SourTale Productions

So, with my production company name down, and the Logo born from it. I needed to animate an Ident, which I story boarded but in case you need remind it, it’s here again;sour tail 2Before I even began, I knew the hardest part of it would be the initial tail movement, just for those few frames. I could loop it once I got it to smoothly repeat itself, but I had to animated it first. Basic design was drawn in flash and then I made a guide line animation.sourtale 1Quite poor, but I had an idea that involved masking and use of a much longer wavy line.

the ideasourtale2

With this method, I don’t have to redraw the line, I can just move it forward a few steps per frame. Once the layers are locked, the blue area is the only part where the wavy line would actually be visible.


Now you can see the effect I was trying to emulate. Although it’s a bit wavier than I anticipated, I’m pleased with this technique and will definately be using it in the future whenever possible. Now all I have to do is draw the actual tail over it and repeat with each frame. Altogether the tail whip came to 15 frames, and smoothly transitioned back to the start of the loop, allowing me to copy and past the frames on.sourtale4Now for the rest of the animation. I did have to turn the separate tail into a symbol so when I ‘zoomed out’ (really I just shrank the image) it would still animate and I wouldn’t have to move it myself and it would also stay in shape. The fox movement was quite easy, the head was cut out and moved and the neck was redrawn but that was the extent of the moving image. I had to do a bit of sneaky redrawing when the fox looked the other way, but it’s done quick enough that mistakes aren’t easily noticed. A did a similar masking technique with the SourTale title, frame by frame I would gradually fill in more of the text, and as the text on the mask is coloured in, it becomes visible once locked, making almost look like it was handwritten at the time. I experimented with sound, I tried adding phaser and pitch shift to a squeaky chair to make the fox noise, but that sounded too robotic so I used my own whistle, with some pitch adjustment and noise removal. Same again with the snuffling, that was just me smacking my lips and then amplifying the sound and removing the noise.


I didn’t check the sound quality properly before exporting, really it should’ve been amplified or run a bit a louder, it’s a shame really it could’ve done with louder and clearer sound.

SourTale Productions

Foley Sound.

The reproduction of everyday sound effects for media, added in post production to improve audio quality. Began in 1925 by Jack Donovan Foley, working on Universal’s musical Showboat, into an actual musical. Microphones could only pick up dialogue in those days, so sound was added in the post production process. The term Foley itself may also describe the “Sound Stage” a Foley artist might work on, which usually consists of different surface areas, from carpets, to laminates, to gravel.

An example of Foley sound would be a flock of bats. The heroic protagonist quietly edges through a dark cavern and disturbs a flock of bats, they then swarm past him, screeching and what not. While a hundred bats flapping would make noise, their squeaks aren’t actually audible to the human ear, but for the sake of atmospherics they are added in. Another instance would be just before an action sequence, where the hero pulls a gun from his holster and it makes that distinct “CHA-CHUNK” loading sound. Even though all he actually did was take it out of his holster. This enigmatic sound informs us of what is about to come. If I pulled a gun from my pocket, all you would hear is the sound of metal rubbing on fabric, which isn’t nearly as intimidating.

Examples for future use;

A snapping twig slowed down once or twice makes a could bone crunching noise, it also makes a could fire crackle.

(taken from

  • Corn Starch in a leather pouch makes the sound of snow crunch
  • A pair of gloves sounds like bird wing flaps
  • An arrow or thin stick makes a great whoosh!
  • An old chair makes a controllable creaking sound
  • A water soaked rusty hinge when placed against different surfaces makes a great creaking sound. Notice how various surfaces act as a sounding board to amplify and change the sound: this is an important principal of Foley and sound creation!
  • A heavy staple gun and a other metal parts make can make a good gun sound
  • A metal rake makes a great fence sound (and when scraped across metal makes a great metal screech – if you can stand it!)
  • You will need a car door and a fender which you can pickup at a wrecking yard – they are good for car and other heavy metal sounds. If you can fit a whole car in the studio, even better!
  • Burning black plastic Glad garbage bags (cut open a bag and strip it into thin pieces) will make a cool sound as the bag melts and drips to the ground
  • 1/4″ audio tape when balled up sounds like grass (we walk on it!) or flowers
  • A wet balloon makes a weird sound when rubbed: this is funny more than practical!
  • ‘Flubber’ (they sell it in toy stores) is great for wet swuishy sounds; so is gelatin and liquid hand soap.
  • Frozen romaine lettuce (I used this in the ‘War Of The Worlds’ television series for alien head squishes!) makes a great bone or head squishy noise
  • Coconuts shells cut in half and stuffed with padding makes great sounding horse feet (I swear I still use this trick): it takes some skill to make good sounding ones (not too hollow or thin) but it works!
  • Cellophane can make the sound of crackling fire (the effects editor should do the fire but in a pinch it does work)
  • You will need a wooden door – apart from door knocks and other movement sounds, they make great wooden boat noises when laid across a heavy wooden stool (the stool gives the door a resonance and helps with the creaking
  • A heavy rolled and taped up telephone book makes a good ‘body punching’ surface


Foley Sound.

