What to Take and Save Money On a Photographic Holiday

What equipment should I take on holiday is a common question. The simple answer is what are you going on holiday to try to photograph. For example if going on safari you are going to need a long telephoto lens this will make sure you keep your distance from some potentially dangerous wild animals this will help you to get close up while keeping your distance.

A 24-70mm can be used for a multitude of situation they are also convenient and normally light weight so as not to add too much to you baggage allowance and cover virtually any situation you may come across. A tele converter can be useful and not as costly as a telephoto lenses.

If you don’t already own a battery grip this could save time and trouble especially in those isolated spots. Most battery grips now a days will take normal batteries of course, you’ll need to check your grips instructions. Because when traveling weight will play a crucial part of since you are limited by the airlines.

Make sure your camera bag is airline friendly and that you can carry it onto the plane, the last thing you want is to check in your camera bag, get to your destination to find you camera bag is somewhere else in the world. Make sure to pack an international travel plug adaptor so that you can charge batteries use your laptop or just charge the iPod.

Since most of us don’t have small laptops it may be worth taking a portable hard drive or one which has a viewer such as Multimedia Storage Viewers these can be quite expensive though. A circular polarising filter can be handy when shooting skies and helping reduce reflections on glass or water. These are light weight so won’t add too much to your final bag weight. Don’t forget a light tripod such as a gorilla pod you need this for sharp images when shooting in low light such as dawn or dusk or even after dark.

It may be worth using the bath scales to check your bags weight. Check your limits on the air carrier’s web sites as you don’t want to pay excess baggage as it can be quite expensive.

One of the main things to remember is pack only what you need. Read up on the location you are traveling to check out how to access hard to reach places what time is best suited to photographing. Google earth before you go is great for checking out routes and finding good viewpoints Once at your destination check out the local postcards they often show the normal tourist locations but often have locations of much lesser known places.

House swapping is now becoming more popular it’s a good way to stay somewhere cheap, if you have a house in a good location.

Most importantly have fun and enjoy the rest remember don’t take any work with you unless you’re a pro photograper.

John Hutchison has been a professional photographer on and off since 1981, he gained an LBIPP in 1990 from the British Institute of Professional Photographers so he has first hand experience! He worked for a newspaper for over 12 years dealing with flat copy and digital images.

How 3D Animation Video Helps in Improving the Animation World

Animation magic has ushered in a revolution of sorts in the world of advertising, marketing, promotion, media and entertainment. This seamless technology has induced life into visuals, creating a canvas that is both engaging and entertaining. The world over, animation continues to fire imaginations.

The technology has been evolving over time with newer developments enabling superior control and rendering of frames and visuals getting more life-like. There has been a significant improvement in 3D animation also. Though most of us discern these developments through the latest games and movies, other areas from aircraft design to weather forecasting are reaping the benefits from integrating 3D animation with virtual reality and simulation techniques.

Introduction of 3D Animation

To put simply, 3D animation is the three-dimensional representation of various elements. The technology allows an element to be modeled with such finesses it resembles a real physical object. A filmmaker can use the same camera angles on the rendered graphic as they would have in real life – front, back, sides, above, below, i.e. from every angle. They can also use different lighting environments to highlight unique textures and supplement the visuals with additional data to create realistic frames for use in longer films. The beauty of 3D is that the visuals can mesh seamlessly with live video streaming.

Benefits of 3D Animation

• 3D animated videos provide spatial awareness and give a sense of reality.
• Great way of conceptualizing ideas that are yet to take a realistic form.
• Helps in creating visually appealing and pleasant elements
• Easier to communicate about things and their interrelationships with the world as intended.
• Can reproduce events that are difficult to show or expensive to recreate in a real world environment.
• Unlimited possibilities to show things that cannot be depicted through photographs or 2D animation.

Scope of 3D Animation

The highly accessible and versatile technology has a wide range of users from individuals and small businesses to large conglomerates and institutions. The technology is crucial for long-term planning as its versatility allows people to preview a realistic rendering of how the elements being discussed will perform in real life situations. From providing a spatial rendering of an impending cyclone to the efficiencies that can be generated from a new engine, the technology can be used for various applications.

Sectors Where 3D Animation Technology Can Be Used

There are various sectors and industries where the technology can make a difference. It can be used for advertising, marketing, corporate films, cartoons, gaming, educational programs, in the entertainment industry and for the media sector. Corporates can explain the benefits of a product from concept to installation. The software industry can use it to show how a technology can work both at the front and back end. The construction sector can create animated videos on buildings, floor plans and other civil infrastructure to show how a concept will look once executed. People can also use 3D technology for effective education and training programs, customer presentations and in websites. Specific industries such as advertising, mining and gaming regularly use this technology for internal operations and external customer engagement.

