Professional Project // FMP

We were briefed on our FMP on thursday 29th (a day which I was absent). From what I have gathered from my classmates, I missed quite a useful session, in which we considered our projects from a number of angles, I have chased up the hand outs for this session. The professional project unit consists of a self initiated brief, which will span across 12 weeks (concluding the second and final year of Visual Communication). The unit is worth 45 credits and currently, is extremely daunting.

The work load is really piling up, FMP, live and competition briefs as well as the looming submission of this blog, portfolio and updated professional standard CV, lots to do. The deadline for the professional project learning agreement is the 20th of February, the overall deadline for the project is 2:30 on May 8th. I will write more once I have considered what I want to investigate or achieve from the FMP // Professional Practise Unit


Catch Up Post // SBC 2 #7

Final Week//Hand In//Evaluation (23rd January)
Been very busy up til today, working hard to complete the final stages of my website. I have managed to fix the animation conflict and my site has changed considerably since I last posted. The positioning and layout has altered to allow for better use of space with my new accordion style menu, which opens each main folder to show the sub categories of each portfolio section. I have used externally loading content to ensure quick loading times (no need for a preloader (although they seem quite fashionable as well as functional)).

I spent the final evening before the hand in topping up and finishing various peices of research and finalising the site (keywords, description, splash page etc). I was extremely pleased with the site I managed to produce (this seems a good point to say that I posted on actionscript forums heavily to get the site up and running). I feel the site is functionable, user friendly and relatively interesting to navigate through. What works so well about the use of externally loading content is that nothing is loaded unless it is selected to be viewed meaning that it selectively loads only the needed content.

The look of my site, particularly identity is an area in which I plan to work on further to develop a more coherent and concise style. That said I think the work displays well on the page and the images are big enough to provide a detailed enough view of the focal point of the website. One major annoyance to me was that I completed my splash page in somewhat of a rush, only to produce what is in my opinion, the best piece of typography (in terms of identity) within the entire site. I plan to use the altered logo design from the splassh page onto the resh of my identity as opposed to sticking with the CWGD type logo which I had been using prior to this point.

I feel my technical understanding in terms of web design, especially when using Flash has increased so much further than i expected to be able to obtain in the relatively short amount of time given to us for this brief. I am seriously considering the possibilities of getting a placement at a design/web studio in future if possible. Overall i am very pleased with this assignment but more my achievement of managing to understand a program so much better than I already did.



Catch Up Post // SBC 2 #6

Final Critique
The final critique today was quite a low key affair with small groups walking around crituqing the various websites. My website had not changed a great deal since the interim critique as I had spent the time detailing the various animations. The feedback I recieved was all useful and constructive criticisms on the aesthetic elements of my site, however I am particularly concerned with the animation and scripting side of things currently due to the fact that a website can look amazing but if it doesnt work then it is unsuccessful. I plan to push my efforts to both the aesthetic and the technical elements of my site for the final hand in on the 29th.

More Changes//Confliction in Code
I have run into some problems with the overall runnings in my website as the site is creating animation from the timeline in flash as well as within script on various movie clip instances, and as such is stopping the transistions working (As highlighted in the final critique). I have decided to backtrack in order to fix the problem by recreating the actionscript tweening upon the timeline as a standard motion tween with controlling actions. I have used transistions which work by using movie clips as forward and bacdward controls with applied actions. I also plan to include a smoother running menu than I have previously included within my examples.


Catch Up Post // SBC 2 #5

Interim Critique
The interim critique today was with Kit Johnson and went very well I felt, I obtained some solid feedback which I felt gave me a solid direction to head in for the rest of the brief, something I was extremely grateful for as I was currently feeling somewhat lost on where to go with the website. I recieved some useful pointers about my identity type detailing, the overall look of the site as well as some reall creative suggestions about what else I could do or add to my site to make it a more user friendly, innovative piece of online design. Below is the flashsite to my interim critique group.

I have tried to develop my identity somewhat over the last few days and have decided to work with a bold, well known font. My initial decision is to throw caution to the wind and use Helvetica, however after looking at my various identity tests ad experiments I have decided to use the original inspiration for Helvetic; Akzidenz Grotesk. I have chosen to use this font for the time being as it is a recognizable, well known design font which hasnt been quite so overused as its newer counterpart, Helvetica.


