MDM570 Week 4 Reflection


When doing research earlier in the program I came across a study about using active white space (AWS). In creating the infographic, I chose a style that relied on shapes so that there would be good contrast. This was carried into the design for the dynamic vision board (see figure 1). This would allow for the limited color palette to work and not become muddled together. Using designs that have good contrast as well as limited design elements also helps with viewers’ processing. As Sharma and Varki explain, by using AWS it creates a clarity that enhances perceptual fluency because it cuts down on the stimulus that the viewer has to process (p. 272).

Dynamic Vision Board Screenshot
Figure 1: Screenshot from dynamic vision board. The AWS is the empty shapes that make up the windows, columns, embellishments, statues, etc inside the black shapes.

This was later backed up by the Cognitive Load Theory that was mentioned in an article I found while researching motion. In the article it explains how motion graphics need to find a sweet spot between audio and visual information (Creative Bloq Staff, 2014). A motion graphic’s responsibility is to relay information. If it gives too much or there are too many design elements the viewer will be overloaded. If there isn’t enough stimulation, then the viewer will get bored. By using a simplified style, with good contrast it allows for more information to be given or more opportunities to focus on the movement.

In the planning for the parallax motion graphic, I had to decide how to best use the motion effect’s strengths. In Belluso’s (2019) article, he writes about how parallax can be used to bring life to images and to give dimension and movement to a stereo piece. I cut up my images so that they can be separated out into layers that the camera and text can move around (see figure 2). This combined with sound effects and other visual effects (like wiggling the exposure on the lamp lights or smoke added to the train tracks) help trick the viewer’s mind into perceiving it as dimensional space.

Riga Harmony Screenshot
Figure 2: Screenshot of Riga Harmony. the camera travels on the boys’ right while the text swings out from behind his left.

Problem Solving

One of the biggest design issues was creating the timing for the dynamic vision board. This problem was solved by metering out beats into a three-part story structure. I started off with just creating a series of beats, or important actions, on note cards. I then broke up my time into the three acts: set-up, working towards the answer, and the conclusion. From there I sorted the most important beats into the appropriate categories. Once I worked out the minimal amount of time each scene needed, I then filled in the time with the remaining beats. Working like this made it easy to meter out time and to rearrange scenes into the most impactful sequence. This process works well because as Blazer (2015) states, “stories are malleable and that no card is precious until they’re all in their final order”. By having the story separated into beats, it allows for me to try different orders and clump different types of information together. This then gives me a place to start to look at transitions.

Page two of story board
Figure 3: Page two of story board displaying the beats for this sequence.

Innovative Thinking

My motion in context pieces differ from the norm because they combine different effects to give images life. The main motion effect used was parallax. But the effects in a cinemagraph, really added to giving a piece life. So, on top of adding the parallax effects I added elements of a cinemagraph (see figure 4). The camera moves to make the space look dimensional. That is the parallax effect. But in the Riga Lamps piece I replaced the sky with video of moving clouds, and I added an expression to the exposure on the lamps so that they would flicker. In the Riga Harmony piece, I animated in smoke and a moving light source. By combining the two effects, I was able to create a more interesting piece.

Riga Lamps Screenshot
Figure 4: In the animation, the lights flicker and the sky is replaced with a video. This is to give movement to the actual clouds and keep it from looking like a painted set piece that is being moved.

Acquiring Competencies

In this course, I learned how to better plan out a story and how to use motion effects to their full extent. Timing is difficult to get a handle on. Especially when there is a lot of information to get across. By using the three-part story structure and metering out my beats into that, timing was easier to deal with. By researching which motion effect, I was going to use for the motion in context piece I learned about different techniques and their strengths. This led to me actually combing parallax and a cinemagraph to create a stronger piece.


