Friday, 19 January 2018

Reflective Statement | Minor Project

When starting the Minor Project, I went through a lot of ideas mainly focused on the past. All were rejected for one reason or another. I’m pleased as they were unoriginal or bland ideas. Phil helped me to develop an approach based on the future. Not only was this a fresh and original idea, but we also decided to tailor it to my style. 

As I wasn't necessarily that happy with my drawing style, skills, or ability, we decided that I should create a kit that could be handed out to a variety of people and that they would be the ones to not only base my work around but they should be the source of my drawings. A set of eight questions was devised around the concept that the year was 2500, and several kits were made up of an A3 piece of cartridge paper, an A3 piece of tracing paper and a black felt pen.

The questions were as follows:
It’s the Year 2500...
Describe your home – what does it look like?
How are you cooking your dinner?
How are you watching television?
What is your mode of transport and where do you keep it?
What are you/your children playing with?
Describe your garden/outdoor space.
What is the year 2500 like to live in?
What can you see from your window?

The questions were controlled to garner consistent responses but were also open to interpretation. This would allow full creativity from everyone involved.
Each participant was asked only to use what was provided within the kit and nothing else. They were tasked with drawing a response to each question and if possible write a short explanation alongside it. They were also asked to sign their work. 

I initially sent out ten kits to people of all ages and career paths and the following week sent out a further 10. Not everyone got back to me which was a shame, and the speed of the results was initially slow. Many people told me they were taking their time as they felt pressured to get the drawings correct as they knew they could only draw in pen and others felt 'confused' by the tracing paper. Initially, it was frustrating, but it did allow me time to think about my project and how it would progress as well as starting to think of branding ideas. 

This laid-back approach on my behalf meant that the start of my project was only plodding along and struggled to pick up the pace for many weeks. When the responses started to come back, I was faced with a new dilemma - what to do with their drawings. One of the initial ideas was that I was going to redraw the best of their responses and only use their pictures as the initial ideas section of my work, allowing neater and a more refined outcome but as more and more answers came back, this idea was changed to suit my project. 

During one of my tutorials with Phil, we talked about taking a new approach as the drawings had such a charm, it felt wrong to alter them and draw them 'correctly'. We decided that instead, I would take each drawing and use their style to create orthographic illustrations for a set of chosen pieces and I would model them as close to the original as possible. This idea was developed to help link my project as a whole. Creating the models this way allowed us to factor in textures and style. It was agreed that the 3D models should reflect their origin in more ways than just looking like the initial drawings. Plans were made to add a tracing paper texture and have a black outline to mimic the kits.

The style of my piece was to be a 'mockumentary' style piece complete with voiceovers. Each voiceover would reflect the original participant. For example, Beth's voice over would be an English lady, read in an upbeat manner to reflect her. The test pieces that I did were flawed as I had several issues with voiceover artists. The voiceover artists that I contacted both promised me that they could do an authentic British English voiceover but had tonal intonations of another country. This was a fault on my behalf, and I should have vetted them sooner and allowed more time to find better-suited people. I ultimately decided to delay finding voiceover artists until the major project. 

It was at this point that we had the interim crit. The feedback was constructive, and it was proven that although I understood my idea and was very passionate about it, I was lacking evidence and was unclear in my communications about how the project would develop. The Art Of/presentation I created, solely relied on my presenting ability to explain my idea. Continuing from this, I decided to rewrite parts of my Art Of and focus on my branding before moving on. 

Texturing became a significant issue as I wanted it to look as realistic as possible. This meant creating a unique texture. The next part of my project relied solely on texture tests. Initially, they were unsuccessful, and it was very frustrating for me. A lot of them ended up looking the same, and I was having difficulties internally lighting the textures or achieving the semi-transparent look I was aiming for. Unfortunately, a lot of the screenshots I took failed to communicate the work that I had been doing and my ability to understand the notes on each test, proved problematic. Within my Art Of, I was only able to show around a 3rd of the tests as I couldn't justify the work behind some of them. It was shortly before the hand in that I cracked the internal lighting and transparency issue and was ultimately unable to complete the testing that I wanted.

For the hand in, I did create orthographic drawings for each of the ten chosen models and managed to develop models for each, but I feel although I could have done a lot better. My branding feels consistent, but I am ultimately, I am unhappy and think that this needs work. Branding may have to be changed leading to a complete overhaul or even a colour scheme, as I feel that it could be better suited to my project.

To move on from here, I feel as though I need to up my game and set myself realistic weekly goals to achieve to ensure that my pace doesn't falter. Some of the models will require reassessing to ensure that they are the best they can be and texture tests will have to be completed within the next month or so to ensure I leave enough time for the rest of my project. The search for the correct voiceover artists will have to be started almost immediately to allow time for changes and ultimately editing. I will also need to allow for time to create 'text sync testing'. 

Overall, although I am happy with the work I have done, I feel it wasn't enough, and I am disappointed at the amount that I achieved. I am hoping that the weekly goals will allow for better self-assessment of the situation and allow my project to flourish in the way that it should. I am also reconsidering some of the models, and I am tempted to create a further set of kits and carefully selecting participants and monitoring their response time as I feel that some of the models were only chosen because they were the best out of that category rather than because they were the most interesting visually. 

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