This versatile communication medium can produce outstanding results in short span of time. Using creative storyboard blended with innovative imagery,we can create a whole new world that is close to reality. The technology is expected to soon become an integral part of the corporate world and create new frontiers for end user engagement.

5 Tips for Effective Exaggeration

At the heart of successful animation lie 12 principles. One of these is exaggeration, which refers to the act of taking certain elements and stretching them beyond the realm of normal. All animation requires some sort of exaggeration, even animation that strives to be realistic, because it is exaggeration that makes animation come alive, appeal to audiences, and add comedic relief to otherwise intense scenes. Poorly executed exaggeration, however, can detract rather than add to the appeal and impact of an animated work. As a result, effective exaggeration requires careful work by the traditional animation studio. Following are a few tips for successfully using exaggeration in any animated production.

Exaggerate The Most Important Elements.

The first step in creating effective exaggeration is to choose which elements to exaggerate. The key when making this decision is to remember that exaggerated elements will get the most attention from viewers. Therefore, the element you choose will change the way the viewer understands the scene. As a result, you need to choose the elements that are most important for understanding the scene.

For instance, if you are animating a scene in which a character is sailing, you may decide that the waves’ movements are most important and exaggerate those. On the other hand, you may decide that the character’s reaction is most vital, and, therefore, focus on their facial features. In the first instance, the viewer learns about the environment in which the character is sailing, while in the latter, the viewer learns about the personality of the character. Making the right choice will allow you to create exaggeration that contributes to rather than detracts from your work.

Know What Your Goals Are.

Once you decide which elements to exaggerate, you will need to decide how much exaggeration to use. In order to make this decision, you must have a clear idea of what you hope to achieve with the exaggeration. Exaggeration can be used in a number of different ways. For instance, you can use it to add fluid motions that make the animation look more realistic. On the other hand, you can use it to create caricatured movements that add comedy, or that add personality and appeal.

Each of these goals, however, requires a slightly different use of exaggeration. Take, for instance, the sailor discussed above. If you desire a realistic look, you may choose to slightly exaggerate his facial expressions. However, if you wish to interject humor, you may use extreme exaggeration to give him comedic facial expressions. The right choice will be the one that best contributes to your overall goals for the scene.

Retain The Essence of The Exaggerated Elements.

As soon as you decide to exaggerate an element, you are no longer bound by the strict parameters of reality. However, in order for your exaggeration to retain its appeal, it must still have some connection to reality. If it does not, the object or character being exaggerated will become confusing to viewers, who will no longer be able to mesh what they see on the screen with the basic rules of reality to which they are accustomed.

For instance, say you choose to exaggerate the facial features of the character sailing on the boat. If you remove all identifying elements from the face in order to twist it into a complete caricature of fear or surprise, or delight, you will lose the essence of the character design. The viewer will no longer be able to identify or connect with them. As a result, when exaggerating any animated element, a good rule of thumb is to take what is already there as far as expressions, physical features, or emotions, and exaggerate those elements. By doing so, you increase the appeal of the scene for viewers instead of detracting from it.

Create Balance.

Even though viewers of animation expect to see exaggeration and fantasy, they also want to keep one foot in reality. As a result, another key to effective exaggeration is to create balance within the scene. You can do so by only selecting a few elements in each scene to exaggerate. The rest of the elements must remain more natural and realistic. Doing so will avoid an absurd or disturbing look that will leave viewers confused or dismayed with your work.

For instance, if you exaggerate your sailing character’s facial features, you should refrain from exaggerating their other physical features. If you choose to exaggerate the movement of the waves, you may need to refrain from exaggerating the character’s facial features too. With a balanced scene, you draw the viewer’s attention to the elements they need to see, and keep them grounded enough in reality to enjoy the exaggerated elements.

Keep Your Project Appealing.

Finally, when using exaggeration in your animated production, you will need to maintain appeal. Appeal is a fairly subjective, yet crucial, element to animation. It is what makes even a villain a character the viewers will enjoy watching. Making mistakes in the steps discussed above can result in a loss of appeal. For instance, if you use too much exaggeration, viewers will be less likely to enjoy the animated production.

As a result, the last question you must ask yourself is how the exaggeration contributes to the scene’s overall appeal. It may fit all the criteria above, yet detract from the overall entertainment value. On the other hand, you may find that pushing the boundaries a bit yields a bolder look and greater appeal. As a result, exaggeration, as with any element of animation, requires careful crafting in order to achieve the most powerful and appealing work of art possible.