From here on out…

This course helped me to better understand planning for a complex project. From here on out, I’ll try to do more preliminary sketches to help with layout and staging. I will also focus on gathering examples of styles, motions, transitions, and graphics before starting on a design. Having references helps keep me on brand and stops me from making something that looks like it does not fit. It can also give me ideas that I had not thought of. For instance, when approaching the motion in context pieces it had not occurred to me to use puppet animation to give movement to the pictures. But after watching the WWF Parallax Sequence by Ad-Hoc Films and Glynn I saw how even the smallest movements kept the scenes from looking like cutouts placed into a set. I then added slight animation to the child to make him smirk and I animated some of the pigeon heads.



Ad-Hoc Films, & Glynn, D. (n.d.). WWF Parallax Sequence. Retrieved from

Blazer, L. (2015, November 19). Animated Storytelling: Simple Steps For Creating Animation and Motion Graphics. Retrieved from

Creative Bloq Staff. (2014, January 06). Discover the language of motion design. Retrieved from

Davidson Belluso. (2019, January 22). Animate Still Images With Parallax – Davidson Belluso | Phoenix Advertising Agency. Retrieved from

Sharma, N., & Varki, S. (2018). Active White Space (AWS) in Logo Designs: Effects on Logo Evaluations and Brand Communication. Journal of Advertising, 47(3), 270–281.


Motion in Context

This is a simple example of parallax. The purpose of this piece was to take a snapshot and give it life. The parallax helps change the image from stereo to dynamic. The animation on the sky and lights are meant to support the main parallax effect. This is so it looks more like a camera moving through a scene and less like a camera moving past flat cut outs.

This is an example of the parallax effect used on a product that utilizes the theme. It utilizes three of the voice vocabulary to help enforce the idea of opposing ideas coming together at a crossroads. Even though both heritage and metropolis have their own identities they can expand beyond those definitions to become harmonious with each other. The heritage scene brings in Riga’s history and skill with steel, railways, and train building. The metropolis scene is meant to call on the fact that Riga isn’t a crumbling relic from the past. It is a bustling modern metropolis. Then the harmony scene is meant to show how even with all the conflicting ideas, they have come to create a peaceful harmony.

Purpose of motion style:

The purpose of both pieces is to create movement and depth. It makes the images more interesting which snags the viewers’ interest. The movement is important because of the theme. A person can only reach a crossroads if they move along the path.


Use of motion style in real world application:

This style can be used for images that will be displayed on screens in waiting areas. The movement will help make them come across less as screensavers. The movement can also be applied to web design. An image like Riga Lamps can be incorporated into the design and as the cursor moves to different sections, the camera can move through the space.



Connecting, Synthesizing, and Transforming

Parallax is used to provide depth and give the images life. Bimber and Heinich (2017) explain that depth cues are given when perspective changes which tricks the eye into believing it is real space. This was achieved in Riga Lamps by using different visual cues (i.e. separating the layers at different distances and camera movement) and animations (i.e. the sky and lights) to make it feel like a live scene. Riga Harmony though explores what other senses can be fooled to believe it is a real space. The second motion graphic uses diegetic and non-diegetic sound. The non-diegetic sound is the background music which plays on the idea of harmony. The diegetic sounds are tied to the images though. Beauchamp (2017) uses the quote, “we don’t see everything we hear, but we need to hear most of what we see”. This quote is given to explain how hard effects help tie the viewer’s perception to the scene. By hearing pigeons and showing a viewer the image of pigeons with subtle animation, it helps trick the eye to perceive the scene as more alive. By combing the visual tricks of parallax and the audio cues of the sound effects, it creates a more realistic perception of space.


Problem Solving

The main design problem was trying to use the parallax in such a way that it could strengthen the brand. Yes, cool motion graphics can be made with this technique but how does it further the theme. To address this, I visualized what kind of motion is associated with a crossroads. Most of the ideas involved following the path. So, when moving the camera, I kept it in line with the natural path in the images. For example, in Riga Harmony during the metropolis scene, rather than traveling right to left, the camera goes left to right. The path in the image travels from the lower left to the upper right. In the train scene, the camera follows the narrow gravel path between the two trains. In Riga Lamps the camera travels out of the city square following the line between the statue and the lamp.