Environment Drawing

In response to a mini-brief I was set, I’ve began thumbnailing ideas for an environment set up. Mine was;

“The flight deck of a space pirate ship.”

“Untidy/slovenly kept”

“With a time travelers device/briefcase.”


Already, that’s not the easiest set up. I need things that make something messy. So boots, coats and tricorne hats can be scattered about, maybe food containers. Space pirates so maybe I big captains wheel at the helm rather than joy sticks. One of the thumbnails has a drink in a cup holder by the controls. There’s also weapons to take into account, maybe a treasure chest. The chest itself can incorporate elements for the time travelers device. The actual ship design would be handy to know also, that way I can get an idea for what the flight deck should look like.

Perpective drawing ThumbnailsI also did a quick warm up working on perspective drawing, however, already I’ve put the two perspective points too close together, they should be farther apart, practically right on the edge of the paper.

space pirate interior

For my exterior piece, I was required to create;

“A hangar”

“Current/in use”

“White elephant statue”

I sketched out some rough ideas, angles and viewpoints. Making the habit of researching pilot statues.

hangar2 Hangar1

Environment Drawing

Making a music video

One of the main snags I’ve encountered so far is trying to get a location for a music video. It turns out, anyone that owns a big warehouse or industrial patch of land would much rather see it rented out at £34,000 per annum than say… £50 for the weekend, which is all I REALLY need it for.  If you’ve seen the previous posts with all the music videos I’d like to base it on, then you’d guess I need a pretty run down kind of place, with some exposed bricks and broken windows. Failing that, I’d like to get some people handy for the upcoming gig we have on April 13th to record us while we play. The problem is though, the camera operator will have to be on stage as well, getting up in our faces and what not. Which not many of the students are willing to do. I’d happily do it myself, but being in the band, it wouldn’t be viable.

Another backup solution would be to find an open patch of land open to the public and get our cars (we have three) arranged in a triangle formation around the band set up, and use them for lighting. Obviously, it’s doubtful a powersupply would be available to run some big lights, so just some full beam and fog lights would have to do it. I’ll probably try a bit of all three if I can and ultimately edit the shots together.

Location 2 Location 3 Location 4These locations would be good, but again, trying to get access with the cars would be hard work. I’d have to make phone calls to see but it’s knowing the right numbers to call and if they’d even take me seriously.

Making a music video

Examples of typography and semiotics.

Example 1: Blues Brothers poster

I only had to type in “Saul Bass” and this came up in the images. The hat and sunglasses placement instantly displays the height relationship between the characters. Just like that, the garish orange hits the eye it’s impossible not to see it. John Belushi’s smaller height allows room for tagline as well, which on it’s own, isn’t very funny, but make sense when given the context of the film.

The typeface almost seems messy, with U’s sitting within the L’s, the columns of the H aren’t symetrically lined up either, sometimes towering of upper case T’s, which as we are taught in primary school, shouldn’t be the case. However, this uneven handwriting certainly catches the eye.

Example 2: Vertigo poster

I’ve noticed the very blocky text style, the C’s and O’s are practically square shaped with hard right angles. I’m more focused spiralling pattern in the dead center. It’s design gives a vortex-like impression which our silhoutted figure is falling into, a perfect metaphor for the symptoms of vertigo themselves (dizzyness, loss of awareness, panic attacks.)

Not so easily noticable is the the female outline that’s with the silhouette, I had to look twice to clearly see it. The question this poster evokes is, are they falling together? Or is she pulling him along with him, the way it’s drawn shows that she is placed behind him in the picture.

Example 3: Rear Window poster

A poster that doesn’t use bright orange to catch the eye, the font is a little askew, it’s not parralellel with itself. The overlapping circles in the centre represent pair of binoculars, making the audience themselves to feel like the voyeurs. A person using a pair of binoculars could’ve been used, maybe staring directly at the viewer to unsettle them, but a first person style was used. Making the viewer feel directly uncomfortable with themselves.

Examples of typography and semiotics.


What is Typography?

Good typography is never noticed. The above article is quite wordy but contains very useful information on the definitions of type and the different styles used. However, I’ll note the bottom section here:


Information Hierarchy

When planning your design, it’s important to work out how you’re going to identify hierarchy and structure. How big or how bold should the title/headline be? What about sub-headings, body copy or figure captions?

Also consider that using different typefaces can help you create distinctions between different text levels. Many successful publications combine different typefaces to create both classical and contemporary layouts.

Creating a logical hierarchy in your designs make them easier to scan and read.

Select Typefaces That Support the Theme

Thinking about the theme of your design while you choose your typefaces will help you make decisions. After the often lengthy — but very enjoyable — job of short-listing typefaces, justify your choices by assessing them against your theme.

Get Familiar

The more you do something, the better you get at it. This being the case, you should try to experiment with typography as much as possible. Immerse yourself in the subject. (I have included a short list of books and sites to check out at the end of this guide.)

Look at the portfolios of designers you admire, and study how they use typography to create great work. Take note of typefaces that appeal to you and how you might use them in your own work.

Get familiar with the art and science of typography; there is nothing that instills confidence in your decisions like knowledge. Being able to talk through your decisions confidently and clearly with the full support of your craft behind you is very important.

