Thursday, 23 May 2013

Welcome to the New CG A&A Blog

The CG Arts & Animation Group Blog is a central hub for the course, a hive of ideas, shared thoughts and inspirational work. It has been developing over the past few years into something quite extraordinary, but also, something that needed a little bit of control. It is for this reason that a redesign has been on the cards. The tricky part was creating a design that sat quite calmly in the background  allowing the work and content to be the focus. For this reason, we have produced this simplified, sparse design. Allowing for easy navigation, visible content and fast page loading. Before I mention some of the changes, here is a test post to demonstrate how the new blog will be an improvement for content display.

So, today's one-a-day animation is titled Ark. Not only is this short animation an incredible demonstration of the 3 act narrative but shows just how important style and art direction are to binding a short together. The narrative examines a world that has been almost devastated by a virus, the survivors of which board the final arks and travel out to find new land. It is a great example of the 3 act structure, the world and narrative is set up and explained to the audience. A problem then arises which alters events, and finally the third act conveys the solution or twist to this problem.

One of the first goals was create a film with vision that will last in the viewers mind. To create a story that matters and keeps the audience thinking after they leave the theater. - Brothers Quay films had a huge influence on the decision to use miniatures for ARK. And when it comes to the lighting the first ALIEN movie made by Ridley Scott was probably the biggest influence. You’re right about the influence of eastern European animation; they have a very distinguished and twisted style. I cannot point to one particular artist or production right now but it had an impact mostly character design.
For those interest in the making of the film check out the official website and CG Society article on the piece...

As you can see, content is much larger, with emphasis on the visuals being shared. The images and videos can be embedded at 900 px. This will make the blog a much easier viewer platform. It takes the approach of an art gallery, with little in the background, allowing the work to take centre stage. The colour scheme matches this approach, a subtle and unobtrussive grey with a accent of green. Again, content is the focus.

To help with navigation a set of banners and icons have been created. These represent the key labels that identify posts. Whether this be the One a Day animation post, or the PWTM, they will allow users to get to the content they want to see a lot quicker. These banners can be identified easily by colour and icon, and will be placed at the top of the post to instantly communicate the simple message. The right hand panel allows you to access this feature whenever it is needed. Along with this, a list of useful links, recent popular posts and a monthly poll will be posted. The top bar of tabs will show links that are more course focussed. They represent important information that students may need to access at any time.

The number of posts per page will also be lowered, this will make the blog a lot faster to load. The key is really to make the site a very quick, friendly and visible place to share information. The final aspects of the design will be completed and implemented this weekend. Over the coming weeks further aspects will be added as they are required, but hopefully this simple design allows for a very solid and functional base for the blog. Keep an eye out for the big change over and enjoy the new blog!

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