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Archive for May 2015

My final outcome is made up of two parts; one is a set of posters issuing my campaigning topic of light pollution which stemmed up from my original project objective for Inside Out and the other is a motion graphic video addressing key facts of light pollution and its effects to the environment. While the posters were created using a mix of drawings scanned onto Photoshop and digital recreation, the motion graphic was created using the After Effects program, and took considerably longer with a higher level of complexity involved

I believe my project differs slightly from my original intentions of exploring interiors and learning how they influence their exteriors (i.e. Inside Out), but I now think that my topic of light pollution relates are being an in-depth subject, and stripping it down layer by layer to discover the solution to it.

Over the venture of the seven weeks, I have documented my experiments and research in an A3 sketchbook. I also took note of my exploits in an online blog and I have been updating co-currently. Aside from the previous two, I have also uploaded my work on to my college’s Moodle webpage for my tutors to view and give feedback on and explained my idea in the form of a project proposal and a weekly plan, complete with an appendix and bibliography.

These forms of documentations have helped my develop my work further by linking narratives from different experiments together and helping me to be inspired by the research I have collected from it. They have also made feedback easier to obtain so I can learn how to improve and move on through my project smoothly with little error.

My original targets included exploring the interiors of objects and people, explaining how they reflect on their respective exteriors, and how that related back to a subject’s personality traits. I believe I have met these targets with through research and experimentation over the course of this project via many new developments I undertook in the build-up to my final piece.

Another target I met was accepting more contextualisation and artist research into my work and learning how to base my ideas on those pieces of evidence in order to become more inspired in my work. The likes of Leon Golub, Jim Shaw and Josh Bryan, among others and gallery visits to Serpentine, Somerset and the Barbican have helped me to accomplish that.

One particular development I made contributed highly to my final outcome. I originally inducted to create a poster featuring a night time cityscape featuring hundreds of little lights and how a few of them turned into light bulbs of a higher size hanging down from the city. This was supposed to be an example of the meaning of “inside out”, where the lightbulbs would ‘come out’ of their normal habitat and dominate the night sky, as they are the key objects that cause city buildings to light up.

This led me on to discover the issue of light pollution and how it was affecting the planet, contrary to what people think of it. The fact that it wasn’t a well-known environmental issue led me to learn more about and use my poster as the forte for my final piece. 

During group reviews and tutorials, it was noted that I tend to have more than one idea to base my work around and while my ideas were praise, I should stick to primarily just one to incorporate into. My tutors were also resourceful in how I should come about my final pieces and what mediums to use. My particularly noted how light pollution has never been a topic explored on the foundation course before and that I should consider looking into it and attempting to find a way to base it around my proposal for Inside Out.

My peers were instrumental in the positive feedback I received from various developments, and helped me to discover where I was going wrong and where I could potentially improve.
From the experience, I have learnt a great deal more on how to operate computer editing programs like Photoshop and After Effects compared to what I knew before I started this foundation course. It has also taught me more on time management and that I shouldn’t rush or take too long on coming up with ideas or working on them. I hope intake these new experiences for future work and employment. I also hope to continue trying out new methods of graphic design in future projects and attempt to use them to my own accord of artistic and visual ideas.

However, I have also learnt that I shouldn’t produce too many ideas and that it is best to stick to a minimum of one for one development or project.

Before starting the course, I had a key interest in Photography and I thought the best way to explore that further was to enrol in this course. But along the way, I discovered other types of graphics I could work in and I was opened up to a whole new world of skill, ambition and resources. I wish to continue to feel this way towards the subject and carry on working within this industry route.
Final Statement - Evaluation Full View

To accompany my light pollution poster, I created a motion graphic video using the Adobe program After Effects to illustrate key facts on the issue, using the research I gathered on light pollution. It is also intended to be shown as part as show reel of videos for my college's foundation gallery. Although I previously stated that my skills in motion graphics are extremely limited, I learnt a great deal more from experimenting with the program in my spare time as well as the tutorial I undertook a few weeks ago.
Initial sketching and styling ideas

I started off by sketching down ideas and format styles for my video; what should feature and how I should take about creating it. I then moved to forming a storyboard for my short film - complete with coloured-in sketches and narration marks, as seen below:
Afterwards, I began the long process of creating my fact video, which took a total of three days, on After Effects. I opened a new composition and set a duration of two minutes (as my video has to be two minutes long or less) and placed a number of images I created previously as elements to manipulate.
The creative process on Adobe's After Effects

I attempted to my good use for the transformation tools of each element while editing, and manipulated many into rotating, re-scaling and changing position between set limits of time. The most effect tool though was the opacity tool, as it allowed me to change scene in the video more smoothly without a rapid jump cut. 

