Me and my class mates at Bournemouth University were tasked with an individual mini project working on Kinetic Typography. As outlined in the initial blog post I was looking forward to this project however I wasn’t happy with the choice of audio that was given to us so I decided to pick my own.
I have been a fan of typography on music videos for a while with the most notable for me coming from Rise Records (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P3rtWEk9Ufo). I liked the way they didn’t just add the words onto the screen but visualised the words too with iconography such as the paper plane going across the word, however in contrast I didn’t like the camera movement and felt this would be too complex for me anyway as I have never used After Effects before and setting up a camera would double my workload at least and I would rather work on quality in what I can produce. I also looked at other Kinect Typography on YouTube and found a Rocky speech (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6aeRQyPIvjI) that was done in a similar manner to the Hands Like Houses but without the camera movement that I didn’t like too much. Another video I looked at was from based off of the film The Hangover (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m_B8fajBtus). This highlighted everything I said in my original blog post about Gravity with the sound effects being too overpowering to the audio and the video quite plain in my opinion. The nature of text only is very unappealing visually in my opinion as it is doesn’t have anything to draw attention to it like the other two.
I chose a music piece by Pegboard Nerds and MisterWives called Coffins. The opening to this is about love but the meanings such as “wither and die” can be represented in several ways. The representations can be visually displayed depending on the person and I like this about the song as it allows me to be creative and explore my meanings of the song. I also like the pacing of the song, I feel it is a good pace to do my animation on as it isn’t fast so I don’t have to spend a lot of time on the timings of the words. This is what I feel will be the biggest challenge as it will take the most time but with practice I can speed this up and will learn techniques to help with this.
I started by planning out the main basis of my typography by making my background in Photoshop. Given the “love” theme I felt this was appropriate as red often connotes love. I also developed the text and decided upon a slightly opaque white in Myriad Pro as it is clear and easy to read meaning it doesn’t draw attention away from the icons I will be creating to go with them. Also if I wish to distinguish text using different type it means I can use a variety of different typefaces from modern to handwritten without it clashing. I also kept the colour palette at two colours as I felt this goes with the simplicity approach John Maeda talks about in his Laws of Simplicity (http://lawsofsimplicity.com/tag/laws/) as by reducing the colours it makes what is on the screen more significant.
During using Adobe After Effects I found that despite an interface was daunting the mechanics behind it were fairly simple and the tutorial Workshop we were given allowed me to do more than I hoped in a shorter amount of time. After Effects combined my basic knowledge of video editing and sound editing with paths and keyframes as found in 3D animation in which I have done before. This allowed me to delve into the program straight away and start creating. I merged this with Photoshop to produce icons in which would (as previously mentioned) make the Kinetic Typography more interesting in my opinion. Doing this was the right choice in my opinion as it added variety to the piece and when asking for feedback it was the first thing people commented on saying they liked with feedback being ‘I like the heart’ and ‘The sold symbol is good’. Along with this I recoloured and animated some words such as I made die black and blurred out softens.
Another design choice I did that I believe was successful was the way words faded out slowly over the course of the section. I feel this allowed the focus to be shifted upon the next word without sudden transitions and it allowed the words to change in the scene without using camera movements or block removes. In my opinion this was the correct choice as it allowed smoother transitions in which created a piece in which goes with the music’s theme.
Overall I was very happy with the piece I produced. I thought it fitted the theme of the song nicely and picked the song well as it allowed me to explore many different creative avenues. The use of the the icons as well as the text in my opinion made a huge difference and I was glad I included them. I feel the whole production was a massive learning curve and while I didn’t experiment with camera movement or placing text next to each other I am thrilled with the quality I produced and I am confident if I did it again this quality would go up to some of the standard I have seen online.
My final piece can be found here – http://declanbarry.net/kinecttypography-pegboardnerds.mp4