Exaggeration is an effective way to bring your animation to life, whether you are doing video game animation, advertising animation, or a feature length film. By exaggerating the most important elements, knowing what you want to achieve, retaining the essence of the exaggerated elements, creating balance, and keeping your project appealing can help you to create truly effective exaggeration in your animated art.

STEAM Careers – Visual Effects Animator

Who is a Visual Effects Animator?

A visual effects animator is a professional that’s responsible for special effects in films. Now interestingly, they focus on the special effects that cannot be added during the live action shoot. For example, a lot of times, the green screen is used when shooting actors in the studio.

The actual, exciting background we see in the movie however is inserted later. Similarly, these professionals are also responsible for actually creating entire characters. As such all they use is computer software programs to create these entities and integrate them in the film. These characters can be so lively that they can also interact with live action characters.

Remember the dinosaurs and the Anaconda in those blockbuster movies? Well that’s what the visual effects animators can do! Thus the TV shows, commercials, films and other such projects actually become more realistic and exciting.

Background Education / Training

Though it may be safely said that you do not require a formal study to be a visual animator, they certainly train themselves hard and create a strong background in multimedia art and animation. Most of them actually work a other artists and work on their story telling and aesthetic skills for long before they actually realize their dream of being a visual effects animators.

It is usually recommended that professionals interested in this career study arts, fine arts, photography or similar art related fields. Some of them actually go for higher specializations in visual media and visual effects eventually. The ability and training to use computer software with speed is highly valued as a skill.

Work Environment

Most of these professionals spend a lot of time in an office using their computers and animation software. However, those that work with larger media agencies and film studios may actually travel to document, understand and watch the actual filming happen, for research and development.

Their hours are often long and they can be commonly seen working in tight deadlines, on weekends and nights. A lot of them are self-employed and freelance or consult.

The industries that conventionally used to employ them were motion pictures, film industry and video game companies, but of late media agencies, larger YouTube channels, companies that create content for schools, companies that create DIY projects for school and even digital marketing agencies employ them. A lot of content development companies employ animators to create ad videos or films for their clients.

Salary

If it wasn’t exciting enough to transport people to a fantasy / realistic world using art and technology, the salary is lucrative. While disregarding the top-notch in the industry who earn in millions, even the junior animators earn good amounts as they freelance and / or get employed full-time. The more credentials and portfolio you have, the better your earning potential is.

What Is the Role of Animatronics?

Animatronics is a process of building mechanized puppets or full-size costumes that resemble animals, dinosaurs, or other imaginary creatures, and made to look quite lifelike. The idea behind animatronics was first created by Disney Studios back in the 1950s for use in some of their early films. Plus, it is possible to combine the mechanized movements with other special effects in an attempt to create the more convincing look and a greater level of realism.

In addition to using this technology in the film studios it is a common sight in many of the popular theme or amusement parks, which many feature birds or other creatures in special shows to entertain guests.

What features are involved?

Animatronics can vary significantly with basic to very complex designs. The most basic animatronics are built with basic sound recording features and have the ability to make one or two simple movements. For the more advanced designs it is possible to include software that can complete specific moves, and can even be remotely controlled. On the most complex designs the engineers will create the costumes using the latest special effects technology that includes realistic skin, highly flexible joints, and lifelike actions or sounds.

The creation process starts with a designer sketching out the ideas on paper. Once the initial concept is created, the engineering team will provide detailed plans to start on the construction of a scale model which is known as a maquette. If this first concept is approved, it is possible to move on to the full-scale model which includes the built-in electronic controls and moving parts. The design team finishes the model using special paints, materials and textures in order to create the realistic looking skin.

Many of the animatronics rely on LEDs, servos, and connecting wires to help create the realistic sound effects. Creating the costumes with the servo connectors is great for plenty of reasons, including the wide availability of these components and the relatively low-cost to use. Plus, it is possible to use connect sensors in certain projects to help benefit from the convenience of wireless control.

Future of animatronics

The future of animatronics is still very strong, but because of the time and cost involved in creating the full-size models, many film studios rely on computer animation to help with special effects. There are still many companies that have the sole purpose of creating animatronics for entertainment purposes, such as use in theme parks or amusement parks.

5 Tips for Creating an Effective Whiteboard Animation

Whiteboard animations require many innovative ideas, careful decisions and gutsy implementations. Developing a script and the entire pre-production planning stage before the creation of any type of creative work is one of the most important things that one must ensure to work on. Below are a few important tips for an effective whiteboard animation. These tips will enable you to create a great impression in the minds of your audiences and fans.

