Monday, April 25, 2016

Communication Artifact: SWIG



video
Swig is our campaign and I was involved in directing the commercial. I had the idea of making it more comical and that sometimes you can’t be boring, you have to live a little. The motto for our campaign is “Mix It Up” meaning that a customer can combine a number of flavors to create a lifetime of enjoyment with your taste buds being happy. My acting is not up to par and I do apologize for that but overall, I think the commercial turned out to be great plus it is funny which is what I wanted because it emphasizes the laid back and fun culture that the company produces. Matt (Hansen) helped me edited the video because I’m not that experienced working with Adobe Premiere so I sat down with him and we went through the whole thing together and cut out all of the extra takes.

We recorded the video and audio off two separate phones and matched them up when we sat down to edit it. I was worried about the environmental noise going on around like the bell ringing, the wind, students walking by, etc. To eliminate this problem completely, we decided to put some video game theme music behind it. I think the music adds to the fun humor and attracts a younger audience and yet has references for someone a little older to understand as well.

The psychological contrast that the commercial presents is that you should drink “Swig” because it is unique and you should feel ashamed if you’re drinking anything else (not really, your body needs water). With Darius being so aggressive while shocked that I am drinking water, it shows that drinking “Swig” makes you cool and it really does help because of its popularity here in Utah, especially St. George. The cultural context of the place “Swig” is heavily influenced because it is a place specifically stationed in Utah and nowhere else. I’m from Las Vegas, NV and never heard of “Swig” before I came here but people raved about how great the drinks were and I had to try it out and was not disappointed. Our commercial is great for local publicity because when people here in Utah see that name, they know what it is and generally where it is located.

The figure to ground relationship is our commercial spot is that someone is out enjoying the nice summer weather. When Darius spits out his juice and lowers his glasses and the camera focuses on his eyes, the viewer can really feel the tension in his face and how distraught he seems to be. Also, the close-up of me when I am fishing around looking for something to drink. The camera is right in my face and the background is sandy, which is supposed to give off a desert feel and am needing something to quench my thirst and I see something in the distance. The worry in my face shows that I am dying for something to drink and giving the impression that I am somewhere in the desert shows the exhaustion that can have on someone. The final scene when the logo appears next to the cup shows a figure to ground relationship. The cup is sweating a little bit which is supposed to draw the viewer in and show how hot the temperature is and make them really thirsty as well. Having the volleyball court in the background enhances the impression that it is summer time because volleyball is a popular sport that is played during the summer time. The combination of that with the sweating of the cup is enough to attract some thirsty mouths.

The Gestalt Principles that are used are the law of proximity because there are some tight angles throughout the commercial that make the viewer feel like they are experiencing what the actor is. There are several shots when the camera gets pulled in very tight to emphasize something important. When the camera zooms in on Darius, it is showing that he is in disbelief about what is happening and doesn’t understand why the student (me) isn’t drinking “Swig”. Another zoomed in angle happens when I’m looking for something to drink which shows that I am dying of thirst and need something quickly. The zoom helps to highlight that I am in dire need of some liquid but Darius denies me the water. Law of Continuity is another principle that present throughout the commercial because a lot of the angles follow some sort of line pattern. When the water bottle gets knocked out and flies towards Spencer, the viewer’s eye follows the bottle heading towards him and then Spencer panicking and leaving in an instant. Also when Darius is spitting out his drink, all the camera angles that show him doing it are following a direction as well because the juice is going away from the camera (because we didn’t have a plexiglass shield for the phone) and the juice creates a line of direction which the eye follows, especially when it gets slowed down. Lastly, when I’m stumbling for the water, the camera was going from a side direction and so the viewer could see where I was headed and what my eye was desired on getting and when Darius comes in and kicks the bottle away, the direction is hindered because the momentum of my motion is interrupted.

Overall, it was a blast creating an advertisement spot for “Swig” and experimenting with a different logo and slogan. All of us in our groups put our creative minds together to create something special and other than my horrible acting, I like the commercial that we produced.




Below is our style guide for the color schemes that we used.



