Wednesday, December 5, 2012

The Assignment (Card, Site, Video)

The final assignment for the Visual Communication class that CK Stratford is taking turned out to be a little more than he originally thought.  Due to the desire to remain consistant with the rest of the semester in the subject of Fallout, he had to go "lone wolf" on the final project.  CK mainly wanted to just do a fake commercial for the final, but when taking to the professor he found that to do so would require certain conditions. The professor told him that there was not a high likelyhood that people would want to go along with this specific idea, so he'd allow it to go forward if a business card & a update to the website were also done.  Below is the completed works for these three projects.

Business Card


The phone number has been removed to discourage the spammers worldwide

Here we have the business card, we made sure that everything lined up as needed using the laws of Similarity, Proximity, Continuity, & Closure (not sure where Pragnanz fits in here).  In short, all the words are lined up and using the space effectively with the word "of" and the website address pairing up to use the most outer right edge instead of leaving it blank.  It is complete with all the essential information needed to contact your Hawc Productions representative, information that should be on most any business card:
  • Name of the employee
  • Title of the employee
  • Name of the company
  • Phone number to reach the employee
  • Email to reach the employee
  • Physical location of the company
  • Website of the company

Updated Website

On the left there's the old format, while on the right is the new format.  There was quite a lot of negative space in the old format, as well as very small navigation links/buttons.  Each of these were fixed in the new format by organizing the information better, enlarging the navigation (as well as putting all the navigation on the bottom so the viewer will be required to go from top to bottom), also the film on the wooden banner is put on the bottom to signify the cutting room floor.  Another couple items were the logo didn't really stand out like it could and the video didn't draw your attention with it's picture or size, so each of those were spiffed up as one can see.

"New Holotapes For The PipBoy 3000" Clip


Here is a clip that will be inserted into the final version of the commercial titled "New Holotapes For The PipBoy 3000" where the vault boy will be showing future vault dwellers the perks of registering for a Vault-Tec fallout vault.

This is the set that will be used when the commercial is filmed.  As is shown, not everying in the picture will be the same as is.  Special thanks to CK's aunt for letting us use part of her kitchen!

Friday, November 30, 2012

"New Holotapes For The PipBoy 3000" Commercial Progressing

Well, so far so good!  We're making progress toward the web series.  We have a short bit of the commercial that'll be called "New Holotapes For The PipBoy 3000".  We used a green screen for the part we just filmed, making it able to be put into the final commercial.  Just to give y'all a taste of the progress, here's a photo we took during shooting.

Special thank you to Nathan Gledhill & Katherine Gledhill!

Additional progress for the commercial is in getting the actors for the Vault Boy & Narrator agreeing to work with us in their parts for the commercial, we're just waiting on a few props and then we should be a golden go!  Thank you in advance to Stephen Ballard (aka skruffynerfherder), Sullivan Uniforms, Vogue Wigs, and Brooke Call for supplying props & costumes.

In other news, our website is in the process of being reorganized/redesigned (though actually posting the final website design will need to wait till April when there's more funds) and a business card is almost complete just needing a few finishing touches before print.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Rule of Thirds, Diagonals, & Vectors (with a F:LoNC teaser screenshot!)

Now this time the assignment was to take a self portrait and then explain the laws of composition that apply to it.  I again chose to do something taken from Fallout, and more specifically from our planned webseries that's abbreviated F:LoNC.

Kasey Straff being held up by someone in the upcoming webseries F:LoNC

Rule of Thirds

The Rule of Thirds is important for any photographer/cinematographer to know about so they can make their pictures look the best they can.  Here, horizontally the photo is divided up pretty well with the sky taking up about the top third & the shotgun taking up mostly the bottom third.  Then dividing it up vertically, there's the character Kasey Straff straddling the right side line & the blown out TV, along with the joint of the shotgun, squarely on the left third.  Considering CK was the subject (he had help from two others to shoot this) and only set up the camera angle, gun position, and moved the trash into one spot that was already there (orginally just scattered around), it turned out pretty well.


