Friday, 27 November 2009

Self Evaluation

Throughout this project I encountered many problems and many success's . I discovered that problem solving is a large part of work. I often would have an idea and then work out ways in which I would accomplish my goal. The project also helped me see my strengths and weakness areas which I can develop on and areas which need vast improvements.

I was confident with my designs , drawing ability and story boards. I found it easy to conceptualize ideas. The project was well suited as I was able to include a lot of my personal interest.

The main obstacle in this project was due to the software and I realize just how important it is to become confident with the software as it can hinder you , as it did with me. The solution to this problem is simple and that is to just keep on practising , I have to live and breathe the programmes so that in future projects I can spend more time developing my ideas rather then learning the tutorials.

I also had some problems with resolution, my Aztec Ident rendered out in good resolution but after I made a final render it was never clear enough. I also had an issue with the Egyptian Ident, my logo would appear faintly in the background to early, I tried to resolve this issue but couldn't work out a way to remove the faint logo. In future projects I will be more careful when adding effects and work in a more professional manner this will hopefully come from more experience in the programmes.

The tutorials were so important to my overall outcome as well as help and advice from the tutors. I was advised to keep my ideas simple rather than getting carried away , this made sense as it is easy to get caught up in you own ambition , yet is is hard to reach your goals.

I am satisfied with the amount of work that I put into this project and realize I couldn't have worked any harder, however I am to take note of time management. I am pleased with the three Idents that I made and like the overal feel of them.

I wanted them to look slightly more polished and professional than they do, however this will just be down to learning the software to a more advanced level. I will carry on learning in my personal time so that in future projects the software will not slow me down. Overall I believe i have enjoyed a very positive learning experience and worked alot harder on this project than my previous ones. This was simply down to me being more determined this year.

Egpytian Ident 3

The camera effects worked well , however at one section it looks a bit jumpy , I wanted to correct this but ran out of time. The music worked well and directed the audience on a journey.

Egypt creative process

This is the image before I change the background and added the sun.

I felt this background was to sharp and your vision detracts from the figure. I also feel it looks like a cardboard cut out which is not the look I want.

This is the final image ready for After Effects I would have liked some sort of background but I couldn't find one which was well suited. Therefore scrapped the background . The image looks strong and I believe the sun looks as if it is glowing. However I had problems with the black background the colour kept on leaking into my image , so my whole image would drop a tone darker. I couldn't resolve this issue and had to leave it in the end.

Creative process

  • used photoshop to colour and layer selected parts
  • coloured the body to reflect the marble style of the original figure
  • layered the eye seperate so it could move
  • layered the sun seperately so I could add a glow effect
  • highlighted areas to enhance light and dark
After Effects

  • keyed in the scale tool created motion path
  • set desired motion path
  • made the eyes move
  • added glow to the sun
  • added ripple effect to sun
  • used colour correction to enhance image
  • used pre-set font
  • duration 12 seconds

  • added soundtrack
  • duration 12 seconds

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Egyptian Ident

I thought Egypt would be a good culture to include in my project , millions of people are fascinated with Egyptian art work and architecture , it is also by far the most popular part of the British Museum and brings in the largest amount of tourism compared to the other sections. I came up with the idea of an Egyptian God holding a sun then the camera would pan up slowly from his feet to his face then zoom into the sun and the writing The British Museum would appear in the sun.

Like most of my ideas , I have the idea firstly in my mind then start problem solving to figure out how i'm going to do it. Since I have been interested in Ancient cultures for along time a lot of the ideas come naturally.

I will begin by collecting some images to help aid my work.

This is the traditional Egyptian style artwork of the God Anubis , I wanted to use him as a character simply because he looks powerful and is well know out of the hundreds of Egyptian Gods.

This is a modern sculpture of the same God I would like to combine the more muscular feel of this one with the traditional image.

Ident 2 Samurai

This is my second ident and felt it played smoothly. The doors worked nicely as they revealed something else to the audience. I had difficulty rendering this file for some unknown reason when I played it back in quick time it would freeze when ever I played it more then twice. I tried rendering it again but the same problem happened , maybe there is a problem with the file. However when I rendered it in the you tube video format it worked fine but this resulted in a lower quality.

The quality of this particular video looked far higher in after effects and Premier.
Once again learning video formats well is essential and I have learnt a lot from rendering so many films

Samurai Ident

I wanted to each of my Idents to be different yet follow a similar style. This one was influenced by my interest in Japan . The samurai is the main focus of this Ident, being iconic to Japan I thought it was well suited. The British Museum also has a Japanese section.

