make use of some of the footage taken by other groups members. There was a panning shot taken by Maddie & Milan which I thought could have made a cool timelapse so I did some research to find an alternative to turn this sequence into a timelapse. Below is the tutorial I followed to do this, along with the original footage and a GIF of my final outcome.

Tutorial Video
Original Video
Edited Video

Unfortunately the panning motion of the original video wasn’t completely smooth so it still contains a “jolty” pan but I like how much motion it is able to bring to such a small clip without just speeding up the sequence.

Week 3 : Location Research

Brainstorm & Ideas

  • Wildlife/Nature
  • Documentary
  • Possible Interviews
  • Inspirational
  • Conservation
  • Natural Environment

Photographic Moodboard

I have put together a photographic moodboard containing some of my photographs I have taken at the Hamilton Gardens.

Video Research

I found this video to be extremely helpful in demonstrating how to take small clips and edit them together to work as a sequence. In this video he also explains how to bring out the 4 senses within the footage to portray the story. He also covers handheld movement shots which I think will be a challenge for me when it comes to filming.

This is another video that I found to be very useful. In this video David talks about the importance of having a storyline with one main element that the majority of your shots somehow correlate to the focal point in your film. David states that a story can have more than one main element but says that for a beginner it is easier to focus on one main element. After watching this video I think that it could be good idea if I was to focus on one area at the Hamilton Gardens as it is a very big place. I also think it could be an interesting take on things if I was to focus on a location with in a location.

Experimental Footage

Medium Close-Up Still Shot

This week I decided I would take some experimental footage at my location. Even though I am yet to plan out my film in depth, I wanted to take some handheld experiments focusing on perspective using some of the techniques I have learnt so far in my research and get an idea of what works well. Next time I am able to take more footage I will hopefully have a bit more structure when it comes to what I am shooting. Above is some of the footage I was able to capture.

Week 4 – Filming

This weeks focus was on experimenting with different filming techniques that were given to us as a group to explore. Below is some of the footage we were able to capture this week.

Experimental Footage – Shoot 1

Overall I was happy with the outcome of our experimental shots, though reflecting on the 2 shots above I wish I had noticed the focus was on the wrong subject. As a group we had planned to re-take these shots but unfortunately due to the Covid-19 restrictions this was not possible.

Transition Of Focus – Experiment

In this shot I experimented with using the manual focus on my camera to gradually bring the subject into focus. I think the outcome gave an interesting effect to the image and will make for some good transitioning footage between our main sequences.

Comparison Between Shots

(Shallow Focal Point – Subject not in focus)

After capturing the first shot and deciding it was a bit too basic, we decided to make this shot more interesting we would transition the focus from the foliage on the lefthand side of the scene to the flowing waterfall on the right. Though the clip is short and lacks physical camera movement with the use of the shift in focus I think we were able to bring an extra effective element to this shot.

Experimental Panning Shots – (Shoot 1 & 2)

When experimenting with panning shots we were initially having trouble developing a smooth motion with the tripod. After doing some research we found it was best to overshoot the scene on both sides which gives some buffer to the footage and allows the start and finish to have some inconsistencies in speed as they can be trimmed out.

Experimental Tracking Shot – Handheld (Shoot 1)

Handheld tracking shots were definitely one of the harder techniques we explored. It was difficult to keep the camera steady without the use of a tripod of stabiliser. We resorted to a technique I found online that involved pulling the camera strap around your neck tightly to reduce your hands shaking. I think this helped increase our footage quality but it also put the camera in a more difficult position to see the live view finder. We hope there is some stabilisation that can be done in post-production to improve this footage further.

Experimental Footage – (Shoot 2)

I am happy with the footage we were able to capture in our second shoot. I think these shots are all very well exposed and focused on the appropriate subjects. I only wish we would have experimented more in terms of camera movement instead of them all being still shots, this could have added another element to these shots.

Tracking Shot/ Camera Angle Caparison – (Shoot 2)

Here are some movement shots that we captured on the same day. The first one was a pan using a horizontal movement and tracking the subject using a fluid tripod. The second one we decided to change positions to capture a different perspective.

