WTF OCAD University

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OCAD University has an official blog that is about Time Management, but titles it WTF, I’m running out of Time.

I’ve discovered this in regards to the direction of Assignment 4 and investigating potential community oriented blogs created for OCAD students. This blog was started by Jesse Colins Jackson as a means to start a community blog to have a forum to discuss about Time Management from the perspective of an Art or Design student at OCAD University.

This blog started in 2010 and seems to have lost momentum at the end of June 2012.

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The Wonderful Potential of Vine

Story telling with GIFs: Narrative Structure

Here is an example of a challenge to tell a narrative story only using GIFs. This was submitted by Reddit user /r/iliketurtles2795 from this Reddit Thread:

At first I was like

After a few drinks, he was like

Then I was all

Then we did a little

And then we did

So then I was like

And then he ended it

Afterwards he told me

And I felt like

 

 

Understanding Digital Storytelling: Non-Traditional Narrative

The advent of texting and the Internet has developed into a giant social network that cultures ideas, conversations, and dialogue. One of the primary means of communication is through written text. However, text can be difficult to interpret.

For example, here is an anonymous exchange between two classmates:

Kevin: Want to study?
Andrew: Let’s do it tonight.
Kevin: For real?
Andrew: Sure. I’ve been procrastinating about this for too long.
Kevin: OMG, I’ve been waiting for this to.

So, the outcome of this conversation lead to an extremely awkward situation as one person was looking forward to study for a test while the other student was interested in becoming more intimate.

To avoid mis-interpretation of the original intent, emoticons and other symbols help convey intent and communicate the message:

Kevin: Want to study? 🙂

versus

Kevin: Want to study? 😉

It certainly helps to convey the tone of the message. In a regular conversation, inflections in tonality help convey meaning and intent. Without aid of such auditory devices, it is easy to interpret the meaning of a very simple phrase. Digital narrative emulates those actions and tone through different means.

BY WRITING IN ALL CAPS, IT CERTAINLY SOUNDS LIKE I’M YELLING! THIS CERTAINLY HELPS EMPHASIS MY POINT AND THE EMOTIONAL INTENT OF THIS STATEMENT. PAY ATTENTION!

To further express digital narrative, users who comment in message boards have resorted to using GIFs or strong visual images to express their reactions. This aids in the expression of the commentators as part of the dialogue:

Kevin: You remember Oscar Pistorius, the double-amputee Olympic hero?
Andrew: Yeah.
Kevin: He is being charged for murder for shooting his girlfriend 4 times on Valentines’ Day!
Andrew:

 wide-eyed shock gif

Therefore, the idea of the GIF assists in helping conveying a more in depth emotion or reaction in a conversation that occurs digitally. For a more interesting library of reaction gifs, browse the selection collected at http://www.reactiongifs.com/ and views the plethora of GIFs that communicate a variety of reactions and emotions.

Investigation: What is Vine?

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Twitter has launched a new app, Vine, “that lets your create and share beautiful short looping videos”. The company is taking an interesting stance with the service, launching it as a standalone app and network – albeit one with strong hooks into Twitter very similar to Instagram.

So What is it?

At the core, Vine lets you make and share six-second video clips. The app is clearly heavily influenced by the rebirth of the gif. Gifs were once overused as an eye-catching means on early website designs, that were more fun than practical. Vine has adopted the looping nature of the gif and loop video that is no longer than 6 seconds long. The format of Vine is limiting to purely capture and share “moments”.

This idea hearkens back to when Flickr added video support in 2008. The company branded its videos “long photos”, and capped them at 90 seconds. The motive was clearly to encourage the same non-narrative video creation as Vine, but Flickr did not have the foresight to loop video. The importance of looping the video highlights the emphasis on that specific moment.

So Vine has taken the idea and provided a forum to share and display the moment. The other genuine innovation Vine offers is in its recording technique. Rather than hitting a “record” button and snapping 6 seconds of video, the app asks you to touch the screen to record. It lets you make pseudo-stop-motion videos with ease, and focuses on the moment rather than narrative.

Vine offers no option for editing after video is recorded, nor does it let you import videos taken or downloaded elsewhere. Only the person who has made the video has the option to share the link to it – if they decide to keep it in Vine alone, there is no way for anyone else to get the link to the video.

The Skewed, Anamorphic Sculptures and Engineered Illusions of Jonty Hurwitz

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What can you do with a billion computer calculations and talent? A truly unique vision of expression, that’s what!

The idea of anamorphic drawings and sculpting is nothing new, but the skill that Jonty Hurwitz expresses in his work in impeccable. The idea of displaying the final art piece as a perfect reflection in a curved plane is such a time-consuming effort. The physical form is interesting enough and doesn’t need the detail, but the fact that he includes skin folds and finger prints with the proper skewed distortion is a mind-boggling.

I’m glad that there are committed artists to achieve such level of detail and perfection and following his vision.

Check out more of his work and the processes videos on his website: http://www.jontyhurwitz.com/

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Sometimes, you come across something that makes your jaw drop.

Sometimes, you come across something that makes your jaw drop.

I was looking for some design inspiration on the Internet and came across a thumbnail that made me stop everything I was looking for. Colour me impressed! (see what I did there?) I was blown away by the skill, composition and style of this photograph. It’s just incredible.

Photo credit to Taras Perevarukha.
Check out his work at: http://500px.com/photo/215416

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Typograhpy: Do you know the difference between Arial and Helvetica?

Typograhpy: Do you know the difference between Arial and Helvetica?

Here is a link for an awesome quiz to test your knowledge of Arial versus Helvetica. Not that I am a big fan of Helvetica, but it certainly has earned it’s place in helping the world with better graphic design. Having studied both typefaces, I aced the quiz 20 out of 20. I have come to appreciate the subtleties that makes Helvetica stand out as a great typeface. It has one of the most beautifully crafted uppercase R of any typeface, and Arials version is ugly in comparison.

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Impressive Picture of Toronto’s skyline

Impressive Picture of Toronto's skyline

An impressive photo of Toronto at night posted in the the /r/toronto thread of Reddit by user drspg99. However, I certainly would love to find out the real artist responsible for this picture. I have captured my own version of Toronto from this exact vantage point. Fantastic photo all-around.

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Minimalistic Hockey logos

Thanks to Reddit user erockmazz, he has created minimalistic wallpaper backgrounds featuring all NHL team logos (and their alternatives) in stunning HD. Personally, there are some fantastic logos as part of the league and it reminds me how boring the Toronto Maple Leaf logo really is. Personally, I think the logo for the Harford Whalers is stupidly clever because use of negative space if perfect. Reminds me of a story where a friend was wearing a Hartford Whalers sweatshirt, and someone listening in on our conversation had to interject and yell: “Where’s the H??” Thankfully, they figured it out eventually.

For the full posting of the graphics, here is the link.

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