From Prototype to Product

This was the initial prototype along with the animation included in video 1.

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2nd Prototype – This is the second prototype scanner which was added to Draft 1 Video included in the submission. As you can see the background is lit more professionally and includes a vignette to add to the focal point of the video.

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Initial Prototype – Inspection machine model – created before I found out about there own in house inspection machine model

 

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Colour Inspection Machine

This ended up being the final product as C-Tex already had an inspection machine model. Therefore I decided to incorporate this into my final pieces and scrap the scanner entirely as there is already videos of it taken by Josh and Adam. Also the C-tex model looks a lot more professional and when added to my background and lighting looks pretty good i think. It also helps to show the clients this as they will know exactly what it is without getting too abstract and creating my own interpretations of various mechanical objects.

 

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Project Process – Teamwork and Communication

 

As this was a group project a lot of effort went in to collaborating and gelling well within a team. Overall this process went very well. I felt that as a team we worked really well supporting each other along the way and generally respecting each others workflow and personal process.

Once the project roles were decided I was pretty much left to create the 3D elements in piece. Adam did make storyboards which helped me out a lot as I realised which sections of each video needed what and I think this management and support really helped me to produce elements that were actually essential to the success of the project. This meant I could get to work on the 3D specs straight away. Of course by the end the elements all looked very different to the initial prototypes and first drafts, but this has taught me a lot about give and take and adapting skills and workflow to fit with the constantly changing aspects of the project.

Of course the elements had to be framed and shot correctly to allow for the callouts to fit in and look professional, and I have outlined this process in one of my previous blog posts.

This process on top of constant communication and back and forth regarding the correct placement of 3D elements. length of footage and movement within each segment of animation meant that the overall product looks sleek and somewhat professional.

Client Feedback

In order to gauge how well the the project is going, We emailed the client for their own personal feedback from the first video drafts. As I was not directly involved in the edit I was only looking for feedback specifically relating to the 3D elements. The following is the feedback from the videos and the suggested changes that were highlighted by C-Tex:

Pre-Install

  • I know it seems obvious but we should stage ‘take photo of the machine you want to install c-tex colour onto
  • White dimension arrows – need for the other dimensions we require
  • Need to include text: we will manufacture to your dimensions, and send unit boxed and ready for you….we can then unpack, partially dissemble and fit to your machine

Training Video

  • Format 1: should read: Real-Time Operator Interface
  • CVS data: should be: CSV Readings
  • OK: so I prefer Adam’s edit on how to interpret roll maps. Then we need Josh’s edit on the 3 example roll maps included.

As you can see from the above text there is no mention of the 3D elements which can only be a positive sign as no corrections have been suggested! Therefore in terms of the content I have provided I can only assume that no news is good news, meaning that it works well within the context of the videos.

However for my own personal development and from the feedback from the C4D Geeks and also from peers, there are definitely some adjustments that can be made and that testing will follow this blog post. But as far as the client goes we are definitely getting a lot closer to completing the 3 videos.

Searching for Feedback!

I still feel that I am struggling with the lighting and also just looking for more professional feedback from seasoned pros and experts within C4D. Instead of using survey monkey to ask basic yes or no questions, which don’t provide much in the way of helpful and constructive feedback and criticism, I have decided to post in the C4D Café forums to see if any expert motion graphic designers can help to push me forward in the right direction and give some much needed feedback and advice. The last time I used this I also included a survey. However I have realised that the questions I was asking were a bit constricting in there answers and I have decided to just let people give more general and personal feedback which could help me uncover things I didn’t even consider. In short i have realised that a simple yes or no answer to a question that might not even be relevant to the information I am really trying to collect from the survey is not a very productive way of thinking and leaves no option for any other answers or feedback.

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Hopefully this approach will reach more of a technically minded audience. I will also be sending out the completed videos along with the filming that we did yesterday to some of the clients clients (target audience) as this will be the real test in terms of completing and solving the visual communication problem at the heart of this project.

Catering for an international audience – Design Methods

This is something that as a group we all have to consider when creating our videos. As well as the actual language used it is also necessary to look further than that and consider different colour theory for different countries and the eastern hemisphere. Therefore I decided to look at several sources to see if I could find some pointers and tips to point me in the right direction.

