Unit 12 Week 6- Practitioners Report

For this task, I was following on from my research into sound by looking at two practitioners, one early and one contemporary, from my specialist area which is sound. The early practitioner that I researched was Jack Foley as he started the Foley technique of recording sounds that has given directors a new way of recording sounds like footsteps in post-production. The contemporary practitioner I looked at was Ben Burtt as he has designed sound effects for many films including the Star Wars and Indiana Jones films and has inspired other sound designers with his work, but I will mainly be looking at his more recent work for the new Star Trek films. I will be deconstructing some of their work and looking at the materials they used, and the processes and techniques they used to create their work. I will also be discussing the biography and history of them and their work.

Jack Foley

Jack Foley was born in 1891 and was a pioneer in the field of sound effects in film. Foley had many jobs throughout his life, including, being an accountant, a cartoonist, a stunt man, and a film director as well as some others. However it was while he was working as an assistant director for Universal, who were under pressure after Warner Bros released “The Jazz Singer” that he came up with the idea of gathering people to record sounds like clapping or cheering. This became known as the “direct to picture” or “Foley” technique. There had been sound effects in some films before Foley, however he developed the best way to make them work as a small team was able to create the effects, match them with what was happening on screen and record it all on one reel. This made it very easy to record sound effects. It has been reported that Foley would be able to recreate the sound of three people walking together using his own feet and a cane.

One of the most famous examples of Jack Foleys work is from the film “Spartacus”. For a scene involving an army marching into battle the director, Stanley Kubrick, was not happy with the sound from the location and was planning to send the crew back out to record the scene again, but Jack Foley was able to save the time and money that would have cost and did the sounds using Foley. He managed to recreate the sound of the army marching using his feet and used keys in front of a microphone to create the sound of their armour and weapons moving as they marched. He was able to authentically recreate those sounds, that without him would have cost the studio thousands to reshoot, just by using his knowledge of what they should sound like and improvising how he would be able to make them.

Jack Foley has influenced me as now that I have learnt about Foley I really want to do more of it and I am always wondering about what sounds I could create with different objects when I have been doing my sound experiments and how I could incorporate Foley into my FMP.

Ben Burrt

Ben Burtt was born in 1948 and has been the sound designer on many famous and successful films, such as Star Wars and Indiana Jones, which have won him four Academy Awards. During his career he has created iconic science fiction sounds including R2-D2’s voice, the hum of the lightsabres, and Darth Vader’s breathing. He “singlehandedly redefined the sounds of science fiction and other film lore by utilizing organic material such as film projectors, guy wires, and walruses to engineer authentic-sounding science fiction sounds”. Before his work in the first Star Wars film, sci-fi movies relied on electronic sounding effects to use for futuristic devices, but Ben Burtt wanted more natural sounds that would make the audience believe they were authentic. For example, he made the lightsabre hum from a film projector combined with feedback from a broken television, which he thought to do after a microphone picked up the feedback. It is because of his work pioneering sound design that modern sci-fi films sound the way they do and why he was sought out to work on the Star Trek films. One of Ben Burrt’s most subtle sound effects is the use of an “audio black hole”. In the film “Attack of the Clones” Burrt adds a short period of absolute silence into the film right before the detonation of a “seismic charge”. This was done to make the following explosion more prominent for the audience. He recalls his influence for this as from a talk with a retired sound editor.

For his work on the Star Trek films Burrt wanted to create new sounds that sounded similar to the ones from the original series and so created his sound effects in very similar ways as they were originally made. To recreate the sound of the Enterprise Warp Drive he thought about how it would have been made and then tried to do that himself by using the same equipment. He used a test oscillator and put it through a plate reverb chamber as he believed that was how the sound was originally made and he wanted a similar musical tone that would change pitch. To create the sound of the transporter he did something a bit different to the original series as the transporter in the film isn’t exactly the same, so he made the sound for it using bar chimes and adding a lot of reverb.

Ben Burrt has influenced me as he has changed the way science fiction sound effects are created and I enjoyed creating sound effects using ordinary objects and then manipulating them to get them to sound like something sci-fi and I want to do more work like that in the future and keep trying to create sounds for any genre just by using objects that I can easily find.

From this task I have learnt much more about two people who have both made a difference to the sound industry and how sound effects are made. I have also learnt how these individuals produced some of their most well-known works and how I am able to do similar things with the tools I have available which has given me ideas for what I could do for my FMP. I can use what I have learnt from this task in my FMP as I now have ideas as to how certain sounds can be made and if I need to make any of these sounds or sounds similar to them I will already have an idea of how I can start to make them and then I can develop that and experiment so that I can create the perfect sounds for what I require.

 

References

Anon, (n.d.). Ben Burtt answers questions about sound design of Star Wars. [online] Available at: http://filmsound.org/starwars/starwars-AQ.htm [Accessed 21 Feb. 2017].

Buchanan, K. (2015). You’ll Never Guess How the Dinosaur Sounds in Jurassic Park Were Made. [online] Available at: http://www.vulture.com/2013/04/how-the-dino-sounds-in-jurassic-park-were-made.html [Accessed 20 Feb. 2017].

