Understanding Letterforms

Exploring the Dynamics of the letter H and creating a short animation

Day 1: 03. 29. 2021 — Exploring the letterform “h”

In-Class Notes: Introduction to project

Explore gridding the letter on a printed version

Detailed grid versus a simplified grid. The right focuses on the angles and slopes of the h, especially the curve with all of the diagonals mapped out. The second one focuses on grid structures, mapping out the proportions of the letter. In the first one, I used a square grid, but as I began to learn the form more, I began to transition to a square grid with 5 by 8 proportions which was more accurate to the form for the letter.

Drawing the letterform without the printout (using the simplified grid)

Drawing the letterform on newsprint (x4 the scale)

Starting to explore perspective and proportions — especially of the typeface family

Day 2: 03.31.2021 — Understanding letterforms in 2d and 3d persepctives

I began with doing more grids of my letter. The second more detailed one reveals precise measurements and angles of the curves and lines of the letterform and also starts to map out negative space.

During class I explored extrapolatin my letter into a 3d space as well as practices more one point perspective and planes in perspective.

Began exploring h’s in planes in 1 point perspective, 2 point perspective, and extracting segments of the h (especially the curve section) to grid thoroughly, negative space, actions in space, and drawing grids without straight edges — which is something Matt recommended. I drew some grids more precisely and also identified some new features to my letterform — such as the right side of the h not completely straight and the curve being left heavy, and the height is not exactly 8 squares by 5. The drawings on the bottom were done without a straight edge. Next, I plan to do some more practice drawing bigger freehand while creating warped and folding planes.

Exploring Warping, Planes, and Folding in Space

Day 3: 04. 07. 2021 — Considering our Animation

Initial Ideas

Have the “ga” and the “hp” link together, where the a falls from the g and lands into the plane with a heavy weight, the g then slowly sways down like paper (look at curve drawings below). Meanwhile, the h hops over the p, and the p spins around the h. In the end, they are all on the plane and then collapse and fall flat. We ended up not going with this idea because each letter was doing something different and the impression was not cohesive.

New Idea Storyboard

We came up with a new idea depicted in the storyboard below where each letter is located within a sphere and the spheres represent bubbles that move around and collide with each other and pop as well as bounce off each other and the wall. The drawings below represent the ideal bubble movement and popping action. After they pop, we were considering having the letter fall off the side and float downwards.

I drew these on Medibang

Matt’s Feedback on the new idea

Gia’s Notes from the Zoom meeting

Beginning to draw the frames

Drawing different perspectives in different positions in Medibang

Removing the grid — the letters no longer look circular since they are not large enough on the surface of the sphere to take the circular shape

Overlaying the spheres to see how the animation would look

Drawing one sphere in 8 different positions/ sphere on different layers so the letter will look like its turning in space

Starting to animate and experiment with actions

Here are some of the iterations we created. However, we have several doubts about our current approach.

First exploration — very rudimentary — the bubbles don't even go off the page
Later exploration — adding more bubbles — increasing interaction between them

Day 4: 04. 10. 2021 — Revising our Animation

Feedback from Matt and Eric

  • Too much going on — too many bubbles instead focus on the movement of only 4
  • Focus on the soft fluid bubble movement — instead of the harsh bumps
  • Don’t have to do it breaking and falling and bouncing — too many things to incorporate into time — focus on bubble movement
  • Is it allowed to be longer since our bubble movement is slow? Yes that’s fine but it is more work
  • Have the bubbles spin slower and less
  • Have the letters larger so they take on more of the spherical shape and definitely remove the grid

Redrawing my 8 frames of the bubble rotating

Progressively adding fills, grids, outlines

Putting each bubble on a separate layer in the same position, so when I switch through the layers, it looks like the bubble is rotating.

Putting together our animation

  • Animating the bubbles rotating — changing frames and perspectives
  • Animate the bubbles floating down
  • Animate the bubbles running into each other and bouncing
  • Animate the bubbles merging
Screenshot of two of the 8 paths drawn with each keyframe

In order to have the bubbles interact with each other, I drew individual paths of movement by adding keyframes for each bubble — changing speed so can notice bubble bouncing and make the movement appear fluid and smooth.

Establishing paths throughout the frames

Overall composition throughout the animation

These are the frames of the bubbles beginning to merge nearing the end of the animation. We realized the animation was definitely going to run longer than the 6 seconds but Matt mentioned it would be okay to go over since we needed to establish this smooth bubble feel to the movement.

Drawing frames of bubbles merging (hg)

Drawing frames of bubbles merging (ap)

Drawing frames of the two sets of bubbles merging

Some last video iterations

Also exploring inversions of color

Final Animation

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Collaborative Visualizing: Spring 2021

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