Innovative Thinking

Most motion graphics that seem to use the parallax effect do it as a way to showcase the photography like the WWF Parallax Sequence produced by Ad-Hoc Films and Glynn (n.d.). Riga Harmony uses the effect to tie the imagery to the theme and to support the message. It is more than just a collection of riveting pictures; it is a vehicle for the theme.


Audio Identity

The audio identity consists of the sound effects and the background music. The sound effects are meant to play on the viewers’ perceptions and make the space more believable. These hard effects are meant to make the images more concrete. The background music was added to bring in the concept of harmony. Since parallax movement isn’t meant to create rapid movements, the music had to have a medium-slow tempo so that it didn’t outpace the imagery. Always Moving Forward utilizes traditional instruments that would not be uncommon in music found in the area.



Ad-Hoc Films, & Glynn, D. (n.d.). WWF Parallax Sequence. Retrieved from

Beauchamp, R. (2017). Designing Sound for Animation, 2nd Addition. Place of publication not identified: CRC Press.

Bimber, O. & Hainich, R. R. (2017). Displays: Fundamentals & applications. Boca Raton, FL: Taylor & Francis, CRC Press.

Blazer, L. (2015, November 19). Animated Storytelling: Simple Steps For Creating Animation and Motion Graphics. Retrieved from

Czarnecki, L. (2018, November 26). 7 Essential Typographic Layout Systems. Retrieved from

Davidson Belluso. (2019, January 22). Animate Still Images With Parallax – Davidson Belluso | Phoenix Advertising Agency. Retrieved from

Giant Ant, & Philpott, C. (2019, May 06). Men’s Health How a Bean Becomes a Fart. Retrieved from

Krause, J. (2016, February 10.). Color for Design and Art. Lecture. Retrieved from

Liu, K., & Lin, O. (2015). TEDxTianhe Opening. Retrieved from

S., Moyers. (n.d.). What is Parallax Scrolling and Benefits of Parallax Web Design. Retrieved from

Pannafino, J. (2018, November 15). 12 Basic Principles of Animation in Motion Design. Retrieved from

Sharma, N., & Varki, S. (2018). Active White Space (AWS) in Logo Designs: Effects on Logo Evaluations and Brand Communication. Journal of Advertising, 47(3), 270–281.

Unidad22. (2019, January 16). The Benefits Of Parallax Scrolling | Web Design. Retrieved from

Wisslar, V. (2012, July 24). Illuminated Pixels. Retrieved from


Story Journal: Week 4


Goblin Farm

This was inspired from when I was dumping some water. I just threw it into the yard, and it was dark, so I didn’t notice that I was dumping water on a raccoon until it jumped up and screeched unhappily. As it ran off, I couldn’t help but think that I was on its list now. This led to the idea of a farm girl who went to dump a bucket of dirty water and dumped it on a goblin. The goblin then demands recompense for the insult in the form of servitude. This goblin then starts showing up all the time, dragging her on these ridiculous endeavors. The theme for this could be about reparations.


Cursed Compact

This was inspired by a beaten up compact that I found on a walk. The mirror was dirty and warped and it looked like there were other faces in the reflection. Perhaps the story could involve someone who finds the compact and is tormented by it. It could also be used in the Patch Town story. It could be used as a trap in the haunted house that sits on the border.



I saw the Nutcracker and the Four Realms and there is a scene where the nutcracker is found guarding a bridge. The set made me think of two guards that regulate who enters and leaves their kingdoms. They have been doing this job for a long time and they get their fun by messing with travelers. The Wood Guard plays the straight man and the Fungi Soldier speaks very quickly. The two didn’t get along at first because the two kingdoms are at a tedious peace. But over the years, they have grown a friendship. The theme can be common goals can breed comradery. They can be involved in a fantasy story where some great destruction is descending on the land and all the kingdoms now have to actually work together instead of just tolerating one another.