Catch Up Post // SBC 2 #4

After creating my previous tests I have worked almost solidly on getting the look which I feel will suit my identity and more importantly my work as a whole. I have scrapped the rough images which I was working with in the tests, and have begun trying to create a symbol or base image which can be used over and over for my various gallery pages. Below is what I have decided to run with. (The colours are not concrete yet). These folders will appear in sets within subfolders of my portfolio. The other pages and base of the overall look of the site will be very minimalist, white, blacks and greys. Uber simplicity!


Catch Up Post // SBC 2 #3

Catell Ronca - Illustration//Freelance lecture (5th January)
Today we were given a lecture by freelance illustrator Catell Ronca, and to be honest when first informed of the lecture I was not particularly interested as I am not an illustrator. However, Catell was interesting and very helpful in giving us pointers on the world of freelance (illustrator and designer). She was also able to answer any questions we may have had about the world of freelance. I found the information she was able to give us on commissions, contracts and getting paid; very useful information for one who is considering going into freelancing (design).

After the lecture on freelancing, Catell showed us her current portfolio which features illustrations in a style she describes as "I would say that it is very colourful, a bit naïve and sometimes quite detailed. As it is all about colour my favourite subjects are people of different races who I see on a daily basis in London."Catell Ronca

Back to SBC2//Change of Plan
After considering my web idea further, I have decided that although the test with reset button works and was my original idea and concept, the fact that one has to click and hold to view the portfolio instance as well as the obvious need for a reset button have confirmed my suspiscions that there are far better ways of navigating a site other than this. I have decided to make a compromise and use some sort of relatvily generic menu system to allow my user to move familiarly around the webpage while still including some of my original concept and idea of a physical/digital online experience. After creating a rough layout, the main part of my site which I felt needed developing was an overall identity and style as well as a look and design for my gallery pages.


Catch Up Post // SBC 2 #2

Reset Button//Image Test
Using actionscript tweening as opposed to timelime tweening (a newly aquired skill) I have been able to create a reset button, which wil return all the file folder instances to their original rotation angle, scale and depth arrangement.

this.swapDepths(9999);----------------> This ensures that the reset is always ontop
Reset.onRelease = function() { ------> on press of the reset button
myStart = drag2._y;
myEnd = 471.0;
myTweening = new Tween(drag2, "_y", Strong.easeIn, myStart, myEnd, .3, true);
myStart = drag2._x;
myEnd = 526.0;
myTweening = new Tween(drag2, "_x", Strong.easeIn, myStart, myEnd, .3, true);
myEnd = drag2.swapDepths(75);
myTweening = new Tween(drag2, Strong.easeIn, myStart, myEnd, 1, true);
}; ----------> return the istance to original position, rotation, x and y scale etc.


Catch Up Post // SBC 2 #1

Well if anyone follows this regularly (which I have serious doubts about) then you may have noticed that it hasnt been updated, changed or anything for the last two weeks. Yet seeing as I suspect the readers of this blog are few and far between if not non-existent altogether, I guess it goesnt really matter... Instead of trying to break the last two weeks of development and reflection up into individual sections I have written up this rough account of the missed time since the 9th of January (My last post).

Screen Based Communication Tutorial (Before Xmas)
For the first review of the work we had done, I was able to present a working test version of my idea (a website with a handheld, physical, sifting through a work portfolio element) within Flash with test graphics. The various pages are all contained within a Flash movie, presented as a set of files within a folder. The user of the site would be able to pick up the various elements move them, put them down and pick up the next piece of work. This was a very basic first representation of my idea and concept. I have included a screenshot below.

The inspiration for this site comes largely from my own ideas, however after gettig a rough idea, a friend was able to point me to a similar website idea. This site acted as my first real source of inspiration once I had shaped my idea. Studio Vruchtvlees

Drag and Drop Code
My test design uses various action script code to allow a user to drag and drop the various articles. When each image is clicked it rotates and increases insize, when it is dropped these elements return to their original position and scale. The code for each folder item instance is as follows:

drag1.onPress = function() {
drag1._xscale = 170;
drag1._yscale = 170;
drag1._rotation = 0;
drag1.onRelease = function() {
drag1._rotation = -26;
drag1._xscale = 100;

To clean this area (reset the position of the folder elements) I will next work on developing a reset button. Also I will test the use of imagery in flash as I have never created a Flash website before.