Isaza, M. (2009). Independent SFX libraries. [online] Available at: http://designingsound.org/2009/09/septembers-featured-ben-burtt/ [Accessed 20 Feb. 2017].

Isaza, M. (2009). VR audio resources. [online] Available at: http://designingsound.org/2009/11/ben-burtt-and-the-sound-design-of-indiana-jones/ [Accessed 20 Feb. 2017].

Kunkes, M. (2017). From the Guild : MORE SOUND TREKKING WITH BEN BURTT. [online] MPEG. Available at: http://www.editorsguild.com/FromTheGuild.cfm?FromTheGuildid=68 [Accessed 12 Mar. 2017].

Turdiman, D. (2017). The sounds of ‘Star Trek’: This man makes them happen. [online] CNET. Available at: https://www.cnet.com/uk/news/the-sounds-of-star-trek-this-man-makes-them-happen/ [Accessed 12 Mar. 2017].

Viers, R. (2008). The sound effects bible: How to create and record Hollywood style sound effects. United States: Published by Michael Wiese Productions.

Wilson, M. (2015). How Ben Burtt designed the sounds of Star Wars. Co.Design. [online] Available at: https://www.fastcodesign.com/3045177/how-ben-burtt-designed-the-sounds-of-star-wars [Accessed 20 Feb. 2017].

 

References

Hrsto, H. (2016). Professional development analysis Jack Foley and Ben Burtt. [online] Available at: https://www.slideshare.net/HrvojeHrsto/professional-development-analysis-jack-foley-and-ben-burtt [Accessed 1 Mar. 2017].

LoBrutto, V. (1994). Sound-on-film: Interviews with creators of film sound. United States: Greenwood Publishing Group.

Punter, J. (2017). Jack Foley – Film’s unsung hero. [online] Filmsound.org. Available at: http://filmsound.org/foley/unsung-hero.htm [Accessed 12 Mar. 2017].

says, M. (2006). Jack Foley and the art of sound. [online] Available at: http://irishamerica.com/2012/01/jack-foley-and-the-art-of-sound/ [Accessed 21 Feb. 2017].

WILLIAMS, O. (2015). The secrets behind 44 classic cinema sound effects. [online] Available at: http://www.empireonline.com/movies/features/cinema-sound-secrets-foley-artist/ [Accessed 21 Feb. 2017].

Yewdall, D. and Yewdall, D. (2011). Practical Art of Motion Picture Sound. ed. United States of America: Focal Press.

 

Unit 12 Weeks 4 and 5- Experimentation and Fear

The tasks that we were doing for these two weeks were experiments in our chosen area, so that we could try new things and learn new techniques and tools that we can use when we start our FMP. Before we started experimenting we looked at existing work in our subject and deconstructed them to learn how they were made and give us some ideas for what we could do in our experiments. The first experiment task we did was to experiment with fear. As my chosen area was sound I decided to experiment with recording different sounds and then trying to manipulate them to make them sound like something from a horror film. I also experimented with making my voice sound demonic using the tools in Audacity. For the second experiment task we were allowed to choose what we experimented in and I decided to experiment with creating sci-fi sounds that could be heard on a spaceship.

Fear Experiment
Before I did my fear experiment I looked at how some sound effects were made in The Exorcist and World War Z and deconstructed them. For The Exorcist I looked at how the sound of the head turning 180 degrees was made. My research into this led me to discover that it was made by Gonzalo Gavira, who was a Foley artist on the film, twisting an old leather wallet with credit cards inside. I used this information in my experiment as this informed me that I can use any object in order to make a sound that can be manipulated to create fear, which is what I wanted to do.

For World War Z I looked at how they created the sounds that the infected made and discovered they used human voices and then used a pitch shifter to manipulate those sounds into the noises we hear the infected make. This was useful for my experiment as I knew I could make noises with my mouth and then I could manipulate them into sounding like something else by experimenting with changing the pitch.

Once I had deconstructed these examples I started my experiment by deciding what objects I would use to create my sounds and then went and recorded them. The objects that I used were a bell, and a skateboard.

When I was editing the bell I lowered to pitch to make it sound heavier and I also slowed the tempo down a bit to make it sound more ominous and frighting.
change-pitch
change-tempo-bell

With the skateboard I knocked on it with my knuckles and then when I was editing it I decided to see if I could make the knocking sound like a gun shot. To do this I used the reverb tool in Audacity and changed the values in it and I also added an echo to it.
Reverb.JPG
echo-gunshot

I also used the skateboard to create the sounds of footsteps on a wooden floor. I did this by placing my foot on and off the skateboard.

After I had recorded and edited these sounds I discovered a tutorial on how I could edit my voice to make it sound demonic. I did this by recording my voice and putting it in an audio track and then duplicating it twice. On the first duplicate I changed the semitones of the pitch to -5, and on the second duplicate I changed this to -25. Then on the first duplicate I added an echo and set the delay time to 0.1. I then went to reverb and left the settings the same.
demonic-voice-pitch-change-1
demonic-voice-pitch-change-2
The effect this has is it creates a voice that has a menacing echo and tone to it which creates fear.