Use Your Own Judgement

While some of the rules I’ve discussed earlier seem rigid, at the end of the day, you should use your better judgment. Setting type is an art form as much as a science.

While we have talked about some of the rules about typography, it’s important to realize that each job is different. A double spread, a web page, a business card, a letterhead — each have their own objectives and considerations.

While the rules we’ve covered can be a good starting point, outside influences such as the surrounding design, identity guidelines of the company and client approval can alter how you need to set the type.

Above all, what really matters is that the design works.

Typography Is Everywhere

Type is a component of design that’s ever-present in the world around us. Road signs, magazine covers, posters, TV ads, film intro sequences — you don’t have to look far to find typography.

When you look at type, think about what you’re looking at and why it’s the way it is. Soon, you will notice the minor nuances of setting type that often make a big difference between good and bad typography.


What is a typeface?

Think of a typeface as the ‘design’ of the design of the alphabet, the shape of the letters that make up the typestyle. The letters, numbers, and symbols that make up a design of type. So when you say “Arial” or “Garamond” you’re talking about a set of letters in a specific style, a ‘typeface’.

What is a font?

Think of a font as the digital file that contains/describes the typeface. Think of the font as a little piece of software that tells the computer and printer how to display and print the typeface.

 Read more:


Logos, Identities and Brands.


While doing research on such, youtubing (verb?) this and that. I was hit with a memory of Virgin Interactive. The ident they used in Dino Crisis, if you’ve got your volume up it can get pretty intense, but it looks something like this…

Holy crap, 10 year old me didn’t even know what hit him.
It’s hard enough trying to find the names of people that worked with Virgin Interactive, let alone finding out if they actually did or didn’t have anything to do with the Ident creation phase. Given that it was made 20 to 30 years ago, it’s not surprising that these people are hard to find, they probably don’t even remember this. Shame really because it’s a memorable Ident.

As time went on, generations advanced, and KOEI sprang to mind. For all you dynasty warriors fans out there…

Simple, elegant, and not at all traumatising to a younger audience. It seems Idents rely quite heavily on the little jingle sound they make.

Jumping back further now to Team Andromeda, only watch the first minute or so.

Another simple design. Thrown in with all the gameplay images, it’s pretty good.

The original PS1 start-up sequence sings a right tune for the nostalgic kid in you.

A little bit on the noisy/wordy side. Got to put all those disclaimers and copyright notices in somewhere I guess.

However, once they got the PS2, it seems they didn’t want to be quite so loud or flashy anymore.

Just a little “WAOHM” sounds plays. Nice and understated.

Even Sega Saturn, which was meant to be a competitor for the PS1 put in a bit more flash with it’s intro…

Alas, for all it’s flair and pinache, Sega didn’t survive another bout in the hardware generation.

This one strikes a pretty resonant chord;

Easily memorable, the roaring lion is rather iconic.

I find though, with idents that don’t have sound and that aren’t animated, they aren’t so easy to remember. Bad Robot can be recalled because of the children chorusing “Baaaaad Roh-buht!”

I tried to remember one of the companies that produces family guy (Fuzzy Door Productions) it only came to mind because I paid attention that one time after the credits once, then the 20th Century Fox Ident played.

No one stood a chance. I’m pretty sure everyone knows the theme by heart.

While we’re on family guy though… Underdog Productions.

Not one you’ll forget soon, perhaps that’s why they chose it.

To sum up so far, a defining point in making an ident memorable is definitely the accompanying soundtrack

Some quotes;

“Design is thinking made visual.”

“Work? It’s just serious play.”

“I want everything we do to be beautiful. I don’t give a damn whether the client understands that that’s worth anything, or that the client thinks it’s worth anything, or whether it is worth anything. It’s worth it to me. It’s the way I want to live my life. I want to make beautiful things, even if nobody cares.”

“There is nothing glamorous in what I do. I’m a working man. Perhaps I’m luckier than most in that I receive considerable satisfaction from doing useful work which I, and sometimes others, think is good.”

“Symbolize and summarize.”

“Interesting things happen when the creative impulse is cultivated with curiosity, freedom and intensity.”

“Sometimes when an idea flashes, you distrust it because it seems too easy. You qualify it with all kinds of evasive phrases because you’re timid about it. But often, this turns out to be the best idea of all.”

“Failure is built into creativity… the creative act involves this element of ‘newness’ and ‘experimentalism,’ then one must expect and accept the possibility of failure.”

“I want to make beautiful things, even if nobody cares, as opposed to ugly things. That’s my intent.”

“The most stimulating source for a solution to a problem comes from the problem itself. This is the real source—the problem defines the solution. It is when you look at what other people are doing that you are liable to come up with a stereotyped answer to your problem. Each problem contains unique elements. No problem is exactly like any other. The only way you can find a good answer is to clearly understand the question. You can’t find the answer by using somebody else’s answer to another question. I am not even saying this is bad. It is merely untrue. It is not so much a moral issue. It just doesn’t work!”

Saul Bass, Logo Designer

(Taken from


Logos, Identities and Brands.