Research Report

Deadline: Tuesday, April 6

Dynamic Typography topics: experts in animation, motion graphics, and type design.

During the class you’ll pick a name through a lottery from the following list of pioneer artists and designers in motion: Film Title designer, Designer, Artist or Film Title companies:

Genevieve Gauckler – Steven
Jeremy Blake – Justin
Pablo Ferro – Daniel
Psyop – Hayley
Michel Gondry – Gwen
David Shrigley – Patryze
Smith & Foulkes – Greg
Pleix – Kristian
Maurice Binder – Charlene
Doug Aitken – Jessica
Jenny Holzer – Ali
Milton Glaser – Amanda
Oskar Fischinger – Edward
Tibor Kalman – Matt
Hillman Curtis – Lauren
Saul Bass – Sasha
Kuntzel Deygas – Brett
Thomas Wilfred – Alice
The Films of Charles & Ray Eames – Elora

Your research report is a 10-minute in-class presentation to your peer students. This presentation is based on research. The following structure is expected:

1) Introduction
Short statement about who the individual/group is and what they are known for.

2) Background
Biographical information, the life and times of your subject.

3) Work
Description of the person’s or studio’s work and achievements. Include at least 10-20 full-frame visuals to give a representative picture of their work.

4) Discussion
Why is the work significant to our context?

5) Conclusions
Your evaluation and opinions.

6) References
Make sure you find a minimum of three books, articles, essays, websites about the topic.
References should be based on the Chicago Citation Style.

Be certain to practice and time (10 minutes max!) your presentation before presenting in class. You will be evaluated based on the substance of your research and clarity of your presentation. You should use PDF, quicktime, or other web-accessible technology to present your topic. Only presentations accessible from the class website will be accepted. Optimize the amount of information per page, legibility of typography and images based on a presentation context and a screen resolution of 1024 x 768 pixels.

Exercises: General Info

Exercise 01: Contrast
Exercise 02: Words in motion
Exercise 03: Visual Speech
Exercise 04: Movie Main Titles
Midterm Review
Final Project: Alphabet

Create all exercises in the size 960×540 pixels (NTSC, Square Pixels). This is the aspect ratio of today HD 16:9. Save all your compositions in high quality. Develop storyboards for all of your projects. Photoshop storyboards are 16:9 aspect ratio. A convenient size in Photoshop is to keep working within a 960×540 resolution. Avoid working with lower resolution. Create a single template for developing storyboards, and use this system for each of your exercises. Use the H.264 compressor for your projects.

Lauren will give you specifications on how to format your work for uploading it to the site.

Exercise 01: Contrast

Review: Thursday, April 6 & 8, sketches, storyboard.
Deadline: Tuesday, April 13

Chose 2 combinations of words form the list below. Create 2 separate animations of 10 seconds each. Each animation will be based on a contrast such as “harmony – chaos”. You will choose a two words combination of from the list.

Find a way to express each word with a smart transition between them. The key is to find a solution within a minimalist list of ingredients. Use a pre-composition based on a grid of 21 by 12 squares. Place this pre-comp (pre-composition) and place it in a composition of 960×540 pixels.

Sound: Create you own sound mouth made! Nothing too laborious.

Color: Strictly black/white, No colors.

Timing: 2x 10 second

Delivery: 960×540 Square pixel , 24fps, 10 second. Quicktime H264 compression. Online posting on Vimeo and embedded on class website. Any question regarding delivery, contact TA Lauren.

File(s): Download the AEP (After Effects) file Exercise_01_ready.aep.

Slow – fast
Boring – Exciting
Harmony – Chaos
Skinny – Overweight

Start searching for some ideas like sketching on some grid paper. Key is to develop your idea while keeping in mind the limitation. Think about scale, size, position, and orientation to create different kinds of movement. Restrict your color palette to black & white. Do not use squares to create a representational shape/figure! Search for abstract, iconic ideas.

Exercise 02: Words in Motion

Introduction: Tuesday, April 13

Review: Thursday, April 15, sketches, storyboard.

Deadline: Tuesday, April 20

Create a 30 second continuous animation going from one word to another one. Find the inherent value of a word and animate it. Find a balance between readability, smoothness while captivating your audience.

Choose 5 words from the list and set up in one typeface of your choice. Chose a typeface that is neutral enough (don’t use a typeface like Old Western, old English Script, etc..) in order to concentrate on the motion and idea.

Please avoid stretching typeface or any distasteful deformation. Play with scale, position, movement and opacity in a undefined space either in 2D or 2.5D (meaning using 2D elements in a 3D space within After Effects).

Find a way to express each word with a smart transition between them. You can multiply the elements in addition to your chosen word if necessary. No other element can be use, no graphics, no extra shapes.

Sound: Sound effects or Soundtrack is welcome, but not mandatory.

Color: Monotone or Duotone per each word.

Tools: After Effects, 2D or 2.5D. Transform & Mask tools.