Footage Contact Sheet

Above is a contact sheet with some of the footage from our second week of filming, I have annotated them with the name of the camera angle that was used. When reviewing our footage I came to realise I was quite repetitive in the shots we captured and wished I experimented more with camera movement and angles. However, I believe with the footage my group was able to capture the week before gives us a wide range of experimental shots to incorporate into our video.

Reflection

This week our group was luckily enough to get in 2 days of shooting before we went back in to lockdown. This was pretty disappointing because I was enjoying being able to experiment with different videography techniques with the group and believe more filming sessions would have improved our overall footage, as we were able to reflect and improve. Overall I am still pleased with the footage we were able to collect and hope its enough to compose a professional and effective promo video.

Week 2 : Promo Video Research

I spent this week doing research into what makes a successful university promotional video, below are some of the examples I found and analysed. I will use this research to influence the design decisions we make for our video for AUT South Campus.

Promo Video Research

I like the amount of action shots that are included in this video as it really helps show what the university has to offer. I did not like the use of the text shown in a subtitle like style meaning they’re not very noticeable and I think some of those achievements as an University should be displayed proudly.

Another shorter promo for Otago university makes bolder statements with their text and I think it helps them stand out and get noticed. I also prefer the soundtrack in this one as its more fast paced which fits the theme of the constant motion in the film.

I really like the amount of energy and motion in this video and the use of short bold text sequences helps get the message across quickly without having to slow down the sequence. There are also heaps of effective transitions throughout, not just the same transition used over and over. The use of small animations is something I would like to try in our video as they are able to add an extra dimension to the footage and draw the audiences attention to the text.

The unique aspect of this promotional video compared to the one above is the use of students opinions by getting them involved for interviews to let potential students know why they think you should study there. This makes the video a lot more relatable as the viewer is not just relying on what awards the University has gained but getting real testimonials from students. I also like the lighting effects they have used on the exit sequence to liven up a basic graphic.

In this AUT promo video I like the use of the timelapse in the beginning, as it helps to quickly show the liveliness of the campus. There are also some really unique camera angles used in this video including using the reflection off the students glasses and the transition from the laptop screen to the reflection of the student. Though I did notice the majority of the transitions throughout this video are hard cuts which can get a bit repetitive with the slow pace of the film makes it more noticeable.

Manual Filming/ Filming Techniques

Before we plan to start filming next week I wanted to do some research on how to effectively capture video with my current camera. I found the tutorial above very useful, helping me to adjust the frame-rate and quality I am shooting at and ensuring I’m using the right shutter-speed for video to mitigate any blurring/ghosting. It also shows how to control audio recording which will come in handy when we film our interviews.

Week 1 : Film Language 1

Identity – A short film analysis (Homework)

What is the key message of the short film? What is the premise/theme?

I believe the key message of the film in the simplest sense is to “be yourself”. Not who society expects you to be or who your peers expect you to be. Don’t live your life hiding behind fake personas.

What is the main conflict in the story? Describe the type of conflict and how it occurs?

The main conflict in the story is an inner conflict within the main character. The film shows her struggles with fitting in and not feeling comfortable to express her true self and instead hiding behind a metaphorical ‘mask’. The film portrays that this has been an ongoing conflict and it is not until she reaches an epiphany when comparing herself to the slaves in Plato’s cave or pawns in chess that she decides to address the issue.

What is the structure of the narrative? (Please define the main steps)

Setup

The events within the film that set up the narrative are the moments in class when she comes to realization that everyone (including herself) is hiding behind fake personas and conforming to the standards of society and not expressing their true selves.

Development

The development in the narrative show the main character bottling up these feelings of not belonging and isolation until it becomes too much and she ‘breaks’, not only mentally but physically as a piece falls off her mask.

Resolution

At this point she has a decision to make, either to leave the bathroom with a broken mask or no mask at all. She decides to free herself from these feelings of restriction and not belonging. Her resolution is to leave the bathroom without her mask and accept herself for who she is and to lead the way for others to do the same.