When thinking up this shot, CK had specifically two other laws he wanted to include besides the obvious Rule of Thirds.  The angle of the shotgun, being Diagonal, was the first of those two.  The Diagonal angle of it moves one's line of sight toward the subject it's pointing at, actually the purpose of any gun really.


CK wanted to include as many Vectors as possible here without ruining the photo, but as any seasoned photographer/cinematographer may know, it's really hard to do that.  So here out of the categories of Graphic Vector, Index Vector, and Motion Vector we have the latter two.  The Index Vector is the same as was described in the Diagonal paragraph, the purpose of it being to point towards something.  The Motion Vector is here in the form of limited space.  Kasey Straff has very little room to move in the photo frame, making it seem he has no where to go and a trapped feeling.

There you go!  Just a update, the commercial preceding the webseries may not be really finalized till late December 2012 or early January 2013 due to prop creation delays.  Of course some will be finished, but the final product won't be done till then.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

(Fallout) Costumes Revisited

In the September 5, 2012 post we mentioned the Gestalt Principles and in the last post we forgot to incorporate them w/ the costumes.  Same with the September 11, 2012 post with those three principles as well.  Well, here's a little correction (minus the images to save on room) for those of you that cared how that these eight principles might apply to them.

Image 1
This photo of a veteran NCR ranger draws ones attention first to the holes in his trenchcoats' shoulder, part of the Proximity principle with some Pragnanz mixed in.  It's a lot of little holes put together in one location among a simple blank brown trenchcoat.  The Continuity starts here where your eyes travel down to his belt, where one can clearly see the ammo (maybe from the body of the enemy that made the holes), and use Similarity by noticing another hole in the knee signifying a tough fight or something & the gun above (for the ammo belt).  Closure & again Pragnanz come in when your eyes "zoom out" and take the whole costume in and figure that this must belong in a post-apocalyptic era.

This image looks like it might be toned down to only have the brown, black, & white colors, making it different for the next three principles. There's definite Contrast between the brown & light greys in the costume, as well as the background and shadow.  Dispite this, there's a Balance with the light grey of the background and the dark shadow, and it helps to make parts like the arm shields noticeable.  The black scorch marks, arm shields, & small white markings on the trenchcoat create a Harmony with each other and Balance with the light & dark greys elsewhere on the costume and in the setting.

Image 2
Here the eyes (unless you're purely sexually driven) will see her head & face first, then noticing the goggles on top, all part of Similarity & Pragnanz (eyes = goggles).  This photo's trickier (for some) because of the chest distraction, but due to the closeness of the gloves to the goggles one's eyes may use Proximity and thereby Similarity to travel to the other hand in Continuity and going to the belt.  What's happening there is grouping the closeness & color of the gloves & goggles, then relating the hands to each other and relating the Pip-Boy 3000 to the items on the belt.  Closure happens just as it did with the NCR ranger, after notice the wear marks of the clothes & other strange gear one can conclude that she's of a different place & time.

Now color's important for these next three principles because the red hair has been unique in all cultures (except the Celtic lands) and stands out providing Contrast.  This keeps the black goggles from blending into dark brown or black hair.  Along with the black goggles the same color of gloves, stockings, & boots Balance out the costume like tent poles.  The green leaves in the background may not be part of the costume, but they provide Harmony with the blue of the cut-down jumpsuit.

Image 4
The first flag happens when one doesn't know where to look first, it's just too busy lacking any PragnanzContinuity doesn't work here because if one tries to focus on the head, the eyes may follow the horns on top up and away from the whole costume itself.  The Similarity doesn't go well due to the tiny accessories on the front of the jacket and the huge backpack parts behind.  What in the world is a furry tail doing on the back of the head?  No Proximity there.  Where the backpack's cut off lends to the thinking there may be more dragging behind or that might be it, no Closure with that or with wondering what might be on their legs/feet. 