Crystal Lock

This is a device that can be used in the Crystalard story. Crystalards sometimes have homes on our side. So, they will put these in their homes to keep out unwanted guests. Bella has one is her home. The down side is these stones also keep out the owners. This is was inspired by a quartz formation I have. There is a separate piece of quartz that I bought from the same person and it seems to fit into the formation. This is where I came up with the key in a lock idea.


Money Bug

This is inspired by a stuffed animal I have. It has a zipper along the shell that lets you hide things in it. This made me think of a bug that enjoys making nests out of soft materials and sturdy stones. For some reason these bugs seem to like the texture of paper money and will steal coins to build the bases of their nests. These creatures are a favourite of thieves. They build a box for the bugs to make nests and when they bring the money back, they switch it out for different cloth.


Origami Witch

This was inspired by a sting ray origami I made. The craft was light enough that it could glide on the air. I began to imagine a scene where origami crafts are floating down into a village. In this story, there is a small school for witches. One of these witches likes to sit at one of the outcroppings that overlooks the village and fold origami. They then enchant them and send them floating down. Sometimes they write little notes or put treats in them. The witches do not interact with the village often so most of the time they only interact with each other. One day, someone from the village decides to travel up the mountain to see who keeps sending the origami but only witches are allowed in the school. The theme would be about loneliness.



This week the stories started off with objects inspiring a scene and the stories blossoming from there. Overall, keeping these story journals has been helpful in examining my narratives. I already have journals where I keep story ideas, but I never really examined. I just wrote down the ideas and moved on. If I used the ideas, then they would be fleshed and if I didn’t, they sat in the journal until I did. The reflections though made me look at what themes I was using, and I started to notice patterns. This made me start to try and focus on varying the types of stories I was making.

Story Journal: Week 3


The Crystal Compass came from watching an episode of Charmed. The main characters were looking for someone and they would repeatedly haul out a map and their scrying crystal. It was a bit cumbersome so I thought, how could this be easier. I came up with attaching a scrying crystal to a compass. You give it a spin and then it slows and points in the direction you need. It would be a lot less cumbersome than a map and swinging a crystal above it.

The flexieel came to me while trying to get water out of my basement. There was enough water I thought eels would be quite comfortable. Then I imagined them coming up through the foundation. Flexieels are able to squeeze through paper thin spaces and cause havoc. My mother used to tell me stories about how troublesome eels could be. So, these creatures could be used in a story as a pest or a constant nuisance.



With all the water that was coming into the basement, I thought of the water pushing the house up and floating away. This led to the idea of a massive flood, and in order to adapt people turned their houses into boats. This results in a world where people sail around in these boat houses. There are floating communities and when houses pass each other they sometimes stop to trade. This could be the setting for a story about a band of pirates. The flexieel could be added to this world as a pest. Infestations of flexieels are known to sink homes. The theme for this story could be about adaption. Adapting to survive, adapting to circumstances, etc.

The Neptune Door is part of a story where a girl agreed to work for Neptune in return for him teaching her how to use her mermaid abilities. The things he asks her for are a series of tasks, similar to Hercules’ tasks. As she grew up, she realized how much of a bad deal this was and tried to get out. He refuses so every time he needs her to go on another mission, he just changes the doorways she walks through. These are the Neptune Doors. She will open a door expecting to step into her bathroom, only to step into an ancient temple halfway across the world. This applies to any door way. The main character is a mermaid that was adopted by a clan of werewolves. Even though she came to Neptune to teach her about her mermaid side, the things that he seems to be teaching her don’t seem like things she wants to become. The theme for this story would be about finding your own identity. This story sprung from the feeling of stepping into the basement and finding a small lake down there.



The Magic Mop is something I came up with while mopping up water from the basement. I was wishing for something that soaked up the water a lot faster and quicker. I came up with an enchanted sponge attached to a broom handle. It makes little squeaky excited sounds when you use it. And when it comes across a huge puddle, a long tongue shoots out and flails about trying to get all the liquid.

