DCM Competition: Final Video

April 7, 2014 § Leave a comment


Adjusting Type

April 7, 2014 § Leave a comment

Today we managed to successfully finish off our DCM Competition ident after applying all of our feedback. We adjusted the typeface on the “Welcome To Our World” end sequence as it just didn’t flow right. We ended up using Helvetica Neu on a very thin stroke. The reason for this was so it fitted with the thin DCM logo whereas other fonts we had tried were too bold. After experimenting with various fonts for quite a while we decided to keep it simple. 

The only other modification we made was to the open and end sequence. Previously the video just started straight up and only the quote faded out at the end, we were advised to play around with different effects to see if we could make it a bit smoother. We finally settled on a simple fade in/fade out. Initially we were a little hesitant to do anything to our video as we were already extremely happy with how it was, but we were glad we took on board some advice as it does make it a final clean entrance and exit.


Applying Feedback: Emotional Storyboard

April 1, 2014 § Leave a comment

We were given a couple of points to improve upon with our emotional storyboard draft in our initial research and planning stage:

  1. Correct the frame size – most of the time people often draw out their storyboards in a square format which isn’t always the right format. For us, our video ended up being 1080p X 960p so we needed to alter our storyboard to the correct size (basically a rectangle).
  2. The only other alteration we were asked to improve upon was the direction boxes below the drawings. Jay wanted us to include a little more information on the camera positions so we added a couple of varying ranges on our ideas.

Icon Book Final: Jean Baudrillard travels back in time…With help from Doc Brown

April 1, 2014 § Leave a comment

After completing the book and receiving feedback from people who had never heard of the theorists before, I found that i’d perhaps tried to fit a little too much information into 5 pages, and with that came confusion, along with little interaction between the reader and the book. I decided to start completely over, focusing on just a few of Freud’s and Baudrillard’s theories. I wanted the two to have a conversation as I thought this would engage the reader into the story, so I chose to do a ‘Back To The Future’ themed book, where Baudrillard travels back in time using Doc Brown’s famous De Lorean. The title is ‘Jean Baudrillard travels back in time…With help from Doc Brown.’ I created a variety of illustrations through Illustrator and believe the mixture of both writing and imagery compliment each other well. I thoroughly believe my second attempt at creating the book is successful.

View: Icon Book Freud and Baudrillard

Adobe Acrobat: Stevo’s Last Workshop

March 31, 2014 § Leave a comment

We’re looking at Adobe Acrobat and the importance of it. Adobe states that “Acrobat is the most important program of the Adobe suite“. If you’re looking to be a certified print specialist, you need to pass an Acrobat exam, and another in either one of Illustrator, Photoshop, or Illustrator.

  • Go to Lynda.com and watch the Acrobat 10 Essential video series – all 502 minutes of it! – and by the end of it, you should have a full working knowledge on the software.

The Workshop

Open Acrobat Pro, click on the ‘Tools’ menu. The most important tab is missing,Print Production, and Acrobat hides it by default. To view it, click the top right drop down and tick ‘Print Production’. Acrobat distiller (completely different to Acrobat Pro) will convert a postscript file (a very cut down version of a PDF – a PDF is more advanced).

  • We were advised to get into the habit of saving our documents as PDFs and printing from Acrobat instead of Photoshop etc. This means that if we have any trouble with colouring during the printing process, it can be altered directly from Acrobat.

Acrobat allows us to troubleshoot separations (of colour like CMYK) amongst other problems.
Output preview’ > make sure that the (colour) separations we choose for our documents are colours we wish to use, i.e make sure we don’t have any spot colours selected that we don’t want, as this can become very costly. To convert any back from the pantone spot colours un-tick the box. Also remember to make sure we’re printing in the correct output such as CMYK or RGB, making sure that all the colours are either or – not a mixture.

  • A PDF is a soft proof – something on the screen and a hard proof is the physical copy.

‘Object Inspector’ preview by default is blank but by clicking on objects on the file with the crosshair cursor it will tell you if it’s protected or if there’s a problem, like a missing typeface for example. This tool also gives the resolution, pixels, size, colour space etc.

‘Simulation Profile’ is what the print material will be; use the U.S Standard Web Offset Press if I don’t know what the print profile is.


This is the most important dialogue box! Clicking the drop down ‘Show all’ will display other options to filter results:
‘Online publishing’ will optimise the print for online publishing.
With this option, we want to fix the accidental spot problem > select the ‘PDF fixups’ tag, which will drop down > select ‘Convert to CMYK only (swop)’, converting the spot colour to a process colour > click on this option and press ‘Analyze and fix’ at the bottom right > saving it as a new file. When looking at the ‘Output preview’ now, the spot colour should no longer be present.

The ‘Flatten transparency’ fix option is important. Blending modes can cause a lot of problems, with little bounding boxes present, so run this fix up option to fix it. Any errors with my document, always go on Acrobat and check on ‘Output preview’ & ’Preflight’ to rectify any issues.

Convert Colours

Clients may need to drop the price for various reasons, usually happening at the awkward stage of printing, meaning you’d usually have to go back and alter the file(s) to comply with the new budget. However, there are other ways such as ‘pre-print’. To set up criteria that converts all images to greyscale > under matching criteria > Colour type dropbox ‘Image’ >
Under ‘Conversion attributes’ Convert to profile > conversion profile drop down ‘Grey Gamma 1.8′ (1.8 being a lighter and white, and 2.2 being darker)

Add Printer Marks

Basically self explanatory.