1. A great script is a must

As far as whiteboard animations are concerned, an average script will not do much favor to you. You need a great script and a one that can help you to create a major impression in the minds of the people or your audiences to keep it simple. Your story must be bought to life in an extraordinary manner.

2. Having a believable flow

Just like it happens in real life, your whiteboard animation should have a story line that is quite distinct in the middle, beginning as well as ending. This means that the videos should be short in order to keep the attention of the audiences. Your story must be told in such a manner that does not take very long to unfold so that the viewers can get a grasp of what you are exactly saying.

3. Having a powerful imagery

Powerful imagery and dynamic illustrations are always at the heart of a successful whiteboard animation. This means that one should ideally spend most of the time creating the images for the whiteboard presentations.

4. A captivating audio

Soundtrack is the heart of a film and same goes to a whiteboard animation. The audio tracks should be captivated in such a manner that they are able to create a very positive impression in the minds of the viewer or a normal audience. There are also a lot of character voice- overs that should be extremely believable and dynamic and this means that they should enhance and not detract from your work.

5. Concentrate on the background music

Background music can also be described as an essence to your whiteboard animation. This is because the viewers will be able to connect emotionally to your content. This means that the will be able to create a great memory as far as your animation is concerned and as a viewer this is what we require. It is one of the important things to remember.

Illustration Techniques for Designers

There are several techniques or styles of making an illustration. Each of these techniques has its distinctive process and media specially used for creating the illustration. The graphic artist must therefore familiarize himself well with a particular technique before adopting and using it for the production of a graphic design product. Examples of some of the techniques in illustration are:

1. Pen and wash- This illustration technique involves the drawing of the outlines of the illustration in pencil. Ink is used to go over the drawn outlines in pencil. When it is dried, a small quantity of the ink is diluted with water in a lighter tone. Brush is used to apply the paint at the darker areas of the drawing. The painted areas are washed to create various tones to bring out the forms of the illustration. The outlines are made stronger by the use of pen lines. It is used for catalogues, village and market scenes, fashion design magazines, book covers etc.

2. Pen and ink- This is the use of pen and ink to draw the outlines of the drawing and using any of the shading methods to bring out the forms in the drawing. It is used for illustrations in books, newspapers and magazines.

3. Flat colour painting- In this technique, the colours are painted flat with no gradation in tone. The edges of the sections of the painted drawings are sharp and distinct, setting the difference in the various parts of the drawing. It is used for illustrations in story books, road signs, greeting cards etc.

4. Realistic painting- This is the drawing of objects to show great details as they actually appear in nature. It is used for advertisement, fashion magazine and illustrations in books.

5. Silhouette- This is the creating of the outlines of a drawing in pencil and filling the inner part uniformly with black paint or ink. Silhouette drawings do not show details just the outlines that define the objects are shown. They are used for road signs, package symbols, illustrations in fashion magazines etc.

6. Cartooning- This is the creation of humorous or satirical figures with exaggerated forms. This illustration technique is used for illustrating children books, newspapers, magazines etc.

7. Photography- This is the taking of shots of real objects and scenes by the use of a camera. It gives the exact likeness of the objects and scenes. Photographs are used for posters, magazines, newspapers etc.

Vector Art Techinque

Vector Art is a technique, which means art created with vector-based programs. Vector art basically uses dots, lines, and curves. Vector programs take note of the relationship between these elements. This allows images created to vary their scale without losing quality or pixelating. In comparison, pixels lose quality when they are raised above 100% of their size.

Popular vector programs are Illustrator, Freehand, Corel Draw, and Flash. Almost everything created with these programs is considered as vector work. I say “almost” because there are exceptions to each rule. If your vector work combines vector images with raster images, I’m afraid that it is no longer a vectorial work (and consequently does not belong to the Vector Gallery).

For example: to finish your vectorial work, you think that your work is missing something, and you put it in Photoshop to give it a small texture, trying to complete it more. At that moment it is no longer a vector work, and you should upload it to “Digital art> Mixed Media”. In the same way, if you take the rasterized texture and put it in Illustrator by applying a layer style, nor would it be a vector work.

As this texture cannot be increased by over 100%, it makes your vector technically useless after raster images in original size. Do not even think that you cannot add textures to your vector work. Many of these programs come equipped with samples of detailed patterns, textured brushes, even with “Live Trace”, which as its name indicates, traces raster images and converts them into vector graphics.

Reiterating and ensuring there is no confusion, here is a list with programs generally considered as raster-based: Photoshop, Painter, MS Paint and a great free alternative, Gimp. Basically, everything created with this program is considered rasterized image. A few of these programs are able to create images with points, lines, and curves, just as a vector program would do.

