After completing my second project-the web banner I needed to complete a short evaluation on my work and write up the strengths and weaknesses of my final piece. This was my second project and therefore I had gained some basic knowledge in Adobe After Effects that I applied to this project. At the very start I had a group of sketches and ideas that were all very much undecided and not finalised. This allowed me to explore many techniques and effects, instead of focusing on one idea and sticking to it. My first idea was very complex and involved using a figure to walk across the camera in one pair of shoes, and then in the editing process change each pair of shoes on each step. I started to create the footage and realised quickly that trying to get the figure to walk in the same way each time was proving difficult and looked disjointed. Because of this, my idea then simplified to changing the colour instead of the shoe and this would be done at the editing stages. However, the footage was not long enough to look like a web banner, and it still looked very amateur and I was not happy with it at this stage.
My second idea, was to create a stop-motion, because this allowed me to have more control over the images. I started experimenting with animating the shoes, and created three mini stop-motions. The first one was where the shoes moved as if someone was walking in them, however it looked too comical and ghostly instead of a classy fashion advertisement. The second was a line up of shoes spinning and rotating as if they were in a display cabinet. This looked classic and simple, however my feedback told me it would not work for my target audience. My third stop-motion was a mini black and white narrative of a pair of shoes climbing out of the shoe box and running across the screen, however again it was too comical and less focus was on the website.
At this point I gathered all of what I had found from my previous experiments and decided that to present the shoes at their best, and to keep it simplistic and classy I should make a stop-motion where the shoes move in a cat walk like line, across the top of the screen, whilst pulling along the text ‘if the shoe fits, buy it in every colour’ thus complimenting the various colours in the shoes. From here, I created my stop-motion and edited the images using batch resizing, hue/saturation colour corrections, lighting and shadowing in Photoshop and then imported them into Adobe After Effects. At this point I encountered a problem, as the footage was square shape, and in order for it to become a web banner it needed to be rectangular. By increasing the size of the images it simply made them pixelated and zoomed in on instead of longer. To overcome this, I duplicated the sequence of images twice and lined them up next to eachother. This increased the physical length however, provided me with another problem. Because there were three sets of sequences playing at one time, the shoes weren’t flowing from one to the next, instead the shoes were running into each other which meant some appeared as half of a shoe and some didn’t match up. I thought hard about how I could resolve this without ruining what I had already produced, and found something called a reverse effect. This meant that one set of sequence could go one way and the reverse layer could go the other, thus not ‘bumping’ into each other. Then by adding the text and web address my web banner looked fluent and simplistic.
As part of my evaluation, it is important to think about all the problems and difficulties I have faced, and therefore I have produced a summary table of how I overcame each problem.
In summary I think that my web banner successful represents my website idea and is colourful and clear and classic enough for my target audience without being over complicated. I think by starting with so many ideas originally it enabled me to change and re-think my ideas instead of rushing into one. I think the weaknesses in my work may be the technical ability, however as this is only my second attempt at using Adobe After Effects, I feel that what I have produced is reflective of this. I hope to continue learning and experimenting with different software for my third and final project, whilst collaborating all of what I have learnt throughout this module.