Project X – “How did we get in this mess?” (VTS Part 1 of 6)

Today I have begun work on project X by completing the VTS

“MAN” by Steve Cutts

What’s going on here?

  • The video starts by stating that the setting at this point takes place 500,000 years ago ( with a man in a welcome shirt that dances through a forest and proceeds to kill, eat, wear and defile any animal they come across. As they move, they treat each animal with various levels of cruelty, such as stepping on a bug and then latter fattening a chicken with chemicals before throwing them like a basket ball into a fryer. As they continue to maim other animals, they also start dumping rubbish and toxic barrels into the ocean from a boat named “RULER OF THE SEA”, turning it black. As they land on the other side, the kill several more animals before turning the surrounding trees into paper using magic wands. A city then suddenly emerges from the ground and fills itself with cars and smoke, with the man dancing across the
  • The video follow a “man” as the representation of the human species throughout a cartoonish mockery of our history of greed, arrogance and cruelty towards our animal neighbours. The animation has “man” mostly killing animals for food, clothing or just for sport (and then later experimenting and mass slaughtering cattle within gains factories).

What do you see that makes you think that?

What more can you find?

What is your keyword or key idea? Say why this is the case.

Any other thoughts?

“What is the tragedy of the commons” by Ncholas Amendolare

What’s going on here?
What do you see that makes you think that?
What more can you find?
What is your keyword or key idea? Say why this is the case.
In what ways does this TED-Ed film link to or confirm any ideas from the Man video?
Any other thoughts?



Environment – Putting the Pieces Together (Final Design)

With the text now improved, the photos now sorted and the layout put into place, I have final been able to complete the final design for my double page spreads.

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With only a small problem with the image quality, which was later discovered to just be me having used lower-quality versions of the photos, which I simply replaced with the original high quality ones (via Ctrl + D), the spreads have turned out better than I originally expected them to be. I feel as if the white

Environment – Writing up the Description

Today I have been busy doing the write up for what will be the text for the second spread within the final design. As with the limitations set by the project, the minimum amount of words that must be included is 200, with the maximum about that I can add being 400 words.

Here is the original version of the text I created:

“From the moment I moved into my little home in Kent with my family as a child, I always found the garden to be a bit of an urban paradise to me. Unlike our old home, this garden was big and green and (unlike the last one) peaceful. I used play game after game with my baby brother, taking every moment upon that grass with the upmost joy. It was our own little land. But, every place has its own shadow, and ours was no exception.

The end of the garden was always a mystery to us, but I rarely every wanted to set foot in that place, not for very long at least. It was always dark, dirty and bug ridden (all of which I was never too keen on). There was a shed, a bonfire, a ranch pile, and a small spot within the corner fenced off by a pair of old doors that served as a compost heap. The trees at the very edge did not make the situation any better, as their loaming branches would always make you feel as if the entire sky above was constantly blocked out.

I never really felt confortable entering that little dark forest as a child, even now I still don’t, but today I decided that one could not truly enjoy a place until they see the very best of what it can show you. So, I picked up my camera, waited for a nice, sunny day and let my lens go wild. I tried to take as many close-up photos as I could in order to see each and every detail that each bit of scrap or mess of leaves had etched onto them. There was plenty of bits and pieces trapped within the overgrowth for me to find and plenty of angles that were absolutely wonderful to take.

What struck me most about doing this shoot is how sometimes you can never understand how beautiful something can be, no mater how messy, until you see it from the right perspective, as looking up into the sky during the shoot, I saw how open the sky actually looked through the branches.

It kind of surprises me how easily a photographer can go to a place and not only get some decent photos, but also learn so much it and how should look at other places too.”

After finishing this copy of the text, I had the page checked over by a teacher in order to ensure that the text is both spelled correctly as it always should, and also relevant to the tasks requirements, as it must explain the reasoning and methods used within the photo-shoot.

After handing in a printed copy of the text, I received it back with some improvements. Luckily, the only improvements needed were a couple of simple spelling errors and unneeded punctuation placements, as the reviewing teacher gave the “OK” to the contents of the text itself. The errors only consisted of things such as “upmost” instead of “utmost”, as well as other similar miss-phrasing/spelling.

With the text now corrected and and approved, I moved it into the spread, changing it into my selected typeface. With a few tweaks to the size and shape of the lettering, the text now fits perfectly into the spread.

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I am actually rather proud of how the type look now that it has been finally into the text box, as the white, serifed type personally feels like compliments the natural tone of the piece, and the way that the text curves around the frame adds a very nice look to the overall design.

Environment – Feedback 2

After having had my first review with my classmate, I decided that it would be best to try asking even more people about what they thought about the designs of the two spreads. However, the results of this review had a few notable changes suggested about the choices I had made from the previous one, namely about the design theme overall.