I started of by sketching a storyboard. I wanted the door's to slide back to reveal a Japanese setting . The camera would then zoom in to the Samurai, his eyes would glow white and the the font would appear.

This was my first layer in photoshop I had to layer them separately so that I could animate them separately in after effects.

This is the image before I edited it.

I then highlighted the areas of light to make it look more dramatic.

Finlay I placed the Samurai inside and highlighted him also I added the glow effect in After effects. The samurai was taken from my own photograhs, which helped as the resolution was high, i searched on google but could find any which were high res or at the desired angle.

Creative Process

  • Used images and layered them on photoshop
  • seperated the layers so that I could animate them in After Effects.
  • Highlighted select parts or my layers to look good
After Effects

  • Positioned the Anchor point so I could move the doors from a certain area.
  • Keyed the doors until the movement looked smoothe
  • used the graph editor to create the right motion
  • used the scale tool to give the illusion the samurai was coming closer
  • changed the opacity so level lit up as the doors openend
  • created fast blur so the doors looked more realistic as they opened
  • placed blur onto samurai so that he did not look to sharp when the doors opened
  • placed blur on to background so the Samuari stood out as I zoomed in
  • added glow effect to the samurai eyes
  • placed white out so it appeared as if the eyes lite up the whole room
  • used present typography
  • duration 5 seconds


  • used soundtrack
  • used Sound effect from uni hard drive
  • placed sound effect on Dore
  • rendered to desired format
  • duration 5 seconds
I had trouble with the image quality for some reason it looked better in after effects to when i rendered it out as a movie file.

I also was realizing the importance of tidy file management, as I would end up having some many video files which were slightly different I may have changed them due to their poor quality or general changes . In future projects I will create a separate folder for test files. This would make my work space allot more manageable

Aztec mask (creative process)

I had never used after effects before, but used various websites such as creative cow and videocoplitot which had many tutorials to aid me through. I also listened to advice from my tutors who felt the mask idea was strong and realistic due to the time we were given.

After finishing in After Effects I took it in to premier to add the sound. The project also gave me a chance to play around with render settings, general effects and file management.

It took a while to get the desired look I was after and i think the music added greatly to creating atmosphere.

After effects
  • Key framed panning
  • masked the eyes so they would open
  • opacity mask fade in
  • glow effect - mask becomes bright
  • opacity mask fades in as eyes open
  • minmax mosaic style effect as mask blurs to background
  • desired font to animate
  • chose font to mimic the British museum
  • render to movie
  • Duration 10 seconds

  • select music
  • black out effect at the end of ident
  • render into desired format
  • Duration 10 seconds
I spent hours watching tutorials then following them from this gave me a basic understanding of After Effects. I used the ten basic tutorials on the website. It was essential that I watched these as I quickly realized I knew very little about After Effects.

For future refference I believe it is essential to study the tutorials as part of my research. As I did not take in to account the amount of hours which I would be spent learning the software. This prevented me from getting on with what I wanted to do , getting on with the Idents. As a result of this I will continue to study the programmes in my own time so that for future projects it will be easier to get on with my work.

Aztec Ident (Complete)

I was pleased with the overall outcome of this Ident , it is very atmospheric and I believe it has a lot of impact. If I was going to make an improvement I change the typeface to something more creative , rather then using a standard pre-set. I was not confident in spending time animating my own font but this is another skill I have to learn for the future.

Ident 1 Aztec Mask

I looked back over my original research into Idents and watched Apocalypto , which is a film about Mayan culture, Although my mask is Aztec in origin both cultures are similar therefore the film is very relevant to my ident.

Go back to my research into to Idents to view these videos.

This image was for the idea where the audience would travel through the eye of the mask to be transported in to a mayan / Aztec world.

These two images are also from the film Apocalypto , and reveal ancient Mayan life and culture.

I worked all day to color and draw this mask. I worked by using a drawing tablet , I worked with various layers until the mask began to look 3.D. I worked free hand and the mask is not perfectly symmetrical but I feel this is suited to a mask which would have been carved.

I then highlighted certain parts of the mask to mimic the mosaic effect of the original mask. It also gave the mask a mystical quality.

I then used the original mask and merged it with my own , this gave it a realistic texture. The texture vastly improved the overall look. I could have used the photo but I think combining digital art with a texture made the mask stand out.

