Graphic Narratives

Overview

Infographics are not new they have been around as far back as the 1920s – London’s Transport Museum is testament to this. Infographics are visual representations of information, data, or knowledge intended to present complex information quickly and clearly by combining text, graphs, maps, diagrams, and pictures.

Animated Infographics have taken this a step further and are one of the most effective ways of communicating information, increasing viewer engagement, understanding and enjoyment. They can educate, inform, entertain, and most importantly, are far more memorable than pages of text or numbers.

This year you will be working collaboratively on a live project with Glasgow Central Station to create an evocative piece of motion graphics to be installed as part of the existing Glasgow Central Station Tours.
Opened by the Caledonian Railway on 31 July 1879, Glasgow Central is Scotland’s largest and busiest railway station – boasting a rich history. Your brief is to bring to life the history of the station, stories of the locals, workers and travellers that have passed through this iconic building over the years.
Assignment
A 250 word evaluation on Group working. Your final group submission plus studies supported by well-considered documentation of the process to clearly represent the project’s development.
Launch
Some photographs taken during the tour:

During the tour we visited the underground of central station walking down tunnels, old forgotten platforms and seeing the exhibition room for the first time. The tour was very impactful and filled with many facts and historical stories of how the station has changed throughout the years. We learned a lot about how world war 1 influenced the station as it was used as a morgue for soldiers, they never had dog tags and woman had to go and identify the dead bodies. We also visited the victorian platform on the lower level.

HERALDRY – Caledonian Railway – “The Caledonian’s arms of Scotland, which was used without proper permission, resulting in a legal case.”- souvenir Guide

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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caledonian_Railway

Monday 7th Workshop

After Effects Workshop – We learned how to use 2D material in a 3D environment on After Effects in order to add spot lights and other interesting filters in a more natural way.

source: https://maps.nls.uk/view/74427695- We found a resource (below) of a map in 1865 but realised we couldn’t download the good quality image without paying so we need to use a different map. This is unfortunate as we clearly identified where Grahamston was show in the second image below.

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http://www.ciltscotland.com/arcmr170915a.php – Article describing the Glasgow Central tour

Rebekah found an old poster for the opening of Glasgow Central Station which we are hoping to re-create and add to the video. source:http://www.scotcities.com/railways/bridgest.htm?

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The image below is our interpretation of the opening poster which we remade in Photoshop. This is going to be an important part of the video as it will represent the Opening of Central Station for the first time, as a group we decided it would be effective to use a poster to portray this rather than just using subtitles to convey this information.

central station opening poster.jpg

We are hoping to get this book out of the library to continue further research:

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Unfortunately we weren’t able to take this book out of the library but Ailsa was allowed to view it and she took some great notes and provided us with an insight into more of Grahamston’s history that we will use in the video.

This is another map of Grahamston showing an irritation of buildings which were present there before the station was built. another source provided us with more information and numbered buildings alongside descriptions and labels showing theatres, churches and many other buildings of Grahamston. Source: https://www.glasgowliving.today/history/grahamston-glasgows-forgotten-village/

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After finding out about the map shown above Ailsa done more research into the theatre of Grahamston and found out it was burned down because of the belief that theatres were demonic and evil in the olden days. We decided this would be interesting to incorporate in the video as it happened in Grahamston. We also acknowledged that the fire and ashes of the theatre could represent the destruction of Grahamston as a whole and following the fire we could present the opening of Central Station appearing out of destruction. We considered copy right issues when using the map from the book which is why I hand drew it:

Map

This way we could use it in the video without any worry, we later highlighted the theatre on the map in red and faded away the other buildings in after effects.

Me and Rebekah tried to start the video but we couldn’t find a map with high enough resolution which set us back until we found a good enough resource.

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Last night I started the process of drawing the architects. I set up a Lightbox and a scanner making sure to scan the drawing every once in a while so I could create an animation of the process creating a movement in the video. Below is a screenshot of some scans I took during the process.

