Working in Adobe After Effects

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I spent a good deal of time going over After Effects today – with us having to submit an animated text video by Tuesday, I’m keen to get down to it.

I had a bit of difficulty with one or two features, but a quick chat with the tutors at Creative Industries soon settled that.

Simon gave me a few tips with regards to plug ins that were really useful – he showed me the way to alter the amount, strength etc of the effects.


Looking forward to the next Animated Typography workshop!


Poets & Prophets

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This is the poster for the Poets and Prophets BBC programs that are being commissioned. I chose to work on Morrissey – Meat is Murder.

This poster was for the print part of the project. I wanted to use a bold style that communicated the message clearly. I decided to settle on using black and red as I thought these brought out the darker side to the image more so than if I were to use colors. Admittedly, I have used a wider color palette with the other areas of advertising that I’ve done for this project – but, for my chosen print method, screenprinting, I thought this was the best.


Animated Typography


I found todays lecture really interesting, if not one of the best out of the year so far. Our tutor was teaching us how to use Adobe After Effects for animating text – which is the next part of our assignment. We had a few short sessions this morning in which we tried a few different experiments with the software – essentially a way of us getting more familiar with the system.

I found this rather comedic video online which demonstrates an excellent combination of audio and visual graphical work to the end viewer.

Combining the audio and graphical designs makes for a compelling result in so many cases – it is similar to the way in which an amazing soundtrack to a movie creates an unforgettable experience – if each were without the other, the result would be inferior.

Screen Printing


I had my first go at screen printing prior to the Easter Holidays. I decided to work on one of my poster designs I’d already created over the previous weeks.

The first design that I used was a panoramic food chain styled poster. It showed the journey of “meat” throughout the process from field to plate. I wanted to work upon the idea of having a walk through journey. I had altered and improved the poster I already had by giving it a darker tone and removing all the color from it. I’d realized that the original design was far too “friendly” and that I need to make it a lot darker and more sinister to try and bring out the graphic side of the story.

For the screen printing poster, I decided to use a section of the image. The style of the chicken is a very typical design, and I thought using something that is instantly recognizable would get the message across most clearly.

Firstly, upon being happy with the final design for screen printing, I got the image printed onto acetate. This started the whole process, and to the end result.

Steven Moffat

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Steven Moffat is the inspirational writer behind award winning dramas such as Doctor Who and Sherlock. Moffat has been a life-long fan of Doctor Who, and wrote several episodes of the popular series prior  succeeding Russel T Davies in 2009 as lead writer and executive producer of the series.

Moffat was also drafted to write the script for Spielbergs The Adventures of Tintin. Originally, Moffat was going to write for a trilogy of movies that Spielberg had planned, but when it became a choice between writing the script, or going back for the next season of Doctor Who, Moffat decided to go back to his roots.

Sherlock was actually conceived on one of the regular journeys from London to Cardiff for filming of Doctor Who. Moffat was with Mark Gattis at the time, who, as well as playing Mycroft Holmes, is also one of the writers.

The idea was to have a rejuvinated take on the classic detective, bringing it up to date and, in much the same way as with Doctor Who, breathe knew life into a classic.

Sherlock is a fast-paced drama that is ideally suited to Moffat’s proven writing genius.



Typography Research

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Yale graduate Kyle Cooper, 41, specializes in crafting title sequences – the short introductions and closings to films, videogames, and television shows that list the names of the cast and crew involved in the production. 

In this boutique industry, Cooper is king. He has designed the lead-ins to 150 features – including Donnie Brasco, the 1996 remake of The Island of Dr. Moreau, Mission: Impossible, Spider-Man, Sphere, Spawn, Twister, and Flubber. The movies themselves may not be cinematic classics, but Cooper’s credits – which operate as minifilms in their own right – consistently stun and entertain audiences. For this spring’s Dawn of the Dead, he even used real human blood. Critic Elvis Mitchell, in his New York Times review of the movie, summed up the Cooper effect: “The opening and closing credits are so good, they’re almost worth sitting through the film for.” Indeed, the word in Hollywood is that some filmmakers have refused to work with Cooper, says Dawn of the Dead director Zach Snyder, because he’s “the guy who makes title sequences better than the movie.” Not since Saul Bass’ legendary preludes to The Man With the Golden Arm (1955) and Vertigo (1958) have credits attracted such attention. Cooper counts Bass’ work, along with Stephen Frankfurt’s lead-in for To Kill a Mockingbird (1962), as his greatest influences.