This was the completed photoshop image . It was now ready to take into after effects. Often with my ideas I have a general idea how I want my Ident to look and feel, I then work demonstrating the creative steps. I wanted the background to be black as I imagine the mask to be faint and the clear as it comes closer to the screen.

Z Brush ?

My tutor advised me that the Aztec mask Ident may look good in three D . I tried to use Z brush but found it to time consuming . Since I was unfamiliar with the software it took a while to get the basics, I watched tutorials to gain a basic understanding. I spent along time getting to grips with the software and produced quite a detailed model of a mask, but it was to time consuming. In the end I decided to scrap Z brush and go back to photoshop. I dont think it will be a problem if the mask is not 3D, as Idents are not always 3D models.

I Also realized at this point, being quite a way in to my project that tutorials are a vital part of learning and I feel that I overlooked how useful they are.

I will however in the future go back to Z brush to help out with 3.D projects.

Developing Aztec idea

I wanted to develop this idea, and used photo shop to flesh it out. By doing this I hoped to gain a clearer vision of what my final out come may look like

I researched a number of Aztec and Mayan masks to gain inspiration , I also wanted to select one to base my Ident on.

I decided to use the mask above as my main source, the design is simple which will help save time and it is also featured at the British Museum at present. Some of the more elobate masks look more impresive , but I have to be practical and think about time. The mask above depicts the last of the Aztec rulers before colonization.

This is my first rough photoshop image , it gave some idea how my ident may look. I used my drawing tablet and wanted to get a rough idea.

Using an image from Google, I decided to merge it with my mask. This was to add to the effect that the mask was coming alive as I previously explained in my concept for this Ident. I am not sure yet how I am going to animate the eye, to make it look like ist openeing. The only problem I had with the photoshop drawing was the lack of texture I will come back to this later.

Thursday, 29 October 2009

Formative Feedback

After the formative, it is clear that I have done enough research and development into my ideas.

  • Research
  • Development of Idea
  • method of production
  • Story boards

After the formative I have come to a decision to focus of the mask idea, my tutor and my piers agreed this was the idea which had the most potential. It is also more realitsic then some of my early ideas, time is a constant worry so I have to be practical in my means of production. I also am slightly behind on the practical side of the project. I should have already started animating and selecting the software that I am going to use. The spent to much time on my research and may have got a bit caried away.

I will use Photp shop, Maya , Z Brush, After Effects and Premier to edit and create my idents.

Sunday, 25 October 2009


Now that I have researched into existing Idents , I will now research into films or documentaries which I feel will inspire me. The type of media that I will look at will be relivent to the British Museum , it will either be on Ancient culture or anything to do with history.

This Documentary series Wild China is full of beautiful scenery , cultural gems and natural wonders . I am very likely to use a Chinese artifact for one of my Idents and would want to focus on China's bright and colorful ancient history.

I decided to use this clip as I can picture a ornament of a Chinese boat , the camera could pan in and a small animation of Chinese fisherman could appear accompanied by tranquil music the animation would come to a stop and transform back in to the Chinese ornament. A slogan could then read 'A thousand years of history in a single visit', 'The British Museum'.

I decided to use Baraka as one of my sources of Inspiration due to its shire creative scope . Baraka took thirteen months to make and was filmed in 24 countries, the team went around the world three times, the film contains no narrative or subtitles. The Director states "it's not about why you are there it's about whats there" This film is therefore about simply appreciating culture and the planet, I can relate this to The British Museum which should also be about appreciating what is around you. Braka is a film about history nature and social situations , the British Museum is also about all these things. Director Ron Fricke/Cinematographer believes that we are connected to everything, I feel this is relevant to the Museum since everything which is now has its roots in history.

This trailer fills my imagination with ideas, I want to try and capture this sense of escape, I want my idents to take the audience into a new world for a brief period of time.

I could use certain camera shots and techniques to make an Ident from a collection of photos .

I love the vivid colors and sense of fantasy in these animations.They also make a lot of references to mythology which is well suited to The British Museum.

I think this animation would be prefect for a tribal piece of art work. A Native American dream could start to animate in the flip book style. (Cave Paintings )

One of my ideas was to do with the Aztec civilization, which you can see in my sketches section in my blog. This video inspired me and gave me ideas to the type of sound and atmosphere that I would like in my Ident. I also think it is very effective the way the camera pans into the forest.

If you skip forward to 1:27 in this video there is a scene of the Aztec Kingdom this would be perfect for my other idea where the camera zooms into the eyes to reveal an ancient world.

