The completion of this task was to allow me and my partner to further understand the different parts of a website of our genre and how an audience might interact with it. The website that we looked at was for the Red Hot Chili Peppers who are an alternative rock band with an interesting website. As we went through this website, we saw that there are many different aspects of it that follow the audience theory of uses and gratifications by Blumler and Katz and discovered how important each of these features are to make an interactive and engaging website for our target audience. We must insure that when we make our own website, we stick to the conventions and allow our audience to get the predicted pleasure they require to prevent them from rejecting our media which we can do by following the features we discovered in the screencastify that we have created.
When creating the starry sky background for our digipak, we had to learn how to use a lot of new tools on Photoshop that we hadn’t used before. The first thing that we learnt was how to ‘add noise’ to a plain black background which was the base of the stars. We set the amount all the way up to 400% so we got the most out of this effect and it created a static tv look.
The next tool that we used was the ‘gaussian blur’ tool which we discovered blurs the image slightly to make it look a bit softer which we found helped us create a more authentic looking night sky as it ended up looking less digitally designed. We only used it a small amount however and set it to 0.5 as we did not want to completely lose the detail in the image.
Next, we used the adjust layers function, allowing us to cancel out a lot of the white and begin to make our image look like a night sky. To get it to the correct levels, we set the input levels to 200, 1.00 and 255 and it left us seemingly with stars on top of the black background with not too many to overcrowd the image.
Finally, before colouring our image in to create the blue-green cosmic look, we created a new layer on top of our black background and rendered some clouds onto that layer. We set the layer type to divide so it gives a softer and more natural look to the waves in the sky. We also selected some of he stars and deleted the black by pressing ctr+delete to make certain stars bigger than others, giving these ones an outer glow to seem like they are shining in the darkness.
What I Like So Far:
- On the front and back covers we love the edgy and alternative vibe the starry sky we created gives off as it makes the digipak seem mystical and celestial
- The editing in Photoshop that we did on the photo of the wings that we took allows it to blend in well with the background and adds to the celestial feeling
- The moon behind the artists name adds more interest to the front
- I like how the text and image is framed on the back
What Could Be Improved:
- The feather on the back is a different colour to the wings on the front and doesn’t fit in very well to the aesthetic
- The font on the back may be a bit too feminine and playful and take away from the edginess that we are trying to convey
- The wings could stand out a bit more from the background as they blend in a bit too much and don’t make as much of a statement as I would like
- It may be hard for the audience to tell apart the album’s name from the artist’s name so I could change the fonts to make them more easy to distinguish
Once we had created the very first draft of our digipak’s front and back covers, we looked through the mark scheme and self assessed ourselves on how well we believed we fit within the mark scheme. I felt that doing this really helped me understand what I need to do to improve upon this first draft as I have been very critical of what I have produced. It has also taught me how things as seemingly unimportant as the song names all have an impact to the how the digipak is presented to my audience so I need to think carefully on everything that I include on it. Now that I understand how my work will be marked, I believe I will find it a lot easier to improve upon the use of photoshop, mise-en-scene and DTP.
For the background of our digipak we wanted to have a mystical looking starry sky as we found this type of image rather conventional of alternative rock and gives off the kind of feeling that we want our digipak to. Since we could not get this type of image with the camera equipment that we have, we decided to make this in Photoshop by following this tutorial:
This was a very simple and easy tutorial to follow that allowed us to customize our colours as we coloured it in ourselves. This meant that we chose to make the image more blue and green, rather than the bright purple shown in the tutorial which we thought would be better as it contrasts with the pink and purple of our font. Here is the final image that we ended up with:
We also made a created a graphical moon in Photoshop as this was also something that we could not take a high quality photo of. We were able to do this by creating a circle in Photoshop and filling it in a light pink. Then we created another circle that was slightly off centered to the circle and deleted that area to make the crescent shape. After this, I added a few effects onto the moon and copied a brighter one beneath it to make it look like it is glowing and ended up with this:
For our digipak shoot we were able to acquire all of the photos that we had been planning to take and use for our digipak as well as a few extras in case we may need them. The main aim of this shoot was to get some images of black angel wings that we could incorporate into our digipak to tie to our alternative genre. We decided that we should also take some images of a model wearing these wings in case the idea of the wings on their own doesn’t work out, preventing us from having to go through the effort of booking another time to have a shoot.
The first photos that we took were photographs of our model sat on the floor with her angel wings on. We went through a few different outfits while doing it and decided that the lighter outfits helped create more of a striking star image as it contrasted with the black of the angel wings. After taking a few shots like this however, we decided that the wings were too small, made her hair messy or were not at the correct angles in the photographs that we had taken so decided to take pictures of the model without them on and thought that we could use Photoshop to edit the wings on separately. To make sure we could do this, I took some photos of the wings at lots of different angles to allow us so variety in editing and put them against a white background, meaning they will be as simple to cut out as possible.