Sci-fi experiment
For my sci-fi sound experiment I wanted sounds that might be heard on a spaceship so I looked at sounds from Star Trek and Star Wars to deconstruct.

From Star Trek I deconstructed how to Warp Drive sound was made for the 2009 film. The sound used in that film is similar to the sound used in the older Star Tek TV episodes as it was made in a similar way by sound designer Ben Burtt getting a test oscillator and putting it through a plate reverb chamber, as he wanted it to have the same feel as the original sound.

For Star Wars I looked at how the sound a TIE fighter makes as it flies past. I learnt that those sounds were made from a combination of elephants shrieking and cars passing by through puddles. Ben Burtt then combined these sounds and originally thought they would be used for blasters but then discovered that they worked well for TIE fighters.

After I had done this I selected the object that I wanted to use because I thought the sounds they produced could be made into something from a spaceship. The objects I used were a bell, a bottle of coke, a vibrating massager and plastic inflatable, and a bucket and nail.

To create the sound of a blaster being fired I used the phaser tool in Audacity and changed the values of the stages, LFO frequency, depth, and feedback to make it sound futuristic.
phaser

With the coke bottle I shook it up and then recorded me opening it and thought the sound of the air escaping sounded like a door of a spaceship being opened.

I used the vibrating massager to create different kinds of engine sounds to act as the hum of the engine when standing in the ship. I made the different noises by putting it against different objects and have it vibrate against them and then I lowered the pitch in Audacity.

I also created an alarm using the bell by increasing the pitch and using the phaser tool.

From these experiments I have learned how famous sounds were created for horror and sci-fi films and how those sounds can be made just by using normal objects and then editing things like the pitch and tempo of them or combining them with other sounds. I have also learnt more about the tools in Audacity as before I had not used many of them, such as reverb and phaser but now I have used those tools in different ways and have gained knowledge on how I could use them again in the future for my FMP.

Kunkes, M. (2009) From the guild: MORE SOUND TREKKING WITH BEN BURTT. Available at: http://www.editorsguild.com/FromTheGuild.cfm?FromTheGuildid=68 (Accessed: 24 February 2017).
Milani, M. (2016) Ben Burtt about the genesis of the TIE fighter sounds. Available at: http://usoproject.blogspot.co.uk/2011/02/ben-burtt-about-genesis-of-tie-fighter.html (Accessed: 24 February 2017).
Hoen, T. (2012) Did You Hear That? Nightmare on Elm Street Foley Artist Gary Hecker Reveals How Horror Movies’ Scariest Sound Effects Are Made. Available at: https://www.wheretowatch.com/2012/10/did-you-hear-that-nightmare-on-elm-street-foley-artist-gary-hecker-reveals-how-horror-movies-scariest-sound-effects-are-made/ (Accessed: 24 February 2017).
information, forget stored (2010) Team FYC: ‘World war Z’ for sound mixing – Blog. Available at: http://thefilmexperience.net/blog/2013/11/25/team-fyc-world-war-z-for-sound-mixing.html (Accessed: 24 February 2017).
Phillips, G. (2016) 5 amazing sound FX you can easily make using audacity. Available at: http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/5-amazing-sound-fx-can-make-audacity/ (Accessed: 24 February 2017).
WILLIAMS, O. (2015) The secrets behind 44 classic cinema sound effects. Available at: http://www.empireonline.com/movies/features/cinema-sound-secrets-foley-artist/ (Accessed: 24 February 2017).

 

 

 

 

Unit 12 week 3 How to research

Skateboards
For this task we were demonstrating that we knew various research methods in order to research more effectively by finding more useful and relevant information by using the tools on Google to filter out or expand results. We did this by doing a case study into skateboards because they are a neutral product that we could work together to research.

On Google we learnt how we can improve our search results by using different symbols in our searches to either broaden or narrow down the results depending on what we wanted to know. One of these was to add an asterisk at the end of a search term to broaden it to include more than just that term, so that it opened up the information that we could find if we weren’t sure exactly what to search in order to find the information. Doing this for the word “skate” meant that I was able to find a lot of information about skateboards in general that would have been harder to find if I did not use that technique as I would not have known what specifically t search for in order to get the information.

skate-astericks

 

We started by making a mind map of what we already knew about skateboards. This included things like famous people and uses in pop culture. By doing this we realised we knew more about skateboards than we thought and this informed our ideas of what we needed to research further.

img_0523

To start our further research into skateboards we watched a documentary called Dogtown and Z-Boys about the origins of skateboarding and a group of people who were pioneers of the sport. From this film we learned more about famous people involved with skateboarding and how it became popular which led to us knowing what questions we could research into to find more information on skateboards. The questions we wanted to know the answers to were;

  • When was the skateboard invented?
  • Where was it invented?
  • Who invented it?
  • How popular was skateboarding in the 1960’s?
  • Why did skateboarding stop being popular in the 1960’s?
  • What happened in skateboarding after 1975?
  • Why is it becoming an Olympic sport?
  • How have skateboards evolved over the years?
  • How has skateboarding fashion evolved over the years?