Here is a better link to our commercial because because the one above is blurry!



Objective

We hope to appeal to a younger and more daily-oriented crowd ranging from families, high school and college students and athletes. We wanted our design to incorporate a fun and cool (literally and figuratively) style that appeals majority to a younger generation. Our goal was to make our logo inviting for people but yet have 7 different color schemes emphasizing our motto, "Mix It Up:. We chose primary colors for our tones because it creates a positive vibe and adds a fun summer theme appropriate for all ages.

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Mis-en Scene: Now You See Me: Bank Robbery Scene



Who doesn’t love magic and watching magic tricks? I would say that those people are pretty rare but a movie that is full of magic is “Now You See Me” that was released in 2013. The scene that is pretty memorable and took some time to execute is the Bank Robbery scene. From a production designer’s standpoint, this scene is complex with the visual concept of how they pulled it off.

The Production Designer behind this movie is Peter Wenham who is responsible for some other famous work including The Bourne Supremacy and Blood Diamond. Looking back at the trailers for both movies, The Bourne Supremacy shines with the car scenes with Matt Damon and the people that are after him where the camera is constantly changing perspectives and moving quite quickly. In Blood Diamond, Leonardo DiCaprio and Djimon Hounsou are the leading actors in this movie and they are trying to save Hounsou’s son and have to deal with fire fight to battle to him. Those movies don’t use magic or anything but it certainly shows the range and scope of different locations used in a variety of ways. Also, both of those movies have a figure to ground relationship because Matt Damon is the figure and he is on the run and his background is the country of India and the people after him. Blood Diamond on the other hand has Djimon Hounsou as the main figure and the ground relationship of South Africa and the destruction it is taken and on the lookout for his son as well. I enjoyed “Now You See Me” but the movie itself was nothing special although the bank robbery scene specifically was really interesting and always kept me wondering how they pulled the whole thing off specifically when the money was flying around and into the air duct. Wenham’s job is to identify a design style for sets, locations, graphics, props, lighting, camera angles and costumes, while working closely with the director and producer.

Wenham has to deal with the physical context of the bank and the character himself and the stack of money in the middle of the room. The camera angles are pretty tight for this scene because it is just the character and the money so not much else in happening within the vault. The contrast helps the story psychologically through size, texture, orientation, etc. and while dealing with a scene that has a lot of creativity and CGI, the contrast is definitely present. I think it helps the viewer connect with the character in the vault and the money flying up into the vault in the middle of the screen is the focus.

There is a balance because the hole in which the money is flying into is in the center of the screen which seems to pleasure the viewer because there is equal space of the left and the right side. Wenham is in charge of the lighting as well which compliments the harmony quite nicely because of the brightness of lighting in the bank compared to the darkness on the stage in the previous scene. It helps the viewer feel some sense of warmth and by the exciting expression on the character’s face then the bright hue of the bank fits in well.

The figure/ground relationship is present because the character and the money are the figures and the grounds portion is the bank itself with the vault and the whole structure of how it is created. Wenham took the right approach to this because the scene is simple and not much is going on around the character which makes it easier to focus on the magic that is happening with the money.

The Gestalt Principles fit in well, starting with the law of similarity, all the money is similar despite the different color of it being red and blue, and they are all rectangular shaped with the same imprints on them. Next, is the law of proximity which has to do with the objects being near each other and grouped together and when the money is flying into the shoot, they are all in the same general area which gives the viewer a sense of all the individual pieces of money as one. The same aspect applies when it comes to the law of closure, both of these terms are similar and we typically see the money as a whole when it is being shot up through the vacuum. The law of pragnanz is present because that is when reality is reduced to the simplest form and your eye tends to automatically group things together which is what happens with the tornado of money going into the vent. The viewer’s eye sees it as a cluster of money because it is hard to spot every piece of money individually. The last one is the law of continuity because there is a path that the money is following and it is upward towards the top of the vault. The tornado effect creates a cool and easy path for our eyes to decipher which adds to the overall quality of the scene.

