After Effects – Tests and Trials

November 25, 2008 at 11:20 am (Motion Graphics, Research, Uni Lectures)

This effect is called the write-on, and literally does just that. It involves mapping the image to a brush that draws over the specified lines in a given period of time, slowly revealing the actual image underneath. The technique looks really cool and gives a nice finishing feel. It could easily be translated onto text as well, making it a versatile technique to learn.


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After Effects – Tests and Trials

November 23, 2008 at 8:51 pm (Motion Graphics, Research, Uni Lectures)

As we are using after effects to create our Motion Graphics final pieces we were given 3 days of after effects demos to get to grips with the program itself and the vast array of techniques and effects that can be created using it. These were given to us by Hollie Gray and I found them to be incredably helpfull in gaining a better knowledge and understanting of the software. Here are some movies of the techniques we were looking at:-

Movement of Text

3D Text


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Touch the Sky Update

November 23, 2008 at 7:30 pm (Interface Design Principles, Research, Uni Lectures)

So a few weeks ago three people from the Sky Interactive Design Team came down to hear our ideas on the Sky Interactive brief. We presented the idea in front of the group and had a mixed but helpfull feedback to the idea. Basically the generall consensus was to focus on the social networking side of things and create a platform where viewing content can be shared with friends and family across the globe. The multi-touch tracking was a nice idea but was possibly putting too much onto our plates. I still really like the idea of interactive content and multi-touch tracking and feel it will inevitably come into our every day lives at some point or another, but for now social networking seems to be the more realistic next step in interactive media content and so thats the area we shall concentrate on.

Other points Shin raised in her last post are worth talking about, such as the presentation, which needs a lot of work before we present it properly. Apart from focusing on the one aspect of the idea, the presentation needs to be delivered much better, whilst considering the negatives and disadvantages to certain user groups, such as the over 50’s. In particular, the over 50’s were a generation Sky told us were important to consider, as they are a large audience and one that will not be swayed by fancy designs and layouts and slang language and terminology. We shall have to consider this when developing the idea.

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Multi-touch Tracking and other technologies

November 4, 2008 at 3:24 pm (Interesting, Interface Design Principles, Research, Uni Lectures)

Here are a list of sites and videos with examples of the technologies we are looking at for the Touch the Sky project. Some are more relevant than others but all have their individual influence.

Johnny Chung Lee –

Multi-Touch Interaction –

Reactable –

Touchlib –

Multi-Touch on Mac –

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Introduction to Sky – Touch the Sky

November 4, 2008 at 3:07 pm (Interesting, Interface Design Principles, Research, Uni Lectures)


As part of one of our units this year we are required to think of the next level in Sky Interactive home entertainment, using technologies not readily available in todays market. My idea uses multi touch tracking to get rid of standard tv controllers, enabling the user to control all elements of the TV using just their hands within a set 3D space. This will also be translated in a social networking format, like facebook and myspace, where users will be able to add channels as friends and download and save audio/visual files within their profiles. Different users within a household will have different profiles to personalise their own space. Interactive elements will be incorporated as programs are being watched, such as colouring in/join the dots/play along musical instruments for children’s programs etc. Im looking forward to pitching the idea as I feel it could well actually be the next step in home viewing.

None-the-less there will be many teething problems with our ideas to overcome, such as userbility for disabled people and setting up the 3D space so all members of a family can use it properly. We will also need to figure out a complete set of hand gestures for the controls, based on gestures most people would do naturally. This will lead to much user testing and experimentation. Ill keep you posted with developments, experiments and research based on the technologies we are looking at…

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Adobe Creative Suite

November 30, 2007 at 12:43 am (Uni Lectures)

As part of our course it is essential to know how to use a range of software, possibly most importantly ‘The Creative Suite’, a collection of applications made for creating digital art. The package contains a wide range of programs from Photoshop and InDesign to web related products like Dreamweaver and Flash. I am familiar with large parts of The Creative Suite, though recently we have been looking at After Effects, which is new to me. On first impressions the application looks exciting, enabling the user to animate still 2D and 3D images. Audio and video can also be used. The format reminds me of a mix between Maya 8, Flash and Director. From even a simple play with the tools available I can tell this will be an interesting program to utilise within my design work and I am looking forward to learning how to use it. 

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Current TV with Davide Scalenghe

November 6, 2007 at 11:50 pm (Uni Lectures)

Current TV

Current Tv is an independant international TV network created by, for and with the audience. It airs online, as well as a freeview channel on Sky (229) and Virgin Media (155) and a host of American networks. Developed by none other than Al Gore (yes I was shocked at first as well), and entrepreneur Joel Hyatt, it was launched on the 1st of August 2005 in the US and on the 12th of March 2007 in the UK. Altogether it reaches a total of 52 million homes.

The idea is to show users the world from the point of view of any normal person, an insight into the world from individuals. It relies largely on ‘Viewer Created Content’ (VC2), which is video provided by the users, making up about a third of its overall content, as well as adding the huge advantage of interactivity to the concept. Videos used are paid for, with prices ranging from £500 to £2,500. Some argue this is too much to pay for the footage, but in my opinion its still much less than TV companies pay to commission rubbish TV programmes and can sometimes actually have an point to it rather than just filling gaps. They are open to anyone wishing to produce ‘pods’ and can be contacted at:-

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Time Slice with Dan Julian

October 9, 2007 at 2:41 pm (Uni Lectures)

McDonalds Ad

Time slice is a technique made famous by the Matrix movies, even though the idea was originally produced by the guys at TimeSlice. Remember when Neo dodges all those bullets in slow motion? Thats Timeslice. A revolutionary technique made famous by the wrong people, never the less, the technique is now universally recognised.

First devised as part of a bet, the technique was highly intriguing and has been developed ever since. The technique has really taken off in the last few decades. Projects by the guys at TimeSlice include working with TV companies like the BBC, TV shows like Cold Case, retailers like McDonalds and even with David Beckham. Although the technique was relatively unused after the Matrix movies, it has recently become popular again.

Below is a link to their website where you can access information and demos of the technique:-

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