Professional Practice - Blog Seven

Updated: May 16, 2019

The Bird House team project is well underway and I am pleased with the amount of progress my group has made so far. Each team member has been focussed on their tasks and the momentum has definitely built over the last two weeks in the run-up to for the pitch presentation.

Group Participation

April has created our house style and has produced a series of illustrations to be incorporated into the final animation and website design. Without the work, April has done each member would not know how their visual parts would need to look to be consistent across the project.

Adam has produced a collection of test animations, mainly exploring colour and movement, to generate an animation with a strong visual impact. He began by experimenting with wing movement using a line drawing of a generic bird. This has now developed into multiple bird types flying in an upward direction from the bottom of the screen. The feeling of disruption is now much stronger and the use of colour really makes an impact.  

Joel has produced some initial watercolour wash designs for the vinyl stickers that will be featured on light switches. These are the first steps of experimentation so I am really looking forward to seeing how these designs develop with the addition of coloured backgrounds, a QR code, and text.

Charlotte has begun to research local birds by gathering some found imagery. The advantage of this research is that our group will be able to provide people who visit the website with local information linked to the theme of environment and energy saving.

Connor has researched the best technology suited for creating a projection around campus. He has also begun to explore layout and design for a web page which will tell the user more information around the university and local areas energy consumption, which he has researched into.

My role has been ensuring that the project runs to the timeframe by taking detailed meeting minutes and allocating small tasks to each member at every meeting.  By doing this I hope all the team members feel valued, involved and motivated to achieve the goal of producing a creative disruption for ready the final presentation.

Meeting Minutes Document

Although I could not attend the pitch presentation in person, due to being on holiday, I ensured my group had multiple team meetings and discussions during the week before so everyone knew what preparations they needed to make. I also supported the group whilst away by checking in online to share further planning details and answer last minute questions.

Our team decided to record a video for the pitch because there were members of the team who did not feel confident in speaking to an audience. Another advantage of this presentation style was it allowed all team members to show and talk about their work whilst keeping to the time we were allocated as well as making our pitch stand out from the usual powerpoint format. To guide everyone with topics to cover and to create a smooth transition between all the sections I produced a Pitch Plan Document.  

Within the plan, I had two short video sections, the first outlining the project idea and the second explaining our steps for moving forward.  

After meeting with the team, following the Pitch, I am pleased with the feedback we received, nonetheless, there are aspects to improve in advance for the final presentation.  Some of the elements we agreed to look at are the following:

-Include a feature for when the lights are turned off, maybe a softer bird sound?

-Make sure when we record audio for the video that there is little background noise and people speak clearly.

-Slow down the video and include more detail of the project development.

-Suggestion by April: before creating the final pitch we each ask questions about the work of other team members with the aim of answering any questions the audience may have in advance. This information can then taken and included in the video content.

-Suggestion by Adam: change the format of the final presentation so there are multiple short videos with questions after each rather than one long video.

-My suggestion: one person acts as a narrator for the video so the audio is clear but the individual team member would still answer any questions relating to their work.

-My suggestion: for the final presentation could the group project the artwork in the lecture hall so the audience can experience what would happen when they walked into a room.

To develop the project going forward there are a few small steps we can take to improve workflow and make progress in preparation for the final presentation in a few weeks time.  These include tasks such as:

-Add final visuals and colour schemes to drive, so it can be referred to when developing both the website and animation.

-Use the artwork created by April, to produce a first draft of the final animation. This version should have a focus on developing the use of texture within imagery and sound throughout the sequence to enhance the disruptive effect.

-Ensuring all versions of the animations, Adam has produced, are uploaded to the shared drive for ease of access for the whole team.

-Build on the visual bird research to find facts and figures which can be used as website content. Suggestions for information could be the species type, the population size, what prey they have and where they are found in the Derbyshire area.

-Record five or six different local bird sounds for use within the animation.

Begin creating the website, from the first mockups, with a focus on functionality, layout and theme continuity.

-Create coloured lightswitch sticker mockups using two to three actual images of light switches found around campus.

-Create a collection of alternative presentation plans with both a different running order and/or content flow.  

-Look into hiring a projector to use in the final presentation.

This week I have explored the range of volunteer roles available at the Derbyshire Wildside festival taking place on the 15th June this year.

I have applied via the website under the categories of Welcome Team, Trader Liaison & Production and Signposting Team as I think my skill set would suit any of these roles due to the tasks ranging from directing visitors around the site, being on hand to assist traders when they arrive, answering questions and, providing general information.  Hopefully, I’ll hear back from the team to discuss how I can get involved.

For more information about the event, you can visit the Wildside Festival Website:

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