Tuesday, 3 November 2009

Design Process - TL;DR - Idea = :D no idea = >(

Another thing we were told to do... write up our design processes.

Well, one notable thing about how I work is, I need an idea. I can't do anything without one. I call it idea stagnation, because that's what it is - lack of motion.
I don't get on well with brainstorms. I don't like doing them because I don't come up with many ideas like that. It helps a little bit, a bit like one person pushing a car.
Where does the idea come from?
I don't just want to say, it turns up out of nowhere, but that's pretty much it. I can't imagine it working in any other way.
It's sort of a combination of what I know I can do, what I think I could manage, what's already out there, and a bit of je ne sais quoi.

An example would be the ident project in college.
My first idea was to have a sort of spoof of the simpson's Battle Seizure Robots. I decided that drawing the robots was out of my reach skills-wise, and then switched to another idea, which was a bomb-disposal squad/sort of parody of 24. I wasn't too sure about this idea, being that it was quite heavy on the drawing work again.
Then, I thought of my third, final idea, which I thought went better with the E4's mood, which is slightly dark and strange, but slightly funny too. The idea was to have TVs that had been thrown away onto a tip to turn themselves on and play E4 idents. I'll have to get round to uploading that to here, I think it's my best piece of work by far.

An example of idea stagnation is the movie poster project. This project had a huge run-up, where we had to research film posters beforehand. I chose to do a sci-fi type of film, but I think the brief was too broad, which is another cause of idea stagnation. I ended up pretty much doing the poster on the final day of hand in - it was called 'The End of The World' and was a photoshopped version of a picture I took from a plane of a view of Warsaw, to look like the whole place was on fire. I think it turned out well, considering I think it took me half an hour from start to finish, or something ridiculous like that.

If I've got a good idea, I tend to work pretty fast. It's sort of consuming. It occupies my thoughts a lot, so I'm constantly thinking of ways to improve it. The E4 ident is the best example again - I work in a supermarket, and I actually came up with the idea for the TVs whilst sat at the till with nothing to do. I quickly drew a rough storyboard on reciept paper. It went through a couple of revisions, the original being that broken screens would heal like skin, and after being possessed by the E4 ident, would become broken again.
I was advised by my tutor to use AfterEffects for animation instead of flash, which was my usual medium for animation. This was pivotal - the finished product as it would've been in flash would've been no where near as good. However, as I had to use more still images, I found that making cracks in the TV screens disappear would be too difficult for me.

I think that storyboarding is an important part of designing something like animation. Without knowing where to go, I tend to head for the end too quickly.
Using a rough storyboard is good because it doesn't take too long to produce, so it allows you to change the idea without losing a lot of hard work.

I'm not sure what else to say at this point, other than look at the time!
I hope I'm not the only person who works this way, but at the same time, it would be cool as well :P

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