To round out my star assignments for this week I completed the Design a License Plate assignment worth 3 1/2 stars. I thought this was a good one that I could use along with out theme with my Agent. The one issue I ran into was that my agent’s whole thing is that she is kinda boring. So the idea of a vanity plate seemed a little off but I went with it anyways. I remembered in elementary school using the Virginia DMV website to create license plates so I went back there to look at the site to see if that was still an option. When I navigated there I found they had an interactive form for creating a novelty license plate. Thats when I had an idea what if I created a license plate that could be a novelty gift to my character so it reflected how people perceive her. I started going through all the different hobby and other types of plates trying to figure out what would be a generic kind of plate that still was not the absolute standard one. While I was clicking around it hit me, when I found the heritage plate that it was perfect.
This plate used to be a generic plate that people would get (I think from what I found) but regardless it is one you frequently see on the road. It is slightly different but still sticks to standard Virginia themed imagery and is not overly flashy. Perfect got the plate down, next was to decide on the words. The act of creating a vanity plate usually is because you have something interesting you enjoy or support. Again boring is her thing but I went back through my description and thought about it paperwork came up as something she does enjoy. However being a strict person she would want everything with proper spelling so that was too long instead I went with simple “Papers.” It was to the point it expressed something she does enjoy and it makes sense. Plus in the context of agent fawn receiving the license plate as a gift from others it would make sense that paperwork would be something other people would realize she enjoys and potentially be a bit teasing as well. (Which she would not take offense to.) I’ll admit I thought this assignment was going to be much quicker than it actually took but because I wanted to try and get it to really be meaningful and not just random it took awhile. Which was good though because it gave me more time to critically think about my character!
The Character Word Cloud assignment worth 3 stars, was all about creating a word cloud for your particular character. (Though the example was a tv show.) The suggestion was to use wordclouds to create it. I decided to use the assignments I had already written for my character to fill up the the words, including the original character dossier. So I first used this site and went through all my posts to use what I had written about Agent Fawn into the list of potential words. It presented a very bright blob. Now bright messy blob did not strike me as something that well reflected my character even if the words might so I started playing around with the different portions of the word cloud. For instance I set the color to be all grey scale because I felt that gave a more appropriate tone. I also noted that you could mask the words into a shape so I picked a file folder again because it felt rather appropriate. Except when I picked it it turned out that I did not have enough words to concretely fill up a file folder so I decided to include the outline of the mask to make it more clear what the shape was supposed to be. Here is what I came up with.
Now I could have been done here but I just still felt like it was missing something so I decided to use another tool Voyant to see if I could get different ranged results. Now Voyant actually does a lot of other things than just word clouds, it also can track frequency of words, phrases, exact numbers, and more. However I just used its word cloud function for this assignment. Here again I also played around with changing the colors from neons to a more muted set. (Voyant had less options in color range and none in shape, it changed shape based on number of words you told it to include.) So I got a second word cloud.
I think by having the two different word clouds it shows how even though they use the same words the context feels different. The greyscale file folder design has a much more quiet side to it, while the Voyant cloud keeps the emphasis solely on the words itself. For those reasons I found it more constructive to really understand the character from both perspectives and the ways that words have different feeling from the design.
Sound Effect Story this 3 1/2 star assignment was our mandatory one for the set of assignments for the week. Honestly though that was cool with me because it was pretty awesome. I decided to make mine within the secret agent theme and along with my character.
I decided to play into strong tropes of running and stealing things, you know classic spy concepts. So for my story I used Audacity and 7 different sounds from Free Sound. I layered the breathing sounds with the paper sounds because I felt like the paper alone sounded to unrealistic and removed.
I am happy with how it turned out but when I was searching for breathing sounds I found most of them were for men not women which with breathing sounds like a silly distinction. However there would have been too much of a shift in vocal ranges from the breathing to the gasp so I had to really hunt for some clear ones.
I took on the One Shot assignment that is worth 3 stars. I decided to use this assignment along with my character. The idea of the one shot was to take one image and split it into a comic style to convey something. I decided to tweak that a little, when I was playing around with the photos I was not getting a quality that I liked so I actually took several images of the same subject to get a better quality on particular objects on the desk.
I spent awhile trying to decide how to set up the desk and how to create a desk that reflected the personality of my character Agent Fawn. I imaged her desk being very austere however I decided to clutter it up a bit more to point to items that gave more depth to who she is as a character. Among those items were a notepad with letter on it, a redacted set of files, and a broken key. Those were some of the elements I purposefully set up in the scene along with other office supplies each carefully chosen for the desk.
Here is what my first picture looked like when I originally set the desk up.
I then brought that picture and several other zoom in shots into Photoshop and worked played around with organizing the photos and creating a narrative around the images. Originally I started with a first shot of the desk and progressed through different zoom ins until I go to a final shot of the same desk. However as I worked with it I found the narrative really seemed to be lacking and not strongly coherent. So I scrapped that idea and instead tried to look at the images as a whole and how they could work together better. After I had gotten a organization I was happier with I messed around with color balance layers and the saturation of the overall image to try and give it a more muted effect than the bright original photograph had. I felt a more somber feeling better suited my agent’s personality.
Here is my final completed version.