This film Mongol tells the story how a boy rises to become the great GENGHIS KHAN who ruled the largest empire in history to this day. The film is rich with cultural heritage and I could use the film for Mongolian artefactual from the British Museum.

Thursday, 22 October 2009

Research video Idents

An Ident has to represent the company in a short period of time , DreamWorks Ident does exactly that and is very memorable due to its unique style. Color, music and design all combine in order to project a sense of what the company is about . Dreamworks also uses the Harp Instrument which immediately makes you think of a dream or childhood fairy tale.

I decided to use the DreamWorks Ident again , yet this time for The film gladiator . I posted this video to demonstrate how powerful music is for creating a different type of feel. This music is ominous and dark because Gladiator is a serious type of film so it therefore has to represent what the film is like.

I wanted to use this as an example to show how music and sound will help direct my Ident.

The Bungie Logo has been made famous from its popular Halo franchise. The Logo is simple yet very memorable due to its iconic guitar sound . The bacteria looks impressive in the way in which it transforms into the earth, Bungie could be trying to symbolize the idea that they create Showing that they are inventive. Bungie often creates games which are slightly mythical and are highly imaginative. There games have a degree of realism which the audience can relate to such as realistic weapons and vehicles. However they also create worlds of fantasy, such as alien planets. The Bungie logo is often accompanied by the famous Gregorian style church chant, this then suddenly makes the ident unique to Bungie and as soon as the audience hears this we know it is a halo game. The church style sound represents that Bungie wants to be different from its competitors such as call of duty and other FPS . When I am making my ident for the British museum , i will also have to consider something that is iconic to the British museum. Simplicity is the key , since every Ident that i can remember are the simple ones e.g. Pixar , Dreamworks, Bungie and E4 .

The DC comic Ident is simple but very stylized , using after effect I will attempt to add some style to my Idents so they have a polished and professional feel like this one. The bats in this Ident could be symbolic of the companies most famous heroes batman.

The Disney Ident represents the magic kingdom, therefore it is stating Disney equals magic. The message is simple and clear. This does not however state all Walt Disney films are about magic it's stating that all Disney films have the quality of magic in the way that they are made.

This Chanel 4 ident is set in Tokyo , I'm struggling to see how I could use this for inspiration for the British Museum. The concept could be a way of introducing the young generation with there past. Manga is so popular amongst Japan and now the west. I would like to somehow merge the two.

I think these types of Idents are extremely effective , the large expanse of land , brings the viewer away from confinement its almost like a refreshing breather from hectic television. However I think it would to time consuming to create something like this for my project.

Back to Research

After visiting the museum, I drew some basic sketches. I now want to do more research into Idents. After analyzing my drawings I realized my ideas were all very similar . I also thought of many other films, adverts and Idents which will inspire me which I will now research.


1 - Reseach Idents, post videos on to my blog

2 - Research films and other media which may inspire me

3 - Visit the museum and come back with more photos (European section)

4 - Draw more ideas

Monday, 19 October 2009

Ideas Rough Sketches

I think it would be interesting if I could create a stopmotion effect, this would appeal more to children . I can imagine someone sitting and looking the egyptian painting , then the eyes could move and the whole painting will be animated grabbing the woman and pulling them into there world. The person could then be also animated in the iconic Egyptian style art work.

I copied a photo that I took at the museum , of two chinese men fighting . The two figures are practicing Kung Fu . I would like to keep the statues in the exact same positions but suddenly throw in a back drop of a chinese setting, such as green mountains and temples the scene would depict something of a peacful nature . I would animate the characters using 2 d software , then make them fight one another. The characters will then go back into the original position and I may use the same slogan 'The British Museum where history comes to life'.

This is also similar to the my other ideas, in this one I would like the Aztec mask to fade out into a modern south Americana's face. The editing will be subtle and I will use after effects again. This time I would like the slogan to read ' Know your your history know your self'. I came up with this idea, when I thought about how there is a lack of interest with the young and there history. This slogan is to help make young people more interested in the British Museum making them aware that people descended from these ancient people and that all history is deeply rooted in modern society.

