Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Tolkien's Letters from Father Christmas - Enhanced Edition

I was researching some eBooks online and found this video of 'Tolkien's Letters from Father Christmas'. It features scanned in letters that have been hand written, which are to provoke the child into thinking Father Christmas has wrote them. I think it would be really exciting for children to read these and there is something authentic about them. The envelopes are also included and you can see where the letter was being sent and they feature little illustrated stamps. It’s very effective as it makes the story realistic and brings intrigue to young viewers. I like the idea of them having to open letters or a map on the screen; this is one method of interaction that I could consider.

Sunday, 9 January 2011

See Wired Magazine on iPad

My tutor Ian Murray showed me this link discussing the Wired magazine on the iPad. It features the magazine on screen and being able to rotate advertised products 360 degrees. This is a good idea to consider for my models in the story. The magazine features simple movements on the screen and nothing too complicated which is something to consider when I produce my animations for the eBook because I don't want anything too busy on the page as it will distract the viewer’s eye from the story.

The Elements eBook for iPad

For my final major project, I've decided to use modify an existing competition brief changing some aspects of it to suit me and ensure it is possible to produce within the time limit. The Puffin competition brief asks you to create your own story for 3-6 year olds and requires you to create imagery for the iPad. Animations are to be included and ways of making the story on the iPad are to be considered. I've decided that I'm going to use an existing story instead of writing my own and include all the other aspects to the brief such as the animating and interaction.

I think this subject is very current as it addresses one of the newest technologies; being able to download books and read them on screen without having to go to a book shop and buying a book. This new technology opens a lot of possibilities from a designer's view because animation can now take place with the books being read on the screen, reading time for children can be a lot more interactive and valuable. I think I've answered my final major project well, by choosing this as my theme because it is very up to date with the industry.

I've looked at a few videos about the iPad. This is one that particularly stands out. It consists of objects that represent every element in the periodic table. It ties in with my work, as some of my work is three dimensional and in this video it shows the objects being rotated 360 degrees and moved around on the screen. I think this is quite relevant to my work, as I have the advantage of getting different angles of my models/sets. I think I can use some of these ideas to animate my models.

The idea of rotating the objects on screen is really effective as its very informative and instructive, which is the main purpose of having the periodic table on the iPad. It seems to be a very valuable way of learning information as every object seems to hold facts about it when you tap it and it slowly rotates so you can see exactly what every object looks like. It makes it so real that you feel you can almost touch them, which I think, is a nice idea for children’s books. Perhaps when you touch a character from the story, information about that character would be displayed or a joke/comment would be shown which children would appreciate and hopefully get excited about.

The Impact the iPad has had on the Design Industry

The iPad has had a huge impact upon the design industry, it has opened up a huge amount of
opportunities from a designer's perspective. The new format provides a variety of design jobs for a
graphic designer, illustrator, animator and pretty much every other job in this industry as well as many
other industries.

In the (so far) short life of the iPad it has already seen magazines redesigned especially for the format
and eBooks which been animated or been made interactive. An ‘app’ to view comics has also been
created with users able to download comics and flick through the pages or view each comic panel by panel like a slide show.

I think that creating something for the iPad for my final major project would be an extremely current subject or theme, as the brief asks us to choose something that is industry based but will inform your work and perhaps stir you into a direction that you wish to work in after graduating. The tablet market is really starting to grow and I think that it is likely that there will be a lot of work available here for the next few years.

As an illustrator I think the prospect is exciting because it gives me the chance to expand my skill base and I think that illustrators in this day and age do not need to be labelled as having one fixed method with one skill. Illustration is a lot more diverse and recently it can is involved in a variety of contexts, which gives us a lot more room to work in unusual styles. For example, a lot of my work is three dimensional and I work with a lot of photography and theatrical sets. I think my working method lends itself well to the iPad, perhaps because of the three dimensional aspect. It may be possible to rotate my models 360 degrees like some of the online magazines do when they are advertising products or displaying an item.