Looking back on a lot of the images we had taken, I have realised that it would have been a lot better if we had spent the time to get the flash photography equipment working for our shoot as some of our images turned out rather dark with low quality to them.
After looking back through each of the images that we have taken, these are my favorites:
Our aims for the graphic design was to create a starry sky background that gives off a mystical effect to the viewer as well as to create a moon that we could place on top of this background. I believe that we managed to be successful in reaching these aims as both of these images have ended up looking how we want them to, conforming to the typical conventions of an alternative rock digipak.
Completing the graphic designs didn’t take too long as for the starry sky we followed a tutorial which explained the process of creating it very well. One thing we found however when making it was that some of the sky seemed top be too bright and looked unnatural, looking like this:
We then realised that we could fix this by changing the effect on the background from colour dodge to divide which we found gave a more natural and soft look which we thought would fit a lot better on our digipak.
Now that we are in the planning stages of making our website, we have to learn some of the technical forms and typical conventions of a website of our genre. By doing this I have learnt that the home page of a website is split up into the section that is above the fold and below the fold, the above part being what is shown to the audience as they open the website and the below being what they have to scroll to see. This has taught me that everything that is above the fold, such as the leaderboard and hero shot, must represent my artist in the way that will entice a viewer to continue scrolling and find out more information.
These are the pictures that we took at our digipak shoot. We feel that we got some good shots of the model to use as a back up in case our main idea does not work, however some of them ended up blurry and the lighting may have been a bot dark and would need brightening in Photoshop. We went through lots of different outfits on our model as we weren’t initially sure what style would work best with the wings. The first outfit we tried was a black lacy blouse with a black skirt which we thought could represent the dark side of a fallen angel, however we ended up not liking this look as all of the black drowned out the eye catching effect of the wings which we wanted to be the main point of the image. We then gave the model a lighter outfit with a white shirt and jeans which we found made the wings stand out more so we preferred that look.
However, we then took some photos of the wings without the model as we quite liked the idea of using the wings on their own and using interesting effects on Photoshop with them. We also took photos of an interesting pattern on my dress as we thought that we could possibly use that in some way by adding an interesting effect.
Here is the production meeting agenda and risk assessment for my digipak shoot. The main aims for this shoot is to get some images of either a woman kneeling in black feathered wings or just the black feather wings on their own that we could include on the front cover of the digipak. We chose to do our shoot at school and use the white studio as we thought it would be best for our genre as then we could cut out the images we take and put them on an interesting looking background. We also knew that by doing it here, we would have all of the correct equipment at hand and wouldn’t have to worry about travelling with it or the health and safety risks that might come with this
A lot of the costume and makeup that we chose to bring with us consist of the colours black and white which we chose as we believe they represent the idea of light and dark and represent a fallen angel well. We made sure to include a lot of different outfits so that we had a wide range of variety when choosing our final pictures for the digipak.
Here is a collage and a hand drawn mock up that we have created for our digipak. For the collage we followed a theme of pinks, blues and oranges and made a very rough and messy piece of paper with our ideas on. We came up up with a theme of the night sky with the sun and moon looking over some mountains. By doing this we decided that we could go with a magical and pretty front cover with a bit of a cosmic theme surrounding it.
Then when we got around to creating our hand drawn mock up, we were able to uses the themes that we had gotten from our collage and draw it out more precisely to what we would want our digipak to look like. Our first plans where to have a mountain with wings and a moon coming our of it and decided that to follow with this them we would call it ‘Euphoria’. After some discussion and debating we finally concluded that with the skills our group has available this wouldn’t be very easy to do and we probably wouldn’t be able to execute this concept. We then redrafted it and made a new front cover using a model with angel wings the we could cut out and photoshop stars around it. Then, to link our back cover to this theme we planned to have a fallen feather from the wings in a pool of water with the names of the songs next to it.
After doing this planning we have decided that we will take forward from this the ideas of the space and fallen angel theme. The starry background will be purples and blues which we will create in photoshop and cut our our model and put her onto that. This will mean that we need to do a photo shoot with a model using some of the angel wings that I have so that we will acquire some images to use. We may eventually decide to change the feather in water on the back image as the water no longer follows our space theme so that may be replaced by a feather in space instead.
When planning on how to design my digipak, I must make sure that I fully understand my target audience and what they are interested in. I should also learn about why they consume media and what their reasons for it are as the ‘Uses and Gratification’ theory from Blumler and Katz suggests that to be able to create the most successful media you must understand if people are looking for media for entertainment, information, social interaction or to personally identify with. Additionally, I must follow Hall’s ideas of ‘Reception Theory’ which suggests that the producers ideology must overlap with the audiences to allow them to decode my media in the way that I have encoded them to understand. To ensure that I could fulfill this, I created an audience profile on my general target audience and a person that I believe would be interested in my digipak and music video.