The Magic Spinner is more of a back story for a character. In this world there is this magical race that is very powerful. There are very few of them, but many are famous warlocks and witches or hold positions of power. There is a bloodline that is known for spinning magic into thread (like spinning straw into gold). This line only has two members now. A warlock that grants wishes in return for favors and his daughter. The story would focus on the daughter. When the daughter is young, she is whisked away and loses her memories. She escapes from her kidnapper and is found by a traveler couple. They take her in as their own and she has to learn how to use her magic by herself. She hears about a great warlock that lives in the thorn forest that could teach her. The story would focus on her traveling to the castle and trying to get the warlock to take her on as an apprentice. Eventually they would realize who she is and have their reunion. The theme for this would be about finding power from one’s roots. This story came to me while I was sorting yarn and rerolling it. The motion of the yarn running through my fingers made me think of making thread on a spinning wheel. The story spiraled out from there.



My group and I had our video discussion session and we talked about our story journals. One thing that came up is how they used events in their life and framed that into a narrative. The journals I had done, I had looked for inspiration from things around me to build a story. This week I tried to focus less on finding inspiration and just taking what came to me. A lot of it ended up being about water because of the flood though. A theme that connects the stories I have come up with seem to be about change. The first one is focused on using change to get through life. The second is about deciding whether you want to change who are. The last is more about having change happen and then trying to get yourself put back together.

Dynamic Vision Board

Week 2

Dynamic Vision Board Rationale

Overview of the design. Why is a dynamic vision board useful? What benefit does motion provide in this context?

The dynamic vision board combines imagery that uses radial designs and transitions that represent crossroads in different ways. Each scene uses either imagery of a literal crossroads or it has elements come in from opposing sides. Or it shows elements radiating out of the same focal point. For pieces like the landmarks, one tone designs that utilized active white space were used to make clear cut shapes. This shows space and empty space coming together in a cohesive design. The colors utilize contrast for a similar purpose. A dynamic vision board is useful because it helps demonstrate what feel videos and motion graphics from this campaign will have outside of its static visual identity. Using motion gives the imagery more life which makes it easier to catch an audience’s eye. It also allows a chance to showcase the audio identity of the campaign. It shows whether audio should have a fast or slow tempo; whether it uses traditional instruments or synthesizers; whether the style is country or jazz.


Connecting, Synthesizing, and Transforming

Simplified shapes and clean lines were used for the style. When using this style for the landmarks, enough detail needs to be given so that they are recognizable. Using active white space (AWS) gives details but keeps the shapes one tone as seen below in figure 1. Sharma and Varki’s study looked into how AWS can be used in logos, but the principles were transferred to the landmarks. As Sharma and Varki (2018) explain, by creating sharper contrast it cuts down on the stimulus that the viewer has to process and allows for a greater perceptual fluency (p.271).


Figure 1

Secondary action is also used to help create more life and interest. In the scene with the words and landmarks rather than having Riga sit on a static title, the outer and inner rings rotate (see figure 2). It does not distract the viewer, but it does create some interest. Pannafino (2018) explains that secondary animation provides support to the primary animation. The rotating rings support the rotating rays and the landmarks.


Figure 2


Problem Solving

A design problem for this piece was incorporating elements without losing simplicity and keeping the eye where it is needed. In the original storyboards, during the landmark scene clouds were going to be animated into the stage. When they were added though, the stage got cluttered and it detracted from the information. The end of the animation was supposed to end with the title being surrounded by plates that close in around it. The red plates turned out to be too distracting, so the scene was changed to have the background fade out and leave the title by itself. This also allowed for having the title fade out with the music, tying the visuals with the audio.


Innovative Thinking

In the TEDxTianhe Opening done by Liu and Lin (2015), motion and shape shifting are used to transition. The dynamic vision board uses similar techniques. But in the TED video, shape shifting is used to change one object into another or change the perspective. In the Riga motion graphic, while shapes are led into each other, it is meant more as two ideas coming together. Not as one idea taking over the other.


