Blog

My incessant ramblings

Jurassic Coast Mock Up Video

[youtube id=”_bKqP4JItKs”]

A quick video I made in After Effects to show how my idea of an open air cinema may look. I dropped the opacity and skewed the video to fit the cliff face. In this example, I used the trailer from Hayao Miyzaki’s latest film, The Wind Rises.

 

References

The Wind Rises. 2013. [film] Hayao Miyazaki.

November 21, 2013

Profile picture for fake Facebook account

The online assignment for my current media theory strand (Consumer Culture, Identity and the Media) is to make a fake Facebook account and write up my experiences. The profile picture needs to be a digitally manipulated version of ourselves, so I opted to make myself look like Celty Sturluson from the anime “Durarara!!”.

shinra_celty

Unfortunately, I don’t own a full leather cat suit or a cleavage.

celtyfb

Professional Studies Assignment 1 – Fifth Post: Andy Touch

On November 14 we were joined by previous graduate and workshop lecturer for Digital Media Design at Bournemouth University, Andy Touch.

Since leaving Bournemouth University, Andy has joined Unity Technologies as a Product Evangelist, which consists of giving talks and demonstrations around the world to advertise Unity’s products and services.
After graduating from Bournemouth University, Andy created a list of goals, one of them being if Unity ever offered him a job, to take it no matter what.

The job listing for Andy’s position at Unity stated that it required at least 3 years industry experience, Andy had just one month. Andy describes this as a means of filtering, keeping down application submissions for jobs to make sorting through them much more manageable. When applying for our first jobs after graduating, Andy tells us not to be put off by this requirement and to apply anyway.

When it comes to the old saying “its not what you know, its who you know”, Andy tells us this is only half true, you really do need the skills in order to work at the position you apply for.
The first half however, is also equally as important. According to Andy, companies will ignore nine out of ten job request emails, no matter what skills we possess. Meeting someone in person is a hundred times more affective, but how does someone like me meet people in the tech industry?
Some recommendations from Andy are:

  • Meetups
  • Events
  • Conferences
  • Hack days
  • Game jams

At these events Andy tells us to make friends with everyone, even going as far to by people coffee and alcohol. In doing so people feel more obliged to talk to you, and if they are still rude, then you are probably better off not working for them anyway!
Aside from bribing them with drinks, Andy says ask to use people’s work, show an interest in what they are working on, people like other people to use their work and it also helps to create a talking point.

So if all this networking pays off and you land yourself an interview, what next?
Prepare for a test – every interview that Andy has been to involved a test, for example; recreate Pong or Wipeout in one hour.
Know what you are talking about – don’t lie if you don’t know, interviewers will notice! Admit you don’t know, research it later  and email the interviewers.
Research your interviewers and company – and if possible, try to make friends with them.
Use the companies products – actually want to work there, enjoy what you do and show some enthusiasm.
Don’t be arrogant, don’t be negative – this reiterates my first professional studies post, don’t be a dick.

November 19, 2013

Editing my blog theme to make it more readable

Following up on my previous post, I did go ahead and edit the theme layout a little.

I moved the sidebar back to the side and decreased the width of the post, this makes it easier for people to scan their eyes from one side to the other. This is because “The area of the retina used for tasks requiring high visual acuity is called the macula. The macula is small, typically less than 15 percent of the area of the retina. At normal reading distances the arc of the visual field covered by the macula is only a few inches wide—about the width of a well-designed column of text, or about twelve words per line.” from webstyleguide.com. I also made the layout responsive, on smaller resolutions the sidebar will drop below the post, preventing the text from becoming too squashed. Having a responsive website is become increasingly important with the increase of devices with various screen sizes and resolutions that people currently browse the internet with.

“Smartphones and tablets have changed the approach toward design and user experience. Before the proliferation of mobile devices with advanced web-browsing capability , web designers had only one primary challenge to deal with – keeping the same look and feel of their websites in various desktop computer browsers.

However, interacting with websites on smartphones and tablets is not the same as doing that on a desktop computer monitors. Factors such as Click versus Touch, Screen-size, Pixel-resolution, support for Adobe’s Flash technology, optimized markup and many more have become crucial while creating websites with Responsive Design.” ridivi.com

 

References

Ridivi Consulting Knowledge Base. 2013. Why is Responsive Web Design important for your website. [online] Available at: http://knowledge.ridivi.com/why-responsive-web-design-matters-for-your-website/ [Accessed: 3 Dec 2013].

Webstyleguide.com. 2013. Page Width and Line Length | Web Style Guide 3. [online] Available at: http://webstyleguide.com/wsg3/7-page-design/6-page-width-line-length.html [Accessed: 3 Dec 2013].

Creating a Theme for my blog

Part of the Jurassic Coast assignment is presenting everything in a WordPress blog, which I installed onto my own host at mrjose.ph.
There are a lot of great themes freely available for WordPress, but none really fitted with my site. Navigating from my site to the blog was a jarring experience, apart from the title, everything else was different.
I like the sense of uniform in design, and being a digital media designer I decided to try and create my own them that looked and felt like the rest of my site.