This is a continuation of my previous idea , to do with the Aztec mask . This time the camera would pan in a lot faster and the eyes would be the main focus rather then the whole mask. Music and sound effects would still play an important part in the animation. instead of the camera slowing panning in , would like it to snap from shot to shot then suddenly snapping to the eyes. The eyes would then appear large covering most of the screen. Inside the eyes I would like to create an Aztec world, such as Huge Pyramids , an impressive sky and a general scence of grandeur. I would like to animate this in after effects. The Mayan scene would also be a digital piece of artwork drawn in photoshop. The digital piece of artwork will look impressive and hopefully immerse the audience into an ancient word. I would also have the same slogan again 'The British Museum where history comes to life'.

Another contiuation, this time eyes would open up to reveal a life like quality showing the mask coming to life.

After taking a photo from the Japanese section, I thought it would be interesting if the Samurai Armour could turn around as if it suddenly came alive. The short animation could have a slogan at the end 'The British Museum, where History comes to life'. Most of the people who visit the museum are tourists or older people, I didn't see any children. My only concern over this idea is that it may be scary for children, however due to the age of the audience it may not be a problem. I would like to use Maya to animate this, as I need to practice more with the software and this would be a good opportunity.

The British Museum photos

I felt very inspired after my visit my mind was full of exciting ideas. I also found the museum slightly overwhelming as there is so much to see. I took around a hundred photosbut documented a few which I thought about using.

The Brtitish Museum

After some initial research into Indents, I decided to visit the British Museum.
I could have continued researching, yet wanted to get stuck into my project and remain fresh. I hoped to gain inspiration, ideas for my Indents and photos for reference material.

After my visit, I will produce some rough sketches, and then go back to researching Indents.

Sunday, 18 October 2009

Research (BBC)

Idents from the beginning

I went into the BBC website and found out more about the history of Idents

Before Idents companies used logos’ to identify them selves and still do.

Idents came about as technology advanced and gave designers a chance to be creative.

The only part which moved was a small globe in the middle.


1963 the globe was now an established symbol for the BBC. The globe would spin and the Indent was shown in-between shows

In 1997 BBC’s idents went under some huge changes , the way in which the company advertised them selves were far more artistic, and the thinking behind the Idents were more elaborate

A number of hot air balloons were filmed in different locations around the UK.

The idea behind these new idents conveyed the message that BBC was both a national and local broadcasting company.

Reading The Brief

Brief B: Animation
Source: Nicola Freeman
Commissioning Editor -- National Gallery Publications

“We need some Idents done for the British Museum, maybe your students could come up with some ideas for us? We need three clips between five and ten second clips that we can play before during and after our presentations to reinforce The British Museum’s identity. They can use the gallery’s logo, they can use images from the gallery’s collection, and they can use current or future exhibitions as a theme. Such as the current Aztec exhibition.

It would be great if they came up with a range of ideas… I would like to see three or for Idents , I don’t know the first thing about computers? A storyboard for each as well as some explanation of why they have taken that approach would be excellent support for their actual animations. I suppose they’re going to have to do a little bit of research into the museum and what we’re about to really come up with something useful…”

• Do some research into the National Gallery
Storyboard, explain, and produce three to for segments of animation to reinforce the identity of The British Museum.

The Brief

Before I begin my project I think it will be a good idea to explain how I takled the brief.
I downloaded evernote which is a free programme which helps me to stay organized as i often find it a challnge to stay organized. I wrote up a seven week plan on evernote to help me to stay on track.

The Brief then asks two questions, regarding ways in which I will aproach the project. out of the four possible paths I decided to chose 2.D conceptualization. This will give me a chance to be creative and pursue something that I am interested in.

I have deicided to use one of the Brief's formulated by the industry , yet make some minor changes. Instead of choosing the National gallery I will chose The British Museum and isntead of creating 6 five second clips I will create three ten to five second indents. This will give me the chace to vary my idents as many Idents in the indusrty range from five seconds , ten seconds and beyond.

The main reason for chosing this project rather then the others is down to the amount of freedom that I am given. The other briefs are more sructured and you have to follow a certain path. I love ancient cultures and have a deep fascination with Asian and tribal traditions. This will help me when it comes to ideas as I wont spend ages trying to think what to do as my ideas should come naturally. Over the years I have watched many documentaries , films about remote and ancient cultures. I also travelled around Asia in my gap year which deepened my interest even more.

I will try to fufill the brief and produce storyboard for each of my idents. As stated my idents will reinforce the identity of the Museum.


Indents are visual representations of a company, a way of branding them selves. Television Indents have to fit in with the style of the company for example, E4 Idents are playful since the audience range between teenagers and young adults, while BBC's Idents are more mature reflecting their audience.