Everything has similiar colors so it's in a sort of Harmony, but it would get boring after awhile if the costume was only in a desertscape (where the costume actually might fit-in incidentally).  Also due to the colors being so similar, there's little Contrast and one can forget a part of the costume is the jacket, accessory, or something else.  The backpack lends to a unBalance with it looking unusally heavy and awkward to carry.

Image 5
Well, this costume certainly has a level of Pragnanz till you look at his arm where it doesn't quite match with the rest of the package, lacking Continuity.  The do-rag & vest may have Similarity but at the same time they're into Proximity due to the very similar colors of the shirt & pants (partially due to shadow).  One wants Closure, but the Pip-Boy 3000 on his arm just distracts so much that it's hard to find that Closure.

Not much Contrast here also due to the lack of variety of color, and this contributes to no Balance as well as the bright Pip-Boy 3000.  The clothes lack Harmony, at least at this angle of the photo, due to shadows & similar colors.

Okay, that's it!  Hope that helps you out there that're looking for examples in these visual principles.  Have fun!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

The Good, Bad, & Ugly (Fallout) Costumes

Word of advice: Don't get behind on classwork (or anything important really, remember to put First Things First), you never know what's going to spring up in life that'll be "due" that moment be it work, classwork, housework, emergencies, etc.  Anyways, the most recent assignment in the DSC Visual Communication class is to compare a good product with a bad product.  Since we've been on the subject (& need to continue to focus on the continuing film project), why not Fallout costumes?!

Searching around, we've found that many of those that've costumes made for Fallout (or really any genre w/ lots of fans) are REALLY well done.  If one were to go to or Google and search Fallout/Fallout New Vegas/Fallout Costume they'd find people that don't just whimiscly make costumes for their favorite game series.  Once dedicated, they'll go all out and make the best costume they can so they can show it off to friends, ComicCon, or online.  So here's what I could find in not just good or bad, but a couple ugly ones too.

Notice: I think all these costumes, except those in the ugly catagory are decent and could work for certain purposes, but we're looking from a filmmaker's perspective.  My factors are compatibility, stylesimplicity, & inexpensiveness.

The Good

There are just so many good ones!!  I put my three truly awesome favs here.  To your left we have what's called a NCR (New California Republic) Ranger, simply dressed with beat up Levi's & trench-coat, a belt with accessories you can find at a Halloween store, gloves, and boots.  The more difficult parts are the breastplate (probably easy enough to make by viewing a how-to video on YouTube) & helmet, but worth it for authenticity.

To the right is a cute, sexy Vault Dweller complete with the weapon called a rebar club and the Pip-Boy 3000 on her left forearm.  The "dirty" blue jumpsuit/dress is easy enough to color, the belt simple to put together, and the goggles, gloves, & boots one can just buy.  Just as with the NCR Ranger outfit, this costume is accurate, stylish, not too complicated, and probably not expensive to make.

A screen capture from the awesome webseries called Fallout: Nuka Break by Wayside Creations


The Bad

I had to search for awhile to find these so here's a couple okay, but could be lots better ones.  We have two from opposite sides of the spectrum here, I don't quite see where in the world (except maybe the outback) that the left would would fit into.  It's a different style I can't find anywhere else and was left wondering the application after reading the origin site.  It is also complicated and as such is too expensive to put together.

Now the right one looks more like he ran out of time for putting together a makeshift Pip-Boy 3000 then had to quickly put the rest of the costume together before some fan convention just so he could say he dressed up and wouldn't feel left out.  Sadly, it looks very simple and thereby is a cheap costume (minus the Pip-Boy 3000).

