• Shyam Patel

Final 3; 1: Disclosure

Combining the skills I have acquired over the past year, I have successfully been able to come up with a concept for my 1/3 final Process & Production blogs. Disclosure is about 5 friends whom I took portraits of over the course of the year. I asked these 5 people their top 10 favourite words or 10 words they felt were satisfying to say. This idea came from a conversation I had with a few friends (random conversations tend to happen a lot in the studio). Some of the skills I learned and then applied to this project were animating in 3D space, using a page-turner effect similar to the one used in MGMT - All We Ever Wanted Was Everything. A hand-drawn like animation using a mask and generate stroke effect. I also used keyframe assistant, specifically easy ease and motion blur for smooth animation and a professional finish. I used my skills from my "short and tweet" workshop to inform my practice in typographic layout design.

My passion for photography began at the age of 16 when I moved to Cheshire, the countryside. We used to live on a huge hill where one could enjoy the fluorescent colours change the ambience of the sky as the sun was setting. Of course, almost every day, I'd go to this spot my brother and I had sourced and taken photographs on my phone. I then started college, studying graphic design. In my final year at college, I used photography for two main projects during the year to help communicate a message. This is when I truly fell in love with photography. During my time at the University of Huddersfield, I have, so far experimented with photography, and continue to do so.

Typography is a significant skill that is acquired through learning about font pairing, typefaces and what they are, how to choose the right one, what the difference between serifs and sans serifs are, etc. As an artist who loves experimental work, I wanted to combine the skills I learned across my process and production workshops into 3 final projects. I wanted to incorporate my typographic and layout skills as well as my photography and motion skills into a project I would love to call: the Motion Magazine. Because it is literally a motion magazine.

Here are some references for the type of portraiture and photography I was looking at for inspiration as well as typographic and photographic layout:

Portrait/Photographic References:

MGMT - All We Ever Wanted Was Everything

Typographic Layouts with Photography:


These were the portraits I started with. There was an intention behind each one. The first one was all about shooting through something. There were intersections of glass panes across a huge window in one of our studios and I wanted to use that to shoot through because there were beautiful and natural light rays coming through. The meaning behind the first picture was all about how peaceful that particular morning was in the studio and hence the caption on the polaroid further down. The next photograph was more about the experience and feeling in the moment. I remember specifically talking about summer and how excited we were for it (hence the caption). The day was cold, windy, rainy and the lighting reflects that so well but shows that even on the coldest, darkest days, the happiest moments shine bright.

Taking that concept of shining forward, I had the idea of using neon fairy lights for the longest time but never got round to taking a shot. Megan is holding a book about typography and fair lights were put on top to create ambience. This shot was taken outside on the balcony of our studio (yes we have a balcony how cool!), and though it was windy and cold, it was a good time. Aleksander, in the washed-out fluorescent blue lighting, stood there looking down at the camera. At this moment, it was more about having fun than anything. But the meaning behind this was that 'you' will have your time to shine, connoting that everyone has their off days, but when you work extremely hard, you'll be looking down at your most painful moments.

The last one for me was a classic. Ben is a photographer himself and we spoke about having certain photographic phases. The phase I was going through at the time was taking low angle shots because they looked aesthetically pleasing. This shot was all about composition. We had unusual lamposts around our Barbara Hepworth Art, Design & Architecture building and I really liked the lighting. I instantly thought of those lights as halos and so the last one connotes an angel looking down on everyone. Of course, this is not in such a way that makes it evil or egotistical but more about being an angle designer. Designers have superpowers, extremely well developed visual communication skills which I, therefore, wanted to communicate through this portrait.

These animations were made using a depth map which essentially makes objects or parts of the body closest to the camera darker and the further away an object is, the lighter in luminance it becomes. I then worked with a displacement map which essentially was the tool used to create the 3D mesh. This, as a result, converted a static image into a moving image which I created gifs out of. I also used particle emitters which allowed me to select the type of particle I wanted using a slider. Whilst using the slider I was not aware of the type of particle I was selecting and so I was experimenting with the different types of particles.

I exported the loops out as .mov from Adobe After Effects and then Imported them straight into an Adobe Photoshop file where I used Polaroid mockups. I exported the video out from AdobePhotoshop as an MP4 and then cropped the black bars out of it using Adobe After Effects, Re-rendering that out in Adobe Media Encoder and then ending up with this as the final result.

I used the same process with the spreads. I created all the vector assets in Adobe Photoshop for the front and back cover (the spreads were all created in Adobe InDesign and then imported into Adobe After Effects as PNG's and then animated using a frame per image). I then rendered those out, imported into Adobe Photoshop, rendered those out, cropped the movies, re-rendered them in Adobe After Effects, converted them to MP4 files (which compresses the file) using Adobe Media Encoder ready to upload.

Strategising how content is going to be pushed out through different social media channels is really important, especially in the modern-day and age we as designers live in. I, therefore, set myself out to create all this content primarily for this blog, with easy dimension conversions. Resizing all the images to fit a 1080px by 1080px canvas for my Instagram feed.

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