How the bank robbery scene was developed was that they filmed it in a vault and had the stack of money in the center of the room (just as it appears on screen) and they put up 3 different cameras. One camera was right over top of the stack of money and the second camera was a shoulder cam that someone was holding and walking around the chaos of the money flying to focus on the actor. The third camera is the camera that the audience sees and it has a handle which the camera man uses to move it up and down while the money is flying around the actor to create a sense of motion that is happening. Also, they strapped down a couple of fans to the ground so they could get the money to swirl around whenever they needed to and unbind some of the money so it was able to fly freely. One more thing, there was a guy out of the shot throwing some more money into the swirling so the effect of all the money just had a constant flow without breaking up any continuity. It is cool to see how the scene was done and it was executed very well. 

This link is for the actual scene

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vx9EOI4RyBs

This link is behind the scenes footage of how they pulled it off.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vXv5262Fclw



Saturday, March 19, 2016

Compose Your Frame: Holland - 3rd Floor


I took this picture on the 3rd floor of the Holland Building where they have several computers but the shelves of books is what mostly consumes this floor. I had to move the rows in order to have a clear shot through all the way to the other side. I enjoy moving the shelves because you just literally press the "Move" button and it is fun to play with.

The Rule of Thirds comes into play nicely because you can easily divide this picture into 3 sections with the left side of the books, the middle (open) section, and the right side of the books. I like how your eye is not only pulled to the end of the row but also each and every individual book and definitely gives you a feeling of closeness and stopping at each book to examine it (at least it does that for me).

The Diagonal Rule is what drives the picture because the shelves on which the books are on are horizontal but progressing into a forward direction which then leads your eye to the next rack and the next until finally you are met with the chairs at the very end which is complemented nicely by the light. The light plays with your eye giving you a sense of relief (e.g. like light at the end of a tunnel) and mystery in the way that you cannot see what is beyond the chairs. Also the lines on the ground and the sofas are horizontal so the lines cross each other or are considered perpendicular.

The vectors are heavily present in this photo, specifically graphic vectors which have a strong sense of direction. Your eye moves through looking past the books onto what lies ahead and that is somewhat unknown but by using my imagination, it's almost like when Jesus parted the sea and creates a pathway. The lines on the ground and the sofas in the middle of the aisle cause for a little discomfort for the eye because it is like the pattern of going straight is being interrupted (especially with the second sofa). It definitely blocks my path and bothers me because I feel like I have to change my direction to get to the end. Something else that I noticed is I took this picture at an angle but it was completely unintentional. I do think it heightens the suspense and causes the vectors to have motion in them as well!

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Axioms of Web Design

I was searching around the Internet only to realize that the website for my Most Anticipated Game of 2016 (Uncharted 4) is really something special and astonishing, it's unchartedthegame.com. What I find to be incredible about this site is that it is related to a video game but by visiting the site, it feels more like a TV series. Visually, the thing that captures the viewer's eye is the fact that it is playing the trailer in the background but it feels like a movie trailer because the genre of the game is an action adventure. Uncharted is a gaming series that is exclusive to PlayStation and I think it fits PlayStation's motto perfectly: "Greatness Awaits". Looking at this game, it is truly stunning and I think the website attracts gamers as well as non-gamers.

The Business/Communication side of the site is a gaming company by the name of "Naughty Dog" who was founded in 1984 in Santa Monica, California and has been part of my childhood because they started out making games like "Crash Bandicoot" and "Jak and Daxter" which I'm sure many people have at least heard of those games. I have always been a gamer and those were some of my favorite games growing up and so I followed their company. I think the fact that they created a particular site for a huge game like "Uncharted" is something incredible. The first game came out in 2007 followed by 2009 and then 2011 was the third game. Fans of the game have been waiting for about five years for this next one to release which is why I find the website special and helping their business. They have always been known to make fun and free-flowing games but then they have transitioned to more serious and serial gaming experiences with "Uncharted" and "Last of Us" (another heavy adventure game, except much darker tone).