What is the moment of climax? The moment of high tension, when the solution to the problem is now in sight?

The highest point of tension in the film is when her mask breaks from her fall in the bathroom. At this point she knows she only has two options; leave the bathroom mentally ‘broken’ or free herself from the conforms of society and let everyone see her true self.

What part of the story told by the movie was powerful? Why?

I believe the most powerful part of the story is when she decides to leave the bathroom without her mask and let others see her for who she is. Despite the judging reactions from others at her school, she continues to walk with pride as she finally feels free.

How does the film end? Was everything resolved? How would you change the ending?

The film ends with the main character walking through crowded hallways of the school without her mask as bystanders make judgement. I believe an alternate ending could have involved other students following in her footsteps and beginning to take off their masks, relating to the story of Platos, the caves and the first released prisoner who’s task is to free the others.

Does the world of the film work like the real world?

I believe the film does strongly relate to the real world, especially in a school scenario where your persona is considered to be everything, and people will do anything to fit in. A very powerful piece in this film is where one of the students is seen removing one of their masks to reveal another underneath before going to join a different group, representing the different personalities they have to portray in front of different people.

How do they edit/present various parts of the film?

I think starting the film with her resolution and the narration of “today I found the truth” and effect of rewinding backwards helps the viewer to follow her journey towards freedom and the truth. Otherwise the film could be perceived as rather confusing.

What is the music’s purpose in the film? How does it direct our attention within the image? How does it shape our interpretation within the image?

At the start of the film the sound helps the viewer identify that the film is playing in reverse. The music throughout the middle of the film is quite repetitive giving the viewer the sense that this is just like every other day at the students school, there is no suspense, no action or mystery. However when she is sitting in the cafeteria the music changes and becomes suspenseful and starts to cut in and out with strange noises giving the sense of something happening mentally with the character.

Is there any graphic elements in the film? Describe them?

A graphic element I noticed incorporated into the film was a poster quoted with “this is what beauty looks like” printed on a photo of a woman with a yellow mask. This was used to represent societies profound expectations on beauty.

A Place like this – A Short Film Analyse (Class Activity)

What do you think the film is going to be about?

I assumed by the title this film would be describing or admiring a place of beauty from someones personal perspective. Though from this title it could also be depicted as describing a place of hate and resentment, the title does not give too much away.

Where is the setting of the moving image?

This short film is set in Alex Jenkins back garden.

How is sound used through the film, Does it change?

The sound in this film is very nature orientated. The ambient sounds of birds chirping, water flowing and leaves rustling. The sound stays consistent throughout the film and really helps represent the peace Alex finds at home in his beautiful garden.

What kind of pace does the moving image have?

The pace of this film is very slow and peaceful. There is very minimal movement throughout, only very gentle pans thoughout Alex’s garden.

What kind of colours are present in the video?

The colors in this video revolve around nature, with an abundance of fresh green colors throughout Alex’s garden. With the use of these colors and the slow pace of the film, the viewer is given a strong sense of peace and calmness.

Describe the use of motion graphics

There is minimal use of motion graphics throughout this film, I could only identify the use of fading in when graphical text is displayed.

What kind of transitions are used between shots?

The majority of the transitions throughout the film are straight cuts. There are sequences at the beginning and end which make use of a dip to black transition before text is eased into the screen.

Anything else?

I think the cuts were a bit harsh/abrupt for such a calming peaceful movie, I think the use of some more fading or crossfades could have contributed to the calming presence of the film. I also noticed the use of close ups to capture body language as Alex talked this way we were able to easily identify his emotions, like when he was recalling his colleagues final words to him.

When the fat girl gets skinny – A Short Film Analyse

What do you think the film is going to be about?

Where is the setting of the moving image?

How is sound used through the film, Does it change?

What kind of pace does the moving image have?

What kind of colours are present in the video?

Describe the use of motion graphics

What kind of transitions are used between shots?

Anything else?