“Consistency is one of the key signs of a website designed by a professional web designer and not somebody who is learning the trade. Ensuring your website design is consistent all over the various types of pages and forms gives the website a unified feel and pulls it all together, improving the user experience and increasing conversion rates. Consistency is not only using the same colour scheme all over the website, or a similar set of fonts. It also includes making sure the website behaviour is consistent.” over-blog.com

Using Bones as a template (Bones is a theme designed to ease the process of creating custom themes), and integrating Bootstrap (a repsonsive framework for web design) I feel I have been able accomplished this. I also used an open source jquery project called infinite-scroll which automatically loads the next page of posts instead of clicking on the next page button. I feel this lowers the barrier for readers and encourages them carry on reading (Infinite scrolling feature could increase browse time – retailcustomerexperience.com). By using the php include function, which is the same underlying function I used to create my modular portfolio site, I am able to include the same navigation file on my blog that I do on the rest of my site. This has the advantage of being easily edited, I edit the file once and this change is presented throughout my site.

Screenshot 2013-11-15 at 18.07.48

Speaking with a classmate today, he pointed out to me that on larger screen sizes, the text takes up too much width on the page, making it more difficult to read. This will be the next issue I address, probably by moving the blog navigation back to the side.

 

References

Getbootstrap.com. 2011. About · Bootstrap. [online] Available at: http://getbootstrap.com/about/ [Accessed: 3 Dec 2013].

GitHub. 2013. infinite-scroll. [online] Available at: https://github.com/paulirish/infinite-scroll [Accessed: 3 Dec 2013].

OverBlog. 2013. Consistency in Web Design – Why It’s Important to Be Consistent When Designing Your Website. [online] Available at: http://businessresources.over-blog.com/article-consistency-in-web-design-why-it-s-important-to-be-consistent-when-designing-your-website-86102646.html [Accessed: 3 Dec 2013].

Retailcustomerexperience.com. 2013. Infinite scrolling feature could increase shopper browse time. [online] Available at: http://www.retailcustomerexperience.com/article/211251/Infinite-scrolling-feature-could-increase-shopper-browse-time [Accessed: 3 Dec 2013].

Themble.com. 2013. Bones – The HTML5 WordPress Starter Theme. [online] Available at: http://themble.com/bones/ [Accessed: 3 Dec 2013].

WordPress.org. 2013. WordPress › About. [online] Available at: http://wordpress.org/about/ [Accessed: 3 Dec 2013].

Visit to Durdle Door

IMG_4559 IMG_4558 IMG_4552 IMG_4549 IMG_4560 IMG_4548 IMG_4547 IMG_4546

Here are some photographs from a recent trip I took to Durdle Door at the end of the summer. I feel these are useful in showing the beauty of the Jurassic Coast.

The cliff faces here probably have too much vegetation to project a clear image on them compared with the cliff faces at Bridport, but a mobile projector screen could be used, or a large white sheet/canvas.

IMG_20131018_123057 IMG_20131018_122910

Cliff faces along the Jurassic Coast in Bridport for comparison. The rock here does have a darker colour, but this could be accounted in software. As for projecting on a non-flat surface, this can be accomplished via software. A great guide I found for doing exactly this can be found at vvvv.org

“vvvv is a hybrid graphical/textual programming environment for easy prototyping and development. It is designed to facilitate the handling of large media environments with physical interfaces, real-time motion graphics, audio and video that can interact with many users simultaneously. Responsible for its development is the vvvv group.

vvvv is free for non-commercial use,
commercial use requires a license.”

As for projecting on non-white surfaces QuickLogic has an interesting product designed for this issue, by using brighter bulbs and a background colour compensator, this is possible.

[vimeo id=”27008448″]

Here is a perfect example of 3D mapping projection onto the cliffs of Dover. In this example the video is a advert for Carlsberg, but it looks very effective.

 

References

Projectionadvertising.co.uk. 2013. 3D Video Mapping for Carlsberg on White Cliffs of Dover – Projection Advertising. [online] Available at: http://projectionadvertising.co.uk/videos/3d-video-mapping/carlsberg-3d-video-mapping-show-on-white-cliffs-of-dover.aspx [Accessed: 3 Dec 2013].

Quicklogic.com. 2013. VEE-BCC-Pico: Increase Pico Projector Viewability and Compensate for Non-white Projection Surfaces | QuickLogic. [online] Available at: http://www.quicklogic.com/platforms/vee-bcc-pico/ [Accessed: 4 Dec 2013].

Vvvv.org. 2013. How To Project On 3D Geometry | vvvv. [online] Available at: http://vvvv.org/documentation/how-to-project-on-3d-geometry [Accessed: 4 Dec 2013].

November 13, 2013