I think the website has a strong grid or what Andy Rutledge likes to call "quiet structure" which is achieved when you de-emphasize the structural elements and bring a rhythmical consistency to the layout. I believe this site does a great job at executing at that because the game is based on action and adventure and by looking at the landing page of the website emphasizes that pieces of the trailer casting behind the scenes just like if you rented a movie and watched the preview screening of the main screen of the movie before you press play. It doesn't give the viewer a warm and serene sense but that isn't what it is trying to pull off, it wants to have the viewer on the edge of their seat wondering what's going to happen next.

The continuity of the site flows really well too because it knows what it is and isn't trying to be something that it's not. I think the landing page grabs the viewer in because of the continuous action that is happening on the main page of playing snippets of the trailer to show how good graphically the game looks but also to set the tone for what kind of game it is and shapes the idea of what the site is going to contain.

The intuitiveness which refers to having the ability to understand something without any direct evidence is present in the site. The main reason being that the word "game" is in the link of the website so people can quickly associate that but also having tabs at the top of the page like "Games" and "Multiplayer" are good indicators too. You don't have to be a gamer to recognize what kind of site this is because I believe that it does a great job of visually captivating the viewer to not only enter the site but to explore a little bit to learn more.

The affordance is definitely present because it is very interesting and fun to navigate and it draws the average viewer into it even if they aren't sure of what it exactly is. The site is fun all the way around and it is also easy to navigate. You have 6 tabs on the top of the page which lay out specific subjects and it makes for an easy read and something interesting that I found about it is that you can create your own gifs according the game. It'll let the viewer pick from certain scenes from the previous games and choose different backgrounds and then let them create their own phrases or their are already-made phrases presented to them. I found it to be silly but also inviting and cool because I can't think of another gaming website that lets you create different kind of memes out of it, it's a really fascinating feature. So I found the site to be fun but also look good and be easy to navigate which helps the overall presentation.

        

Friday, February 5, 2016

Design Evaluation: An American Biographical Drama

Let me state right off the bat that I have not seen this movie but I have heard great things about it and will hopefully watch it one day. I think the design art of this movie poster is an example of good design because it speaks a thousand words even though it is not saying that much.

Contrast

Contrast is what creates the story to the psychological and in terms of position, color, and orientation, the poster excels in those aspects. I'll start with the positioning of the characters, the degree of vertical lines are present because my eyes are drawn to the top of the frame where Will Smith's head is at. When I get there though, I am immediately drawn down to Jaden Smith because that is who Will has his attention on and Jaden is standing in a slanted position which draw my eyes further south to his feet.

Color is present especially with the beam of light coming from the sun where their hands meet, obviously that is the brightest spot so my eyes are automatically attracted there. The color of the lettering of the title is interesting as well because the words, "The Pursuit" on Will Smith's suit jacket stand out because it is white on black but the word "Happy" specifically is in red. It made me think for a minute about why would the Illustrator choose red but I believe it's because the color red along with pink are usually warm colors and represent the color of a heart when it is illustrated. There isn't a lot of color but there doesn't need to be for this work.

The orientation is set up well too because you can tell these two have a pretty close and healthy relationship. It isn't your traditional Father-son relationship, not saying that fathers and their sons aren't close but if there is a single parent with a child, it typically is associated with the mother. It is perfect that the rest of the background is white because their is nothing to distract your eyes, your focus is right in the middle with them as you see their relationship grow.

Gestalt Principles

Gestalt means a "unified feeling" which is what this poster does for me, it warms my heart to see a great Father-son relationship and reminds me to cherish everything that I have.

Law of Proximity: I mentioned this before but you can definitely see the closeness and the strong bond between Will and Jaden without any additional words having to explain it further. The key for me is the beam of the sun unraveling from beneath their hands and how Jaden is leaning on Will's arm also shows the degree of how close they are because it shows that he has developed trust and comfort around this individual. The simple fact that he is smiling while holding a toy in his hand and Will is also smiling looking down at him.

Law of Simplicity: This poster is simple which makes it more powerful to me because there aren't a lot of words on it but it says a lot just from the actions that are being portrayed. The fact that Will Smith is holding a brief shows that he cares about his business but also providing for his son. It is just him and his son without the mother which speaks on a psychological level that maybe the father and the mother haven't gotten along that well.


