Video – Qilin Dance

Here’s a video that I shot several months ago of a Chinese event in Birmingham which featured a Qilin Dance performance.

I took my Canon 100D with a 50mm lens on the day just to take some photos for fun and practice but the videographer in me wanted to also capture it in motion.

I wanted to see how well the movie mode perform on the camera and I was fairly impressed with the picture quality. The built-in microphone was used and the sound that was captured was a decent quality I thought.

I recorded the performance in 1 take and focused on the subject manually, which was quite tricky as the Qilin was moving fast and the loud drumming also made it a bit difficult keeping the camera steady.

There wasn’t much space where I stood and using the 50mm (80mm equivalent) made the shot very zoomed in, but I think in the end the close angle shot makes the video much more intimate and personal.

The video was then imported to Premiere Pro for editing and some quick colour correction.

.

    Comments Off on Video – Qilin Dance


Illustration – Biguiyuan Kindergarten Poster

Here is an artwork poster that I had recently designed for Biguiyuan Kindergarten School in Zhaoqing, southern China.

China Kindergarten Poster

The school staffs wanted a poster to help attract new parents and their children to the kindergarten school and also provide some details of contact information and a link to their website.

The size of the poster would be 750cm (24.6ft) tall and 600cm (19.7ft) wide which would cover most of the wall on one side of the building.

The design had to be fun and inspiring for the children and also show a positive message for the parents. We discussed different ideas for the design and in the end we came up with incorporating stars as a positive symbol and the children being the “star” pupils of the kindergarten.

China Kindergarten Poster WIP

I used photoshop to generate some designs ideas on the characters, I wanted to give each one a slightly unique look so I incorporated the different hairstyles of the school children into the design of each character. Once we were happy with the overall look; I then proceeded in converting them to vector and adding colour in.

Once the artwork was near completion, I sent the file across to the staffs via email for feedback and any changes to be made. Fortunately they were pleased with the overall design and only a few minor adjustments were needed before it was sent to the printing company. The contact details were moved to the top for easier viewing from a distance and the style of fonts were updated to a clearer font.

China Kindergarten Poster Photo 1

On the test run of the printing, an issue had cropped up on the smaller print version, with the outline strokes being thinner than on the original design, perhaps this could of been due to enlarging the image but without also scaling up the strokes. To be on the safe side though, I decided to convert all the strokes into shape objects using the Object>Path>Outline Stroke tool to quickly fix similar issue from happening again.

China Kindergarten Poster Photo 2

The artwork poster has received positive feedback from the school. I’m really pleased with the final piece; it’s always nice to have your work on display, especially in a vibrant place like a kindergarten where lots of children and parents will get to see it and hopefully find it fun and enjoyable to look at.

Tags: , .

    Comments Off on Illustration – Biguiyuan Kindergarten Poster


Quick Tip – Removing Dust from Photos

Here’s a quick and simple tip on how to remove large amount of dusts from scanned image photos in photoshop.

tutorial_remove_photo_dust
Close up: Before and After

I was scanning some old family photos and when I opened them up in photoshop to do some retouching, I noticed some were vastly covered in dust.

Perhaps a good tip would be to give them a quick brush to clear the dust before you scan, but if you’ve forgotten (like me) and can’t rescan again then here’s a easy solution that I’ve found which works well in certain situation; where the healing, patch or stamp tool aren’t ideal or would just take forever to do.

Note: This solution is basically painting in the dust with a similar coloured tone to the background and works effectively in a simple tonal value area, so outcome may vary!

tutorial_remove_photo_dust_1

Step by step:

1. Create a New Layer on top of the photo

2. Pick a colour similar to the tone around the dust, in the example you would choose a dark grey for the jacket

3. Paint the area covered in dust with a brush tool, you can freely brush in the area without dust as well.

tutorial_remove_photo_dust_2

4. Double click on this new layer to open up the Layer Style option > Blending Option.

5. Under the Blend If Option there is a Underlying Layer parameter, move the left pointer to the right. This will make the painted layer to only show up on the white coloured dust beneath. you can gauge where the pointer should be by looking at how it affects the image in the real time preview.

tutorial_remove_photo_dust_3

6. You may still find certain areas in the dust that doesn’t work as well, perhaps because it’s on a different background tone, in this case you would use the normal stamp tool to remove any other dust, but hopefully the majority would be disappeared using the blending option method.

tutorial_remove_photo_dust_before_after
Dust on, dust off!

That’s it, hope you found this helpful!

Tags: , , , .

