I'm a senior IMM major with a minor in Graphic Design. I have a serious interest in the arts and design. By channeling this passion along with my design skills, I create graphic art and designs to use for a variety of purposes. I apply the knowledge from both areas in order to challenge himself to innovate and create new design work that lives up to my standards.
My project is The Mythology Experience, an interactive experience that showcases different heroes and villains from mythologies around the world; specifically focusing on Greek, Japanese, Hindu and Norse mythologies. The characters will be presented on animated posters, made through Adobe Illustrator and After Effects. Although the physical aspect of the experience may be lost, the digital experience is just as magical!
I personally have an interest in learning about mythology and the characters that are vital to the story. I wanted to be able to share my love for mythology and create an interactive experience that would make learning about these stories a much more interesting experience.
There were very limited exhibit experiences that focused on the subject of mythology and the characters that make up these stories. A lot of the information I found regarding mythology was often limited to online articles or books, which are not very fun experiences to me personally. With this issue, I set out to find a solution that could make learning about mythology much more fun and accessible to a general public. The conclusion I came up with was to create an interactive experience that showcases mythological heroes and villains from four different cultures in ways that will keep the audience engaged.
Process and Tools
In order to create the characters featured on the posters, I first sketched out each design on paper to give myself a guideline on where my designing should focus upon. I then created each character using only the shape and pen tools on Adobe Illustrator. This allowed me to keep the vector art aesthetic that I was trying to achieve. This also saved me time with the eventual process of animating in Adobe After Effects by having simplified shapes that were easy to animate. After each character design was made up, I created a base for the posters and created background elements. Once these were finished, I pasted the characters on to each poster and arranged the layers accordingly. With everything in line, I was able to transfer the assets made on the posters to After Effects. To animate the character, I rigged skeletons on to the characters’ bodies using a combination of the plugins called Duik Bassel and Rubberhose 2. When animated in tandem with the backgrounds, I rendered each animation and was ready to go.
My project is very design heavy. To complete this project, I needed to utilize the Adobe Creative Suite, which is the industry standard for design work. While animation is not something that I can see myself pursuing much in the future, the design work I did in order to create the assets is something I definitely will need to use in my expected career path.
My goal is that my project will inevitably teach people the stories of these characters from mythology. I want people to remember who these characters are and how their stories have impacted these past cultures. I also hope that the experience inspires people to do their own research into mythology and discover more about these mythical worlds and characters.
Adapting to the COVID Pandemic
Without a doubt, COVID-19 and the effect that it had on our society was the biggest hurdle I needed to overcome. Having to quarantine in our homes prevented my exhibit experience from becoming a reality, as there is no way people are able to physically interact with my project. Being unable to access certain resources at school prohibited my ability to complete my project as I initially had imagined. Putting the virus aside, I also struggled with arranging my time, as I still had three other classes I needed to complete work for. I had to create a schedule that properly organized my time in order to successfully complete my project without compensating for time needed for my other classes and my personal life.
The quarantine led me to cut out the third part of my project, which was to 3D print custom made models of the characters I featured on my posters. This would have given people another dimension to my project. While the posters and animations are nice to look at, I also wanted a physical thing that people could touch in order to build a further connection to the design of the characters. With the physical interaction aspect of my project unable to come to fruition, the need for 3D models became redundant, leading to their eventual cut. I also wished to print out the posters on larger scale paper and arrange them in the exhibit as well. However, due to print stores being closed and the physical aspect being cut, the posters remained on the site, but were unable to be printed.