Once we had these questions we divided them up in our group and each person was tasked with finding out the answers to those questions. I discovered that between 1960 and 1963 over 50 million skateboards were sold and also was able to help the person researching why it stopped being popular as I discovered that a health and safety expert claimed that skateboarding was unsafe and this led to parents not allowing their kids to use skateboards which resulted in a drop in skateboard sales and the sport died down for a while.

skateboarding-timeline

Once we had all researched our question we made a second mind map that contained all the information we had learned since the start of the task.

img_0522

By doing this task I have learned how I can use different tools on Google to ensure that I get the most relevant and useful results and I can use this for my own research to help me find information easier if I do not know what to search to find the information that I want.

1960’s – Skateboard history (2010) Available at: http://skatehistory.weebly.com/1960s.html (Accessed: 16 January 2017).
Sound
Once we had researched skateboards in order to learn new research techniques we were tasked with using that knowledge to research our own chosen subject that is related to what we want to do for our Final Major Project to increase our knowledge and understanding of the subject. I chose to research the history of sound in Film and Television as I did not know much about the beginnings of sound and wanted to find out more about this because sound is the discipline I am focusing on for my FMP.
 Since I felt did not know much about when sound was first used in Film and TV i did not make a mind map of what I knew already, instead I went straight into researching when sound was first used and what it was like.
From my research I learnt that even before sound was used in films they were never completely silent as they would be accompanied by music in some way or another, either through a orchestra or someone on a piano. When sounds were eventually being used in films there were a lot of problems causes by the technology of the time, as it was very difficult to sync the sound with the visuals and also to amplify it in a way that everyone in the audience would be able to hear. Also, the early sound cameras and other equipment were so big and noisy that they had to be kept in their own soundproof room when recording, which was known as a “blimp”
In 1926 Warner Brother debuted the Vitaphone, which was the first commercially viable sound system. Warner Brothers used this device for their film The Jazz Singer which was released in 1927 and was the first major movie production that had sounds synchronized to the actors performance.
Foley is a sound recording technique that has been used in films since 1927 but experiments in what would become this were happening before this time. Jack Foley had the idea to start recording sounds in sync with actors movements to try and make it seem more authentic as by recording it in sync with different props and surfaces could create unique sounds that would be different for each character depending on what they were doing.
By doing this research I learnt much more about when sound was beginning to be used in film and the many problems they had when they were starting to use it and what they had to do to work around those problems and how the art of Foley was created and why it is still used in modern films. I have also developed my research skills as I was building on them from the skateboard task. This task has broadened my knowledge of my chosen area and will be useful for my FMP as it has given me information on the historical context of sound.
 The Editors of Encyclopædia Britannica (no date) ‘History of the motion picture – the pre-world war II sound era’, in Encyclopædia Britannica. Available at: https://www.britannica.com/art/history-of-the-motion-picture/The-pre-World-War-II-sound-era#ref508068 (Accessed: 23 February 2017).
History of Foley (no date) Available at: http://skylerradis.weebly.com/history-of-foley.html (Accessed: 18 January 2017).
Pacific Cinémathèque the on – line production resource at Pacific Cinémathèque PAGE : 2 www (no date) © pacific Cinémathèque the on-line production resource at pacific Cinémathèque THE LANGUAGE OF FILM. Available at: http://thecinematheque.ca/education/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/LanguageofFilm07.pdf (Accessed: 18 January 2017).
Slater, J. (1998) Dion sound. Available at: http://www.cinematechnologymagazine.com/pdf/dion%20sound.pdf (Accessed: 18 January 2017).
Vitaphone (no date) Available at: http://www.uflib.ufl.edu/spec/belknap/exhibit2002/vitaphone.htm (Accessed: 18 January 2017).
Winokur, M. and Holsinger, B. (2000) Movies and film: A brief history of sound in movies. Available at: http://www.infoplease.com/cig/movies-flicks-film/brief-history-sound-movies.html (Accessed: 18 January 2017).

Unit 12 Weeks 1 and 2- Personal Primary Research

Who am I?

The task I did in week 1 was to identify things that I love and then why I love them and what I know about them. To do this I created a mind map of the things I loved and then branched off of those with why I loved them. I then made a list of what I know about each thing. The purpose of this task was to give me ideas about what I could explore during the next few weeks and build towards my Final Major Project by getting me to think about what I enjoy and what I know and don’t know so that I can perform research to learn more and inform my possible ideas more.

img_0520

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

img_0521

This task was to get me to start thinking about what I like and what it is about them that I like so that I have some ideas for what I will want to explore through my research and what I might want my Final Major Project to focus on. This task was also to get me started on my research as I was conducting research on myself and finding out what I knew and realising that there is a lot I don’t know that I will need to do more research into to find out about them. From this task I confirmed that I am drawn to stories that have interesting characters that engage me in the story and make me want to find out more and so for my FMP I might try to do something where I can create characters and a story as that is something that interests me a lot.

 

Interview Task

For this task I was paired with a member of the Games Development course and we had to interview each other to find out about ourselves and what we would like to explore for this year’s final major project. To do this I had to prepare questions that I would ask in order to find out relevant information about them, so I had to think about what I wanted to know and how I could get that information from them in an interview.