Audio Identity

The music that was chosen combines traditional instruments with electrical. This brings in the theme of the crossroads by having traditional meet new. The high bpm also helps with creating fast transitions to get through the information in a quick manner.


Blazer, L. (2015, November 19). Animated Storytelling: Simple Steps For Creating Animation and Motion Graphics. Retrieved from

Czarnecki, L. (2018, November 26). 7 Essential Typographic Layout Systems. Retrieved from

Giant Ant, & Philpott, C. (2019, May 06). Men’s Health How a Bean Becomes a Fart. Retrieved from

Krause, J. (2016, February 10.). Color for Design and Art. Lecture. Retrieved from

Liu, K., & Lin, O. (2015). TEDxTianhe Opening. Retrieved from

Pannafino, J. (2018, November 15). 12 Basic Principles of Animation in Motion Design. Retrieved from

Sharma, N., & Varki, S. (2018). Active White Space (AWS) in Logo Designs: Effects on Logo Evaluations and Brand Communication. Journal of Advertising, 47(3), 270–281.

Wisslar, V. (2012, July 24). Illuminated Pixels. Retrieved from

Story Journal: Week 2


I continued to play with the idea of the crystalards. I came up with a protagonist and I explored the Phantoms more. Bella is half crystalard, half human. This makes her immune to the phantoms’ poison but traditional crystalard skills do not come easy. Since she does not fit so well into her mother’s family she thinks about maybe abandoning it to embrace her human half. With the Phantoms I tried to incorporate more of the phantom quartz into the design. I did this by being able to see the corpses through the crystal skin. A theme for this could be letting outside forces change you or with battling inner natures.



I came up with this guy while sitting in the library. I was thinking about what it would be like to live in a library. Then I started imagining hands reaching out from under the book shelves. Eventually it evolved into this shadow creature that lives in a library. Shade can shapeshift but usually picks a hulking form with red eyes and raccoon like arms to reach into narrow spaces for treats. Shade is intimidating and can be dangerous but is harmless if left alone. A theme for this one could be about getting back what you give. Shade is dangerous yes but will leave customers alone if they are left alone. If they are rude, he bites off a limb. This could be an entertaining character for a magical library that is just trying to do their job and not lose customers. Or books since Shade likes munching on parchment.



The idea of the bubble house came from playing with the neighbor kids. We were blowing bubbles and a bunch got stuck together. It sat on the ground for a little bit before it popped, and I couldn’t help but think it looked like a little house. I later drew the shapes the bubbles formed and added details to make it a house. A fairy or a whacky witch could live in it. A possible theme could be about inner possibilities. Make the outside look like a rickety shack but on the inside, it is buzzing with activity and there are all these rooms.


The Singing Scotty came from an old antique I found while cleaning up. It was a stuffed animal of a Scottish terrier sitting in a basket shaped like a sleigh. Perhaps I can make a short weekly or monthly comic about the adventures of a singing Scotty. A theme could be about finding your own joy.


The anxiety gargoyle came from a fake headline. The headline read, “Notre Dame Gargoyle Going to Stay as Still as Possible Until Arson Investigator Gone”. I then thought about why the gargoyle might do this. The picture that was used featured a gargoyle with wide bulging eyes and I thought, well what if they’re afraid because they have social anxiety. I then came up with a possible story for a children’s book about a gargoyle that lives on a church and tries to help out but has crippling anxiety. A theme for this could be about learning to cope.



I am finding the story journal useful for coming up with kernels for future projects. We just finished up the spring semester at my job so that means I will have more time now to maybe start one of these projects. A theme that seemed to connect the kernels for this week seemed to gravitate towards dealing with outside forces. Or perhaps learning to work with what you have rather than what you want.