I haven't seen this movie either but by this movie poster, it does not grab my attention in any way compelling enough to go see it. This is my example of how bad design works because their is way too much going on with this that it is kind of baffling to me.

Contrast

When it comes to contrast with this poster, a lot of different aspects about it stand out in a negative way. If we start out with the positioning of the mess that is happening here, I seriously don't know where to start because there is too much going on in the first place. I'm assuming that the character in the middle of the screen is the main character "Milk" (Sean Penn) which is what the title is based off of. I immediately lose interest in anything more than that because of all the people in their own boxes around him, I find it to be confusing and just a little too much. It's not helping me understand who these other characters are or what kind of relationship they have with the protagonist. It seems like you have to actually watch the movie to uncover the mystery.

The color is nice because it catches your eye with the blue but that is all it does because then it has all different contrasting colors around it. The fact that the title is in white but then the quote by Peter Tarvers of Rolling Stone that reads, "An American Classic" followed by 4 stars is in gold is just a weird and awkward mixture with the blue. All of that combined with the different colors by the outfits by the other characters just makes it extremely messy and unorganized to me.

The orientation is probably what sets me off the most because looking at it, the title is fine but why should you add somebody's opinion about what they think of the movie? You shouldn't have to tell the audience that it's a 4-star kind of movie, they should be able to tell from the cover. It is important to tell the audience that it is based on a true story but I feel like the placement of it being right smack dab in the middle is awkward and doesn't look good. In my opinion it should be moved to the upper corner so it blends in with the blue. I know they wanted to show all the important people that somehow probably affect "Milk's" life in the frame but it is too messy especially with him in the middle blocking everything.

Gestalt Principles

Law of Similarity: This movie poster definitely interferes any similarities because by staring at it, I have no idea what all those characters outside of the main character have to do with him. It doesn't explain how they are similar, I mean do they know each other? Have they interacted with Milk and affect his life possibly? Has Milk affected their lives? Obviously I'm sure in the movie it explains everything but just from looking at the poster, my eyes are lost and confused.

Law of Closure: Objects are supposed to been seen as a whole but with this poster, I don't see that. I see a lot of individual frames wrapped into one that don't do a good job of telling a story and the context of what is happening exactly. I don't like that they had to grab somebody's opinion (although him coming from Rolling Stone gives him credibility) and make that in huge lettering and have all these secondary characters on one screen but not tying all their stories together for a similar theme.






Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Contrast, Balance, and Harmony


I love this photo because it captures a lot of emotion within one still frame. For one, you can see the tension as it builds up on my face and the contortion of my upper body especially with my hands and chest area. Obviously this photo was taken while I was in a race in Flagstaff, Arizona and my mom took the picture with her Canon Rebel T3I and I love how you can experience that race feeling with me because I am moving past people at a blazing speed. I love running with a passion and don't know what I'd do without it, it has really become a part of my life and something that I truly adore. Running on varies types of terrain like dirt, concrete, grass, etc. is part of the fun and can be used as an advantage or disadvantage depending on the weather conditions and the right shoes. I want to dive into how this photo distinguishes the difference between contrast, balance and harmony.

Contrast

Contrast has to do with the how the photo creates the story to the psychological through size, texture, orientation, etc. and like I mentioned earlier I believe psychologically, it helps the viewer join me to further understand what's going through my mind. The texture pops out because I am the only thing in the photo that is clear, everything else is blurred out which creates an aspect of "all eyes on me". I'm not being cocky, I'm just saying that when I look at this picture then my eye is drawn right to the center of where I am running. It also irritates my eyes at the same time to stare at anything else for too long because nothing else is in focus. The orientation of this photo also has a neat aspect because the energy is coming towards the viewer at an angle (basically I'm running towards the camera). Even though the rest of the photo is blurry, it's funny to notice that everyone that is watching the Cross Country meet isn't looking at me, they all have their focus somewhere else. Since they're not paying attention, making them blurry seems like they are unimportant anyway.