The main improvement suggested to me this time was to decrease the thickness of the branch on the second spread. This change was asked as the reviewers noted that the large size of the whit branch drew too much attention to itself, causing people to focus too on the branch rather than the photos themselves. I actually understood this point rather quickly, as taking a step back, I saw that the distracting thing on the pages was the branch. In order to fix this, I simply moved the edges of the branch closer together so that it appeared thinner, and made the images appear larger and more noticeable.

The same issue of the silhouettes I added being too much also spilled onto the first spread as well, as others noted that the tree within the pages’ center is to distracting from the photo behind it. Because of this, they have asked if I removed the tree itself entirely, so that the focus could be put onto the background. They did note however that the location of the title was perfectly fine, as it drew a little more focus to the trash heap above it, which could be considered the most detailed part of the picture.

I am a little bit hesitant about the idea of removing the tree, as the collision of it being good because of its uniqueness against it being bad for being a distraction, makes it a little hard to make the choice. However, I believe that having an effective design takes a little more priority over a unique one, as it doesn’t matter how pretty a design is if it dose not focus on the most important aspects of the piece. As such, I have removed the tree from the spread.

The only other tweak mentioned for me to do was to simply increase the darkness of the black filter behind the text, as they noted that it was still a little harder to read in some places.

I have found that much of this feedback very useful in helping me understand the importance of how designs can effect the focus of an audience, and how I must learn to accept the fact that if a design inflicts will the purpose of my work, I must remove it, no matter how much I myself may like it.

Environment – Acting on Feedback

With the helpful tips and advice given to me by the review from my classmates, I have begun experimenting with new prototype designs for the final product.

As the previous post on the the review itself mentioned, my classmates gave me several useful pieces of advice for which I could use within my new designs, all of which I have actually acted upon, as I want to create designs which fits the expectations of both my audience, as well as other designers (such as my classmates).

The first notable change I made was to use both versions of the prototype introduction spread pages (the tree and branch silhouette designs), as it was noted the the branched design could be used as an effective page design for second spread pages, where the bulk of writing will be placed.

Second, I removed the pink placeholder spaces on the first spread as I no longer wish to use the image idea on the tree anymore.

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Thirdly, I began filling in the spaces with the branch spread with the pen tool, so that the spaces were all filled in separately. This would allow me to go onto the following step.

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Using a trick I learned when doing the “Something Different” project, I dragged and drop my chosen images onto these filled in spaces, causing the photos to fit inside of the shapes and sit neatly between the branches of the silhouette. For the area in which I will place the text, I chose to use the photo I took of the trees looming above me, as I personally like the image (as well as my classmate) and I believe that the cluster of leaves to the right would serve as an excellent background for the type itself.

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Next I began placing placeholder text for the second spread, as I wanted to see how the current type I was using would looking the space of the image I had chosen.

However, after putting down the text over the image, I noticed that some parts where there were gaps within the leaves, the white text became somewhat difficult to read, as it blended in with the background. In order to stop this, I place a dark, translucent cover over the image to act as a sort of filter and darken the photo just enough so that the text is a little clearer for reading.

Screen Shot 2016-05-16 at 11.48.55Despite this however, I now feel as though the bright and beautiful colours of the photo have been taken away from the piece because of this. So, I have made a second version of the filter which only covers the area where the text is, leaving the over half of the image untouched and colourful.

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I believe that this newer version is an excellent improvement on the previous, as not does it bring back a good deal of brightness to the page, but the parts of the image where the dark and light meet appears almost seamless against each other, even to the point where it almost looks like the darkened area was part of the original area.

Overall, I am extremely happy with the current results of my work, as it is so far meeting the expectations that I had when first starting this project. If I had anything to pick on though as a flaw, it would be that the current quality for the images is not very good at the current time, and thus will need to be improved in time for the final product. Other than that, I have other complaints .

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Environment – Feedback of my Current Ideas

Today I have had a bit of a conversation with another member of class about the current design and future ideas for possible design choices with my spreads. After asking a classmate for their opinion on the prototype designs I have been working on, the advice quickly turned into tips and further ideas for my spreads.

At first, they noted that they had seen the deigns I had been creating while on the computers during my work, and told me that they (and others found my use of silhouette-like trees to be a very unique idea compared to the work of other classmates, and gave me a little praise on the point. They continued to say that I should possibly incorporate both tree variation designs I have been working on to create a design theme, which I myself like the idea of.

I also told him about my idea of putting images between the branches of the trees, which he suggested I only use on the second branch design, as the full tree silhouette design would look much better by itself, so, I have used the branched design spread for the second half of the spread.