Hyperlapse Experiment

Week 11 : Final Game

Unfortunately I ran out of time to finish my game to completion as I had plans to included enemies, collectables and sound effects. This project was far more time consuming than I had anticipated as I took a long time to follow through all these tutorials as well as creating/editing all the game Illustrations. I’m disappointed I did not get to see my game in its completed state with a comprehendible story line as I believe what I have created has a lot of potential.

Here is a video of some gameplay from my final game, enjoy!

Week 10 : Further Game Development

This week I continued developing my game, my main focus was making checkpoints, allowing the character to die when falling and experimenting with moving platforms.

Checkpoints

When the player falls and dies I don’t want them to have to start all the way back at level one so instead I chose to create some checkpoints. Once the player passes a certain point at the start of each level it will save this spot for respawning after the character dies. To do this I followed another tutorial by ‘Blackthornprod’, which involves creating a ‘Gamemaster’ object will we keep track of the latest checkpoint the player has past and when the player dies set its position to that checkpoint.

Death

The main way of dying in my game will be by falling. The video above about checkpoints showed me how to handle the characters death by restarting the scene. I then created a long invisible rectangle 3d object to act as a trigger when the character falls and hits it, the scene will be restarted and they player will spawn at the last encountered checkpoint.

Moving platforms

To add another degree of difficulty to the game I wanted to incorporate some moving platforms. I designed these in Illustrator to look like crane hanging platforms, I imported them and added invisible cubes to the platform so the character could stand on them. I then added a script that would make the object move right and left continuously. This worked great however when the character landed on the platform it would just move out from underneath the characters feet. To fix this I followed a tutorial on Youtube which helped by making the character move with the platform while they are in contact.

Week 9 : Game Aesthetics

Level design

Above are some rough sketches of my level designs which include obstacles, enemies and collectables.

Background

I created a rather abstract background for my game as I want it to feel mysterious and dark. As the player passes to the next levels the background will gradually lighten. Because of this I had to find a way for the background color to change when the player is on a new level so it would blend with my background image. I found a piece of code on the internet which I applied to my player to do this.

Ground

The majority of the solid ground will be drawn with my tile map, the rest of the level like the silos and trees I have designed in Illustrator and imported them as sprites into my project.

The issue with the imported images like the trees and silos is they are not solid so the player can not interact with them. To work around this I made use of some invisible solid 3d cubes. this allowed me to line them up with my illustrations for my character to them be able to stand on. The advantage to doing it this way was that I was able to choose which parts of my illustrations were solid, meaning I could allow the character to still walk past the trunk of the trees.

Character Design

When it came to designing my character I felt I was running out of time to get my game to a playable state so for this reason I decided to base my character off a free asset. I used Photoshop adjustments to turn this character into a dark grayscale scheme with bright eyes, similar to the game ‘Limbo’ I was inspired by and referenced in earlier blogs. This free asset also came with animation illustrations so I decided to edit the running animations too, so that my character will not just be sliding.

To add the animation I followed another tutorial by ‘Blackthornprod’ which involved dragging all the frames of the animation into the scene to create an animation object. Then using the animator I set the run animation to only play when the character is moving. Unfortunately this means the character will continue to ‘run’ while mid jump.

Particle Systems

I felt my game scene was a bit too static and boring and required a bit more of a mysterious aesthetic, I tried to find out how to create some fog or mist in the scene however all the the Youtube tutorials were far too complicated for me to follow along. Instead I found a video advertising a a fog particle system that I could just drag onto my camera, this was only $9 in the Unity Store so I purchased it. I think it looks great and really compliments my dark color scheme, it also slowly moves so makes the scene less static.

Use the slider below to compare the difference in my scene before and after I added the fog.

Week 8 : Game Mechanics

Moving left & right

This week I started to implement my games’ most basic mechanics, the players movement. I thought this would be a simple task but I found the Unity Playground material quite confusing as I don’t believe it was well explained. Instead I searched for help in tutorials on Youtube, I came across a great series by a content creator called ‘Blackthornprod’. At this point I did not have my character designed so I used one of the ones that were included in the original tutorial.