Designing for an International Audience

Although all these links are more related to web design it is also important to consider several elements relating to colour and also the specific audience within the different countries.

“Studies have shown blue to be the least offensive color for international audiences, which explains why so many websites use “corporate blue.””

“For example, on a dashboard widget in Western countries, green means great, red means danger. In China, those colors are reversed and have the exact opposite meaning because culturally, red is a sign of happiness and well being. White is typically a sign of purity, clarity and innocence, but again, in Asian cultures, it symbolizes death and mourning.”

This is very important to consider during my own design process making sure to use non bias and non threatening colours.

“The difference is obvious. Chinese audiences prefer a much more cluttered home page with loads of information cramped in, while English audiences prefer a cleaner interface with a few neat categorisations.”

Design from East to West

Could this be true of Visual animated content as well and if so would this effect the Chinese market if we tried to simplify everything to cater for a solely western market?

Although I am not really involved with the call outs and translation of them into several different languages (outlined in the brief) I came across a website through doing this research. I have suggested in the group chat that google translate might not be the most effective and efficient way of collecting a wide range of translations in a short period of time. It is also risky as it is more often than not incorrect. More political blunders in the link below!

Why Relying on Google Translate is a Bad Idea

The website is called Phrase app and translates from within the app to help efficiency within international companies on a project by project level. Although this is not the purpose of our project the reliability and accuracy is a lot higher as this is a standalone platform.Screen Shot 2017-05-04 at 18.01.22.png Forget Google Translate 3 Ways to get Accurate Translations

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I also found a few cheaper alternatives, however there is a free 14 day trial with phrase app which is all we need considering the project deadline is the 12th of May.

 

 

Group Efficiency and working as a team

Throughout this final project process it has been very beneficial to work as part of a team as these skills will be needed for future projects working within a design studio and or freelance team.

In order to work effectively and to tight deadlines it has been essential to communicate and meet regularly. Our last meeting as a team was with the client on Wednesday, where i also acted as a runner during the filming process. We also keep in constant contact with each other through online messaging (Facebook messenger) Screen Shot 2017-05-04 at 17.43.52.png

This means that we are constantly checking up on each other and motivating each other. This is something I really value within a team as it is good to get a sense of what stages everyone is at so that you don’t feel that you are falling behind everyone or vice versa. It is also good to get constant feedback even if that is from members of the team, it still helps to get an idea of the direction the 3D elements need to be / are going.

 

Using the Lighting Dome

For this test I downloaded a free lighting dome kit from HelloLuxx. As I wanted to have a go at lighting a scene for myself rather than just being lazy and throwing some GI (Global Illumination) on it.

I decided to also make a basic 3 point lighting setup to really see for myself if it was worth using this kit for my animations. For the lights.

This is the shot with a simple 3 point light – key, fill and back. I also added a vignette to draw the attention to the centre.  Screen Shot 2017-04-25 at 20.07.33.png

This is with the lighting dome, (once i figured out the settings) it is basically a dome with around 24 different lights around it therefore illuminating the scene in a much more professional way. This also helps to speed up my workflow as the scripting can alter more than one light at a time and it comes with an inbuilt gradient adjuster meaning i can a gradient across all the lights rather than alter the colour behind each individual light.

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The image gets darker towards the back, however this helps to show more depth within the animation. There is also less noise in the shadows which helps to create a cleaner and sharper picture.

I feel it is necessary at this stage to put real consideration, thought and effort into lighting as it can really improve what could be quite a dull and lifeless animation. Here are both animations, as i cant decide which i prefer with just a photo so i decided to render out each to give me more perspective and also see how each lighting effect is affected by different camera angles and movement…

 

With the light dome

 

I definitely prefer the light dome version. It is a bit darker than the 3 point however i can easily adjust the brightness. What really attracts me to this is the definition and different shading on each side of the machine the contrast between warm and cold make this look really professional and i think i will definitely use this for the rest of the animations needed for C-tex video 2 and 3.