The Ugly

I couldn't believe this one.  I had to double check the origin website to see if it was even refering to a Fallout character, and sadly it was... somehow.  Um, I'm really not sure what to say about it.  :p

So there you go!  That's the best, the okay, and the worst of the bunch currently online.  Submit a photo/drawing idea if you'd like and we'll see if we can put it in a future Fallout episode!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Contrast, Balance, Harmony... & Fallout

Ok, we're on our way to making a Fallout commercial (later comes the series).  We've been stocking up on props, have the materials for costumes (plus some already finished, and are in talks to get more legit props (just waiting on financing to pay supplier).  So the Lord be willing, we'll get the commercial done in a couple months and have the whole or most of the series script done by January 2013.

Now the assignment from the DSC Visual Communication class this time is to take a picture/photo from somewhere (be it a picture you found, a photo you took, etc) and to describe the contrast, balance, and harmony in it.
The Mojave wasteland Wanderer/Courier in front of former Las Vegas from Fallout: New Vegas
(all rights reserved to Bethesda Softworks)

Pretty much any photo can have contrast, balance, & harmony.  For those that are not sure what these mean for pictures, here's some quick definitions:
  • Contrast = How the items in the photo stay separate
  • Balance = How the items flow together, are in a sort of evenness
  • Harmony = How the items compliment each other
In the above picture, you have in front of you contrast with the open space around the Wanderer below (utilizing the Gestalt principle of closure, we can assume the area behind the Wanderer is also desert) and the crowded New Vegas city above (utilizing the Gestalt principle of proximity). balance there's the pretty level line of the New Vegas wall/baracaide dividing the city from the wasteland, and though there's a lot of commotion above it wouldn't feel balanced without it being "tethered" to the central lone figure (the Wanderer) below. If the Wanderer was even slightly to the side, it'd feel as though the whole picture was wanting to tilt.

The harmony of the colors first grabs me because of they all are shades of yellow, orange, red, & brown. Also, the lights of New Vegas not only shine bright around itself, but they flow down the center to illuminate the Wanderer & the clouds above.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Gestalt Principles & Fallout

We've got some new plans for a couple of YouTube series!  These plans will show up on the website soon, but the first & foremost film is going to be another background story (see Fallout: Nuka Break, Fallout: Population 1, & Fallout: Deprivation for examples) based off of the FPS RPG series Fallout.  Being based in the desert, our version will more closely follow the most recent game Fallout: New Vegas.  In anticipation of this project, this post will analyze the classic Fallout photo below (mainly because it's required for a class at Dixie State College) with the Gestalt Principles.

The Washington DC coast Wanderer/Vault Dweller & Dogmeat from Fallout 3
(all rights reserved to Bethesda Softworks)
For those that don't know, the Gestalt Principles contain the categories similarity, proximity, pragnanz, continuity, and closure.  Here's quick definitions I thought up:

  • Similarity = Making objects in the image pair together (when the mind matches things together)
  • Proximity = Making objects in the image group together (the mind doesn't seem to like empty space)
  • Pragnanz = Making objects in the image into it's simplest form (what the mind relates image to)
  • Continuity = Making objects in the image flow together (the mind dislikes sudden interruptions)
  • Closure = Making objects in the image complete, when parts aren't featured/apparent (when the mind pieces "the puzzle" together)
In this particular picture, the first that caught my eye was closure.  I thought that though we can't quite tell what is in the distance, and can't see far behind the figures, one can guess what's there.  I thought of more road (maybe curved, maybe straight), more dying/dead plants, a few more ruined homes/telephone lines/etc.

I like how it flows with continuity (in my mind), it's all heading one way, pretty much straight ahead.  One will easily determine that the man & his dog are heading for the classic sunset scene told of in old cowboy movies.

The only thing I can think of for the pragnanz category is how the picture could remind you of a screen capture (if you've seen it) from Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior.  Looking back, that is probably where the Fallout series got it's inspiration.

Now for proximity, there's the houses grouped on either side and the telephone poles are all on one side.

Similarity is easy for this picture.  You have about half the picture a mirror-like image of the other half. There's broken-down houses on either side, there's a branched tree on either side in the distance, and though the telephone poles are different from stripped trees, they are placed similarly.

One simple, interesting notice: These categories were first listed in reversal alphabetic.