From this task I learned that I enjoy storytelling very much and my favourite films, games, TV shows, and books all have very well built stories and characters that appeal to me, which I had not thought much about before but now that I have I now know why I have enjoyed the tasks I have done that have required me to write something for characters, such as my FMP for last year where I created characters and had to write a character bible for them with a backstory for each character. I also learned how I can create structured questions to help me get information which will be helpful when I am doing my research into my chosen subject.

This information changed my understanding of my goals as I now think I am going to want to do things that involve creating a story that is interesting to me and that could be something I hope to achieve with my FMP.

My findings have highlighted that I am interested in story and storytelling and creating my own characters, and that I am also interested in sound and how that can be used with storytelling. I think that one strength I discovered from these findings is my writing, for a story and characters, as I have done a lot of writing for tasks and I enjoy being able to create whatever I want to through characters and the worlds I can create in a story.

I can use this information for my personal development as now I know what I am interested in doing creatively I can work on improving my skills in those areas and learn more about how I can improve the work I do so that in the future the standard of my work will be higher. This can also help me for my specialist study as this has given me some more ideas for what I can research and explore.

This information will be useful for me for my FMP as well as now I know what I enjoy doing and what I want to do more of I can think of FMP ideas that are based around this, so my FMP could include sound or storytelling or both as these are the things that I enjoy the most. I will also be able to use the research techniques that I learned as I will be able to form questions that will have a good chance of finding me relevent information that I can use for my project.

I can also use this information to help me with my career goals as before this task I didn’t know what I wanted my career to be in but now I think it will be something to do with sound or storytelling as these are my interests.

 

Myers-Briggs Personality Test

For this task I took a personality test that was developed by Katharine Cook Briggs and her daughter Isabel Briggs Myers. This was to find out what personality type I am and how this can affect what I do for my Final Major Project. Also this task was to highlight what my strengths and weaknesses are and what I can do to ensure that I work around my weaknesses and get the best out of my strengths.

When taking the test I tried to answer the questions with my immediate response to them so that I did not overthink them as that could have led to the result changing. However for some of the questions I had to think about them as I did not understand the questions at first. I was honest with my answers to get the most accurate result and try to remove any potential bias from my answers. I only took the test once because I felt it was accurate and reflected my personality well. My result was INFJ-T, which stands for Introverted, Intuitive, Feeling, Judging, and Turbulent. According to the test my strengths are that I am creative, insightful, inspiring and convincing, decisive, determined and passionate, and altruistic. I agree with some of these strengths as I feel I am creative and I am determined and passionate when the project I’m working on is interesting to me. I also think I can be altruistic as I do like helping people and trying to make situations better, however I do want to advance myself so I do take actions sometimes to just try and do that. My weaknesses according to the test are that I am sensitive, extremely private, a perfectionist, I always need to have a cause, and I burn out easily. Apart from being a perfectionist I think that I do have these weaknesses, as if I feel I am not making progress towards something I will get bored of it and move on to something else, but I don’t feel that I continue to work on something until it is perfect because once I have completed something I want to move on to the next project as soon as possible. The results also say that I can find it hard to deal with interpersonal conflicts and I think this is true as I do not like conflict at all and get uncomfortable if people I know are involved in conflict in some way. They also say I have trouble with confronting unpleasant facts and I believe this is also true as I want to believe that everything is fine and knowing that isn’t the case is distressing for me.

personality-test-results

The data from this test suggested that I am extremely introverted, as I got 80% introverted. I would say that this is very accurate as I do prefer to spend time on my own most of the time and it does take me a while to get comfortable around new people. However, once I am comfortable with people I will be a bit more extraverted and I do enjoy socialising under the right circumstances and if it’s with people I like. Also I am more intuitive than observant as I got 74% intuitive and I agree with this as I am very imaginative and curious, and I am less concerned with facts. I also got 78% feeling which means I am sensitive and emotionally expressive, however I do not think this is accurate as I do not express my emotions very much, although my actions are based off my emotions and I do try to be compassionate towards other people and their problems.

I got 63% judging which means I am decisive and highly organised and value clarity and predictability which I think is very accurate as I need to know what I’m doing and what it’s for and need to plan out what I am going to do so that I can see my progress. However I do think I do have the prospecting trait as I do focus on what I enjoy and if I have to do something that I do not enjoy or think is that important I will find something else to do that I enjoy better. My final result was I am 66% turbulent which means I am self-conscious and sensitive to stress and I agree with this as I am always thinking about what other people think about me and my work and if I am stressed I can’t get anything done and won’t be happy.

Something I learnt that I hadn’t considered before is that I do not go for friendships just out of circumstance, instead I try and get to know people to see if I can form a deep connection with them and have meaningful discussions. I think this is part of the reason that it takes me a while to open up to people and start expressing myself more.