Timing: 20–30 second

Delivery: 960×540 Square pixel , 30fps, 20-30 second, Quicktime H264 compression. Online posting on Vimeo and embedded on class website.

Words: Falling – Rebound – Swirl – Explode – Balance
Rotate – Engine – Evaporate – Dance – Compute
Grow – Repeat – Collapse – Terminate – Rebirth

Exercise 03: Visual Speech

Review: April 22, chosen speech, timing of words (time code)

Deadline: April 27

Choose a unique speech from a famous personality (Martin Luther King, Gandhi, Timothy Leary, etc) and select a part that will fit within 50-60 second. Establish a time sheet with each word time length.

With your time sheet ready, take your video camera, go outside and find words that will match each words of your chosen speech. Following your list you will have to find these words either in a urban environment, street posters, billboards, grocery store, etc.

Should you have difficulty to find some words, create them and place them within the context of the ones you already have found. Should your speech not allow to show every word, you can skip a few in order to empower the key word.

After digitizing your footage, lay your sound and start editing your footage with simple cut between your words while matching the soundtrack.

Sound: Speech

Color: Color can be used to emphasize part of the speech. Use it wisely.

Tools: Final Cut Pro, Premiere, After Effects.

Timing: 50-60 second

Filming: SD or HD video camera. 4:3 or 16:9 (better).

Delivery: SD: 720×540 or HD: 1280×720 | Square pixel | 24p or 30fps. H264 codec. Online posting on Vimeo and embedded on class website.

Exercise 04: Movie Main Titles

Review: Thursday, April 29, sketches, storyboard, planning of the team.

Deadline: Tuesday, May 11

Note: Work within a team of 3

This project investigates the relationship between moving images and the use of typography for the names and credits of the cast. Create a 60-90 second main titles sequence. Find out what are the timing & proportions (size) between the different credits. Look at other main titles sequences for advice.

You will team with two other students in order to create the project. You will have to schedule and plan your cooperation in order to meet the deadline. Your team will have to plan its resources and cooperation in order to achieve the deadline and project.

The theme is: birth – death – rebirth.

Create a sequence within the theme, mixing imagery and typography. A fictional credit list will be provided to you at the beginning of the exercise. You will have freedom to choose an appropriate visual, technique, typography. This exercise is about working together within a tight deadline.

You will have to develop your project in 3 steps:

1) Storyboard: developing an idea with a storyboard. Images must be found, created, to realize a mood, visualize your idea.

2) Shoot, Create your background visual. Live action, photos, anything else.

3) Edit and compose your typographic elements.

Sound: Chose an existing song or create you own soundtrack.

Color: free

Timing: 60-90 second

Delivery: 960×540 Square pixel or 1280×720 , 24fps, H264 compression. Online posting on Vimeo and embedded on class website.

Midterm Review

Deadline: Tuesday, May 4

For the individual midterm review, your animations and films must be viewed on CD/DVD compatible Quicktime files with properly named files and labeled CD/DVD with jewel case. Hand in your DVD at the beginning of the review. You must also present as a PDF your sketches, frames & development of the exercises. Letter size is preferred.

Final Project: Alphabet

During this class you created a series of exercises dealing with strategies of visual communication through kinetic elements, shapes and text, focusing on motion, speed, rhythm, color, editing and quality of animation. In the remaining 4 1/2 weeks of class you will develop a concept and create a piece following a complete iterative design

Alphabet: You will create a film showcasing the 26 letters of the alphabet. For each letter you will find a word and create a clip between 1-4 seconds. The total sequence will be between 39-104 seconds (26 x 1-4 seconds).

Color: Use your color palette wisely as a tool to enhance your storytelling.

Project Development: The project is divided into four parts, each evaluated separately and mandatory:

Part 1: Idea / Storyboard
Part 2: Animatic of stills
Part 3: First Pass
Part 4: Final Delivery

The content for your project should be a series of quick visuals accompanied with a typographic treatment of the chosen word. Be direct, bold, efficient. If you choose a complex visual you may not be able to fit within the allocated timing. The juxtaposition of quick and spontaneous visuals will create a master piece where sound and visuals collide, juxtapose, intersect, creating an exciting and surprising final.

Part 1: Idea / Storyboard
Finding a word for each letter. Develop your chosen words in the form of sketches and storyboards to be reviewed individually on Tuesday, May 18. The quality of the sketches, storyboards and illustrations must be appropriate to communicate your idea and sufficient for a class discussion. Based on individual discussions, select one idea and develop a storyboard of at least 26 frames to be presented to the class during the Thursday, May 20 class session.

Part 2: Animatic
Produce an animatic of the entire sequence by either sketching, finding a visual for each letter and development.(due Thursday, May 27).

Part 3: First Pass
Implementation of your ideas, produce a rough edit of the entire sequence for Tuesday June 1, with as much elements as you can.

Part 4: Final Product
Complete your animation for the final screening on Thursday, June 3.

A final DVD for the class is due on Thursday June 3. The DVD should contain your final project, the work in progress from Part 1, 2, 3. And also your four previous exercises from the class.