Storyboard for Dynamic Vision Board


Static Vision Board:


This is a vision board for Riga, Latvia using the theme Cultural Crossroads. The idea of the theme is opposing or changing ideas, coming together. A balance between differences. The layout shows this by using lines to section off the board and lead them towards the center. By using a modular grid, these sections are broken up further. With the textures and images, they are given their own “crossroads” that meet. These lines also work to lead the viewer through the piece to the titles. As Czarnechi (2018) states, “[o]ften, the focal point is implied by the text, but you can pronounce it with a graphic. You can also use simple shapes and rules to draw attention to the text or balance the page”. This is shown with the shapes that spiral inward. The colors were chosen to reflect the crossroads theme because of how they can be played off each other. The blue-green color has enough green in it that it can complement the red-orange. It also has enough blue in it that it can also compliment the yellow-orange. By using near compliments, it plays on the idea of opposing ideas working in a cohesive scheme. It also provides contrast and as Krause (2016) explains, “[c]lear value differences between a layout’s components are what allows them to stand apart from each other”. The shapes chosen are aspects that reflect Riga’s older visual identity and its newer one. The elements are meant to be combined to be a balance of heritage meeting modern.



It opens with Riga on a decorative circle. The rings rotating in opposite directions. This then flies into the sky with rays radiating out from it. Clouds come in from the sides but do not interfere. As the rays rotate, they reveal significant words for the campaign and an aspect of the city that reflects these sentiments. It goes through Harmony with the National Opera and Ballet House. Then Proficient and Free come to meet with The Academy of Science and the Freedom monument under them. On the next rotation Heritage with the Railway Bridge and Metropolis with the Vanšu Bridge meet. From there, the viewer travels down the river. As they go down the water morphs into cobblestones. The road flies by and the font choices float next to the path for a moment. Eventually the path comes to meet three others creating a crossroad. From this crossroad, four frames spring out and show the differing aesthetics and ideas that exist cohesively in the city. They then travel on with the path building itself further forward. The path meets again with three others creating a roundabout. The colors that represent the campaign swirl together in the center. After a moment the center flips like a coin and decorative frames come towards the center. The center then shows a circle with Riga written at the center. It is similar to the first except modified with different embellishments.


Voice and Tone

Metropolis, Heritage, Proficient, Free, Harmony

NOT Urban, Ancient, Competent, Frivolous, Amicable


Riga has been the center for travel and trade for a multitude of centuries. This has created an identity that is Latvian culture with a foreign flare. The voice and tone should be a reflection of the city’s collaborative and transformative nature. We have a long heritage, but this should be treated as an entity that is alive and thrives today. It is not a dry history book. Buildings like Jacob’s Barracks and St. Peter’s Church have transformed from their original purposes and become part of the city’s modern heartbeat. The history is a heritage that lives through the people and their work. Our culture and skills have brought us to the world stage. The language should be grand and glamorous like the opera. Evoke the same graceful elegance as the ballet or the Jugendstil styled architecture. All the ethnicities and art forms that have blended over the centuries have created a freedom of expression that was hard won. The tone should not be rigid and filled with pomp. It needs to allow for a certain flow and creativity. Like Riga all these elements and backgrounds should combine and mingle to create a harmonious voice that balances it all. A meeting of ideas and styles.


Thematic Statement

The central theme of this campaign is Cultural Crossroads. Heritage meets metropolis, old traditions meet new innovations, opposing ideas meet to create a new balanced creation.


Week 1

Storyboard Rationale


Connecting, Synthesizing, and Transforming

The main style I am using for the Dynamic Vision Board is a simplified cartoon graphic. I will only use photos as supports and to demonstrate what the imagery will look like. As Wisslar (2012) describes, “[a]bstract imagery focuses on form, shape, and color, often with the intent of purely conveying mood or visual interest”. The theme is about crossroads which plays on the visuals of a roads. This uses clean lines which will transfer best to a simpler style that relies heavily on lines. It is important to tie the visual style to the theme to create the rules for the style. Blazer (2015) suggests that creating a set of rules for the design will help make scene look cohesive. This will also help form a fingerprint that viewers can tie to the campaign.