    Comments Off on Quick Tip – Removing Dust from Photos


Graphics – Logo Design Sample Set 1

These are some examples of brand identity/logo designs that I’ve created using illustrator. I tried to come up with various themed logos with some that could be applied to different types of industry.

When designing the logos, I tried to keep it clean and simple so that it can be easily recognisable and readable at the same time. I used bold contrasting tone to make the design stand out and using the minimum of colours possible to avoid visual clutter.

When displaying the logo designs, I added a gradient effect and a grain texture onto the background to add focus on the main subject and provide a clean visual appearance.

logo_volume

Logo – Volume

The idea for this design simply came from the symbol for volume and incorporating it into the word itself. This logo would work well for an audio related or a contemporary fashion magazine type of company.

logo_envelope

Logo – Envelope

The idea again came from incorporating the symbol icon to the word. When I was drawing the envelope icon, I noticed the shape of the lines started to form a tick which adds something extra to the design.

The letter L coincidentally became reversed to form the bottom outline of the envelope. This would be an ideal logo for a stationary, special gift or card company.

logo_betxi

Logo – Betxi

This idea started with the brand name for a made up betting company and then developed into the design for a far east betting service. I used traditional oriental themed colours and fonts but with a contemporary look.

logo_echelon

Logo – Echelon

Echelon is one of my favourite words in the dictionary and I had this cool idea of incorporating the meaning into the text. The word means a level or rank in an organisation and I tried to represent this by splitting and altering the shapes of the letters to form different platforms and layers.

The circles within a circle in the letter O represent hierarchy and the concept of an inner circle meaning. It could also be interpreted as a sort of symbol for a security key lock system, which would tie in well with the authority meaning.

Tags: , .



Project – RKGO

RKGO

I’ve just finished a project that I had been working on for about 4 weeks on and off, It’s a sample web page site for a made-up musical instrument company.

I wanted to create a site that was dynamic and interactive. My main focus was initially on the design of the website and a product brochure to follow, but I quickly realized I didn’t have any materials to work on and I didn’t want to use any existing product images due to copyright infringement, so I decided to use the 3D skills I have and quickly came up with a mock-up design in 3Ds Max, this took just over a day to model and render.

So after the RKHOS was born; I had something to build on and I used the rendered images to create a simple flash banner and the 3D model to create a short video ad. Premiere was used to edit the clips together and the audio was added in using a simulated piano software, since I don’t own a usb midi keyboard, I had to resort using the mouse to play the notes; hence the poorly played 1 note tunes.

For the brochure I used InDesign, I went for a vibrant dynamic look to add a bit more character and appeal to the pages. I used paragraph styles and columns to keep it clean and consistent looking. I exported it in pdf and swf format with the interactive page curl tool which is a cool feature in InDesign.

The design of the site had to be simple to navigate with all the information easily accessible but also include some sort of visual impact to give a nice user experience.

I had been learning a bit of JQuery in the early stages of the site design and found it to be a powerful yet fairly easy tool to use. I applied what I had learnt and used it on most of the dynamic parts of the site such as the faded transitions of the images and the tab menu buttons.

I used the fairly new HTML5 video and audio player functions to implement the media files into the site. First I had to convert my media files into the right compatible format for HTML5, for this I used Miro Video Converter which is a great simple to use open-source software.

I kept all the media files at an optimal file size to create a quick and smooth viewing experience with as little loading time as possible. The total file size for all the images is under 200KB which was well optimized but the problem I had was the video file is over 1MB which wasn’t ideal. So I did some research and found the preload=”none” function which tells it to start the video download only once it’s been activated.

The web page is quite media-rich in content and my aim had been to get it under 1mb in page size. I’ve tested the page loading site using some of the web tool sites and it calculated the web page size to be 532KB on one reading and 720KB on the other which was what I had hoped for and it’s all helped by the small preloading code.

I’ve tested the site on 5 of the main browsers and surprisingly I didn’t encounter any major compatibility issues, the JQuery script worked fine on all of the browsers which was great. I also checked on the older IE and it worked near perfect on all versions even on IE 6. HTML5 video and audio doesn’t work on IE 8 and lower but I have added an alternative hyperlink to the media files which shows up on the old versions. The drop down menu on the navigation also doesn’t work but the solution would be to create a separate page for each main category link.

I’m pleased with the final piece, it involved applying some of the things I had learnt in the past and also a few new things like HTML5 and JQuery which I think I’ll be using a lot more often now.

Tags: , , , , , , , , .