I do agree with this theory and test as I think it was very accurate for who I am and has taught me some things about myself but also confirmed some things that I already suspected. I feel that the test got every trait of my personality right even if I do believe that some of them I am more of the traits I didn’t get than the test said I was.

other-result

Once I had taken the test I got someone else to take it for me and the result that they got was ISFP which stands for Introverted, Sensing, Feeling, and Perceiving. This is slightly different to the result I got for myself and means that this person sees me as more adventurous and more interested in design and aesthetics. Also they think I am not someone who will follow traditional conventions and will sometimes go against society. Also this personality type is more spontaneous and experiments more which I do not think fits my personality at all. I don’t think this result is accurate for me as it says people with this personality don’t dwell on the past or future and instead think about who they are, whereas I am always thinking about my past actions and what could happen in the future and I worry about these things. However it does say that these people do plan actions and behaviours for the future which I do sometimes. Also it says risky behaviours are more common for people with this personality and I do not enjoy taking risks so I prefer to play things safe and be secure.

I think other people do see me differently to how I see myself as I think some people only see what I want them to see so they have a different perception of me, for example some people only see me being extraverted so they be surprised when I act introverted. Also because other people are detached from me they can maybe have a clearer perspective of who I am as I am always thinking about that and judging myself so maybe I am not as objective.

This task has been useful as I have been able to find out what my personality type is and also what other people think my personality is which is very useful as this can provide answers for who I am and it explains why I do certain things, but it also has informed me of how I react to certain situations which will be useful in the future as I will know if I’m not doing something I enjoy I will be less likely to fully focus on it and complete it as best I can. I can use these findings to influence my ideas for my Final Major Project as now I know how I work what I need in order to be motivated to work so this will help me when I am doing my work as I will try to not get bored and want to move on as quickly by doing a project that really interests me and that I can really engage with.

Limited, N.A. (2011) Free personality test. Available at: https://www.16personalities.com/free-personality-test (Accessed: 10 January 2017).

 

Street Fury project evaluation

Evaluation of Street Fury project

This project was to create a 30 second video with alternate endings to promote a game called Street Fury. The purpose of the video was to get people to donate money as the video was made to go on Kickstarter as part of a campaign to fund the game. The video had to include characteristics of beat-em-up games as that is the genre of Street Fury, so I included a baseball bat as a weapon as that is commonly used in other games of that genre. I also included a special attack that the character could charge up and use on the enemy as some beat-em-up games do allow the player to do that to clear enemies from the screen. The context of the project was it had to be styled like it was from the 1980’s so I made my motion graphic use bright neon colours and have a gradient as that was a popular style in the 80’s. I also set my video as taking place during the Cold War as that was a big part of the 80’s.

One of the strengths of my video is the motion graphics I created for the decision screen. My choices were between a baseball bat and the character’s special attack which I called freedom scream because it supposed to be a patriotic attack. For the baseball bat logo, I made the text look like it had a bat texture on it by creating a rectangle and adding a fiber to it by going to filter and then render then selecting fiber. I then adjusted the fiber until it looked like the texture of a baseball bat. Then I created a clipping mask so that the texture would be attached to the text. To create the freedom scream logo, I imported an image of the American flag and then used the magic wand tool to remove the parts of it that were outside of the text. This is a strength because the audience can tell what they represent just from the texture of them which is linked to what they will be.

baseball-bat-motion-graphic

Scream motion graphic.jpg

One weakness of my video is the 3D particle effects I created for the scream. I did not get the shape of them or the texture how I wanted them to be because I started creating it late in the project and then I didn’t have as much time to make it perfect. Also to ensure that it was very visible I made it a dark blue which doesn’t fit with the theme of my video. Also because of the angle of the shot you can’t see that the particle effect is a shockwave so it just looks like a group of shapes coming out of the character’s mouth.

Another strength of my video is the keying of my footage as my character’s blend well with the background, as the lighting when I was filming was good for the setting I wanted. This made it easier for me to key as I only had to make slight changes to the screen gain and balance and the clip black and white to make my footage look like it matches the background.

Another weakness of my video is I didn’t use as many characteristics of beat-em-ups as I could have. I could have used other characteristics such as having multiple different enemies for my character to fight, instead of just one. If I had included multiple enemies, my video would have more clearly been a beat-em-up style video. In addition, multiple enemies would have made sense for my story, as the premise is that Soviet Spies have infiltrated the USA, so it would make sense for there to be multiple of them for the main character to fight.

One of the other strengths of my video is the music I have used throughout the video. All the music I used is royalty free from Freesound.org and creates a different feeling for every shot. For example, the music I use when the spy character is first introduced sets him up as suspicious character.

Another weakness of my final outcome is the sound effect I used for when the baseball bat hits the spy could have been louder so that it is heard above the music, and also I could have edited it to make it sound more like a bat hitting bone, but I did not have time to do that.

Another strength of my video is I used an Eagle scream sound effect when the main character performs the special attack. This is because Eagles are the symbol of American patriotism and that is what I wanted my character to represent.

One of the other weaknesses my video has is it is much shorter than the 30 second video it was intended to be. This means that everything happens quite quickly and it could be hard for the audience to notice things. The reason my video is shorter is because I didn’t know how many shots would be needed to reach 30 seconds and so I didn’t plan to have many shots. If I had planned better, I could have had more shots or just longer shots so that the audience do not get overloaded quickly. One problem of it being this short is I could not add an end screen on YouTube for the decisions, so I had to use the annotations, which means it will not work on mobile devices.