The use of the position and rotation transformation tools combined also proved highly effective in making my light bulb images look like they're swinging back and forth. This also helped in producing and re-producing text boxes for my facts. Upon completion, I put my video in a render queue and rendered it out for viewing.
Screenshots from completed motion graphic

To accompany my video, I included a musical instrumental track titled "Kids in the Street". It is apparently an instrumental cover of said song and available from a free digital media outlet, so no copyright is needed on my behalf. My final motion graphics video can be seen below:
With a running time of 1 minute and 36 seconds, I have succeed in staying in the designated time limit, but overall, I believe this part of my final piece is satisfactory for a first try of creating a motion graphic video and that it has succeeded in explaining the concerns of a little-known environmental campaign like light pollution. I also think that this development contributes my newly-learnt skills well towards my final piece and my overall project. I later documented my exploits in this development in my sketchbook as seen below:
If time allowed it, I would go back and improve certain parts of my video, such as the placement of the wires that the bulbs hang off as they kept moving in an un-sync order to match the speed and movement of the bulbs themselves. I would of also liked to have experimented with more audio tracks to match the tone of the video, as I feel the one I produced for the video felt rush in choice, not to mention parts where it was cut badly. But overall I am happy with the outcome of this piece is such a short space of time.
Final Piece 2 - Motion Graphic Fact Video Full View

Designated Poster 2 - taken from a previous development

The first of three final pieces for this project as well as my college's gallery display. This one features three posters arranged in a particular manner and are supposed to encourage people to turn off unnecessary light to lower the statistics of light pollution which block out the night sky. The first poster is from a previous development that features a night time city skyline lit up, with light bulbs hanging below. It is one of the initial takes instead of the actual final design, as I feel this version has a more organic feel in comparison to the final one, which after getting feedback from, looks more "electronic" and "domestic".
The creative process

The second poster is merely a play on typography. "Turn off the Light to see the Night" is the slogan for my campaign, and I believe the poster makes the message clear. The letters of the key words "Light" and "Night" are made up of city building lights and stars respectively as a further play on typography. I finished it off with a blurred boarder to give the affect of darkness closing in around the poster.
Designated Poster 3

My third and final poster is the main feature of this process. I initially pictured it as an expansion of my second poster, but with the text from my first poster and extra features included. It is intended to my the focal point of my campaign. Using the "light bulb" poster I created in an earlier development, I re-modified it by attuning the colour hues and fixed up errors such as the placements of certain light bulb's wires before placing it in a larger frame piece. I then placed collections of twinkling stars around the edge of the picture and headlined it with the phrase from my first poster "Turn off the Light to see the Night".
Designated Poster 2

The gap between the stars and the city is supposed to illustrate how intense light polluted outward from an urban environment towards the night sky blocks out the view of stars, the latter of which can only be seen outside the city away from the bright lights (i.e. suburban and countryside areas). The hanging light bulbs also bring into notion of how bright a set of bulbs can be towards the darkness and that we as natives to the planet should lower the amount we use and emit.
Examples of my poster on billboards

I also took the time to emphasise my poster's intention as an advertisement and created mock-up images of how it could look on billboards. I didn't create mock-ups using the first two poster as I believe this one gets my message across more strongly. I also documented all my work for this development in my sketchbook as seen below:
Documentation of this development in my sketchbook

As one part of my final piece for this project, I believe I have succeeded in creating an entertaining and acknowledging design drawing concern to a little-to-unknown environmental issue in the form of a set of digital poster-pieces and exemplified their use in public. I have now, however, noticed ways that I could improve my posters, in particular my designated second one. I think I could of stressed the issue of light pollution further by adding a bright circular blur emitting outward from the city image, showing that bright light is the main factor towards light pollution, instead of leaving the unmarked area as blank. 
The proposed layout of my posters for my college's gallery

Also, although I have geared away from my original project object of exploring the ins and outs of objects and people, I see the light bulbs lean back more towards that; the bulbs descending are larger than the ones above that make up the skyline, and in a way take them OUT of their rooms and into the main habitat, merging as one. However, in spite of these issues, I am satisfied with the outcome of my posters and their intentions for in my project.
Final Piece 1 - Campaign Posters Full View


As part of first-hand research, I created a questionnaire for members of my class and the general public to answer based on the environmental issue of Light Pollution - a subject that I believe I am now leaning towards in favour of 'Inside Out', but I am attempting to combine the two in a way; such as my light bulb city poster.
My completed questionnaire sheets

From the feedback I got from 24 questionnaires, it is evident that Light Pollution is not a well-known topic and most people have only heard about it as a second hand subject. However, most of them do state that they attempt to cut-down on the amount of light they use, such as low-brightness on computer screens or turning off lights at night. They can also identify high-light polluted areas via the map I provided as well as objects that emit luminous light.
Documentation of questionnaires

It will now be my job to make Light Pollution a better-known environmental issue and explain the effects it has on the Earth and the health of humans and animals with the research I have acquired. And is possible, I will also try to include my original proposal of 'Inside Out' in my forthcoming practical work for this new topic.
Light Pollution - Questionnaire Full View