The same Photoshop can make images based on vectors, however, they are usually considered “vexel” because vexel artists usually include brush strokes on their images (for hair, etc.).

Speaking of brushes. Just because you have downloaded and installed a set of brushes for Photoshop (or any other raster image program) that has the word “vector” in its title, it does NOT mean that your work is vectorial. These brushes come in various sizes, and no matter what resolution you apply them, they can never be increased above 100% of their size without losing quality.

How to Write an Explainer Video Script

The script is the most important part of the explainer video production process for good reason. You can have all the pretty design elements you like, mesmerising animation and a killer soundtrack, but if the script doesn’t clearly explain what you need to get across and hook the viewer in, your explainer won’t work.

Here’s a typical explainer video script that you might’ve heard:

Meet Jim. He does this job.

His life sucks because of these problems.

But now there’s This amazing product/service!

It fixes all of Jim’s problems in this innovative way and also does these other amazing things that Jim never even dreamed of. It can make your life better too.

Go to amazingproduct.com and sign up now.

Amazing Product. There is no better product.

Now, granted, this oversimplified version of a user-case scenario may sound a bit tired, and we’re not suggesting that every explainer should sound the same, but it covers all the basics and allows us a chance to examine the key elements of an explainer script.

Let’s break it up, and take a closer look:

The intro

Meet Jim. He does this job.

His life sucks because of these problems.

Straight off the bat, the viewer is given a situation which we hope he or she can identify with: she also has that problem! And she can’t wait to find out how to fix it.

The danger here is that there are often loads of problems and so it’s easy to dwell here too long, going on and on about all the pitfalls of the current way things are done. That’s not necessary. Establish the issue and move on to the solution as soon as you can. And don’t go too wild in your description of the problem! Some products simply make life easier – the world was turning long before your new pineapple peeler came on the market…

Your product

But now there’s This amazing product/service!

It fixes all of Jim’s problems in this innovative way and also does these other amazing things that Jim never even dreamed of. It can make your life better too.

Now you tell the world what you’ve got. Introduce the product or service, outline how it solves the problem, some of the key features and benefits and try to spur the viewer’s imagination of how she could use it. This is what they call your USP – your Unique Selling Proposition that will offer a unique or differentiated solution for their pain point. You’re now relatable AND likeable.

Call to action

Always, always, have a call to action. A web address, a social media handle, anything – as long as it sends the viewer somewhere once you have their attention. There’s no point identifying with them, offering a solution and then… leaving. Give them the thing they need to take the next step in using your product or service – a way to get in touch.

And keep it short! If you can say it in 1 minute, why use 2?

As long as you’ve kept your script entertaining, engaging and memorable, and give the viewer a way to take you up on your offer, your explainer video gets you 90% of the way towards converting a potential lead into a loyal client.

Trend of Animation! Redefining The App Interface

The chief reason for app developers to constantly nurture techniques for incorporating brilliant animated effects in the apps is holding back the attention of customers. Anything that is not static and is moving in an interesting way will surely draw more attention than a simple graphic image. A bit tedious part in development, developers don’t ever shrink away from the concept of animation because of the captivating experience they can provide to the users.

While there are many ways to indulge animations in an app’s user interface and that’s the concern of the developers, here we’ve explained how including animations will redefine your app’s interface and make it way more interesting to use.

It makes your application interface a lively thing

With animations, users get a fun-filled lively experience while strolling across the app. Even when stage arrives where some data has to load from the server and users have nothing to do, there’s stuff moving in the background. This gives an assurance that they are not in a deadlock situation, but the process is ongoing.

For users, waiting for a function is no more annoying

Regardless of what your app offers or how exhilarating it is, most hate the idea of waiting too long for a page to appear. Moreover, that gives a frozen look to the app while the page loads and makes the users impatient. Use of some catchy animation, like a spinner, 3D bar or sand-clock. Even though the wait time at the juncture of the app, such animation keep the attention hooked at least for some more time.

Navigation takes an interesting turn

Users mostly get perplexed while moving to different locations in the app on their own. At the first use, they are not sure whether they are moving in the right way. Now, animated objects can guide them through and prevent any wrong clicks while scrolling abruptly.

Motion images, animated icons and graphics can well intercept the user’s next move and provide them instructions in an interactive way. Benefits of interactive animations for navigation are seamless transition from one location to location and setting up a hierarchy visually that one phase has a connection to other.

Responses with visuals leave a long-lasting impression

When an app responds to a user’s input with some visual element, it seems to give a human touch. The users get a feel-good experience with such feedback as they interpret to have some control over the app. There are different ways to place animations and a key way is to make the buttons react in some way or the other whenever one taps.