Grant Curtis, co-producer of Spider-Man and Spider Man 2 says “It’s a unique blend of auteur and creative genius that makes his sequences memorable – but not at the expense of the film. That’s what makes Kyle truly unique, his innate sensibility that opening title sequences are not separate from the film, they’re part of it.”

Cooper has worked on many title sequences for numerous games and movies. I’m already familiar with the Spider man movies, and in particular, love the soundtrack and style to the opening,  so I decided to look at some of the other titles, and compare against. I looked at all the movie openings that Cooper worked on, and my favorite has to be the Spider man one. the blend of the web, as the viewer travels along almost tells a story. The sequel movie utilizes a lot of comic book style images, which also tells the story well. Despite being an opening sequence, I feel that these add enormously to the movie – a boring opening title will most certainly deaden the excitement the viewer originally had. Personally, I feel that the Superman Returns (2006) is rather dull in comparison. I don’t think that the font that was used is particularly appropriate. The same font, albeit in a different color, appears to have been used for the Iron Man (2008) opening. However, while the Superman sequence is primarily changing titles across a fairly dark background, the Iron Man one is very much similar to Spider Man. It tells a story – in this case a perusal of the super powered suit. I’ve never realized the connection between the movies, but now it seems obvious, the style and design are, naturally, similar.

The work of Danny Yount is one of my current favorites. Danny is a Designer/Director specializing in opening sequences and titles to the film and TV industry. He has been recognized internationally for his work in feature film and television main titles. He has earned an Emmy for the Six Feet Under main title (produced at Seattle-based Digital Kitchen), has been elected into the Alliance Graphique Internationale and is currently a creative director at Prologue Films. As a creative director at Prologue he has led design teams for Iron Man II, Sherlock Holmes and Tron Legacy, where title and special graphic visual effects sequences were created. His primary focus is design and live action direction for entertainment clients in feature film and television.


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I found some interesting information in a number of dated issues of Printmaking Today. This particular issue was dedicated to exploring the development of printmaking in the far east. In China, printmaking started in the 1930s, but due to restrictive conditions at the time caused by the war, priority was given to the woodcut. The Fine Art Academy of Lu Xun of the war period essentially became a department of woodcut printing.

It was obvious of the priority given to woodcut, but, because of the lack of progress for other artists in using printmaking, so they too made wood cuts when they came to work there.

I found another interesting article about an exhibition in protestation of the conflict in Iraq.  Artists Peter Kennard & Cat Philips made an award winning portfolio that was triggered by their “need to find a way to express our disgust with the war against Iraq and their impotence in the face of the raging terrorism committed in the name of democracy.” 

The work all has a photographic origin. The traditional “hard-core”  journalistic photography was not enough for the gritty realism that was needed. Kennerd wanted to increase the horror of what goes on by including a degree of realism.

Kennard’s early inspiration came from Picasso, Bacon, Sutherland, Giacometti. However, he became frustrated with the fact that they had an unwonted fluidity. No matter what form the painting originally took, through the various methods and techniques used in the process, the end result always bore very little relation to the original image – and the message that was intended to come across.

He decided to use photography, as this is the most realistic way of portraying the horrors that were taking place. How could it be made more vivid? The displays of cruelty more poignant?

They did this by using dirt, blood, oil and digital technology. This brought the real world into the photograph – it made the glossy picture a brutal reminder of the actual issues going on. Even if the the photograph has a graphic and horrific image, it is still like looking through a window at the view…its not real. This is was Kennard wanted to over come by making a “4D” image.

The images of the terrorized Iraqi prisoners of war, a blasted torso lying in the street, the crater of a misdirected missile. All the more gruesome having been covered in ink, dust, blood and oil.


Ref: Printmaking Today, Volume 5, Number 1, 1996, P16

Ref: Printmaking Today, Issue 6, P 6 & 7, Spring ’06

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