Problem Solving

A design problem with this project was portraying the idea of a crossroads without sticking to one radial layout. The problem was solved by thinking of the ideas traveling on a path and changing the perspective. The first shot starts and ends with the radial layout. Then the ideas are put on a path and the viewer sees them meet by coming in from the sides. Then the view moves to a top down view. All of these show ideas coming together but by changing the perspective, it changes the layout.

Innovative Thinking

This animation is different because it uses the theme of Cultural Crossroads and follows along a path to these crossroads rather than using a fixed viewpoint. In the animation done by Giant Ant for Men’s Health, scenes move around, and the bean goes on a “journey” but the camera still feels very fixed. This animation will focus on motion and the feeling of coming to a waypoint.

Audio Identity

The audio identity will be more of a classical type of music. This will incorporate elements of the opera because song is such an important part to Riga’s identity. Also, if it is combined with modern looking graphics, it will help enforce the theme.



Blazer, L. (2015, November 19). Animated Storytelling: Simple Steps For Creating Animation and Motion Graphics. Retrieved from

Czarnecki, L. (2018, November 26). 7 Essential Typographic Layout Systems – Type365 Lucas Czarnecki. Retrieved from

Giant Ant, & Philpott, C. (2019, May 06). Retrieved from

Krause, J. (2016, February 10.). Color for Design and Art. Lecture. Retrieved from

Wisslar, V. (2012, July 24). Illuminated Pixels. Retrieved from

Story Journal: Week 01


The first idea I experimented with is a set of orc twins. They are the children of the chief but Umog is the heir. Both are skilled fighters but Umog is the more outspoken of the two. Varbu has an interest in botany but he keeps it secret since “weed whacking” is not a very orcish profession.

These are characters I came up with while sitting in the nature reserve across from my home. They are stand-alone characters for now with no accompanying plot. I came up with their designs from the surrounding plant life. Their color palettes use greens and browns. Textures would be worn leathers, fur, and metal.



Crystalards came from a set of quartz I have. The idea of Cyrstalards are that they are living crystals. They can hide their forms and appear human if need be. I dabbled with idea of Phantoms. There is a natural phenomenon where a quartz crystal will grow and then another grows around it. It creates a phantom effect. I am playing with this idea for the Phantoms to be a corrupted, feral version of the Crystalards. The Crystalards and Phantoms are in a sort of civil war. The Crystalards are content with staying in the mirror world but the Phantoms want to spill over and spread. The Crystalards act as a guard between the two worlds.

I’ve started to form an idea for a plot, but it is still developing. The preliminary theme might be two sides of the same coin. The civilized side and the feral side.


The flexagon is a design idea I came across. A flexagon is a paper craft that is folded so that it can be rotated to reveal new pictures. I was playing with the idea of using this as a new type of vessel for information. For instance, on one form you can put the event tile. Then you rotate it for the address and time. And you keep rotating for new information. People will be less likely to throw it away because it is a neat little toy and not another flyer.


The 3D Puzzle Cache is a fictional tool to hide computer information. Each piece has part of the code inscribed on it. In order to read it, the puzzle needs to be put together. This can be stored away as a device to use in a story.



In this world there is a difference of status between Shades and Ghouls. Shades are the ruling class and have strong magical abilities. The Ghouls are more of the lower class and their magic is more practical compared to what the Shades can do. There are doorways between our world and the nightmare world. A Warden of Fear sets up a domain at these points and keeps guard to make sure no one slips between the two. These Wardens are usually Ghouls and are tied to their domains with magic. This particular story focuses on a Warden that is part Shade, part Ghoul. This is unprecedented. But because of her Shade lineage she did grow up in court. She became best friends with the prince that would later become the Pumpkin King. The Pumpkin King rules over Patch Town but he is still under the Night King who rules the realm. The main plot of the story would be about the clash of class. The theme would focus on the idea of identity being decided by class.



It was interesting keeping the journal and seeing how the different ideas connect. Each idea is its own contained story, but they still share similar themes. Outside of the flexagon and the puzzle cache the other ideas play with balancing between two worlds and butting against expectations.