Fix Hairlines

Hairlines are straight lines in documents, such as borders. These hairline strokes can be a problem with print, with inconsistency of these lines being present. This can occur when you scale things up or down, you increase/decrease the scaleAND the stroke.

  • If anything foes wrong, PDF my document and run Acrobat.

Dissertation Preparation – Week 2

March 26, 2014 § Leave a comment

The Frame Work

A.) Introduction & Context

  • Establish opposition around topic/a variety of contexts and can be connected
    Literature Review

    Setting up the platform of information for your dissertation.

    • Business
    • Sociological
    • Philosophical
    • Psychological
    • Cultural
    1. Key theorists/perspectives/texts
    2. Key practitioners/works
    3. Contemporary discussion of topic

B.) Methods & Methodology (must be appropriate to the topic)

  • Note: This can also be a good way of establishing contact with potential employer
  • Remember: In part you may be devising methods
  1. Questionnaire
  2. Case Studies
  3. Interviews
  4. Participant Observation
  5. Close viewing/reading
  6. Comparative analysis (image, text, perspective, philosophy)

C.) Argument (stages/phases)

  • Angular: thesis/antithesis/synthesis
  • Intensive: transformative/persuasive – How to make your audience see things differently
  • Don’t slip into the language of proof, “my research has proved this…” We’re trying to persuade not prove

D.) Contemporary Relevance

  • Why is it important to address this topic today?

E.) Conclusion & Contribution

  • Knowledge/interpretations/scholarship in your discipline

Peter Norris: Geopolitical Futures

March 26, 2014 § Leave a comment

Population Density

Malthus – poor/wealthy

  • flash points – middle east
  • crimea – Russia
  • China
  • disruptions
  • terrorisms
  • poverty
  • pace of change
  • lack of education

Market movements



Almost there…

March 25, 2014 § Leave a comment


Cinema 4D – Keyframes

March 24, 2014 § Leave a comment

Jays Cinema 4D workshop today was  looking at using keyframes with shapes. We created 3 basic 3D shapes (cube, cone and sphere) and coloured them accordingly – we learnt this in a previous tutorial. After these had been made we positioned them so that they weren’t too close and could be easily animated.

The next step was using keyframes. From doing the DCM film project I now have a good understanding of keyframes. With being confident in understanding how they work, it was quite easy to follow and understand the process in C4D. The first step was to move the cube – we were to make it rise and fall beneath the visible surface. Within the toolbar to our right were the co-ordinate boxes for each shape and to make it move a particular direction, you simply adjusted the figures or you can click on the shape itself and use the easy to use arrows provided. Creating the keyframes was straight forward too.

Using my timeline (set to 100 frames) I positioned my timeline cursor at 0 and pressed the correct axis in the right menu (where the co-ordinates are) whilst holding CMD on my keyboard – this should have made the circle red and made a keyframe on your timeline. After you’ve moved your timeline cursor to where you would like the animation to stop and adjusted your shape into the last position you want it in, hold CMD and press the axis button again – this time it will be outlined in orange indicating the shape has moved and will have created a second keyframe. Now if you play your animation your shape will move from the first keyframe to the second keyframe. Continue with your other 2 shapes to finish off your animation. 

I haven’t finished the whole workshop video yet so will be updating this later on.

InDesign: Preparing A Book For Printing

March 24, 2014 § Leave a comment

This tutorial informed us on how to set up an InDesign document for different printing methods, which can be useful if you plan to impress a design agency with professional looking print based materials.

We opened up an A4 InDesign document. We selected 4 random images off the internet and laid them out in the document one below the other. If you were professionally getting this printed, you would use an offset litho printer where each process requires a metal plate (for each different colour, CYMK process). After going into Window > Output > Separator, we created a new layer above images called ‘text’. We typed out “100% Yellow”, “100% Magenta” etc for each colour in the CYMK process. We turned on swatches and looked at the default swatches.With these, we recoloured the text to the exact colours.

If you are wanting to print in metallic, you would look through the pantone books and look up the code (as a Graphic Designer you would never do it based on screen). I created a new colour swatch and changed the process spot – these spot colours are pre-mixed. We looked up the pantone metallic coat under “Colour Mode”, press okay and then a swatch appears and you will have 5 separations, now including the metallic colour.

Spot UV on Business Cards
This is the same process for embossing, debossing or die cutting (punching text out of paper), but you need to ask the printer just to make sure you are doing it right. To do this we created a new layer and called it ‘varnish’. This can be any spot colour (because it’s clear) as long as it’s a specified spot colour. We chose an image we wanted to stand out and created a rectangle which is a varnish colour – as long as printer knows the image is there, the colour will not print.

To create an instruction layer, take off the print layer and it appears metallic in the layers palette – then as soon as you turn the separations on, it will disappear because it is not classed as a proper layer. To export, go to File > Print > Postscript File and set the colour mode t0 CYMK. A post script file is like a very basic pdf file. If you give that to a printer, you will save a lot of money – they can transfer it directly to the printing plates. Ask them how they want to get the submitted separations before committing to a print job.