Week 21

This week I took myself away from the computer again and took some time to play with the new logo. Over the past few weeks I had been collecting a series of materials (pompoms, balloons, confetti, you name it!) to play around with in the hopes of creating some content that could be used for a branding ident. The first one I wanted to tackle – the balloons! Every time I had tried to bring a 3D texture to the logo digitally, I tended to lean toward this inflated, balloon like texture – so why not just cut out the middle man and try form the real deal? Now, I had absolutely no experience when it came to balloon modelling, so once again I looked towards Youtube.

Balloon modelling came surprisingly naturally to me, once I got over the fear that they were going to burst in my face (which none of them did!), I found them pretty each to bend and manipulate into shape. Saying that, I didn’t manage to replicate the logo exactly as I couldn’t get the ‘Y’ in the right formation, but I was happy with what I did manage to create!

Throughout this whole process I had a friend helping me, having someone else there made the process so much more fun and it allowed me to try out new things which I wouldn’t of been able to do alone. For example, my camera lights aren’t tall enough to reach the balloons once they were strung up on the wall, so I had was only able to get the lighting on the close up pictures thanks to my friend holding the lights in place! We got pretty experimental with the lighting, camera angles and later on shot some videos, getting the balloon to move around using a fan. It was actually a lot of fun and most certainly brought me joy!

I didn’t want to just waste the balloons, so the next day I dragged Chris out to help me take some photos of them in Bradley park. We only just managed to catch the sun, but it was certainly worth it. The colours of the balloon were brought out even further when placed on the fresh morning grass – it wasn’t all bliss though, the wind certainly made sure of that! Working outside, as pleasant as it was, opened up lots of opportunities for things to go differently than you had planned, such as the wind suddenly picking up and blowing your work away, a lawn mower going off whilst you’re trying to film or maybe a swarm of midges will decided to flock around you and your work, disrupting the photos. We did try to use some of these ‘additions’ to our advantage, for example, setting the balloons up and pressing record in hopes to capture them blowing away. But of course the moment we attempted that, all the wind came to a sudden halt. And then I slipped on one of the balloons, popping it. Regardless, we did still manage to get some lovely photos of the balloons, and even some ‘before and after’ shots of the balloons inflated and deflated – sometimes things not going to plan makes for some interesting new ventures!

I absolutely love the photographs I managed to get from these two ventures, the experience itself was incredibly joyful and I learnt a new skill – which pretty much summarises what I want the project to bring to other people! Here’s some edits I made from the images, I’m still to get round to editing the video footage, but I did manage to bring some animation liveliness through GIFs…

This week I also managed to catch up with Stuart, we discussed how my general branding is leaning towards having animated/3D elements in it alongside the collection of idents. When I spoke to him about the issues I was having working with Adobe software’s, he told me about Cinema 4D. I honestly have no idea how I didn’t know about this before, because it is everything I’ve been needing throughout this entire project. Although it will be a steep learning curve, once I’ve got the hang of it the software will be able to open opportunities for some really playful designs, animations and textures.

I had been fawning over the works of Studio Morross, Ju Schnee and similar creatives for so long, trying to figure out how on earth they manage to create such wonderful 3D designs. Well, now I know!

I turned back to Youtube for some tutorials and got to work trying to follow the first one that seemed remotely like the kind of thing I would want to create. Although this may seem like I’m diving in too soon, I do find that this is the best way for me to learn, by doing. This first tutorial was extremely helpful and the entire process was so rewarding. Cinema 4D has a lot of great effects which help massively when it comes to making something really look real – which makes having something you’ve just created come to life that bit more exciting!

The more I played with the software, the more I began forming new ideas of what it could be used for! There were already so many things I had envisioned for the idents, that just weren’t possible in reality (damn you physics) – but they’d be totally possible in a digital space! On the other hand though, I didn’t want this new software to totally take over the branding, I still wanted to use real life craft materials as well as these 3D digital creations.

Using mixed medias has become more prominent in modern design, and I see why. It keeps things interesting, opens up questions (if this real or another animation?) and creates a healthy link between the digital and practical realities. Keeping this balance of branding material will be crucial going forward.

Moving forward I wanting to begin creating my own shapes, which meant I was going to have to stray from taking step by step instructions from online tutorials – the horrors! Here’s a list of some of the videos that helped me through the process:

Creating the logo in Cinema 4D allowed me to play around with the effects and settings and get to grips with how they can be used. The biggest challenged I faced, was creating the ‘Y’ in the logo – I had managed to get the hang of deforming and placing effects on one shape to create another, but when it came to combining two shapes seamlessly I really had issues – and arguably, I still do! Another new obstacle I had to get my head around was the lighting. In Cinema 4D it’s almost like you’re having to set up a real life set when it comes to getting the lighting you want on your design – there were so many different kinds of lights, settings and shapes available, which is great but very confusing for a beginner to try and work with! Luckily, there’s a Youtube tutorial for everything these days.

As you can see from the images above, the first attempt at creating the logo was reasonably successful but there are still some really obvious errors, such as the rough joining of the two shapes to create the Y. Getting the background right was also pretty tricky, I found it really hard to create the right ‘material’ and lighting to place on the background to get the colours to really pop – you can see below the before and after shots of me trying to lighten it up, although it didn’t get to the point that I wanted, I couldn’t seem to get it much lighter without completely washing out the ‘JOY’ standing in front of it.

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