The final strength of my video is the decision making scene as it clearly symbolises that the character is thinking about what attack to use before the audience make their decision. This scene also gives the audience plenty of time to make their decision.

Finally, another weakness of my video is it is not clear what the story is or who the main character is, as apart from the short voiceover I have included there is not a lot of information given to the audience about the characters and the plot.

The theme I used for my design took inspiration from the 1980’s as I wanted to use bright colours and include gradients as that was very common for motion graphics in the 80’s. The font I used was called Franklin Gothic Heavy as this looked very similar to the fonts used in the 80’s. The theme for my main character was just to wear smart clothes because I thought that would fit in the 80’s theme of the video. The theme for my spy character was just about making him look suspicious and concealing his identity because reference images I found of spies all had them concealing their face with something and wearing quite dark clothes so I wanted to create that look and feel for my video. The original idea I had for my character was to make them look extremely patriotic and wear an Eagle mask for part of the video, and also have the colours of the American flag present on his clothing, because many characters in beat-em-up games are over the top so I wanted that element to be a part of my video. I eventually decided against this because I did not want to spend money on getting the prop mask or the costume so I had to find other ways to make the character seem patriotic and include the American flag.

spy

spy-newspaper

When I was creating the motion graphic to be the Street Fury logo, I did a lot of experimentation with different neon colours and gradients to try to create one that I thought looked like a logo from the 80’s. This affected my development as I spent a lot of time creating different logos and this meant I did not have as much time to spend on other elements of the video later on, such as the music. I also explored many possible sound effects I could have used for the special attack, as I wanted to find an eagle screech that would fit with the actions in the shot. This affected my development because I was not able to find one that I really liked but I was running out of time to complete the project so I picked the one that I liked the best out of the ones that I had found.

street-fury-logo

fury-inner-glow

street-fury-3

street-fury-2

gradient

creating-gradient

The key areas of development in this project were the storyboarding and editing. Storyboarding was important because I needed to know exactly what I wanted to shoot so that when the time came to film I could do it as efficiently as possible. Storyboarding was also important when it came to editing as I knew where my footage was set and what order it needed to go in and where I wanted my motion graphics to go. Editing was important as it allowed me to make my footage look and feel like a beat-em-up game from the 1980’s and it allowed me to add sound elements to give it an 80’s feel, which would help attract the audience that I wanted.

My final work is appropriate for the requirements of the brief as the motion graphics make it look like it’s from the 80’s and also fits with the theme of patriotism that I wanted to create. I also think that it includes characteristics from the beat-em-up genre that make it appropriate, such as the special ability attack and having a baseball bat as a weapon because that is something that is common among beat-em-up games. I also think the music I have used fits in both the 80’s context of the brief and also the beat-em-up genre as it is a similar style to music from the 80’s and is a bit cheesy and easy to tell what the music is implying which fits well with the music of beat-em-ups.

My outcome is very appropriate for the intended purpose platforms, which are Kickstarter and YouTube. This is because it is short enough so that it does not lose people’s attention and it includes an interactive element to allow people to choose their own paths. I think this would promote the product effectively as the audience that I am targeting this for would like it as it contains many of 80’s elements and is clearly a beat-em-up game so this video would attract people’s attention.

I think parts of this project went better than expected, for example the work I did in After Effects was better than I thought it would be because until this project I had not used After Effects much and I did not know any of the tools. Therefore, I thought I would struggle when it came to using After Effects to key my footage for example, and animating my motion graphics. However, I think the work I did in After Effects to composite my footage went well as I have made my footage look like it belongs in the setting I chose. However, I think the sound work went worse than I expected because I could not find sound effects that I really liked and I did not have the time to edit them to how I wanted them to sound. In addition, because my video was shorter than I expected I had to change my original idea for my voiceover and shorten it so that it did not extend to the decision making screen because I did not want a voiceover on that part I just wanted music. This meant that my voiceover is very short and does not give out all the information that I originally intended it to.

My peers suggested to me that I make my particle effects fit the theme of the video better than they do, because currently they are just blue triangles and that does not fit well with the rest of the video. They suggested that I could make them tiny American flags to further show off the patriotism of the character and add to how over the top he could be which would have fitted well with the characteristics of the beat-em-up genre, as many characters in those type of games are extreme versions. Another piece of feedback I received was to introduce the character better because I did not give him a name so it is hard to tell who he is, and since this video is meant to be promoting a game it would be good to tell the audience who the main character is. The final piece of feedback I received was to make it clearer what the story of the video is, because the voiceover is short and does not give much information out it means it can be quite hard for the audience to know what is happening and why.

To improve and develop the work I would definitely add more enemies for the main character to face, as this would further make the video represent beat-em-ups. This change would not be hard to do as I could use the same actor and just get them to wear slight variations of the outfit, as this is another characteristic of beat-em-up games, and then I could film deaths for the multiple characters and film the main character fighting them. I would also change the costume of the main character to maybe fit more with the context of the 80’s, by doing small things like giving him big sunglasses to wear or having him wear a polo shirt as they are instantly recognisable from the 80’s. I would also improve my particle effects, as they do not look good. One way to improve them would be to change the angle of the shot when the particle effects appear so that the character is facing the camera, as this would allow the audience to see the full shape of the shockwave. I would also use the feedback I received and make the particles tiny American flags, as this would fit with the idea for my video.