Jumping

As I didn’t want my character to have the ability to double jump I only used this tutorial to get my player moving left and right. I found a different tutorial that helped me get my character jumping smoothly. It involved creating an invisible platform under my character that would detect when the player is touching the ground, if they are they have the ability to jump. This task was a lot more difficult that I had anticipated as, but thanks to the in-depth videos I was able to follow along closely.

Climbing

As my game was going to split over multi-tiered levels I wanted the player to climb a ladder to get to the next level which be the next checkpoint in the case the player dies. To do this I followed another tutorial by ‘Blackthornprod’.

I couldn’t find any free ladder assets that would fit my dark theme so I made one in Illustrator using dark gradients.

In order for my player to climb the ladder I first had to make sure the player wasn’t in the middle of a jump before staring climbing. Then if the player was pressing the up button and touching a ladder the player would move up until they are no longer touching the ladder. The problem with this approach is that if the player lets go of the up key the character will not hold on and gravity will cause the character to fall back down. I used a piece of code from the tutorial to stop this from happening, which temporarily disables the gravity.

Solid terrain

With my basic player control completed. I needed to create my levels and give my character somewhere to move. I found some further tutorials on 2D level creation and I preferred the method in the video below which involves using TileMaps, as it allows me to easily change my level design within Unity without having to edit a level in Illustrator/Photoshop.

The ’tiles’ used in this tutorial were also free assets but they were bright ‘Spring’ themed so I decided to edit them in Photoshop to better fit my own theme, the outcome is shown below.

This image was then imported in Unity where it was split into paintable squares called a TileMap. The most important setting when using TileMaps is to make sure that the TileMap has a ‘rigidbody’ assigned to it which will stop your character falling straight through it. Unfortunately the squares weren’t as seamless as I had hoped and you can see gaps or inconsistencies between some of them during gameplay. I also had issues with my character not being able to run up the slopes, I wasn’t sure how to fix this so I decided to not use them and stick to a more basic flat platform approach.

Week 7 – Media & Type Studies II

Cinemagraph Research

Cinemagraph Exploration

#1 Typography Artist Model

https://www.behance.net/user/?username=tomaszbiernat

#2 Typography Artist Model

https://www.behance.net/ninagregier

#1 Illustration Artist Model

http://stevenharrington.com/

#2 Illustration Artist Model

http://www.tanamachistudio.com/

Typeface Development

Digitalising Illustrations

Digitalising Typeface / First Attempt

Week 5 – After Rahul

Icon Design

Above are a couple of icons I designed for my Google Map location, I took two different approaches to these designs. The one on the left symbolises the innosense of the children who play in the park, filled with hopes and dreams. The second symbolises quite the opposite as we grow up we are sometimes faced with the harsh realities of life and a common way of dealing with these realities is masking our emotions.

#2 Typographic Moodboard

I put together a moodboard of some research I did for geometric typefaces. I found a lot of these typefaces lacked color as it allows the focus to be on the shape of the letter forms.

Typography Photographs

Here are some photographs I took of typography found in my location, most of this type is used for signage in the industrial area meaning it is very bold and strict making it legible at a distance.

#3 Typography Moodboard

Here is another updated moodboard containing further research on typeography that makes use of strong geometric shapes and some form of spacing in the letter forms. I am interested in the spaces as I feel it would be an effective way to symbolise ‘disconnection’.

Typography Sketches

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Typographic Exploration

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Illustration Moodboard

Here is a moodboard I developed full of research on illustrations I think would best compliment my design of typeface. Most of these images are graphic and abstract and are effective in the means of symbolising or communicating emotions.

Video Illustration

Retrospective

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Week 4 – Collage & Conceptual Type

Photographic Moodboard

I have put together a photographic moodboard of the photos I have taken so far.

Location Typography

To start off my typography research in regards to my place, I have taken some photos of the typefaces that can be found at Silo Park. I found myself finding more construction signs than anything, which became very repetitive ..

#1 Typography Moodboard

I have created a typography moodboard…

Typeface Presentation

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Retrospective

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