Balance

I don't feel like their is much balance in this photo because their are no other runners in the shot so it's hard to tell that I am actually running a race, the real key that gives that away is the uniform. I feel like the background with the gloomy sky is connected with the audience because it kind of portrays to them losing interest. Whenever the weather is gloomy like it's going to rain then people usually feel down and out of it which I think makes a cool distinction here. Their is some symmetry within the photo because people are lined up across the course to watch runners so it creates this invisible line in the background and leads your eye to wonder about where it'll end up and how far will it be going. The trees in the background provide the same exact line of symmetry that match up with the spectators watching the race.

Harmony

The harmony is probably what speaks the most to me because I love the bright colors within this dark and gloomy photo. My running shoes are probably the brightest thing in this photograph and it also captures the whole point of what activity that I am doing. The red part of my jersey is also bright so it tends to stand out as well putting the focus straight on me. It adds positivity to the picture which I would say overall is a little darker and gloomy. The mountains in the background add to the shape of the photo because of the rough edges on the peaks and some of the smooth features that complement it on the other mountain. The mountains, trees, dirt and the people help create this atmosphere of a Cross Country meet because they are all the aspects of what running is all about. The expression on my face helps to because you can see that I am in pain but am willing my way through it to get the end goal.

Gestalt Principles 

Law of Proximity - The law of proximity is relevant in the photo that I chose because proximity has to do with the closeness of things and how they are grouped together. The people are grouped together as long with the trees to create a tight shot and you can see the people as individuals but in one close and long line. 

Law of Closure - The law of closure is similar to proximity because objects that are grouped together are seen as a whole which is what is happening. I am the only thing that is clear in the foreground but with the proximity of the people, trees and including the mountains help close up the photograph to view all these objects as one. Yes, they are all individual and different but since they are all blurry then it makes it easier to see them as a whole and put the main focus on myself.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Visceral Response


Running is my passion and has been ever since my freshman year in high school. Looking at this picture feels me with joy and and fulfillment because I have been blessed to have two working legs to compete with. This picture may not be beautiful to everyone but it stupefies me because it causes me to pause and examine closely the different textures of the shoes instead of showing someone running in them.

The way I framed this particular shot attracts a vertical line starting with the black shoe on the bottom of the screen and follows it upward to the fluorescent green shoe and leads your eye past that leaving the viewer optimistic about what is next and that is the effect that I was looking for.

The different forms of the shoe stand out as well because they're all made for different purposes. The black and white shoes on the bottom are meant for long distances and specialize on concrete and sidewalk because it has the proper support on the your heel to comfort it so it's not hurting while you're doing it. The blue and gray shoes next to it are strictly for trails so it is made for dirt but as you can see the formation of this shoe is different than the first pair because it curves is higher on your ankle and the support is also different. Now the last pair on the far right are racing flats for Cross Country and are made for about mid-distance running. These are the lightest pair out of all 3 and the dip is super low on your ankle and it's made for running on grass and some dirt. You shouldn't run on the concrete with these because they don't support your feet well. The form of all these shoes inspire the beauty for me because they all have their unique qualities to them which really speak to me.

When it comes to the color of this photo, their is a variety and contrast of mixtures contained. The color is probably the best quality to this photo that applies it beauty most to me because it has the plain colors with the blacks and grays but then the fluorescent green makes it pop because it has that bright texture to it mixed with the green and healthy looking grass. I took this picture in the middle of the day when the sun was at its peak because the light hits the shoes quite right and the textures of the shoes affect how the light reflect off it as well.

I spaced the shoes close together because it creates that dynamic vertical line and then I leave blank but it still leads the eye of the viewer the shoes are placed in the middle of the frame and work its way up to the top left. The grass works as a great background because running is done on different terrains ranging from concrete, dirt, grass, etc. so it adds to the photo.

I am in love with running and that is what this picture represents with the 3 different pairs of running shoes and how they are distinctively unique. Running shoes come in different shapes and colors which is what makes showing them off so fun. Overall, this picture brings out creativity a bunch of contrasting emotions in me which truly makes it beautiful to me. I love everything about this and keeps me inspired to continue running. #Runner4Life