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Paul found a map of Glasgow owned by Glasgow University which we are considering using in the video. I like that the shot is so wide and creates a great visual due to the angle it’s created from. I also enjoy that River Clyde is shown as we are considering having the video pan across the Clyde and making it’s way up to Grahamston.

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Below are some notes taken in an After Effects workshop which helped me create a movement alongside the river Clyde on the map asset and also helped me setup a camera along with a spot light creating a vignette on the build. This was extremely useful and helped create a smooth atmospheric move across the map asset shown above.

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Right now I am working on finding the best way to animate my scans of the drawings I created. I am working on After Effects with different effects and considering cross fading and opacity levels. Below are the Final fully drawn Architects:

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Friday 18th October

Over the last week I have been working with my group to deliver a couple of minutes of the video and show it at todays review. We have created a lot of our own footage ranging from my architect drawings and map tracings to Ailsa’s watercolour theatre and Bekah’s hotel and church along with filming the fire. I have been spending a lot of time editing the video in After Effects on the PC in the studio as we decided it’s a much better machine than our laptops and this way it would be much easier to edit the video effectively. We created 3 timelines since the start of the project starting with general information then our ideas and finally an accurate timeline of what we intend to do with exact timings, this helped me a lot when working in after effects because I had a plan to follow.

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Storyboards/Timelines

Working on this project as a team,  we realised early on we need to create a timeline of events and the history of Grahamston to figure out where things need to be placed in the video and the onscreen timeline which the type team created a template for. This required accurate dates and years to be associated to important milestones. This is where we created our first timeline:

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We then had a meeting as a whole year group to figure out how long each section should be and what the common colours used throughout the video should be. We created a detailed plan/timeline on the whiteboard in the AV room:

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Once we had a grasp of how long our section of the video should be and the timeline of events in Grahamston and early Central Station years me, Ailsa and Bekah decided on what to include in a story board we had a meeting and outlined everything we would like to include bringing together the two previous timelines along with our creative vision and gathered resources. Bekah then volunteered to create a visual storyboard, shown below:

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Our final story board was created in my sketchbook and this was an accurate storyboard with video timings that were also sent to the sound team to help with accurate timing in the video. When I was editing the footage in After Effects later I made sure to keep closely to the timings.

With the storyboard above as a reference Ailsa created a written timeline including all the scenes with years, text, description and timings:

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We created this and shared it on google drive giving access to any other group, like the sound and type team, so they could consider what they will need to create to make the video successful.


250 word submission Statement

Our team was in charge of the Grahamston part of the video. Me, Ailsa and Rebekah worked together as a group to deliver our final 4 minute 30 second video. Our group had a lot of research to do before we could start editing the video. Rebekah found some useful sources on the internet and Ailsa went to the library, we then gathered all the findings and drew a few storyboards and timelines to grasp all of our research. Because of the copyright issues we decided to make drawings, painting and animations, especially since our group covered the time period before WW1 and no footage was available to us.

I focused on most of the editing in the video. I worked on the PC in the studio to make sure I could edit without complications. I also worked on the architect drawing animations. We also communicated with other groups, like the sound team, making sure we delivered the right timings and footage. Overall, I think my group worked well together, we met in the studio and worked together often and also organized meetings with other groups to make sure everything was going according to plan. I am happy with what we delivered despite of all the problems we were faced with along the way. Over the course of this project I have enhanced my After Effects editing skills and my ability to work as part of a team has also improved.

Update

During the reading week I made changes to the parts of the video which I was in charge of like adding an empty frame before the architects showed up so that the drawing animation started with a blank paper instead of an eye, I also addressed other feedback which we received like timings and how things fade in and out of the screen, I also changed the opening poster from black text on white to white text on black making the poster look less boxed in and much more aesthetically pleasing.

I then passed the video forward to Bekah to fix the parts of the video which she was in charge of and I know she worked with Gillian to fix some of those scenes. I was hoping to receive the final edit back from Bekah so that I could submit an updated version on Canvas before the 6th January deadline, however Bekah is having trouble accessing the files she had copied from the studio PC to her hard drive and therefor I sadly can’t submit the updated video in time for the deadline.

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