Friday 25 March 2011

Hydrographic Surveying photoshoot onboard Falcon Spirit

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Hydrographic Surveying - 25 March 2011, a set on Flickr.

This as a continuation from 17th March photoshoot. Again the intention was to obtain materials for teaching and learning.

Dr Victor Abbott and Gwyn Jones (plus students!) for letting me loose on Plymouth University's own survey vessel (Falcon Spirit).

Sunday 20 March 2011

Making Waves: how the HA logo was animated

Having created a logo to represent the Hydrographic Academy (HA), we thought it would be rather good to create one that is animated. This would not only provide the HA with a more professional and consistent identity but also enhance video based learning materials. After having a chat with Becki Vickerstaff sharing her ideas, we went for simply animating the waves behind the HA, thanks Becki. Granted it's a simple idea, but we both thought it would give some impact to the coursework materials.

I decided to create this with a combination of software. Using both Adobe Photoshop and Flash Professional. Flash Professional proved to be the more worthwhile application, as I found that some of the transfer from Photoshop was not seamless as I hoped, having to rebuild nearly all of the elements in Flash. However Photoshop was useful in getting the details.

So how did I do it? Firstly I wanted to introduce waves behind the scene. I had originally created them as curves on a strip, so they were already open for manipulation, it was just a matter of lengthening them. Flash allows users to construct frame by frame animations, with many different way of approaching the same solution. I thought the fun way of achieving this would be to create it as if I was pulling a blue paper cut out of a wave through a piece of card (I also thought it maybe fun to actually show this later in future logos, but lets see). I digress, I joined together several dips and troughs to create a set of four clean waves, I then used motion tweening to pull the image through from one side to the other and a little script to stop after it completed its maneuver. To keep the waves behind the 'HA' I simply used a mask for the font lettering applied to an object to let the wave show through. No point complicated these things.

I had experimented with a few formats, leaving the logo with rounded corners on a black background, but decided to go for all black. Titling on video productions these days tend to lean towards this approach. However, I of course kept the rounded edge version, this could be useful elsewhere.

Thursday 17 March 2011

Hydrographic surveying with the Royal Navy

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A very productive and enjoyable day had by all for a photographic shoot intended to obtain content for materials in the newly formed Hydrographic Academy with Plymouth University.

Thank you to Cdr Andy Swain and his team (Royal Navy) who provided the Pat Barton training vessel; Dr Richard Thain (HA Project Manager); Dr Victor Abbott; Gwyn Jones; Dave Hurrell (Film and Broadcasting Manager, Plymouth University); and Becki Vickerstaff (fellow Learning Technologist).

Where did we go to take the footage?