452x490px spy 16.51 KB #332616 (2015) Available at: http://unisci24.com/332616.html (Accessed: 13 December 2016).
Detective private investigator spying through newspaper, vector. (2016) Available at: https://www.123rf.com/photo_34234355_detective-private-investigator-spying-through-newspaper-vector-illustration-cartoon.html (Accessed: 13 December 2016).
Koenig, M. (2006) Sound clips from SoundBible.Com. Available at: http://soundbible.com/981-Bald-Eagle.html (Accessed: 15 December 2016).
Perplexiv (2007) MarchingBand.wav by daveincamas Freesound.org.
sofiarte (2014) Baseball bat hit 3 by CTCollab Freesound.org.
Suspicious pipes sequence_01.wav by Callenberg (2011) Freesound.org.
Victory celebration movie score.wav by FunWithSound (2016) Freesound.org.
American alley (2007) Available at: https://www.flickr.com/photos/hakim_bey/467401482 (Accessed: 12 December 2016).
American flag graffiti on brick wall (2011) Available at: https://www.flickr.com/photos/walkadog/5843221707 (Accessed: 12 December 2016).
Pixabay (2013) Free image on Pixabay – eagle, America, flag, bird, symbol. Available at: https://pixabay.com/en/eagle-america-flag-bird-symbol-219679/ (Accessed: 12 December 2016).
PotatoMusicBinge (2016) Why does this bat have no wings? • /r/shittyaskscience. Available at: https://www.reddit.com/r/shittyaskscience/comments/4d4h8h/why_does_this_bat_have_no_wings/ (Accessed: 12 December 2016).

 

 

Unit 11

Reflection of Year One

To ensure I get the most of my second year of this course and to make me think about what I do when I finish college I reflected on my first year. I was thinking about what I learned and enjoyed, and what my goals were at the start of the year compared to the end, and what my short term, mid-term, and long-term career goals are.

In my first year I learnt how to create models in 3DS Max and then texture those models and render them to put them in a video game engine. I also learnt how to use Photoshop to manipulate images and create assets for graphic work. In addition, I learnt about composition and the rule of thirds in photography, and how to adjust the shutter speed and aperture on a camera. I also learnt about design and how to layout things, like the dossier pages I created last year. One thing I learnt a lot about last year was sound and recording techniques such as Foley and sound editing. I think my strengths last year were sound related. The scripts I wrote for the various sound projects I was doing were all good and in the Age of Napoleon project, my script used appropriate language for the time. The sound I recorded was all at a high quality however, I think I could have edited some of it better. My weaknesses last year were in 3D modelling and graphic design as in 3D I was not very good at creating realistic looking objects and my texturing was very basic and in graphic design m layouts were not very good most of the time and the colours and font I used were not always the best.

Last year I enjoyed all of the work we did with sound, particularly learning about Foley as I thought it was interesting actually getting to try doing Foley, as it was quite hard to think of what object could make the required sound and then making sure that I was in time with the footage. I also enjoyed using 3DS Max as I liked seeing an object come together even if I was not good at it.

My goals at the start of the year were to learn more about Photoshop and 3DS Max as I knew we would be using them a lot but I had never used them before, so I wanted to get better at them to improve the quality of my work. My goals evolved during the year to learn more about sound production as I was really enjoying learning about sound and also to improve my graphic design skills as the work I was producing in that did not look good.

My short-term goal now is to research apprenticeships and jobs involving sound production for film and TV and see if there are any that I would be interested in doing. In addition, I want to research the different sound roles there are for film and TV and see which one I would like to do the most.

My medium term goals are get an apprenticeship or work experience in sound production to prepare me for a career in that area.

My long-term goal is to get a job in sound production or post-production as they are the areas of sound I enjoy.

Unit 10

Audience analysis

The audience for crowdfunding websites Indiegogo and Kickstarter are similar but do have some big differences. The audience for both sites is predominantly male, however the age of the audience varies slightly between the sites, as older people use Indiegogo whereas more young people are using Kickstarter. Also the people who use Kickstarter are earning more than the people who use Indiegogo and more people who use Kickstarter have been to or are currently at college compared to Indiegogo where more people are at grad school.

The article about video games audiences taught me that there has been an increase in the number of digital console and PC purchases and a decrease in physical copy purchases over the last two years. It also taught me that about 40% of the UK population aged between 6 and 64 play video games and on average 11-64 year olds spend 8.8 hours a week playing video games, and the majority of people are playing packaged games and on console and PC. Also 58% of players are male and only 42% are female and the majority of male gamers are between 15 and 2 years old.

Unit 9

Digital video presentation

videos-for-interactive-media

For this task we had to find two examples of digital videos and discuss why video was used, what the purpose was, what the format and genre is, and how the the purpose, format, and genre influence the content and aesthetics. I chose to look at the trailer for the Justice League.

From this task I learnt how the aesthetics of a video can be influenced by the purpose of the video and this will help me when doing the project as I will need to think about the purpose when I am deciding on the look and feel of the video.