Sketchbook annotations of key facts I have unearthed about Light Pollution

Continuing on with my alternative idea of exploring Light Pollution, I researched various internet and book resources for numerous facts relating to the issue. The information that I have uncovered came to a shock to me as I didn't realise how harming the situation can be to humans and society. Primarily, Light Pollution is caused from the excessive, misdirected, or obtrusive artificial light, like street lamps and inner city buildings.
The state of Light Pollution in major cities in Europe, as well as a comparison of a city night sky to a country one 

Light pollution mostly occurs in major cities, where bright luminous lights dominate the night time skylines and the level of outdoor light use is off the scale. The main concern to campaigners about this overuse is how the light fills up the night sky and disallows the appearance of several stars to be visible, unlike the suburbs or countryside where thousands can be seen in a pitch-black sky.
Hong Kong - No.1 most light polluted city in the world

Out of all the major cities in the world, Hong Kong produces more light pollution more than any other, which has earned them the nick name "The City Without Stars". The city is known for its thousands of illuminated billboards and signs that inter-cross with the main city areas and home communities. The dramatic use of luminous billboards have created sleeping struggles for some residents due to the brightness of light emitted right outside their window, causing changes in their sleeping patterns.

Overly-used artificial light also has effects on the o-zone layer due to the amount of radiation produced, but the intense light can also cause illness in humans, flora and animals. Such effects include skin disease which can possibly lead to cancer. In certain insect species - whose hives reside near powerful artificial light sources - vast amounts of radiation can affect their breeding patterns. A similar feature is seen in the seasonal cycle of trees when they reside near a light source at night; making green-leaved trunks appear in mid-January.
Fireflies

A particular breed of insect - fireflies - normally emit light from their bodies as a mating call, but regions of fireflies found near luminous billboard posters in Japan have found to have a population decline due to the bright light confusing their breeding patterns. Similar incidents have occurred in other insects that can reflect or emit light as well as animal stocks in farms, but in those cases the meats consumed affected humans' health due to light radiation damaging the food stock.
Diagrams explaining poor and good street lighting

Badly designed lights is prime cause for light pollution, as many outdoor lamps shine straight up, a 180 degree angle, or a full 360 degree angle, when they should be shining towards the ground. These types also help to reduce glare and spillovers.
Campaign poster research

Afterwards, I discovered examples of campaign posters to my base my campaign for light pollution and documented it in my sketchbook. From what I have gathered, it appears light pollution isn't a well known or popular environmental topic nor are there many campaigns in league with it. 


Now, I intend to use these facts to create a fact video on light pollution as a motion graphic. And although I have limited skills in creating one as such, I hope to carry it out as one of my final of three pieces. The other two will consist of a poster and either fact cards or a tangible 3D piece.
Light Pollution - Facts & Statisitcs Full View

Selected pieces of work from the gallery

Today, I commuted to the Somerset House in Central London as extra research into my project. Home to a number of galleries and temporary exhibitions, I went to view the Pick Me Up exhibit that is currently running, featuring the work of a number of contemporary illustrators and graphic designers. Pick Me Up exploits the works and more specifically the processes of creating graphic work from twelve 'up-and-coming' international art studios, all of which were nominated by Somerset for view.
Lamadieu's designs, the centre piece of which is titled "Paint New York"

One designer's work that I took an liking to was French artist Thomas Lamadieu, whose creative illustrations titled Sky Design fill in the empty sky gaps between buildings featured in worm-eye-view photographs looking up with his own cartoon characters which differ from reality. I find these pieces amazing because Lamadieu uses an artist's natural influence of using what's already there and adding and manipulating it to make a subject more appealing. If I have the time, I would like to produce an artist copy of work similar to Lamadieu's as an experiment. In relation to my 'Inside Out' project, the piece could explore size and shape differences and unusual placement of ordinary subjects in the real world.
A selection of Newman's work

Another artist's work I found interesting was Hettie Newman, whose inimitable creations in set design and papercraft hold so much detail. The energetic colours, playfulness and patience shown in Newman's miniature works are then translated into 3D sculptures made from a broad range of materials. Since some of my developments thus far in my project are 3D, I would consider looking into Newman's work further and see what is possible to make from easy-to-obtain materials to possibly create one myself.
Other artists' work, including my rainbow scratch card

Other pieces I found interesting in general includes work from the following designers Luke Evans, Jack Cunningham, Laura Jouan, Jennifer Argo and Rop de Mierlo. Another fun experience I endeavoured in was taking part in a social media challenge by Blink Art - one of the art studio present at the exhibition - where I scratched out a drawing onto a piece of scratch card, which revealed a rainbow pattern beneath when scratched away. I documented my gallery visit in my sketchbook as seen below:
Overall, I enjoyed this gallery visit and believe the works on display will inspire me further in the build-up to my final project piece.
Gallery Visit - Somerset House Full View

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